My blog of 12 October 2015 Is The Pope the Antichrist? Not according to sola scriptura! has been placed under the original article I reacted to, on the website of the World Reformed Fellowship. Because of the strong personal reaction of the other author, I added the following paragraphs:
Appendix added on October 15, 2015, at the request of Thomas Schirrmacher:
- Of course I have read Turretin, yet, he supposes a whole eschatological system, which goes far beyond what the short verses on the antichrist state. I do not find his arguments convincing as good exegesis of the Greek text of those verses. He also argues, „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.“ But where does any NT verse say something like this? And if the Antichrist openly confesses Christ, how can you know, who else professing Christ beyond the Pope could be the Antichrist. John does not say, that the Antichrist secretly in his heart denies Christ, but with his mouth preaches him, he says: „This is the Antichrist, that denies …“.
- Turretin argues, that Islam cannot be meant. But he wrote in a time, when information about Islam still were not very in-depth. I am very careful in giving a final opinion on eschatological things happening before Christ’s return. But if I would look for an anti-Christian institution denying Christ in the way, John defines it, Islam would be my first choice. Of course they do not deny it only in their heart, as Turretin thought, but very openly. Yet, if I have to choose between the Papacy and Islam, only the latter would fit the description.
- One could say, that by saying, that Papacy is the antichrist, one does not say that Pope Francis is the Antichrist. But Luther, Wesley and Spurgeon and others also included the living Pope’s and attacked them as antichrist. Turettin meant successive Popes, but that clearly included the one living at his time. And the blog discussed, says „that the Pope is the Antichrist.“ Yes, this means every Pope, but of course it also means the present Pope. So of course one may ask, whether the present Pope really is, what comes to your mind, when you read Scripture.
- To say that Papacy is the antichrist is part of a whole complicated eschatological system, and you have to take the whole system or leave it, you cannot single out the one idea that papacy is the antichrist. What Turretin wrote in the 17th century seems to argue with a different world from ours today, many developments took a different road than he thought.