Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /home/greata7/public_html/aletheiabaptistministries.org/Blog/wp-content/themes/evolve/inc/dynamic-css.php on line 185

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /home/greata7/public_html/aletheiabaptistministries.org/Blog/wp-content/themes/evolve/inc/dynamic-css.php on line 186

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /home/greata7/public_html/aletheiabaptistministries.org/Blog/wp-content/themes/evolve/inc/dynamic-css.php on line 187

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /home/greata7/public_html/aletheiabaptistministries.org/Blog/wp-content/themes/evolve/inc/dynamic-css.php on line 188
Catholicism Archives ~ Aletheia Baptist Ministries Skip to main content

Charles Ryrie

Charles Ryrie

by Rick Shrader

“Within the Christian orbit of theological systems, Roman Catholicism, for instance, sees the Roman Church as the seat of authority.  To be sure, the Bible is believed, but it must be interpreted, they say, by the church.  Therefore, the church becomes the final authority, and its pronouncements are binding on its members.”

Charles Ryrie, A Survey of Bible Doctrine, p. 8.

 

The Reformation In England

The Reformation In England

by Rick Shrader

%%tb-image-alt-text%%

The English Reformation isn’t as popular as the German, Swiss, or even the Scottish Reformations.  There you have singularly interesting figures like Luther, Calvin, and Knox.  In England you have characters like Henry VIII and Bloody Mary, but you also have Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer and others who lost their lives in the reformation process.  The English Reformation begins on the precarious note of the Catholic Henry VIII wanting to divorce his wife but not being able to because of Catholic law, and ending with a more Protestant Henry, not only divorcing Catherine, but becoming the religious head of his country’s new church, the Church of England.  All of this took place in the background of Henry dissolving the Catholic monasteries and dividing up the proceeds within England.  Most interesting, however, was the struggle between church and state.  Does the church stand on its own right as the Roman church claims, or does its existence derive from the power of a free country and the will of the governed?  England, of course, couldn’t go the whole way as its prodigal son, America, did and completely separate the two.  It was too tied to its Bishops and Parliament to throw either overboard.  It would pay for its timidity over and over in the years ahead as its people were persecuted by a state church and as it famously, but only once, executed its own king.

 

 

 

Breaking Down the Walls…And the Gospel

Breaking Down the Walls…And the Gospel

by Rick Shrader

%%tb-image-alt-text%%

The subversive work of “Evangelical Inclusivism”

Raymond Teachout is the son of Richard Teachout, Robert’s brother.  They are children of Dick and Oril Teachout, long-time missionaries in Africa.  Raymond wrote this book in 1999 and I am sorry that I hadn’t known of it sooner.  There is still a lot of literature explaining the ecumenical compromise of the earlier and mid 20th century, but not very much that follows up on the inclusive nature of that compromise to the end of the century.   Raymond gives good detailed analysis of the evangelical-Catholic hand-holding now going on among well-known evangelical leaders and their Catholic counterparts.  He shows that the current push to engage Catholics in dialogue (ECT, The Gift of Salvation, et al) necessarily begins with the assumption that all are brethren and must be treated as brethren.  Therefore, the doctrinal differences that separate evangelicals and Catholics are merely squabbles among fellow believers.  Any attempt at evangelizing “brethren” becomes anathema.  I also enjoyed Teachout’s observation that the emphasis on presenting various views of doctrinal subjects often relegates doctrine to one’s “view” of doctrine in a sort of relativistic way.

 

The Protestant Revolution

The Protestant Revolution

by Debra Conley

%%tb-image-alt-text%%

I found this 1914 volume of a 30-volume set of historical essays done by many prominent educators.  What I found most interesting in this university text was the overriding confidence of the authors and endorsers that the Protestant Reformation was one of the most positive influences in the history of the world. The result it produced in solid character formation of individuals is highlighted throughout. The volume begins with a summary of the small extent of Christendom and the advancing threat of Islam in the European world, including of course, the Spanish Inquisition which was also hostile to the Jewish community. By following the men who were bold enough to step forward and declare the truths of Scripture, the Reformation began a force able to deal with dangerous and insidious philosophies. Individuals like Jerome, Colet, Wyclif, Bishops Latimer and Ridley, Luther, and Knox are heroes of the reform because their foundation was considered noble and right. In fact, I could find no negative or cynical reference to any of the religious goals or affirmations of the era. I think it a serious question to consider why these prominent universities were grounded with books like these fewer than a hundred years ago and now have nothing good to say about this history or its influence.

 

The Templars

The Templars

by Rick Shrader

This is a trial read of a Barnes & Noble book by an English author and authority on Catholic history.  Read traces the history of the Knights Templar, the medieval protectors of the Jerusalem temple during the times of the Crusades.  My interest in the Knights Templar is due to the fanciful re-creation of history by Dan Brown and his popular DaVinci Code.  Read, a Cambridge Scholar, meticulously traces the Knight’s connection to the protection of the temple and any connection they may have had to temple secrets such as the Holy Grail.  His conclusion?  Brown and others have turned history “into a wild fantasy,” and according to Malcolm Barbar, Britain’s foremost Templar historian, such stories as the DaVinci Code have created “a very active little industry, profitable to scientists, art historians, journalists, publishers, and television pundits alike.”  Read concludes also, “Intriguing though such speculations may be, they betray by their use of language the lack of a plausible historical foundation.”  It was 350 pages of interesting history as well!

 

 

Why I Have Not Seen the Movie, The Passi...

Why I Have Not Seen the Movie, The Passion of the Christ

by Rick Shrader

We all must pause to express our conscience on controversial matters sooner or later even though we would rather talk only of “the common faith” and leave the “contending” to the expert apologists.  C.S.  Lewis said, “The greatest cause of verbicide is the fact that most people are obviously far more anxious to express their approval and disapproval of things than to describe them” (Studies in Words, p. 7).  I have chosen not to see the movie for a number of reasons with which one may agree or disagree.  While I have no desire to make personal attacks, I do desire to speak my own conscience on this very current matter.  Now that some time is going by, there is a growing collection of sincere objections to the film. I offer my own to this list.

1. My life-long boycott of the theater.  It may seem like begging the question to place this reason first but I don’t think so.  I have preached to my church and lived before my family that I believe it is far better for our children/people never to have sat in a theater with their father/pastor than to have done so.  Knowing what has happened to Hollywood in the last forty years, I can’t help but believe the next forty will totally paganize our kids.  My children/people will never recollect me sitting with them there.  To break that commitment now, even for this reason, is more conscience than I care to violate.  I see this as being “blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed” (Titus 1:7).  I think that keeping this principle will reap far greater benefits in the long run.

2. My love, familiarity and blessing in reading the four gospels.  It has been an amazing thing to watch the reaction of our generation to a movie, a reaction that has never taken place from reading the inspired Word of God.  It never occurred to me to see any of the Jesus movies.  But I do read one of the gospels through thoughtfully every month and have done so for years.  The added reality for me is in the theology of the atonement, not languishing in unnecessary detail that the Holy Spirit chose not to include.  Even the rest of the New Testament always emphasizes the reason and scope of Christ’s death, not the added details that humans may have wanted.  Peter is typical when he writes,  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed (1 Peter 2:22-24).

3. The justification of Roman Catholicism by Evangelicals and Fundamentalists.  Although many feel their use of the movie does not justify Catholicism, I believe it does to the Catholics and allows their view of the blood of the sacrament to be affirmed.  Are we not bidding them “God speed” as they return to their Church altar?  In the third volume of The Fundamentals, written in 1917 and edited by R.A. Torrey and A.C. Dixon, T.W. Medhurst from Glasgow, Scotland began his article this way, “I am aware that, if I undertake to prove that Romanism is not Christianity, I must expect to be called ‘bigoted, harsh, uncharitable.’ Nevertheless I am not daunted; for I believe that on a right understanding of this subject depends the salvation of millions” (“Is Romanism Christianity?”, vol. 3, p. 288).  I think we will find it harder than ever to win our Catholic friends and neighbors to Christ once we have given credence to their version of the sufferings of Christ.  What is poetic license to us is church dogma to them.  The obvious exaltation of the Roman Eucharistic Mystery by Anne Catherine Emmerich in her book, as well as by Gibson and his cast during filming, is something with which I cannot have fellowship.  For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness?  And what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (2 Cor 6:14-15).

4. My opposition to ecumenicalism.  One may conclude that we were wrong to criticize ecumenical evangelism over the last fifty years, but it is hard not to see this as the same thing.  Maybe some can avoid this, but it seems this has been difficult even in the pre-viewing process as well as in the use of the film.  In ecumenical evangelism the lowest common denominator of doctrine is sought so that groups differing on major doctrines may come together for the purpose of evangelism.  This means that you have to acquiesce to doctrine you believe is wrong and which you teach against for what all have agreed is the greater good.  But fundamentalists have objected to this as pragmatic, the end justifying the means, and compromise of doctrinal truth.  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.  Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother (2 Thes 3:14-15).  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them (Rom 16:17).  It is always tempting to use the means that seem (to us) to get the job of evangelism done quicker.  But is it a lack of trust or compassion to stay within the bounds of Scriptural commands and trust that God knows best?  Ask Abraham in Hagar’s bedroom, or Moses striking the rock, or Uzzah holding the ark, about things which seem to work as opposed to what God has specifically said.

5. My view of Revelation 17 and 18.  Though it is becoming increasingly unpopular today to identify the Harlot in these chapters as the Roman Church, it has been a common belief of good Bible expositors.  It is the blood of the apostles as well as the prophets (Rev 18:20) that God will avenge on her.  It is Mystery Babylon, the imitation of Babel that John sees.  H.A. Ironside wrote, “In other words all sects will be swallowed up in the one distinctively Babylonish system that has ever maintained the cult of the mother and the child. . . . Rome alone answers to the description given” (Revelation, 297). In like manner, John Walvoord wrote of this harlot, “It is a sad commentary on contemporary Christendom that it shows an overwhelming desire to return to Rome in spite of Rome’s evident apostasy from true biblical Christianity.  In fact, modern liberalism has far outdone Rome in its departure from the theology of the early church, thus has little to lose by a return to Romanism.  Apostasy, which is seen in its latent form today, will flower in its ultimate form in this future superchurch which will apparently engulf all Christendom in the period after the rapture of the church” (Revelation, 248).  I understand that not every Bible expositor takes this view.  But if this old and common view is correct, and if today’s generation happens to be the generation of the anti-Christ, then we will have done what John started to do and was corrected, I wondered with great admiration.  And the angel said unto me, wherefore didst thou marvel?. . . . Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues, for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities (Rev 17:6-7; 18:4-5).

Again, I know that disagreement over this issue causes irritation to many.  As I have written, “the tyranny of the tolerant” most often closes the door on objections.  But I believe that as time goes on and the emotion of the moment wanes, many such objections will begin to be weighed and considered valid.  God grant us all biblical wisdom.

 

The Dolorous Passion of our Lord Jesus C...

The Dolorous Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ

by Rick Shrader

Emmerich became a nun, at the age of 29, in the Convent of Agnetenberg, at Dulmen, Germany.  She supposedly received the “favour from the Lord” (8) to receive “stigmas” or wounds in her flesh in order to bleed and suffer “to expiate the sin by suffering” (15) for others, as well as “to feel a portion of the sufferings which were endured by her Divine Spouse on the Cross” (16).  She spent most of her life in bed, her body constantly (and literally) bleeding from the brow, hands, feet and side (29, et al.). She also received visions from God and at times was translated to various locations, especially Jerusalem, to observe how things happened in history.  Thus does she tell in vivid detail of the life of Christ.

Her visions of what happened to Christ are given as a supposed eye witness and are thoroughly Catholic in the constant emphasis on the “Holy Eucharist” and “holy blood” (84) and praise of “The Blessed Virgin” and “Immaculate Mother of God” (200, et al.).  I list what space permits:  The upper room is converted into a Catholic altar and Mary miraculously appears to receive mass (84); the chalice was used by Adam, Noah on the ark, and Abraham (70); The Catholic Church is the second Eve (109) and all other churches are “hellish” and keep souls from heaven by not giving them “the Holy Sacrament” (117); Mary suffered in her own garden (118); an angel gave Jesus Holy Communion in Gethsemane (122); Jesus was chained, dragged, thrown into Kidron so that His handprints remained on the rocks for the “veneration” of believers (136); Mary’s handprints are also left at many places for the same reason (174, 255, 353); Pilate’s wife gave linen to “The Mother of God” to save the “sacred blood” (224-5); Emmerich was there also, “anxious for a drop of our Lord’s blood to fall upon me, to purify me” (232); Mary traveled the Via Dolarosa before Jesus did (and afterward) as “the first to show forth the deep veneration felt by the Church” (200); the veil of Veronica was left with the imprint of Jesus’ face (259) as the grave clothes left bodily imprints (323); Jesus was on the cross only 3 hours (268 & 294); the veil of the temple was rent by accident (298); the water and blood from His side (“vivifying waters of baptism”) splashed on a soldier, forgiving him of sin (304); Jesus descended to “Purgatory” and “Limbo” so that the Church can pray for them (351); Jesus appears first to Mary on three separate occasions (353, 358, 361); and numerous other details of pain and sufferings which are added to the biblical account.  The book comes with a sticker which says, “The book that inspired Mel Gibson to film The Passion Of The Christ.”

 

The DaVinci Code

The DaVinci Code

by Rick Shrader

The interest in the so-called “lost gospels” as well as the curiosity over DaVinci’s “Last Supper” caused me to read this book.  Basically, it is all old hat.  The author writes as if Christians have never heard theories of the mother-son “sacred feminine” worship or that there is apocryphal literature that was rejected as non-canonical.  The DaVinci Code is a mystery novel about a holy grail quest that begins with the theory that DaVinci was a Knight Templar in the Priori secret society which believes that Jesus never claimed to be divine; that he and Mary Magdalene were married and had a child whose descendents remain until this day; that this Mary was appointed by Jesus to be the head of the Church (not Peter); that no one believed differently until the council of Nicea where the Church voted that Mary was a virgin and divine; and that DaVinci (being in the “know”) painted Mary Magdalene sitting on the right hand of Jesus at the Last Supper; that the “V” created in the picture represents the sacred feminine, or sign of the chalice of Christ;* that “the holy grail” is actually the remains of Mary Magdalene.  Not enough?  The story proposes that the last 2000 years of history have been dominated by the male church unjustly, which has been the age of Pisces, but the secret society will now unveil the secret of the sacred feminine and usher in the age of Aquarius and the “lie” of the Catholic Church started at Nicea will finally be revealed for the hoax it is.

Even the Time Magazine (12/22/03) and U.S. News and World Report Magazine (12/22/03) articles do not buy into this to any great degree.  Christianity Today (Jan ’04) included a short but good rebuttal by Darrell Bock of Dallas Seminary (Bock has a book, Studying The Historical Jesus, which I will review next month).  You can also read abundant Christian writing explaining the feminine theories beginning at the tower of Babel to Venus and Cupid.  Does Revelation 13-18 picture this as the coming religion of the Anti-Christ?  Some of us haven’t ruled it out.

*My son, Matthew, as an engineering student at IUPUI has read books on the biography and work of DaVinci and none of them even suggest such a feminine content in the Last Supper, nor that DaVinci was trying to relate any other message than what is obviously there.

 

 

The Amble Man Who Saved My Faith

The Amble Man Who Saved My Faith

by Rick Shrader

9/3/01 CT article by Philip Yancey

This article, taken from Yancey’s new book, Soul Survivor, is his praise of G.K. Chesterton’s writings.  His praise goes too far.  It is one thing to appreciate a man’s conservative writing (which I also share) in a way in which we may appreciate Rush or Dr. Laura, but quite another to make such people born again.  If G.K.C. was a man of faith, why did he conscientiously join the Catholic Church?  I think he did so with every understanding of its works system.  Then let’s give him the respect his choice demands.

 

Theology and Critical Theory

Theology and Critical Theory

by Rick Shrader

%%tb-image-alt-text%%

This book was subtitled “The Discourse of the Church.”  I was hoping that it was a critique of the New Testament Church.  It turned out to be an attempt by Lakeland to apply Critical (social) Theory developed by Jurgen Habermas to open discourse within the Catholic Church.  Lakeland,  a Professor of Religious Studies, comes off as a social scientist with a bent toward political theology.  The intent of the book is to present a logical approach for the magisterium of the Catholic Church after Vatican II to be more receptive to theological viewpoints expressed by the laity of the church, and theologians in particular.  He argues that “the magisterium’s task is ‘authoritatively to defend the Catholic integrity and unity of faith and morals’ while the theologians have two roles, to examine revelation and tradition anew so that theology can ‘lend its aid to…the magisterium.’”  Lakeland further argues that “the equality of all the baptized before God is proclaimed in the scriptures and affirmed in the church” thus they should have a respected voice within the church concerning theological matters.  To express in religious terms Lakeland’s chance of realizing his goal, “He hasn’t a prayer!”

reviewed by Don Shrader