Thursday, May 01, 2014

Brandon Addison’s “Called to Communion” article available in .PDF

Brandon Addison’s “Called to Communion” article, “The Quest for the Historical Church: A Protestant Assessment”, is now available in .PDF format:


  1. Hi John,
    Thanks for posting this.

    Have you seen this?

    Peter Leithart, Fred Sanders, Carl Truman, and Peter Escalante

    Leithart's position is hard to understand.

    1. Hi Ken -- I know of the event but I haven't watched it -- it's more than two hours!

      I like Escalante a lot. I think Peter Leithart does some real damage.

  2. You are right - it is long! I feel asleep during some of it; and have to go back and listen to some parts again. Trying to understand Leithart. He seems to say that Roman Catholicism is part of the same body of Christ and the people are brothers and sisters as they were baptized with the same Trinitarian baptism. Leithart seems to be arguing the same kind of thing that Doug Wilson argued in his debate with James White, "Are Roman Catholics our brothers and sisters?" - Wilson says something like "grab them by their baptism".

    I think Escalante was wrong at 1:28:00 where he says that Francis Turretin said that the RCC was a church, just deformed, but has word and sacrament, etc. Turretinfan provides evidence to the contrary:

    No one mentioned the anathemas of the Council of Trent on the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

    Leithard emphasizes:
    Unity, John 17
    seemed to say that Transubstantiation could be an opinion, but not a dogma ( ?? !!!)
    Eucharist/Lord's supper has to be celebrated every week

    Carl Truman said that Machen's view was that theological liberalism was not Christianity, but that RCC is a distorted form of Christianity; and that the Reformers did not re-baptize anyone who converted from Rome to the Protestant faith.

    Truman was good in emphasizing the Word/Scriptures/preaching/teaching and pastoral implications of helping the average person understand the issues, by not confusing them with too much ecumenism.

    1. Thanks for this overview Ken. I hope to be able to review this. Regarding Leithart/Wilson, I do think that "trinitarian baptism" may be a point of convergence (although I've not really sat down to re-think that one for a while.) I think if you're presbyterian and accept infant baptism, there is some "there" there. I wouldn't want to get any more specific than that. at this point. (Maybe Escalante could have been more careful, but I think he is saying the same thing as Turretin: "In respect to the external form, in which we discover some of the elements of a Church, in respect as well to the word of God and its preaching, which though corrupted, still remain, and as to the administration of the sacraments, especially baptism, which, as to the substance, still remains entire." That sort of thing.

      I do think that Machen was just a smidgen too kind to Roman Catholicism -- although he didn't have to deal with post Vatican II RCism. Whereas once it was plain to see what Rome was, after Vatican II it has tried to put on "sheep's clothing". There is an element of deception to what they present now.

  3. Thanks John,
    On a different issue, do you know of some good sources written by Reformed Theologians on the issue of the RC understanding of Mortal Sin vs. Venial Sin? (and how that distinction developed from Tertullian onward?) What is a good commentary on 1 John 5:16-17 on that issue?

    1. Hi Ken -- Sorry that I don't have much time to follow up on this -- you may want to check this:

      There are probably some good links there. As for commentaries, I've got Carson, Kostenberger, and Michaels; you may also want to check Keener. For a Roman Catholic treatment of it, Raymond Brown's commentary on John is also supposed to be very good.