Credo in Unum Deum

I Believe in One God

Why Protestants Cannot Prove that the Catholic Church is not the Exclusive Body of Christ

Orestes Brownson, maybe America’s greatest philospher and certainly most prolific writer, offers something along these lines as to why Protestant attempts to destroy the Church will always fail.First, the Catholic Church is in possession of the title “Church of Christ” and always has been in possession of that title. Therefore, the presumption is with the Church not the assailants of the Church (the Protestants). In a court, the defendant is always presumed innocent until proven guilty. If a group of citizens of a country declare that the current state government is no longer possesses the right or title of government, then the burden is on the dissenters to show that to be so.Burden of proof on ProtestantsSecond, any attack cannot be a mere assertion. Mere assertions can be rebutted by mere asssertions. E.g., Protestant 1: “The Church of Rome has left true doctrine”; Catholic Church: “No I haven’t.” Nothing gained by the Protestant and the Church is still presumed to be the Church Christ Himself instituted.Bare assertions will not score pointsThird, Protestants cannot use the Bible to backup their assertions. Prot. 2: “The Papists contradict the teachings of the Bible, like ‘There is only one mediator between God and man'”; Cath. Ch., “And where do you get your authority to interpret and teach Scripture authoritatively? You cannot say that the Bible gives you that authority, for that would be to teach from the Bible that you can teach from the Bible, which is to assume what you are supposed to be proving.” So unless the Protestant has a divine commission from a source that is not the Bible (a vision, a dream, etc., accompanied by signs and wonders proving your divine commission), then the Protestant has no recourse to the Holy Scriptures.Cannot use the Bible as a authoritatively religious book to prove Catholicism is not the One Church.Fourth, Protestants may, by the use of reason, draw logical inferences from Holy Scriptures that prove that there is no Church. So if a Protestant can find a rational argument from the Bible, one that clearly and expicitly or even implicitly states that the Catholic Church as she understands herself is mistaken or false, then we will concede the point. There is also recourse to natural reason: if it can be shown that the Catholic Church in Her dogmatic teaching truly and really contradicts either known natural reason or herself (that is, her dogmas contradict one another) then we will concede that the Roman Church is no Church at all.Protestants must content themselves with the use of natural reasoning alone.Since none of this has been, or can be, accomplished by those who rage against God and His Church, then we are left with two options:1. Bend the knee in submission to the holy Mother Church, the Body of Christ.2. Embrace atheism.Here is a link to the whole article. I left tons out and he explains it very well and what objections you may have to what I have here wrote should be cleared up.


July 24, 2007 - Posted by | Religion


  1. SWEET!

    I have nothing to add to Brownson’s arguments except admiration.

    Comment by Robin | July 25, 2007

  2. If we’re not focusing on what scripture states with regards to the way in which we live as Christians, we are simply following traditions established by man.

    Mark 7:1-13 1Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.
    2And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.
    3For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.
    4And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.
    5Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?
    6He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
    7Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
    8For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
    9And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
    10For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
    11But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
    12And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
    13Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

    There are too many aspects of Catholic tradition that constitute idolatry as opposed to faith in Christ for me to consider Catholicism as truth.

    2 Timothy 3:14-17
    14But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
    15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    Timothy knew the holy scriptures since he was a Child. All scripture is profitable for learning about and living God’s will for my life.

    Clearly you and I have different views that come down to who has the right to read scripture. Jesus, as a child before he was revealed as the Messiah, read the scriptures as a child. Timothy read the scriptures as a child. Where did they get their authority to interpret scripture? They were kids!

    I will not bend my knee to the church, but, to the head – Christ Himself. To do anything else is idolatry.

    Comment by graceMark | August 12, 2007

  3. I will state that I do believe that there are Catholics, as well as people in many other denominations, cultures, and times that do truly have a sincere love of what is right and good in Christ.

    Comment by graceMark | August 12, 2007

  4. I will state that I do believe that there are Catholics, as well as people in many other denominations, cultures, and times that do truly have a sincere love of what is right and good in Christ.
    Also your remarks did not deal with the line of the argument. You violated rule #2, No Mere Assertions, without arguing that you have the right to merely assert and for us to just nod our head obeyingly. (Is that a word??)
    If you Reformed folks are going to win back the ex-Reformed folks like me (I belonged to a very conservative OPC), you are going to have to deal with the real, existential, honest and hard questions that we asked- the answers having driven us out of that community. Just honest that’s all.

    Comment by Credo | August 12, 2007

  5. Where did they get their authority to interpret scripture? They were kids!
    Does the text say that? That is your spin on the text. You have to show me from some authority that you have the right to interpret Scripture. And that authority cannot be the Bible! Did Jesus tell you this? Who told you that you could decide what was true in terms of doctrine and interpretation? Answer these questions and you will see that Sola Scriptura is defunct. Like I said before, I love the Bible way too much to be a Protestant.

    Comment by Credo | August 12, 2007

  6. OK. This is a straight out question. When Pope John Paul passed away, how was the new Pope selected?

    Comment by graceMark | August 12, 2007

  7. 1 Timothy 4:1-6:

    1The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

    6If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.

    How about that for one, unequivocal scripture?

    Comment by dave | April 30, 2008

  8. “Like I said before, I love the Bible way too much to be a Protestant.”

    I’m catholic. I love Jesus too much to be a Catholic.

    Comment by graceMark | May 13, 2008

  9. I never called protestants uneducated… I am a bit confused by the rest of the post.
    Shalom, Salem

    Comment by Credo | July 3, 2008

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