Forty Answers to “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic”: #13

Thanks for joining me today as we continue our series examining and responding to Catholic apologist and philosopher, Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018).

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Claim # 13: I am a Catholic because I want the strongest reason to believe the Bible

In this chapter, Kreeft claims the Catholic church is superior to the Bible because:

  1. The RCC wrote the Bible and defined it (canonized particular books).
  2. Jesus Christ endowed the RCC with infallible teaching authority that supercedes the Bible, because the RCC is needed to interpret the Bible correctly. The Protestant tenet of Sola scriptura has resulted in twenty thousand heretical Protestant denominations.
  3. “It is the Bible that calls not itself but the Church ‘the pillar and bulwark of the truth’ (1 Tim. 3:15).”
  4. The RCC not the Bible defined the dogmas of the Trinity and Purgatory.

Response

  1. The Holy Spirit, not the Roman Catholic church, gave us the Bible. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The entire Old Testament was written before the church age. Regarding the New Testament, conciliar canonization rubber stamped what was already in place.
  2. Untethered from biblical authority, the RCC’s magisterium (teaching authority) has introduced thousands of “sacred traditions” that are un-biblical or even anti-biblical. Kreeft repeats the canard of 20,000 Protestant denominations in his argument that Sola scriptura has wrought “chaos.” Actually, the RCC’s spurious “sacred traditions” have wrought spiritual chaos. Gospel Christianity obeys the Bible (Luke 22:24-27) by not adhering to a centralized ecclesiastical authority. Kreeft guilefully implies the RCC is unified in its beliefs while currently many conservative Catholics consider progressive pope Francis to be a heretic because of his doctrine-bending reforms.
  3. RC apologists extrapolate outrageous claims from 1 Tim. 3:15, when the verse simply intends that the church supports the truth of God’s Word (see here for a more thorough exposition). The church is clearly NOT the foundation of truth, as the RCC contends.
  4. Although the word “trinity” is not found in the Bible, the doctrine of the Trinity is taught explicitly in Scripture (see here). It’s interesting that Kreeft implicitly appeals to the conciliar definition of the Trinity at the pre-Roman Catholic First Council of Nicea in 325 AD. The Roman Emperor, Constantine, presided over that council rather than the bishop of Rome. Kreeft is absolutely correct that purgatory is not taught in Scripture (unless one appeals to the apocryphal 2 Maccabees 12:42–45). The RCC first officially defined Purgatory as a dogma at the Second Council of Lyon in 1274. Purgatory is an excellent example of the how the RCC subverted Scripture with its “sacred traditions.”

By placing itself above Scripture, the RCC has introduced a plethora of heretical, anti-Biblical doctrines.

Next week: Claim #14: I am a Catholic because of what the church has not taught as well as because of what she has.

17 thoughts on “Forty Answers to “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic”: #13

  1. I’m pretty sure you barely scratched the surface on this one Tom. The history of the RCC and the long list of popes does not treat the RCC kindly in retrospect and as you have indicated, it’s not getting any better. Your restraint is commendable. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Bruce. Yes, a book could be written in response to the fraudulent claims in this short chapter.

      Famous Anglican convert to RC-ism, John Henry Cardinal Newman, once claimed, “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant” and Catholic apologists have been quoting him ever since, but I have found the exact opposite to be true.

      Thanks and blessings to you!

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    1. Thanks, David. The RCC claims to be the creator, guardian, and only authorized interpreter of Scripture, but it flagrantly subverts the Bible with its many unbiblical and anti-biblical “sacred traditions.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Re: 4.

    Kreeft is not doing any of his coreligionists any favors. I’ve seen Romanists and Evangelicals slide into Atheism because of the Bauer Thesis, which is the dominant view in Academia. Kreeft’s claims about the Trinity feed right into it.

    I guess that’s why I always see the Muslims run rings around Romanists lol.

    Justin Martyr didn’t need a council to tell him about the deity of the Holy Spirit.

    Justin Martyr (AD 100–165): Hence are we called atheists. And we confess that we are atheists, so far as gods of this sort are concerned, but not with respect to the most true God, the Father of righteousness and temperance and the other virtues, who is free from all impurity. But both Him, and the Son (who came forth from Him and taught us these things, and the host of the other good angels who follow and are made like to Him), and the prophetic Spirit, we worship and adore, knowing them in reason and truth, and declaring without grudging to every one who wishes to learn, as we have been taught. ANF Vol 1, First Apology, Chapter VI.—Charge of atheism refuted, Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Grand Rapids, MI, Pg 429

    Justin Martyr (AD 100–165): What sober-minded man, then, will not acknowledge that we are not atheists, worshipping as we do the Maker of this universe, and declaring, as we have been taught, that He has no need of streams of blood and libations and incense; whom we praise to the utmost of our power by the exercise of prayer and thanksgiving for all things wherewith we are supplied, as we have been taught that the only honour that is worthy of Him is not to consume by fire what He has brought into being for our sustenance, but to use it for ourselves and those who need, and with gratitude to Him to offer thanks by invocations and hymns for our creation, and for all the means of health, and for the various qualities of the different kinds of things, and for the changes of the seasons; and to present before Him petitions for our existing again in incorruption through faith in Him. Our teacher of these things is Jesus Christ, who also was born for this purpose, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judæa, in the times of Tiberius Cæsar; and that we reasonably worship Him, having learned that He is the Son of the true God Himself, and holding Him in the second place, and the prophetic Spirit in the third, we will prove. For they proclaim our madness to consist in this, that we give to a crucified man a place second to the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of all; for they do not discern the mystery that is herein, to which, as we make it plain to you, we pray you to give heed. ANF Vol 1, First Apology, Chapter XIII.—Christians serve God rationally., Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Grand Rapids, MI, Pg 439

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  3. Kreeft forgot to mention that Liberius Bishop of Rome in the 4th century, signed an Arian creed lolololololol

    Johann Ignaz Von Dollinger: Liberius purchased his return from exile from the Emperor by condemning Athanasius, and subscribing an Arian creed. ” Anathema to thee, Liberius !” was then the cry of zealous Catholic bishops like Hilary of Poitiers. This apostasy of Liberius sufficed, through the whole of the middle ages, for a proof that Popes could fall into heresy as well as other people. Johann Joseph Ignaz Von Dollinger, The Pope and the Council, London, Rivingtons 1869, page 68

    Klaus Schatz S.J. : The further course of the Arian controversy seems to present the picture of a conflict in which Rome by no means prevailed; in fact, it appears that Rome did not even make an energetic and deliberate attempt to counteract the increasing deviation from Nicea. The Roman bishops Julius and his successor Liberius (352—366) did at first belong to the small group of those who remained true to Athanasius. Over time this certainly contributed to the strengthening of Rome’s authority, especially in the East, but we can by no means speak of anything like success at first. Even the Roman church had its weak moments: Bishop Liberius, under imperial pressure (he was separated from his community, sent into exile, and replaced by an antibishop) accepted a formula of faith that, while not expressly denying the formula of Nicea, deviated from and practically abandoned it. Liberius also broke communion with Athanasius. (Papal Primacy, from its Origins to Present [Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1996], p. 26)

    Jerome (347-420): Liberius was ordained the 34th bishop of the Roman church, and when he was driven into exile for the faith, all the clergy took an oath that they would not recognize any other bishop. But when Felix was put in his place by the Arians, a great many foreswore themselves; but at the end of the year they were banished, and Felix too; for Liberius, giving in to the irksomeness of exile and subscribing to the heretical and false doctrine, made a triumphal entry into Rome. E. Giles, ed., Documents Illustrating Papal Authority: A.D. 96-454 (Westport: Hyperion Press, reprinted 1982), p. 151. Cf. S. Hieronymi Chronicon, Ad Ann. 352, PL 27:684-685.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, SB. It’s interesting how Catholic conservatives used to dismiss the controversies re: Liberius and Honorius I, but because they view Francis as a heretic, they now readily bring up Liberius and Honorius I to prove that popes do fall into heresy and should be opposed.

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  4. RE: “The RCC wrote the Bible and defined it”
    If I had a penny for every time Catholic apologists said the RCC wrote the BIble, I be rich…sigh.

    Good use 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

    Also good way of turning the table back on Kreeft with pointing out how the following of “tradition” and extrabiblical authority of brought about many heresies!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, brother! Yes, I hear Catholic apologists claim the RCC wrote the Bible all the time.

      Yes, the RCC claims to be the guardian and defender of Scripture but in actuality has totally subverted Scripture with its anti-biblical sacred traditions.

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      1. Unlike the 1500 years previous, the RCC now officially encourages Catholics to read the Bible but few priests push it. And the RC sanctioned Bible translations have copious notes to explain away passages that seem to disagree with its doctrines.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Kreeft is a broken man looking for tradition and beauty to fill him, not the Triune God. Kreeft doesn’t care about the Bible cause if he did he would take the Bible at face value rather than elevating man’s traditions and works based righteousness. I hope this book pushes people further from God and Christianity so that when the person hears the true Gospel, they will be saved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kreeft accuses the Reformers of creating confusion when it was the RCC that departed from Scripture and created a myriad of anti-Biblical traditions and established works-righteousness as the religious standard.

      I’m grateful for Kreeft in that he unabashedly presents the RCC for what it really is. There’s not any deference or catering to Gospel Christians.

      Liked by 1 person

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