Thursday, May 21, 2009

Biblical Christianity

I wrote an e-mail to Andrew Tallman after I called into his show Monday May 18 and he chastised (I do not really mean that in a bad way) me due to the way I started my comment (see the e-mail below). As I admit in my e-mail, I could have began in a wiser and more productive manner, but the show did inspire me to ask Andrew a couple of questions. I hope that you find my argument and questions thought provoking even if you disagree with me. If kpxq has archived shows then anyone interested can listen to the Monday May 18 show. You can also listen to the Tues May 19 show which Andrew opened up with my e-mail and opened the floor for people to call in and argue either for or against the idea that the catholic church is a Christian church. About a half hour into the show or so I called in and Andrew and I discussed this topic a little bit further. Here is the e-mail I wrote.

Dear Andrew
I am the caller from Monday May 18 that started out his comment with “it is unfortunate that they [your friends] are not part of a Bible believing church (in regards to the Catholic church).” I wanted to apologize if I came off that I was trying to give undo offense to the Catholic church or to your friends. My comment about not “a Bible believing church” was connected in my mind to the overall point about Biblical church discipline and I did not mean my comment as a random insult of the Catholic church. I was also wondering if I could ask you some further questions. I am asking you these questions with the spirit of friendly inquiry and I hope you do not perceive this as combative.

I take it from your response to me on the show that you believe Catholicism to fall within the realm of Biblical Christianity. If I am wrong then the rest of this e-mail is meaningless. Here are my questions. Paul’s overall point in Galatians seems to be that those who bring a gospel that requires works for salvation to be effective should be “accursed” and that their gospel is “another gospel.” If that is Paul’s point, how is the Catholic teaching that there must be certain sacraments followed by the parishioners in order to be justified not another gospel? I understand that Paul is specifically referring to circumcision in Galatians, however, the principle seems to directly apply to Catholic teaching. I am not talking about the idea that works accompany true salvation, but rather the idea that works are necessary for the justification of believers. I am aware that the Catholic teaching is that grace is necessary. My problem is not that Catholic teaching says grace is necessary, but that grace is not sufficient. If I am wrong, then where is the line that you believe is taught by scripture? By line, I mean that point at which if a person or church crosses they can no longer be considered under the umbrella of Biblical Christianity.

Let me be clear, I believe that there are many things about which Biblical churches can disagree. However, I believe the sufficiency of grace by faith is clearly of such Biblical importance and necessity that Bible believing churches cannot disagree about this point. Do you believe that the Bible is clear enough in its teaching that there is a discernible line? I know that the Catholic church says that it is part of the universal church, but so do Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons. Is self identification as being a part of the universal church sufficient grounds to be considered by everyone as being part of the universal church? While I admit that I could have been more circumspect in my opening statement (and again apologize if there was any undo offense given), is there something wrong with drawing a line?


Brian Ring said...

Did Andrew write you back?

Baird boy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Baird boy said...

Yes he did. However, I believe that he mentioned that he wrote it kind of quickly and so did not have time to clean it up and fine tune it. Therefore I am prety sure he requested that it not be posted. I believe that KPXQ has archived programs, so if you can find the Tues May 19th Andrew Tallman show, the entire show was done on this topic.