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 Post subject: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 11:54 pm 
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I was excited for this talk... but right off the bat WLC had me scratching my head.
Shapiro brings up dwindling religious adherence which Craig corrects that it'sprimarily mainline denominations and goes on to say "the Presbyterians, the Catholics..."

Is there a definition of mainline church that I'm not familiar with?
Since when would the Catholic Church be considered a mainline Christian denomination?

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 11:54 pm 
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Here's the talk


https://youtu.be/hL-zJzE5clA

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 8:15 am 
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Since he seems to be talking about small, independent churches that are communion with no one but themselves ("Billy Joe Bob's Main Street Baptist Bar and Grill'), by his definition, any church has a central organization and a central administration would be a 'Mainline' church.

In short, he is contrasting 'mainline' with 'evangelical', and since the Catholic Church obviously isn't evangelical, or a small, independent church, it must be 'mainline.' He would probably also include the LCMS and WELS as 'mainline' churches because there is a central organization even though the denominations are congregationalist in terms of local government.


He seems to be trying to make the argument that 'big organizations' are inherently bad and corrupt, and only small, independent churches can survive. To which I say 'in times of peace in a generally tolerant country, maybe, but try living in a time of persecution, those small independent churches would be wiped out.'

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 9:42 am 
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I infer that he means the non-evangelical churches ... when he says "mainstream". His following comments support that definition, I think. As such, his comments deserve consideration.

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 10:22 am 
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If he said 'mainstream' I'd have no problem with it.
But mainline denominations refers to a particular thing- which the Roman Catholic Church is not.

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 10:33 am 
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Again, it depends on how one defines "mainline", if youmean "a church which is governed by a central organization" then the Catholic Church would be the ultimate mainline church.

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 10:37 am 
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What he said, what he meant, what I heard, how I processed what I heard. And that's just with two parties.

All can be impediments to communication.

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 10:57 am 
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I want to be more gracious with this to him...
but listen to the denominations he mentions: Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Congregationalists.

I'm happy to be corrected on this matter -
but that's a weird group to lump Catholicism with.

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 1:04 pm 
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I'm not seeing your objection. From his point of view, we're the same sort of thing as the Presbyterians and Lutherans and so on: a large Christian group that's been around awhile.

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 1:13 pm 
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I'm fine with him simply making a mistake - but prior to that comment never once have I come across any discussion on mainline denominations that covers Catholicism.
Mainline refers specifically to protestant churches.

Googling just now it's obvious that the mainline distinction was one meant solely to cover early protestant churches.

Regardless.... I do give WLC credit for not being afraid to disagree strongly with Shapiro - opposed to Bishop Barron's approach

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 4:50 pm 
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I guess I don't really understand your objection, he is contrasting independent, evangelical churches with that 'other' kind of church, whatever word one uses to describe that 'other type' of church, whether is mainline, mainstream, beeline, topline, topsider, upsider, downsider, downtownsider, southsider, northsiders, riversider, or Methodists, the nature of the distinction he is making is clear.

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Last edited by Doom on Fri May 17, 2019 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 4:53 pm 
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p.falk wrote:
I want to be more gracious with this to him...
but listen to the denominations he mentions: Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Congregationalists.

I'm happy to be corrected on this matter -
but that's a weird group to lump Catholicism with.
No, it depends entirely on how you define the criteria for the word. I have some very liberal acquaintances who I have almost nothing in common with. But if your criteria was 'people who likes sushi,' we would be in the same group.

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 10:41 am 
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Closet Catholic wrote:
p.falk wrote:
I want to be more gracious with this to him...
but listen to the denominations he mentions: Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Congregationalists.

I'm happy to be corrected on this matter -
but that's a weird group to lump Catholicism with.
No, it depends entirely on how you define the criteria for the word. I have some very liberal acquaintances who I have almost nothing in common with. But if your criteria was 'people who likes sushi,' we would be in the same group.



I'd be happy to just drop it then I read something goofy like this.

Your example is nothing at all like what I was saying.

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 10:54 am 
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Doom wrote:
I guess I don't really so your objection, he is contrasting independent, evangelical churches with the 'other' kinds of churches, whatever word one uses to describe that 'other type' of church, whether is mainline, mainstream, beeline, topline, topsider, upsider, downsider, downtownsider, southsider, northsiders, riversider, or Methodists, the nature of the distinction he is making is clear.


I think you're intentionally trying to disagree.
Or maybe you genuinely have not heard an evangelicals view on mainline churches.

Craig is an evangelical so he's almost certainly using that term for a very specific reason.

Mainline churches are Protestant and have grown to be accepting of progressive ideas on women ordination, gay marriage, abortion and other related issues.

This isn't a new concept.

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 12:25 pm 
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p.falk wrote:
Or maybe you genuinely have not heard an evangelicals view on mainline churches.

Craig is an evangelical so he's almost certainly using that term for a very specific reason.

Mainline churches are Protestant and have grown to be accepting of progressive ideas on women ordination, gay marriage, abortion and other related issues.

To an outside observer it may well seem that the Catholic Church is following the lead of mainline Protestant ecclesial communities on these issues.

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 4:55 pm 
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If you actually listen to his words, he specifically mentions "old line denominations" at least twice. He's just talking about traditional, established churches as opposed to modern, evangelical churches. He's not offering a technical classification system here. I don't think it's anything to read into or get upset about--him using a term that traditionally describes a set of non-Catholic denominations and including the Catholic church in that list. Again, I think his point is rather clear.

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 5:46 pm 
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p.falk wrote:

I think you're intentionally trying to disagree.
Or maybe you genuinely have not heard an evangelicals view on mainline churches.


You seem to be operating from the rather bizarre idea that there is a such a thing as an 'inherent' meaning of a word, rather than the more sensible and rational view held by pretty much everyone else that words are entirely arbitrary things that can mean whatever the speaker wants them to mean.

Let's take this discussion away from this senseless topic and on to something more real. When I was an undergraduate, I lived in a dorm in my freshman year where most of the other students were philosophy students. I was often present while they would all be discussing some abstruse topic, and violently disagreeing, and somewhere along the way, someone would inevitably say 'gentlemen, before we proceed, let us define our terms.....'

A word like 'mainline' has no inherent, objective meaning. It doesn't matter what the dictionary or the encyclopedia definition of the word says, if you want to understand what William Lane Craig means when he uses the word, the ONE AND ONLY thing that matters is 'what does HE MEAN when he uses the word?' And you can only discern that from the context in which he uses the word.

Trying to attach a supposed 'inherent' meaning to the word is pointless and futile because he appears to be using it in his own UNIQUE AND IDIOSYNCRATIC way. You keep saying that 'mainline' inherently means 'Protestant', but that is pointless because that is clearly NOT how he is using the word!



I repeat, whether a particular church is 'mainline' depends on what you mean by 'mainline', you can attach any arbitrary meaning to this word that you want.


William Lane Craig appears to be using the word 'mainline' to mean 'a church which is not an independent evangelical church'. BY THAT DEFINITION the Catholic Church is absolutely a mainline church. It depends entirely on how one defines the word.

Now, let me ask you, is it true or false that the Catholic Church is in some way DIFFERENT from an independent evangelical church (such as the aforementioned Billy Joe Bob's Main Street Baptist Bar and Grill), but has characteristics in common with Protestant denominations like the Methodists, Episcopal, etc characteristics such as being part of a central organization, an organization that has been around for a fairly lengthy period of time and which will probably still be around even long after the current generation of leadership has died off?

Is this distinction real or imaginary, according to you?

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 5:48 pm 
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theJack wrote:
If you actually listen to his words, he specifically mentions "old line denominations" at least twice. He's just talking about traditional, established churches as opposed to modern, evangelical churches. He's not offering a technical classification system here. I don't think it's anything to read into or get upset about--him using a term that traditionally describes a set of non-Catholic denominations and including the Catholic church in that list. Again, I think his point is rather clear.


I concur

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 6:36 pm 
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I'm not allowed to agree with you. I already agree with gherkin too much as it is. I'm not allowed to point out that when I read your first reply, I thought it pretty obviously true, and then when I heard Craig's own words, I thought your interpretation self-evidently true. So rather than say that, I just said my own words. That is not to say that I am saying I concur with your concurring and everything else you've written in this thread, as I am not allowed to do such a thing, even on the pain of self-contradiction. It is only to say that, were there no such ban on agreeing with you, I would regard it as madness to disagree with your original statements--and all the rest of them in this thread as it would happen (which, of course, I don't say I do ;)).

:mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: WLC on Shapiro... calls RC a mainline church
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 9:17 am 
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p.falk wrote:
Closet Catholic wrote:
p.falk wrote:
I want to be more gracious with this to him...
but listen to the denominations he mentions: Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Congregationalists.

I'm happy to be corrected on this matter -
but that's a weird group to lump Catholicism with.
No, it depends entirely on how you define the criteria for the word. I have some very liberal acquaintances who I have almost nothing in common with. But if your criteria was 'people who likes sushi,' we would be in the same group.



I'd be happy to just drop it then I read something goofy like this.

Your example is nothing at all like what I was saying.
Or you just don't understand the nature of similes. It depends on how you define a word. 'Mainline' can mean many different things.

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