Anti-Catholicism I have spent

September 18, 2003


I have spent the last couple of days wrestling with anti-Catholicism. In 1846 the Presbyterian Church voted that anyone who left the Roman Catholic Church and joined the Presbyterians would have to be rebaptized, a ritual decision chosen specifically because the General Assembly of the PCA was convinced that the RC church was not really a Christian church.

Afterwards Charles Hodge of Princeton and James Thornwell of South Carolina got into a very polite but very serious argument. Hodge argued that any group of people who claimed to be Christians, who held a basic historical faith, and whose membership included at least a couple of truly holy people, was a true church. Thornwell argued that any body that proclaimed doctrines sufficiently wrong could not be Christian regardless of what they claimed, and that the RC church was comparable to the liberal churches that denied the divinity of Christ.

This matters for my argument because I see other Protestant churches using a variation on Hodge's argument as they went about building the Evangelical Alliance in the mid 1840s. I am having trouble making the transition from the public debate to the details of Hodges position.

But, this blogging helped me sort it out. That is why I blog about my writing.

And so to prep for class.

Posted by Red Ted at September 18, 2003 09:27 AM | TrackBack