Catholic Ecumenism + Apologetics (James Swan’s Cluelessness)

VaticanStamp

[Anti-Catholic reformed Protestant polemicist James Swan wrote about the stamp put out by the Vatican with Luther and Melanchthon at the foot of the cross and crucified Jesus. His words will be in blue.]

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I do feel sorry for many of Rome’s defenders. A lot of them “converted” from Protestantism, and in their early zeal enjoyed throwing Luther and the Reformation under the bus.

No need. I have said from the beginning that Luther has a lot of true teachings along with false ones. In fact, my first published article in January 1993 (in The Catholic Answer) was about that very thing: Luther’s true beliefs and false analyzed together. I have continued ever since criticizing his false teaching and rejoicing in his true ones (I compiled a whole book of those, in fact).

We can criticize falsehood, while rejoicing in the truths that our Protestant brethren share with us. There’s no contradiction at all between apologetics (and/or conversion) and ecumenism. They’re perfectly compatible.

This demonstrates one of the blatant follies of the entire Roman Catholic apologetic enterprise.

Not at all. It demonstrates the blatant folly and befuddled illogic of the thought processes in the over-active brain of the polemicist and Catholic-basher James Swan.

As a Protestant, there is no really eternal reason for “converting” to Rome.

Actually, I’ve provided 150 in one of my papers, for curious inquirers.

If Rome holds Luther and Melanchthon are penitent at the foot of the cross, then by extension other Protestants are as well.

Protestants worship Jesus as we do, and rejoice in His redeeming death on our behalf on the cross, and are saved (if they are, individually) by same. DUH!!!! Is this some big revelation or something? ZZZzzzzz (-_-)

No analogy is perfect. Rome’s apologists remind me of downloading freeware. Sure, the freeware works, but if you want more options, you have to pay some fee to get the expanded version with more features. The goal of Rome’s apologists is to convince you to get the upgrade.

It’s true that Protestantism is a minimalistic, “mere Christianity” / bare bones / skeletal version of Christianity. Catholicism is the whole package, with deep spiritual riches and treasure waiting to be discovered by a Protestant who senses that he or she is lacking in some of these “fuller” features of historic, sacramental Christianity.

When I look at the extra options Rome provides, I’m not interested.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

If the basic version provides Jesus Christ, you can keep the expanded version that includes saints, purgatory, indulgences, papal infallibility, transubstantiation, monkery, Mary’s immaculate conception and assumption, etc. No thank you.

Drats! I was waiting for “popery” and “Mariolatry” to appear on the list. If I believed in the caricatured, wacky, ultra-twisted version of “Catholicism” that Swan talks about, I wouldn’t convert, either. The real thing is quite different. I wanted apostolic Christianity, with all its theological and moral teachings, and I sought a Christianity that incorporated all of biblical teaching, not just carefully selected portions here and there, that happen to fit into a preconceived semi-heretical, endlessly self-contradictory theology.

I got that in 1990 and have been totally fulfilled spiritually and theologically ever since. That said, I do thank God for what I learned during my Protestant days. It was 90% great stuff, and a wonderful foundation for my Christian walk and my apologetics, but in the final analysis, simply incomplete.

It’s not a matter of good vs. evil or black and white, but rather, of “very good” and “best.” That’s how and why the Vatican can have a stamp about Luther and Melanchthon. They are acknowledging some of the “very good” that Protestantism contains. I’ve always done the same.

Related reading:

How Could Catholics and Protestants Commemorate the Reformation–Together? (Jimmy Akin, 8 September 2017)

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