CVS Live Guest - 2020-02-15 - Philip Duncalfe

Author Streamed Saturday February 15th, 2020

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I met Philip on Facebook. He's an English guy who enjoys discussing theology with people, as he puts it. See for more information.

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These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
so we're back we're live I'm here with Philip Duncalf Philip nice to see you say hello hi nice to see you yeah well you can't actually see me but I see see no but nice to hear you you can see me if you play back the live stream but yeah my Oh as we were talking before the before the live stream have some technical issues I got some issues with my audio because of a Windows Update and you had some issues with hangouts and Facebook video call and finally we got it working on skype so why don't you just start by telling us a little bit about yourself because I don't know you from Adam who are you what do you believe and how did you come to believe in all that sort of good stuff yeah good question so I'm Phil I what I do so I work for a Christian organization evangelical organization that reaches out to international students on University campuses here in the UK let's go back a bit I'm the son of a missionary family my parents worked out in Papua New Guinea so I grew up there for 11 years so growing up in a Christian family Christian faith just to clarify this Protestant Christianity and went to university kind of didn't for a couple years probably had a bit of her I thought that I'd lost my faith but just kind of had to figure it out for myself for as relevant and some of the usual things with that you do in University until you realize that it's probably not the best life to leave and then I had a mate who or I have a mate who was a fairly new Christian at the time read a lot very much into apologetics I'm just really challenged me on my own faith I've grown up in here and despite being a new Christian and that really challenged me to just start reading to start figure out whether my faith was relevant to to everyday life turns out it is I do computer science engineering at university I then went into teaching in secondary schools for about eight years and then for a variety reasons I left teaching about getting on for two years ago now with two years actually there's probably 18 months so I I helped lead a local church in Guildford in in the UK there's southeast of London that was going through a fairly busy leadership transition at the time my daughter was diagnosed to the rare genetic condition at the time and teaching in general was pretty heavy so those three combined led me into a bit of a pit I wouldn't say faith wise or anything just more health family life balance wise which led me to question which things I could drop it turns out you can drop teaching and I resigned from teaching and two days later found the jobs that are currently worked for which was a really neat transition and very much confirmation that I was making the right choice and so now I work with international students meet loads of people from loads of different cultures and backgrounds and faiths help them settle into the UK which is kind of reflecting on it what I had to do when I came back to the UK for university I had to sort of learn to be British which is kind of interesting yes that's pretty much my story I helped lead a local church which is part of a non-denominational denomination and yeah that's that's pretty much my story at the moment I'm um I'm married and I have a kid is your wife on the same page in terms of the form of Christianity that you adhere to yeah yeah very much so so we actually met at university we were going to do different churches I was going to a Baptist Church at the time she was going to the church that we currently now go to and we decided after shrinking out we wanted to wash it together we chose to be in this this church I don't know if you have it in Canada is it's called new frontiers it's sort of house church movement in the 70s and then they have kind of become their own denomination I guess so yeah what about what's the connection with Chris date because I know that I interviewed him a while ago and I just recently published it and somehow I got in touch with you on Facebook I believe do you remember what the connection is there yes same guy that led me to figure out my faith and get into apologetics and things of that he had a book on his bookcase which was called rethinking hell and I said are you becoming a heretic and used the usual banter and rethinking how it was by Chris date my mate added me to the rethinking hell Facebook group and yeah really just over a course of three or four years I've interacted with Chris multiple times on Facebook I've had him on my youtube channel talking about Revelation and just over three or four years of I found that I've become convinced of the condition listview of help that he would hold as well and so yeah just interacted with him through online never met face to face but enjoy being able to discuss theology with him and probably agree with quite a few not all Minds not obvious that he has but with with regards to conditional ISM yeah we agree there do you agree with him that there's no immaterial soul no I say I listen to that that's one one place that we we differ I'd say it's one part wrestled with I think there are a lot of conditions that aren't dualists and I wrote a and essays part of my kind of processing this whole thing over an essay was can be found through through my website on how I've kind of contained it to one place on the Internet I do have other theological interests aside from help but this was more with me just processing my thoughts on the subject and it's kind of become a bit of a project and yeah so I've kind of processed the physicalism side because that's who I was reading when I was processing what I thought the Bible said and yeah on that on that front I'm quite happy to be a duelist i think there's i yeah i think when you unpick one tradition or one quite strong tradition the temptation is or at least the wrestling of other doctrines comes alongside that but i'm quite settled that there's a good case for dualism and yes or not on that side of things are probably disagree okay why is it important to acknowledge the truth of traditional immortality if it is true why is it important what are the top three reasons why it's important i can't think of any good reasons why just give me a couple yeah so it's something i've been reflecting on because I do I do believe my YouTube kind of might well have a shelf life in what I'm doing I don't want to be the guy that talks about how all the time but I found it quite liberating I I've come to conditioning because I see it in the text of Scripture and so as I've grown up Protestant I've see growing up Sola scriptura I think that has its own trouble sometimes I think I've really enjoyed some of the interactions I've seen on YouTube between Protestants and Catholics and just just hearing where the way of tradition is is quite interesting I think all Christians need some form of accountability and I guess my tradition at the moment is quite young in the sense of the group of churches that are belong to but even my church stream the majority of people would hold to the traditional view of eternal conscious torment so why why is it important which is is your question I think I've just found a collaborative liberating and that comes through a few things it come is liberating from from how I read scripture I I found that the most ardent defenders of eternal conscious torment do so at least on the Protestant argument I'm very aware there's a traditional argument with with the Catholic perspective but as I've engaged mostly with Protestants the most ardent defenders used three verses they use Matthew 25 the eternal fire eternal punishment versus eternal life and they use Revelation 20 and 14 and then they base everything out else through those filters and are not held to that view for a while but reading Scripture I see verses like to Peter 4:6 and Jude 7 where they use the examples of Old Testament destruction narratives like Sodom and Gomorrah and I say this is an example of what will happen to the ungodly I would never have heard I don't think I'd heard anyone separate out the difference between Gehenna and Hades before and the direct connections of mark 9 with ice I 6624 so mark 9 Jesus what financial is in Jesus uses the term Gehenna which comes from Jeremiah and the valley of slaughter which Jeremiah prophesized but to clarify Gehenna Mark quotes Jesus is using a reference from Isaiah 66 24 so you've got like this little triangle of a New Testament referencing Jeremiah's value of slaughter and Isaiah's vision of dead corpses as idea of where people will end up if they don't follow Christ so well is on the fence with this position and anyone listening to this vision anyone when I went I've done seminars anyone hopefully listening to me it's very much been a journey I don't want anyone to like just follow me because it's easy because it's emotionally easy I don't think that's a good argument at all but I wrestle with Scripture and and this is where I come to and I've found over and over again when traditionalists argue about how if they use the biblical language they sound like conditiona so if you talk about Romans where it says the wages of sin is death the end of being a slave to sin is death if you use Hebrews where God is a consuming fire if you use any of the Old Testament judgment passages like the rebellion of Korah or even though the punishment has always been death and so we look to Genesis even Genesis is the less they're taking away from the garden less they reach out their hand and live forever so there's all this language that shows the punishment of sin the wages of sin is death and the punishment will be death and and so even if I wasn't a condition astern I'm just utilizing the language of the Bible when I preach I sound like a condition list unless I have to preach on revelation 14:11 or revelation 20:10 so for me is liberated how I read the BIOS it helped me make connections through really difficult texts I mean the sodom and gomorrah narrative is quite a hard text apologetically speaking but if you see a God who is life and the result of rebellion against him is death it becomes a little bit more clear in my mind and so I found the old that's liberated the Old Testament for me so that that's one view one reason it's important I've started to connect the dots between the Old Testament and the new in a way that I've never done before and then another aspect I mean I've gone through a bit of a journey through trying to wrestle with the problem of pain in my own life processing stuff with my daughter and so I'm very aware there are some emotional connections that I might not have been aware of at the start of this process but I find a victory the the the new creation story when we've got revelation 20:1 promising this hope of a place of no more pain death or mourning or grief and me to have a realm where there's ongoing weeping wailing and gnashing of teeth that seems absolutely contradictory to to what eyes are twenty five in Revelation 21 are promising so for the second part of why it's important I think we as Christians need to have a very clear hope for what or understanding of what the hope is that we have and for me the hope it is that we have the hope in Christ's resurrection so we have the past hope we have the current hope which is a glimpse of the kingdom in the church whatever that might look like I mean I'm happy to flesh that out a little bit more and then the future hope of the new creation and and the reasons for that are all tied together so Christ died and it's through his death that we have his righteousness and we can enter into the new creation through him and have and a conditional ISM for me makes the most sense of the language that is utilized there that's kind of how how I've come to picture it and why I think it's important I know so many Christians who just don't look into this doctrine at all at all and I know so many Christians who had answered this badly and so far if I'm in a sort of environment where there's non-christians I haven't had too much option opportunity to do this in the moment but I'd be inclined to present two views kind of like what we do with Calvinism Mormonism or what we do with evolution and creation I'd be like look there's this internal debate here's the language you kind of make your decision that's kind of where I'm going with my YouTube channel is more just to show that this is a this is a secondary issue in my opinion I mean it could happen to disagree on that I don't think anyone should have to fear an eternal torment I don't think that's what I see in Scripture and I know a lot of people that have a really incorrect picture of what people mean when they say eternal torment and they pictured Dante's Inferno and all the all sorts of mess but yeah that's kind of why she is important is a clarity on Scripture really a clarity on what the Bible actually says rather than what we think it might say you know the question of authority is never far away when when I speak with a non-catholic Christians and so I have I have a dogma of the church that tells me that hell is eternal and the suffering is is never-ending and so that's all I need I don't need I don't need the Bible to lean on right and I don't I don't lean on my own understanding or my own private judgment of the Scriptures I'm free I have I have a lot of freedom in the church to explore the meaning the different layers of meaning in this holy scriptures and in tradition but there are limits put on that by the dogmas and the doctrines and even by the disability disciplines frankly I mean the non fallible fallible teachings of the church put limits practical limits on how far I can explore because I'm a child of the church today and the church today has a living Magisterium that is guiding me and giving me teachings and placing emphasis on certain teachings and less emphasis on other teachings and certainly the doctrine of hell is not being emphasized in the church today the Living Magisterium is not dealing with it because it's already been settled it's a settled matter we have the document the dogma firmly defined and so on and so forth so the question of authority really comes to the fore when I speak to any non Catholic Christian and it's I just wonder where where this church is that Christ built where do you think it is and has that church been given the charism of infallibility so that it cannot teach error concerning faith and morals or is it allowed to err and we're left with a sort of heard agnosticism where we can never really know what God wants us to know for our eternal salvation this is the underlying question of authority for me what do you say yes it is a bit it is a big question one I think Protestants need to wrestle with massively I think there are a lot of debates across denominations that are necessary shouldn't be as significant as they are and just as a little bit of what was going through my mind as you're saying that is I think there have been historical situations where the church has erred even as a Catholic Church and has needed Reformation throughout well with it within the council's that it's had my knowledge of those councils and the Reformation I'm still learning on those I mean I'm that I find interesting in my own sort of reflection of my story is the the thing I'm kind of jealous of a lot of Catholics is that they such a knowledge of the tradition of their church or at least people that engage in theology seem to and I'm I'm playing catch-up I've had a lifetime of delving into the 66 books of the Protestant Bible but I haven't got a knowledge of the tradition that covers the 2,000 years span since since Christ so I'm playing catch-up on that but I am also aware that yeah the church does have its forms of Correction where that authority lies for me I think all churches need their right there they're lines of Correction I guess it depends on where you define your these are the core doctrinal statements and for my church from where I am currently on this issue why I'm happy to be in the tradition called it a tradition have I only like were we 40 years old happy to be in the house judgment is we rely on act very we want to be the kind of church you see in the New Testament that lives in it in the community that serves the poor that teachers from Scripture that wrestles with these kind of issues and but ultimately teachers and preachers Christ crucified part of the reason that I joined the church that I did was I I do feel God has given me a gift of teaching I thought that was in secondary education for a little while but I think it's also in terms of digging into Scripture and sharing that with others and this house church movement means that I don't have to spend huge amounts of my life qualifying in that which I think has its own dangers I'm happy to admit that but yeah step into gifts that maybe other church structures who have hindered in some ways so the authority I have I rely I do rely on Scripture but I also rely on the faithful people Christians who love Jesus around me to correct me to bring guidance to challenge me and I rely on that to make sure I'm not going down rabbit holes of doctrine that I shouldn't so my authority my authorities scripture I would say the Holy Spirit I would say other Christians around me the church being the family of people that Christians that I am amongst and yes yeah this is so do you see it like the Holy Spirit is guiding the the church meaning that those who are members of the mystical body of Christ in a sort of anonymous or invisible way that anyone that's striving to follow Christ and accepts the Holy Scriptures do you think the Holy Spirit is guiding them on the essential saving truth so if we were to take everyone that's a self professed Christian worldwide throughout history since the time of Christ and we were to draw a Venn diagram of all their beliefs and that one little tiny spot where they all overlap that is what the Holy Spirit has protected do you think that the Holy Spirit has protected more than that because I I happen to believe that the Holy Spirit has protected more than that one tiny spot that's completely overlapped by everyone who claim to be a Christian since Christ lived for example the doctrine of hell is well established the doctrine the Trinity is well established we've got Christians who died today who deny the Trinity the purgatory is a dogma it's well established you know their Marian there's Mary Mary illogical dogmas that have been defined for of them these are well defined and they're well established and they're very few Christians outside of Catholicism who accept all of the dogmas that I accept and that I believe have been established by Christ Church by the church that Christ built they be established documented I can send you the link to the website where you can find the documents that define them and so it's it's quite a contrast between my worldview and yours when it comes to the essential saving truths and how the Holy Spirit Guides the church into all truth it's a very very different picture what it what's your perspective on that yes I just noticed there's a question on the live stream where the elders of his church where I am one of the elders there's that but yes sorry that's just me I'm on the distraction so yeah there's quite a lot in there too to hack I'm trying to gauge so that I was a little bit lost in the picture you gave advice yes sir what do you mean by the single point of overlap and you and I are Christians right yeah okay so let's look at the set of beliefs that you think are essential for salvation and the set of believes that I think are essential for salvation or essential to be a Christian and then those things that where we differ are outside of the overlapping area but that overlapping area like you believe in God the Father you believe in the Trinity you believe in the Incarnation there's a whole bunch of stuff that we have that we believe in common so yeah the more Christians we add those who profess themselves to be Christians the more Christians we add the smaller that overlap is going to become because someone someone's gonna come into the group in our Venn diagram if we add that third circle ideally they believe the Sabbath is on Saturday right do you believe the Sabbath on Saturday or on Sunday I mean the sign of the Jewish side yeah Jewish Sabbath is on Saturday but the the Lord's Day is to be celebrated and to be kept holy now that that's the dogma of the church we have to keep the eighth day of the week holy right and we no longer keep the Sabbath on Saturday so there are some seventh-day Adventists and different people who cling to a different teaching but so there if we just introduce one more person suddenly that overlap in our Venn diagram is getting show chipped away so if we added every everyone who claim to be Christian from the beginning of Christianity till now we're gonna be left with very very very very few doctrines that are essential and is it the holy spirit that is protecting just that tiny little overlap or is he or is it more likely that Christ built a church that that has the power and the authority to guard the sacred deposit of faith and to interpret the sacred deposit of faith and to unpack the sacred deposit of faith so we can draw out the implications of logical implications of that sacred deposit of faith and constantly and organically be growing this documentation we have of the established saving truths which picture seems more likely when you think about the Holy Spirit guiding and protecting the church yeah question I think in terms of protecting the church I think I've not really thought of it like that in in that sense so I don't really have have an answer to you I think in terms of core doctrines from what I see in in Scripture I yeah that the the ones that we would hold to are saving profession of faith in Jesus knowledge meant of his deity acknowledgement that and I'm probably going to miss a few but an acknowledgement of the Trinity and the the three persons in one one God head is baptism essential for Salvage is bout is essential I don't believe it is but I profession of faith in Jesus I would be no it is a difficult art and it's not like a difficult question I don't think it is a Salvation issue my question to a believer who says they haven't been baptized is why not and that should be your confession of faith really to an outside world so I would challenge people would challenge Christians that haven't been baptized to be baptized because that is what Jesus commanded us yeah I guess I'm a little less hard and fast on that on what makes a Salvation issue because I look at Salvation as I'm wary of making it a moment I'm it's a something that you you work out with fear and trembling at least on our perspective it may well be a moment to God and the person and their conscience but from the outside you're looking for a change you're looking for the fruit of the Spirit you're looking for the God to be working within them and yeah that's this kind of where we're all Matt can you take just a quick glance at a live chat and just address some other some which now saves you whereas that where is that referencing yeah so it's ours were saved by means of water which corresponds to baptism which now saves yeah I didn't say that as rude either a vote Christus Rex all right so yeah I'm happy to address the the requirement of eldership in my churches or I think he's referring to 1 1 Peter 3 in 1920 now you yeah Afghani one piece should have got my Bible finally I'm gonna be a bit well with you you want where did you say one Peters so I'm looking at the Reno anyone 321 there we go 321 symbolizes baptism now saves you also not the removal of dirt from the body with a pledge of a clear conscience towards God it saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ has gone into heaven and his echoes where I have angels authorities and powers and submission to him yeah I put weight on baptism and it does yeah profess to save from them from the face of it I I'm happy I'm happy with baptism I can't hurry up June so yeah okay I'm happy with baptism being it's the natural state of a person coming to know Jesus in the salvation journey yeah I put weight on it I guess just as a reason I'm not hard and fast on a Salvation issue is in the rarity someone professes faith in Christ like the thief on the cross and wasn't able to get down from the cross to be baptized so that would be my my response on that is what yeah what would be necessary for a thief and a cross to make a salvation itself ethic profession of faith that saves him yeah yeah that's so maybe maybe to take the pressure off a little bit you can ask me about my faith because I feel like I feel like I'm putting pressure on you and the people in the live chatting a little bit pressure but if you had any questions about why we believe what we believe or questions about authority questions about the Canon of Scripture questions about apostolic succession questions about Mary questions about hope yeah it might be it might be a good opportunity for you to dig a little bit deeper if you have questions if you I mean I don't want you to ask for the sake of asking but if you've ever if you've ever found yourself pondering these some of these questions now would be a good time and it might take make it a little bit more friendly box I don't wanna just be bludgeoning you with it's absolutely absolutely fine I kind of I'm quite happy to take the questions it's quite interesting the kind of questions that come up is in terms of why I guess one of the questions that I'd really love to dig into a little bit so you've got the X the extra book so I guess you don't see them as extra books but you have yeah like Judith and things that as I said I'm still catching up on the books outside of the sixty-six and some some regards it's not stuff that I've grown up with so I what is your defense of those books to a Protestant what why do you accept them as as canon and I know I could probably look this up I'll be interested in in you're yourself go-to response yeah it's just true it's just the tradition of the church I mean the church the church had a bunch of readings it had to consider as candidates and the church used tradition to judge those writings and to say which ones were in which ones were out and then over the course of decades and centuries gave the stamp of approval only formally and universally putting a stamp of approval on it the council of trent right but there were regional councils that did put the stamp of authority with the local bishops of those councils and so it's it's a long tradition going all the way back to the Septuagint translation into Greek of the Hebrew Scriptures and there are many many different collections of Hebrew Scriptures Hebrew writings but it was there many legends also in in the Catholic Church about this a to urgent how it came about with the holy men off in their own private quarters translating and they all came back together all 72 or 73 with him came back together with the same the same translation word by word I we're not obliged to believe that legend but it paints a nice picture of the sort of mystical the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit and with the subdue agent but like I said you don't to believe that literally but the idea is that the sub to agent was given the weight of tradition and it's a long-standing tradition and it got the stamp of approval time and time again and then formally and finally and universally at the Council of Trent so everything that I believe I believe because of the Holy Roman Catholic Church on the authority of the Holy Roman Catholic Church it has nothing to do with how I personally interpret Scripture never yeah yes there's there's never a time where I I asked myself Oh what is the teaching what is the teaching on this or that and I look it up in the Bible I always go to the church and the church points me to the relevant scriptures and the relevant tradition because secret the sacred deposit of faith contains tradition and the scriptures from my Catholic perspective so that's basically gonna that's basically going to be the template from my answer to every question yeah I get that yeah and yes I'm happy to to wrestle with Scripture and I love that for my own faith my faith is only deepened when I've wrestled the scripture and worked even just finding themes and how the Bible knits together and one of the things for me as I've been looking at this doctrine I've engaged it a little bit with this or Catholic works and you've got passages and Judith that seem to add - Isaiah's vision so where Isaiah's looking at corpses Jesus starts talking about these corpses being reanimated and and though and then Jesus doesn't talk anything about reanimation but directly quotes Isaiah so I wrestle and a little continue to wrestle with the the idea that they are they fit within the threads of of what you find the themes through Genesis to Revelation but that's something I think that the Holies the host communicates through his word to us and yes the church should be a structure that guides us and corrects us I so I agree with with that view of things that the church around the believers should be the guiding Authority which is where our eye is and the elder take this extremely seriously because of the the weight Jesus puts on teachers that misguide people through Scripture I'd rather not jump in a lake but I also want to encourage people to engage in Scripture themselves so they can check the authority otherwise I'm just some guy at the front of a church occasionally that speaks and so yeah that's so the the authority that I have comes from the Word of God and I rely solely on that and the correction comes both from the people in my the eldership team so I'm not the lead pastor or lead elder and then we have authority outside of us that is more relational than hierarchical so we ascribe to a sort of family of churches be we we do I guess have a apostolic kind of structure that we relationally have them oversee us and if we have issues within our church we go to and I would encourage anyone going into any church to have some form of structure you if you are going to a truly independent church there's just on their own what is their guidance where where are they taking you so there is a form of Church authority and apostolic authority that I subscribe to but through that it's very much a I I check what I'm being told by the apostolic authority against Scripture man it's a continual back and forth I guess in and dialogue with each other and prayerfulness and where we over issues we will pray about it and we will discuss it and we'll dig further into the word and we'll look at tradition of other churches but ultimately we we want to wrestle with the word of God in and figure out what God is telling us through his word I guess I've grown up a little bit weary of having the Word of God almost filtered down and maybe that's a Protestant weariness I guess yeah and I've inherited yeah so I'm learning a lot hearing that answer and it is an answer that I it must be very liberating to be able to do that and and I get that I get the freedom in that but yeah I don't really have an answer to that but I find it I find it fascinating well one you know one of the joys of being Catholic is when someone asks me something I just turn around and I ask what does the church teach so if you say what about hell I say what does the church teach and every Christian reads that Christ built his church right people in church on Peter or on Peters confession or whatever every Christian believes that Christ built a church and that Christ ascended to heaven and he promised to send the helper and the Holy Spirit and that Holy Spirit has promised to guide us into all truth but when someone asked me a question about doctrine and I say what does the church teach the question then obviously becomes where's the church what is the church mmm all Christians agree that Christ built a church but the question is where is it today and is that church guided by the Holy Spirit today so when I ask you what does the church teach about Hell where is the website of the church that talks about that doctrine or is that doctrine not essential therefore there's no document of the church on that yeah but I mean there are very few cases we need to examine either a particular doctrine is not important so the holy spirit hasn't documented it in the church or it is important and it needs to be documented for posterity in the church because we don't we we can't just reinvent the wheel every time someone comes in the next generation and reads the Bible and gets comes to a false course calls absolutely nowhere where is the church and where is the documented trail of established truths when heretics come along and the church corrects the heretics and then documents the right path the golden mean down the center between this error and that error documents the correct Christian teaching where is that where is that documentation today we have the internet and it's very easy to put for the church to put together a website and have these established saving truths in one convenient location that's what I have yeah yeah yeah what say you when someone asks where's the church today what do you say yeah so I would point them first off well let's look at Scripture so let's look at what the Bible says that's generally my go to with with things like this and can I interrupt you for a second yeah yeah go for it I just had a conversation on Facebook with a friend of mine he's Protestant and I asked him did Christ build a church he said yes and then I said where is the church he said the church is the Holy Scriptures and then we US interesting and they had a conversation for a few minutes and he denied that the church is the Holy Scriptures he reversed his answer and so I was forced to ask him again did Christ build a church then because it's not the scriptures like he initially claimed and I said no Christ did not build a church and then I simply asked him well why does it say in the Bible to create adult a church and he didn't answer but this is this is this is not to disparage the character of my friend it's we're not we're not expected to have the answer to every question about why not like like I said when I have a question I always ask in reply another question what does the church teach it's always going to be my answer so is there a church D Christ build a church and what does that church teach and you you pointed me to script so is the district is the church is the church Scripture yes or no if it's not then where is the church we can't we can't avoid this question it seems the only way to avoid it is to interpret away that part of Scripture that seems to indicate that the church is the pillar and the ground of truth and that Christ built his church and that the church will be guided into altered into all truth by the Holy Spirit and so on and so forth yeah I'll just try to work out in my own head or clarify when you use the word church do I mean a structure or famed framework that's been built it's up to you to interpret when Christ said he believed what did he mean he meant anything yeah he definitely built the church whether that looks like the structural organization and recording of the Catholic Church that we see or whether it's more like the acts Church of very much bringing leaders into succession teaching them as you go bringing in organizational structures to help the poor and deliver the deliver sharing the meal communion that kind of thing so yes Christ built a church do I mean a hierarchical organizational structure maybe not I kind of look to when I when I defined sure - yeah define church from the scriptures from acts mainly what I see it happening there with the early church yeah this is an interesting line that line of thinking that I wouldn't say the church is the word I don't I don't see how that works so I don't know if that answers your question it's just yeah causing me to think through what I mean by what church yeah it's not I'm not looking for answers I'm looking to give you food for thought and yeah you're not you know you're giving me food for thought this is just a conversation but is the Canon of Scripture never mind where it came from bu but is it open or closed meaning could other books be added to it and if not why not again one that I've taken through tradition to be closed yeah they already in that yeah oh we have our own traditions and we figure out where we stand on that is I guess as we go along our Christian journey and where where I'm at with that I yeah I do think that the there is no reason to add anything more to the pages of Scripture is the tradition that gave us the Canon and it gave us the fact that the Canon is closed is that tradition identical with the church meaning is tradition something that the church does is that what tradition is is there a logical connection between church and tradition or are those two isolated because you seem to be having a problem finding the church but you have no problem whatsoever identifying the tradition of the church so it would seem to me that if you point to tradition this is where we got the Canon this group of men sat down and discussed it and came up with the Canon and it decided that the Canon was closed so when I asked you where's the church I mean you point to the book of Acts but we see apostolic succession in the Bible we see that Judas was replaced by another apostle and so yeah the church and tradition are intimately linked would you not say yes yeah yeah yeah Tiffany so I've always defined church as a body of believers following Christ and it's that community that shares communion where it has people that are profess Jesus is Lord of baptized and that then leads to working out a different way of life than the culture around them and so as I define church the body believers bodies of believers generally need organizational structures as we see in at where that has led us to in the form of tradition is is looking at church history so when I think of church history I do look at Catholic Church history alongside Protestant history and try and find that mean thread that you discuss and I think my where I'm at at the moment looking at tradition is I'm very aware that the younger church streams the like the one that I'm part of we have a tendency to look at tradition with suspicion and I found that I have less suspicion than many and so I'm quite friendly towards the the aspects of tradition that bring us closer to who God is His Holy Spirit is and and aren't just these modern forms of worship that we have got ourselves into that don't seem to fulfill in the same way so one thing that's kind of led me into this conversation what I've been looking forward to this one is I saw a YouTube video of a Protestant guy going into a Catholic cathedral I'm just having a really nice conversation with the Catholic priest to a little star the Ellis family and that conversation is just so beautiful and and the the the part of my church tradition that we miss out on all that iconography all the symbolism that yeah the tradition of symbolism so when we go into books like Rev we almost starting from scratch sometimes so I think there are some significant weaknesses in these younger traditions that we need to learn from the rich history of the Christian tradition in all forms if we're going to survive beyond what looks like very much a kind of modern cultural reinvention of things or trying to redeem things that may not be redeemable I guess I don't know what I'm saying there but that was who's very much me just trying to explore what what traditions have been thrown out that we shouldn't and yeah and that's that's where we be open to this kind of conversation is is I I very much see just like within Protestantism there will probably be a lot of Christian believers that or people who label themselves Christians who within that Matthew 25 context won't be amongst the people that Jesus welcomes in but there will be a lot of Protestants that are and then just on the same side is with Catholics I think the same thing I think there's people who have a genuine saving faith that through by calls by God's grace they are working out their salvation through this fear and trembling and and working out what that means within the church tradition that they're part of and I yeah I guess I long for a little bit more the sort of barrier Barry's breaking down between various practices and I don't know what that looks like I don't know how that works I'm not quite sure I'm fully on board with some of the Catholic Church traditions in the sense of purgatory and yeah just some of those other other things you mentioned yeah yeah I kind of get it in the sense of understood answers I've heard and I'm not one to go all Catholics idol worshippers and and all that kind of stuff and I'll get actually I found myself defending Catholics from Boston she he say that and with a little information that I've gained but every Catholic off of him talk to is has explained it in a way that says it's not idolatry but then I'm more inclined to a few that Christ is the mediator and so I through through his death I have access to the Father and I can pray directly to God and I know I know that you can we do yeah and I know that to be the case I guess I just don't quite fully get why you'd have Mary and the Saints on the side other than that they're your friends and you pray to them as well yeah the holiness their example is important to us all so I want it I wanted to go way back to the beginning where you said that church doctrine has changed if you compare the teachings of different councils over the ages that is true but none of the none of the actual doctrines per se meaning infallible doctrines dogmas have changed it's only the disciplines or the pastoral directives and some of the non fallible teachings that have changed over time this is exactly what we mean when we say that we have infallibility in the church is that some of the truths are eternal unchanging truths protected by the Holy Spirit the church cannot teach error concerning faith in morals so those few definitions like they're probably maybe 500 or so that have been properly defined as infallible truth those 500 and change but the tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of directives and pastoral teachings have changed and change and probably should change and must change because of the nature of our finite creation here below things are in flux the changing times changing needs changing emphasis and so we should not be surprised to see the infallible unchanging truths accompanied always by fallible truths and by truths which are not necessarily fallible in and of themselves but which are subject to change nonetheless so we always need to keep in mind this this principle that in essentials unity in non essentials diversity and in all things charity so that's just a little event a little slogan of vatican ii but i really do recommend read the early church fathers on certain issues which are distinctively catholics such as the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist if you look into the early church fathers from the first century all the way through to the eighth century in ninth century and all the way till today actually but their fathers obviously are defined as ending somewhere in the seventh eighth centuries but if you read the early church fathers on those distinctively Catholic teachings you'll see you'll see that the tradition is there and any dogma that came later was also present early in the church but there was no need or pressure to define it so we we wait until the time is right to define it but we continue to believe it throughout the history of the church but yeah I just wanted to make that distinction very clear about the non essential teachings that can change yeah yeah is it just have heard quite a lot of Protestants quote that in essentials yeah T non-essential Stover stay yeah just in that says Jesu my ignorance really when were those infallible truths sort of dictated or came about from the Catholic Church they're not dictated it's not inspiration the Bible is inspired meaning that the Holy Spirit is a primary author of the Holy Scriptures and he wanted certain things written down and the the human instruments of their own freewill wanted to write down those things and only those things that the Holy Spirit wanted written down that's an active positive inspiration that's not what happens in the church what happens in the church is a bunch of sinners get together and they worship God they belong to the church they're striving to be submissive to Mother Church in to the Father the Son the Holy Spirit and because they're members of the church in good standing and good faith and men of good will and they submit to the church and they're able to hash out questions and defend the church from heresy and in the in that very ugly and messy and political process out comes the beautiful sausage right where you have the dogma is dogma pops out and the the the dogma that's well defined by the church is protected by the Holy Spirit in a negative way it means if you pop out this doctrine that's dogmatically defined as infallible it is protected from being wrong I mean you can't if you wanted for example there was a pope that wanted to teach err for the whole church to believe and he dropped dead just on his way to just set it into motion so the nation that may be a colorful anecdote but it gets my point across the church operates in a negative way preventing error from being taught now why don't we just sit down I'm often fantasized why don't the bishops get together and just random program a computer you could be able to talk about this program a computer to just generate every possible combination of teachings that could be remotely connected to Jesus Christ into God and to the church and to salvation and to more ality and to the Creed's and just generate them all and systematically go through all of them trying to dogmatically define them and those that are true will pass through because the the Holy Spirit will not have prevented those ones from being from being dogmatically defined it's a childish fantasy that I have but I do I do sometimes think about that it's kind of like that childish fantasy about the priests blessing all the oceans and all the clouds making holy water out of the entire waters and waterways of the entire planet it's a childish fantasy it's but there's some truth to it like and in a certain sense the all of the waters have been blessed right by Jesus at his baptism and and by the church in different consecrations that the church is made of the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for example that took place not before our lifetime I think in your father your grandfather your grandparents at a lifetime so there are there are a lot of large and sweeping movements in the church but there's a spiritual battle taking place so we work these things out like you said in fear and trembling and there's a lot of really messy details colored by politics colored by money colored by greed colored by sex of all things we'd read about some of the Pope's in the Middle Ages not many of them but a few of them really indulged in in sin in a way that was over-the-top but it's a messy it's a messy ordeal but the basic idea is if you don't like watching how the sausage gets made just turn away your eyes but if you have if you have no guts for it it's fascinating and absolutely no problem in my mind distinguishing the baby from the bathwater ever and if I see something that's sloshing around that stinks and that's liquid and that is putrid I consider that to be bathwater and when I see a fleshy rosy colored toe I think that probably belongs to the baby and if is telling them and it sounds like what we all face when we work through how church works and functions and the practices that we have within that and what we can learn from other Christians who do things slightly different to us yeah I found that really interesting and helpful I've set myself a little task to be working my way through the early church fathers there's quite a few pages to do to read and yeah and is something that I'm trying to work through and learn from and so I will be making note of traditions and teachings as I go through in that I am interested and yeah I'm interested in in learning and hearing and being having the pushback on that but I yeah it's still very much hold to the fact that we can understand scripture for ourselves where that takes us needs the guidance of a church whether that whether that is a as I said whether that's the Catholic Church or a church of fellow believers on equal footing whatever what that looks like I think some churches have taken that too far and every interpretation is valid and that is very much the danger but I believe the way that we are the the church that I'm part of currently has the rigidity in place to hold to truth the truth of salvation truth is yeah various things that we we are countercultural both in terms of counter Protestant cultural but also counter cultural in in the world so yeah that's kind of where I'm at and hoping that people in my church are learning with me and this whole process of being a Christian is continual learning continual humility and I don't think I'll ever know enough but I'm resting in God's grace that he's given me a brain and a heart for people and that's kind of where I'm at yeah I wanted to bounce an idea off you just an image from the Old Testament in Genesis of Noah having built the ark because he was instructed by God to build the ark you see to save humanity all people of goodwill and this is how I see the church this is how the early church fathers saw the church as Noah's Ark very colorful image very very powerful I'm a young earth creationist so I believe in the literal historical value of Genesis and you know within limits obviously there's there various forms of literature and writing styles in the Bible and even in Genesis but I believe in a worldwide catastrophic flood I believe in you know the the whole universe is well under ten thousand years old and this is a constant tradition and the liturgies of the East and the Western that Catholic and Orthodox churches and I believe in the Tower of Babel you know I believe these things is being historical but even if they're not even if you don't believe that the image is used by Jesus Christ with Noah and the time of Noah and all this having fun and then the flood came and most people were not prepared only eight people were saved as we saw there recently with the one Peter and the image of the church as Ark and you're in or you're out it is a dogma of the church at Auvers whole dogma that there's absolutely no possibility of salvation outside of the visible boundaries of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and it's very controversial dogma but it's it's reaffirmed in Vatican 2 but it's moderated also in various councils including Vatican 2 where which says that the Church of Christ subsist in the Holy Roman Catholic Church but there are elements of saving truth outside of for visible boundaries obviously and that are separated brethren and Protestant communities obviously if they're baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit they are Christian if they're striving to be Christian and they are they are under the umbrella of the church they are in an imperfect relationship with the church it's not like you're damned I mean I would consider you to be a material heretic if not a formal hair ticket I mean I don't know I only god can judge the heart to know if you're a formal heretic or not but would that would imply that you knew that the Catholic Church was the one true church but you refuse to enter right but that's a damnable sin but I don't think most Protestants today believe that the church is the one that cough churches the one true church so they are excused and there's a great emphasis on that with the recent Pope's that it's not the same situation when I'm talking with you today as if I were talking to Luther right after he took his bride out of the nunnery and started sinning and sinning boldly it's quite a different quite a different situation but talking about Christian unity and the or just talk about what it means to be inside the ark and what it means to be saved and what it means for those who are outside I mean you talk to it I don't talk about Hell but I just want to talk about the Christian unity the project today of Christian unity how do we help others onto the ark how do we know that we are on the ark how do we know who were Christian and how do we help others onto the ark and how do we stay on the ark it's just stick with that image of Noah's Ark and talk about it from your perspective please yeah yeah so traditionally my church is very much sort of reformed charismatic viewpoint on things so where I'm at I'm generally on the fence with most theological doctrines I try and build my framework as bubbly as possible so probably a Calvin Ian's in in a lot of ways so the you know answers your question regarding who's on the ark is those who profess affects faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior who are working out their salvation what I mean by that there are visible steps they are taking to follow Christ and that will be in the way that they live the way that they repent were the way that they confess the way that they worship the way that they read the Bible the way that they pray and so I as the Bible says we can't see the heart God can and I rely on those outward signs of an inward change one of those signs is baptism and another is repentance and another is the fruits of the spirit and that's what I'm looking for in my church those people who are working that out what that means for them and and trying to pastoral care for them in their physical needs and practical needs so that they actually have a willingness to hear the gospel what that looks like in my town is there's this 48 churches within my town some summer Catholics I'm on and there's a wide variety of denominations as well as practices mostly some have more core doctrines that I wouldn't that I hold likely to to be a member so I think there's some of these churches that I probably wouldn't be as welcome in because of my views on hell whereas any any doctrinal statement that says eternal punishment I I can sign because I do agree with the ternal punishment I just think it's a death who don't come back from so I'm happy to flesh that out in a bit but the so who's who's on the ark well I'm only responsible for the the part of the earth honey and I guess and that's that's where I hope to as I work across denominational lines that's part of my job so I work for a as I save Angelica organization and that is there to support international students but also to link churches together in providing for supporting opening hospitality to the internet international students in our town alongside Christians who will have a more traditional view on practice and I guess in some Anglican churches they they do look quite Catholic in terms of tradition in some cases but then with others they'll be pretty less structured than mine but what I'm looking for when I asked them to work with us can they profess their faith do they yeah can that get there are they known by the minister that they are are serving under and so I think there are many people on the ark but the practice of their faith may differ but they all profess on the essentials so saving faith through Christ alone and a part of a church a body of body of believers who love Jesus and are trying to follow his word as best as they can with the Holy Spirit working amongst them what would it take to bring you into full communion with Rome and to become a Catholic what would it would you just paint a little fantasy picture of how that might come about if it were to come about not that I'm saying it necessarily would or we're but even if it's unlikely how how do you see that playing out that's a really good question I honestly don't know I'm this is probably one of the first most in-depth conversations I've had around Catholic doctrine I had friends who are Catholic growing up and in the universe not growing up as such in university mainly I call University growing up still I had friends who were Catholic but wouldn't be able to explain why I would need to be Catholic we just were University students really so I'm early days in this journey I've really looked at that I think I need to learn a bit more I need I'd need some real Civic pushes by the Holy Spirit in that yeah is it it is an interesting question I don't feel necessarily that of where if saying I feel yeah after after reflector I don't honestly know what would what it would take I think it would take probably quite a few interactions with other Catholics seeing their practice and their faith impacting the community and I know it does in the town that I am in but I guess more unity and I'm not quite sure at least in the town that I'm in I'm not sure where the barriers lie still on and I'm I've been in the town that I'm in for a bit over a decade I've been in leadership in church for three may be going on for four years I've been in the position I'm in with across denominational organization for two still finding that church is a territorial and so I'm all for unity in what we can agree and and cross those barriers but some churches I just can't even cross the threshold in I and trying to figure out why there is so I guess in some ways in my in my town I would need more interaction with Catholics before I even came across like even thinking that was where God was taking me in my family as well I have an easier question for you related though and then I'll let you folks have another engagement in other words if you came to believe that Christ is not the Messiah he is not the god man he's there's no Trinity would you be more inclined to go to Judaism or Islam or would you go to a generic monotheism just play along with a thought experiment don't don't or don't argue to me that Christ is definitely the Messiah and that he's definitely the second person of the Trinity don't try to dip that case just go with the thought experiment and if you're more inclined to fall back on Judaism or Islam or generic monotheism and just talk to me about what would be involved in you transitioning to Judaism or to Islam or to generic monotheism what would that look like just play it out for me in a thought experiment in all the thought experiments I've had the the the only alternative for me would be atheism I've looked into Islam quite a considerable amount and let alone what I find of the historical accuracy of their documents I guess out of the three Abrahamic religions if we take Christianity out of it I would probably lean more towards Judaism I guess it's fairly natural from a but even even in that historical aspect of Judaism and what they believe that is still something I'm catching up on I think there is a lot to be learnt from the Jewish Jewish faith I haven't really something I'm learning that how Jews interpret the Old Testament is very different from us evangelical Protestants and that is something that I'm learning so what does it look like for me to step back from the Trinity well ultimately I think the alternative would be to leave faithful together I'm not convinced by Islam I'm not convinced by what I have engaged with in the Jewish faith but yeah maybe I'll work maybe I would engage more with Judaism maybe that's what we're all in head because that's what we believe we're based from I just I want to contrast what you're saying with my perspective which is I was an atheist for 25 years I was raised in a very liberal Protestant denomination which today has a theist ministers in Canada it's called the United Church of Canada you crazy you can get you can Google Greta Voss where I interviewed her lovely lady but she's an atheist and she spearheaded to prop the movement to get atheist ministers accepted in that denomination in Canada it's the biggest denomination in Canada by the way it's a very liberal country here all if you've been to Canada but I would love to I've got friends in Canada but yeah I haven't been able to make it yeah I'm in Montreal which is typically a Catholic historically a Catholic place but my point is that I found God the Father through philosophy and there's absolutely nothing that could take away my faith in God because I don't have faith in God I have a knowledge of God a deductive certainty that God exists and so there's nothing absolutely nothing that could tear me away from monotheism nothing short of a brain damage but in terms of which of the monotheistic religions happens to be the true one I'm very firmly convinced that it's Christianity I don't I don't believe that there's any case for Judaism since the Messiah came I mean they don't think it's the Messiah that came but I think it's looking at history I think it's pretty clear that Messiah came and looking at Islam I mean it's just ridiculous the claims I make about the early church that it was a Muslim Church and it wasn't to Christian Church and there was no there was no talk of Trinity in the early church is complete nonsense and so his store just using history I think we can rule out Judaism in Islam today yeah with but if I were to come to believe that Jesus Christ is not the Jewish Messiah then I'm back to generic monotheism just worshiping God the Father and looking around to see how how and where the this infallible God left a trace of his infallible teachings that will lead to him and fallible e so again it comes down to Authority where did the infallible God leave communication to us that will give us the certainty of faith once we once we know who and what God is and that he is all-knowing and all good it stands to reason that he would establish a means for us to to go back to him because we come from him and we need a safe way of going back to him otherwise we're stuck in a sort of fides 'im faith alone without any rational component or we're left in it artik Gnosticism where we just don't know what we can know and if we can if we can know anything so I just want to contrast my point of view with your point of view and I would encourage you to solidify your monotheism such that you could never ever ever become an atheist and in order to do that you need to study philosophy and some of the proves of the existence of God and sort of just meditate and ponder on existence itself and essence in existence is your essence existence and if not then there has to be a being one and only one being whose essence is existence and that everyone calls God and so I don't I really don't see how you could be taken back to a theater not that you ever were an atheist I know I was yeah I was yeah yeah yeah okay we were saying I think in let me just clarify for for the case of the video I would only see that's that's not to say I see it atheism as a valid framework of you in the world I think what I mean by that is and if there's atheists watching this then it might sound a little bit harsh but if if I don't have Christ if I don't have Jesus then I have hopeless world view and I don't have heaven the the new creation I don't have solid ground to stand on for giving good reason for why we face suffering other than it's just bad luck and there's no real meaning around it so yeah I would probably end up I guess if I'm to go philosophical I the whole arguments for why there's a God the Father I I get for the Soviet League and would agree with you on that but I think Oh take me a little while to regain my thoughts if it was proven that Jesus wasn't the Messiah yeah if if a circle we're not a circle is it more likely to be a triangle or a square that's the sort of dilemma I gave you and I mean you I forced you to answer so you're like well I guess I go for a square because a circle right yeah yeah that's good so I have to let you go but I'd love to chat with you again if you have the time and inclination I reach out to you I'll reach out to you maybe in a couple months see how are you doing didn't see if you've become Catholic yet and I really enjoyed it it's been great turning and yeah hopefully in a couple months over there other Tonti talk again yeah so your baby's healthy now or is she getting the care she needs she's gonna cashews for she's she's got a rare condition called Rett syndrome so it's going to be a lifetime prognosis that we will need sort of 24-hour support and care and physio and various other things which is the journey that we we're on if you want to know a little bit more about us then they can find out on we've got website for our Rosalie's rainbow calm or I've got a blog that's not about Hell which is just called as a simple blog online people can read that and hear my journey of faith through what we're going through so yeah we she's doing well she's a very cute little girl she is very lovely and given us a lot of purpose she's got and t