Protestantism: Critique and Debate Thread

This is a weird one. "You can quote him, but he doesn't actually mean what he's saying!" :LOL:

Do you too wish to separate words from their context? He's trying to conflate technical vocabulary with general vocabulary and insisting he's correct, in addition to ignoring part of the speech in which limitations are explicitly said, which he ignores when he promotes his conception of the "Monarchian Trinity".

Let's use an example Protestants will understand, as generally speaking, you accept that there are different meanings for the word "love" (agape, philios, eros etc.). What makes you think Fr. Trenham is using "origin" or "monarch" in colloquial terms?

The idea that "Protestant theology doesn't exist outside of its founders" is a bizarre statement , bordering on the nonsensical. That's like saying that Mount Everest doesn't exist outside of Edmund Hillary, who first climbed it.

That's a terrible analogy, as Choppa is referring to ideas. You cannot conflate that he's saying a physical place wouldn't exist unless someone first interacted with it's physical heights. (I'm using "exist" as it's used in everyday terms) Marxism wouldn't exist without Karl Marx. Freudian psychology wouldn't exist without Sigmund Freud. Calvinism wouldn't exist without John Calvin.
 
Let's use an example Protestants will understand, as generally speaking, you accept that there are different meanings for the word "love" (agape, philios, eros etc.). What makes you think Fr. Trenham is using "origin" or "monarch" in colloquial terms?
Then, if you would, go ahead and explain the alternate definitions for those terms from a theological versus a colloquial understanding, that we might better understand his meaning.
That's a terrible analogy, as Choppa is referring to ideas. You cannot conflate that he's saying a physical place wouldn't exist unless someone first interacted with it's physical heights. (I'm using "exist" as it's used in everyday terms) Marxism wouldn't exist without Karl Marx. Freudian psychology wouldn't exist without Sigmund Freud. Calvinism wouldn't exist without John Calvin.
The analogy is actually quite apt, because Protestants don't view their theology as having been invented by Luther, Calvin or others. We view the Reformers as having essentially just mapped out and clarified what already existed as written in the Bible, much in the same way an explorer would map out previously uncharted terrain. There really isn't "Protestant theology" in that sense. Rather it's just, "Biblical theology".
 
You're just recycling all of Trenham's critiques from Rock and Sand, which is more about character assassination than theology. In other words, it's ad hominem. If you can't attack the argument (or the theology in this case), attack the man himself. The idea that "Protestant theology doesn't exist outside of its founders" is a bizarre statement , bordering on the nonsensical. That's like saying that Mount Everest doesn't exist outside of Edmund Hillary, who first climbed it. Protestants do not revere figures like Luther or Calvin the same way that Orthodox revere the Saints and Fathers. We do not regard them as near-sinless moral paragons, we see them as flawed, sinful men like the rest of us, but do admire their faith, courage and devotion to the truth of scripture.

This is a weird one. "You can quote him, but he doesn't actually mean what he's saying!" :LOL:


Really... Have you read the book? I would not say it's about character assassination at all. And he's my much more charitable in historical analysis that I am. In fact Fr. Trenham is pretty laudatory about elements of the Protestant evangelism and ability to outreach, something we often do not do well in ethnic focused Orthodox Churches.

Protestant theology is defined by the teachings of it's foundational sectarian leadership.
If their ideas were not so strong that they decided to break form the Church body at that time, there would be no Reformation. Other philosophers bolster those beliefs and a smattering of other historical writings also. But to imply that the protestant theological beliefs are not a result of their leaders beliefs is simply incorrect and is infact nonsense.

Again, there's no real way to refute the fact that all of these reformed theologies are just a much a result of political infighting as they are attempts to reform the body of the organized church at the time.
 
The analogy is actually quite apt, because Protestants don't view their theology as having been invented by Luther, Calvin or others. We view the Reformers as having essentially just mapped out and clarified what already existed as written in the Bible, much in the same way an explorer would map out previously uncharted terrain. There really isn't "Protestant theology" in that sense. It's just, "Biblical theology".

Taking the bible out of it's context and creating a new meaning for it (or in some instances reviving old heresies), is no different than a fully grown man claiming to identify as a 6 year old girl. One separates writings from their normative historical context, and the other separates himself from the normative social fabric in society. Just the levels of separation from a shared reality is greater. Christ did not write anything down (except in the sand) for good reason. He had already given Israel the "Law", what more could he write in order to bring them to understanding? Christ wants to bring us as close as possible to Him as He can, He always desires for His creation to repent. And how could He conceive of bringing us any closer to Himself, than by taking on our nature, and giving us a shared stable reality in this world of death. (the Church).

(KJV) Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

To assume the Church of Christ became corrupted right after the apostles is to assume God made a mistake when he chose to become incarnate when he did in Greek speaking Decapolis.
 
Who has the Father sent the Spirit from in Galatians 4:6?
A spirit from Christ that came long after his baptism. Luke 1 makes this clear; John the Baptist was carrying the Holy Spirit since conception, specifically the spirit of Elijah, and Christ did not receive the Holy Spirit until he was baptized by John.

I'm going with pure scripture here; no tradition needed to refute the filioque.

This is a roundabout way of saying that baptism is necessary to be saved. Did the thief on the cross "lack Christ"?

The thief was right next to Christ so he did not lack Christ; but baptism is almost always necessary.
 
This video isn't about Protestantism but it acknowledges potential Protestant objections to some Orthodox arguments.

 
This video isn't about Protestantism but it acknowledges potential Protestant objections to some Orthodox arguments.

I appreciated his point that Orthodox should not downplay or handwave the wrath of God away. Every Protestant denomination that has done this, that has downplayed the authority of the Scriptures, the Sovereignty of God, the deadness of man in sin has inevitably gone liberal.

Here is a video that fairly sums up how Reformed Christians understand the wrath of God and what must be done to propitiate it:
 
For a constrast, compare Penal Substitution with Theosis.


Or if you prefer a Jay Dyer breakdown.

Theosis is one of the biggest errors of Orthodox theology. In it, every aspect of our salvation is flattened out into one big synergistic, works-based salvation model.

Within Reformed theology, we recognize distinctions in the different aspects of our salvation. We first place Justification, which is the monergistic work of God's Grace (otherwise known as penal substitution/Christ dying for us on the cross). Then following Justification, we have Sanctification, which is synergistic and is only possible because of Justification, this is where we are made able to do good because of what God has already done in us. And at the end of these two, we recognize Glorification.

This is why the mantra: we have been saved (Justification) we are being saved (Sanctification) and we will be saved (Glorification) has always been a Reformed one.

In Theosis, it's more like: we hope to be saved.

As for Pageau, his idea that God could be "arbitrary" to create as He wills is nonsensical by definition. I do appreciate his honesty in admitting that no verse in the Bible can change his mind about these ideas that have captivated him.
 
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It's not Augustine you hold to, it's an extreme way of reading into his position, some of his writings were to correct the error of Pelagianism, and so he overstated some things using rhetoric which is common among Church Fathers when addressing others in sermons/letters.

This is the danger when you take one Church Father and exalt him and his writings over all others.
It is not, therefore, true, as some affirm that we say, and as that correspondent of yours ventures moreover to write, that " all are forced into sin, " as if they were unwilling, " by the necessity of their flesh; " but if they are already of the age to use the choice of their own mind, they are both retained in sin by their own will, and by their own will are hurried along from sin to sin. For even he who persuades and deceives does not act in them, except that they may commit sin by their will, either by ignorance of the truth or by delight in iniquity, or by both evils—as well of blindness as of weakness. But this will, which is free in evil things because it takes pleasure in evil, is not free in good things, for the reason that it has not been made free. Nor can a man will any good thing unless he is aided by Him who cannot will evil—that is, by the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. For " everything which is not of faith is sin. " [ Romans 14:23 ] And thus the good will which withdraws itself from sin is faithful, because the just lives by faith. [ Habakkuk 2:4 ] And it pertains to faith to believe in Christ. And no man can believe in Christ— that is, come to Him— unless it be given to him. [ Romans 1:17 ] No man, therefore, can have a righteous will, unless, with no foregoing merits, he has received the true, that is, the gratuitous grace from above.
Here is Augustine, Against Two Letters of the Pelagians: Book 1, Chapter 8. I want to know where you think Augustine was speaking "rhetorically."
 
The Protestant accounting for the Scriptures lies in God's inspiration of the Scriptures. Which is how the Jews and the early Christians were able to recognize what the Scriptures were long before groups such as the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox came along. These groups, among others, claim to be the original church but all come to different conclusions on what the canon of Scripture should be, revealing that they are a later sect, anachronistically imposing their standards on what God had originally revealed.

Again, not the point. When Marcion forms his canon of scripture and rejects certain texts, we know the true God-inspired texts because the church came together and authoritatively declared which texts were God-inspired, part of the criteria for which was their liturgical usage in the Church and tradition. I would agree that this is the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but again, the lived experience and authority of the Church as a prerequisite helps determine true vs false claims of inspiration.

Any of these groups have a low view of the Scriptures and do not want the individual to turn to the original Biblical documents, so that they may first prejudice the individual against the Scriptures and each impose their own traditions in it's place. But wherever the Scriptures have been freely shared, Protestantism has flourished, because Protestantism does not seek to reinterpret the original documents according to it's own tradition, but understand the original documents according to their original context. Thus, it is rightly said that Protestantism is nothing more than Biblical or Apostolic Christianity.

Again, one group claims to be understanding the scriptures in their original context, whilst disagreeing on doctrine with another sect claiming the same standard while quoting scripture to debate each other. What do?

I appreciate that I keep belabouring this point, but Protestants frequently cite the scriptures to criticise Catholicism and Orthodoxy, while giving no justification for their own interpretations other than “it is what scripture plainly says” when we can say “no it isn’t, scripture says this.”

We are being told that we should understood the 1st century text, according to one of these sects, each of which cannot trace itself until centuries after the original documents had been written.

And while God defines how the proper Church should obey the boundaries outlined in the Scriptures. Each of these sects will insist that we must understand the original documents according to their understanding.

Lastly, because the Catholic canon for Scripture does not align with the Orthodox canon of Scripture, we can see the competing anachronism of these sects, not that these are the only two sects who claim to be Apostolic, imposed onto the history of the early Church and especially the Church at it's inception, that is the Apostolic Church.

Ask yourself: did the Apostles ever say anything remotely similar to "the Church is the necessary prerequisite to Scripture?" Clearly not, and so when you are building your worldview on a different foundation than on what they have already laid, do not be surprised when it goes awry.

“Keep to the traditions you have been taught, whether by our Epistle or word of mouth” would attest to there being an oral tradition of great importance. The scriptures don’t directly say the Church is the prerequisite, but examining Protestant epistemology makes it abundantly clear. As do the early centuries when no Churches had access to a complete New Testament, yet still lived a life in Christ
 
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Again, not the point. When Marcion forms his canon of scripture and rejects certain texts, we know the true God-inspired texts because the church came together and authoritatively declared which texts were God-inspired, part of the criteria for which was their liturgical usage in the Church and tradition. I would agree that this is the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but again, the lived experience and authority of the Church as a prerequisite helps determine true vs false claims of inspiration.
I agree that the Church helps us to the correct understanding of the canon, that is different than saying the Church is the necessary prerequisite to understanding the canon. You concede the point when you say that it comes down to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Again, one group claims to be understanding the scriptures in their original context, whilst disagreeing on doctrine with another sect claiming the same standard while quoting scripture to debate each other. What do?
Pick one group and run with it, in this case, Eastern Orthodoxy. Still waiting to hear how this is a viable solution. You don't allow the Scriptures to have an objective meaning because it would undo your epistemology.

“Keep to the traditions you have been taught, whether by our Epistle or word of mouth” would attest to there being an oral tradition of great importance. The scriptures don’t directly say the Church is the prerequisite, but examining Protestant epistemology makes it abundantly clear. As do the early centuries when no Churches had access to a complete New Testament, yet still lived a life in Christ
Examining Orthodox epistemology makes it abundantly clear that the Scriptures are the precondition for the Church. The errors that pervade in groups such as the Orthodox can be traced to when some parts of the Church in the early centuries did not have full access to the complete New Testament.

You do keep belaboring this point, so I will keep belaboring the point that the Orthodox Church being the precondition for it's own knowledge is viciously circular, and not what any of the Early Church Fathers believed:
 
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The errors that pervade in groups such as the Orthodox can be traced to when some parts of the Church in the early centuries did not have full access to the complete New Testament.

You continue with this falsehood? I've already shown you that the New Testament itself is the product of the Early Church. In other words, the "cannon" of the New Testament was created sometime in the early 100s and was in use for centuries before being acknowledged as a "cannon" later on in the 300's.

We just had this discussion a few pages ago.
 
You continue with this falsehood? I've already shown you that the New Testament itself is the product of the Early Church. In other words, the "cannon" of the New Testament was created sometime in the early 100s and was in use for centuries before being acknowledged as a "cannon" later on in the 300's.

We just had this discussion a few pages ago.
The Canon was created when the Apostles wrote it down. Your argument that you gave a few pages ago was a total concession that no Orthodox Council is necessary to have a recognition of what the Scriptures are, that's why I agreed with your argument then.
 
The Canon was created when the Apostles wrote it down. Your argument that you gave a few pages ago was a total concession that no Orthodox Council is necessary to have a recognition of what the Scriptures are, that's why I agreed with your argument then.

My argument was that the entire NT is a product of tradition established started with the Apostles, of which the Orthodox Church gave to the world.
 
My argument was that the entire NT is a product of tradition established started with the Apostles, of which the Orthodox Church gave to the world.
You are equivocating on what Orthodox Church means here, but I'm fine with that. You're not making the horrific argument that some Council has to authoritatively declare the canon to us.
 
You are equivocating on what Orthodox Church means here, but I'm fine with that. You're not making the horrific argument that some Council has to authoritatively declare the canon to us.
The canons were established by The Ecumenical Councils and Church body and the communities whom worshiped accross Christendom.
 
That's what we believe. The canons were established by The Ecumenical Councils and Church body and the communities whom worshiped accross Christendom.
For those of you who do make this horrific argument, you have no evidence of an Ecumenical Council providing a Canon of Scripture that you could use to justify what books would constitute the modern Eastern Orthodox canon, so you have no ground to stand on when you criticize other groups for not possessing the same Canon as you. In other words, you're hypocritically imposing a standard on other people that you yourselves do not match up to.
 
For those of you who do make this horrific argument, you have no evidence of an Ecumenical Council providing a Canon of Scripture that you could use to justify what books would constitute the modern Eastern Orthodox canon, so you have no ground to stand on when you criticize other groups for not possessing the same Canon as you. In other words, you're hypocritically imposing a standard on other people that you yourselves do not match up to.

I see no hypocrisy...one group retroactively decides to reject books established by the practicing body vs the other which carries the Tradition of Christian Believers from the time of Christ onward.

The entirety of The Christian Church believed and worshiped Christ before biblical cannon was codified. There was as much of an oral tradition as there was different books in circulation across the practicing body of the Church.

Protestants reject Old Testament books, recognized by all Jews who became Christians, Wanted to reject Gospels and NT books that didn't align with certain leader's belief systems.
 
Protestants reject Old Testament books, recognized by all Jews who became Christians, Wanted to reject Gospels and NT books that didn't align with certain leader's belief systems.
The same "Old Testament" books that Protestants rejected are the same books that the Jews made it a point to not include in the Temple in the time of Jesus and the Apostles. If you asked a Jew in Jesus' day what books make up the Tanakh, he would've given you the same thing as the Protestant Old Testament.

That's why the early Church, in so far as they were aware of this, dubbed these other books as "Apocrypha" or Deuterocanon (Secondary canon). Useful for edification, but not divinely inspired, and thus not authoritative or canonical.

Not only did Luther not remove any books from the NT, he didn't even remove any of the Apocrypha from his translation of the Bible. He simply placed the Apocrypha into it's own section from the canonical Old Testament books.
 
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