There are two main issues that divide Protestant Catholics from Roman Catholics. Both groups claim to be catholic, that is, part of the apostolic, universal church of Jesus Christ. Roman Catholics believe we Protestants departed from that church in the sixteenth century. Protestant Catholics believe they departed earlier.
The theme of this opening chapter is one of the issues that still divides us: the source of religious truth for the people of God. (The other main issue, that of how a man is made right with God, has been dealt with in the book Justification by Faith ALONE!,published by Soli Deo Gloria in 1995.) As Protestants we maintain that the Scripture alone is our authority. Our Roman opponents maintain that the Scripture by itself is insufficient as the authority of the people of God, and that tradition and the teaching authority of the church must be added to the Scripture.
This is a solemn topic. This is no time for games. We must be searching for the truth. God has declared that whoever adds to or takes away from His Word is subject to His curse. The Roman church has declared that we Protestants are accursed (“anathematized”) for taking away the Word of God as found in tradition. We Protestants have declared that the Roman church is a false church for adding human traditions to the Word of God. Despite sincere debates by fine apologists over the course of nearly 500 years, the differences remain basically as they were in the sixteenth century. I will not say much new here, but we must continue to pursue the truth.
In spite of the difficulty of this undertaking, I am eager to join that historic train of Protestant apologists to defend the doctrine that the Scripture alone is our ultimate religious authority. I believe that it can be shown that this position is the clear position of Scripture itself. And I hope that, by the grace of God, those committed to the Roman doctrine of tradition will come to see the tragic error of denigrating the sufficiency and perspicuity of God’s own inspired Word.
Trying to define the Reformed faith simply and briefly is like taking a snapshop of the Grand Canyon at 50 yards: inevitably, something is going to get left out. Even an outline of it, though, is better than nothing at all, especially in these days when the American church desperately needs a revival of Calvinism.
That word Calvinism is much abused. Some Church of Christ believers and Baptists, for example, claim that when we of the Reformed faith use it, we are only proving their accusation that we are following a man, John Calvin. They, however, say they are following God and the Bible alone. It is really hard to believe they can be so naive, though. They read books written by and hear sermons preached by leaders of their own group and use these "man-made" works to give them a better understanding of what they believe the Bible teaches. The Reformed do the same thing with Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and others. We believe their teaching is closer to what the Bible teaches than anybody else's; we do not accept their teaching instead of the Bible. Only the Bible is infallible and authoritative; we just believe their teaching about it is superior to competing teachings.
A Study on Predestination by Pastor Wilder Voltaire of Dominican Republic:
I will be talking about the salvation or having eternal life, in this case, please, I ask you to turn off your “free will” or turn off your “choice”. And say to our Father right now: “Father, Your will be done on earth as it in heaven.”
In the social or economical side of our life God allows us to use the “free will” but still controlled by Him. Paul says: “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly; he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” 2 Corinthians 9:6. He is talking about giving which is the social side of man’s decision. He gives us an option here. Reap sparingly and reap bountifully are an option. And if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10. This is a social option or economical option. We can use the free will here. But we must remember there is a price to pay for every decision we have made which is under this sentence: “for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap”. Galatians 6:7. That’s up to us. It is an option.
Por esto, ya que por la misericordia de Dios tenemos este ministerio, no nos desanimamos. Más bien, hemos renunciado a todo lo vergonzoso que se hace a escondidas; no actuamos con engaño ni torcemos la palabra de Dios.Al contrario, mediante la clara exposición de la verdad, nos recomendamos a toda conciencia humana en la presencia de Dios. Pero si nuestro evangelio está encubierto, lo está para los que se pierden. El dios de este mundo ha cegado la mente de estos incrédulos, para que no vean la luz del glorioso evangelio de Cristo, el cual es la imagen de Dios. No nos predicamos a nosotros mismos sino a Jesucristo como Señor; nosotros no somos más que servidores de ustedes por causa de Jesús. Porque Dios, que ordenó que la luz resplandeciera en las tinieblas,* hizo brillar su luz en nuestro corazón para que conociéramos la gloria de Dios que resplandece en el rostro de Cristo. Pero tenemos este tesoro en vasijas de barro para que se vea que tan sublime poder viene de Dios y no de nosotros.