XPH308470 Luther in front of Cardinal Cajetan during the controversy of his 95 Theses, 1870 (oil on canvas) by Pauwels, Ferdinand Wilhelm (1830-1904); Lutherhaus, Eisenach, Germany; (add. info.: Luther vor dem Kardinal Cajetan nach Anschlag der 95 Thesen, 1870); Belgian, out of copyright
The Reformed Protestant blog Triablogue offered an attempt to rebut my previous article, Why All Bible Believing Christians Must Believe In the Catholic Doctrine of the Sacrifice of the Mass . Please access that rebuttal at this link. Below is my response. I will refer to the interlocutor as SH, and his statements are within <<>> and italicized.
St. Gregory the Great (600 AD)
Christians throughout the world who are actively seeking to join the original “Church” which Christ founded are confronted with the myriad of communities and denominations which compete with each other. Each of these entities professes to faithfully pronounce the doctrine of the Gospel as handed down from our Lord Jesus to the Apostles, and from the Apostles onward. How to ascertain who is right? One could spend a million years picking through all the arguments, debates, claims, books, articles, journals, monographs, academic reviews, commentaries, and histories before they can boil the options down to 10 or 5 competitors. This is because there are truly so many intelligent minds that enter into the work of scholarly apologetics, and most of them are at least touching the surface, if not appropriating the whole, of the absolute truth of the content of Christ’s divine revelation. Most competing apologists grasp at least *something* true, and this is what makes it difficult to choose who is right over and against the others. X has a good point. Oh, Y has a good point. Ah, X has a good counter point to Y. <yawn> Y has a good counter point to X. On and on. Who has time for all of this? It is a truly daunting, even grueling, task for the average theologian, let alone lay person whose responsibilities allow only a sliver of time to devote to these matters.
St. Augustine Receiving Holy Baptism
What happens if someone is baptized, but does not receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist? Was not our Lord clear that those who never drank His blood would perish? It is a great question, and I will seek to give an answer from three ancient witnesses, all deemed Saints by both Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and Anglicans today. Continue reading