Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Response to an apologist for Rome

Below is my response to the latest response to me by Scott Eric Alt, the author the article “The Protestant’s Dilemma by Devin Rose: A Review,” ( which in turn was to my previous posts there, which began when his review was the subject of a thread on Free Republic, which i responded to there.

A link to that was not allowed (would not post) on Scott's blog, so i wrote refutations to him there. Mine last response was quite extensive, and his comment policy (which i had not read) is supposed to be restricted to 500 words or less, yet this was in response to an approx. 7,000 letter response to me. However, after posting his response he allowed no more responses to the thread, then deleted our entire exchange. Perhaps one can respond now (i will tell him of this post), but missing is our exchange.

And in which exchange, among other things,

► The RC Scott had expressly affirmed that “being the historical instrument and steward of Scripture means one is the infallible authority on that, with dissent from that authority being rebellion against God.” And thus it settles what the meaning of Scripture is, not human reasoning, and thus this is the basis for Roman Catholic assurance of Truth.

And thus he effectively invalidated the church, as that began in dissent from those who were the historical instruments and stewards of Scripture, and inheritors of divine promises of God's presence and preservation., and who sat in the seat of Moses. (Lv. 10:11; Dt. 4:31; 17:8-13; Num. 23:19,23; Is. 41:10, Ps. 89:33,34; Mal. 3:6; Rm. 3:2; 9:4; Mt.23:2). But which NT church established its claims, as its Lord did, upon Scriptural substantiation in word and in power (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, etc.) - not on the premise of a perpetual assuredly infallible magisterium, regardless of Rome defining herself as having such.

► Despite his basis for basis for assurance of Truth being Rome, he asserted it was Mt. 16:16, and has tried to argue Scripture as if he were an evangelical. But which cannot be that basis, else the argument against private interpretation and the need for the infallible magisterium must be abandoned, although he himself employs it, and affirms the magisterium cannot be wrong.

He then resorted to immature goading when I would not play his game of him trying to sound like an evangelical in using Scripture for support, as while this certainly has been deal with and i go on to do so, I first wanted to bring him to deal with the real issue of his assurance, that being the premise of the assured infallibility/veracity of his church. For since he admits “Catholics are bound by the Magisterium,” thus regardless of what Scripture says, it cannot contradict Rome.

► Coming to his last response dealt with here, in being consistent with Rome being his assurance, he affirmed (“exactly”) that “if one rejects a Bap­tist preach­ing Acts 10:36 – 43 then that soul is not reject­ing Christ.” Which, if correctly understood as rejecting the message Peter preached in Acts if coming from the mouth of a Baptist, effectively means that this message is not be considered the Word of God unless it comes from one having holy orders from Rome (which adulterate that message) — even if he had the Holy Spirit which Rome affirms most Protestants have. And thus it would follow that one who does accept the message has not accepted Christ and is not saved.

► He also expressed that only the external (Roman) infallible authority could determine which books belong in Scripture, thus providing for assurance of Truth, but which means no one could know that any books were of God before there was a church of Rome.

► And in his zeal to support ancient RC amorphous tradition, he also has labeled what Scripture actually teaches — the Law being given through the instrumentality of angels — as being tradition that “is not to be found in the Old Testament”!

So seeing as he would not allow any response at all to his own post, and then deleted the entire public exchange, I have decided to post a response here.

The words from my past response are marked by a bullet (•)  while those from Scott that follow are in bracketed red italics, followed by my present responses. This blog is not always faithful to keep that same formatting as i had when i wrote it on my word processor, but any difference is not substantial.  However, it is a lot to digest, but should be read in its entirety before any response is made.

[I am allow­ing this heav­ily edited com­ment to be posted, with my own responses in red. Because the orig­i­nal com­ment was way too long, I cut a lot of chaff..]

It became long as i sought to better respond to all you said, but it was not “chaff” that you cut out, but much wheat that seems hard for you to stomach. More on this when we get to your response chronologically.

• Say­ing that this is a text of Scrip­ture (which you did not say was an infal­li­ble inter­pre­ta­tion) would ren­der you to be an evan­gel­i­cal. [Really? To say that Matt. 16:18 is in the Bible is a Protes­tant posi­tion? Catholics deny that Matt. 16:18 is a text of scrip­ture? That’s news to me.]

Once again, as before, you are misrepresenting what i said and then supposedly correcting what i did not argue! Here your editing out “chaff” means what precedes and proceeds it, which was,

you were supposed to be answering “What is the basis for your assurance that Rome is the One True Church? Or what is the means by which assurance of Truth is obtained?”

To which you said: “The assurance is Matt. 16:18...”

Thus i said, “Saying it is a text of Scripture as that basis [for assurance] would render you to be an evangelical,”

I asked what your basis is for assurance of Rome being the One True Church®, which cannot be Scripture, and until we deal with what is, then arguing about Scripture texts is basically irrelevant as your understanding of Scripture is based on a foundational premise.

[I think what you are try­ing to say here is that I don’t inter­pret Scrip­ture as much as I blindly fol­low what Rome says. That’s avoid­ing the issue.]

Avoid­ing the issue? THAT was the issue, as the answer to my question cannot be that Scripture is the RC basis for assurance, as you hold the magisterium settles whose interpretation of it is right, and acting as if Scripture is your actual basis for interpretation and then refusing to deal with that problem, is “avoid­ing the issue.”

[At any rate, all you’re doing, with this long quib­bling about whose inter­pre­ta­tion is involved here, is engag­ing in avoid­ance. I’m sorry, but my read­ers are smart enough to see through that.]

Quib­bling about whose inter­pre­ta­tion is involved is a tangent, when only the magisterium can determine which books even belong in the Bible, and what they mean, is your basis for interpretation?

Many who have debated RCs are smart enough to realize that it does not matter what manner of Scriptural substantiation is lacking for RC teaching or is against it, as actual Scriptural substantiation is not the basis for the veracity of RC teaching. For once again, as Keating said in dealing with the lack of any actual proof, “The mere fact that the Church teaches the doc­trine of the Assump­tion as def­i­nitely true is a guar­an­tee that it is true.” All that is required is that RC teaching does not contradict Scripture, but Rome is the autocratic judge of that as the only one who authoritatively decides what a contradiction is!

Nor will appealing to your RC support committee change this indictment, while by God's grace many evangelical read­ers are wise enough to see through Rome's circularity. (And trying to argue out this death spiral by appealing to Scripture as a “merely historical document” still results in question-begging assertions that presume Rome is infallible, and logic that works against her being so).
[I know that Protes­tants insert the word “alone” into Romans 3:28; ; per­haps they also remove the word “Church” from Matt. 16:18.]

Which once again is a example of argumentation that come back to bite you, since as James Swan (whose research on Luther's quotes is the The Place to go to in researching such) provides,

The Roman Catholic writer Joseph Fitzmyer verified Luther’s claim, and also presented quite an extensive list of those previous to Luther doing likewise. Even some Catholic versions of the New Testament also translated Romans 3:28 as did Luther. The Nuremberg Bible (1483), “allein durch den glauben” and the Italian Bibles of Geneva (1476) and of Venice (1538) say “per sola fede.” It is entirely possible Luther’s understanding of “faith alone” differs from those before him, but that is not the issue.

Moreover, by “Protes­tants” you mean “Luther,” whom we hardly follow as a pope, for he was far more Catholic than we would allow. However, both he and other Reformers clearly taught the faith that is salvific is a faith that effects works of faith.

[What you are really doing, in fact, is reject­ing ad hoc the idea that epis­te­mo­log­i­cal cer­tainty can come from the Church. “Objec­tive exam­i­na­tion of the evi­dence” is your stan­dard, but the prob­lem is that it makes your ulti­mate stan­dard your­self. You decide what is “objec­tive”; you decide what counts as “evi­dence.”]

Wrong: i am not reject­ing the idea that epis­te­mo­log­i­cal nor no cer­tainty at all can come from the Church, and even atheists can (possibly) correctly teach history, but what is rejected as being unScriptural is that cer­tainty comes from the Church on the premise of assured veracity/infallibility. Under which, Scripture, tradition and history can only mean what Rome says. As no less an authority as Manning affirmed,

It was the charge of the Reformers that the Catholic doctrines were not primitive, and their pretension was to revert to antiquity. But the appeal to antiquity is both a treason and a heresy. It is a treason because it rejects the Divine voice of the Church at this hour, and a heresy because it denies that voice to be Divine... I may say in strict truth that the Church has no antiquity. It rests upon its own supernatural and perpetual consciousness. Its past is present with it, for both are one to a mind which is immutable. Primitive and modern are predicates, not of truth, but of ourselves. Most Rev. Dr. Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, Lord Archbishop of Westminster, The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost: Or Reason and Revelation (New York: J.P. Kenedy & Sons, originally written 1865, reprinted with no date), pp. 227-228.

As for condemning objec­tive exam­i­na­tion of the evi­dence as making the individual the ultimate stan­dard your­self, your judgment is superficial. For ulti­mately both evangelicals and Catholics first decide what that ultimate supreme stan­dard is (it being the basis by which a convert is said to come to Rome), and both engage in interpretation of it, but that does not make mean they are the ulti­mate, much less infallible, stan­dard for truth.

Souls themselves decided to believe on Christ, even in dissent from the magisterium, but in so doing they give assent to Christ being the supreme authority. Writings came to be held by a consensus as being from of God based upon warrant, and it alone is wholly inspired of God, thus infallible, and is the assured word of Christ, thus the supreme standard. Those who hold it as such can have debate about some its meaning, but Scripture remains the standard for Truth, and with assurance of doctrine being based on Scriptural substantiation from it. In contrast, RC converts judge Rome as the supreme infallible standard, with Truth being whatever she infallibly declares, even if the arguments for it are not, and the veracity of such is not based on the level of Scriptural substantiation.

Thus contrary to Scripture, Roman Catholics assurance of the Truth is not Scripture, and in fact Rome hindered Biblical literacy for a long time, and today her liberal theology Bible commentary militates against its authority. Instead assurance is based upon the premise of the assured veracity of Rome, which she infallibly declares she possesses.

Yet to reiterate a foundational truth that was expressed before, while Rome claims to uniquely, infallibly determine both which writings and men are of God, and their meaning, based upon her claim to being the historical instrument and steward of God, yet both writings and men of God were established as being so before there was a church in Rome. And the NT church itself did not begin under the Roman model for determining Truth, but upon Scriptural substantiation.

Thus the basis for the establishment of the NT church began contrary to the basis of assurance for a RC, for whom Rome takes the place of Scripture.

[But when chal­lenged on the evi­dence from the Bible, all you are capa­ble of say­ing is, “Well, that’s just what Rome says.” That’s not logic; that’s ad hoc rejec­tion of any inter­pre­ta­tion or evi­dence that does not match what you have already decided to believe.]

That is simply both false on both accounts, as it is you who from the outset asserted a false basis for your assurance, that being Scripture (Mt. 16:18) and was called on it, but instead of dealing with the problem you attacked me for not playing into your sidetracking argument, as if Scriptural substantiation was your basis for assurance.

And which you attempt to continue to do here, with your spitball about me “only being capa­ble of” nonsense, when the problem of “that’s just what Rome says” is the issue it seems you are avoiding.

I could have easily shown you (if i had freedom more space, as here), as i have others, that that truth that Christ of Peter's confession — and thus Christ Himself by implication, is what the “this rock” refers to, with a distinction being made between “thou art” — the person of Peter who just answered Christ — and upon “this rock” — that being His answer.

This is the only interpretation that is actually confirmed, as it must be, in the rest of the New Testament. For in contrast to Peter, that the LORD Jesus is the Rock (“petra”) or "stone" (“lithos,” and which denotes a large rock in Mk. 16:4) upon which the church is built is one of the most abundantly confirmed doctrines in the Bible (petra: Rm. 9:33; 1Cor. 10:4; 1Pet. 2:8; cf. Lk. 6:48; 1Cor. 3:11; lithos: Mat. 21:42; Mk.12:10-11; Lk. 20:17-18; Act. 4:11; Rm. 9:33; Eph. 2:20; cf. Dt. 32:4, Is. 28:16) including by Peter himself. (1Pt. 2:4-8) Rome's current catechism attempts to have Peter himself as the rock as well, but also affirms: “On the rock of this faith confessed by St Peter, Christ build his Church,” (pt. 1, sec. 2, cp. 2, para. 424) which understanding some of the ancients concur with.

Yet even if this refers to Peter, it simply does not teach or require a perpetuated Petrine infallible papacy, nor does any other text, despite RC extrapolative attempts to force Scripture to support their tradition. More on this further on.

Moreover and even more important, the fact is that under the Roman model you affirmed, in which historical stewardship of Scripture means infallible indisputable authority, an itinerant preacher who was rejected by those who sat in the seat of Moses would have to be rejected by the faithful. His disciples could argue Scripture with you, but you would have to side with your leaders, and their interpretations such as which they use today to reject the Lord Christ. (And the manner of liberal scholarship seen in Rome actually provides a slippery slope to that end.)
• But while a con­sen­sus on core truths has been real­ized thereby, this does not pre­clude vari­ant inter­pre­ta­tions, and Rome her­self is much open to inter­pre­ta­tions, and has lim­ited unity, even on paper. [We’re going down a rab­bit trail here.]

No rabbit trail, as it is in response to your statement, if all you can do is retreat to "just an interpretation," eventually that leads to the conclusion that truth can not be known assertion.

I am actually expressing the RC argumentation in order to show you that your claim that Mt. 16:18 is the basis for your assurance is bogus, as they are the ones who argue we cannot even known what books belong in Scripture or what it truly means except by Rome's infallible magisterium. As if souls in the time of Christ could no have any assurance of Truth until the church of Rome declared it.

The codependency mother Rome fosters is so inculcated that it is hard for RCs to conceive of any other means of assurance.

• But since once one becomes a RC then they are only to attempt to sup­port what Rome teaches in apolo­get­ics [I don’t know what’s shock­ing about this; Evan­gel­i­cals claim to be bound by the Bible because it’s infal­li­ble. Catholics claim to be bound by the Mag­is­terium because it is also infal­li­ble. So? The bur­den of proof is on you to show why the Mag­is­terium is not infal­li­ble, not just to say “Oh, Catholics are bound by the Magisterium!” — a fact that we kind of, you know, admit],

Because RCs kind of, you know, rarely admit they are in such bondage, as they typically, if not engaging in mere argument by assertions, want to appear to argue as if Scriptural substantiation was the basis for their assurance. But when their often egregious extrapolative attempts to provide proof is exposed for what it is, then they say how reproof is invalid because it is a result of fallible human reasoning. So after a while you want to deal with their fall back argument and actual default position first.

As for the bur­den of proof being on me to show why the Mag­is­terium is not infal­li­ble, since i showed that the church did not begin on the premise of an assuredly infallible magisterium, nor was one necessary for both writings and men of God to be recognized and established as such, and that being the historical steward of Scripture did not mean such was infallible — unless you think the Scribes and Pharisees were — then the the bur­den of proof is on you to show the Mag­is­terium must be infallible and Rome is. Not that I have not dealt with such, by God's grace.

which they have great lib­erty in doing from Scrip­ture, and are dis­cour­aged from objec­tively exam­in­ing evi­dence in order to ascer­tain the verac­ity of RC doc­trine [That is sim­ply not true],

That is simply a denial of the substantiated church-sanctioned statements and writers i provided, to which more can be added.

• then the issue is your basis for assur­ance of Truth. [Well, I gave my basis ear­lier in the thread: Scrip­ture. I cited Matt. 16:18, John 16:13, and 1 Tim­o­thy 3:15. I am still wait­ing for you to explain why my read­ing of Scrip­ture is false. Instead of doing that, all you do is fuss that I’m just blindly fol­low­ing the Mag­is­terium.]

Listen. You gave me a false basis for assurance of Truth, which you refuse to face. That was my point in the statement you truncated to mean something else. You affirm scripture is interpretive, and you just affirmed that you are bound by the magisterium as it is infallible, thus its interpretation, or declaration of truth, is your basis for assurance. Thus whatever texts you invoke can only support Rome under the premise of her assured infallibility, which is why i asked the questions on that to begin with, and invalidated the stewardship premise you affirmed.

Moreover, I have refuted Catholic arguments from Scripture for years, by God's grace, and likewise can certainly show, as many times before, that Matt. 16:18, John 16:13, and 1 Tim­o­thy 3:15 does not establish the assuredly infallible magisterium of Rome.
But you admit RCs are bound by the Mag­is­terium because it is believed to be infal­li­ble, thus getting you to face that the basis for what drives your interpretation is invalid, the premise of the assured infallibility of Rome based on historical stewardship, should come first.

The more you avoid that by attempting to argue Scripture, which actually would have been to your detriment anyway, then the more you evidence avoidance or blindness.

[An athe­ist would say that you are just blindly fol­low­ing the Bible. Where does that get us? Nowhere but rhetoric.

Then i would need to deal with my foundational basis for holding Scripture as the supreme standard for Truth. But if I argue for this as being based on interpretive evidences when in reality a fundamental premise drives my interpretation, then he atheist who knows this will attack the fundamental premise first. And which can be employed against him as well.

An atheist can argue against the existence of God based on things which are interpretive, but if they are driven by a foundation premise such as that matter and energy require no creator, and or religions are all the same and show belief in God is detrimental or superfluous, then i should dealt with these.

Likewise your position that no can know which book belong in the Bible without a perpetual assuredly infallible magisterium, that being Rome, and that being the historical steward of Scripture mean such is that infallible magisterium.
And which drives the RC interpretation of Scripture, as at least that is the most common response i find from RCs when debating Scripture, like as, “The Catholic Church gave you the Bible, therefore it knows what it means better than anyone.” It gets quite redundant. Thus rather than use time and space to disprove “proof texts” i showed the fallacy of the premise behind Rome being infallible in the first place.

• Why argue Scrip­ture when it can­not be allowed to con­tra­dict Rome? [This is another attempt to avoid the bur­den of exe­ge­sis.]

This is another attempt to avoid what drives your interpretation.

[The real answer to that ques­tion is, first, that Christ upheld the author­ity of those who sat in Moses’s seat (Matt. 23:2), and that it was not that the apos­tles rebelled against the Jew­ish lead­ers so much as superceded them through Christ. It was by Christ’s author­ity that the Jew­ish mag­is­terium gave way to the Catholic mag­is­terium, not by the author­ity of mere men.]

Finally an attempt to face this elephant. And your response is what must be expected — and fails to support Rome. For if you want to make Rome the successor to the Jewish magisterium, then it follows that since the historical instruments and stewards of Scripture were not assured infallible, nor was one necessary for both writings and men of God to be established as being so, and for assurance that Jesus was the Christ, then neither is Rome.

Moreover, while you may argue that the Lord provided a better magisterium, yet since the Lord Christ established His claims upon Scriptural substantiation, not on the premise that the stewards of Scripture were the infallible interpreters of it, then the church He established cannot operate under a premise that she is assured infallible and thus “the mere fact that the Church teaches something as definitely true is a guarantee that it is true.”

• Again, why would I argue this since it can only mean to you what sup­ports Rome? [That is not an answer to the ques­tion; it is a refusal to answer the ques­tion.]

Rather and again, this is a refusal to play your game of playing evangelical, as if Scripture warrant was really the basis for assurance of Truth, in order to to avoid the issue of the presumed assured veracity Rome being that. It is a fine craft, as it subtly works to persuade souls to submit to Rome as the supreme authority by specious use of Scripture as if that was supreme, but resulting in doctrinally making Scripture simply a servant to support Rome, often like window dressing, or in order to appeal to evangelicals. The devil even quotes Scripture as authority.

[Con­grat­u­la­tions, you dis­cov­ered exe­ge­sis, although this par­tic­u­lar attempt to nuance 1 Tim­o­thy 3:15 is not new. The prob­lem with using it to refute the Catholic claim is that Catholi­cism does not say that the Church is the source of truth, which you sug­gest. The source of truth is the Holy Spirit, who reveals and entrusts it to the Church.]

RCs do often argue as if it were, but while the church as the body of Christ is an instrumental channel of truth, 1Tim. 3:15 does not make it superior in authority to it, nor that this is the church of Rome with its critical and obvious contrasts, to the NT church.

The Bible was not originally penned by the magisterium proper or a committee (unless you believe the liberal scholarship of Rome), but Scripture was written by individual writers and accepted as such before it was affirmed by the magisterium as being of God, and in fact some of it was written by those in dissent from the magisterium. Thus Israel and the body of Christ gave us Scripture, and recognized it such, with the magisterium affirming the general judgment of it, but which neither made such writings Scripture nor the magisterium the author of it, nor its canonical judgment infallible.

Like as the redeemed came to recognize John and the Christ as being of God due to their qualities and attestation, and before a magisterium did so, thus a consensus on the Scriptures also progressively came to be established among those who evidenced the fruits of feeding on it, and which has continued to establish these 66 books.

• The Scrip­tures are the supreme author­ity on Truth [Actu­ally, the Holy Spirit is, and when Christ said that the Holy Spirit would lead the Church into truth, he did not say “Go and write Scrip­ture” but “Go and teach” (Matt. 28:19)]

Yes — as if i must be technical every time i say supreme author­ity on Truth. I have been technical before in defining this supreme author­ity as the “transcendent material source which he uniquely stated ...[was] wholly inspired of God.” And as that is the only transcendent material source that is affirmed to be wholly God-breathed, then that is the assured word of God, thus knowing what the Holy Spirit says, and supreme standard for truth claims and whether a church is of God — or not. Which church is not one that presumes to infallibly declare she is and will be perpetually infallible.

As for not saying, “Go and write Scrip­ture” but “Go and teach,” this is another specious RC argument as in “God sent a church, not a Bible,” which is a false dichotomy, like saying God sent Paul to preach, not to be baptize, (1Cor. 1:17) in order to minimize baptism as required obedience (in overreaction to those who make the act regenerative). And which argument is used in order to render Scripture subject to the Church (Rome) as the supreme infallible authority, and thus whatever she channels into doctrine from oral tradition as binding.

Which is akin to Judaism in God speaking by Moses means not simply what he wrote but the oral traditions they pass on, and therewith reject Christ as there Messiah. Jews today, like as in the NT, who do come to Christ do so in dissent from them, holding Scripture as supreme. Likewise those who come to Christ from Catholicism, or the relative few who do within it.

The Catholic argument here is as if “Go and teach” did not have its basis in what was written, and as if what they revealed as being the word of God/the Lord would not be written as in prior revelation (search the phrase).

And as if it was superfluous that the Lord established His claims upon Scriptural substantiation 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, etc.) And “expounded unto them [disciples] in all the scriptures the things concerning himself”, “which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms,” thus “opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.” (Lk. 24:27, 44,45)

And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures. (Acts 17:2) These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11) For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ. (Acts 18:28) And...he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. (Acts 28:23)

In the light of what “Go and speak” meant, which only further evidenced Scripture as being the transcendent standard for obedience and testing and establishing truth claims, what kind of argument is “Christ did not say 'Go and write Scrip­ture' but 'Go and teach?' The latter was based on the former and led to more of it!

You can argue that oral preaching was as authoritative as Scripture, and then translate that into supporting Rome's tradition, but the authority of preaching depended upon Scripture as being the assured word of God, and by which it was validated as by the noble Berean's, (Acts 17:11) with supernatural attestation such as Scripture reveals being given to Divine revelation also helping. (Jn. 5:36,39)

In addition, Rome cannot claim to speak under the Divine inspiration which breathed Scripture, and the oral tradition Paul enjoined obedience to was known Scriptural truths that they had heard and could be written, not ancient tales such as the assumption, which even lacks testimony from the earliest sources. Rome cannot prove that one of its oral traditions was from the apostles. Meanwhile evangelical preachers also enjoin obedience to “preaching the word,” which the whole church engaged in. (Acts 8:4)

See at end for a brief overview of how Scripture came to be the transcendent standard for obedience and testing and establishing truth claims, as is abundantly evidenced.
and by which it is man­i­fest that Rome has led mul­ti­tudes into error. [It is so “man­i­fest” that [• • you give no exam­ples.]

You cut out most of what i posted — then deleted all of it — and now criticize me for not providing even more? Or are you just desperate to get some polemical points? If i knew i could have provided a ink (which would not go through the first time i tried), then i would have used some for such references, as i do on this blog.

...Paul was not a RC (for rea­sons that can be given), nor did he ordain RC priests, while nei­ther this or any other text sup­ports a per­pet­u­ally infal­li­ble mag­is­terium. [All you do is run • • • rhetor­i­cal cir­cles around the text to deny this; you never illus­trate why you are correct.]

Never illus­trate? Are you reading what i wrote or only what you want to see? You invoked that the Holy Spirit will lead into "all the truth"in speaking to the apostles, who ordained others (1 Tim. 4:14, 1 Tim. 5:22) in trying to establish Rome as uniquely being that Church, all of which rests upon the premise of formal historical descent of office establishing authenticity. Therefore i responded by stating that Scripture showed Rome leading souls into error, not all Truth, and that neither did “formal historical descent, as messy as Rome's is, constitute the basis for authenticity under the New Covenant.” (Mt. 3:9; Rm. 2:28,29)

And this has already been shown, for again, if formal historical descent of office was the basis or even necessary for authenticity, then the church never would have been valid, as it began in dissent from those who sat in the seat of Moses.

The problem with so much of Catholic apologetics is that as its agents are so willing to support Rome who declares what is truth by fiat, that they superficially see texts as certainly supporting her when they do not, calling things that are not as though they were.
[The Bible has already told us who the Holy Spirit will lead into "all the truth"; Christ is speaking to the apostles, in whose charge He left the building of the Church, and who in turn commissioned others as successors (cf. 1 Tim. 4:14, 1 Tim. 5:22).]

Which is the kind of extrapolation and presumption i just referred to. You have a promise that God will lead the apostles into all Truth, which by leaping logic somehow translates into perpetuated infallibility, and the church of Rome today!

Instead, it is because this refers to the Spirit guiding the church into all truth through the further revelation Christ would give by the Spirit, and would be thus contained in Scripture, that the heresies and aberrations of Rome are exposed. For the church she imagines the Holy Spirit leads into all truth is a church contrary to Scripture, being one,

▀ that looked to a exalted its supreme infallible demigod head, unlike as seen in Scripture or early history, calling things that are not of Scripture essentially as if they (being equal to it),

▀ whose apostolic office was continuously perpetuated unlike as in Scripture, and often by political machinations that made manifestly impenitent immoral men supreme infallible leaders;

▀ which praying to departed spirits, unlike as seen in Scripture, but as pagans did;

▀ which believed the mother of Christ, as concerning the flesh, was sinless, a perpetual virgin, and bodily raised and already crowned, which things are not taught in Scripture, and contrary to it (in which notable exceptions to the norm, especially by primary persons, are stated, and that all culpable souls have sinned, and marriage is defined as including sexual cleaving, saints are not crowned until the Lord's return);

▀which was offering oblations and bowing down beseeching a “queen of Heaven” for favors, like pagans;
• and operated with a class of clergy foreign to the NT church, titled “priests,” and often with ostentatious dress and other titles, and with required celibacy (normative) unlike as in Scripture, (1Cor. 9:5; 1Tim. 3:1-5; Titus 1:5,6) and which presumes all have this gift. (1Cor. 7:7)

▀ and which priests were called such as they engaged in a heretical sacrificial form of “Christianized” endocannibalism as their prime and unique function, to give spiritual and eternal life by physically, consuming corporeal human flesh and blood, versus by faith in the gospel (Acts 10:43,44; 15:7-9; Eph. 1:13);

▀ and imagining another ritual itself makes one good enough for Heaven, even a morally incognizant soul that cannot repent and believe as required in Scripture (Acts 2:38; 8:36-38);

▀ and imagining she dispensed grace from her Treasury of Merit through rituals (which are usually foster perfunctory professions);

▀ yet then usually sending them (half baked) off to an imaginary place of fiery torments for an indeterminate periods commencing at death, in order to become good enough for Heaven;

▀ and inducing offerings (“indulgences”) to be made to escape sooner, etc.
All of which and more is contrary to what the Holy Spirit provided in the writings of Scripture so as to guide those of apostolic faith into all essential truth, and thus exposing the errors of Catholicism.
And as said, we have zero apostolic successors in Scripture after the one, chosen by casting lots, (Prov. 16:33) to maintain the original foundational 12, (Eph. 2:20; Rv. 21:14) which we have not today, and none for the martyred James, (Acts 12:1,2) nor any instructions for chosen one except Acts 1 which Rome deviates from, and no evident preparation for another, which would be a notable event and surely recorded as important to the church. Just more proof Rome did not alter the Bible. Moreover, a qualification for an apostle seems to have required a literal personal discipleship by the Lord Himself, (Acts 1:21-22; 1Cor. 9:1; Gal. 1:11,12,17) while the apostolic proof of an apostles was powerfully in word, virtue and in power. (2Cor. 6:4-10; 12:12)

But again, invok­ing texts as the basis for your assur­ance reveals you sim­ply fail to get it. [That must be the first time I have ever heard a Protes­tant describe appeals to Scrip­ture as “invok­ing texts.” An athe­ist who denied the author­ity of Scrip­ture alto­gether could do no bet­ter.]

And you speak of “rhetorical smoke?” This misrepresentation avoids the reality that “invok­ing texts” continues to refer to your doing just under the false presumes that Scripture is your basis for assurance when it are not. An athe­ist could tell you that.

To be con­sis­tent with the absolute need for an assuredly infal­li­ble mag­is­terium, con­clu­sions of fal­li­ble human rea­son­ing must be rejected, thus no mat­ter what i say you must oppose it IF con­trary to Rome. [All this means is that you reject out of hand any­one who would dis­agree with you from a Catholic point of view.]

Wrong. All this means is that while I can agree with RCs, and have actually changed some aspects of my beliefs as a result, and defend many things we both concur on (insomuch as we do), yet a faithful RC is not to allow himself to be persuaded by Scripture or Scriptural arguments that would be contrary to supporting Rome. Only what she ordains can be said to come from God.

[Actu­ally, the Church Fathers pick up where the Scrip­ture leaves off in affirm­ing apos­tolic suc­ces­sion. Which I dis­cussed in this article.]

Actually, so-called “church fathers” (the apostles and prophets of Scripture were: Eph. 2:20) are neither Scripture nor uniform in supporting Rome, thus as said, Rome “judges them more than she is judged by them” (Catholic Encyclopedia: “Tradition and Living Magisterium”) While pious, yet CFs were in error on some things, and also as said, even Catholic scholars provide testimony against the RC idea of a perpetuated Petrine papacy from the 1st century.

If you want to deal with Luke 10:16 even though it can­not be allowed to impugn the claims of Rome, what i said is what is sup­ported, that it per­tains to all who preach the evan­gel­i­cal gospel. [Yes. If they are in apos­tolic suc­ces­sion and receive Holy Orders. But one can­not just get up one morn­ing and declare him­self a preacher of the gospel. They must receive their orders from some­one autho­rized by God to ordain. That would be a bishop.]

Rather, while many persons and churches claim they are of God, the cultic ones proclaiming themselves the one true witness, Scripture tells the laity to test the spirits and prove all things. (Dt. 13:1-11; 18:15ff; 1Thes. 5:21; 1Jn. 4:1) And which manner of testing John and Christ passed, thus the church began in dissent from those who should accepted them.

Certainly the leadership bears primary responsibly for discerning sheep from wolves, (Acts 20:28-31) based on Scripture, but are not above it, so that a claim to be a church must also be tested, but which means of establishment Rome presumes she is. And ultimately protects herself from refutation by relegating them all such as invalid under the premise that they rely on fallible human reason, while she is infallible.

For as said before, the reality is that Rome has presumed to infallibly declare she is and will be perpetually infallible whenever she speaks in accordance with her infallibly defined (scope and subject-based) formula, which renders her declaration that she is infallible, to be infallible, as well as all else she accordingly declares.

This filters down to the lay apologetics, in which attempts are made to appeal to evangelicals on the basis of Scriptural warrant for RC claims, but when these are unconvincing, the “we gave you the Bible, we know what it means” becomes their recourse.

You yourself affirm the magisterium is always right, thus no challenge to that can be allowed as true, based upon the fallacious premise of historical descent and stewardship of Scripture meaning infallibility.

You give much attention to Lk. 10:16: 'He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. “(Luke 10:16) But while your position is certainly consistent with your damning premise which you affirmed (and of which more still will said further below) yet it is inconsistent (nothing new) with what the Lord showed, as He did not at all invalidate or censure one casting out devils in the Lord's name, yet who was not of the apostles company — just the type of man you disallow as representing the Lord. And in response to the sectarian disciples who (in this case acted like RCs), sought to forbid him, the Lord said, “Do not forbid him...For whoever is not against us is for us.” (Mark 9:39,40: NAB) And will be rewarded. (v. 41)

Seeing that such a one is for the Lord though not part of the apostolic assembly, thus if one rejected him, as you must, then he is rejecting Christ. And which is akin to “he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me,” and thus you must find some way to have ordained the man to operate in the Lord's name though he was not part of the apostle's church.

In addition, as said, formal historical descent is not the sure nor necessary basis for authenticity, but manifest Scriptural faith is. Thus John the Baptist along with the many true prophets in the OT were not such by way of Levitical priestly ordination or otherwise by magisterial approval, but often reproved the powers that be. Sometimes at the cost of their lives, which certainly speaks of not having their sanction.

The apostle Paul was truly preaching the word of God before even meeting apostles, (Acts 9:20; Gal;;. 1:17,18) and for years before having any formal sanction of his message. And he still would been a valid apostle even without without the latter formal sanction, as he was established as an apostle long before it.

And as to believe is to confess Christ, (2Cor. 4:13) Rome's refusal to recognize properly baptized Prots, who manifestly have the Spirit, as representing Christ even when preaching Peter's message, does not invalidate them, but instead it invalidates Rome's rejection of them, as well as the Jewish magisterium's rejection of the church.

Furthermore, while you restrict preaching the gospel to those with Catholic holy orders, the whole early church was scattered abroad without the apostles, yet “went every where preaching the word,” (Acts 8:4) and there is no record of ordination making them all bishops or one of the 6 deacons.

Nor did one have to be a prophet to be of God to be valid even though rejected by the magisterium, for as Christ promised, “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city.” (Matthew 23:34)

And in the NT church all are called and enabled to preach the common gospel, and to “prophesy.” (1Cor. 14:31)

For in con­text this does not apply to sim­ply the apos­tles, which hardly any­thing does, nor did it orig­i­nally to those whom they them­selves ordained, but to the other sev­enty that the Lord appointed also. (Lk. 10:1) [Yes. Com­mis­sioned specif­i­cally by Jesus, not by them­selves. I think the com­mis­sion of Christ him­self has some author­ity. It is not per­ti­nent to the self-validating claims of Protestants.]

It is Rome whose self-proclaimed elitist status and assured infallibility is the issue, while your assertion is entirely consistent with the fallscious premise you affirmed, that “being the historical instrument and steward of Scripture means one is the infallible authority on that, with dissent from that authority being rebellion against God.” And thus you side with the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, who being those stewards and acting like Roman Catholics, say unto Christ, “By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?” (Mark 11:28)

What could an itinerant Preacher do? He and His cousin had both publicly reproved the magisterium for their unScriptural presumption, yet they sat in in the seat of Moses. Under the Roman model, these men could not be right if rejected by the magisterium, and they certainly were.

However, while general obedience is enjoined to both religious and civil powers, (Mt. 23:2; Heb. 13:17; Rm. 13:1-7; 1Pt. 2:14) yet assured veracity is nowhere perpetually promised to any seat on this earth, and sometimes the people are correct and the magisterium is wrong and dissent was and is required.

And in this case the people rightly recognized John the Baptist as a prophet of God, and Christ as Messiah. And being also the only wise God, the Lord thus asked them, “The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.” (Mark 11:30)

This question caused a short circuit in the powers that be, as they knew of no answer that would not incriminate them. Thus the might magisterium defaulted to, “We cannot tell.”

Nor can RCs consistently allow manifestly born again souls to be right and represent God if she rejects them. Yet as said, the rejected Lord sent forth many who were also rejected by the magisterium, and thus the church began, but not as one which operated under the same presumption as the Pharisees, nor one without ordination and structure etc, but one in in which the One True Church is the body of Christ, as all have the Spirit, and thus are called to witness, manifesting the visible church:
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: (Acts 2:17)

Thus you must argue that this [“He that heareth you heareth me...he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me”] applies only to Rome, and the non-existent sep­a­rate class of priests” she ordains, so that if one rejects a Bap­tist preach­ing Acts 10:36 – 43 then that soul is not reject­ing Christ.

[Exactly.] (eph. mine)

This is in-credible and absolutely astounding, if correctly understood as rejecting the message Peter preached in Acts if coming from the mouth of a Baptist (which many do preach), as what that would mean by implication is that even Scripture — even the very gospel message of Acts 10:36 –43 — is not to be considered the Word of God unless it comes from one under Catholic Holy Orders.

And thus it would follow that one who does accept this message has not accepted Christ if coming from a non-Catholic, despite the testimony of even many converts to Rome. Yet even your own theology teaches that a trinitarian baptized Protestant has the Holy Spirit, and that “God gives His gifts and graces whereby He is operative among them with His sanctifying power. Some indeed He has strengthened to the extent of the shedding of their blood...” (Lumen Gentium 16) And that to believe is to speak, yet you cannot allow that the Holy Spirit speaks through any Protestant, thus representing the Lord!. This means the Holy Spirit is not operative when preaching the message Peter preached.

While i think few RCs would concur with you, this is the consistent logic of your argument, and the presumption of Rome.

Meanwhile, like those whom who were reproved by prophets, wise men and scribes, in reality Rome is the church that is misusing the Lord's name most universally, as it critically and substantially is contrary to it, as described above.

Catholics do not even know for sure how many infal­li­ble teach­ings there are, or what level each teach­ing belongs to, and thus what man­ner of assent is required, or if dis­sent is allowed, besides their mean­ing often requir­ing vary­ing degrees of inter­pre­ta­tion. [Sim­ply not true. This is not even close to true. This is sim­ply a myth you have picked up along the way.]

Really? then please be the first RC to provide an infallible list of all RC teachings and what magisterial level each teach­ing belongs to. It will sell well. Or are you only denying that the mean­ing of RC teaching often requires vary­ing degrees of inter­pre­ta­tion? Go visit Catholic Answers forum, and the many pages of debate over what something means. And as said, tell me how the teaching that RCs adore the same God as Muslims is clear and does not need interpretive explanation.
[I don’t know; that sounds to me very much like what I described it [below].]

You actually mean “if an assuredly infal­li­ble mag­is­terium is nec­es­sary to [have] estab­lished both writ­ings and men of God, and for assur­ance of Truth, then souls could not have been sure the very Scrip­tures the Lord invoked were indeed Scripture,” means “an infal­li­ble mag­is­terium would leave us uncer­tain which books of Scrip­ture were truly inspired is sim­ply incoherent”?

Then let me try to make it clearer. Though it may seem strange to an RC, the very Scrip­tures the Lord invoked were indeed established as Scripture, even though an assuredly infal­li­ble mag­is­terium did not exist. But if the latter is required for both men and writing of God to be established as being so, and for assurance of Truth, then this establishment of Scripture would have been impossible before the church of Rome came to be, and would presume such was necessary.

[Well, in fact, the canon of the Old Tes­ta­ment prior to Christ was deter­mined by tra­di­tion. No one assumed that the Hebrew texts were self-authenticating.]

This is not an answer that solves your problem, for it does not realize that this “tra­di­tion” needed to be established upon something, like as writings had to be recognized and established upon a basis, and as is the case with men of God. A magisterium is to confirm what is of God, but such is of God and has authority before they do confirm them and whether or not they do, and in fact due to the qualities and attestation by which such is essentially established, it will reprove a magisterium that fails to affirm, as was the case with prophets, wise men and scribes God sent and were rejected. Any NT magisterium itself must continually evidence qualities and attestation that testify to its authenticity, relative to its claims. And even the apostles did not claim things Rome presumed she perpetually possesses.

Which would be a con­tra­dic­tion [since all the books are infal­li­ble] [You are accus­ing R.C. Sproul of engag­ing in self-contradiction on this point? That’s very Catholic of you to say!]

What is very Catholic is to use just part of my statement, but regardless, it seems RCs simply have a hard time conceiving of us not always concurring with men like Sproul as if he was a pope, while when a pope says things contrary to Roman doctrine they simply say that he was not speaking infallibly. So i suppose we could say neither was “pope Sproul” speaking from the chair or denying an article of Protestant faith. And in fact the canon not being infallible for RCs would have been right if said before Luther died. Thus the debate within Trent itself over books.

And if you agree with my reasoning behind my contradicting Sproul, then if Rome holds that the 66 books of the Protestant canon are infallible (though it appears some RCs deny Scripture itself is infallible), then so would its canon, unless infallible canon means a canon that cannot be added to. See below.

[Sproul described the Bible as “a fal­li­ble col­lec­tion of infal­li­ble books.” It was a sly and trans­par­ent way of try­ing to get around the Catholic obser­va­tion...Only an exte­rior author­ity can do that.]

That Rome is that exte­rior author­ity you mean, which is a presumption contrary to how assurance of truth was realized in Scripture.

Sproul (of whom i have read very little) was arguing Scripture as being God-breathed is infallible, and was objecting to making the declaration of the canon to be infallible like Scripture is under the premise that the church possesses the charism of infallibility.

However, if we hold that the the Pentateuch (for instance) was infallible Scripture before there was a church (and thus had authority), then even a canon of just those 5 books would be “infallible,” though assuredly true based on the same means by which men of God were established as being so, not because an infallible office possessed a gift of being infallible whenever it spoke according to its infallibly-defined criteria/formula.

But if by an infallible canon we mean not simply that it only contains wholly infallible books, but that no more can be added, then that presumes Trent even closed the canon, of which there is or has been different Catholic opinions. Also, if a different canon based on the number of books is a major issue, then it should also be one between Rome and the EOs, but it is not.

[...sola scrip­tura can­not tell us what books belong in the Bible in the first place. Only an exte­rior author­ity can do that.]

Wrong, wrong wrong, “only” being the error, or else no one knew whether any writings were Scripture before Rome! As expressed before, since Scripture attests to both writings and men being recognized as being of God or not, thus sola scrip­tura, in which not all things are formally taught, does materially provide for the consequences of this discernment — a canon of infallible books, and thus an “infallible” canon.

But the mean­ing of infal­li­ble is an wor­thy sub­ject. In Scrip­ture while God can­not lie, (Titus 1:2) and all men are liars, (Rm. 3:4) thus only what is wholly inspired of Him is assuredly the word of God [yes, but that begs the ques­tion].

And the RC answer basically is that an infallible magisterium is required in order to know and establish both which men and writings are authoritative, and that the historical instruments and stewards of Scripture are that magisterium. And that assurance of truth cannot be through fallible human reasoning, since this result in disagreements, so therefore it requires an infallible magisterium, which Rome provides. And thus RCs have assurance that she is this magisterium because Rome has infallibly declared that she is infallible.

But which is obviously circular, and arguing from Scripture as a “merely historical book” in order to prove that Rome is infallible, and thus only what writings she decides are Scripture are infallible (“without the existence of the Church, we could never know whether the Bible is inspired” — Keating), requires interpreting such writings as teaching that they could not be and were not recognized as infallible Scripture unless and until Rome defined them thusly, which is contrary to what they do honestly testify to. Therefore they must essentially make interpretive assertions (which includes Mt. 16:18; Lk. 10:16; 22:32; 1Tim. 1:15; Jn. 20:23; etc. = perpetual assuredly infallible magisterium of Rome) based on the premise that only one interpretation is possibly correct, because Rome is infallible.

One can go further with this, but he reality is that while the teaching office is critical and of primary importance in doctrinal controversies, and to which obedience is enjoined, and on each level of it, yet it is not assured infallible and superior over Scripture, nor absolutely necessary for discernment of Truth claims. For Truth and falsehood was recognized before Rome, and thus the church began with common people holding John and Jesus as being of God, while the magisterium did not.

The result of this consensus of the remnant faithful recognizing Christ was recognizing another magisterium He established, but not as possessing perpetual assured infallibility of office any more than those who sat in the seat of Moses.

The RC arguments for her perpetual assuredly infallible magisterium have no actual proof but are all extrapolated out of false premises, nor did it eliminate dissent, but ended up becoming more like the world in dealing with it, and or in morals when not using it.
The end result of this reproved but recalcitrant Romish presumption and immorality necessitated a “divided kingdom” on earth, which remains to this day (if too much), while the spiritual kingdom has exponentially grown almost entirely through those who were set at liberty from her, due to a core unity in essential gospel truths, thus contending against those who deny them, including Catholicism and her traditions of men and perversion of the gospel.

The Lord went through Scrip­ture, not ancient oral tales, show­ing the Scrip­tural basis for Him being the Mes­siah, and opened the eyes of the dis­ci­ples (not just 11) from the tri­par­tite canon. (Lk. 24:27,44,45). [Actu­ally, as I pointed out here: “Acts 7:53, Gala­tians 3:19, and Hebrews 2:2 all allude to the Jew­ish tra­di­tion that the Torah was ‘declared by angels’ (to use the expres­sion in Hebrews). This tra­di­tion is not to be found in the Old Testament.”

That is absurd, as this “tradition” of angels instrumentally delivering/declaring the Law is simply what Scripture teaches, and is certainly not like nebulous ancient RC traditions like the Assumption, PTDS etc.

“Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” (Acts 7:53)

For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; (Hebrews 2:2)

And he said, The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints [cf., Ps. 68:17: “angels”]: from his right hand went a fiery law for them. (Deuteronomy 33:2)

In the hand of a mediator — I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to shew you the word of the Lord: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount; saying, (Deuteronomy 5:5)

This adds more information to Exodus 24:12ff as to the instrumentality God used to give the Law, like as Christ sent His angel to speak to John. (Rv. 22:8,9) You might as well call that a tradition, or say that because one can interpretively expand upon texts then this supports the tradition of Rome being equal with Scripture, even if it lacks even one example (like praying to the departed in Heaven). The assurance for which is based upon the premise of Rome's assured infallibility, which itself is a tradition. And thus essentially Rome presumes to be as one of the inspired writers of Scripture, and effectively adds to the canon.

Thus once again in review, among other things, we see that the RC Scott holds that being the historical instrument and steward of Scripture means being an infallible authority, and thus the assurance of Truth, which means that the NT church itself is invalidated, and Scripture is not his basis for assurance.

And to be consistent with his assertion that only this external authority can determine which books are in Scripture, then no one could could know or can know any book was inspired of God before the church of Rome did so (which for an infallible canon, was over 1400 years after the last book was penned).

And as apparently rejecting a Baptist preaching the message of Acts 10:36-43 is not rejecting Christ, then one who believes the message has not accepted Christ either, despite the testimony of many former Prots who converted and bring some life to Rome.

And that only an exte­rior author­ity can tell us what books belong in the Bible, which means no one could know what books were Scripture before the church of Rome infallibly defined the canon (which took over 1400 years after the last book was penned).

And since what Scripture actually teaches is Tradition, then this supports the ancient amorphous oral Tradition of Rome, even if such an event of the Assumption of Mary is not recorded in Scripture, much less the coronation of any saint (which awaits the Lord's Return.)

And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: (Deuteronomy 17:19)

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:20)

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11)

I have often referenced how the church began upon Scriptural substantiation, but let me go into how Scripture even became to be the supreme standard. The actual writing seems to have begun with a man with a Hebrew lineage and an encounter with a burning bush out of which came a voice claiming to be God, and giving him a mission and marching orders. God abundantly manifested He was indeed the living God, and that Moses was the man of God through whom He would work (along with Aaron his bro, who was also able to make a golden calve by throwing gold into the fire — if you believe his account — and who was an accommodation to the protests of Moses).

And God gave powerful supernatural attestation to Moses and the Law that came by him, by which God also was affirming the faith and virtue of Abraham and his faith, an overall Godly man who also had supernatural attestation, thus Moses was a Hebrew.

Through Moses came the written Law, and we usually hold he wrote most of the Pentateuch as well. And which, as written, became the standard for obedience and the establishment of further truth claims as being of God.

And like a true man of God writings of God possessed a Divine character, as Ps. 19 and 119 especially expresses, and with God attesting to them, and thus they would be established as being of God due to this enduring character and attestation, these being Divine classics. But like men of God, sometimes this was more evident with some than with others.

And part of this attestation of Holy Writ was by the affirmation of those who, in complimentary fashion, evidenced they were of God by conformity to what had prior been established, thus the Lord and His apostles established their Truth claims upon Scriptural substantiation, while the attestation given to these men and their message further affirmed those writings as being of God.

And thus as Scripture attests to writings of God being recognized as being so, and the rejection of others that were not, thus Sola Scriptura materially provides for the consequence of this, a canon, and without an infallible magisterium being required, while formally the way of God's salvation and basic obedience (even if under the Law) has always been provided once Scripture appeared.

Note also that the greatest supernaturally attestation was overall given to those who provided new covenantal teaching, though complimentary to that which was before it, as seen being with Moses and the Lord and His apostles, though men like Elijah also confirmed such. This is part of Scriptural substantiation in word and in power, as such is the Kingdom of God (1Cor. 4:20) not mere declaration. Christianity is a supernatural religion, and thus greater the claims then more correspondent attestation is required (which Rome fails of in the light of her claims and size, and is contrast to). Thus “with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4:33) And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. (Acts 2:43) And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. (Acts 5:13)

And thus the NT realized more correspondent unity — and the more accountable they were, as Ananias and his wife Sapphira found out.

And as the church began upon Scriptural substantiation in word and in power, so it must continue to evidence it is of the church of the living God, grounded in and supporting the Truth, in conformity with Scripture and in faith, character (including patience in tribulation), virtue, power. Etc. With the more it corresponds to the apostolic testimony, (2Cor. 6:4-10) then the more this is manifest. And I certainly much fail here.

Yet the most important evidential witness to the resurrection of Christ is the transformed heart and life resulting from regeneration, and that effects a Christian life. By which a true church gains its members, and thus requires holiness and anointed preaching of the gospel of grace, which convicts souls “of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment,” (Jn. 16:9) That they are damned and destitute sinners before an infinitely holy and perfectly just almighty God, and thus must cast all their faith on the risen Lord Jesus to saved them by His sinless blood shed for them. And thus be baptized and follow Him.

And which infant baptism works against, Catholic or Protestant, especially treated afterward Christians, and not in desperate need of their day of salvation.

Which is part of the reliance upon ritual for that which results in a manifest life-changing relationship with Christ, and is a product of institutionalized religion and false doctrine, and constitutes the most fundamental difference between a fundamental evangelical type church and its Catholic or institutionalized Protestant counterparts (besides recognized cults which, as with Rome, make their church the OTC, but are far more controlling).

However, what we see today is spiritual declension in Christianity overall, and the rise of atheism and non-commitment, which will lead to persecution, which partly will be judgment upon the church, as it must begin with us, to bring a separated remnant to stand with the Lord in these latter days. May that tribe increase, and we all be part out it in faith, truth and love. Amen.