Critique of THE PROTESTANT'S DILEMMA by Devin Rose

Chapter 11 - Sola Scriptura and Christian Unity

Page 84: Protestants hold the doctrine of sola scriptura: The Bible alone is the authoritative source of Christian truth. A corollary of this doctrine is the belief that the Bible’s teachings are clear – at least to true Christians, whom God guides in their reading of Scripture. In theory, then, all Protestant groups that subscribe to sola scriptura ought to be united in belief, since they’re all drawing their teachings from the one clear Scripture and are guided into truth by the same Holy Spirit. Yet Protestant churches disagree with one another on many doctrines.
Note: Christian churches should take what Jesus Christ said to heart for salvation.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
Note: Do you sincerely believe Jesus Christ or Catholic Tradition?

Page 84: To explain this apparent scandalous discrepancy, some Protestants insist that their beliefs are substantially similar to each other’s, at least on the important issues: that Jesus is God, for example, and that he died for our sins and rose again. And if that is the bar for achieving unity of belief, I grant that they clear it.
Note: Do Catholics belief in the Christian Gospel for salvation?
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. I Corinthians 15:1-5.
Note: Do you sincerely believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead?

Page 85: But how to tell which are the “important” doctrines? Some will respond by saying “those that affect our salvation” – a reasonable place to start. Since Jesus and the apostles didn’t make an explicit list of those teachings, Protestants scour the Bible (since, according the sola scriptura, that’s where the answer has to be) for passages about salvation and strive to interpret what the inspired author is saying. Unsurprisingly, this results in conflicting conclusions even about the “essential” points of justification, sanctification, and salvation.
Note: Christians should take the Apostle Paul’s writings at face value.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9.
Note: Have you placed your faith in Jesus Christ or Catholic Tradition?

Page 85: The Lord’s Supper is a perfect example of such disagreements and how Protestants claim to resolve them. Lutherans believe that Jesus is substantially present “with” the bread and wine. Reformed Protestants believe that Jesus is spiritually present. Baptists believe that the bread and the wine are only symbolic. And some Protestants, based on their reading of Scripture, don’t even celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Do these differences matter? Is the Lord’s Supper an important area, one that affects salvation?
Answer: No. Sincere belief in Jesus Christ is required for salvation.
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” John 6: 35-37.
Note: Do you sincerely believe Jesus Christ or Catholic Tradition?

Page 85: In short, Protestants disagree not only on the meaning of specific doctrines but also on whether those disagreements are important or not. For some, agreeing to disagree is unity, the only kind of unity possible this side of heaven.
Note: Due to our sin nature there will never be macro unity within Christendom.
Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?” Mark 9:33.
Note: There will be no Christian unity until the return of Jesus Christ.

Page 86: If, as Protestants claim, the Reformers both revived the doctrine of sola scriptura and restored the correct canon, finally basing their beliefs on the Bible alone without the taint of man-made traditions, we would expect to find perfect doctrinal unity, or at least a high level of unity, among them. Yet the historical reality is completely the opposite. Doctrinal disagreements erupted in every place Protestantism took hold: Luther’s compatriot Melanchthon drifted from his more literal Eucharistic beliefs; Zwingli’s colleagues didn’t think he went far enough fast enough in his changes to the Mass; the radical Reformers (Anabaptists) contradicted all the magisterial Reformers on infant baptism; Calvin contradicted Luther on church governance; and the Anglicans incorporated a hodge-podge of the continental Reformer’s ideas into their own unique blend of Catholic-Protestant teachings, resulting in a theology abhorrent to the Puritans.
Note: Due to our sin nature there will never be macro unity within Christendom.
Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 1 Corinthians 1:12-13.
Note: There will be no Christian unity until the return of Jesus Christ.

Page 86: Although members of these Protestant groups all believed that they received the Holy Spirit, and were honestly doing their best to follow what they thought God was saying in Scripture, they came to different interpretations on almost every important issue. The Anabaptists, for example, rightly noticed thatthere was no explicit mention in the New Testament of baptizing infants, a practice that dated to the beginning of the Church and which Luther and Zwingli accepted as orthodox. That this practice was part of Christian tradition was not good enough for the Anabaptists, so they rejected infant baptism and re-baptized all Christians who joined their group (Anabaptist means “re-baptizer”).
Note: Due to our sin nature, man-made traditions have corrupted Christendom.
But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Acts 8:12.
Note: Only adult men and women were baptized according to Scripture.

Page 87: The Anabaptists did not stop there: Based on their reading of Scripture, they isolated themselves, rejecting private property on the grounds that the Bible said early Christians held everything in common.
Note: Numerous Catholics have isolated themselves throughout Church history.
The word monastery comes from the Greek word μοναστήριον, neut. of μοναστήριος - monasterios from μονάζειν - monazein "to live alone"[1] from the root μόνος - monos "alone" (originally all Christian monks were hermits); the suffix "-terion" denotes a "place for doing something". The earliest extant use of the term monastērion is by the 1st century AD Jewish philosopher Philo in On The Contemplative Life, ch. III.
Note: Why is the author being dishonest with Catholic Tradition?

Page 87: Luther and Zwingli’s famous dispute at Marburg over the meaning of Holy Communion demonstrated that the Reformers, at any rate, did not think that differing interpretations of the Lord’s Supper were insignificant or non-essential. Instead, they argued bitterly over it, refusing to admit the other’s interpretation was acceptable.
Note: Paul and Barnabas had a famous dispute due to their sin natures.
Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. Acts 15:37-40.
Note: There will be no Christian unity until the return of Jesus Christ.

Page 87: Time has not smoothed over the divisions but has only brought new ones, particularly over modern issues such as same-sex marriage and women’s ordination. But even the old doctrines are still subjects of dispute. The Oneness Pentecostal movement, which claims tens of millions of adherents, rejects the traditional doctrine of the Trinity, instead adopting a position close to the heresy of modalism.
Note: The Oneness Pentecostal movement is a cult.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, AND the love of God, AND the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14.
Note: The Oneness Pentecostal cult member is generally uneducated.

Page 88: If Protestantism is true, then God intended for Christians to base all their beliefs on the Bible alone. The Holy Spirit would work in their hearts and minds – even overcoming the shortcomings caused by sin – to unite them in the true interpretation of the sacred text, fulfilling the perfect unity that Christ prayed for in John 17.  Yet anyone who examines the array of conflicting teachings present in Protestantism from its inception until today, even in essential areas, can see that the Protestant experiment has not achieved that unity nor will ever be able to.
Note: False Christians will cause disunity and promote the traditions of men.
And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. Galatians 2:4-5.
Note: There will be no Christian unity until the return of Jesus Christ.