Image via WikipediaOn Thursday, January 28, 2010, James White debated Tim Staples on the Dividing Line web cast on the question "Does 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 support the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory?" Staples claims that it does. James White says no. The debate had the following format:
15 minute opening statements (Tim gets to go first)
8 minutes rebuttals
5 minutes cross examination each
8 minute closing statements
Then, they took phone calls for just under 20 minute
I think White did a great job showing that it does not work. Here is what 1st Corinthians 3:10-15:
10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
I think the exchange tells us a lot. The thing that amazed me was Staples arguing that the teaching of Purgatory has not changed in 2000 years! I thought: WHAT???? Then he claimed that purgatory is not a place people go when they die it is the judgement of our lives and he read a quote from the current Pope to back him up. I know during the Reformation - 500 years ago - the Roman Catholic church taught that purgatory was a place where people go to get rid of sins they could not get rid of while they lived. They even taught that if you paid the church - indulgences - one could pay their way and loved ones out of purgatory! If Staples is correct as to what the Roman Catholics teachesd about what purgatory is - then it has changed. You can't claim a 2000-year unbroken tradition, and then ignore what used to be taught. Go ahead and follow the link below to hear the exchange.
I also think that I must comment that his discussion was vastly different than White's discussion with Michael Brown earlier in the week. Staples as mean and kept talking like any intelligent person could see that he was right and White was wrong. I'm always amazed at how patient James White can be.
1 Corinthians 3 and Tim Staples on Today's Dividing Line