Critique of THE PROTESTANT'S DILEMMA by Devin Rose

Chapter 31 - The Missing Saints

Page 195: When I was a Protestant, I once referred to the saints as members of “the Catholic Hall of Fame.” But in reading about their lives, I also wanted them on my team. They were heroic in their witnessing to the Faith, even to the point of torture and grisly execution. They clearly loved Jesus and were given grace to be courageous and eloquent, following the example of St. Stephen and many other faithful men and women from the Apostolic Age. Yet, to my dismay, when I delved into the writings of these great Christians, I found them to have unabashedly Romish tendencies, leading me to conclude that they cannot be looked up to as true saints, no matter how holy they may have appeared.
Note: Saint Peter was a witness for Jesus Christ and had no “Romish” tendencies.
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:8-12.
Note: Do you have a testimony of Jesus Christ?

Pages 195-196: When I first started reading the lives of the saints, I felt cheated: “Why haven’t I been told about all these amazingly faithful people?” Their books didn’t show up anywhere in the Christian bookstores I went to, nor very often in the secular bookstores. I had read most of the Left Behind series but nothing by Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Athanasius, or Francis de Sales. Something was wrong with that.
Note: Did the author ever bother to read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs?
The Actes and Monuments, popularly known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs, is a work of Protestant history and martyrology by John Foxe, first published in English in 1563 by John Day. It includes a polemical account of the sufferings of Protestants under the Catholic Church, with particular emphasis on England and Scotland. The book was highly influential in those countries, and helped shape lasting popular notions of Catholicism there. The book went through four editions in Foxe's lifetime and a number of later editions and abridgements, including some that specifically reduced the text to a Book of Martyrs. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.

Page 196: If I were drafting baseball players as a Protestant Christian, I would want St. Augustine on my team for his great love of Scripture, the honesty of his Confessions, his Protestant-friendly ideas on justification and predestination, and his philosophical wisdom. He was a monumental influence on Western Christianity and in particular on the theology of John Calvin and Martin Luther. By all accounts, he’s batting cleanup for me.
Note: Did the author ever consider Saint Paul?
Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. 2 Corinthians 11:22-28.
Note: There is no one true church as there are many churches.

Pages 196-197: But St. Augustine also erred on the canon of Scripture, wrongly including the seven Catholic deuterocanonical books as inspired; he erred on baptismal regeneration, purgatory, and on his acceptance of the Church’s Tradition as an authority alongside the Bible. The coup de grace was the unavoidable fact that he was a bishop of the Church in the fourth and fifth centuries, with all the trappings that go along with that: the Mass, hearing confessions, baptizing babies, ordaining priests, and so on.
Note: Saint Augustine did not believe in a literal return of Jesus Christ.
Augustine originally believed in premillennialism, namely that Christ would establish a literal 1,000-year kingdom prior to the general resurrection, but later rejected the belief, viewing it as carnal. He was the first theologian to expound a systematic doctrine of amillennialism, although some theologians and Christian historians believe his position was closer to that of modern postmillennialists. The mediaeval Catholic church built its system of eschatology on Augustinian amillennialism, where Christ rules the earth spiritually through his triumphant church. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Note: There is no one true church as there are many churches.

Page 197: I knew Augustine could not be on my team. Neither could St. Athanasius, St. Cyprian, St. Thomas Aquinas, or St. Francis. They all believed in papist rubbish – in the awful corruptions and accretions that the Catholic Church had added over the centuries, which a true saint would have been able to see through.
Note: Saint Thomas More also believed in the awful corruptions of the Catholic Church.
In total there were six burned at the stake for heresy during More's chancellorship: Thomas Hitton, Thomas Bilney, Richard Bayfield, John Tewkesbery, Thomas Dusgate, and James Bainham. More's influential role in the burning of Tyndale is reported by Moynahan. Ackroyd notes that More explicitly "approved of Burning" After the case of John Tewkesbury, a London leather-seller found guilty by More of harbouring banned books and sentenced to burning for refusing to recant, More declared: he "burned as there was neuer wretche I wene better worthy."
Wikipedia Encyclopedia.

Page 197: I also knew that the Catholic usage of the word “saint” differs from what is found in the Bible. In Scripture, saints are not those Christians who have died and gone to Christ but the members of the Church still living their earthly lives. So as a Protestant, I felt good about calling myself and my Christian friends “saints,” and I may have even mentally canonized my faithful grandmother, but I was loath to apply that title in a way the Bible did not explicitly set a precedent for.
Note: Catholic Tradition violates Scripture in a variety of ways.
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude 1:3.

Page 197: Those whom the Church calls saints were men and women who loved God and who accepted his love in a way that penetrated every part of them. As a questioning Protestant, I longed to love God as they did. They were the very best that Christians could be, the fulfillment of Christ’s commands to love God and one another with all our hearts. They were merciful, courageous, brilliant, humble, holy and they were as Catholic as the pope! They believed in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, the power of confession and the other sacraments, and the authority of the Church.
Note: Saint Stephen believed in the “Real Presence” of Jesus Christ in heaven.
But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:55-60.
Note: Do you have a testimony of Jesus Christ?

Page 198: As a Protestant, I failed to realize that Catholic saints were impressive, not in spite of their belief in a false religion but because they believed in a true one. In fact, if we let Catholicism be true, the behavior and lives of the saints fit perfectly. They received the Holy Spirit and his gifts and power. They bore his fruits. They were strengthened against sin by reception of the Eucharist. They remained in constant friendship with God through the sacrament of Confession. They were given graces to fulfill their vocational calls in marriage, religious life, and the priesthood. They guarded and preached the fullness of Christian truth that God entrusted to the Church. They took that gospel to the ends of the earth, and Christ blessed their efforts by making those seeds take root and grow in the hearts of men from every nation. Often they watered the ground of these evangelized nations with their own blood.
Note: Saints will be witnesses for Jesus Christ and persecuted for their testimony.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12.
Note: Do you have a testimony of Jesus Christ?

Page 198: In Scripture, passages from Revelation and Hebrews suggest close kinship between the saints (Christians) on earth and those in heaven offering up their prayers to God. In its doctrine of the communion of saints, the Catholic Church underscores the connection that all Christians share in being joined as one body in Christ – whether here on earth or in heaven. So the term “saint” applies validly to all Christians, whether alive or dead, who live in God’s love and friendship.
Note: Saints will be persecuted for their testimony on the earth.
I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. Revelation 17:6.
Note: Do you have a testimony of Jesus Christ?

Pages 198-199: If Protestantism is true, then all of the saints from the fourth century to the sixteenth believed in an adulterated gospel taught by a heretical Church. Though they may have loved God, they did so while promulgating erroneous – perhaps even evil – teachings on important matters of faith. So, although some of their piety and actions are to be commended, they cannot be looked to as Christian models to be admired and imitated. If they had only followed the Bible, they could have corrected the errors of the Church, as the later Reformers did. But sadly, for over a thousand years we have a vacuum of true Christian witness, with all the most devout and brilliant men and women hopelessly tangled up with a false gospel.
Note: Saints will be witnesses for Jesus Christ and persecuted for their testimony.
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost. 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16.
Note: Do you have a testimony of Jesus Christ or of the Catholic Church?