I can trace each of these doctrines only as far back as the Reformation and no further. If you cannot name 2 person in each century, then I can only conclude that these Gospels and Doctrines are indeed inventions not contained in Holy Spirit inspired sacred scripture. The reason you were given the Zell test is so that you can demonstrate the following…

  1.  your beliefs were held as true by the early Church
  2.  Christ promises that he would be with this Church to the end of time… meaning that this church must hold these doctrinal beliefs in perpetuity
  3.  The Church must be a visible entity to all like the light from a city on a hill… it should be well known to have existed as a beacon to all.

If you can’t provide a single one, proving that the Reformation was a hodge podge of invented doctrines found nowhere prior, then we can only conclude that your whole theology is built on the constantly shifting sands of time with no foundation. While ours is built on a rock – how firm a foundation.



6 thoughts on “The ZELL CHALLENGE

  1. They are the invented doctrines from the Reformation. They are not scriptural and were never taught by Jesus to the Apostles, the Apostles to the earliest Christians and the Church Fathers never taught them as well. We first see these doctrines in the 16th Century.

    Total Depravity is linked (according to Protestantism) to original sin. According to Calvin, as a consequence of the fall of man, every person born into the world is morally corrupt, enslaved to sin and is, apart from the grace of God, utterly unable to choose to follow God or choose to turn to Christ in faith for salvation.

    Penal Substitution is a doctrine that the Catholic Church has never deemed a heresy, but we do not believe it the way most Protestants do. It is also know as Penal Substitutionary Atonement. This doctrine states that Christ died on the cross as a substitute for sinners. God imputed the guilt of our sins to Christ, and he, in our place, bore the punishment that we deserve. This was a full payment for sins, which satisfied both the wrath and the righteousness of God, so that He could forgive sinners without compromising His own holy standard. There is more to this doctrine that I can put up on a blog post. It is actually based on Anselm’s Satisfaction theory.

    Double Predestination is one of Calvin’s doctrines which many Protestants condemn or ignore. Some Protestants consider it a true Heresy (as we definitely do). Double predestination is the belief that God creates some people whose purpose in existence is to be sent to hell.

    I hope this helps sister.


  2. Total depravity is a logical continuation of the rest of Reformation theology… read on

    Original Sin
    When Catholics express Original Sin in two ways:
    i) Actual Original Sin – that is specifically the sin committed in disobedience to the Lord by the first parents of mankind for which they were banished from the Garden of Eden.
    ii) Effects of Original Sin – that is the loss of sanctifying grace, a concupiscence to sin and a clouded intellect which adversely affects our ability to reason and our conscience.

    The first, which is actual Original Sin is the sin of disobedience against the Lord. This is an actual sin for which forgiveness is required as it is a trespass against the command of the Lord not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Thus, man is created in a state of sanctifying grace, in a state of pure innocence and holiness without any knowledge of good and evil. Man does not require knowledge of good or evil but must live in accordance to the Divine Command not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge.

    When the first parents eat of the tree they immediately gain the knowledge of good and evil and at the same time take on all the effects which of Original Sin. Thus. Man takes on a sinful nature that is a propensity to commit sin. However, man does know, due to the knowledge gain, the knowledge of good and evil but due to the clouding of the intellect, loses the capacity to reason correctly which in turn affects the dulling of the conscience. This is the state into which all future human being are born into.

    Catholics do not regard the effects Original Sin as actual sin but a state of being, as sin cannot be inherited from one person in one generation to another. As this is the case, there is no actual sin real or otherwise other than that committed by Adam and Eve. It is their sin alone, not ours. However, we live with the effects of that sin. Sin itself has a ripple effect within society and that sin committed by the first humans had an effect on all generations since. Every sin affects society in a negative manner and this is not different from the effects of our first parent’s sin of disobedience.

    Due to the loss of sanctifying grace a great chasm opens up between the Divine and all his creation. No one can enter into heaven without this sanctifying grace. As original sin affects all of creation, all of creation requires redemption and therefore the Messiah. Jesus the Messiah is the source of both actual grace and sanctifying grace.

    The fundamental difference between the Catholic understanding of Original Sin and the Protestant understanding has created a greatly divergence with regarding fundamental beliefs and the resulting theological implication which give to an unbridgeable chasm.

    The mainline protestant understanding of original sin is very different in nature than the Catholic understanding of Original Sin. John Calvin writing in 1545 in the Institutes of the Christian Religion makes it clear that Original Sin is indeed an actual sin which has accursed the whole human race and made it absolutely and utterly depraved and no human endeavor can overcome this accursed degenerate state of man who is of sin and born into sin.

    As is demonstrate by Calvin, human nature is not merely damaged as is understood by Catholics, it is damaged beyond repair. Not only does man have a sinful nature, he is completely sinful. Thus, man cannot be good and is evil. Due to this Calvinistic view of Original Sin, no assent can be given by man’s free will because this will is completely and utter depraved incapable of giving assent. Thus, salvation, justification, sanctification are completely the work of the Lord alone, performed without our cooperation or our assent on those whom he has predestined to salvation. Since we have no actual function in the process of salvation, justification and sanctification there is only faith in Christ which can save one.

    This is at variance with Catholic Church’s teaching on the subject. Every step of the process requires the free exercise of the human will and human cooperation with the graces made available. Since man is not totally depraved but only a defective nature, man is able to cooperate with these graces. It is always the Lord who makes the first call and bestows graces but it is man who must engage the will of the Lord.

    The protestant view of Original Sin so fundamentally affects all areas of their theology that it denies purgatory, human free will, corporation with actual graces which flow from the Lord, the inability to become truly good and holy on earth, to live a sinless life, and many other areas pertaining to soteriology.

    Salvation – Justification and Sanctification
    Justification is the process how the Lord makes us pleasing to him. The process involves the forgiveness of actual sins and the restoring the lost sanctifying grace to begin the process of sanctification which draws us to holiness and into a closer and closer relationship with the Lord. Man has the free will to cooperate with actual graces or reject them. Cooperating with the graces results in prayer and good works which in turn makes more graces available. Here one should not think that they earn graces, but the Lord freely provides graces, which are unmerited to draw one closer to him.

    Sanctification is the process, not a onetime occurrence, in which a change occurs within the person, orienting them towards the Lord as the person who possess sanctifying grace is changed through the cooperation with actual grace towards the Lord. This sanctification is a process of growing in holiness and eventual deification in heaven.

    Thus, it can be understood that justification and sanctification occur at the same time. Justification involves restoring sanctifying grace which begins the process of sanctification. Thus, salvation is a continuing process in which man cooperates with graces and perseveres to the end, drawing closer and closer to the Lord.

    For the Protestant one is justified forensically, that is the Lord makes a declaration regarding you – Justified. At that moment your sins are transferred on to Christ and Christ’s righteousness is transferred to you. This is the justification in the eyes of the Protestants. Now, when the Lord looks upon the Justified, he sees Christ standing before Him and is pleased. Thus, Luther’s analogy regarding a pile of dung covered with snow is a fitting analogy of what transpires in this transaction.

    Thus for Protestants, Man, himself, plays no part in his own justification due to his complete and utter depravity. This justification is the election by which the Lord makes the elect his own, pleasing to Him, and this is the Lord’s choice the outcome which He has determined from the beginning of time. The Lord choses whom He chooses to save and damn, man can do nor say anything in this process of salvation and damnation which is arbitrary to his Will.

    For protestants Sanctification, sometimes known as regeneration is the process by which the Lord effects a change within man. Again this process does not engage the person, but is the work of the Lord within the person transforming him. Again, man has no part to play in the process of sanctification merely waiting on the sideline as this process is being performed upon him.

    A person who is already justified can never lose that justification as it is all the work of the Lord and not of man’s own self. Since the one who is justified cannot have the justification negated, whatever sins that the person may commit thereafter are either ignored or punished in this life, never in the afterlife. This once a person is justified, he can go out and murder, fornicate and steal and none of these make him or her lose salvation.

    Nature of Man
    If man’s nature is not totally depraved, there is no reason for the doctrine of faith alone. Faith alone is necessary only if man’s nature is totally depraved. When the first protestant reformers took man’s totally depraved nature as an axiomatic doctrine, there can be no other logical conclusion other than faith alone. Thus faith, grace, justification and sanctification are all gifts from the Lord given according to his benevolence to those whom He chose from eternal election for eternal life.

    The nature of man is at the heart of this question between Catholics and Protestants. If man is by nature utterly depraved and evil, then the central core doctrine of Faith alone stand as a logical consequence of this reality. This condition of utter depravity is a priori axiomatic to the reformers.

    However, Catholics do not subscribe to the concept of total depravity. We hold that man is essentially good, for the Lord does not create that which is not good. Since Original Sin is not actual sin but a state of being where we are given to our concupiscence to sin due to our disordered and clouded intellect which is the result of the fall, we can still manage to endeavor to goodness as dictated by Natural Law written in the hearts of all men.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “The nature of man is at the heart of this question between Catholics and Protestants. If man is by nature utterly depraved and evil, then the central core doctrine of Faith alone stand as a logical consequence of this reality. This condition of utter depravity is a priori axiomatic to the reformers”.

    Unfortunately there are so many doctrinal points that can be debated between Catholics and Protestants, total depravity being just one issue. The major problem of course is that there is no one Protestant stance on most of these issues. This of course is what happens when everyone starts interpreting Scripture on their own. It’ not really Sola Scriptura but “Sola Individualitica.” Religious debates then result in both sides quoting Scriptural verses that seem to support their view and simply ignoring those that refute their stance. Ask a person who believes that we are saved by Faith alone if a person can be saved with a dead faith and you will never get an answer. James 2 17 “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works , is dead”.
    Another question that I have never been able to get a Protestant apologist to answer is, Did Christ establish a visible Church with teaching authority? Does that Church still exist? and if it no longer exists when did it cease to exist?
    It’s all about authority.


  4. Hi Timothy,

    Please check out the NEWEST PROTESTANT HERESY ~

    The creator, Paul V. was on trying to defend his heresy.



  5. I reviewed the Newest Protestant Heresy and I guess there will be another new Protestant denomination!. Actually it reminds me of a joke I heard of the man who drove into the filling station of a small town. While he was pumping gas he noticed on one corner of the street there was a church with a sign First Christian Church of Lebanon. On the opposite corner there was a sign Second Christian Church of Lebanon. He asked the gas station attendant why there were two Christian Churches in such a small town. The attendant said, “Well there used to be just one Church but they divided over an important doctrinal issue. You see the members of the First Christian Church says that Pharos’s daughter found Moses in the reeds. And the members of the Second Christian Church, why they say “Well that’s what she (Pharo’s daughter) says”.
    I remember I used to love listening to the Bible Answer Man who interestingly has recently joined the Orthodox Church and he used to say something to the effect “In essentials Unity , in nonessentials Charity” but the problem is who decides what the essentials are? I remember debating with one exCatholic Protestant who claimed that Protestants only disagreed on minor issues such as the color of carpeting in their churches and rather the church should have a steeple. :Hmmmmm!


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