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Do Catholics Know History

Do Catholics know the history of the Roman Catholic Church? Could any church with this history claim papal infallibility.

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 ---Andrea on 8/8/07
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Daphne - God bless
---Ed on 9/15/07


Ed & lorra, Thanks for your posts. I do not think we are far apart. Part of my reason in asking and pushing clarification was to bring about your responses - Ed, you especially. It seems you both have a good grasp of the Gospel - which is most important. Many other doctrines/practices may be disputed, and fellowship still occur - but that cannot.

I believe I can, with confidence,call you brother and sister.
---daphn8897 on 9/12/07


Daphne

But 'faith' and 'works' are millions dollar question words. What do they mean? Words mean different things to different people. Unless you explain what you mean then it is impossible to respond to your comments. Since Western Christianity split up over these words it is very important to say exactly what you mean!

Take care and God bless.
---Ed on 9/12/07


2. Daphne

And by the way, the Reformation is now officially over in regards to the issue of Justification (the key issue over which the Reformation began) since The Catholic Church, the Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Episcopalians all now agree to the same definition of justification in regards to 'faith' and 'works.' - Fact. For further explanation: please look it up in search engine.
---Ed on 9/12/07


3. Daphne

In your definition of Justificaiton what about:

- carrying out the will of God ('Our Father ... thy will be done) - in how we demonstrate our true faith to God (carrying out His will not just believing in Him).

- that faith means nothing without love (St Paul, Corinthians 13).

- Our Lord tell us that two most important commandments are Love God and neighbour (and that as, St
---Ed on 9/12/07




4. Daphne

Paul says, faith is PART OF Love, love is infinetely more important than faith on its own - faith without love is nothing, useless, or 'dead faith' as Catholics and many Protestants refer to it.

- the epistle of St James that says there must be faith AND works (works being about carrying out the will of God, carrying out God's love).

- And most importantly where Jesus says we must show compassion to others (i.e The Good Samaratin).
---Ed on 9/12/07


5. Daphne

And 'that I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was a stranger and you received me in your homes, naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me.

It's not enough to just have faith alone. Nor is enough to try and 'work' one's own way. Both are erroneous. It is about faith, it is about action (and inaction i.e patience, tolerance)
---Ed on 9/12/07


6. Daphne

but it is crucially about living in union with God and carrying out His will ('thy will be done) - will of love. Without love for God and neighbour it is all useless.

God, please, forgive, protect and bless all of us.
---Ed on 9/12/07


Daphne, no one teaches that we earn our salvation by works. Works to not merit salvation. But, we will be judged by our works or lack thereof - read the Bible.

And the Bible says right in it, that part of its purpose is to prepare us for good works.

Catholics get riled up because we get condemned for doing what Christ asked us to do. Is not the fact that He asked us not sufficient for us to do it?
---lorra8574 on 9/12/07


Ed,
I know you weren't saying scripture is wrong.

James is often used to promote a works based salvation. While I fully agree that good works will flow from the believer's life, I do not agree that good works cause salvation. Faith alone brings about salvation. I believe James was saying that it isn't really true faith if works don't follow... ie,"faith without works is dead."

Works demonstrate salvation but do not cause it. Does that make sense? I hope I'm more clear.
---daphn8897 on 9/12/07




1. Mark

I have been quoting from Our Lord and from St Paul about love.

Again, I repeat what I said. Jesus said: the two greatest commandments are to: Love God and neighbour. Jesus says the greatest prayer is The Our Father which includes the words: 'thy will be done'. So loving God and neighbour is following God's will and to choose Him to fill us with His Love so that we become a channel of His love. I never suggested that our love is separated from God. Never.
---Ed on 9/10/07


2. Mark

But that it derives from Him. That we become a channel for His love. This is what the Catholic Church believes too. Fact. Everything in this life: energy, understanding, faith and, most importantly, love all come from God. We are nothing without God. But we have to CHOOSE him over sin. We have to trust Him. We have to make an effort to follow His will, to follow His will of love, not just when things go easy, but when life is hard, full of temptations, and when persecuted.
---Ed on 9/10/07


3. Mark

We must believe in God and that He is the fountain for everything. But it is an on-going not a static process. It isn't enough just to believe once. We must carry on choosing to believe in Him and choosing to follow His will until He decides that our time in this life is over.

I think we might be saying the same thing but approaching it from different angles.

God bless
---Ed on 9/10/07


4. Mark

'to be born again, of the Spirit in order to have that Love? Right?' - yes, absolutely. Some Catholics use the word 'born again' - others think this is too short and vague to describe what it is really like to find God such as St Paul on the road to Damascus. I prefer to use the expression 'road-to-damascus' because that is what it was like for me. But it was also like being 'born again' in the sense that i felt God filling me in a way that was miraculous.
---Ed on 9/10/07


5. Mark

Also Catholics are slightly wary of using the 'born-again' expression as it has been used so often by Christians who believe in OSAS which is erroneous in the eyes of the Catholic Church. But as long as people describe, exactly what they mean by 'born-again' (that it doesn't involve OSAS, mainly) then it is an apt, and proper, way to describle choosing God and God entering into one's life in a miraculous way. I agree.
---Ed on 9/10/07


1. Andrea

As a Catholic and with a degree in Medieval History (from a Protestant university ..) I bet i could give an ever longer list than you (challenge !) can about the wickedness committed by those in the name of Catholicism. But since you refer to a group of individuals (the Popes) don't forget the decent and inspiring, God-filled, loving Catholic Popes such as Peter I, Gregory I, John 23 and John Paul 2 to name four of my favourite.
---Ed on 9/10/07


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2. Andrea

And other inspirational Catholics (who opposed the corruption of the Church by the very lives they led) such as Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, Anthony of Padua, John of the Cross etc .. It is not good for anyone just to see the negatives of any argument. I have great respect for Protestants, and have been inspired by the lives and Christian attitudes of many Protestants.
---Ed on 9/10/07


3. Andrea

But at the same time i know well that Protestants have been just as wicked as Catholics over the centuries. Often in similar ways. Often in different ways.
Not forgetting that Catholics have been around a lot longer than Protestants (2,000 years versus 500 yeers, more-a-less) and have always been a larger Church for the possibilty of having a longer list of overall abuses.
---Ed on 9/10/07


"For centuries, the Church maintained a comprehensive account of the lives of the popes who, up until the 11th century, called themselves "ecumenical patriarchs", and amazing excesses are recorded..." Andrea on 9/10/07***

Andrea, as a Christian are you not aware that stealing is a serious sin?

What you just posted was plagiarized from an anti-Catholic website.
---augusta on 9/10/07


My question is, do any Christians know the history of Christianity?
---John1944 on 9/10/07


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Daphne

I never said scripture was wrong. Nor did i say i BELIEVED Luther said he believed James in his epistle in the Bible to be wrong. Luther ACTUALLY SAID, himself, about the epistle of James that, and I QUOTE, that it was 'AN EPISTLE OF STRAW.' There is no semantics here. No argument. This is historical fact. This is what Luther actually said.
---Ed on 9/10/07


2. Daphne

The Reformation was about many things, but the core of Reformation was based around Luther's theology of faith alone - the core stumbling block to which was James' epistle which is why Luther condemned it as an 'epistle of straw.'

Paul actually said, himself, too that faith without love (caritas) is nothing. It is useless. What we Catholics (and many Protestants) call dead faith.
---Ed on 9/10/07


3. Daphne

Paul actually said, himself, that faith without love (caritas) is nothing. It is useless. What we Catholics (and many Protestants) call dead faith.

And lastly, Jesus said, that the two most important commandments are not to have faith alone (faith is part of love as Paul tell us in Corinthians,) but to love God and man. So yes to faith, of course, but above all, and what brings faith to life, is love, and we demonstrate this by carrying out His will - not just believing in Him.
---Ed on 9/10/07


4. Daphne

Apologies for appearing to pontificate. But i am only trying to do justice to what the Catholic Church actually believes about 'works'. It is taken from what Paul, James, and above all, Our Lord says.

Don't mix up that with the genuine abuses of the past such as the selling of indulgences and other pelegianistic / semi-pelegianistic errors and heresies, that the authorities (and Protestants have, I admit, played an important role in this) eventually managed to stamp out
---Ed on 9/10/07


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5. Daphne

(and unfortunately Protestants have introduced their own errors, since, such as predestination, OSAS, prosperity gospel, and others).

Take care sister and God bless
---Ed on 9/10/07


Ed, thank you for your words on 1 Corinthians 13. I had already posted them to you. Carita's might be a word the Catholic church uses but carita's is faces in Latin. But again thanks for making it clear you were talking about love. I had already explain to you that without Love (Christ) you are nothing at all. I really meant it and you just put all of that as I had before. Moving mountains, feeding the sick, without Love you have nothing.
---Mark_V. on 9/10/07


#2. Ed, while you are coming from a different direction then I, you seem to agree with me that without Love, (Christ) you have nothing. you had mentioned before that you had to do good deeds and so forth, and I told you all the deeds you did, without Love meant nothing. Then you came back and forth with all those words, the same ones I gave you. So I guess you agree with me, that you have to be born again, of the Spirit in order to have that Love? Right?
---Mark_V. on 9/10/07


#3. Ed: When a person is alive to Christ, Christ lives in him, since Christ is Love, what a true believer displays is Love, (Christ). But you were talking about another love, the one you have, not Christ. The kindness of your heart, that love fails. Only the Love of Christ never fails. That is the Love I was speaking of. Now I said you didn't understand that Love because you didn't understand regeneration.
---Mark_V. on 9/10/07


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#4. Ed: Just because a person is a kind person does not make him saved. The whole world might love him but he cannot give a glass of water to a disciple in the name of Jesus Christ. Do you understand what I am saying? Without Christ, it means nothing. Without faith in Christ it is sin.
---Mark_V. on 9/10/07


For centuries, the Church maintained a comprehensive account of the lives of the popes who, up until the 11th century, called themselves "ecumenical patriarchs", and amazing excesses are recorded. Official Catholic records provide extraordinary confessions of wickedness in the whole Christian clergy, and the implications surrounding this knowledge begin to assume major new proportions when considered in light of the central Church claim of unquestionable piety in the clerical hierarchy.
---Andrea on 9/10/07


Ed, I think you're getting wrapped up in semantics - that have changed culturally. Often what was said in scripture has a cultural background. We must know that in order to rightly divide the word.

If Luther said James got it wrong, then Luther was in error, either outright, or in his understanding of what James meant.

Scripture is NEVER wrong. We, being flawed and limited, often misunderstand and/or misapply... including even one of the founders of the Reformation.
---daphn8897 on 9/10/07


In truth they know more about and follow history and tradition more than any other denomination.
---denna7667 on 9/9/07


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Hi Andrea

And the same to you!
---Ed on 9/9/07


Ed, thats exactly what my post said, I dont believe that all truth is confined to the bible, I think God speaks through his Church in doctrine and tradition.
---alexia on 9/8/07


Sure they know history. They rewrote most of it.
---jerry6593 on 9/8/07


1. Mark,

"Without love faith is useless" - parapharsing St Paul's famous discussion on faith and love:

'And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing' (Corinthians 13)

St Paul says - very cleary - faith without love is useless (nothing).
---Ed on 9/8/07


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2 Mark

'What does doing works, have to do with love?' - let's turn to Jesus' teachings:

- 'Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me'
---Ed on 9/8/07


2. Mark

Caritas is the English translation of the latin word 'caritas' to describe 'Love' or 'charity' (generosity of spirit / compassion). This is the word that many of the first Christians would have used and which the Catholic Church still uses to describe the Love that Jesus said we have to demonstrate to God and neighbour as being the two most important commandments of Christianity and on which all our faith rests.
---Ed on 9/8/07


3. Mark

Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Gospel Matthew).
---Ed on 9/8/07


4. Mark

'Ed, you fight against faith alone because your church don't believe it'

Our Church believes in faith with caritas (or compassion / generositry of spirit). Jesus says very clearly that the two most important commandments are to love God and neigbour. St Paul says that faith without without love is 'nothing'. And he gives us examples of what love is (as does Jesus throughout His teachings, and by his very life and sacrifice).
---Ed on 9/8/07


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5 Mark

Jesus said the most important prayer is 'Our Father'

......... 'thy will be done on earth'

- carrying out the will of God is crucial in our daily life. Not just having faith in God but carrying out His will 'thy will be done'. God is love. God's will is love. Carrying out God's will is carrying out God's love - this is what Catholics mean by 'works'.

No love then as St Paul says, the person of faith has nothing. Or as Catholics say, 'dead faith.'
---Ed on 9/8/07


6 Mark

Lastly, don't make the fundamental error of confusing pelagianism or semi-pelagianism (the error of trying to save oneself by one's own will) with carrying out the will of God. Church.

Those who think that faith is enough and that God does the rest are misleading themselves and others.

Works isn't only about compassion.
---Ed on 9/8/07


7. Mark

It is also about praying to God, continuosly (that takes effort). Fighting internal and external tempations (that takes effort). Choosing God over sin. God is the Creator but He is also like a father or a mother (like children we must get up off our feet and do things even though our parents could do them for us - if we don't then we don't mature, don't grow up - and remain as children).
---Ed on 9/8/07


8. Mark

God is all powerful. But that isn't the point, here. The point is that God wants us to stand up and mature and grow in faith and love towards Him (and our neighbour). The hardest thing we must do is have trust in God. Having trust is about having real faith. Not just having faith in God when things are going well and life seems easy.
This isn't just a Catholic view-point. There are Protestants, all over the world, who believe this too.

Take care and God bless (and me).
---Ed on 9/8/07


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Mark V, the Latin word "caritas" means "charity" and has been used by the Catholic Church as "love" for centuries. Latin was not always a dead language and even Protestants seem to use love and charity almost interchangably in the scriptures - for example, read 1 Corinthians 13, the KJV and the Douay-Rheims use the word "charity" throughout, but most other translations use "love" in its place.

I do not know where you get "face" from.
---lorra8574 on 9/8/07


Mark V,
Taking Ed in CONTEXT, you should know that he would
have quite a Latin exposure, being that he is Catholic. The
word he used "caritas", means love or charity. Do a Google
search for "charity,etymology,dictionary". Also all these are
synonyms: MERCY, CHARITY, CLEMENCY, GRACE,
LENIENCY. A synonym being: "a word having the same or
nearly the same meaning as another in the language".
---Nana on 9/8/07


Mark V,
In the parable of the Samaritan that teaches who our neighbor
is, the word MERCY is used in Luke 10:37: A he said, He
that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and
do thou likewise. It is simple, Love God and Love neighbor.
I too agree that without love we can't even begin to speak of
faith.
---Nana on 9/8/07


Mark V,
I John 4:20: "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his
brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he
hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21:
And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth
God love his brother also."
---Nana on 9/8/07


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#4. Ed, James had already stressed that salvation is a gracious gift (1:17,18). Second, in the middle of this disputed passage (v.23), james quoted Gen. 15:6, which forcefully claims that God credited righteousness to Abraham solely on the basis of his faith( 1:17, 3:24, 4:1-25). and third, the work that James said justified Abraham was his offering up of Isaac (Gen. 22:9,12) an event that occurred many years after he first exercised faith and was declared righteous before God (Gen. 12:1-7,15:6).
---Mark_V. on 9/7/07


ED - I know your born again. I wish you'd try a good church (hahhaha) but you have a great soul and your very patient. I read all your posts and really have learned a great deal of appreciation for your church. Still don't agree but I can appreciate.

your right - no one should have to defend their relationship with God.
---Andrea on 9/7/07


Ed, You said, "Without love faith is useless" First of all can you show me where in Scripture that is at? Second what does love and works have in common? What does doing works, have to do with love? You also said, "Caritas is about following the will of God", where is that in Scripture? You are building a whole new religion here Ed. Carita's is "faces" How is faces have to do with love? You mean if someone doesn't show a good face, he has no love, so he is not saved?
---Mark_V. on 9/7/07


#3. Ed. James 2:24 goes along with the whole context of the message concerning works and faith. This does not contradict paul's clear teaching that Abraham was justified before God by grace alone through faith alone (Romans 3:20, 4:1-25, Gal. 3:6, 11). Enough passages are given concerning grace. For several reasons it does not contradict, James cannot mean that Abraham was constituted righteous before God because of his good works:
---Mark_V. on 9/7/07


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#5. Ed, let me say with a very sad heart, that the Catholic Church has distorted the passage that seems to imply that Abraham was justified by works, when many passages teach that he was justified by grace through faith. Ed, you have to study hard to know the truth. There is no work involve when you have your mind is made up already. What good is the Bible to you? It has no value at all. Works is the reason so many don't have faith Ed. The very reason many will go to hell.
---Mark_V. on 9/7/07


#6 Ed, you fight against faith alone because your church don't believe it. No one is righteous before God Ed, not one thing in you is worth the sacrafice Christ did on the Cross. You will never be able to pay the debt you owe, unless you are born of the Spirit. I cannot help you there only with the Word of God, and I know that is not enough for you. It takes a miracle from God to make you see. Stop trusting in yourself, and put your life in God's hands. Trust in Him Ed.
---Mark_V. on 9/7/07


Mark V, P2: Part of "good works", which is what the scriptures prepare us for 2 Timothy 3:15-16, is obeying God's will. Jesus gave us sacraments, some are necessary such as Baptism (and confirmation) (Mark 16:16) and the Eucharist (John 6:53) and some are optional such as Marriage (Matthew 19:6) or Ordination (1 Timothy 4:14), and some are to help us when we need it such as annointing the sick (Mark 6:13, James 5:14) and confession/ reconciliation (John 20:21-23).
---lorra8574 on 9/7/07


Mark V, P3: The Sacraments are not a way of earning Salvation. They are God's gift to us. They help us to be closer to God and are not a burden.

Accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior does not mean that you can or should forget about everything else that He taught you in the scriptures. In fact, the most frightening (and ironic) development of Sola Scriptura has been the move away from the scriptures in favour of a few select texts and the "holy spirit".
---lorra8574 on 9/7/07


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Mark V. The Catholic Church does not teach that we "earn" our salvation. Read our Catechsim. Two, "Faith without works is dead" is a pretty straight forward concept. Yes it is reasonable to presume that true Faith inspires good works, but then should it not also follow that the lack of good works is a sign that you do not have true faith and therefore not saved?
---lorra8574 on 9/7/07


Helen

Jesus revealed important truths about Christianity to Paul after He had died on the Cross and being resurrected. God, as we know from the old testament reveals his teachings through other men - prophets and religious leaders - and even after Jesus's ministry, death and resurrection God reveals more teachings - most famously - in the person of St Paul.
---Ed on 9/7/07


2. Helen

Nor does it say anywhere in the Bible (please show me if i am wrong) that He will stop revealing His truth to men once St Paul has died. In fact the Protestant reformers, as well as Catholics, accept this as well. As i asked you before do you reject all the divinely inspired teachings of Augustine of Hippo - the most famous of the early Church fathers?
---Ed on 9/7/07


3. Helen

Again you have replied to me regarding how God deals with issues such as moderm artifical contracpetion, modern medical issues such as stem cell reserch, whether it is possible for men to fight in a war or not - and the exact nature of the Trinity that Protestants, as well as Catholics, agree on is based on theology based on scriptural authority(but the Bible doesn't give us a neat, black and white, formuala for the nature of the Trinity -
---Ed on 9/7/07


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4. Helen

we have to pray and use inspired divine teaching to understand it more comprehensively. It was the early Church fathers who first defined theologies such as The Trinity - and defined is an understatement - there were many who tried to oppose the theology of The Trinity at the time of the early Church fathers, putting forward the theology of Arius and others, instead).

Please comment.

Jesus Christ bless you (and me).
---Ed on 9/7/07


Alexia

Helen, nor I, are questioning the truth of the Bible (although Luther - and, incorrectly, in my view and the views of many others - did over the epistle of St James). We are discussing whether the whole truth of God is confined to the pages and print of the Bible.
---Ed on 9/7/07


Mark

Let us look at what James actually says:

'You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only' (James 2:24)

Luther and The Catholic Church were very much in agreement about what this meant. Luther just thought it was nonsense.

Protestants believe in justiftication by faith. Catholics BELIEVE IN JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH and works (works being love or caritas - and caritas is about FOLLOWING THE WILL OF GOD as opposed to our own will.
---Ed on 9/7/07


Ed - ("people such as St Paul (who never knew Jesus).") -- Paul DID know Jesus. Jesus saved Paul on the road to Damascus in the Book of Acts.
---Helen_5378 on 9/7/07


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Helen you say The bible is 100% of God's truth. If one diagrees God is a liar. NO..lol...it makes the book a liar. You cant confine God to a book. Your logic is so incredibly absent. it a, b and then c, you cant just say a, b q.
---alexia on 9/7/07


Come on Mark

You know don't you, that Luther, the founder of the Protestant Reformation, and who based the Reformation on condemning works actually referred to and condemned the epistle of St James in the Bible as an 'epistle of straw'.

St Paul says very CLEARLY that WITHOUT LOVE FAITH IS USELESS. And Jesus says that the two most commandments are LOVE GOD and man.

Works = Love. Faith without love is dead. Love is following out the will of God. God is love.
---Ed on 9/7/07


2 Mark

Just as some in the Catholic Church were guilty of pelagianism, some reformers in the Protestant camp went to the other extreme and introduced dead faith. Dead faith being the opposite to pelagianism. Both are as bad and dangerous as the other.

We must focus on what Jesus said: 'two most important commandments are love God and neighbout' and St Paul: 'faith without love is useless.'
---Ed on 9/7/07


Ed, St. James did not say salvation is by works. He said true faith results in works. "If no works, it was not true faith, because true faith produces good works. The Catholic Church began this teaching of works and is found all throughout almost every church. Trying to earn their way in. You can be the nicest guy in the world, but if you cannot give a cup of water to a desciple in the name of Jesus Christ, it means nothing.
---Mark_V. on 9/7/07


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1. Helen

'ALL of God's truth IS 100% confined to the Bible'

- that is so black and white as to be absurd.

The Bible is not just a code of law. I mean how can a code of law explain the mystery of love (and Jesus says that the two most important commandments are to love God and neighbour).
---Ed on 9/7/07


2. Helen

Jesus doesn't give us a legalized version of what love is (that would be absurd - a lover doesn't give her husband a codified definition of her love for him and vice-versa) He gives us various examples of what love is through stories, through parables - not just describing, but more importantly evoking the spirit of love (i.e The Good Samaratin).
---Ed on 9/7/07


3. Helen

Some of the Jews criticized Jesus because He failed to give them clear-cut, legalized answers. There is often an element of mystery (that makes us think and reflect) to what Jesus says.

And in order to understood, fully, what He says, we need to pray for the Holy Spirit (Who God, one of the three persons in The Trinity) to make full sense of what is written in the Bible.
---Ed on 9/7/07


4. Helen

When you say that the truth of God is confined 100% within the Bible you leave out the role of this part of The Trinity - this part of The Trinity who inspired the prophets and people such as St Paul (who never knew Jesus).

Do you know of St Augustine and the early Church fathers? Do you believe that we are meant to disregard everything they taught about Christianity (Luther and the other Reformers of the Reformation didn't).
---Ed on 9/7/07


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5. Helen

Or how are you going to come to an understanding of what is a just war and what it isn't (St Thomas Aquinas).

Or how are you going to come to an understanding of the morality of condoms or adult stem cell reserach without theologians - both of which are not overtly mentioned int he Bible because they are modern inventions.

---Ed on 9/7/07


6. Helen

Theologians base all their theology on the Bible but at a certain point a theologian will assert something that cannot be read directly from the Bible but maybe be inferred from looking at various biblica texts together (i.e The nature of The Trinity). In all this theologians base their theology on the Bible and also by praying to the Trinity for a full divine explanation.
---Ed on 9/7/07


6. Helen

A code breake won't necessarily understand something just on its own (he might do) but often has to put-together, compare and analyze various clues to get the overall picture.

Take care and God bless
---Ed on 9/7/07


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