Critique of THE PROTESTANT'S DILEMMA by Devin Rose

Chapter 14 - Misinterpreting the Great Commission

Page 101: Thousands of Protestants work as full-time missionaries in far-off lands. Yet during the time of the Reformation and for centuries after, almost no Protestants went on any missions at all! This is because the founders of Protestantism believed the Great Commission – Jesus’ command to evangelize all peoples – applied only to the apostles.
Note: Thousands of Catholics went on missions to collect money by selling indulgencies.
However, the later Middle Ages saw the growth of considerable abuses. Greedy commissaries sought to extract the maximum amount of money for each indulgence. Professional "pardoners" (quaestores in Latin) - who were sent to collect alms for a specific project - practiced the unrestricted sale of indulgences. Many of these quaestores exceeded official Church doctrine, whether in avarice or ignorant zeal, and promised rewards like salvation from eternal damnation in return for money. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Note: The author must be a poor student of history or a hypocrite.

Page 101: The Great Commission is described in the last verses of Matthew’s Gospel. When Jesus is about to ascend to heaven, he gives the apostles the command to go out into all the nations to baptize and teach them. Protestants today confidently point to those verses as the biblical motivation for their missionary activities, but most of them don’t realize that this interpretation is a fairly recent novelty within their ranks.
Note: Most Catholics don’t realize that indulgences were reinterpreted in 1967.
By the bull Indulgentiarum doctrina of 1 January 1967, Pope Paul VI, responding to suggestions made at the Second Vatican Council, substantially revised the practical application of the traditional doctrine. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Note: The author must be a poor student of history or a hypocrite.

Pages 101-102: Indeed, for a few hundred years after the Reformation, Protestants understood this passage as Jesus’ telling the apostles only to go and spread the Good News, and they believed that this work had been accomplished sufficiently in the apostolic age. The Bible was their sole rule of faith, and the Bible said nothing about the Commission extending beyond the apostles.
Note: The Catholic Church began early to levy requirements for forgiveness.
The Council of Epaone in 517 witnesses to the rise of the practice of replacing severe canonical penances with a new milder penance: its 29th canon reduced to two years the penance that apostates were to undergo on their return to the Church, but obliged them to fast one day in three during those two years, to come to church and take their place at the penitents' door, and to leave with the catechumens. Any who objected to the new arrangement were to observe the much longer ancient penance. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Note: The author must be a poor student of history or a hypocrite.

Page 102: Early Protestants believed that Christ’s Second Coming was near at hand, so why set out on evangelizing missions? Further, they believed that God would take care of converting non-Christians in his own good time, basing this belief on the fact that God doesn’t need any help making converts.
Note: The Apostles believed the Second Coming was near at hand.
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25.

Page 102: Calvin and Luther believed that the primary “missionary” need was to reform Catholics. Calvin also argued that it was the duty of the Christian state or province – not the individual believer or even the churches themselves – to evangelize non-Christians. These beliefs strike most Protestants today as woefully erroneous, but they are consistent with Protestantism’s founding principles.
Note: Catholics used torture and murder on those who did not repent and convert.
When a suspect was convicted of unrepentant heresy, the inquisitorial tribunal was required by law to hand the person over to the secular authorities for final sentencing, at which point the penalty would be determined by a magistrate, usually burning at the stake although the penalty varied based on local law. The laws were inclusive of proscriptions against certain religious crimes (heresy, etc.), and the punishments included death by burning, although imprisonment for life or banishment would usually be used. Thus the inquisitors generally knew what would be the fate of anyone so remanded, and cannot be considered to have divorced the means of determining guilt from its effects. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Note: The author must be a poor student of history or a hypocrite.

Page 103: By interpreting Scripture themselves, apart from the Church’s magisterium and Sacred Tradition, the Reformers established a novel tradition of their own that acted as a powerful influence over all Protestantism for hundreds of years. This no-need-for-missionaries tradition colored the lens through which other Protestants read the Bible, and only after several centuries was this tradition scrutinized and eventually discarded.
Note: The magisterium eventually discarded the use of the hostile inquisition after hundreds of years.
The institution of the Inquisition persisted until the early 19th century (except within the Papal States) after the Napoleonic wars in Europe and after the Spanish American wars of independence in the Americas. The institution survived as part of the Roman Curia but was given the new name "Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office" in 1904. In 1965 it became the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Note: The author must be a poor student of history or a hypocrite.

Page 103: While the Reformers were staying home with their novel interpretation of these verses, content to poach Catholics away from Rome, one of the greatest missionaries of all time, St. Francis Xavier, was leaving Europe’s shores for Asia to bring the gospel to peoples who had never heard it: in Japan, Borneo, and India.
Note: St. Francis Xavier participated in the Portuguese inquisition.
The role of Francis Xavier in the Goa Inquisition is controversial. He had written to King João III of Portugal in 1546, encouraging him to dispatch the Inquisition to Goa, which he did many years later in 1560. Francis Xavier passed away in 1552 without living to see the horrors of the Goa Inquisition, but some historians believe that he was aware of the Portuguese Inquisition's brutality. In an interview to an Indian newspaper, historian Teotónio de Souza stated that Francis Xavier and Simão Rodrigues, another founder-member of the Society of Jesus, were together in Lisbon before Francis left for India. Both were asked to assist spiritually the prisoners of the Inquisition and were present at the very first Auto-da-fé celebrated in Portugal in September 1540, at which 23 were absolved and two were condemned to be burnt, including a French cleric. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Note: The author must be a poor student of history or a hypocrite.

Pages 103-104: This mission for Catholics to evangelize does not belong only to the great saints. It is a call for all of us and has been since the beginning. In the twentieth century, Pope Paul VI reaffirmed that “the task of evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church.” He also explained, “On all Christians therefore is laid the preeminent responsibility of working to make the divine message of salvation known and accepted by all men throughout the world.” The history of the Catholic Church, even prior to the Reformation, demonstrates consistent commitment to spreading the gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth.
Note: Much of the history of the Catholic Church is anti-Christian.
In the Late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, the concept and scope of the Inquisition was significantly expanded in response to the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Its geographic scope was expanded to other European countries, resulting in the Spanish Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition. Those two kingdoms in particular operated inquisitorial courts throughout their respective empires (Spanish and Portuguese) in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Note: The author must be a poor student of history or a hypocrite.

Page 104: Of course, with the benefit of hindsight we know that the end of days was not imminent in the 1500’s.
Note: With the benefit of hindsight we know the Second Coming was not 1,900 years ago.
But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away. 1 Corinthians 7:29-31.
Note: The author must be a poor student of history or a hypocrite.

Page 104: If Protestantism is true, either the founders of Protestantism made a huge blunder in interpreting the scriptural Great Commission, establishing a centuries-long precedent that Protestants do not go on missions, or they were right, and Protestant missionaries today are wasting their time on a pointless and unbiblical exercise.
Note: If Catholicism is true, then the magisterium made a huge anti-Christian blunder.
The scandalous conduct of the "pardoners" was an immediate occasion of the Protestant Reformation. In 1517, Pope Leo X offered indulgences for those who gave alms to rebuild St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The aggressive marketing practices of Johann Tetzel in promoting this cause provoked Martin Luther to write his Ninety-Five Theses, condemning what he saw as the purchase and sale of salvation. In Thesis 28 Luther objected to a saying attributed to Tetzel: "As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs". The Ninety-Five Theses not only denounced such transactions as worldly but denied the Pope's right to grant pardons on God's behalf in the first place: the only thing indulgences guaranteed, Luther said, was an increase in profit and greed, because the pardon of the Church was in God's power alone. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Note: The author must be a poor student of history or a hypocrite.