Friday, October 2, 2015

2 October 2015 A.D. Francis Turretin: “Papacy is Anti-Christ”

2 October 2015 A.D. Francis Turretin: “Papacy is Anti-Christ”

Francis Turretin: “Papacy is AntiChrist”  

Following up on the wild popularity of “Pope Francis” to the United States, Leonardo de Chirico looks at the question of whether “the pope is AntiChrist” in his occasional Vatican Filesemail this morning. In it, he cites Turretin’s “7th Disputation on the AntiChrist” which was part of a larger work entitled “Concerning our Necessary Secession from the Church of Rome and the Impossibility of Cooperation with Her” (1661) (published as F. Turretin, “Whether It Can be Proven the Pope of Rome is the Antichrist”, ed. by R. Winburn, Forestville, CA: Protestant Reformation Publications, 1999).

Here is a selection:
Turretin: “Papacy is AntiChrist”
Here we find perhaps the most detailed and systematic Protestant argument for the identification of the Pope as the Antichrist. Turretin endeavors to exegete Scripture and evaluate the facts of church history for the purpose of saving the Church of Christ from committing spiritual fornication.

After noting that it is the common opinion of Protestants that the Pope is the Antichrist, Turretin explains that Scripture reveals the place of the Antichrist (the temple), his time (from apostolic times onward), and his person (an apostate from the faith, a performer of spurious miracles, one who opposes Christ, a self-exalting figure, a man of sin, an idolater). Turretin goes as far as analyzing the name and number of the Beast of
Revelation 13:17-18. Gathering all these elements together, he does not find these marks among the Jews or Turks (Muslims), nor among the Greek Orthodox. In his view, they only fit the chief authority of the Roman Church.

Turretin is convinced that the Antichrist is not a single person but must refer to an office or succession of persons in office that began operating in apostolic times. To the Catholic objection that Popes have never denied Christ, Turretin replies that the Antichrist will not openly deny Christ as a professed enemy but as a professed friend of Christ who praises Him with their words, yet fights Him with his actions. He sees this attitude in Popes who arrogate to themselves the three offices of Christ (Priest, Prophet and King), but bury the Gospel under their own traditions and undermine His work of redemption by their masses, purgatory, indulgences, and false worship.
Noting that this view is far from being “ecumenically correct”, he says Turretin’s view is thoroughly Biblical:
…it is important to appreciate the fact that [Turretin’s views] do not stem from slandering invectives or bandying insults. Theologians like Turretin built a highly sophisticated Biblical and theological argument and were not driven by resentment alone. The Roman Church, while not being static, nor a monolithic reality, does not really change in its fundamental commitments. It expands itself but does not purify itself. It embraces new trends and practices but does not expel unbiblical ones. It grows but it does not reform itself according to gospel standards. The discussion on the Anti-Christ must be revived and worked out with biblical soberness and historical awareness.

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