Gene has drawn my attention to Dave Armstrong’s “Explicit Biblical Evidence for Indulgences.”
Let me begin by commending dear old Dave. I can think of no greater service he can render to the Protestant cause than by once more making Tetzel the posterboy for Catholicism.
It almost makes one suspect that this prolific apologist for Rome is really a Protestant plant.
However, I do think that dear old Dave labors under a fundamental misapprehension. Traditionally, Protestantism has never denied that Scripture explicitly witnesses to certain features of Roman Catholicism. Take the papacy as Exhibit A:
The Papacy is the Antichrist (1888)
Few Christians know that the anti-Protestant Futurist theory originated with a Spanish Jesuit by the name of Ribera, who, in 1585 published a Commentary on the Revelation, in which he laboured to turn aside the Protestant application of the Apocalyptic prophecies and symbols from the church of Rome. It is also not well known the anti-Protestant Praterite (preterist) theory came from the pen of a Spanish Jesuit, Alcasar of Seville, who in 1615 published a work having in view the same end as Ribera, viz, to set aside the commonly accepted Reformation view that the Roman Papacy is the Antichrist (adapted from Original Covenanter and Contending Witness magazine). This book demonstrates that the Pope is the Antichrist using Scripture, history and the Pope's own words. Or as Ian Paisley states: "It is the purpose of this book to demonstrate that the preaching of the Great Cloud of Witnesses of all ages in the Church is true and that the little horn is none other than the Dynasty of Rome's Popes and that therefore THE POPE IS THE ANTICHRIST." This view (the "continuous historical Protestant theory") stands in agreement with Luther, Calvin, Knox, the Westminster Divines, Owen, Ames, Spurgeon, Baxter, Matthew Henry, Jonathan Edwards, Cunningham, Ryle, Cotton, Brown, and virtually all of the other standard Protestant interpreters of the book of Revelation. Have you fallen for a Jesuit ruse or are you standing in the footsteps of the flock? Read this book and find out.
The Pope of Rome is Antichrist (1675, 1845 edition)
Calvin (on I John 2:18) writes, "Those that think that he (Antichrist) would be just one man, are dreaming! For Paul... plainly shows that it would be a body or a kingdom (II Thes. 2:3). He first foretells a falling away that would spread throughout the whole Church... Then he makes the head of this apostasy the adversary of Christ who would sit in God's temple and claim divinity and divine honours. Unless we deliberately want to err, let us learn to know Antichrist from Paul's description" (Cited in Nigel Lee, 666: Luther and Calvin's Doctrine of Antichrist: Antichrist in Scripture [Focus Christian Ministries, 1992], p. 58). Wilkinson's book takes the classic Protestant position, called "historicism;" held by Luther, Calvin, Knox, the Westminster Divines, and most other Protestants, until the Jesuit inspired "futurist" and "preterist" systems began to gain ground, when Reformation hermeneutics waned. Shows how Protestants prove that the Pope is that "Antichrist" and "man of sin" set forth in Scripture. Deals with the mystery of iniquity, the great apostasy, and practical applications of the doctrines examined.