Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Quick Look at Roman Catholic History, Part 1

Darrell Bock and his colleagues Scott Horrell and Michael Svigel from Dallas Theological Seminary have produced a video entitled “Catholicism and Protestantism: The History and Organization of the Roman Catholic Church” as part of their “TheTablePodcast” series.

I’d give it a B+, and certainly I appreciate the effort of making Roman Catholicism more understandable to a broader Evangelical and Protestant audience, but I continue to be amazed that Protestant Seminary Professors can get some basic things wrong such as when Horrell, in a discussion of the 1950 dogma on the Assumption of Mary, says things such as “Mary did not die” (which is not part of the dogma and is a question that is open to discussion) or when he includes theologians as part of the Magisterium (they have no authority and only serve as advisors). Not to pick on DTS, but I’ve also heard Donald Fortson RTS make some faulty claims about the efficacy attributed to purgatory, a claim that was more recently repeated by my own pastor in a sermon.

That is to say, for as far as Protestants have come toward understanding Roman Catholicism, many still don’t quite have a mastery of the subject matter – which leads me to say that, in spite of these certain weaknesses and small factual errors, I’m grateful for their efforts to put Roman Catholicism into perspective for a broader Protestant audience.

Part 2 is here.

HT: Steve Hays


  1. Steve
    Can you explain what you mean by "efficacy attributed to purgatoy"?

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Brian -- essentially Purgatory is for burning off the "temporal penalty" for sins, not for the forgiveness of sins themselves. I believe in both cases they (Fortson and my pastor) referred to purgatory as having that latter function. (Sorry, it's been a while in both cases; with regard to Dr Fortson, it was on one of his lectures that I obtained through iTunes on Reformation History. And in the case of my pastor, well, I spoke directly to him about that).