Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Christian Answers"

I stumbled across a website called "Christian Answers.net."

I can agree with a lot of what I've read on the site so far (not that I've read much), but there are some oddities, which is why I'd recommend reading Catholic sites instead. Here are some of the problems I ran into on their "Aren't all religions the same?" page:

I found this statement strange: "Actually, true Christianity is not a religion, but a person, Jesus Christ." I'm not sure this makes any sense. According to Peter Kreeft, the three aspects of all religions are "creed, code, and cult" or "theology, morality, and liturgy." Now, Christianity can be summed up as "Our relationship with Christ" [see The Relationship], but these three aspects are a part of that relationship. Also, Judaism, Islam, and other religions can sum themselves up as "Our relationship with God (or the gods)." This means that Christianity, unique as it may be, is a religion. Now is Christianity Jesus Christ? Is my marriage the same thing as my wife? That's a silly question. They are confusing the person of Jesus Christ with the abstract concept that is Christianity.

Really, this is just another group trying to convince those folks who say, "I like faith, but not organized religion," that Christianity isn't what they think it is. But saying that Christianity is not a religion is either ignorant, or worse, deceptive.

Another strange thing they did was this: first, they identified themselves as being "Orthodox Christian" at one point when comparing the Christian versus the Jewish views of Jesus. Then they claimed that "Christianity" believes in "the Bible alone" while Roman Catholicism (notice, this is something different from "Christianity," and they lump it in with Mormonism and Christian Science) believes in "the Bible plus."

While I can concede that Catholicism does rely on "the Bible plus," I obviously cannot agree that this means we are not Christians. In fact, this accusation would also apply to the unmentioned Eastern Orthodox churches. This puts the writer in an odd (but not uncommon) position of arguing that the two oldest, and most traditional, branches of Christianity are not orthodox, despite their strict adherence to the early Christian creeds which define the central tenets of Christian orthodoxy.

Further, I would argue that while we are "Bible plus" Christians, we are still "God's Word alone" Christians. This being the true barometer for the fullness of the faith, we are left noting that these Protestant Christians are indeed relying on "God's Word minus," and they are even relying on "the Bible minus" since they have removed certain books from the traditional canon, and since they interpret away verses that contradict the "pluses" they themselves have added, these being the very concept in question, sola scriptura, and its brother, sola fide, along with their popular cousin, "disagree with everything the Pope says if at all possible."

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