It still amazes me, though it shouldn't, how a clearly intelligent man like Catholic Nick can interact with Reformed bloggers for years and years and yet still fail to grasp the most elementary distinctions because of his Rome-leaning bias. A robust Protestant view of ecclesiology seems so foreign to him that maybe he is literally too far under the surface of the Tiber that everything looks muddy and brown.
Sure, I can understand that's what you think about what infallibility is, but it does not exist in real life. And a false claim to infallibility doesn't get us anywhere.
Who cares about infallibility, BTW, if one is RIGHT about something?
The Judaisers DID go on Judaising. That's why Paul had to write Galatians and parts of 2 Corinthians and Philippians. Did you just forget that part? You keep acting like true authority or infallibility would lead to everyone agreeing, including enemies of the faith, but that's not true in the early church nor in RCC throughout history.
Take (almost) any doctrine and notice how some Protestant somewhere will deny it on the basis that the Protestants who believe it are not infallible.
But what do I care about "some Prot somewhere"? Why don't you actually argue in a way that is relevant here? I certainly don't argue that way! If a Prot is wrong about something, it's b/c he's WRONG; I never mention infallibility unless someone falsely claims it for himself.
This is precisely why no Protestant is bound to accept the Westminster Confession,
But what relevance does this have? The Confession is the authority for Presby churches; it serves to make it easier to identify who really agrees with them and who doesn't and thus to call ppl to comply with the set doctrine or to join another church (or to be called out as heretics).
LOok, you HAVE to realise that it's the exact same situation with RCC. Either someone submits himself to RCC and its confessions, or one doesn't. It's as simple as that. There's no force involved, and the authority you think RCC has is only applicable to those who agree to listen to that authority. It's the same with WCF and Presbys.
People can submit to it in the same way an employee submits to the office rules, but that's by no means infallible or binding on all Protestants.
Trading on an inconsistent comparison, like you always do.
It's binding on all WCF-PRESBYTERIANS. Just like CCC and Magisterial docs is binding on all RCs. But you need to compare church to church. Not "Protestants" as a whole.
And from that you can see that it's plainly ridiculous to speak of each and every denomination having their own distinct formally established dogma.
Why is it ridiculous? Each one DOES.
You're not distinguishing between "The Church" and "A Church".
Actually, I did so very carefully. That's why I said "A Prot church".
There is only One Church in reality, with various local manifestations (e.g. parishes), but not in Protestantism
That's completely untrue. I completely affirm that there is only One Church in reality, with various local manifestations (e.g. local churches). Just like in the NT.
There are no "parishes" in the NT, BTW.
In Protestantism, everyone is autonomous
Your Romanist blinders don't let you see the double standard you're using.
What do you mean by "autonomous"?
there is no single denomination where everyone comes together.
You make my point for me, by saying it depends on the denomination you have made church authority worthless.
How so? What authority does the church have over outsiders?
What authority does RCC have over outsiders?
Now anyone can go and start their own denomination and make themself pastor
Anyone can do that with RCC as well, and RCC either intervenes and says "you're not of us" or it doesn't.
Same with PCA as well - someone could do so and call themselves PCA and PCA either intervenes and says "you're not of us" or it doesn't.
Further, there is always the question of the JUSTIFIABILITY of that guy's going off by himself. How does RCC handle the problem that there will always be split-offs? We've seen clearly how they did it in the 16th century - they threaten the lives of the splitters.
You're evincing a 16th-cent mindset; you apparently prefer RCC to operate with force against those who leave RCC. Nice.
All a dissatisfied Presbyterian has to do is go start his own Presbyterian denomination and just rename it.
All a dissatisfied Roman Catholic has to do is go start his own Roman Catholic denomination and just rename it.
That means the PCA is just a bunch of men pretending to have authority over Christians when in fact they hold no divine authority at all.
They have authority over THEIR OWN CHURCH - Matthew 18, Hebrews 13, Titus, 1&2 Timothy.
Just like RC priests and the Magisterium have authority over THEIR OWN CHURCH.
You have not given any indication there is one church Jesus approves of above all others. I
You didn't ask.
He probably approves most of the church that has the best doctrine and conduct. Like in Revelation 1-3.
Just b/c He approves MOST of a given church doesn't mean that other ones aren't true churches.
I have, which I why as a Catholic I say the Catholic Church is the one true Church.
Good for you, but your mistaken assertions mean nothing more than that you are mistaken.
What you're saying is that either there is no way to know which denomination Jesus approves of above all others, or that Jesus doesn't really care where you go as long as you join one.
As long as you join A GOOD CHURCH, there is plenty of reason to think you're doing your due diligence.
In other words, the original Church Jesus established flopped at least once, if not multiple times, and fresh new start ups had to arise from the ashes whenever a prior church went bad. That's pure Mormonism
Yawn. Of course the original church***ES*** flopped. When's the last time you read the NT?
The epistles to the Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Titus, Timothy, of John, and Jude, and 3 of the 7 churches in Revelation 1-3 show that early churchES had serious doctrinal problems even in the lifetime of the apostles.
It's not Mormonism, since no one is claiming that the true church totally disappeared, only to reappear in the form of a polytheistic cult later.
Maybe you could exegete Matthew 16, showing that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" means necessarily that "the church in Rome will never experience deadly doctrinal error" or "21st century people will always be able to find definitive historical evidence that Jesus' followers existed in force for a continuous flow throughout history". I'll be happy to see your exegesis along those lines.
There is no historical continuity from Christ upto now in your view. To you the Early Church Fathers practiced an extinct form of Christianity.
Your Romanist bias prevents you from dealing with my true position. You've had so many opportunities to be corrected on this; I'm losing hope that you'll actually ever even be able to deal with a real Protestant position. It's like you're stuck arguing against fading memories of Chick tracts.
The NT does not give a list of Majors/Essentials
Not a list per se, but it certainly seems a pretty shallow mindset to demand a list. Perhaps God preferred to reveal His essentials differently.
And the NT does split out majors/minors quite clearly in numerous places. John 8:24, pretty much all of Galatians (which, of course, condemns RCC quite vociferously), Revelation 1-3, etc. And 1 Corinthians 8 and Romans 14.
It's like you're not even reading. I've now told you 1 Cor 8 and Romans 14 thrice; when are you going to interact with them?
If it did, then there would never have been debate on issues such as paedobaptism between folks like White and R Scott Clark in the first place.
Proof ≠ persuasion.
Be consistent; your argument proves too much - The RC Magisterium does not give a list of Majors/Essentials, nor can such a list be derived. If it did, then there would never have been debate on issues such as filioque between folks like RCC and EOC in the first place.
Or ...then there would never have been a debate on issues such as predestination in earlier RCC. Or of various Marian dogmas. The role of relics.
The list goes on and on. When will you actually take this into account? RCC does not have the unity it claims it has!
There is no "the church" in Protestantism to be able to follow Our Lord's instructions.
Sure there is. There's the local church.