The Church and Apostolic Succession: Roman Catholics teach that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church and that the pope is the supreme authority over the church, having received his authority by direct apostolic succession from Peter.
Calvinists teach that there is no such thing as apostolic succession which hands such authority down from person to person and that there is no single visible entity or church which may be identified as " the true church. "
Infallibility: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the pope when speaking ex- cathedra as well as the church when met in an ecumenical council, can never err.
Calvinists deny this claim as unfounded in Scripture.
Scripture and Tradition: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that church tradition is equally authoritative with the Bible.
Calvinists' reserve supreme authority to the Bible alone, observing that tradition has often strayed from the Bible.
Interpretation of Scripture: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that it has the final say regarding any interpretation of Scripture, such that no one may ever correct the church by suggesting that its official doctrines are not by Scripture.
Any challenge to the Roman Catholic Church' s doctrine can be refuted by its claim to authoritative interpretation. Calvinists believe there is no authoritative human interpretation, and that authority belongs to God.
For Calvinists, interpretations are authoritative only insofar as they are true, and they believe that the Roman Catholic Church has frequently misinterpreted Scripture.
Freewill: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Fall did not remove from man the ability to respond in faith to the gospel.
Calvinists believe that the Fall did remove this ability and that any time a person comes to salvation it is because God has renewed that person' heart to respond positively in faith (John 6: 44; Acts 16: 14; Rom. 8: 1- 8).
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