Appetite for Disruption

Posted by on February 17, 2014 in Catholicism, Creator/Creature Distinction, Deification, Featured, Gospel, Holy Spirit, Imputation, Incarnation, Natural Law, Protestantism, Reformed Theology, The Trinity, Theology Proper | 459 comments

One of the issues that distinguishes Catholicism from Protestantism (and which has come up in the last couple threads here) is the relationship of grace to nature.

When I was Reformed, I constantly heard that the last thing in the world the gospel did was reinforce what natural man already knew to be true, but rather, the gospel comes in to disrupt, to disturb, and to turn man’s instincts on their head. You see, natural man is Pelagian and believes he can work his way to heaven, and the gospel serves to overturn those natural instincts and introduce something utterly counter-intuitive.

Catholicism, on the other hand, teaches that grace perfects nature rather than overturns or destroys it. This is rooted, as are just about all Catholic doctrines, in the Incarnation of the Son of God. The second Person of the Trinity did not assume a human nature in order to get a Mulligan for the first creation so he could enact something altogether contradictory to the natural order. Divinity does not eclipse or swallow up humanity, but it perfects it. Christ was born, lived, suffered, died, was raised, and ascended in human flesh in order to bring humanity into communion with the Godhead. He participated in humanity so that we, by sharing human nature with him, might participate in his divinity.

Now, if someone claims to agree with the above schema — and with grace perfecting nature in general —  he should have no problem seeing the gospel message as a reinforcement of and improvement upon what man already instinctively knows to be true, namely, that loving God and loving neighbor is the way to eternal blessedness. What makes the gospel “news” is not that it provides an alternative way of salvation which natural man could have never conceived of, but that it accomplished its aim by turning natural men into supernatural men in order to enable us to sow to the Spirit and thus reap everlasting life. This is just the logic of Trinitarianism: God by his nature is a Father who eternally begets a Son with whom he shares his divine nature. If this is true, then it makes perfect sense for God to father a divine family of adopted children with whom, through the glorified humanity of Christ, he shares his life by means of the sacraments made effectual by the indwelling Spirit.

For the Catholic, the dogmas of the Incarnation and Trinity are not just tools to dust off when Mormons knock at the door only to be shelved after they’ve gone, they are the central tenets of the Christian faith which shape our understanding of the good news of the gospel. For the Protestant, however, his emphasis upon forensic imputation of alien righteousness and suspicion about ontological participation of the human in the divine gives the impression that God is a Judge before he is a Father, and that the Son was just legally declared to be human rather than actually becoming one.

The gospel doesn’t disrupt natural man’s instincts any more than Christ’s divinity disrupted human nature. Instead, the gospel places a big ol’ exclamation point after all true and beautiful things. And that’s what I love most about being a Catholic.

 

459 Comments

  1. Eric, Augustine ” How was Abraham justified. What doe the Apostle say (about how Abraham was justified) Abraham was justified by faith. Paul and James don’t contradict each other, good works follow justification. Its seem to be a little easier for us and Augustine than the medieval infused love crowd.

  2. Eric,

    “1. Asserting that our life after death “does not count” for some unspoken reason known only to yourself does not get your point made.”

    The point is the reality is always a shadow of the declaration, until after death. So a speech act that says “You are 200 pounds” is no different than a speech act that says “You will be 200 pounds in 3 years”.

    “The POINT of Bill Gates irrelevance was that whatever point you were trying to make through his inclusion was itself totally irrelevant.”

    The point I was making is that your silly christian competition olympics is arguing like an atheist. You can’t go “Atheist humanitarians are irrelevant!” then say “Our christians are better than yours!”

    ” You have to show run-of-the-mill Catholics as completely sinless. We have to show run-of-the-mill Protestants as doing at least a little bit of good. Nevertheless, we win!”

    Why do I have to show they are completely sinless? Where does RCism teach wesleyan perfectionism? It’s yet another caricature.

    “DeYoung does not disagree with me.”

    Where does he say progressive sanctification is monergistic and is not synergistic? He basically just takes a hybrid approach. That’s why the comments below the article also have people on both sides.

    “No, I am not confused by progressive sanctification. Sanctification is monergistic.”

    Okay so I’ll ask my question again: When you sin in progressive sanctification, did God give you sufficient grace you resisted? Or did he not give you grace at all?
    You need to deal with how your view of progressive sanctification maintains grace while still allowing for your willed cooperation and earning heavenly reward or your willed resistance and sin. You are not passive in progressive sanctification. You need to explain why not every regenerate responds to grace in exactly the same way as they do in regeneration. Why not every regenerate resists temptation or overcomes sin – why some fail and some don’t.

    If progressive sanctification is monergistic, so he does not give sufficient grace when one sins that was resisted, but rather withholds grace entirely – what do the following mean?

    “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

    “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

    “What does Augustine mean when he says that the “justified” can lose their salvation (granting your assertion for the moment, lacking a citation)?”

    You’ve been given citations before – this isn’t your first rodeo. You just shift to saying well he had a weird view on baptismal regeneration and the like.

    “Again, what does he mean by merit (we speak of merit)? ”

    He doesn’t mean works of agape are corrupted by sin or need imputed righteousness. Because he holds to infused righteousness as the grounds of our justification. Imputed merit only makes sense within an extra nos imputation framework.

    “What does he mean by synergism (election more or less renders the term meaningless)?”

    He means what RCism and EOxy mean by it. So RCs are meaningless synergists then I guess since they hold to election.

    “What does he mean by mortal sin (how does it affect the elect)?”

    What does he mean? He means what RCism means. Augustine talked about venial sin, mortal sin, concupiscence (not being sin proper) all over the place. He was one of the chief thinkers in that area. He means the justified (not the elect) can fall.

    “You assume not only that he is right (in spite of the Second Council of Orange’s rejection of his soteriology)”

    You understand Augustine and Orange about as well as you do Aquinas. You did think Aquinas and Trent were contradictory until a simple obvious citation I provided disabused you of that notion.

    “but that he means the exact same thing by his terms that your blessed current Magisterium does.”

    Have you read his anti-Pelagian writings?

  3. Everyone,
    Most Catholic explanations of Transubstantiation avoid using the word “physical” to describe the Real Presence. True, sacramental, real or substantial are used instead so as not to get caught up in trying to prove the doctrine scientifically.
    Kevin, O’Brian is using hyperbole when he says the priest brings Christ down out of heaven and onto our altars. Christ’s “physical” body never leaves heaven and never travels through space. Nor does Christ’s flesh become present through an act of creation ex nihilo. If it did, it would not be the same Christ that was crucified and now sits at the right hand of the Father. The Anglicans and Lutherans may believe in a Real Presence but their explanations of how it comes about lead to some strange conclusions. Transubstantiation is the only explanation that explains how the Christ, born of Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, died, rose again and now is in glory in heaven is the same Christ in our tabernacles and on our altars. The bread and wine CHANGE into the already existing Christ. This change is sui generis. Other changes, lets say of wine into vinegar, for example, involve a corruption of one form and the production of a new one. This change is seen only by a mind enlightened by faith, not microscopes or DNA testing. If it is a help, recall that the discourse in John 6 followed upon the miraculous feeding of the multitude with two fish and five loaves. After the feeding, the Apostles picked up several baskets full of the scraps of the exact same five loaves. Not fifty, five hundred or five thousand loaves. The same original five. I am not saying that this was an example of Transubstantiation. Only that the accident of location of the loaves and fishes could have been multiplied without increasing the actual number of loaves and fishes. This is the backdrop the the teaching on the Eucharist.

  4. Jim, Im glad your here. A few questions. Trent anathematizes anyone who says it isn’t a real true sacrifice (Sacrificium) efficacious. Do you agree with Trent? If the blood of Christ is real, how can it be an un bloody sacrifice? How is one able to separate the body in the wafer from the blood in the cup? Did you know the words said by the Priest in Latin is our english words Hocus Pocus? Why is He on your alter, wasn’t the one time perfecting sacrifice sufficient Hebrews 10:14? Why won’t you let Him off the Alter, the Cross, the Crucifix? He is Risen.Hebrews tells us His alter, sacrifice and priesthood are in Heaven? When the writer of Hebrews says there is no more sacrifice for sin, why don’t you obey that? When the writer of Hebrews tells the judaizers that their need for a physical alter, sacrifice, and Priesthood is shrinking back in one’s faith. Would you agree? The word Priest (Hierus) is mentioned 400 times in the OT and never appears in the NT. Why? Jesus told the woman at the well that the Father seeks worshipers in Spirit and truth, the flesh profits nothing. Why does the your church substitute itself for the Historical body of Jesus? My Lords sacrifice was perfect and sufficient and one time like the Scripture says. Why do you attend a sacrifice that is imperfect? Because you can go to 10000 masses and still lack enough grace for heaven? Hebrews 10:14 said His one time sacrifice perfected for all-time those for who he died. The incarnation is over, He said He accomplished all that the father gave Him to do? Hebrews says He obtained redemption and sat down, His work was accomplished. Why do you continue his unfinished incarnation on in the church, when we are called to simple faith?

  5. James–

    1. Bryan Cross has said over and over again that run-of-the-mill Catholics are perfectly inherently righteous. Are you disagreeing with him?

    2. You simply do not understand DeYoung or what he is trying to get at. But I don’t need to deal with sanctification. It is not the focus of our disagreement…just a rabbit trail you like to go down. And yes, Thomists are probably NOT synergists. And where election actually means something, imputed righteousness must be inferred. (The imputation of alien righteousness has a great deal in common with the infusion of sanctifying grace in initial justification.)

    3. So, I take it you’ve never studied Orange. Pity, that.

  6. Jim–

    I believe the explanations often do use “corporeal,” which is tantamount to saying “physical.” I do not see any really good reason to shy away from “physical.” I don’t believe Anglicans, Lutherans, or even Presbyterians would. It is indeed physical, but it is spiritually mediated. Of course, none of them say that the bread itself is the physical body. For Lutherans, it is in, on, and under the elements. Therefore, one can present the elements and say, “This is my body” or “This is my blood,” but the bread is still bread and the wine is still wine. Roman Catholics are quite aware that transubstantiation cannot be chemically substantiated. After all, the chemical properties are still there: one can get drunk on consecrated wine or sick from the gluten in consecrated bread.

  7. Eric,

    “Bryan Cross has said over and over again that run-of-the-mill Catholics are perfectly inherently righteous. Are you disagreeing with him?”

    No I am not, yes they are. That does not mean they have no concupiscence or venial sin, nor that one cannot have grown in greater capacity of agape than another. As Cross has also said over and over again, that is compatible with perfect inherent righteousness. Mortal sin is not. If your characterization were true, RCs would never pray for forgiveness of sin outside of confession, and all RCs would have the exact same degree/capacity of holiness at all times. You’re probably familiar with Cross’ list paradigm. You’re making his agape paradigm into a list paradigm by foisting Wesleyan perfectionism onto it, and totally distorting RC theology in the process.

    “You simply do not understand DeYoung or what he is trying to get at. ”

    Here’s what he’s trying to get at it:
    “But what should we say about sanctification? On the one hand, Reformed Christians are loathe to use the word synergistic. We certainly don’t want to suggest that God’s grace is somehow negligible in sanctification. Nor do we want to suggest that the hard work of growing in godliness is not a supernatural gift from God. On the other hand, we are on dangerous ground if we imply that we are passive in sanctification in the same way we are passive in regeneration. We don’t want to suggest God is the only active agent in our progressive sanctification. So which is it: is sanctification monergistic or synergistic? I think it’s best to stay away from both terms.

    “For starters, we do not see the exact language of monergism or synergism applied to sanctification.
    Second, we see that, given the right qualifications, either term could be used with merit. “Monergism” can work because sanctification is God’s gift, his supernatural work in us. “Synergism” can also work because because we cooperate with God in sanctification and actively make an effort to grow in godliness.
    Third, we see in this Reformed survey the need to be careful with our words. For example, “passive” can describe our role in sanctification, but only if we also say there is a sense in which we are active. Likewise, we can use the language of cooperation as long as we understand that sanctification does not depend ultimately on us.
    And if all this is confusing, you can simply say: we work out our sanctification as God works in us (Phil. 2:12-12). Those are the two truths we must protect: the gift of God in sanctification and the activity of man. We pursue the gift, is how John Webster puts it. I act the miracle, is Piper’s phrase. Both are saying the same thing: God sanctifies us and we also sanctify ourselves.

    So he did not say progressive sanctification was monergistic. Which you claimed. He appeals to tension. So do synergists. Please cite to back up your argument that I am not understanding DeYoung instead of asserting and hand waving.

    “It is not the focus of our disagreement…just a rabbit trail you like to go down.”

    Not going to let you evade. You were the one that brought up the cookie cutter monergist criticisms, not me. You’re being challenged on it, and now try to back off. Engage my questions/points, or retract the criticisms.

    “And yes, Thomists are probably NOT synergists.”

    Oy vey. Thomists distinguish between sufficient and efficacious grace. Calvinists/Jansenists do not. That’s the point.

    “And where election actually means something, imputed righteousness must be inferred.”

    An assertion in search of an argument.

    “So, I take it you’ve never studied Orange. Pity, that.”

    What about Orange do you think is non-Augustinian? Citations from both showing a contradiction.

  8. James–

    1. All of the Catholics I know are riddled with mortal sin.

    2. I repeat. You don’t understand DeYoung. I am truly sorry for you.

    3. I don’t give a crap if you think I’m trying to evade. I have no interest in going down your rabbit trail at the moment. Wait for a while. I may get bored.

    4. I don’t really have a problem with sufficient vs. efficacious grace. I’m a Calvinist.

    5. Not really an assertion. All kinds of Catholics have admitted as much in conversation here.

    6. Why is it do you think, that scholars refer to Catholic soteriology after Orange as semi-Augustinianism?

  9. Eric,

    “All of the Catholics I know are riddled with mortal sin.”

    How on earth would you know this? Mortal sin has 3 conditions. Were all the saints you admire from RCism riddled with mortal sin as understood by RCism? Or were they riddled with mortal sin like you say all regenerate are?

    “I repeat. You don’t understand DeYoung. I am truly sorry for you.”

    Please explain how I am misunderstanding DeYoung. Is he or is he not appealing to an element of tension and mystery in progressive sanctification? Did he say sanctification was monergistic and not synergistic? The article’s there – it’s easy to cite from them. I offered citations. You’ve offered assertions.

    “3. I don’t give a crap if you think I’m trying to evade. I have no interest in going down your rabbit trail at the moment. Wait for a while. I may get bored.”

    So you had an interest in bringing up cookie-cutter monergist objections. Then you get challenged. Now you get bored. Compelling defense. It’s not a rabbit trail when a central point is the compatibility of grace/sovereignty and cooperation/resistance and reward/sin.

    “4. I don’t really have a problem with sufficient vs. efficacious grace. I’m a Calvinist.”

    Then you don’t have a problem with synergism. You might have a problem with Robert though.

    “5. Not really an assertion. All kinds of Catholics have admitted as much in conversation here.”

    All kinds of Catholics have admitted we have imputed righteousness? Where?

    “6. Why is it do you think, that scholars refer to Catholic soteriology after Orange as semi-Augustinianism?”

    So you have no citations or argument you’d like to offer. Feel free to substantiate your assertion – you’re the one who brought it up so you bear the burden. I am always willing to learn.

  10. James–

    1. I was challenged? I must have missed it.

    2. Explain to me how sufficient vs. efficient grace necessitates synergism.

    3. You’re the one with the ignorance of semi-Augustinianism. The internet is at your fingertips. Avail yourself of it.

  11. James, who said we don’t respond ( cooperate) in sanctification. We deny its meritorious. I mean your Gospel is sort of like demanding a blind man to see before God heals his eyes. You do and the Spirit works. For us, tha Spirit works and we do. Galatians 3 the whole of salvation is faith. Paul’s problem in Galatians isn’t sanctification its them trying to be justified by works. God won’t have it.

  12. James, you sound like a Protestant some times. Cmon my friend there is a pot of Spaghetti at the end of the rainbow, and its all by faith. I cooked it!

  13. James, all sin is mortal. You can go to hell as a prostitute or a police man. For the wages of SIN is death.

  14. Eric,

    1. Here’s the challenge (again):
    When you sin in progressive sanctification, did God give you sufficient grace you resisted? Or did he not give you grace at all?
    You need to deal with how your view of progressive sanctification maintains grace while still allowing for your willed cooperation and earning heavenly reward or your willed resistance and sin. You are not passive in progressive sanctification. You need to explain why not every regenerate responds to grace in exactly the same way as they do in regeneration. Why not every regenerate resists temptation or overcomes sin – why some fail and some don’t.

    If progressive sanctification is monergistic, so he does not give sufficient grace when one sins that was resisted, but rather withholds grace entirely – what do the following mean?

    “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

    “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

    “Do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil…And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
    Is the HS purposely grieving Himself by refusing to grant irresistible grace in sanctification for you to overcome various sins?

    “2. Explain to me how sufficient vs. efficient grace necessitates synergism.”

    If one has sufficient grace, that is resistible grace, not irresistible grace. Are you saying that monergism allows for resistible grace in regeneration now? That the condemned were truly offered sufficient grace they rejected?

    “3. You’re the one with the ignorance of semi-Augustinianism. The internet is at your fingertips. Avail yourself of it.”

    What if I said scholars have written Calvinism is Nestorian and anti-Chalcedon and anti-patristic in Christology? Or that it is Pelagian in its anthropology? I’m sure Jonathan or Perry Robinson could list a nice bibliography of such scholars. And you asked me to support such a claim. Would you be satisfied if I said “You’re the one with the ignorance of patristic and conciliar Christology. The internet is at your fingertips. Avail yourself of it.” I doubt it.

  15. James–

    1. If God is at work in us to will and to do, the whatever we contribute to sanctification might as well be considered passive. In the big picture of things, it most certainly should be. From our perspective–the (exceedingly) small picture–there is some room to speak of our cooperation…though it is almost pointless to do so.

    2. You are the ones who have reduced regeneration to getting babies wet. Those with sufficient grace need not be regenerate. I don’t believe even Thomism requires that.

    3. Those aren’t “scholars” you speak of but denominational apologists. They are devotional in nature rather than academic. True scholars don’t pursue propagandistic agendas.

  16. James,

    When you sin in progressive sanctification, did God give you sufficient grace you resisted? Or did he not give you grace at all?
    You need to deal with how your view of progressive sanctification maintains grace while still allowing for your willed cooperation and earning heavenly reward or your willed resistance and sin. You are not passive in progressive sanctification. You need to explain why not every regenerate responds to grace in exactly the same way as they do in regeneration. Why not every regenerate resists temptation or overcomes sin – why some fail and some don’t.

    Here’s the thing. Sanctification is a rabbit trail because you are assuming it is identical to justification. If it is not, the question is irrelevant. The heart of the RC-Protestant disagreement is the relationship of justification to sanctification. Prove that the two are identical, and you could possibly have a point. But you haven’t proven their identical. In fact, none of the RCs here have. It is just assumed.

    What if I said scholars have written Calvinism is Nestorian and anti-Chalcedon and anti-patristic in Christology? Or that it is Pelagian in its anthropology?

    Well, you’d be fundamentally mistaken. And since it is easy to find EO patristic scholars recommending works on patristic theology by Reformed scholars who draw Reformed conclusions based on and/or in concert with the Early Church, you’d have a really hard time making your case.

  17. Robert, Ponder this; “You have been washed, sanctified and justified”. So much for the Reformed Ordo Salutis. Alistair McGrath calls the Protestant distinction between sanctification and justification a “theological novum”. Nowhere in scripture do we find someone standing before God at the Great Assize pleading the alien righteousness of Christ imputed to their account. Rather, heaven is contingent upon works done in a state of grace such as giving a cup of water in Jesus’ name. These works do not flow by necessity from a regenerate heart. A justified/regenerate person does not lose free will. They can fail to do them (Abraham could have refused to sacrifice Isaac ). Even John Bunyan says a Christian must WRESTLE with demons, Strive to enter by the narrow gate, Labor to…

  18. Kevin, Eric, Sorry to have passed over your comments of the Mass. I didn’t see them until just now. As for the sacrificial aspect, lots have been written on how the Cenacle and Calvary are two parts of the one same sacrifice so I won’t try to do more than plant a few seeds. For starters, the seamless garment over which the soldiers cast dice was the same liturgical robe worn at the Supper. Christ was attired as a priest at the Passover, before Pilate, before being stripped and crucified and now in heaven. Plus, it was at the Supper that Christ put Himself into a victimized state. Without it, none of the events that followed would have been possible. The Passion began in the upper room and continued in the olive garden and on the cross. Next, the high priest of Hebrews who makes perpetual intercession has something to offer- the Lamb standing as slain of Rev 5. Christ is a victim and a priest now and forever. He still has the wounds in hands, feet and side. At the Supper the Apostles were instructed to “Do this….”. The Mass is unbloody because Christ is now in glory never to suffer again. The Presence is Real, the death is symbolic, the sacrifice is true. A bloody death is not necessary for a sacrificial offering. We speak of the sacrifice of Isaac who never shed a drop of blood. His disposition is what made it a sacrifice. Christ is at every Mass with those same dispositions He had at the Supper, in the garden and on the cross.
    As for how the Real Presence comes about, through Transubstantiation or some other means, this is crucial. If the Lutheran theory is true, we must ask how so. Does Christ leave heaven and travel to the table at the minister’s bidding ( as John O’Brian might say )? Or does God create out of nothing the flesh of Christ when the minister pronounces the words? Or is the objective Presence contingent upon the subjective faith or opinion of the recipient? What about the “manducatio impiorum”, do unbelievers actually receive? Or what if the proverbial mouse nibbles its way into the tabernacle? After the ceremony, what happens with Christ? Some Lutherans reserve the sacrament, some throw it to the chickens. Seriously! This is not a hair-splitting mind game. The Blessed Sacrament is either worthy of adoration or it isn’t.
    Finally guys, I would be interested on your take on the Clean Oblation offered by the gentiles spoken of in Malachi if you get a moment. Take care.

  19. Jim,

    Robert, Ponder this; “You have been washed, sanctified and justified.”

    Course, if all those things were equivalent, one has to wonder why Paul mentions all three separate.y.

    So much for the Reformed Ordo Salutis.

    Well, since Paul says God has glorified those whom he has justified, so much for the RC ordo salutes.

    Alistair McGrath calls the Protestant distinction between sanctification and justification a “theological novum.”

    McGrath’s point is routinely misunderstood .

    Nowhere in scripture do we find someone standing before God at the Great Assize pleading the alien righteousness of Christ imputed to their account.

    Nowhere in Scripture do we find someone standing before God at the Great judgment pleading their works done in a state of grace. Nowhere in Scripture to we find someone standing before God at the judgment beseeching the intercession of Mary and the saints.

    Romans 11:6: But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

    Then of course there were the examples of Abraham and David who had lots of works, and yet we are told that they are not saved by those works.

    And what works do the thief on the cross and saved infants have?

    Rather, heaven is contingent upon works done in a state of grace such as giving a cup of water in Jesus’ name. These works do not flow by necessity from a regenerate heart.

    All those whom have truly been justified have been glorified (Rom. 8:29–30). Jesus also says to many who profess him as Lord and even who did things in his name to depart from him because he NEVER knew them (Matt. 7).

    A justified/regenerate person does not lose free will.

    In fact, it is only the regenerate person who has a will that is truly free.

    They can fail to do them (Abraham could have refused to sacrifice Isaac ).

    Not according to God’s eternal decree.

    Even John Bunyan says a Christian must WRESTLE with demons, Strive to enter by the narrow gate, Labor to…

    Faith and works are opposed only in justification.

  20. Jim, You might want to read Revelations 19 ” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean , for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”Our works are gifts from God. Romanism cooperation Gospel is like Someone demanding a blind man to see before his eyes are healed. You do and the Spirit works. For us, The spirit works and we do. You do your level best and god gives you grace, The bible says grace is a gift not a reward. You avoided all my questions on the max, so i’ll take it that you cant answer them. I’d avoid them too.

  21. Jim, you said ” a bloody is not necessary for a sacrifice.” Wrong, Hebrews says without the shedding of blood there is NO sacrifice for sin. The Roman mass would nave to be bloody for it to really propitiate sin. The twisted sacrifice of the roman mass is an abomination. The Scripture is clear Christ offered himself once and it perfected those who are sanctified. Christ said he layer down his own life, none took it form Him. For the Roman he is an eternal victim. For us He is the Risen Lord.

  22. Jim, You said the “blessed sacrament is worthy of adoration isn’t it” Christ is worthy of worship, not the bread. You look forward, we look up awaiting his second coming. You don’t mention the Holy Spirit once in your post. Remember he left us the Holy Spirit and told us the Father is looking for worshipers that worship Him in Spirit and in truth. The FLESH profits nothing. Christ communicates all His blessings to us and his humanity thru the Spirit not the flesh. The RC substitutes itself for the Historical body of Christ and usurps the fretwork of the Holy Spirit by becoming His regent in the Hands of the church and a Priest. Please let Him off the cross and the altar Jim, He is risen and the incarnation is finished, and thats the Good News of the Gospel we preach. Telling people that the incarnation isn’t finished and you have to finish it or tough luck isn’t good news and does not bring peace.

  23. +JMJ+

    Kevin wrote:

    A few questions. Trent anathematizes anyone who says it isn’t a real true sacrifice (Sacrificium) efficacious. Do you agree with Trent? If the blood of Christ is real, how can it be an un bloody sacrifice? How is one able to separate the body in the wafer from the blood in the cup? Did you know the words said by the Priest in Latin is our english words Hocus Pocus? Why is He on your alter, wasn’t the one time perfecting sacrifice sufficient Hebrews 10:14? Why won’t you let Him off the Alter, the Cross, the Crucifix? He is Risen.Hebrews tells us His alter, sacrifice and priesthood are in Heaven? When the writer of Hebrews says there is no more sacrifice for sin, why don’t you obey that? When the writer of Hebrews tells the judaizers that their need for a physical alter, sacrifice, and Priesthood is shrinking back in one’s faith. Would you agree? The word Priest (Hierus) is mentioned 400 times in the OT and never appears in the NT. Why? Jesus told the woman at the well that the Father seeks worshipers in Spirit and truth, the flesh profits nothing. Why does the your church substitute itself for the Historical body of Jesus? My Lords sacrifice was perfect and sufficient and one time like the Scripture says. Why do you attend a sacrifice that is imperfect? Because you can go to 10000 masses and still lack enough grace for heaven? Hebrews 10:14 said His one time sacrifice perfected for all-time those for who he died. The incarnation is over, He said He accomplished all that the father gave Him to do? Hebrews says He obtained redemption and sat down, His work was accomplished. Why do you continue his unfinished incarnation on in the church, when we are called to simple faith?

    I think that this is Kevin’s MCP (Master Control Post) from which all of Kevin’s other posts are derived as various rejumblings and excerpts.

  24. Jim–

    In Lutheran sacramentology, Christ does not leave heaven. Nor does he in Anglican or Presbyterian sacramentology. Technically, he doesn’t in Catholic sacramentology either, but it’ s the most “iffy” of the bunch. They more or less have him in two places at once, physically and sacramentally. Lutherans speak of ubiquity, that the Incarnate Christ in heaven takes on the omnipresence of the Father. His flesh, therefore, can be everywhere at once (it can be ubiquitous).

    No, for the most part, only the Anglicans (especially the Anglo-Catholics) and the Catholics hold the bread “in reserve.” Anglicans pour the consecrated wine out “onto the ground” by way of special sinks which are not attached to the sewer system (as do some Lutherans). I believe Catholics still have the priests finish it up. (But I could be wrong about that. Might have changed their minds on soused priests!) Eastern Orthodox priests, from what I understand, drink the unused consecrated wine (of which there is not very much, due to their spoon-fed method of distribution) and eat the remainder of consecrated bread. They also have bread which has been blessed but not consecrated (the Antidoron), which in some Orthodox churches is offered to non-Orthodox visitors as a sign of welcome inclusion. For Presbyterians, the consecrated elements revert to ordinary bread and wine (or grape juice) after the service.

    The “Blessed Sacrament” is ordinary bread and wine, made in the ordinary way (though some wineries are dedicated to making only Catholic communion wine). As such, it is hardly worthy of worship. You don’t go out to the wheat fields before it is ground into flour and worship the Eucharistic bread-to-be! You don’t worship the grapes in the vineyard. We all worship the presence of CHRIST. This is the distinct disadvantage of transubstantiation: a clear temptation to worship that which is created.

    The OT Temple made it very apparent that God did not reside inside physical idols like the surrounding cultures’ gods. He was invisibly enthroned ABOVE the cherubim on the mercy seat which covered the Ark of the Covenant. Similarly, in the Lutheran example, Christ is present in, on, and under the elements but does not become them.

  25. Wosbald, And here is your post fro which all other posts are derived. ————————————————-shakmahana————————————-. .

  26. Eric, another great post.

  27. Robert, Try Matthew 25:31-46 to see about that Great Assize. As for the Good Thief and babies, are you going to say they are/were saved by faith alone? The Good thief did an act of charity by showing compassion for the innocent Jesus. The fact that Baptized babies can be saved without doing one good work kind of sinks the Protestant canard that Catholics believe in salvation by works, huh?
    Would love to hear how McGrath did intend for his statement to be taken. Take care.

  28. Jim, For the Catholic justification ( sanctification) is the striving for divine approval, and for the Christian sanctification is the outworking of an approval we already possess. Hence GOOD NEWS. Although the imparted righteousness in us is incomplete, we live on the basis of the perfect righteousness that we already have “in Christ.” The believer doesn’t keep one eye on Him for justification and the other eye on his own works, but look to Christ for both. You cannot grasp justification without also grasping sanctification also. calvin was leery of anyone who would turn faith into a work, and imagine that faith, much less loving obedience, could be perfect in this life. He warned “Beware of the intrigues of Satan, for some seek to form for themselves a new world, in which there is to be a perfect church. Since we are already justified by Christ’s perfect righteousness, we are free to pursue Holiness, however imperfect. Being far from it we need to make advances each day. Christ thru His Spirit does not perfect us at once but our renovation throughout life. Justification is a declaration and a verdict, therefore it cannot be based on infused righteousness. It is not partial but complete. It is not enabling but saving. It is not the goal of the Christian life like in the RC, but the source of it.

  29. Jim, you fail badly at your examples. How about the tax collector in Luke 18, he simply cried out for mercy and Jesus said He went home righteous. The Philippians jailer asked Paul What must I do to be saved. Paul simply to him to believe in Jesus. He didn’t say, go down the street to the Bib church on the left, join the RCIA program, wait a year, do the 50 works they give you, then you can be partially justified, and then participate in a life of doing sacraments including 10000 masses, and then for all this I’m sorry you have to go to Purgatory and get the rest of the temporal punishment burned off, and then maybe you can come. in. He told him to believe. Romans 10: 9-10.

  30. Eric, Are you serious? Are you asserting that Catholics think the Blessed Sacrament is made at a winery? I think you need to understand the issue a little better before posting such an absurdity. I realize this is heady stuff but you owe it to yourself to at least try to understand the Catholic doctrine. You may just want to join us.
    As for ubiquity, Christ, as God, is ubiquitous but in the bread “for you”, if I understand the Lutheran teaching right. Could you flesh out how the Incarnate Christ, with a three dimensional body can be everywhere at once? Agility and subtlety are properties of a resurrected body but ubiquity isn’t as far as I know.
    I don’t want to trash Lutheran piety. I have been impressed to see Missouri Synod people kneel down and reverently receive. No doubt, their communion can be an occasion for grace. Still, only the Catholic and Orthodox Communion is the Author of grace. A real, live, priest is needed to confect the Sacrament.
    Take care.

  31. Kevin, Huh?!? Catholics don’t have Jesus on the Cross. Do you think that is our teaching? As for the shedding of blood, it was done two thousand years ago. That was the immolation. The oblation was/is done in the Upper Room and at every Mass.
    What do you mean by saying the Incarnation is finished? Christ will never lay aside His sacred humanity.
    Gotta go out but will be thinking about your comments and maybe get back to you.
    Take care.

  32. Jim–

    This may surprise you, but I’m a person, too. Not everything centers around all things Catholic. I was voicing my own opinion that your “Blessed Sacrament” was merely bread and wine because, well, because it is. Demonstrably so. I’ll bring a chemist to Mass sometime and prove it to you. Not very absurd after all. (People believing that the moon is made out of green cheese…THAT is absurd.)

    I’m not going to defend the Lutheran theory of ubiquity because I’m no longer Lutheran (though I was raised one). They actually believe that the true body and blood are distributed to all who partake of the Eucharist, though benefits accrue only to those of faith. Essentially, “ex opere operato” though they tend not to like the term.

    By the way, I totally reject the ABSURD notion that only the EO and the RC churches commune on the true body and blood of the Author of Grace. You need to get a handle on Protestant sacramentology (especially if you’re going to disparage others for their supposed ignorance)! Anglicans, Lutherans, and many Presbyterians believe wholeheartedly in the Real Presence. (Many high-church Lutherans and Anglicans [Anglo-Catholics] believe in transubstantiation [or something very similar].)

    A real live priest is necessary to make it a “sacrifice,” not to make it the body and blood of our Lord. (Where two or three are gathered in my name. There am I in the midst of them.)

  33. Eric, do you think Jim could be you know who?

  34. No, Kevin, Jim is not Voldemort….

    (Quite honestly, I never bother to speculate whether someone may be using a pseudonym. It doesn’t make any difference to me. I don’t know a single soul on this blog face to face.)

  35. Eric,

    “1. If God is at work in us to will and to do, the whatever we contribute to sanctification might as well be considered passive. In the big picture of things, it most certainly should be. From our perspective–the (exceedingly) small picture–there is some room to speak of our cooperation…though it is almost pointless to do so.”

    It’s like pulling teeth. Here’s the question again.
    When you sin in progressive sanctification, did God give you sufficient grace you resisted? Or did he not give you grace at all?
    And the whole point is that synergists *agree* that God is at work in us to will and to do. You fundamentally err in continuing to think synergism necessitates some form of semi-pelagianism. Which was also shown in your question about sufficient and efficacious grace.

    “2. You are the ones who have reduced regeneration to getting babies wet. Those with sufficient grace need not be regenerate. I don’t believe even Thomism requires that.”

    Here’s what you asked:
    “2. Explain to me how sufficient vs. efficient grace necessitates synergism.
    Are you saying that monergism allows for resistible grace in regeneration now? That the condemned were truly offered sufficient grace they rejected?”

    So are you saying now that one can hold to monergism and sufficient grace? Or are you saying now if one holds to sufficient grace that they must be synergists? If the latter, your question was answered. Thomists aren’t Molinists and are close to many aspects of Calvinism (as I said before they were cited by Calvinists in disputes on predestination) but they are not Calvinists, nor Jansenists. One of the reasons is this reason.

    “3. Those aren’t “scholars” you speak of but denominational apologists. They are devotional in nature rather than academic. True scholars don’t pursue propagandistic agendas.”

    I said they could likely offer a bibliography of such scholars on the Christology/Pelagian issue, not that they themselves were scholars. Or are you saying any scholar who draws the conclusion that Calvinism is an outworking of anti-conciliar ideas is a hack? There are erudite scholars who disagree with RCism’s claims – I don’t call them propogandistic hacks. James White and David King seem to fall under your criticisms though.

    I don’t know why you’re so reluctant to just talk about Augustine and Orange. It could be an interesting discussion. Your original claim was “in spite of the Second Council of Orange’s rejection of his soteriology” – rejection is a strong word – you have to show not just silence (I would agree that some aspects of his theology are not addressed), but actual rejection/incompatibility – the two are not the same.

    Robert,

    “If it is not, the question is irrelevant.”

    The question is quite relevant if we’re talking about things like the compatibility of grace and cooperation/resistance and sovereignty and sin/reward. Which you bring up quite often with your jabs of “you must have some grace-free island that makes you better than the unsaved” or that we can boast or that we nullify grace and the like. You cannot give cooperation with grace in progressive sanctification a pass while denying that a similar cooperation in initial justification is possible or reduces to us saving ourselves or boasting or such nonsense.

    “But you haven’t proven their identical. In fact, none of the RCs here have. It is just assumed.”

    Assumed? We’ve talked over and over about infused righteousness and law of works and law of faith and the NC fulfillment of the OC and love fulfills the law and Augustine’s distinctions between the two types of law and so on in other threads. You disagree – fine – but you cannot say we just assume it. You haven’t proven extra nos imputation. In fact, none of the Protestants here have. It is just assumed. That’s not helpful.

    “What if I said scholars have written Calvinism is Nestorian and anti-Chalcedon and anti-patristic in Christology? Or that it is Pelagian in its anthropology?
    Well, you’d be fundamentally mistaken.”

    I’d be mistaken that scholars have written such?

  36. Kevin,

    “Jim, You might want to read Revelations 19 ” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean , for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”

    Are you saying Rev 19 demonstrates extra nos imputation? The saints remain under extra nos imputation? As has been said before, clothing language does not necessitate extra nos imputation, in the same way that crediting/reckoning righteousness does not (the speech act discussion we already had).

    “Our works are gifts from God.”

    As Trent and the CCC agree.

    “You do and the Spirit works. For us, The spirit works and we do.”

    We cooperate with grace. As you do in progressive sanctification. We are not semi-Pelagians and you need to cite from sources to show such, not continue to throw around assertions and caricatures.

    “You do your level best and god gives you grace”

    And here’s the caricature again.

    “You avoided all my questions on the max, so i’ll take it that you cant answer them. I’d avoid them too.”

    I think I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve challenged/refuted your caricatures and you just ignore it and go back to the spaghetti bowl to throw something new. You are hardly in a position to make this type of statement.

  37. James. Its semi pelagian when God gives grace as a response to an act ( RC theology). It ceases to be a gift and becomes a reward and therefore puts you under being justified by Law. Again Trent tries to make it half by grace and half by works. And that don’t jive with “not that of yourself.” Grace and works are opposed in justification wherever your are on the Roman installment plan. Get It. We continue to tell you that we operate in Sanctification working out what the Spirit is working in, but we never leave the sphere of faith and we live off of the perfect righteousness we possess in Christ. We are constantly the object of God’s grace. So if we sin we are covered by his perfect righteousness because we are in Him. When you start with the Triune God and His gospel, sanctification cannot be seen as a process of our ascending a ladder of mystical experience or moral achievement. Rather, it is the outworking of God’s descent to us in our flesh, into our misery. Becoming incarnate, Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law in our place, bore our debt, rose triumphantly, and now sits on the throne of all authority, where He pours out His gifts by the Spirit. He takes all steps towards us. There is nowhere for our works to go but outward. We don’t look at sin as resisting God’s grace because we are In Christ and when we sin His righteousness covers us. So our justification continues to feed on forgiveness of sins and as our works are a gracious gift of the Spirit as we respond , so when we sin we find grace.

  38. James, you said we cooperate with grace as you do in progressive sanctification. No, its different. God gives you grace is response to your cooperation and our cooperation is the result of the gracious work of the Spirit. The first is “of yourself”under Law and the second is “not that of yourself” the free gift of righteousness. You said to me ” Yes we increase” Well when you told me that it means you do something and god gives you grace. We don’t increase in righteousness because He is our righteousness. Our salvation isn’t based on our inherent condition. It is a declaration. Im saying that the works of a believer are gifts from God and have no bearing on justification. Romans 4:116 constrains you. If a Romanist wants to be justified by grace alone it will have to be by faith alone.

  39. Kevin,

    ” No, its different. God gives you grace is response to your cooperation and our cooperation is the result of the gracious work of the Spirit.”

    Trent and the CCC both teach “Our cooperation is the result of the gracious work of the Spirit.” So your assertion is incorrect (again).

    “You said to me ” Yes we increase” Well when you told me that it means you do something and god gives you grace.”

    Does your cooperation and works (that is “doing something”) in progressive sanctification result in increased “holiness” (I put that in quotes since you still are always mortally sinning every second).

    “We don’t increase in righteousness because He is our righteousness. ”

    Trent agrees he is our righteousness. We increase in our participation in His righteousness. From perfection to still greater perfection, from full capacity to still fuller capacity.

    “Our salvation isn’t based on our inherent condition. It is a declaration.”

    Yep so much for the vaunted speech act you and Eric were playing up earlier. The ungodly remain ungodly. It’s just like your talk about union/infusion/inherent righteousness – it’s emptied of all meaning.

    “If a Romanist wants to be justified by grace alone it will have to be by faith alone.”

    You mean faith alone as in extra nos imputation. Which is still yet to be proven.

  40. Jim, Yes you do. Look. at your crucifix of at your twisted mass. He’s the eternal victim to your church. You just got to keep Him there. The church becomes His regent. This in the face of the fact Christ never considered himself a victim. He said he laid down his life by His own doing, and that no one takes His life from Him. But there is your despicable Priest sacrificing Him again and again on an altar. Let him off! He is risen. Look up to heaven for his return. I go to a Roman service and its a continual funeral. He was raised in Power and declared the Son of God. Of course we are always reminded of His death but we look at the resurrection with thanksgiving. I mean for women to go in and stare at bread for hours, how sad. Marching it around in the street, how sad. Worshiping a piece of bread and a few drops of water. Look at heaven where he is in all Glory! You heard me, the incarnation is finished act. He said he accomplished ALL that the Father had given Him to do, and that he wouldn’t eat with us again until he comes again. He communicates himself to us in the Spirit not the flesh. His humanity and his benefits come to us thru the HOLY SPIRIT.

  41. James, no i mean faith without works and virtues hooked on it. ” To the one who does not work” You guys don’t get it. The imputed righteousness of Christ’s becomes ours thru the Spirit and is implanted in us ,incomplete. and we continue to become more Holy. He left us the Spirit, not a super serum. The Spirit distributes Christ’s benefits. You will have to direct me to the chapter on infused habits. The exegesis ain’t there. Fictitious system of superstition that would crumble without the savior of merit and inherent righteousness. LOL

  42. Kevin,

    “we continue to become more Holy”

    By your cooperation. So by your logic that means “you do something and god gives you grace.” Which you were criticizing.
    How are you becoming more Holy when you continue to mortally sin every second of your life?

    “You will have to direct me to the chapter on infused habits.”

    “the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
    “And now abideth faith, hope, and love, even these three: but the chiefest of these is love””

    “The exegesis ain’t there”

    Just like your response to Pauline theosis where you say Paul didn’t really understand everything he wrote because he was only human?

  43. James, No, God gives us grace and then we do something. Its you who do something and God gives you grace. The first i stye Gospel, and the second isn’t.

  44. James, I asked you for the chapter on infused habits and you gave me the result of saving faith . Thats right Paul says we look in a mirror and then we will see face to face. He wrote what God moved him to write. But don’t tell me he understood all the ramifications of that. He wasn’t in heaven yet. He was a man. And you don’t understand it either. Peter says we are partakers of the divine nature ( koininia) fellowship. But you guys adopted Plato’s model of sanctification, where you are elevating out of nature into the divine. The scripture says god dwells in unapproachable light. And Hebrews says he is a consuming fire. But you guys are just trafficking in the divine. Ladida! Like Robert said, if you had the right view of the Holiness of God and your utter sinfuless, you would fall on your face and worship, and not want to be divine. But you got bit by the snake, so sure enough, you are inherently perfect ready to propitiate your own sins and help Him finish His incarnation. Shame on you. LOL

  45. Kevin,

    “James, No, God gives us grace and then we do something. Its you who do something and God gives you grace. The first i stye Gospel, and the second isn’t.”

    I’ve already corrected you on this with citations from Trent and CCC that you just ignore. God gives us grace, then we “do something” only because of such grace, and more grace is given. Which is what happens for you in progressive sanctification when you claim you become “more holy”. Or do you do nothing in progressive sanctification?
    If what you said was true, we’d be Pelagian. Hint – we can’t both be Pelagian and wrong on pre-Fall Adam – you gotta pick which one you want to criticize.

    “And you don’t understand it either.”

    Sure we do. That’s why our system is coherent. Unlike yours which is just a weird mix of ad hoc distinctions and inconsistencies – see the fumblings over grace in progressive sanctification, over god as author of sin, over good works that are damnable, over ontological union/inherent righteousness with mortal sin every second, etc.

  46. James–

    Well, I hope it’s like pulling teeth because there’s no way I’m going to budge. Salvation–actual salvation that sees us through all the way to the end and actually saves us from something rather than just give us some good feelings and a welcome at the neighborhood church–is monergistic (all done by God, all of grace from start to finish, Sola Gratia). If it is in in the tiniest little bit by works, then it is no longer by grace. Grace is no longer grace. You have acknowledged these exact same words, making you (using my vocabulary at any rate) monergistic. And yes, synergism (the inclusion of works–divine and human cooperation–as part of the “how” of final justification) is a synonym for semi-Pelagianism in my book. So if you wish to insist that you’re synergistic when it comes to saving salvation (as opposed to the other types of quasi-salvation which you all inanely discuss), then you will just have to settle for being called semi-Pelagian. (Technically, semi-Pelagianism is applied to those who believe that we can make the first moves toward God unaided by prevenient grace. But since you guys universalize prevenient grace, all you’ve done is an “end around” around the problem. Your solution might as well be called semi-Pelagianism…or semi-semi-Pelagianism if you prefer). What it is not is a soteriology governed by Sola Gratia.

    Talk about pulling teeth, however! Why do you all attack us on soteriology? What exactly are we supposed to be guilty of? Giving God too much glory? Now, THERE’S something to feel guilty about. I’ll go about this week with a “hang dog” look because I gave God too much glory. Shame on me! Why in heaven’s name didn’t my conscience prick me on that one?

    Monergism allows for resistible grace (sufficient rather than efficient grace) for the unregenerate. Obviously, the regenerate receive irresistible grace (or as the Thomists say, intrinsically efficacious grace). There is nothing in the slightest bit coercive about irresistible grace; it’s a bit of a misnomer. I tend to call it “gorgeous grace.” It’s irresistible like Jessica Alba or Jessica Biel or whoever the current “it” girl might be. It’s irresistible like a sunset over the Grand Canyon or the sun’s corona in a total eclipse or the Northern Lights on a summer night.

    The Reformed speak of the Atonement as being sufficient for all, efficient for some. I personally have no problem calling the grace that the unregenerate receive “sufficient grace.” It’s a little bit off, but not enough to fight about.

    To my mind, monergism is orthodox Christianity. And anything else…ain’t. It’s writ large on almost every page of Scripture.

    James White and David King are popular-level apologists. Neither one would even claim to be an academic scholar (or at least they shouldn’t). There are fields in academics which lack objectivity due to historic (or current) circumstances. Most Islamic scholars are devout Muslims because of the political pressure brought to bear against Western secular scholars in the field. Evangelicals, by and large, are not allowed to participate in academic circles in the field of Religion, especially Bible (church history is a little more open, observe the success of Mark Noll, for instance). Feminist Literature is a truly non-academic academic field, being almost totally subjective and lacking genuine peer review. Minority Studies often suffer from the same problem. Political Correctness run amok.

    Patristics is ruled by Roman Catholic scholars, by and large, just as Talmudic Studies are monopolized by Jews (one must begin the study of the “ocean of the Talmud” very early in life to have half a chance of competing). In other words, some fields of study are inherently lacking in objectivity. Even the “true scholars” in the field might not be worthy of the name. Since Protestantism was clearly an outworking of conciliarism rather than ultramontanism, saying that Calvin was generally anti-conciliar would be the work of a hack. Now, he was definitely opposed to Trent, where the conciliarists and papalists combined forces to confront the perceived Protestant “threat.” (I probably should speak of the German threat, as much of the struggle was political and ethnic in nature. The initial stirrings of later nationalistic movements.)

    The constant Catholic refrain of Protestant Nominalism is similar. Though there were Occamist tendencies inherent in certain Reformers, experts such as Heiko Oberman have disabused traditional Catholics of the Nominalist stereotype (though they have not backed off). Traditional Catholics (not unlike Traditional Protestants, as critiqued in Noll’s “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind”) are extremely narrow minded as a result of being heavily propagandized.

    I’m willing to take scholars on a case by case basis. But accusations of Calvinistic Nestorianism and the like are not particularly well thought out.

  47. Eric,

    So you still won’t answer the basic question:
    When you sin in progressive sanctification, did God give you sufficient grace you resisted? Or did he not give you grace at all?
    Please? Or will we get more sidestepping?

    “But since you guys universalize prevenient grace, all you’ve done is an “end around” around the problem. Your solution might as well be called semi-Pelagianism…or semi-semi-Pelagianism if you prefer”

    This conflates sufficiency of grace with efficacy of grace. And again you need to deal with your view of progressive sanctification in order to be consistent. Which is why I’ve asked the question above about 5 times already.

    “What exactly are we supposed to be guilty of? Giving God too much glory?”

    By giving him too much “glory”, you actually take away his glory. It is not to his glory to say he can’t transform us and make us truly godly, but must continually look at our soul “as if” it’s not sinful. Or that he must look at our “good” works as if they don’t have sin. Or that he can’t work according to the nature he’s created in us and elevating our faculties to work with him, rather than having to view it as some type of zero-sum competition between the two. Or that he does not give sufficient grace to all. Or that the justified remain groveling servants instead of friends and sons as He calls us. And so on.

    If I wanted to really maximize God’s glory and put you guys to shame according to your mentality – I should just believe in ongoing extra nos imputation for eternity, that we’re automatons, and in occasionalism.

    “Monergism allows for resistible grace (sufficient rather than efficient grace) for the unregenerate. Obviously, the regenerate receive irresistible grace (or as the Thomists say, intrinsically efficacious grace).

    Are you sure this is orthodox Calvinism? The unregenerate received sufficient grace they resisted? If so, you should not accuse Thomists or Trent of talking out of both sides of their mouth, nor have any issue with the G-L quote on mystery I’ve cited frequently. You need to harmonize such a sentiment with your criticism of universal prevenient grace above.

    “There is nothing in the slightest bit coercive about irresistible grace; it’s a bit of a misnomer.”

    I am fully aware of that and have never implied otherwise.

    “Protestantism was clearly an outworking of conciliarism rather than ultramontanism, saying that Calvin was generally anti-conciliar ”

    This is a mischaracterization of what I said. I didn’t say Calvin was anti-conciliar in general. I was talking about scholarly views on the system of Calvinism being anti-conciliar in terms of conciliar Christology and conciliar views of grace.

  48. Kevin, I think the reason you haven’t taken the time to understand the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist is because, as a Protestant, the Sacraments really don’t fit into your system. Luther retained them to a degree but he actually said that as his gospel became more known, sacraments would fall away with the other adiaphora. John McArthur expresses his bewilderment that Luther, the guy who concocted the idea of Justification by Faith Alone, continued to Baptize babies.
    The protestant monergistic system is the root of the denial of the Sacraments. They are seen as on a par with circumcision and other O.T. ceremonies or human works done outside of grace.
    Since God wants all men saved, why do some go to hell? Since He is willing that none should perish, why do some perish? Since Christ merited salvation for the whole human race, why are some damned? Why aren’t the graces merited at Calvary applied to some men? God cannot positively reprobate anyone in the supralapsarian sense without willing the means, a.k.a. the sin, needed to damn them. Nor does He pass over anyone in the infralapsarian sense. No, scripture says that God bound all men in so so that He could have mercy on them all. So, since God wants all men saved and stands at the door and knocks, why don’t all men open the door? In the Apocalypse, Christ is seen as waiting anxiously for some of the churches to repent. Doesn’t He know that He can stop wringing His hands and pacing back and forth through the corridors of heaven waiting for their repentance? Why not tap Him on the shoulder and say, “Lord, they aren’t going to repent until you give them the grace to repent.”
    The Protestant monergistic system that thinks it is guarding the sovereignty of God against man’s autonomous free will just make God a puppet master and man a puppet.
    Until you come to terms with this error, the Eucharist will make no sense at all to you.

  49. Jim, Well I can tell you frankly I understand Romanism better than you understand Protestantism. Because for you to say that sacraments don’t fit into our system means your have never taken your head out of the Catholic church. We celebrate the Supper every week where we truly meet our Lord in Faith, Word, and Spirit. We look back on our baptism as a reminder of the seal He put on us when we were brought to faith by the Spirit thru the word, as Scripture teaches Romans 5:17. 1 Peter 1:23, James 1:18. But your church thru History, as it changed from 3 sacraments to 7, put up sacramental efficacy up in the place of the atonement. There are only 4 verses on the lords supper in the epistles and yet you replace Faith and the atonement with a mechanical salvation attained thru doing sacraments. We are called to salvation thru simple faith. And faith is the whole life. Paul says” the righteous shall live by faith.” Well we know one thing, the greatest sacrament of the Old testament circumcision Paul taught was a sign of the inner reality. The Bible is clear ” Faith comes thru hearing and hearing the word of God.” The trees in the Garden, the rainbow for Noah were all sacraments and they were signs and god’s free gift to us. In RC they are works of men to obtain grace. If you are a true believer Jimd how could you participate in a church that teaches grace is a reward for doing a sacrament, instead of a free gift. Yes John MacArthur does not believe in infant baptism. The bible says faith comes thru hearing the word of God. Baptism is the confirmation of that faith. Somebodies baby baptism will mean nothing if hey don’t believe. You said ” the Protestant monergistic system is the root of denial of the sacraments.” Not sure what you mean by that? Monergism means Salvation is of God not man. Not in your system. Synergism, you can’t fight the urge to smuggle you character and works into God’s work of grace. But God said none will be justified by observing the Law, just faith. Romans 3:26, Galatians 2:16. Grace in the Roman system is just a tool for meriting salvation. But this will find hell. If you don’t believe me, go read Romans 9:30 – 10:4 for a long time before you go to bed, and then think about it. Then when you wake up read Romans 10: 9-10 and let me know what you find out? Your asking me why men go to hell. because they are sinners and enemies of God. Read the Gospels Jesus preached on Hell as much as any other subject. You may not like that, but its the truth. Men reject God, read the 1st 3 chapters of Romans. ” Many are called, few are CHOSEN.” Until you come to the understanding that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us and that he chose us before the foundation of the world, you will will stick to a works synergism and will never understand the true meaning of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is God’s gift to us. In the Roman system it is a despicable re breaking of our Lord’s body and a work of man where he purchases and earns more justice for him and his dead friends. Do you agree with this doctrine? This system or meriting salvation thru doing sacraments is no where in scripture and will send a man to hell. Are you aware of this Jim? The bible says simple faith saves a man. And its all over the new Testament.

  50. Jim–

    It’s not even possible that Luther said such a thing. The Reformers were in agreement on the two marks of the true church: the faithful preaching (and hearing) of the Word of God and the right administration of the Sacraments. There was absolutely no deviation from these essentials. They were nowhere near to being adiaphora, nor would they ever be on this side of the Parousia. Where did you pick up this extraordinarily odd notion?

    Luther was actually a bit obsessive when it came to the Sacraments, having a hard time leaving old habits behind. Once, when consecrated wine spilled onto the church carpet, he had the piece cut out and burned. He completely distanced himself from Zwingli over the Real Presence in the Eucharist. He would remark that he knew he was saved because he had been baptized.

  51. Kevin,

    “Synergism, you can’t fight the urge to smuggle you character and works into God’s work of grace.”

    Progressive sanctification, you can’t fight the urge to smuggle your character and works into God’s work of grace.

    “But God said none will be justified by observing the Law, just faith.”

    RCs agree we are justified by faith, but not extra nos imputation. For it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.
    And how does one do the law? Love one another and fulfill the law. His commandments are not burdensome.

  52. Jim,

    The Good thief did an act of charity by showing compassion for the innocent Jesus. The fact that Baptized babies can be saved without doing one good work kind of sinks the Protestant canard that Catholics believe in salvation by works, huh?

    What act of compassion? He’s hanging there on the cross, he can’t do anything except say the man is innocent. That’s not compassion, it’s recognizing who he is. Offering the wine-soaked sponge, that was compassion.

    As far as babies being saved:

    1. We know you don’t believe in salvation by works alone. It’s faith plus grace plus works, and then you might make it.

    2. Rome has changed its position on infant salvation over time.

    3. The fact that you say some babies can be saved apart from works just demonstrates the horrible inconsistency of the Roman system that wants to maintain ex opere operato sacramentalism except where it doesn’t.

    And I agree with Eric, I don’t know where you are getting these ideas about sacraments. Lutherans as a whole remain incredibly sacramental. I grew up Lutheran. Often the way the people in the pew view the sacraments isn’t much different than lay Roman Catholics—as long as you’re baptized and confirmed, you’re golden. It borders on ex opere operato even though official Lutheran theology would deny it. In any case, Calvin had a far higher view of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper than modern Rome does. He actually disciplined people and kept them away from the Lord’s Table because he knew that partaking of the sacrament unworthily can lead to damnation. In modern Roman Catholicism, promoters of mortal sin such as Joe Biden are welcomed to the Vatican inaugural mass of Francis and allowed to partake of the sacrament even though by doing so they are heaping judgment on their souls. And Calvin wanted to hold the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. So your view of Protestant sacramentology is just wrong.

  53. Eric,

    Patristics is ruled by Roman Catholic scholars, by and large, just as Talmudic Studies are monopolized by Jews (one must begin the study of the “ocean of the Talmud” very early in life to have half a chance of competing). In other words, some fields of study are inherently lacking in objectivity. Even the “true scholars” in the field might not be worthy of the name. Since Protestantism was clearly an outworking of conciliarism rather than ultramontanism, saying that Calvin was generally anti-conciliar would be the work of a hack. Now, he was definitely opposed to Trent, where the conciliarists and papalists combined forces to confront the perceived Protestant “threat.” (I probably should speak of the German threat, as much of the struggle was political and ethnic in nature. The initial stirrings of later nationalistic movements.)

    The constant Catholic refrain of Protestant Nominalism is similar. Though there were Occamist tendencies inherent in certain Reformers, experts such as Heiko Oberman have disabused traditional Catholics of the Nominalist stereotype (though they have not backed off). Traditional Catholics (not unlike Traditional Protestants, as critiqued in Noll’s “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind”) are extremely narrow minded as a result of being heavily propagandized.

    I’m willing to take scholars on a case by case basis. But accusations of Calvinistic Nestorianism and the like are not particularly well thought out.

    You are on fire my man. Course there are some around here who would say they are completely objective and uninfluenced by their tradition. That fits well with a RC view that doesn’t believe the fall really did anything to our minds. For those who understand total depravity, however, things are much different.

  54. James, Did Christ fulfill the Law and save us? Or did He make it just a possibility to be saved?

  55. Robert, How else’s do you justify that system. Jim’s looking for works to justify works. He probably thinks the tax collector who was crying for mercy, was feeding a poor man while he was praying!

  56. Kevin,

    CCC: “The Law has not been abolished, but rather man is invited to rediscover it in the person of his Master who is its perfect fulfillment”

    The elect are infallibly saved. That does not mean they do not cooperate in salvation, nor that the condemned did not receive sufficient grace.

  57. Eric, When you list the groups who believe in a Real Presence, you fail to define your terms. As for Presbyterians, Calvin said that in Communion, Christ is truly offered to all, including unbelievers. At first glance it would seem you are correct. However, Calvin meant Christ is offered to all but received only by believers. Among Anglicans, there is no consensus on anything, Real Presence, sacrifice,or nature of the priesthood. In my area, ( Estoril, Portugal ), there are several Protestant denominations ministering to ex-pats. They practice open Communion amongst each other. One church even invites the unbaptized to communicate. How can this practice be defended? Because it is not important what one believes on the issue!
    Which brings me to Kevin. I am going to stand my ground on what I said about about your system making Sacraments superfluous. Despite all the lip service about them or about good works accompanying saving faith or the nice things said about sanctification, at the end of the day, Christ’s imputed righteousness is all that matters. Am I wrong?
    Ask Robert about it. When I asked if Abraham, who had been justified by faith many years prior to the sacrifice of Isaac, still had free will and could have refused to sacrifice the boy. Would Abraham have continued to be justified? Robert answered with something about the eternal decrees of God.
    Gentlemen, keep in mind that whatever the deformers taught on any issue, in the background was their doctrine of Deus Abscondus. A capricious, whimsical puppet master had from all eternity decided the outcome of everything. This hidden god could even lie. He could say through the scriptures that he wanted all men saved or that all men are called to faith, but he was only fibbing. This god could decree murder to be a virtue and good works damnable. Luther and Calvin, in hushed reverence, said this was a great and holy mystery and that men were not to question it.
    I say it is blasphemous hogwash.

  58. James, you wrote to Kevin:

    The elect are infallibly saved. That does not mean they do not cooperate in salvation, nor that the condemned did not receive sufficient grace.

    Response:
    The elect are elect by grace before the foundation of the world. Sufficient for what ? Doesn’t infallibly reach from beginning to end ? Is God unjust ? (Rom.9:14) Sufficient grace is a complicated way to answer no, but retain infallible salvation for the elect.

    Is God unjust to infallibly save the elect over and against the condemned ? If no, then why ? It always comes back to God giving or withholding. You just cannot worship or praise the ‘withholding’ of God !

  59. Jim, you wrote to Kevin:

    Which brings me to Kevin. I am going to stand my ground on what I said about about your system making Sacraments superfluous. Despite all the lip service about them or about good works accompanying saving faith or the nice things said about sanctification, at the end of the day, Christ’s imputed righteousness is all that matters. Am I wrong?

    Response:

    You are a wrong inventor of evil (Rom.1:30) and guilty of charging God’s elect (Rom.8:33) This is fine straw for your strawman. We teach that a man is justified by his words (Matt.12:37), so also we teach that a man is justified by works (James 2:24) and promised eternal life as the end of sanctification. (Rom.6:22). You would have us condemn ourselves through our words, i.e, lip service and nice things said. Then with nimble instruments, you can charge us with opposition to Matt.12:37 because we teach imputed righteousness. (Rom.4:6)

  60. Jim, you said ” He could say through the scriptures that he wanted all men to be saved or that all me are called to faith, but He was only fibbing” John17:6 ” I have manifested Your name TO THE MEN YOU WHOM YOU HAVE GAVE ME OUT OF THE WORLD, they were Yours and you gave them to Me , and they have kept your word.” So much for Jim’s universalism lets hold hands and sing cumbaya moment. ” I ask on their behalf; I DO NOT ASK ON BEHALF OF THE WORLD; BUT THOSE WHOM YOU HAVE GIVEN ME> You want to rethink your theory Jimmy. LOL

  61. Jim–

    You leave me breathless! You say one preposterous thing after another. I did indeed define Real Presence as the actual, corporeal body and blood of our Lord. Yes, for Presbyterians it requires the faith of the individual believer. For Catholics it requires the faith of the church. (A priest cannot decide to go into a mall, consecrate the Host, and start distributing the elements. It is not valid outside the context of the church.) For Anglicans it is a combination of the two. It must be consecrated by an Anglican priest, but all baptized Christians may partake (though benefits accrue only to those with faith).

    I couldn’t care less what liberal Protestant denominations might do. It would not surprise me if they gave communion to their pets! They are apostate. They are not even Christian in any meaningful sense of the term, let alone actually “Protestant.”

    Christ’s imputed righteousness is all that matters for what? For the believer’s justification certainly. But that is a petty matter in the grander scheme of things. And, if that’s all you’re referring to, I can say something quite similar of Catholics: Christ’s infused righteousness is all that matters. For Protestants the glory of God is all that really matters. Our justification is but a dab of icing on an already iced cake.

    Abraham was justified by Christ some 1800 years after his death.

    Since you speak of God as a “puppet master” under our system, you obviously have no comprehension of compatibilistic free will. I’ll give you a break until you get caught up to speed.

    By the way, did you ever find a citation where Luther claimed that sacraments were adiaphora? Because that, I really gotta see!!

  62. Jim,

    Gentlemen, keep in mind that whatever the deformers taught on any issue, in the background was their doctrine of Deus Abscondus. A capricious, whimsical puppet master had from all eternity decided the outcome of everything. This hidden god could even lie. He could say through the scriptures that he wanted all men saved or that all men are called to faith, but he was only fibbing. This god could decree murder to be a virtue and good works damnable. Luther and Calvin, in hushed reverence, said this was a great and holy mystery and that men were not to question it.

    Neither Calvin nor Luther believed God could lie or call sin good. Where are you getting this from. It is because they believed God couldn’t lie that they finally broke with the Roman Church, which had built so much on fiction.

    Where are you getting this?

  63. Eric, I don’t think you meant to say imputed righteousness is a petty thing in the grand scheme of things, right. I’m actually counting on it, or I got no chance.

  64. Eric, Robert, why do they have such a hard time understanding the perfect righteousness that we received credited to us becomes our thru union with the Spirit and inheres in us thru Christ, which gives us a righteous standing. When one reads Romans 5:6-12 He reconciled us to God while we were sinners verse 10″ For if we were enemies we were reconciled to God thru the death of His son…” I mean this scripture kills the Roman cooperative effort model. Its past and its while there is still in enmity. We still do things that would alienate us from God. Its obvious that barrier has been taken away and we have been brought near thru the blood of Christ. The bible always views god’s justification, for all its moral implications, as unilateral immediate, entire, objective, alien and forensic. Its a verdict either just or unjust. No condemnation in 8:1 can’t mean “to make” and none can bring a charge against us. 8:28—

  65. And 2 Corinthians 5:21 does not mean that God becomes a sinner ontologically nor does it mean we become divine ontologically.

  66. Eric, I think this cat Jim is a plant who likes to watch the Reformed jump by saying outlandish things. But he better get it straight or there could be a little hot jumping himself!

  67. +JMJ+

    Eric wrote:

    Since you speak of God as a “puppet master” under our system, you obviously have no comprehension of compatibilistic free will. I’ll give you a break until you get caught up to speed.

    Let’s hasten the process.

    Reformism’s “Compatibilism” affirms both Man’s “freedom to be himself” and his “responsibility” for that freedom.

    “Now what, exactly, does that mean?”, one may be asking. Good question.

    Way back in October 2103, Wosbald wrote:
    .
    “Free to be himself” means free to be, by Nature, inherently opposed to the things of God. That’s Reformed “freedom”.
    .
    Man is said to have “responsibility” because he’s said to be responsible for being born evil (responsible for being born “utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil” [WCF, VI, 4]). That’s Reformed “responsibility”.

  68. Robert, Eric and Kevin, For my sources on Luther, I will refer you to Grisar’s work. He has about three pages on Deus Abscondus vs Deus Revelatus. The real magnum opus though, in my opinion, is a video called “Martin Luther and the Death of Charity” ( or something similar ). It features a fellow by the name of Art Sippo explaining the mindset that drove Luther to invent Justification by faith Alone. I first saw it about twenty years ago. I will never forgot how Sippo talks about the lurid and scatological art of Lucas Cranach which was commissioned by Luther. (Click on google images ). The Jew hating, witch burning, lightening fearing, beer guzzling, devil obsessed, nun ravaging, scrupulous, renegade ex-monk went so far as to give permission for Landgrave Philip to take two wives ( but just don’t tell anybody about it ). I don’t mean to reduce this discussion to a food fight by airing Luther’s dirty linen. Still, Justification By Faith Alone wasn’t born in a vacuum. None of the king pins of the Deformation were known for their holy living. As a matter of fact, they taught that striving to be holy was mere pharisaical boasting, works righteousness or pelagianism. Of course they loved the idea of an alien righteousness. They had no righteousness of their own ( worked by the Holy Spirit. of course ).
    By the way Robert, you wrote to James that “it is semi-pelagian when God gives grace in response to an act”. Then Noah must have been semi-pelagian ( Gn 6:8 ). The charge doesn’t apply to Catholicism though as we hold that God gives actual grace first to move us to a salutary act, then, if we cooperate or at least not resist, He gives sanctifying grace as a reward. God always initiates the act. ALWAYS.
    Speaking of Pelagius, the haplessLuther above misapplied St.Augustine to St. Paul’s epistles and confused the judaizers with pelagians ( and/or semi-pelagians ). Pelagius came four hundred years after St. Paul. And you poor guys are still paying the price for Luther’s misunderstanding of both Augustine and Paul.

  69. Man’s not so bad and God’s not so mad. Right Wosy. You would rather follow Lombard, who located the responsibility for sin in God. He tried to work out his pollution in the creation of God. You don’t need a savior just a little Windex to clean up the little bit of concupiscence so you can continue your assent from one of Plato’s worlds to the next and become what God really intended you to be, the fifth member of the Trinity, along with the Mother of Jesus and you know the other 3. The last shall be first. You go boy!

  70. Kevin–

    Whether or not you personally have a chance is not particularly all that important, little squashbug that you are. Sola fide is the article by which the CHURCH stands or falls. Granted, it is important. But it pales in comparison to the glorification of God (indeed its principal claim to fame is that it is a method by which God chooses to glorify himself. Soli deo gloria is the controlling sola.

    The chief end of man is to…what? To be personally saved from sin and death and to enjoy the Riviera of heaven forever? No, Kevin, the chief end of man is to GLORIFY GOD and to enjoy him forever.

    Keep it straight!!

  71. Eric, It’s weird how Calvinists think compatibilism saves them from making God out to be cruel. Romans 11:32 says that God shut up ALL men in disobedience so He could have mercy on them ALL. It doesn’t say SOME. God didn’t permit the fall of Adam in order to get them all into a great Massa Damnata so He could say “eeny meeny miny moe, off to hell some go, to others my mercy show”. Watch Jerry Wall ( arminian ) for a refutation of your position .

  72. Jim, You’ll have to cheek out my new book “How the RC killed faith”In it I make the point that the RC robs from faith and gives to love only what God intended for faith. My premise is “THe righteous shall live by FAITH”. I site many passages ( like everything i Scripture how faith alone was always the entry way into this Holistic salvation) and like Hebrews where it says without faith it is impossible to please Him. And 1 John 5: 4 where it says by faith we overcome the world. In my new book I explain how it is only faith that can receive and embrace Christ sand Hid righteousness and bring Him to the soul. And its only faith that can justify. I also explain how there could never be a virtue attached to faith, like love,in justification because it would take the Glory from God and give it to man ( Catholics). Love reaches out to the neighbor and is always SECOND in natural order. It cannot do the function of faith. That description you gave of all those abominable sins; you had to mean the Roman Priesthood. Spurgeon said ” Call yourself a Priest sir, I dare say anyone would take the name. When I consider all the villainies and abominations and crimes that have been concocted under a false Priesthood, Id rather a man looked at me in the street and called me the devil himself than to call me a Priest. For the Catholic justification is the recognition of an intrinsic qualification for a reward, for Paul it was the declaration about someone intrinsically unqualified.

  73. Jim, you have to check out the theme song from Willy Wonka that Gene Wilder sings. Its called Pure Imagination. Because thats were you live bro. “Come with me and you’ll see a world of pure imagination” The next thing your going to tell us is hell is not mentioned in the bible and God does not send anyone there. Maybe your on the JPII kiss the Koran and invite all the do gooders to heaven program,. Just one big blob of corporate catholic do gooders in a ball with God and we will be ” all in all” Mans not so bad and god’s not so mad. Mathew 7 ” Narrow is the gate to heaven and few who are there that enter by it” the word there is turnstile.”Wide is the road to destruction and many enter by it.” We’ve got to get you a bible with these verses in it.

  74. Eric, I’ll make you a deal, ill keep it straight if you quit backhanding imputation, little squash bug. LOL

  75. Kevin, Glad to hear you have such a high regard for faith. We do too. Which biblical definition do you go by? Believing God exists and He rewards those who seek Him ( Heb 11:6)? Or “By faith Abel offered…Noah built…Abraham obeyed… the walls of Jericho fell…Jacob blessed…Moses refused…Rahab welcomed…crossed the Red Sea…submitted to torture…were stoned or sawed in half…”. How about St.Paul’s “obedience that is faith” used twice in Romans? Is you faith confined to “…if you believe God raised Jesus from the dead…you can be saved”? Is it the faith that establishes the Law? The faith we are commanded to have, without which we are damned? Is it the faith we are to contend for? Is it a faith that can increase? Or is it the Empty Hand of Calvinism? If so, how does an Empty Hand increase? How can we be commanded to have it if we have nothing to say about it being given to us?
    As for Charity, St. Paul says it is greater than faith. Jesus tells the sorrowful woman that her faith has saved her BECAUSE SHE LOVED MUCH. Of course, Paul often uses faith as a synechdoche for faith, hope, charity,obedience, etc. Is that what you mean? Then I agree with you.
    Of course faith justifies because it is an act of the intellect moved by the will (love ). However, the love can be lost but the faith can remain. St. James says so. Then it is dead. Faith without love cannot justify.
    “Nothing in my hand I bring, to the cross I cling” is catchy but if it means one can hate God and still be saved, it’s nonsense. Jesus said we must love God with our whole heart and soul. This completes the Law. And this love is shed into our hearts by the Holy Spirit at Baptism. Let’s talk about it.

  76. Jim, I go by the one that justified the ungodly, apart form works, and credits righteousness to the believer in Romans 4:5. The one that justified Abraham in Genesis 15. I believe Paul said “the obedience of faith, but thats ok whats fell free to change the verse around. You had to change a few around to get the Mother of Jesus to be the fourth member of the Trinity, Queen of heaven, and Co mediatrix. No it is the faith in the one who fulfilled the Law in our place, Christ Romans 8:1-4. You said “Paul uses often as a synecdoche for hope, charity, obedience, etc. Is that what you mean.” No I mean simple faith that justifies past tense like in Romans 5:1. I mean the one that Paul talks about that does not have a virtue attached to it in justification. The one in Romans 4:16 that says if Romanist wants to be justified by grace alone it will have to be by faith alone. The one in Romans 3:26 that says ” He is just and justifier of those who have faith in Jesus. The one that was predestined in Romans 9 before there was any infused habit of love. Thats the one! You said ” Of course faith justifies because it is an act of the intellect moved by the will.” Thats not what biblical faith is Fiducia, Pistis means trust, embracing and receiving, and resting in. It has to be apart form virtue because Paul said justification is only available “to the one who does not work” and to “not that of yourselves” Eph 2:8. Your ship is sunk bud. The one who trusts Christ alone, the truly saved man, could never ate God. Read Romans 9 and see how God chose Jacob before he had done anything. We are justified by faith alone and justified by his blood , it never says we are justified by an infused habit. That is fictitious gospel.

  77. Kevin, Mary is the fourth member of the Trinity? That is sillier than the Islamic misunderstanding Christians think the Trinity is Father, Son and Mary. At least the Muslims know that Trinity means three, not four. You can learn something from them.
    I enjoy the repartee but you have just ratcheted this exchange up to a level I have no time for. Adios.

  78. Eric W,

    I am not sure how to decipher your objection. The elect are elect by grace before the foundation of the world through efficacious (intrinsically so in Thomism) grace. The condemned are condemned by their rejection of sufficient grace – truly sufficient – the power is actually conferred – but merely sufficient – it fails in its effect due to resistance. Sufficient grace confers the power to act, efficacious grace infallibly confers the act itself and is the fruit within sufficient grace – “help without which we cannot” in distinction to “help whereby”. One must distinguish between ability and action. One must affirm the antecedent will for salvation, really yet merely sufficient grace, and freedom from necessity (required for merit), as Thomism does.

    I will cite G-L at length to try to clarify:

    “In fact, the will lacks efficacious grace because it resists sufficient grace; but if its resists sufficient grace, this is not because it lacks efficacious grace; its own deficiency suffices as a cause of such resistance. Cf. Ia IIae, q. 112, a. 3 ad 2: “The first cause of this deficiency of grace is on our part, but the first cause of the conferring of grace is on the part of God, according to the words: ‘Destruction is thy own, O Israel: thy help is only in Me.”’ There would indeed be a vicious circle in Thomism if of the two following propositions the second were true: Man is deprived of efficacious grace because he resists sufficient grace, and man resists sufficient grace because he lacks efficacious grace. Of course, the second statement is false; if it were true, man would sin from the insufficiency of divine help, sin would then be inevitable and would therefore no longer be sin. In truth, man does not sin on account of insufficient help or of any divine neglect, but because of his own deficiency.”

    “Therefore the sufficient grace of the Thomists is not, as their adversaries maintain, a power, sterile in itself, from which God, according to His good pleasure, withholds the outpouring necessary for reducing it to act, but rather, in sufficient grace God offers us efficacious grace….For sufficient grace is indeed the principle of a good work, virtually containing it, and would in fact accomplish it (under the continuous influence of God, as the flower under the continuous influence of the sun), did not man, by his defective liberty, resist it. Thus a good seed, consigned to the earth, bears fruit unless it is prevented by some deficiency in the soil. And hence sufficient grace is the seed of the gospel referred to by our Lord in the parable of the sower….But it is false to say that man sins because he is deprived of efficacious grace; rather, on the contrary, it should be said that he is deprived of efficacious grace because by sinning he resists sufficient grace. For a man to sin, his own defective will suffices…Therefore he who does not receive efficacious, but only sufficient grace, although he can avoid resisting, yet does in fact resist, but freely and culpably. The divine permission of this sin is only its indispensable condition but not its cause; and the subsequent divine refusal of efficacious grace, offered within sufficient grace, is the punishment for this free resistance. But herein lies the great mystery which is expressed in Holy Scripture in various texts”

    “[Trent’s] intention is to declare that even intrinsically efficacious grace does not deprive man of liberty, for he can resist if he so wills. The Council does not maintain that man does, in fact, sometimes dissent, but that “he can dissent if he so wills.” In other words, the contrary power remains, but under efficacious grace man never wills to resist, nor does he; otherwise the grace would not be efficacious or there would be a contradiction in terms; that is, otherwise grace would not cause us to act.”

    ” ‘Since, therefore, the divine will is most efficacious, it not only follows that those things are done which God wills should be done, but also that they are done in the manner in which He wills them to be done. Now God wills that certain things be done necessarily and certain others contingently’ (and freely) according as they proceed from proximate causes not determined to one end, and He moves them infallibly according to what befits their nature.”
    (Cooperation/Synergism is not a zero-sum or competitive game with grace – grace elevates our nature, which includes our will)

    “In the same way, a man who is seated may stand up, in the divided sense, but not in the composite sense; that is, while seated he has a real power of standing, but he cannot sit and stand simultaneously. These two alternatives are both possible but not concurrently; cf. Ia IIae, q. 10, a. 4 ad 3. Calvin refers to the divided sense with another meaning; according to him, under the efficacious motion of God, the real power of doing the opposite does not remain, but once this motion has been removed, the power of the opposite appears again. The Jansenists hold the same opinion. It is the like error with respect to real power as that of the Megarians who declare that a teacher does not have the power to teach except when he is actually teaching; in which case, should he be sleeping and therefore not actually seeing, he would be blind.”

    “This doctrine of grace efficacious in itself is connected with the principle of predilection: no one would be better than another were he not loved more by God. “What hast thou that thou hast not received?” We must always thank God for every good: “Not to us, O Lord, not to us; but to Thy name give glory.”
    …The Church prays in the same way in her Missal, as St. Augustine shows (Epist. ad Vital., 217) and Bossuet in his Défense de la tradition, Bk. X, chap. 10: “That God may compel our rebellious wills; that of infidels refusing to believe He may make believers.2 That He may apply our hearts to good works. That He may give us a good will. That He may convert and draw us to Himself. That He may remove our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh, or docile hearts. That He may transform our wills and incline them toward good. That He may not permit us to be separated from Him.” Cf. the prayers of the Mass before the priest’s Communion.”

    But yeah, we’re semi-Pelagians or something.

  79. Jim–

    You are SO right to call Kevin on his disparagement of the Blessed Virgin! Member of the Holy Trinity, indeed! She’s SO much higher than that in the hierarchy it’s not even funny….

  80. Jim–

    If you listen to propaganda long enough, you just might start believing it. Here is what the well-known Lutheran theologian at Yale, Jaroslav Pelikan (who converted to Eastern Orthodoxy a few years before his death in 2006), stated concerning Grisar and a few other Catholic scholars of similar ilk:

    “The names of three Roman Catholic scholars who dealt with Luther are important here: Denifle, Weiss, and Hartmann Grisar….despite the scholarship, however, and despite great erudition, these biographies [of Luther] persisted in repeating the old slanders and in cultivating the old tone-deafness to the religious accents of the Reformation. And so Denifle had ‘used the framework of his book in order to perpetuate a brand of infamy so tendentious, so objectively untrue, and so frightfully vulgar that it’s equal has not been thought up in our time even by second-rate scribblers’. Weiss had ‘put together all the heresies of the 14th and 15th century from the Atlantic Ocean to the Bohemian forests in order to determine that Luther is a combination of all of them and disappears in them completely.’ And Grisar, too, had still retained ‘remnants of the vulgar-Catholic way of battling,’ even though his research had led him a long way from the earlier screeds.”

  81. Jim–

    You are also ignoring your Pope emeritus’ sincere attempts at rehabilitating the image of Luther (and of Protestantism in general) in Catholic eyes:

    “The difficulty in the way of giving an answer is a profound one. Ultimately it is due to the fact that there is no appropriate category in Catholic thought for the phenomenon of Protestantism today (one could say the same of the relationship to the separated churches of the East). It is obvious that the old category of ‘heresy’ is no longer of any value. Heresy, for Scripture and the early Church, includes the idea of a personal decision against the unity of the Church, and heresy’s characteristic is pertinacia , the obstinacy of him who persists in his own private way. This, however, cannot be regarded as an appropriate description of the spiritual situation of the Protestant Christian. In the course of a now centuries-old history, Protestantism has made an important contribution to the realization of Christian faith, fulfilling a positive function in the development of the Christian message and, above all, often giving rise to a sincere and profound faith in the individual non-Catholic Christian, whose separation from the Catholic affirmation has nothing to do with the pertinacia characteristic of heresy. Perhaps we may here invert a saying of St. Augustine’s: that an old schism becomes a heresy. The very passage of time alters the character of a division, so that an old division is something essentially different from a new one. Something that was once rightly condemned as heresy cannot later simply become true, but it can gradually develop its own positive ecclesial nature, with which the individual is presented as his church and in which he lives as a believer, not as a heretic. This organization of one group, however, ultimately has an effect on the whole. The conclusion is inescapable, then: Protestantism today is something different from heresy in the traditional sense, a phenomenon whose true theological place has not yet been determined.”

    The last thing you want is to get into a “food fight” with us. We’ll get a few splatters on us, no doubt. But you’ll come out looking like Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout (who would not take the garbage out) of Shel Silverstein fame. Because when it comes to Jew hating, witch burning, superstitioning, beer guzzling, devil obsessing, nun ravaging, and trash talking NO ONE can keep up with the Catholics!! (I refer you to the Canterbury Tales or to Carmina Burana if you want a few examples–or should I say, a whole bunch of examples–of Medieval Catholic debauchery. Luther learned from the best!)

    So would you please quit with the ad hominems already and engage in civilized debate? That way, you won’t have to feel so “dirty” at the end of the day….

  82. Jim–

    1. Do you not realize that Thomism is also a form of compatibilism?

    2. I listened to Dr. Walls. He is quite affable, clear, and thorough. He defines Calvinism, for the most part, rather fairly, but when he goes on the attack he jousts with straw men. He also seems oblivious to the weaknesses of Arminianism. I don’t think I came away crediting him with a single salient point. Sorry. Have you got anything better?

  83. Eric, I suggested you listen to Jerry Walls only because he addresses compatibilism directly. Since you are open to actually listening to opposing views, I think you would be interested in Arminian Steve Gregg’s lectures and debates with such Calvinists as the infamous James White. He never gets snotty. his logic iron clad and all based on the Bible. Since he’s not Catholic ( he even debates Tim Staples ) you won’t have any knee-jerk anti-Catholicism to overcome.
    As for the food fight, you make the usual Protestant mistake of not understanding that we acknowledge a possible bifurcation in what a pope or bishop might believe or teach and the way they live. In the case of Luther however, his doctrine is concocted to support and justify his actions. Remember the antinomian schism within Protestant ranks immediately on the heals of Luther’s split with Rome. It wasn’t until Zinzendorf’s time that there was an attempt to restore holy living to Protestantism. You will have to show some examples of official Catholic doctrine endorsing debauchery or marital infidelity for instance. ( Luther’s allowance of bigamy was based on his reading of the Bible!) Compare our differences on such issues as contraception and divorce and remarriage. Or even abortion. We don’t have the exception clause. True, many Catholics engage in these sins. But they are mortal sins for the Catholic. Mortal sins are a salvation issue. I have actually heard Dr. James Dobson counselling married couples on contraception! A few weeks ago Mike Huckabee was all over himself back-peddling for his statements on contraception, assuring the liberals that he was in favor of them. Jimmy Swaggert basically said Mother Theresa was going to hell, her good works were worthless as far as her salvation was concerned. No, I am not the one with a pie in my face here. Please give some examples of Luther or Calvin’s saintliness in either their teachings or in their personal lives.

  84. Eric, Sorry, I gave you an impossible task when I asked for “some” examples of sanctity in doctrine or practice from the Deformers. I will change it. Give me ONE example.

  85. Jim–

    Since you wanted simple, your wish is my command.

    First, a quote to show that your contention that Luther was Antinomian is a bunch of bunk:

    “Therefore, when some say that good works are forbidden when we preach faith alone, it is as if I said to a sick man: “If you had health, you would have the use of all your limbs; but without health, the works of all your limbs are nothing”; and he wanted to infer that I had forbidden the works of all his limbs; whereas, on the contrary, I meant that he must first have health, which will work all the works of all the members. So faith also must be in all works the ‘master workman’ and captain, or they are nothing at all.”

    And ONE act of piety:

    “The very home where the Luthers lived was testament to this freedom: instead of housing men who lived in seclusion while the community lived in their spiritual debt, the Black Cloister was home to a large family who practiced promiscuous hospitality and self-sacrificing generosity.”

  86. Eric, Because of the differences in our time zones, I am sending you posts faster than you can respond. You are probably reposing in the arms of Morpheus while I am up buzzing about on my second pot of coffee.
    I hasten to add that I am not accusing every Protestant of wicked living. No, no, no! There is much truth in your position. And much error. I am sure you don’t accuse every atheist of being as evil as possible at every moment. But I am sure we agree that an atheist whose life is consistent with his philosophy can be bad or good without violating his worldview’s ethics. Maybe I can say the same about you?
    Since you believe in Faith Alone and Once Saved Always Saved, and that while works might be an evidence of salvation, they don’t really count as far as meriting, keeping or losing heaven, I have a suggestion for you. Why not go out and get in your car, start it up and head for the freeway. Bring her up to ramming speed and careen into the nearest concrete abutment? It will hurt only for a moment. After that you will be received into eternal bliss. Why put up with another broken shoe lace, another dead battery, another red light on a busy day?
    Eric, truly consistent Protestants can live like the devil and still find justification for thinking they can plead Christ’s merits. There is plenty of Savior Only stuff on the net to prove my point. I have already mentioned John McArthur’s gripe with Luther’s inconsistency on Baptism. Watch him rail against other’s who carry Reformation principles to their logical conclusion. Savior Only folks call Mac a papist for his Lordship position!
    In closing, Catholic doctrine cranks out saints. Luther’s doctrines have led to the unraveling of Western civilization.

  87. Jim–

    I have no respect for Swaggart (who most definitely IS a knee-jerk anti-Catholic), but Mother Teresa’s humanitarian work does not establish her salvation. Albert Schweitzer was a magnificent humanitarian in West Africa, but although he was ostensibly “Lutheran,” he was basically a non-Christian (not believing in either the miracles or the resurrection of Christ, for example). Teresa of Calcutta’s lengthy “dark night of the soul” and her, at times, completely misguided theology (seemingly including a type of universalism) give one pause. I doubt that I would make her a saint…though many of her works and words deserve to be emulated.

    Certainly, there were Antinomians within the Radical Reformation, but none in the Magisterial Reform. Luther was nowhere even close to being one. Your reading of Reformation history is way off.

    As for bigamy, there is absolutely no credible Scriptural voice against the practice as being allowable (though there are more than a few against its being commendable). Missionaries in Africa have had to grapple with the harsh reality that if they insist that multiple wives are simply thrown off, some of those abandoned wives will starve or turn to prostitution. Many have concluded that polygamy is indeed Scripturally allowable…and then have merely insisted that elders be the husband of one wife. (I’m not in favor of polygamy, but Luther was in the vanguard of re-establishing a Scripturally derived morality. It is not surprising that there were missteps taken. The Catholic Church had left things in such a state of disorder.)

    I am an Evangelical who does not believe in contraception, divorce, remarriage, or abortion. Regretfully, many Evangelical couples accept the convenience of modern science, often even turning a blind eye to contraceptive methods that are abortifacient. But some 80% of American Catholic women are in the same boat. I guess they just don’t believe the Magisterium’s interpretation of these matters as mortal sins. Who can blame them? There is no infallible list of what constitutes mortal sin. And some of the lists informally concocted include such things as erotic dreams and skipping Mass and working on Sunday and having suicidal thoughts. They are justifiably not taken seriously. You speak of no “exception clauses.” I’m not sure what you were referring to. But how do you justify the practice of Annulments (just a prettier word for “divorce”)?

    I’m not going to get into some no-holds-barred food fight with you. But if I did, not only would you have pie on your face, but covering every square inch of your body several pies thick (and 17 more pies midair, launched in your direction, with many more hurlers in queue standing by to throw)!!

  88. Jim–

    If you wish to engage confessional Protestants online, why have you not boned up on our theology first? Why no due diligence? We don’t believe in Free Grace (Savior Only) garbage. We don’t believe in “Once Saved, Always Saved.”

    And what does Paul say about sinning, that grace may abound?

    If Catholic theology cranks out saints, where are they all? I live in a small town that is 97% Catholic. It’s just a town like any other. Not particularly better or worse. I haven’t met any saints yet.

    You’re probably correct that the Protestant Reformation had some unintended consequences. Some of these have been bad and some good. Are you somehow opposed to religious freedom? The flourishing of science and technology? The rise of capitalism and democracy?

    We can neither take full credit for the good things nor full blame for the bad. And since our revolt was in response to Catholic moral and political chaos, a good deal of the blame falls at your feet, as well.

  89. Jim–

    By the by, criticism of Calvin is usually more along the lines that he was a little too much into holy living. He (and the consistory) ran Geneva with a heavy moralistic hand, perhaps one might even say a fist.

    Here he is on good works:

    “We deny that good works have any share in justification, but we claim full authority for them in the lives of the righteous. For if he who has obtained justification possesses Christ, and at the same time Christ never is where his Spirit is not, it is obvious that gratuitous righteousness is necessarily connected with regeneration. Therefore, if you would duly understand how inseparable faith and works are, look to Christ, who, as the apostle teaches (1 Cor 1:30), has been given to us for justification and for sanctification. Wherever, therefore, that righteousness of faith which we maintain to be gratuitous is, there too Christ is; and where Christ is, there too is the Spirit of holiness who regenerates the soul to newness of life. On the contrary, where zeal for integrity and holiness is not in force, there neither the Spirit of Christ nor Christ himself are present. Wherever Christ is not, there is no righteousness, and indeed no faith; for faith cannot lay hold of Christ for righteousness without the Spirit of sanctification.”

  90. Eric, You said to Jim ” But how do you justify the practice of annulments” Money Money Money Money Money! For the right price we got all the forgiveness you and your dead heathen relatives need, for the right price we can say your marriage never happened. Peter and Paul said , Gold and silver we have none>

  91. Jim, the medieval Roman gospel is a false gospel. The true churh has always known that and separated itself from that system. Grace is a tool for meriting salvation in the Roman system, it is a reward for a work, instead of the unmerited favor of God to a sinner. Jim, the true church is the result of a finished incarnation that actually accomplished redemption Hebrews 1 :3,9,10:14, Romans 5:6-10, Revelations 5:9, not an unfinished incarnation that your completing for Him thru your good works. Justification is always past tense in Scripture and Rome is constrained by the language in the NT. Also Hebrews 10:18 says there are no more sacrifices for sin. Our saviors sacrifice was perfect and the writer of hebrews said it was done “at the consummation of the ages”. Done covering the sins of all the redeemed as a blanket across history. He is the risen Lord! Not the eternal victim you make him out to be every day in your abominable mass. He has nothing to do with this imperfect sacrifice which can be done 10000 times and accomplish little. His was perfect done once. Please let him off the cross so your people can be saved. Quit trying to smuggle your character into the work of God’s grace, and please quit trying to finish a redemption that he did perfectly 2000 years ago. The Reformers finally dispensed of the ecclesiastical machinery in the church that was mostly human in origin and content, and returned us to Romans 4:16 which constrains the Romanist. Because if a Catholic wants to be saved by grace alone, he will have to be saved by faith alone. LOL

  92. Eric, ” I am an Evangelical who does not believe in contraception, divorce, remarriage, or abortion. Regretfully, many Evangelical couples accept the convenience of modern science, often even turning a blind eye to contraceptive methods that are abortifacient. But some 80% of American Catholic women are in the same boat.”
    No Eric, the Evangelical and the Catholic are not in the same boat. The Catholic is committing, objectively speaking anyway, a mortal sin. The Evangelical is probably acting according to the dictates of her denomination, probably an instance of “Christian Liberty”. Think of the American soldiers who committed atrocities at Mai Lai in Viet Nam. Compare them to the Japanese troops acting under orders in the Rape of Nanking. They were not “in the same same boat”.
    I am still waiting for that example of Luther or Calvin’s prayerful living. As for my untrustworthy sources, in a spirit of objectivity and fairness I just googled “Luther, Scatology,Cranach” and found some shocking stuff that even I had never heard of. http://www.academia.edu/1016951/German_Hercules_The_Impact_of_Scatology_on_the_Image_of_Martin_Luther_as_a_Man_1483-1546 And not from a Catholic source. Why don’t you contact Lutheran Rod
    Rosenbladt at White Horse Inn.
    As for Calvin’s Geneva, the worst Medici scandal was never done in God’s name. The Medici’s were just that, scandals. You really should study the lives of the men who found comfort in Once Saved ,Always Saved, JBFA, and alien righteousness.

  93. Jim,

    You really should study the lives of the men who found comfort in Once Saved ,Always Saved, JBFA, and alien righteousness.

    And you should study the lives of the medieval popes who fathered illegitimate children, tolerated priestly prostitution in Rome, and so on.

    Remember, we don’t claim our leaders are infallible.

    And Art Sippo is the RC equivalent of Jack Chick.

  94. Jim, you can go to hell as a policeman a prostitute or a Catholic. Don’t think trying to be justified in some way by your works your any better off.

  95. Jim, you restore my my faith in humanity. That its lost! Your standing up in the front of the synagog with the Pharisee who’s praying to himself. God ate with sinners and saved sinners, not people who think they are righteous ( hint). Cry out for mercy. Let our savior off the cross and trust in Him alone for your salvation.

  96. Jim, you said ” You should really follow the men who found comfort in JBFA.” We do. Paul is the best example in the world and he perched and believed it. And you should study the dude who tried to bring his good work to salvation, the Rich Young Ruler. it didn’t go well.

  97. Eric,
    “As for bigamy, there is absolutely no credible Scriptural voice against the practice as being allowable…”
    You are absolutely spot on here! While the pagans, Mormons, Muslims and even modern Jews living in Islamic countries practice polygamy, Christians never have although there is no explicit condemnation of it in the New Testament. Thanks for endorsing Tradition!
    Oh sure, Jesus says that , ” In the beginning, God made them male and female…” which can certainly be seen as saying one male to one female, but as you seem to concede, Luther (who also read “alone” into Romans 3:28 )saw it as not conclusive. And St. Paul’s, ” A bishop must be the husband of one wife” is only speaking about bishops. This is a perfect example of Tradition being authoritative. Luther knew it too. He told Landgrave Philip to keep his second wife a secret and when it came to light, Luther lied about giving the green light on bigamous marriages.
    Scripture, Tradition and Living Magisterium are the three legs of the stool.

  98. Jim, You said ” Luther who also read alone into Romans 3:28″ Well here is one that will help you better. Romans 10: 10 ” For with the heart a man believes RESULTING in justification.” You can’t shove infused habits in that statement Jim. Please read Romans 9:30 – 10:4 about the Romanist ( Pharisee) who tried to establish their own justification thru their works, Paul says they don’t find righteousness and he prays for their salvation. ” For Christ is the END of the Law for righteousness to those who believe. Are you sure you want to attach your virtue to God’s work of grace that he makes only available to those of simple faith, trust in Christ? Don’t do Jim. Say it ain’t so Jim say it ain’t so.

  99. Kevin, I always thought St. Paul worked out his salvation in fear and trembling. Are you saying otherwise?
    As for the Rich Young Man, you are aware, aren’t you, that Catholics and Protestants don’t put the same spin on him? You guys say that Jesus was just toying with him to demonstrate that he ( the young man ) had never really kept the law. Luther taught this. He said the Law can’t be kept by anyone but Christ.
    We, on the other hand, say that he had kept the Commandments. Jesus was inviting him to go beyond the OT Law. The Law did not demand that someone sell all their possessions and take up a life of self renunciation. Jesus was talking about the Evangelical Counsels for those who would be perfect. With grace, we not only keep the Law but actually store up treasures (merit ) in heaven.
    Before shrieking ,”Pelagianism!” check out Augustine’s view.
    .

  100. Jim, continue to trash Luther won’t make your gospel true. You can’t resist the urge to smuggle your character into the God’s work of grace. God won’t save smugglers. God saves people who know they are bad, not people who think they are devout. God justifies men, not by declaring bad people good, but declaring them legally righteous because christ has borne the penalty of their Law breaking.

  101. Kevin, I’ll help you out with just one quote from St. Augustine. He said God demands the impossible ( keeping the Law ), then, after we are driven to pray for help, He gives us the grace to do the impossible.

  102. Kevin, God does not declare bad people to be legally righteous.

  103. Jim, We have been saved UNTO good works. Get the order right. You do and God gives you grace. For Christians God gives grace and we do. If God gave grace as a response to an act or ability it wouldn’t be a “gift” Rom 5:17, it would be a reward. For Romanists grace is a tool to merit salvation, and for Paul it was a gift that declared ungodly people righteous Romans 4:5> ” For if it is by grace, it is NO longer by works, or grace is no longer grace. In Rome grace is no longer grace.

  104. Robert, Indeed. Your leaders aren’t infallible. Ours are. Join us.

  105. Jim, after the Rich Young Ruler went away the disciples asked Jesus. Who the can be saved ? ” With man it is IMPOSSIBLE but with God all things are possible. I think Protestants have it right!

  106. Kevin,
    You write, ” For Christians God gives grace and we do”. I agree. You must not be paying attention to me. Do you think Catholics are semi-pelagian?

  107. Jim if God demands we keep the Law, we are all in trouble because it requires perfection Galatians 3:10 cursed is anyone who does not abide in all things of the Law. Its a unit. Thats why God transferred the law to Jesus and he fulfilled it so that for those in Him we are justified 2 corinthians 5:21, Romans 5:19, 1 Corinthians 1:30

  108. Jim, Do I think catholics are semi pelagian. Duh!

  109. Kevin, ” With man it is IMPOSSIBLE but with God all things are possible.” I just quoted Augustine as saying the same thing. Earth to Kevin! Earth to Kevin! Come in Kevin.

  110. Kevin, “if God demands we keep the Law, we are all in trouble because it requires perfection Galatians 3:10 cursed is anyone who does not abide in all things of the Law”.
    Yeah, it’s in our Bibles too. It means if you commit one mortal sin you are as dead as if you committed them all.

  111. Kevin, There are several examples of folks in the OT as keeping the Law. In the NT, Joseph and Zachary and Elizabeth are righteous, just, holy, whatever. Even paul kept the dead letter of the Law.
    Faith working through LOVE keeps the Law.

  112. Kevin,
    “for Paul it was a gift that declared ungodly people righteous Romans 4:5> ”
    What?!? God doesn’t declare evil people righteous. He is not a liar. The “ungodly” are those outside of the Covenant.
    When God declares or reckons or recognizes someone as righteous, it is because they are.

  113. Kevin, God declared Abraham as righteous because he had a faith infused with love and obedience. He had sanctifying grace in his soul, not an imputed alien righteousness while hating God.
    Years later, He declared Abraham as even more righteous for His obedient sacrifice of Isaac by cooperating with actual grace. He was rewarded with more sanctifying grace.

  114. Kevin, “Jim, the true church is the result of a finished incarnation “. Huh???? You keep using this phrase “finished Incarnation”. What in tarnation are you talking about??? Finished Incarnation. Hmmmmm/

  115. @Robert:

    And Art Sippo is the RC equivalent of Jack Chick.

    If that’s the case, then you should be willing to admit that the entirety of Reformed anti-Catholicism (including everybody who says Trent anathematized the Gospel) is likewise in the Jack Chick school. Art is quite knowledgable about Catholic doctrine, so it’s certainly not a question of dealing with an incompetent in the subject.

    Apropos to that point, you said:

    Well, you’d be fundamentally mistaken. And since it is easy to find EO patristic scholars recommending works on patristic theology by Reformed scholars who draw Reformed conclusions based on and/or in concert with the Early Church, you’d have a really hard time making your case

    First, assuming you’re thinking of Fairbairn, Widdicombe, or the handful of other Reformed scholars I can think of, none of them are anti-Catholic Reformed. None of them say that Trent anathematized the Gospel, none of them say that Catholics and Orthodox cannot be saved as completely faithful adherents of their faiths, and none of them say that the Fathers taught the Reformed soteriology, although they argue that it can be compatible with Reformed soteriology to some or another degree. The reason that these Reformed scholars can maintain their credibility is that they don’t claim that Reformed soteriology can be taught from the Fathers, and even those Reformed scholars concede that patristic Christianity contradicts Reformed soteriology at various points.

    You’re confusing an issue of Christian theology, which is the importance of particular beliefs to Christian soteriology, with a historical issue. The fact that these Reformed scholars have the theological opinion that these differences aren’t a big deal goes beyond the scope of a historical conclusion. The historical conclusion is that the Fathers didn’t believe Reformed soteriology, didn’t teach it, and clearly contradict it in certain respects. Theological judgments about the importance of those contradictions are a separate issue.

    This is why the Reformed patristics scholars, the few that there are, aren’t anti-Catholics. They realize, unlike you, that there is no hope of simultaneously holding that Catholics can only be saved in spite of their faith without coming to the same conclusion about the Fathers. And once you start talking about the Fathers as being saved despite their faith, you’ve moved out of historical Christianity and into a cult, which is precisely what Reformed anti-Catholicism is. No responsible Reformed scholar believes that Trent anathematized the Gospel anymore, but there’s still an anti-Catholic cult out there that can’t seem to move into the 21st century.

  116. Jim, Hebrews 10:14 ” For by ONE offering He perfected for all time those whom He sanctified.” Hebrews 1:3 ” When He had made purification for sins He sat down at the right hand f the Majesty on High.”9:28 ” so Christ also, having been offered ONCE to bear the sins of many , will appear a second time WITHOUT reference to sin , to those who eagerly await Him. 9:26 ” but now at the CONSUMATION OF THE AGES He has been manifested to PUT sin away by the sacrifice of Himself.” Romans 5:9 ” much more then , HVING NOW BEEN JUSTIFIED BY HIS BLOOD we shall be saved from the wrath of God to come. 10: ” For while we were yet enemies we WERE reconciled to God” Its a done deal! Let our Lord off the cross. He is risen! You make Him an eternal victim. He said He finished all that Father sent Him to do! The RC continues His work of salvation and His incarnation in the church thru the acts of the church and their good works, propitiating there own sin. His sacrifice is perfect, past tense, and it took away the barrier between man and God. We are raised in the inner man, seated in Heaven with Him, guaranteed and sealed in the Spirit, and groan with the Saints to be clothed with our heavenly body. Salvation was accomplished. Let Him off the altar and the cross!

  117. Kevin, I had to step out and while away I thought of something that may just put and end to our sparring. You obviously don’t understand grace. In your system one definition is “unmerited favor”. This is fine as far as it goes but it falls short. Grace/favor is merited in scripture. Noah, a righteous man, found grace in God’s sight. Same with Lot. St. Peter says God gives grace to the humble. Their humility merits grace. Sins can cause us to fall from grace. How can one fall from unmerited favor? How can we grow in or be full of unmerited favor? No, as in the case with Mary, grace or Charis is a quality that makes us pleasing or gives us energy, like dynamite ( from dunamus , a Greek work for power ).
    Grace for the Reformed usually means a sinner not getting his just due. We Catholics however, say Adam, even before the fall, needed grace to be holy. The Reformers denied this. They said Adam did not need to be elevated by grace but by his own good works could please God. ( Who is the Pelagian now Kevin ). We insist that Adam needed grace because even perfect human nature is still just on a natural level. God is on a supernatural level. Please let this sink in.
    Now, after the fall, we need other graces to help us overcome the wounds of the fall. Before the fall, Adam did not have the temptations to lust or be malicious or lazy like we do now. But he still needed grace to elevate him to be a friend/son of God.
    I don’t want to keep repeating myself. You keep insisting Catholics think grace is a reward for our naturally good works ( Yes, even sinners can do naturally good works. Jesus said so. ) Again, natural works do not merit a supernatural reward. It would be semi-pelagian to say otherwise. God must offer a supernatural energy in order to elevate our works to a supernatural level. Even our good ones.
    That is it in a nutshell. You have a library at your fingertips for a more detailed explanation. Please use it. And please stop accusing Catholics of what we don’t believe!!!!

  118. Kevin, I see you posted while I was posted. I am not going to tell you again, for the umpteenth time, we don’t have Christ on the cross. As for the crucifix, we, like Paul, preach Christ crucified. But a crucifix is made of wood, plaster or something like that. Yes, we still, like St. Paul, fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ. And we meditate on His Passion. And we/He offers His Passion ( done once for all ) in every Mass. I won’t answer you again on this subject. Please make an effort to understand our position and quit attacking a straw man.

  119. Jim, I understand your position just fine. When you say ” and we/He offers His Passion in every mass.” Lets get something straight, first of all your not qualified to mediate your own sins because you didn’t die on a cross or live a perfect life. Second, in Timothy its crystal clear, there is one mediator between man and God, Christ. Next, Hebrews 10:18 is clear and constrains Rome ” There are no more sacrifices for sin.” You misinterpret the verse about Paul saying he shares in the sufferings of Christ. Your mass is imperfect. Christ’s was perfect. You can go to 10000 masses and still not have enough sanctifying grace for heaven. You re break the body of our Lord as a victim at the hands of Priest in an abominable work of man where the participant does a work to merit an increase in justice and grace food himself and dead friends.. You trample under foot the sufficiency of the one perfect sacrifice. And don’t tell me its a re presentation because Trent says it is a real sacrifice and it is efficacious for sis. Christ said He offered himself up and he laid down his life, no one took it from him. Trent says it is a real sacrifice, do you dent that? If you do, Trent anathematizes you. Please make an understanding to understand your own position. Your justification is unfinished and left up to you to finish by your works. Its salvation on the installment plan. And does not bring the peace that God had intended for his people. Redemption has been accomplished. this is the Good News of the great gospel of our Lord. You are on a treadmill of virtue which will find outer darkness.

  120. Jim–

    Look, you steaming pile of excrement! What have you got against a healthy dose of Medieval scatological banter? Are you a girl? Are you a prissy high-society elitist? Or are you of questionable sexual orientation?

    My mother grew up on a working dairy farm, and she was constantly shoveling out cow stalls. When you shovel sh-t day in and day out, you don’t call it crap or doo-doo or poopie….

  121. Jim, you said” grace is merited in scripture” Get your fire suit ready. Ephesians 2:8 ” For by grace you have been saved through faith, it is not that of yourselves, it is a GIFT, not a result of works, lest any man should boast. Grace is a gift. You don’t deserve it and you can’t earn it.

  122. Jim, The RC maintaining man needed grace in the pre fall Adam is an attempt to blame God for sin. Genesis said all that God created was good. Lombard tried to locate his pollution in the creation of God with concupiscence. Those evil little Roman schoolboys.

  123. Eric, Your fired up bro! My parents grew up on Illinois farms and they weren’t shoveling no dodo. Jim piling the compost high though with all this S——.

  124. Jim,

    Although I wasn’t too keen on your luther stuff (I’m no fan of James Swan but he has done good work on his blog over the years in examining the more polemical views of Luther and their supporting quotes, and RC scholarship of the last century has taken a more moderate view of Luther), I do appreciate your reply to Kevin on grace. Maybe it’ll sink in – he keeps foisting his reductionistic definition of grace (it can *only* be unmerited favor and nothing more) onto RCism and then criticizes it based on that. But I’m not optimistic – the Reformed here keep vacillating between accusing us of getting pre-Fall Adam wrong, or endorsing some type of Pelagianism. We can’t hold to both so they need to pick. Or they vacillate between cooperation nullifying grace/earning salvation, or refusing to apply that same standard to their view of grace and cooperation/reward in progressive sanctification. It’s a spaghetti throwing approach.

  125. James, Well what more ( grace) do you want it to be? Paul says in Romans 11: 6 it can’t include works. So your kind of out of options. James. One mans reductionism is another mans free gift. James you are sort of like Jonathan. You head is stuck in your own sources and you maintain a parochial understanding. Do you not know that there are many Reformed theologians that consider the Roman gospel semi pelagian. Horton, Fesko, Sproul, Murray, and many others. i mean you and Jonathan act like the church didn’t split.

  126. Kevin,

    “Paul says in Romans 11: 6 it can’t include works.”

    Trent: “And whereas the Apostle saith, that man is justified by faith and freely, those words are to be understood in that sense which the perpetual consent of the Catholic Church hath held and expressed; to wit, that we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation, and the root of all Justification; without which it is impossible to please God, and to come unto the fellowship of His sons: but we are therefore said to be justified freely, because that none of those things which precede justification-whether faith or works-merit the grace itself of justification. For, if it be a grace, it is not now by works, otherwise, as the same Apostle says, grace is no more grace. ”

    Btw, if grace can’t include works, bye bye progressive sanctification.

    “One mans reductionism is another mans free gift.”

    Are heavenly rewards/increase in holiness in progressive sanctification gifts or rewards?

    “Do you not know that there are many Reformed theologians that consider the Roman gospel semi pelagian.”

    If we’re semi-Pelagian, we cannot also hold our view on pre-Fall Adam – it’s incoherent. Which you guys don’t seem to even think about for a second – instead just running to the spaghetti bowl to keep seeing what sticks.

  127. Jim–

    I like your very “convenient” take on the necessity of Tradition in interpreting Scripture. However, instead of an extremely malleable sense of “Tradition,” we Reformed use deduction “by good and necessary consequence” when Scripture needs to be contextualized. We realize that some passages in Scripture were conditioned by the times and culture in which they were spoken.

    Scripture, for example, does not have a clear and unambiguous take on slavery. As a result, the Catholic Church has been against it except for when they have been for it. Nicholas V issued the bull “Dum Diversas” in 1452, I believe. It stated the following:

    “We grant you [Kings of Spain and Portugal] by these present documents, with our Apostolic Authority, full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be, as well as their kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, and other property […] and to reduce their persons into perpetual slavery.”

    This policy was maintained or furthered by Pope Callixtus III (Inter Caetera quae in 1456), Sixtus IV (Aeterni regis in 1481), and Leo X (1514), and the illustrious Pope Alexander VI.

    So, this was the Magisterial “Tradition” until it was no longer the Tradition…when (thanks to Quakers and to Evangelicals, like William Wilberforce, and other various and assorted Protestant abolitionists) they saw the error of their ways. Then, they could go back and wipe it all clean by declaring the previous couple hundred years of policy un-infallible. It’s so terribly nice when your so-called infallibility can be kept intact through 20-20 hindsight!

    We Protestants, on the other hand, are quite fallible; thus, we have no difficulty acknowledging that a good number of us “messed up” on slavery. We ‘fess up and then get busy trying to fix our mistakes.

    At any rate, Jim, I do not default to Catholic “Tradition” to oppose polygamy. That is just too darn blame helter-skelter for my taste. I like something a bit more solid. Scripture makes it crystal clear that the preferred arrangement is one man and one woman, from the very beginning with Adam and Eve. I have no need to punt to some arbitrary sense of “Tradition.”

  128. Eric, Have you read MacArthur’s book Slave. It would seem the NT has a lot to say about being a slave to Christ.

  129. Eric, sorry, I misunderstood that your were talking about human slavery. My bad.

  130. James, I think we have told you our works are gifts that are crowned by God. He is basically crowning His works since he predestined them that we might walk in them. This is all gracious exchange between man and God thru the work of the Holy Spirit. It does not translate to the Scholastic system where grace is a physical substance that increases and decreases like gas from a pump. So your works merit increase and this is what makes this system semi pelagian. Smuggling LOL I would say adopting Aquinas system of inner mechanics was doing some pretty heavy pasta flinging on the wall. You want to talk about a fictitious divine worship. We don’t increase something that John says He poured on us grace upon grace. We are always the object of God’s grace.

  131. Eric,

    “It’s so terribly nice when your so-called infallibility can be kept intact through 20-20 hindsight! ”

    Two points of infallibility are that it applies to teaching to the universal church and it applies to doctrines – that is principles – not practices or contingent application of said principles. Kings of Spain and Portugal are not the universal church, and something happening in 1452 according to certain temporal/political and other contingent circumstances cannot be an unchanging principle, by definition. The fact that application shifted according to time and place, and back and forth between popes who knew what their predecessors taught, shows it was concerning application/practice.

    And lest we think no anti-slavery sentiment existed in RCism:

    Eugene IV: Sicut Dudum, 1435
    “They have deprived the natives of their property or turned it to their own use, and have subjected some of the inhabitants of said islands to perpetual slavery (), sold them to other persons and committed other various illicit and evil deeds against them…. Therefore We … exhort, through the sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ shed for their sins, one and all, temporal princes, lords, captains, armed men, barons, soldiers, nobles, communities and all others of every kind among the Christian faithful of whatever state, grade or condition, that they themselves desist from the aforementioned deeds, cause those subject to them to desist from them, and restrain them rigorously. And no less do We order and command all and each of the faithful of each sex that, within the space of fifteen days of the publication of these letters in the place where they live, that they restore to their pristine liberty all and each person of either sex who were once residents of said Canary Islands … who have been made subject to slavery (). These people are to be totally and perpetually free and are to be let go without the exaction or reception of any money.”

    Paul III: Sublimis Deus, 1537
    “Seeing this and envying it, the enemy of the human race, who always opposes all good men so that the race may perish, has thought up a way, unheard of before now, by which he might impede the saving word of God from being preached to the nations. He has stirred up some of his allies who, desiring to satisfy their own avarice, are presuming to assert far and wide that the Indians of the West and the South who have come to our notice in these times be reduced to our service like brute animals, under the pretext that they are lacking the Catholic Faith. And they reduce them to slavery (), treating them with afflictions they would scarcely use with brute animals.”

    “Therefore, We, . . . noting that the Indians themselves indeed are true men and are not only capable of the Christian faith, but, as has been made known to us, promptly hasten to the faith’ and wishing to provide suitable remedies for them, by our Apostolic Authority decree and declare by these present letters that the same Indians and all other peoples—even though they are outside the faith—who shall hereafter come to the knowledge of Christians have not been deprived or should not be deprived of their liberty or of their possessions. Rather they are to be able to use and enjoy this liberty and this ownership of property freely and licitly, and are not to be reduced to slavery, and that whatever happens to the contrary is to be considered null and void. These same Indians and other peoples are to be invited to the said faith in Christ by preaching and the example of a good life.”

    Their teaching was continued by Gregory XIV in 1591 and by Urban VIII in 1639 and by the response of the Holy Office on March 20, 1686, under Innocent XI, and by the encyclical of Benedict XIV, , on December 20, 1741 and by the efforts of Pius VII at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to have the victors over Napoleon outlaw slavery.

    So we see your “Then, they could go back and wipe it all clean by declaring the previous couple hundred years of policy un-infallible” is not accurate, both in terms of the nature of infallibility, as well as the uniformity of practice.

  132. Kevin,

    “James, I think we have told you our works are gifts that are crowned by God. He is basically crowning His works since he predestined them that we might walk in them. This is all gracious exchange between man and God thru the work of the Holy Spirit.”

    So a heavenly reward is also a gift and all of grace. Welcome to RC theology of merit.

    “It does not translate to the Scholastic system where grace is a physical substance that increases and decreases like gas from a pump.”

    I’ve corrected you on this twice. I’ll do it a third. John Hardon: “sanctifying grace “is neither a substance nor a substantial form, but an accidental form, a permanent quality placed by God in the very essence of the soul, which causes it to participate by means of a certain likeness in the divine nature” (1-2q110aa.2-4). No wonder, then that the Roman Catechism calls it a “divine quality.””

    “So your works merit increase and this is what makes this system semi pelagian. Smuggling LOL”

    So your works in sanctification merit increases in holiness and heavenly reward and this is what makes progressive sanctification semi pelagian. Smuggling. LOL.

  133. You said ” So a heavenly reward is is also a gift of grace. Welcome to RC theology of merit. ” Hardly, You cooperate you get an increase. Gifts are free , they aren’t earned. You earn an increase. It is no longer grace.

  134. Kevin,

    “Hardly, You cooperate you get an increase. Gifts are free , they aren’t earned. You earn an increase. It is no longer grace.”

    Hardly, you cooperate you get an increase in heavenly reward and degree of holiness. Gifts are free, they aren’t earned. You earn an increase in heavenly reward and degree of holiness. It is no longer grace.

  135. James you said ” Sanctifying Grace is neither a substance or substantial form , but an accident.” Boy you got that right its an accident alright, and what an accident it was!

  136. James, Look , finally, God rewarding our works is God crowning the His gifts ( our works) for His Glory. Even though we cooperate in them they aren’t ours and aren’t merited. Your cooperation earning a merit puts God in debt to you to give you grace and justice. The Spirit gives we do. You do the Spirit gives. Different Gospels. So stop comparing them. Its a phony comparison.

  137. Kevin,

    Merit in RCism is a gracious reward, not a wage. Get it yet? I know it would be convenient for you if I stop hammering your double standard but ain’t happening. If you cooperate (do something) in progressive sanctification which results in obtaining heavenly reward and increase in holiness, that’s semi pelagian according to your standard. Stop smuggling.

    It boils down to the question Eric never answers -When you sin in progressive sanctification, did God give you sufficient grace you resisted? Or did he not give you grace at all? Careful don’t smuggle.

  138. Kevin,

    Just a p.s. – you have referenced Augustine’s statement about God crowning his own gifts repeatedly as if RCism disagrees. The CCC cites that very passage in its section on merit. Get it yet?

  139. Kevin,
    “It does not translate to the Scholastic system where grace is a physical substance that increases and decreases like gas from a pump. So your works merit increase and this is what makes this system semi pelagian.”

    You keep revealing you don’t even know what the term means!

    “You said ” So a heavenly reward is is also a gift of grace. Welcome to RC theology of merit. ” Hardly, You cooperate you get an increase. Gifts are free , they aren’t earned. You earn an increase. It is no longer grace.”

    Gifts are free. Yes, indeed. But they need to be unwrapped. Sometimes a condition has to be met like going and picking it up from the donor.

    Your cornball comment on the term “accident” convinces me that you are just goofing around.

  140. Eric,
    You say you are opposed to contraception. Why? Is that what your denomination teaches? Are you the only one in your church to think contraception is wrong?
    You probably know that all Protestant denominations used to oppose it, including the Lutherans. ( Luther said it was on a par with sodomy ). Because Protestant ministers in America said it was a sin, the Comstock Laws were passed that made it illegal to even send information about it through the mail.
    Nowadays, there is not a single denomination of any size that doesn’t embrace it. Were they wrong to oppose it then and are they right to allow it now? Or were they right to oppose it and are wrong now? Have conditions changed to make what was once immoral to now be moral? Help me out here Eric.
    Oh Eric, you are going to end up swimming the Tiber! Only the Catholic Church is right on this one. Think about that.
    PS You know it is condemned in the Bible, don’t you? Read Tobit and have a great day.

  141. James,
    Greetings fellow namesake of Boanerges ( unless you are named after the Lesser ).
    Dredging up the stuff on Luther is not muck-raking. There is a book floating around by a guy named David Rix that you may like. He explains Luther’s mental condition and boyhood and how it led to his theology ( which he discovered while sitting on the pot ).
    You can find on the net some similar stuff by Paul Vitz on atheism. Understanding the background of all the great atheists ( Voltaire, Hitler, Marx, Freud, etc. ) helps one see it as the pathology that it is. ( They all hated their fathers ). By the way, many of the great atheists of 19th century Germany were either the sons of Protestant clergy or had studied for the ministry themselves.

  142. James,
    Of all the inquisitors, the one dearest to my heart, (after Dominic and Pius V, of course ), was John Eck. He said something we may want to think about. He said that Catholic apologists should refrain from having open debates with Protestants withing earshot of unlettered and crude bumpkins on two issues. First topic, Our Lord in the Eucharist and second, ( I won’t say here ). Why? Because the low minded, with no understanding of the terms being used ( like “accident” ) will guffaw and snicker and blaspheme. In doing so, they will heap up punishment on themselves and we don’t want this to happen. Reading some of the brayings being posted here, I think we should change the subject.
    Gotta run.

  143. Eric, Ever notice how those who are good with abortion will rend their garments and gnash their teeth whenever a prolifer shows a photograph exposing just what abortion does to a baby? A few days ago you were outraged by my expose of Luther’s preoccupation with filth. You refused to believe it so I sent you a(non-Catholic ) link complete with the pictures he directed Cranach to draw. Judging by your icky post directed to me, I see that you are good with Luther’s vile mind. You just don’t like folks to reveal it.
    Here’s one you can’t deny. Luther had frequent chit-chats with the devil. Of course you must have heard of the famous incident in which Luther drove Lucifer off by throwing an ink pot at him. Lutherans love to tell this story as if it could have been anything but the obvious delusion of a sick mind.
    Actually, Luther had these hallucinations of the devil taunting him all his life. His own physician, Dr. Ratzenberger, related how, on one occasion at Eisleben, the devil actually mooned Luther. Ha! I kid you not!
    C’mon Eric. The man was certifiable, crazier than the proverbial out-house rat. Admit it and move on!

  144. Jim, No trust me I’m not goofing around. Frankly, Aquinas had to make Aristotle’s dreams come true. He attached a christian faith ethic to a greek pagan philosophy and came up with another gospel. And there is nothing funny about that because as Luther said, it will not permit men to be saved. He relied on men to whom the truth was hidden by God, whose heads were stuck in their lille globe, and who confused heaven and earth. Its not funny. Grace is unmerited favor from God to a sinner. And not a super juju thats elevates a person on a virtue elevator out of their nature into divinity. Aquinas missed the straddling of two ages and opted for Plato’s two worlds. And your example about a gift being unwrapped is as lame as the idea you are trying to prove. Bottom line. you put god in debt to give you grace. Grace is a tool to merit salvation in the RC system and nothing more. Did Jesus just make a token payment for sin and you have to do the rest. Or did His obedience and death truly justify us? Romans 4:25.

  145. James–

    If infallibility is merely a system of doctrines which remains more or less static, then we can say the same for our system, and others, for theirs. All you’re really saying, then, is that YOU GUYS are the ones who are right.

    By the way, theoretically, is there any possible way of falsifying the infallibility of the Catholic Magisterium?

  146. Jim–

    Every Evangelical denomination I know of opposes abortifacient methods of contraception: especially the IUD and most–if not all– forms of The Pill. Nevertheless, many Evangelical women remain willfully ignorant of the effects of oral contraceptives; they do not wish to know and will grow quite irate if one attempts to inform them. And, quite frankly, most of them are pro-life in name only. Few if any will lift a finger to protect the unborn.

    You have to understand that Evangelicalism as a whole, at least here in the States, is moving leftward to match the culture. Especially those denominations which are not anchored to a confession are beginning to show sympathy with same-sex marriage and other homosexual “rights” within the church. They want to be on the “right” side of history. They don’t want to put “impediments” in the way of secularists coming to “Christ.”

    I’m not against NFP and am unsure concerning prophylactics. I don’t personally use them, but they are certainly not abortifacient. Nonetheless, like my parents before me, I feel blessed to simply accept as many children as God brings my way. What the heck is wrong with children?

    Tobit is a silly little book not in the Jewish canon.

  147. Eric,

    You have to understand that Evangelicalism as a whole, at least here in the States, is moving leftward to match the culture.

    As, ironically, is Rome.

  148. Kevin,
    “Grace is unmerited favor from God to a sinner. And not a super juju thats elevates a person on a virtue elevator out of their nature into divinity”.

    Grace is indeed a “super juju” as you so colorfully put it. Grace makes us “partakers of the Divine nature”. To be sure, we don’t get Creatio Ex Nihilo powers nor are we self existent. But we become heirs, capable of crying “Abba”. We become indwelt by the Holy Ghost and therefore all three Persons of the Trinity. We become sons in Christ’s Sonship. Adopted in God’s family. Grasp this if you can; Our adoption is no legal fiction. Imagine a rich man with a legally adopted son and a natural born son. Should the natural son marry a girl, that girl becomes the rich mans daughter in virtue of her one-flesh union with his son. She is more his heir than the legally adopted son. Our oneness with Christ is so complete that He could say, “Saul, Saul. why do you persecute Me?” Since we share in Christ’s Sonship and can cry Abba, we can also call Mary our Mother!
    As the Church Fathers said, ” She who gives birth to a head only gives birth to a monster. Mary gave birth to the whole Christ, Head and Body the Church”. Since no woman gives birth to all of her kids at the same time, we are, according to the Fathers, each born at Baptism into God’s family. The Fathers called Baptism the both the Womb of the Church and the Womb of Mary. We are born from above in the Laver of Regeneration as a free gift, not of works.
    Justification for the Reformed is the aquittal of a criminal. For the Catholic, Justification is familial. Notice the difference in our church buildings. Yours look like court rooms. When you enter a Catholic church you are first greeted by the Baptismal or Holy Water fount to remind us of our birth. Then statues and images of our elder brothers and sisters, that great cloud of witness praying for us surround us. There are Confessionals to welcome home the Prodigal Son. Up front, the high altar, the family table. It is all laid out like a king’s court. We are princes and princesses coming into the Presence of our Father the King.
    I have been to the once Catholic, now Calvinist Cathedral in Geneva where Calvin preached. And I have been in the Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady in Geneva also.
    One is stark and scary. The other full of color and beauty. One picture of our churches speaks a thousand words about our theologies. Amen!

    And yes Keven, we do indeed merit. Not as a hireling earns his wage but as sons increase in their inheritance. God has bound Himself and owes it to Himself to reward His sons in the Son. He set up the program. It’s His idea. Obey it!

  149. Eric, So are you against the lie of contraception in all its forms or only the ones that abort?

  150. Eric,

    “If infallibility is merely a system of doctrines which remains more or less static, then we can say the same for our system, and others, for theirs. All you’re really saying, then, is that YOU GUYS are the ones who are right.”

    How can you say the same? There are no infallible/irreformable teachings/interpretations offered by any Protestant body/confession, according to its own principles. So by those principles, it cannot offer any articles of faith (infallible by definition) – just probable opinion. Semper reformanda. Rome is at least coherent in being able to identify/define articles of faith by its own principles. It’s not just another Protestant denomination – you have to make the claim first to be considered a plausible candidate – Protestantism rejects such a claim.

    “By the way, theoretically, is there any possible way of falsifying the infallibility of the Catholic Magisterium?”

    Of course. One would just show a contradiction – here’s the key part – according to the standards/criteria Rome has set for herself for irreformable teaching. The fathers at Vat1 debated and crafted the decree specifically in the light of history and “problem” cases.

  151. Eric,
    “Tobit is a silly little book not in the Jewish canon.”
    As a groupie of the wacko who wanted to “throw Jimmy in the stove”, you should be a little reluctant to say which books should or should not be in the canon, don’tcha’ think?
    Your Fearless Leader took books out of the Bible. Now you want to throw Toby in the stove.

  152. Jim, Mary gave birth to the church huh? You guys make her responsible for everything. Jesus is just a member of the congregate. Did Mary die on the cross by extension which makes her mediuatrix and by extension a member of the Trinity. In the gospels when she tried to get involved in the Lord’s business He said ” Woman, what does this have to do with you? When a crow saw his mother and brothers owing , they said behold your mother and brothers. But Jesus said Who are my mother and bri=others, rather behold my mother and my brothers. Dismissive.

  153. Jim, the Catholic churches I was in Europe were dead, lifeless, museums void of God.

  154. Eric, A fan of the guy who said, ” If the wife is unwilling, the kitchen maid will do” and said marriage is no more of a sacrament than “doing business with a Turk” would probably have no liking for beautiful and chaste love story that is Tobit.
    If you enjoy Luther’s coarse vulgarity as your post submitted yesterday shows, you will only titter at the scene where Tobit and Sara spend the first honeymoon night in prayer.
    Luther, who broke his own vows went on to encourage other monks to do likewise. Then he pumped them up to ransack convents and carry off the nuns. He called these scoundrels his “Holy Robbers”. Do you think this beer guzzling lout would want to keep Tobit in his canon?
    There are other passages in the Bible that condemn contraception if you don’t like Tobit. St. Paul’s those who traffic in are not going to make to heaven. Like the kiss of Judas, it makes a bodily sign of love to be a lie.
    God struck Onan dead for making the generative act to be sterile. The Bible says to keep the marriage bed undefiled. How is a Christian going to keep his marriage bed chaste and undefiled when he introduces a device intended to be used in a brothel?

  155. Eric, One more thing. The Amish read Tobit at their weddings. Silly little book?

  156. Kevin, In those “dead, lifeless churches, void of God” that you saw in Europe have a red lamp burning? Did you know to look? If they did, they were not dead, lifeless or void of God. But only someone with Faith would bother to notice.

  157. Jim–

    One last attempt at civil discourse. If this fails, I’m afraid I’ll have to punt you to the curb. I’m not going to beat my head against a wall on your account.

    You’ll get no argument from me that Luther wasn’t stubborn, that he didn’t have a ferocious temper, that he didn’t go through episodes of major depression throughout his life and some sort of dementia/paranoia late in life. You’ll get no argument from me that he wasn’t vulgar in his humor and in his personal attacks on Rome.

    But he was also unquestionably one of the most brilliant and influential men of his age. With his translation of the Old and New Testaments into High German, he established the accepted standard for the modern German language. If you’re really going to sit there and not acknowledge Luther’s theological and linguistic genius, then, quite frankly, I have no use for you.

    Aquinas had his quirks and eccentricities. Would you really have any respect for me if I attacked these and completely ignored the man’s inestimable significance for Christian thought?

  158. But he was also unquestionably one of the most brilliant and influential men of his age. With his translation of the Old and New Testaments into High German, he established the accepted standard for the modern German language. If you’re really going to sit there and not acknowledge Luther’s theological and linguistic genius, then, quite frankly, I have no use for you.

    Eric,

    Luther was a genius at perverting the Word of God. He had no theological or linguistic ability except to draw confusing and contradicting conclusions from his studies of it.

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