Critique of THE PROTESTANT'S DILEMMA by Devin Rose

Chapter 33 - Ongoing Reform

Page 203: The Protestant Reformers disagreed on many issues. But they all seemed to agree on one thing: no Christian teaching is safe from “reform.” They gutted the sacraments, modified the canon of Scripture, and defined their own theory of justification. In the 500 years that followed, their spiritual descendants have taken Reformation principles to their logical conclusion, altering or abandoning core Christian teachings – such as the divinity of Christ and inerrancy of Scripture – that the first Reformers never dreamed of questioning.
Note: Will the Catholic Church continue on their late in time reformation of clergy child sex abuse?
Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! Matthew 18:2-7.
Note: Why didn’t the author write about the numerous sins of the Catholic Church?

Pages 203-204: Few Protestants today agree with all the doctrines of Luther, or Calvin, or of any Reformer. Instead, it’s common Protestant wisdom that you take “the good” from those guys while rejecting “the bad.” And how do you know good from bad? By reading Scripture and comparing their teachings with your interpretation of it. In a sense, every Protestant since the Reformation has been a new reformer: sifting, interpreting, and assembling his own potpourri of doctrines to profess.
Note: Have you studied the Scriptures in context?
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 2 Timothy 2:15-16.
Note: Have you presented yourself approved before God?

Page 204: So Protestants are not opposed to new reformations, at least in principle. But what happens when other Protestants use their interpretation of Scripture to arrive at reformed doctrines that you think are fundamentally unscriptural and therefore un-Christian?
Note: Do you understand the Scriptures in context?
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. Titus 3:4-8.
Note: Have you presented yourself approved before God?

Page 204: One day my wife and I drove by a church building in our town and spotted its electronic marquee proclaiming the “Bishop Spong Lecture Series.” John Shelby Spong is a retired Episcopal bishop whose infamously creative heterodoxy can be discovered in his many books, in which he denies or reinvents most of the core doctrines of traditional Christianity.
Note: Heretics are to be avoided.
But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. Titus 3:9-11.
Note: Have you presented yourself approved before God?

Page 205: Not to be outdone by Spong, after the Very Rev. Gary R. Hall became Dean of the (Episcopal) National Cathedral, he announced his own unique take on Christianity: “I don’t want to be loosey-goosey about it, but I describe myself as a non-theistic Christian.” Hall isn’t sure who Jesus is: whether he really is God or just, as Hall says, “an extraordinary human being.” And for the head of a Protestant cathedral with national significance, God is an optional part of Christianity.
Note: Jesus Christ is judging the Episcopal church as God is not mocked.
Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. But hold fast what you have till I come. Revelation 2:20-25.
Note: Membership in the Episcopal church has been declining.

Page 205: Bishop Spong likens himself to Martin Luther, but would traditional, Bible-believing Protestants view his “new Reformation” as a new formulation of a Christianity that has once again lost its way? More likely they would object that his theses are clearly false, because they deny the teachings of traditional Christian orthodoxy and the way that the Bible has been interpreted by the majority Christians throughout the ages.
Note: There have been heretics in the churches throughout the ages.
Arianism is defined as those teachings attributed to Arius, supported by the Council of Rimini, which are in opposition to the post-Nicaean Trinitarian Christological doctrine, as determined by the first two Ecumenical Councils and currently maintained by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, all Reformation-founded Protestant churches (Lutheran, Reformed/Presbyterian, and Anglican), and a large majority of groups founded after the Reformation and calling themselves Protestant (such as Methodist, Baptist, most Pentecostals). Modern Christian groups which may be seen as espousing some of the principles of Arianism include Unitarians, Oneness Pentecostals, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses, Iglesia ni Cristo and Branhamism. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Note: Have you presented yourself approved before God?

Pages 205-206: But why is that a problem? Luther’s teachings and those of the Reformation also denied many truths of traditional Christian orthodoxy, yet Protestants believe that his doctrinal “reforms” were correct and justified. After all, it is Protestantism that democratized the Church and made biblical interpretation accessible to all, such that an individual like Bishop Spong is not bound by any institutional church authority but is free to discover and denounce errors in what Christians have always believed, based on how he interprets the Bible.
Note: Saint Paul wants all Christians to be spiritual discerning.
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:10-16.
Note: Have you presented yourself approved before God?

Page 206: Spong and Hall understand the Protestant reforming principle well. Whenever the Church seems like it is becoming out of touch with society or irrelevant, not even the most cherished teachings are safe from the reformer’s ax.
Note: Will the reformer’s ax fall on the Vatican Bank?
On 28 June 2013, three persons were arrested by the Italian police on suspicion of corruption and fraud. Allegedly, they had planned to smuggle €20 million in cash from Switzerland into Italy. One of the arrested was Monsignore Nunzio Scarano, previously senior accountant at APSA, the Vatican's Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. Subsequently, he was indicted with corruption and slander and set under house arrest. On 21 January 2014, he was further charged with money laundering through IOR accounts in yet another investigation. According to a police statement, millions of euros in "false donations" from offshore companies had moved through Scarano's accounts. Already in July 2013, the IOR had frozen the money in Scarano's accounts. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Note: Why didn’t the author write about the numerous sins of the Catholic Church?

Page 206: But in the Catholic paradigm, this is not so. When the Catholic Church proclaims a teaching with its full authority, that teaching is dogmatic, rendering it unchangeable. The Trinity is the Trinity forever; Unitarians need not apply. Jesus is God and man, and the phrase “non-theistic Christian” is not just oxymoronic but downright moronic. Faithful Protestants would like to claim the same thing for their beliefs, believing them to be based on authoritative and immutable scriptures, but they cannot, because history has shown that if you give a Protestant church enough time, and it will veer off into previously unthinkable heresies.
Note: The Catholic Church has had to recant numerous heresies.
Galileo's championing of heliocentrism was controversial within his lifetime, a time when most subscribed to either geocentrism or the Tychonic system. He met with opposition from astronomers, who doubted heliocentrism due to the absence of an observed stellar parallax. The matter was investigated by the Roman Inquisition in 1615, which concluded that heliocentrism was false and contrary to scripture, placing works advocating the Copernican system on the index of banned books and forbidding Galileo from advocating heliocentrism. Galileo later defended his views in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which appeared to attack Pope Urban VIII, thus alienating not only the Pope but also the Jesuits, both of whom had supported Galileo up until this point. He was tried by the Holy Office, then found "vehemently suspect of heresy", was forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Note: Why didn’t the author write about the numerous sins of the Catholic Church?

Page 206: While traditional Protestants can continue to retreat into smaller and smaller enclaves that attempt to hold fast to some subset of traditional orthodoxy, the rising water will eventually reach and overtake them. Protestantism has no safeguard against it and laid the groundwork for its own undoing in its very DNA.
Note: Will the Catholic Church excommunicate homosexual clergy?
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. Romans 1:24-27.
Note: Why didn’t the author write about the numerous sins of the Catholic Church?

Page 207: If Protestantism is true, then there is no principled reason why Spong and Hall could not start a new Reformation that would do for the Christianity of today what Luther’s Reformation did for the Church in the 1500s, since, by Protestant acclaim, rejecting traditional doctrines can be a noble thing.
Note: Heretics will never start any valid reformation but will be destroyed.
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. 2 Peter 2:1-3.
Note: Why didn’t the author write about the numerous sins of the Catholic Church?