Why a Legal Fiction is not Pulp Fiction

Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Atonement, Catholicism, Featured, Gospel, Imputation, Justification, Law, Presbyterianism, Protestantism, Reformed Theology, Romans, Sola Fide | 6 comments

Why a Legal Fiction is not Pulp Fiction

*** By Jonathan Prejean *** Recently, I’ve read several comments from Reformed Christians on the question of Catholics calling the Reformed doctrine of imputation a “legal fiction.” Based on my reading of those comments, some Reformed Christians see the description “legal fiction” as similar to saying that it is “made up” and not true. But that would only be relevant in the literary context, when one is trying to distinguish factual descriptions from fictitious ones. In literary fiction, one makes up...

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The Need for Perfect Law-Keeping, Part 3

Posted by on August 17, 2014 in Covenant Theology, Exegesis, Featured, Gospel, Imputation, Justification, Law, Presbyterianism, Protestantism, Reformed Theology, Sola Fide | 457 comments

The Need for Perfect Law-Keeping, Part 3

This third (and final) post of this series will extend the look at Imputed Righteousness in Paul’s Epistles  by focusing on two of the most popular Reformed prooftexts of the doctrine: Philippians 3:9 and 2 Corinthians 5:21. Before addressing these texts, a brief look at the Biblical definition of “righteousness” is helpful. According to Scripture, the term “righteousness” simply refers to doing good actions (e.g. Deut 24:13; 2 Sam 22:21; Ps 106:3; Mt 6:1; Acts 10:35; Eph 6:1; 1 Th 2:10; 1 Jn 3:7, 12) or having an upright quality...

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The Need for Perfect Law-Keeping, Part 2

Posted by on August 6, 2014 in Atonement, Catholicism, Covenant Theology, Exegesis, Featured, Gospel, Holy Spirit, Imputation, Justification, Law, Presbyterianism, Protestantism, Reformed Theology, Romans, Sola Fide | 607 comments

The Need for Perfect Law-Keeping, Part 2

The previous post took a brief look at the Reformed understanding of Justification and why the notion of “Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness” is both logically and exegetically problematic. This post will continue to focus on the exegetical problems, this time in Paul’s Epistles, particularly the first five chapters of Romans (which many Reformed consider to be the definitive passages on the doctrine of Justification). Paul begins Romans by telling his audience that his Apostolic focus is proclaiming that Jesus is the fulfillment of...

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The Need for Perfect Law-Keeping, Part 1

Posted by on July 24, 2014 in Catholicism, Featured, Gospel, Imputation, Law, Presbyterianism, Protestantism, Reformed Theology, Sola Fide | 1,397 comments

The Need for Perfect Law-Keeping, Part 1

How does a sinner become right with God? That’s a question Reformed Protestants love to ask, and for good reason, since it’s one of life’s most important questions. But the interesting thing is, the Reformed answer contains a serious flaw, and recognizing this can help explain where their understanding of Justification goes off course and get corrected. This blog post, which is somewhat a continuation of the last blog post, will address the problem and explain the solution. The Reformed answer for how we can “stand before God and be...

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Doing, Being, and the Function of Faith

Posted by on July 13, 2014 in Baptism, Catholicism, Ecclesiology, Featured, Gospel, Law, Presbyterianism, Protestantism, Reformed Theology, Sacraments, Sola Fide | 718 comments

Doing, Being, and the Function of Faith

This is going to sound very strange, but what if I told you that Catholics believe in Justification by faith alone while (Reformed) Protestants are actually the ones who believe in Justification by works? A statement that outrageous surely requires an explanation, so that’s what I want to provide. This post won’t be so much about exegesis as it is about simply helping people to understand where each side is coming from. In the Protestant view, for man to enter Heaven he needs to have kept God’s Law perfectly. This means Salvation for the...

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Invisible Church Discipline

Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Church Discipline, Ecclesiology, Featured, Presbyterianism, Protestantism, Reformed Theology | 599 comments

Invisible Church Discipline

To wrap up the “mini-series” that began with the Reformed view of Infant Baptism and the New Covenant, followed by a look at the Reformed distinction of the Invisible vs Visible Church, I’d like to conclude by taking a brief look at the place of “church discipline” within Reformed ecclesiology. To keep things brief, I will focus specifically on the notion of “excommunication” and whether or not it makes sense within a Reformed framework. The question I want to examine is this: How can the Reformed say...

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