Though the prof was kept away from recording by a snowstorm, this episode brings rejoicing for the wandering parishioner has returned! Yes, Kyle is joined by Scott in this episode. Together at last, they bring in a “ghost guest” in the form of Carl Trueman as they take a quote of his about the Roman Catholic Church and pontificate on it.
Trueman’s quote states, “Every year I tell my Reformation history class that Roman Catholicism is, at least in the West, the default position. Rome has a better claim to historical continuity and institutional unity than any Protestant denomination, let alone the strange hybrid that is evangelicalism; in the light of these facts, therefore, we need good, solid reasons for not being Catholic; not being a Catholic should, in others words, be a positive act of will and commitment, something we need to get out of bed determined to do each and every day.”
So the guys discuss the validity of this claim. Scott uses his lawyerly mind to dissect and clarify what the quote is saying. In turn, Kyle seeks to define and coach about its true sense. Together, they arrive at conclusions about the current state of the Protestant church and offer some of the “good, solid reasons for not being Catholic.”
It’s always good to remember why we’re Reformed! So get a refresher by tuning into this episode of 3GT!
4 thoughts on “Episode 276: Pontificating on Trueman”
Worst episode ever. As much respect as I have for Truman, his “default position” hypothesis is null and void when we consider the true, spiritual nature of Christian conversion. As Reformed Christians, we consider the Roman organization to be a false church due to their numerous errors, too many to mention. Jesus said “my sheep hear my voice”, a voice that is not heard in the Roman mass or in the teachings of Rome, writ large.
Therefore, it is categorically absurd to suggest true believers would flock to a false church that does not speak the truth of the Gospel of our blessed Lord and Savior just because of their institutional consistencies. True believers go to true churches to hear the voice of their Savior preached, sung, and prayed. They worship the Triune God of the Bible in “Spirit and in truth”. The RC collective offers none of these things. It is only the “default position” for lost souls who desire to cover their enmity with God with externally grandiose religiosity.
This is not intended to be a sinful critique but a critical comment intended to discourage such ivory tower pontification in future episodes. I have been listening to this podcast for a couple of years and this is the first time I didn’t finish the episode because I was so disappointed with the concept and content of this discussion.
Sorry it was the “worst episode ever.”
I do think, however, you’ve likely missed the point of Trueman. The salient point he’s after is that if we’re NOT going to be intentionally and self-consciously Protestant, then we don’t actually have a reason to be Protestant. Separation from Rome requires well-grounded reasons to be separate (like those you’ve provided). But many who call themselves Protestants these days don’t know what/why they protest. If in someone’s mind there’s not distinguishable differences between Protestantism and Rome, they’d best go back to the Catholic church. Of course, Trueman is ordained in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and so he has and knows his reasons for self-consciously not being Catholic.
On a personal note, I think more Protestants need to be self-consciously and decidedly not Roman Catholic. That’s why I like this statement by CT. If an evangelical cannot give biblical and conscientious reasons to reject Catholicism than I don’t see why they remain separate. It’s what I thought with the whole Evangelical and Catholics Together (ECT) debacle. If the differences are negligible, mere emphasis, or non-consequential, then go back to Rome. For my part, as a principled Presbyterian, it’s the difference between Christ and antichrist.
I think you missed my point entirely. As one who was saved while attending a true church where Christ is the head and the Gospel is preached, wherein would be the appeal to seek the comforts of the means of grace within the walls of the “anti-Christ assembly”, per your definition? For all the other Christians out there who were raised by Christian parents or saved within the walls of a true church where the true Gospel is preached, how could the God-less message of Rome have any appeal?
I suggest re-reading John 3, focusing on the necessity of spiritual rebirth. If we are in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, how could we then be so deceived by the assembly of the anti-Christ? As a member of the RPCNA, I don’t owe Rome, the Southern Baptist Convention, or any of the other thousand denominations in this land a letter expressing why I am not a member of their church bodies. Christian liberty and conscience preclude Truman’s false presumption.
I appreciate your defense of Truman’s position but you failed to address my concern. I generally appreciate your show’s content and will continue to listen to new content as it is released.
Little “c” catholicity is important to Trueman, as it was to our Reformed forebearers, and the ancient church. After all, we confess “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.”
If we are and will be separated from others for reason of protest, I hope one can actually articulate why they are separated and why such separation is necessary. If a reason cannot be given for the absolute necessity of such separation, we may come dangerously close to those “rivalries, dissensions, and divisions” that are the work of the flesh (Gal 5:20).
Protestantism was a response to Roman Catholicism, and if someone cannot give rationale for why Protestantism is absolutely necessary they might as well go back to Rome. You likely know the reason why separation from Rome is necessary. After all, the RPCNA confesses the Pope as an antichrist. But there’s plenty of evangelicals who see a negligible difference between Rome and Protestantism — one says tomato and the other says tomahto. Trueman is asking Protestants to be self-consciously Protestant…and it’s hard for me to imagine why any Protestant would be snarly about that.
I’ll let you have the last word if you want! Cheers!