Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mormon v. Catholic

Catholics deploy stereotypical arguments when attacking Protestantism and defending Rome. It's interesting to see what happens when Catholics debate Mormons. To some extent Mormons co-opt Catholic arguments while, in other respects, they operate with very different presuppositions. Some staple Catholic arguments can backfire when deployed against Mormons:


  1. (1) "The Protestants haven't a leg to stand on"

    Funny that, since Catholic epologists like to include Mormons in their list of Eighty Thousand Protestant Denominations. And true, Mormons do indeed resemble Protestants closely in having bishops, priests, an infallible teaching head, arbitrary food rules, rejection of salavation by grace alone through faith alone, a canon that goes beyond the KJV, and a relaxed approach to monotheism that involves the supreme deity taking a wife. However - LDS didn't arise out of the Reformation, so for that technicality alone, they can't be "Protestants" stricto sensu.

    (2) Consider, for example, GK Chesterton's "Of Liberties and Lotteries" ( where the Thirteenth Apostle makes the point that "If the thousand and one religions make a case against religion, then the thousand and one liberties make a case against liberty". This is typical among Catholic apologists: as against atheists, they argue that disagreements among Christians, Jews and Muslims in no way discredits the truth that God exists. But when it comes to debating Protestants, they quickly eject that cassette and insert another maintaining that the very fact that disagreements exist among Protestants ipse facto proves that, in Mark Shea's words, "Sola Scriptura is rubbish".

  2. "For, if we are wrong, they are wrong with us, since they were a part of us and went out from us; while if we are right, they are apostates whom we cut off long ago."

    Actually, the learned papist is as ignorant as the Mormons he chastises, as this argument nukes the church itself, as it is one that a 1st century Jew could make against Christianity, which it considered apostate, though it substantially upheld Judaism from which it came.

    Likewise the RC argument relies upon historical decent as proof that it is the promised OTC, (" It has been in existence for almost 2,000 years through an unbroken chain of successors to the apostles.") And which is asserted under the RC premise that "according to our interpretation (that we are assuredly infallible), then only our interpretation can be assuredly right in any conflict."

    But again promises of perpetuation and historical decent was what the powers that be in Judaism invoked as proof of their authority. Yet which authority, unlike Rome, the Scriptures specifically affirm, (Rm. 3:2; 9:4) but which they wrongly presumed promised a level of assured veracity, and perpetuation via their descendants.

    Thus under that assumption, they did not like John the Baptist's assertion about God being able to raise up children to Abraham from stones, and of them being snakes, nor the threat to their preeminence by the Lord Jesus, and so like as RCs do today, these historical heavyweights asked,

    “By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?” (see Mk. 11:27-33)

    To which the Lord required that they tell them by whose authority the Baptist (before their were southern ones) acted, which they refused to answer on damnable political grounds.

    But the issue is still one of authority. Why would seekers of Truth follow this itinerant preacher from Nazareth who turned over the tables of power?

    The answer is that, in contrast to them, the Lord Jesus established His claims on Scripture, in word and in the manifest power of God it affirms, as did the apostles and early church. ( Mt. 22:23-45; Lk. 24:27,44; Jn. 5:36,39; Acts 2:14-35; 4:33; 5:12; 15:6-21;17:2,11; 18:28; 28:23; Rm. 15:19; 2Cor. 12:12)

    And Scripture is abundantly evidenced to be the standard for obedience and for testing truth claims.

    But which both Rome and Mormonism fails of, both teaching mere traditions of men as doctrine.

    And the most critical aspect of this basis is that the of the gospel of grace, and manifest regeneration by repentant faith in it, and which kind of living effectual faith the church relies upon for its members and for storming the gates of Hell.

    And which affirms that the church is that of the living God, (1Tim. 1:15) versus self declaration, not it institutionalized counterpart, "For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. " (1 Cori. 4:20) and by "manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." (2 Corinthians 4:2)

    Even if i come short in what i should be, as does the church overall.