Nothing New Under The Sun

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.--Ecclesiastes 1:9

Those who read on other message boards where Bible-believing Christians engage Catholic apologists in doctrinal discussions may have noticed a peculiar characteristic of virtually all those who would stand for Rome. It is just about impossible to pin them down on anything they may write. Like 'Mother Church," champions of the Catholic religion tend to be very slippery indeed when exchanges focus on matters of Catholic doctrine. This can be frustrating to the Christian apologist, but it's nothing new.

Puritan preacher and theologian John Owen commented on the slippery nature of some apologists in these scathing words:

Now it is no easy task to state just what the actual viewpoint of these men is on the value and perfection of the Bible. Not only do they contradict each other, and all babble on most foolishly and spitefully in explaining their own thoughts and opinions, but also they, to a man, play and toy with words and their meanings and definitions, and they invent totally new and unheard-of expressions in order to impress or the result is that there is little left as a residue of firm meaning which a sound intellect might grapple with. It is far easier to overthrow their opinions than to understand them in the first place! In fact, once the layers of tricks and deceit are peeled away, and the remainder is set forth in plain daylight and unornamented, then it will at once be seen to be so shameful, so disgraceful, as to be immediately self-destructive of any who are not equally incorrigibly wicked themselves! This is because their teachings are deliberately stitched and patched together so as to deceive. They can mean either anything at all, or nothing at all, at will, and their whole skill and art lies in speaking so laboriously and convolutedly as to prevent all possibility of the accident of being understood!--John Owen, Biblical Theology, trans. Stephen P. Westcott, Soli Deo Gloria Publications, Reprint 1994, pp. 821-22)

Wow! Old John's words, written three-and-a-half centuries ago, certainly do describe a number of Romish apologists I have tangled with over the years.

Be encouraged. The frustration you may experience when dealing with Catholic apologists is nothing new. Christians have been putting up with false teachers and false prophets for a very long time and those who serve Satan haven't won yet.

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