Joseph Blado critiqued my probabilistic arguments against Roman papal doctrines by deploying probability arguments, particularly Bayesian arguments, in favor of the papacy. He contends that there are good C-inductive arguments for papal doctrine that, taken together, add up to a good P-inductive argument. I argue that his inductive arguments fail, and moreover that there are three good C-inductive arguments against papal doctrine in the neighborhood of his failed arguments. I conclude by critiquing his retreat to what he calls ‘skeptical papalism’ as a last ditch sort of move to defend papal doctrine.
In their book, Roman but Not Catholic, Kenneth Collins and Jerry Walls make the case that certain beliefs central to the Roman Catholic faith are unreasonable. This article evaluates, from the point of view of Eastern Orthodoxy, some of the arguments Collins and Walls make. In particular, it argues first that Collins and Walls are correct to criticize John Henry Newman’s theory of the development of doctrine as a reason to accept otherwise insufficiently supported Catholic doctrines. Secondly, it offers some points of clarification concerning the matter of sacred tradition and attempts to show the areas of agreement and disagreement between Eastern Orthodoxy and the position that Collins and Walls articulate. Thirdly, it argues that Collins and Walls rely on what is, from an Eastern Orthodox point of view, a questionable view about the interpretation of scripture by assuming without good reason that the clear meaning of scripture is equivalent to the literal interpretation.
In chapters 9 and 10 of their book Roman but Not Catholic, Kenneth Collins and Jerry Walls criticize the Roman Catholic positions on the Eucharist as a sacrifice and on the ministerial priesthood. I reply to their historical and theological objections, and defend the belief that the Eucharistic sacrifice, the Mass, is a re-presentation, or making present, of Jesus’s redemptive sacrifice on Calvary, and a key component in God’s incarnational strategy for redeeming us.
I count myself privileged to respond to Kenneth Collins and Jerry Walls recent book on Roman Catholicism. I live in Fort Worth, TX, and I am a member of Wedgwood Baptist Church, which is one of more than 40,000 churches that together comprise the Southern Baptist Convention. I mention this so readers will know that my comments come from a conservative Evangelical Protestant perspective, and my thinking stems from a tradition that is decidedly not Roman Catholic. Having said this, I’m much more sympathetic to Roman Catholicism than a great many Evangelicals, including Collins and Walls. I offer my criticisms of Rome, but I ask that readers not interpret me as someone who denies that the Roman Catholic Church counts as a Christian institution. In an effort to show good faith on this front, allow me to offer some defenses of Roman Catholicism against what I take to be over the top criticisms from some Protestant Evangelicals.