The Modern Age: The Post-Tridentine Catholic Church, The Eastern Orthodox Churches, and Mainstream Protestant Christianity


I. The Post-Tridentine Catholic System

A. The Church cannot promote falsehoods because it is divinely ordained

B. The Church holds the keys of salvation

1. Including the Bible

2. Obedience to church hierarchy affirmed

C. There are seven sacraments and only priests can perform them (with a few exceptions): affirming sacramental system

1. Mass is a sacrifice

D. Ongoing tradition validates later additions to the faith such as the cult of saints, purgatory, images and indulgences

E. Good works count, so treasury of merits is valid

F. The whole church has been given to Christians, not just the Bible

G. Salvation and revelation didn't occur just once but are ongoing: "apostolic traditions" + the Bible

II.The Eastern Orthodox Churches

            A.  The True Church is the Church of the 7 Councils

                   1.  Nothing can be added to the Church after that.

                   2.  That lets in  the cult of saints, veneration of icons, and devotional practices

            B.  The Church holds the keys to salvation

             C.  Obedience to the Church hierarchy but not to the bishop of Rome

III. The Protestant Christian System, generally

A. Catholic Church is incapable of reform because they believe that

1. spiritual power is above temporal power

2. only the Pope can interpret the Bible

3. only the Pope can call a council

B. No distinction between clergy and laity: priesthood of all believers

1. Therefore, temporal powers have spiritual jurisdiction too

2. The priest is only a functionary

C. All Christians can read and interpret the Bible for themselves.

1. The Bible is a transparent document.

2. Everyone will come to the same conclusions.

3. God's grace gives everyone the ability to understand the Bible.

D. Salvation occurs in this world.

1. Everyone has a calling, not just priests and monks

E. Salvation occured just once (Jesus's death).

1. Mass is not a sacrifice.

2. Priest does not represent Jesus.

F. Revelation occurred just once (Scripture).

1. Things promulgated since then have no validity: purgatory, cult of saints, some Biblical books, statues and images