Re: Hades shall not prevail
- Dear Mark,
I can relate to much of your experience. I was also raised Catholic,
went to Catholic school, and served as an altar boy, but I was not a
Christian then as I would now understand it.
Protestantism did not come out of nowhere. It was not a new religion,
but a reform movement within Catholicism. That is why its origin is
known as the Reformation.
Matthew 16:18 indicates that the church would not ultimately fail in
God's purpose, but it does not mean that the church would not go
through periods of change. Look at it this way: Even Catholicism as
we know it today is very different from the church of the second and
third centuries (or even of the fourth and fifth centuries).
Christians of those early centuries held views that differed in
significant ways from that of evangelical Protestants AND of Roman
Catholics. That is because the church was not and is not perfect or
An interesting book in this connection is B. B. Warfield's classic
study _Augustine and Calvin_. Warfield argues that in his doctrine of
salvation Augustine (the great theologian of the late fourth and
early fifth century) was closer to Protestant evangelicalism than to
Catholicism, while in his doctrine of the church Augustine was closer
to Catholicism than to Protestant evangelicalism.
In Christ's service,