Tuesday, September 18, 2007

How to Become a Catholic


Often on Christian websites you will see a link to somewhere that tells you “how to become a Christian” or “how to be saved” so when I saw the Catholic version on Catholic.com I took a peak.

Some excerpts from How to Become A Catholic:

“Becoming Catholic is one of life’s most profound and joyous experiences. Some are blessed enough to receive this great gift while they are infants, and, over time, they recognize the enormous grace that has been bestowed on them. Others enter the Catholic fold when they are older children or adults. This tract examines the joyful process by which one becomes a Catholic.

A person is brought into full communion with the Catholic Church through reception of the three sacraments of Christian initiation—baptism, confirmation, and the holy Eucharist—but the process by which one becomes a Catholic can take different forms.“


“The Christian fully enters the Church by profession of faith and formal reception. For the profession of faith, the candidate says, "I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God."

The bishop or priest then formally receives the Christian into the Church by saying, "[Name], the Lord receives you into the Catholic Church. His loving kindness has led you here, so that in the unity of the Holy Spirit you may have full communion with us in the faith that you have professed in the presence of his family."

One major thing struck me as I read How to Become a Catholic: the words “Jesus” and “Christ” are not found anywhere in the article. It appears becoming a Catholic is more about faith in the Church than faith in Christ.

-Carrie

43 comments:

Thos said...

Carrie,

You seem to be straining a point to pick at Catholicism. I'm more concerned with seeing church unity - ecumenism. The tract you quoted said, "This tract examines the joyful process by which one becomes a Catholic." Please note that they used the word "process." As a law student, I've learned one thing that touches almost every discussion - the distinction between PROCESS and SUBSTANCE. The process, as the Catholic tract describes it, requires a statement of submission to Catholic teaching. The substance of Catholic teaching includes that Christians are saved (in part) by faith in Christ. So the tract does mention, implicitly, Jesus Christ. I would criticize them for not mentioning him explicitly if it were a tract on the substance of the faith. But it's about the process - the mechanical steps. Do you believe that we are saved by the right formulaistic outward statement of belief in Jesus Christ? I mean, someone could ask me, "do you believe in Jesus", and my answer of "yes" would not be insufficient for not including the words "Jesus Christ", would it?

May we be one in Christ as He is one with the Father!

Peace in Christ,
Thos.

Albert said...

Thos,

Though we recognize Roman Catholics like you as friends, we cannot embrace you as our brothers in Christ. There can be no unity apart from the truth of the Gospel. The quote used by Carrie is useful here. It says,

“The Christian fully enters the Church by profession of faith and formal reception. For the profession of faith, the candidate says, "I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God."

You see, it is impossible for true Protestants who are truly faithful to the EVANGEL to accept doctrines that simply lack and many times contradict Biblical and historical evidence. Embracing the authority of the magisterium requires the acceptance of dogmas like Papal Infallibility and the Dogma of the Assumption. Aren't these doctrines included in the "substance" of Roman Catholic teaching? Yes because these are DOGMAS. Becoming Roman Catholic thus means embracing beliefs that are simply absent in the Bible and in early Christian history. Is this the kind of Gospel the Lord wants sinners to believe in?

Anonymous said...

Rather than tell Thos why he is not a Christian, why don't you tell him how to become one?

Anonymous said...

In short: What must Thos do to be saved?

(Sorry for using two posts.)

Thos said...

Albert,

I am not a Catholic. I'm glad that you recognize Catholics as friends (presumably, this would not differfrom how you recognize Jews or peaceful Muslims). You state that there cannot be unity apart from the truth of the Gospel. I agree, and believe that unity in truth is the essence of properly formulated ecumenicity. However, I believe implicit in your expression is that the Gospel does not extend beyond the boundaries of the 66 books of our Bible, and that its truthfulness rests in your interpretation of it.

While it may be impossible for "true Protestants" to accept doctrines lacking Biblical evidence, my point was that we should accept those who believe in Christ as brothers and sisters. Whether or not you and I can accept Catholic doctrines based on our understanding of the Scriptures is not prerequisite to accepting them as brothers in Christ. Otherwise, your statement that we can't accept their doctrines must mean we can condemn their doctrines, such that we will not call them brothers. If you're willing to set yourself up in a position to condemn others' interpretation of the Gospel, you have some accounting to do about your authority to interpret the Scriptures in a way that is binding on others (wouldn't your interpretation need to be infallible to make such a condemnation?).

You also seem to believe that because Catholics believe "extra" stuff, they are excluded from the brotherhood. I am not sure where this understanding is supported in the Scriptures. There are instances of correction in the New Testament where extra beliefs are rebuked (Peter's practice with certain believing Jews, for instance) - the holders of those extra beliefs were not excluded from the brotherhood, but were called to unity, were corrected.

I hope my views can be made clear by these imperfect words, and that we can be made one body in Christ!

Peace,
Thos.

Rhology said...

Thos,

Sorry, I've been mistaking you for a RC.
My mistake.
That said, you SOUND like a RC and that should scare you.
Looking for ecumenicity is your mistake.

requires a statement of submission to Catholic teaching

There's the 1st problem. The RC Gospel doesn't save. This is signing one's own spiritual death warrant.

saved (in part) by faith in Christ.

Precisely.

the tract does mention, implicitly, Jesus Christ.

Their problem is partly that Christ is IMplicit in much, EXplicit in little.

Do you believe that we are saved by the right formulaistic outward statement of belief in Jesus Christ?

Of course not, but if that statement is meant truly, that's all it takes.

I'm glad that you recognize Catholics as friends

Isn't it a bit of a generalisation to say CatholicS are friends? Some RCs are, some aren't. Kind of like a few are brothers (those who don't know much about RC theology) and most aren't.

I believe implicit in your expression is that the Gospel does not extend beyond the boundaries of the 66 books of our Bible,

Could you elucidate?

Whether or not you and I can accept Catholic doctrines based on our understanding of the Scriptures is not prerequisite to accepting them as brothers in Christ.

On the contrary, if they believe a non-saving Gospel (which most do), then they are not saved and are therefore not brothers.

(wouldn't your interpretation need to be infallible to make such a condemnation?

1) Why? Why couldn't my interp simply sufficiently acct for the context and verbiage? Why wouldn't that be sufficiently clear for knowing that the RC gospel is a false one? Why can't I know the meaning of Gal 1:8-10 and Galatians' definition of that Gospel if I'm a fallible man?
2) Who is the infallible interper to whom I must submit my interp? How do I know that's the right one?
3) How would I solve the problem of the infinite regress of infall interps?
4) You sound like you're imbibing the RC Kool-Aid already. If you really believe this, I'd expect you not only to stop forthwith quoting any and all Scr since neither you the writer nor we your readers are infallible. And since fallibility extends to ALL communication, I'd expect you to stop posting immediately b/c we can't be sure we understand your meaning at all. Never mind your personal profile, previous posts, and the context of this post - I'm not infallible so have no hope of a sufficient understanding.

because Catholics believe "extra" stuff, they are excluded from the brotherhood

It's precisely the extra works they throw into the question of justification. Grace is no longer grace for them (Rom 11:6). The extra mediators they throw in between me and Jesus (to God) don't help matters.

I am not sure where this understanding is supported in the Scriptures.

Gal 1:8-10
Rom 11:6
Rom 4
1 Tim 2:5
Eph 2:4-10
Rom 8:29-30

we can be made one body in Christ

1) Only thru widespread submission to the Gospel. Until the lost are brought in, I'm fine with true brotherhood.
2) They'd say the same thing. You're a target for both sides. Nobody likes your msg. ;-)
3) Unity at the expense of truth is dastardly. Truth even if it means we are not all unified is Christ's very msg.

Peace,
Rhology

Jason said...

To a Catholic who knows their faith or to an honest person reading without a polemical agenda who knows a little about the Church and what it teaches, the words "baptism, confirmation, and the holy Eucharist" are all about Jesus and what He's done, what He's doing and what He will do.

Additionally, to become Catholic, right before you profess to believe that all that the Church teaches has been revealed by God, you have to affirm everything in the Apostle's Creed. I think there's a little bit about Jesus there, if memory serves.

Pax.

Thos said...

Rhology,

I am scared to break apart the body of Christ. I take His “High Priestly Prayer” (John 17) to heart. I take to heart also the warnings of the early church, of Luther and of Calvin, that to break apart the Church is a damnable sin. Unlike them and me, you seem to think that efforts toward ecumenism are a mistake. Implicit in your unwillingness to seek unity must be a belief that this unity is not possible. And to posit that it is not possible is to disregard Christ’s assurances that he would be with His Church to the end of the Age; it is to believe that the Father did not hear the Son’s prayer in John 17. This is a serious claim to make, brother!

How do you know the “RC Gospel” does not save? What gives you the authority to make this determination? They call their adherents to believe in Christ’s death and resurrection, and to know that our sins our cleansed by his propitiation. John 3:16 says that “all who believe in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” It is unbiblical for you to claim that those who believe in Him are not going to get everlasting life.

The tract was about the procedure of joining the Roman Catholic Church. Christ is implicit in the Procedure, Explicit in the beliefs required to go through the Procedure. Christ is explicit in every Catholic service (“Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us… grant us peace.”).

You stated “most” Catholics are not brothers, but those who don’t know much about what they claimed to believe when they went through the entrance Procedure may still be saved. Interesting judgment you have made.

I said I think you believe the “Gospel” is contained within the four corners of the 66 books of the Bible, and that its truthfulness rests upon your interpretation of it. I can elucidate. The Gospel is the good news that Christ died for us. We all follow tradition of some sort. Calvin followed the tradition of Augustine of Hippo to formalize his teachings on predestination and original sin. The doctrine of the Trinity as accepted by Christians is enormously complex and nuanced; you will not find an articulation of it in the Bible. You condemn the Catholics because they do not find all of their teachings within the confines of the 66 books (or their 73 books). The Gospel is the Word. John 1 makes plain that the Word is Christ Jesus. It is all Truth and it does not follow that the Word is limited to 66 books. At Pentecost, the Church received the Holy Spirit. This is our extra-Biblical guide to know truth. It was the Holy Spirit that breathed the written Word, the Scriptures. The church existed for centuries without a canon of Scripture, but they were still in Truth during this time. Indeed, we claim the early Church apostatized about the same time our present canon became widely accepted (c. 4th Cent.).

How do you know the Catholics believe a non-saving Gospel? They believe in salvation through the sacrificial blood of Jesus, just as we do. What source tells you that to believe something extra, say that Mary’s body was taken up to heaven after her death, disqualifies an otherwise sufficient faith (i.e., the Gospel)?

I’m confused by your discussion of infallibility. I don’t know what you mean by the “infinite regress of infall interps”. I did not suggest you need infallible knowledge to obtain sufficient understanding of the Gospel. I asked whether you might need infallible knowledge before you can declare others who claim to believe in Christ’s atonement to actually be hell-bound.

The extra works they throw into your equation of justification disqualifies them? The Catholic Church does not teach, to my knowledge, that any number of works have to be completed to earn heaven. They reached an ecumenical statement with the Lutherans that says we are saved by “Grace alone.” It would be God’s grace, in their view, that allows good fruit (good works) to be borne within one’s faith life. I believe that if one bears no good fruit, does nothing for others and lives only for oneself, the sincerity of their faith is questionable. James 2:24 says that we are “not saved by faith alone.” Your misunderstanding or misrepresentation of Catholic teaching does not help us reach ecumenicity.

I looked up your litany of verses that you believe support the proposition that any “extras” to the bare-bones Gospel will disqualify us for the prize. None of them support that proposition. That works do not save, but grace does I do not argue. I argue that those who stress the importance of good works, of fruit-bearing (as James did!), have not lost salvation where they also believe in the unmerited, redemptive blood of Jesus. James 2:20ff. seems prescient at this juncture, “You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless…”.

You’re probably right that nobody likes my message. There was an anathema put on the Reformers, and I assume I’m under it in some way as a descendant of the Reformation. I couldn’t agree more about Truth being the prerequisite (and very essence) of unity. It is our ability to dogmatically know and handle that truth that makes me hesitant to declare to the world that others who believe in the Son (John 3:16) don’t have a seat in the boat of salvation.

My God be glorified in spite of my weak mind,
Thos.

Carrie said...

Additionally, to become Catholic, right before you profess to believe that all that the Church teaches has been revealed by God, you have to affirm everything in the Apostle's Creed.

Yes, I know there is alot of Jesus talk and much of it sounds quite orthodox, but in the end you are professing a faith to what the Church teaches. If their teachings are wrong, then your faith is worthless.

Unfortunately, the Catholic gospel is not the biblical gospel, therefore it can not save if believed with all the Catholic bells and whistles. I think some are still saved in the Catholic system, but that is despite the teachings of their Church not because of it.

Carrie said...

It is our ability to dogmatically know and handle that truth that makes me hesitant to declare to the world that others who believe in the Son (John 3:16) don’t have a seat in the boat of salvation.

I think you need to define what "believe" means in the context of true saving faith. It also appears you misunderstand RCC soteriology, escpecially if you bought the ECT's version of grace.

Carrie said...

Thos,

Since I don't have time to explain why I believe the gospel of Rome is false, perhaps these links will help:

Justification

RC Salvation

David Waltz said...

Hi Carrie,

You posted:

>>Unfortunately, the Catholic gospel is not the biblical gospel, therefore it can not save if believed with all the Catholic bells and whistles. I think some are still saved in the Catholic system, but that is despite the teachings of their Church not because of it.>>

Me: The phrase “the Biblical gospel” has become one of the most misused phrases in Christendom, for within the Protestant paradigm, what it really means is: ‘my personal interpretation of the raw Biblical data’.

Such a view virtually ignores “the Biblical” teaching that “the church of the living God” is “the pillar and ground of the truth.”

As for Carrie’s “Biblical gospel”, I suspect that her “gospel” is pretty much the same as Dr. Sroul’s “gospel”, a “gospel” that was lost to the world for nearly 1500 years…

(See this thread http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2007/08/apostasy-bringing-mormonism-into.html for documentation from Protestants who affirm my assessment.)


Grace and peace,

David

Rhology said...

Thos,

When I talk about the infinite regress of the infall interpers, please see my only 2 posts on this blog so far.
And then see David Waltz's comment here, where he does it again:

or within the Protestant paradigm, what it really means is: ‘my personal interpretation of the raw Biblical data’.

It is now incumbent upon David to explain:
1) how the interp is wrong
2) why he implies that the RCC's interp of the raw biblical data is not personal nor private
3) and, if he is implying that the RCC's interp is infallible, how he knows infallibly the infallible meaning of the infall interp of the raw biblical data. And on and on. He's been asked before and hasn't answered, but again, hope springs eternal.

David W said:
Such a view virtually ignores “the Biblical” teaching that “the church of the living God” is “the pillar and ground of the truth.”

TRANSLATION: My church is the infall interper of Scr. Never mind what the psg says - submit to Rome.
This is sola ecclesia. Contrast it with Sola Scriptura - it's exactly what is seems to be.

And you don't seem to be following my argument at all. Remember how I said:
we are saved by faith, NOT by works (Eph 2:8-10), that we are reckoned righteous APART FROM WORKS (Rom 4:6-8)?

Thos said:
The extra works they throw into your equation of justification disqualifies them?

Yes. Did you read Gal 1:8-10 like I asked you to do?

The Catholic Church does not teach, to my knowledge, that any number of works have to be completed to earn heaven.

At least have the decency to represent their position correctly. Ask a RC if he believes in sola fide. The other option is NOT sola fide. This isn't that hard. Ask them if YOU can be saved without being baptised.

They reached an ecumenical statement with the Lutherans that says we are saved by “Grace alone.”

Not nearly good enough.
Remember how I cited Eph 2 - NOT BY WORKS?
Galatians is written against those who would add ONE WORK to the Gospel - circumcision.
Rom 4 - APART FROM WORKS
Rom 11:6 - "if it is by grace it is no longer on the basis of works, else grace is NO LONGER GRACE".

James 2:24 says that we are “not saved by faith alone.”

I even dealt with that in my earlier comment, and you do nothing to present an alternative interp.
I invite you to see how well this view fared recently in another combox.
Hint: It didn't fare well.

And again I must ask you: in view of your statements that we must subject ourselves to our elders, does YOUR pastor know you believe these things? Does he say it's 100% OK?

Thos said:
Your misunderstanding or misrepresentation of Catholic teaching does not help us reach ecumenicity.

How have I misrepresented or misunderstood RC theology? Just b/c I think it's damnable doesn't mean that I don't understand it or lie about it.


David W said:
a “gospel” that was lost to the world for nearly 1500 years…

Not unless you think the Scr was unavailable to the world for 1500 yrs.
And if it was, we know whose fault that was. The Church that (you claim) was in existence at the time.


Peace,
Rhology

David Waltz said...

Hello Rhology,

You posted:

>>Not unless you think the Scr was unavailable to the world for 1500 yrs.>>

Me: First, the 1500 year assessment and subsequent discovery of "the gospel" by the Reformers came from the pen of a Protestant apologist (James White, though I could have cited many more who say the same); and second, you left out one important option in your analysis: the Holy Scriptures were available, but no one interpreted justification (i.e. "the gospel") the way Luther, Calvin, Knox, Sproul, et al. did/does during the 1500 year period we are discussing.


Grace and peace,

David

Anonymous said...

"It appears becoming a Catholic is more about faith in the Church than faith in Christ"

It appears that being "Reformed" is more about telling Catholics they are damned than telling them how to be saved.

Carrie said...

It appears that being "Reformed" is more about telling Catholics they are damned than telling them how to be saved.

First, I haven't seen anyone here say that so that isn't a fair assessment.

Second, if someone would really like to know how they can be saved, they can email me.

Third, if you think you can do a better job, please leave your email addy so any confused Catholics can email you directly.

Thos said...

As I said, I did read Gal 1, which discusses an OTHER gospel, and does not say that the minute we believe one thing too many we are damned. That's all I meant to say.

I did present an alternative to your view of James 2 in one of your other comboxes. I said that Justification is Salvation under the classic reformed formulation. If you think I mean other than that faith - as in intellectual assent - is not enough for salvation, you mistake me. If you believe that mere intellectual assent is enough, I think you misunderstand James 2's statement that even the evil spirits have "faith".

Thank you for your continued concerns for my relationship with my elders. You did not tell me if you are a pastor. Since you repeated your question, I will repeat my answer, as foolish as this feels. I have made my entire angst about ecclesiolgy known to my present pastor and my previous pastor when I lived in another state. If you would like my pastor's e-mail address, I would be happy to give it to you. Perhaps if he tells you I have been open, you will believe me.

You seem to me to present that the Catholics teach that works are necessary for salvation. This seems to be the foundation for your belief that they teach an OTHER gospel, such that the condemnation of James 1 kicks in. If they did teach that certain works were necessary to merit salvation, I would join you in condemning that teaching. However, I do not believe they teach that we merit salvation through works. Therefore, I said your misrepresentation of their teachings do not help ecumenicity.

Peace to you,
Thos.

Thos said...

I meant Galations 1, not James 1, in my final paragraph. I beg pardon. Also, in my second para, my statement "If you believe that mere intellectual assent is enough, I think you misunderstand James 2's statement that even the evil spirits have "faith"" came across wrongly - It almost had sarcasm, and I hate sarcasm, so I'm sorry. I MEAN please don't take me as seeing that use of "faith" in James 2 as meaning more than intellectual assent. I imagine you are comfortable with this limited view of what that use of the word Faith means, because to view it otherwise (it seems to me) would make it difficult to understand the use of the word as applied to evil spirits.

Peace,
Thos.

Rhology said...

Hi there,

David W said:
the Holy Scriptures were available, but no one interpreted justification (i.e. "the gospel") the way Luther, Calvin, Knox, Sproul, et al. did/does during the 1500 year period we are discussing.

So much the worse for them. But you admit the Scr was available; so, then, was the true Gospel. Thanks.

Anonymous said:
It appears that being "Reformed" is more about telling Catholics they are damned than telling them how to be saved.

What would an anonymous commenter know about that? Maybe a lot, but no one can tell either way.
There is no good news without the bad news first.
And who's been telling "Catholics" they're damned?
The statement "the RC gospel does not save" is not equivalent to the statement "all Catholics are going to hell" or "Catholics are going to hell" or sthg like that.

Thos said:
Gal 1, which discusses an OTHER gospel

And why was it another Gospel?

If you believe that mere intellectual assent is enough,

Which nobody here does.
It's not either mere intellectual assent or mix in works. The 3rd option is the non-damnable one.

If you would like my pastor's e-mail address, I would be happy to give it to you.

No, I'm not a pastor. You've been carrying on about submission to elders, then you said you go to a Presby church all the while expressing very RC doctrines. I wanted to know if you've submitted these things to your Presby pastor who, presumably, holds to the Westminster Confession of Faith, which calls the Pope an antichrist.

If they did teach that certain works were necessary to merit salvation, I would join you in condemning that teaching

Once again, you're acting like they don't, but they DO teach that. Whence the Thesaurus Meritorium, indulgences, masses for the dead, the necessity of baptism FOR SALVATION?
For someone who wants to be an RC, you don't seem to know much about RCC. I'm trying to stick up for RCs here, b/c I know I hate it alot when someone misrepresents my position. You might even call that an ecumenical gesture of goodwill. ;-)

Peace,
Rhology

Thos said...

Rhology,

I have not expressed RC doctrines as my own, but for what they are, for the sake of an open discussion. Please do not misunderstand that because I state "A claims X", I necessarily believe X to be true. I am studying to be lawyer, and advocacy is ingrained in how I communicate. Likewise, I am prepared to defend rapists (not to analogize Catholics to rapists) one day, and assert their 4th Amendment Search and Seizure "rights" on their behalf, even when I know that will cause them to walk free. It just an expression of someone else's view.

My denomination uses the Westminster Confession with two amendments, one of which is the removal of the line that the pope is antichrist. I don't believe that I have been "carrying on about submission to elders", and find that to be an uncharitable statement.

I appreciate your ecumenical gesture of good will. I would be happy to have a Roman Catholic correct me, but my understanding (differing from yours) is that indulgences, masses for the dead, and the like, are not aimed at meriting salvation - they get no new person into heaven. They are aimed at Catholic notions of temporal consequences in purgatory. As everyone in purgatory, they teach, will eventually go to heaven, your examples don't show that the Catholics believe that works are necessary to merit salvation.

Peace,
Thos.

Carrie said...

If they did teach that certain works were necessary to merit salvation, I would join you in condemning that teaching.

After Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide is the most despised doctrine of Protestantism by Catholics. I am wondering if you have been engaging in discussions with Protestantized-Catholics - they try to pretend like their "infused grace" model is compatible with imputation, but it is not. I am not sure what the motivation is for these types, but beware – there is only one type of ecumenism for Rome and that is for all to be under her submission.

As far as Catholic soteriology it is [faith + works = salvation] which is different than Prots which would be [faith = salvation + works]. Trent condemned the Protestant doctrine of justification (with works as a fruit, not a cause of justification) in the sixth session:

CANON XXXII.-If any one saith, that the good works of one that is justified are in such manner the gifts of God, as that they are not also the good merits of him that is justified; or, that the said justified, by the good works which he performs through the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit increase of grace, eternal life, and the attainment of that eternal life,-if so be, however, that he depart in grace,-and also an increase of glory; let him be anathema

Also relevant from Trent:

CANON IX.-If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema. (6th)

CANON XI.-If any one saith, that men are justified, either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only the favour of God; let him be anathema. (6th)

CANON IV.-If any one saith, that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary unto salvation, but superfluous; and that, without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain of God, through faith alone, the grace of justification;-though all (the sacraments) are not ineed necessary for every individual; let him be anathema. (7th)

CANON V.-If any one saith, that baptism is free, that is, not necessary unto salvation; let him be anathema. (7th)

http://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent.html

Carrie said...

your examples don't show that the Catholics believe that works are necessary to merit salvation.

Then why do you think Catholics oppose Sola Fide?

Ric said...

I've seen that link before and when I opened it I saw how long it was (the process to become a Roman Catholic) and it made me shake my head in disbelief. I never read the whole documentation before for I know that salvation only comes to one who repents from their sin and receives Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior in faith alone, but if I had read that whole documentation I might have seen what you noticed - the absence if Christ! How sad!

David Waltz said...

Hey Carrie,

You posted:

>>After Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide is the most despised doctrine of Protestantism by Catholics. I am wondering if you have been engaging in discussions with Protestantized-Catholics - they try to pretend like their "infused grace" model is compatible with imputation, but it is not.>>

Me: First, many prominent Catholic theologians (one of them is a Cardinal), hold to a Catholic form of sola scriptura. Second, more than one form of sola scriptura exists within the Protestant paradigm (which one do you espouse?). Third, sola fide can be embraced by a Catholic if we are talking about initial/first justification. And fourth, your “imputation” model is a 16th century theological novem that no Christian writer held to prior to Luther; as such, no “gospel” for nearly 1500 years!!!


Grace and peace,

David

Carrie said...

Third, sola fide can be embraced by a Catholic if we are talking about initial/first justification.

But we're not, we are talking about salvation and you know that. That kind of arguement is just used to confuse your targets of ecumenism.

Okay, so some Catholics espouse a form of sola scriptura (separated brethern approach), there is more than one form of SS (Protestants have no unity approach), sola fide is sorta embraced by Catholics (separated brethern approach), and imputation is a theological novum (Protestants invented their theology approach).

You're all over the place here, David.

kmerian said...

Faith in the Church and faith in Christ are one in the same.

No, perhaps the words "Christ" and "Jesus" are not in the article, but so what? The article is directed at Christians, therefore it assums a belief in Christ, also, the dogmas of the Church are wholly Christocentric.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carrie said...

So Carrie, are you telling us all that those who are NOT children of the Lamb are not damned? Reformed theology is rather pliable when you want it to be.

DA does not equal all Catholics.

No one here believes that all Catholics are damned. We believe that the gospel of Rome will not save.

Anonymous said...

"No one here believes that all Catholics are damned."

Well that's fine. Nobody said you believe that all Catholics are damned, just that you seem more interested in telling them that they are (or likely are) than you are in telling them how to avoid it.

----------

"We believe that the gospel of Rome will not save."

Then for heaven's sake, preach the one that will. It's not enough to tell people that they are on the road to hell of you do not tell them how to get on the right road.

David Waltz said...

Hi Carrie,

Thanks for responding; you wrote:

>>You're all over the place here, David.>>

Me: Yes I am, but I believe it is unavoidable given some of the simplistic, strained, one-sided and inaccurate statements that are being made in this thread. Add double-standards, caricatures, and ‘functional infallibility’ (i.e. personal opinions/interpretations elevated to irreformable dogmas) and one feels pressed in their attempt to address all of the issues involved.

But, I shall invoke you to limit our discussion to one specific topic at a time: what Christian writer INTERPRETATED “the Biblical gospel” in the same sense you do prior to Luther and Calvin? (In other words, are McGrath and White right or wrong in their respective assessments of the doctrinal history/development of justification and the gospel?)


Grace and peace,

David

Carrie said...

Yes I am, but I believe it is unavoidable given some of the simplistic, strained, one-sided and inaccurate statements that are being made in this thread. Add double-standards, caricatures, and ‘functional infallibility’ (i.e. personal opinions/interpretations elevated to irreformable dogmas) and one feels pressed in their attempt to address all of the issues involved.


Wow, that is a long list.

Can you tell me specifically what is "inaccurate", "double-standard", and "caricatures"?

Thanks.

Rhology said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rhology said...

David W,

‘functional infallibility’ (i.e. personal opinions/interpretations elevated to irreformable dogmas)

Ah, do tell. Where has any SS-ist here on this blog done so?
Now, I've seen many, many statements from RCs on the blog do this, so maybe you mean them. I doubt it though b/c you're among them. And I've asked you to justify yourself on that count but you have so far refused to do so.

what Christian writer INTERPRETATED “the Biblical gospel”

It's "interpreted".
And why would I care if someone after the apostles interpreted it the same way as the biblical way? I'm much more interested in finding out what God said than what some guy said, even though the latter question is an interesting one for situations only where questions of historical exegesis are being dealt with.

Besides, 1 Clement says:

All these, therefore, were highly honoured, and made great, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness which they wrought, but through the operation of His will. And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(Chapter XXXII)


Peace,
Rhology

David Waltz said...

Hello again Carrie,

There is no easy way to support the observations I made in my last post, so please forgive in advance for what is going to be a lengthy post. You posted the following previously in this thread:


>>Unfortunately, the Catholic gospel is not the biblical gospel, therefore it can not save if believed with all the Catholic bells and whistles. I think some are still saved in the Catholic system, but that is despite the teachings of their Church not because of it (Carrie, 12:34 PM September 19, 2007 .)

After Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide is the most despised doctrine of Protestantism by Catholics. I am wondering if you have been engaging in discussions with Protestantized-Catholics - they try to pretend like their "infused grace" model is compatible with imputation, but it is not. I am not sure what the motivation is for these types, but beware – there is only one type of ecumenism for Rome and that is for all to be under her submission.

As far as Catholic soteriology it is [faith + works = salvation] which is different than Prots which would be [faith = salvation + works]. Trent condemned the Protestant doctrine of justification (with works as a fruit, not a cause of justification) in the sixth session…(Carrie, 9:08 PM, September 19, 2007 .)


Third, sola fide can be embraced by a Catholic if we are talking about initial/first justification.

But we're not, we are talking about salvation and you know that. That kind of arguement is just used to confuse your targets of ecumenism.

Okay, so some Catholics espouse a form of sola scriptura (separated brethern approach), there is more than one form of SS (Protestants have no unity approach), sola fide is sorta embraced by Catholics (separated brethern approach), and imputation is a theological novum (Protestants invented their theology approach). (Carrie, 6:17 AM, September 20, 2007 .)>>

Me: Many of your assertions in these above quotes prompted me to post the following:

>>Me: Yes I am, but I believe it is unavoidable given some of the simplistic, strained, one-sided and inaccurate statements that are being made in this thread. Add double-standards, caricatures, and ‘functional infallibility’ (i.e. personal opinions/interpretations elevated to irreformable dogmas) and one feels pressed in their attempt to address all of the issues involved. (David, 3:45 PM, September 20, 2007 .)>>


Me: The basic tenor of your above posts is that the issues between Catholics and Protestants on the all important teaching of “the Biblical gospel” are ‘black and white’ (i.e. clear –cut). I believe that just the opposite is true: the issues are very complex, and if the complexities are not acknowledged and properly discussed, one will be left with “simplistic, strained, one-sided and inaccurate statements” which ultimately amount to a grand “caricature”.

There have been numerous works, recently published, that identify and discuss the complexities involved; and though great strides have been, and are being made, much more work is needed. Important for OUR discussion at hand is the need to be conversant with this literature, for if one is not ‘up-to-date’, one will be at a significant disadvantage.

So let’s proceed by starting with: exactly what is “the Biblical gospel”? Has the Church’s understanding of “the Biblical gospel” grown/developed down through the centuries? Can one be certain (i.e. infallibly know) what components are necessary for one to be in possession of “the Biblical gospel”?


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Rhology,

You posted:

>>functional infallibility’ (i.e. personal opinions/interpretations elevated to irreformable dogmas)

Ah, do tell. Where has any SS-ist here on this blog done so?>>

Me: When anyone claims that his/her interpretation IS THE “Biblical gospel”, and any other interpretation is false, that is elevating a dogma to irreformable status.


>>Now, I've seen many, many statements from RCs on the blog do this, so maybe you mean them. I doubt it though b/c you're among them. And I've asked you to justify yourself on that count but you have so far refused to do so.>>

Me: Hmmm…please refresh my memory: when have I in this thread claimed that one of my interpretations is the only one, and any other is false?

Rhology:>>what Christian writer INTERPRETATED “the Biblical gospel”

It's "interpreted".
And why would I care if someone after the apostles interpreted it the same way as the biblical way? I'm much more interested in finding out what God said than what some guy said, even though the latter question is an interesting one for situations only where questions of historical exegesis are being dealt with.>>

Me: Red herring; I am quite sure that everyone posting in this thread is "more interested in finding out what God said than what some guy said"; but, as you well know, the Bible is not a systematic theology; it needs to be interpreted. God has given His Church gifted teachers; an unbroken chain of gifted teachers from the first century down to our day. IMHO, it is a serious mistake to ignore nearly 20 centuries worth of gifted teachers and approach the Biblical text as a ‘lone ranger’.

Rhology:>>Besides, 1 Clement says:

All these, therefore, were highly honoured, and made great, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness which they wrought, but through the operation of His will. And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(Chapter XXXII)>>

Me: St. Clement of Rome says nothing in the above quote that is denied by the Catholic Church.

Now, let’s read St. Clement’s epistle in greater context:


Whosoever will candidly consider each particular, will recognize the greatness of the gifts which were given by him. For from him have sprung the priests and all the Levites who minister at the altar of God. From him also [was descended] our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh. From him [arose] kings, princes, and rulers of the race of Judah. Nor are his other tribes in small glory, inasmuch as God had promised, “Thy seed shall be as the stars of heaven.” All these, therefore, were highly honored, and made great, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness which they wrought, but through the operation of His will. And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (The Apostolic Fathers, First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, Chapter 32, ANF vol. 1, p. 13)

Trent seems to agree with St. Clement of Rome:

…we are said to be justified by faith because faith is the first stage of human salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, without which it is impossible to please God, and come to the fellowship of his children. And we are said to receive justification as a free gift because nothing that precedes justification, neither faith nor works, would merit the grace of justification; for if it is by grace, it is no longer the basis of works; otherwise (as the same Apostle says) grace would no longer be grace. (Council of Trent, 6.8, trans. in Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, vol. 2, p. 674.)

St. Clement also wrote:

Let us steadfastly contemplate those who have perfectly ministered to His excellent glory. Let us take (for instance) Enoch, who, being found righteous in obedience, was translated, and death was never known to happen to him. (The Apostolic Fathers, First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, Chapter 9, ANF vol. 1, p. 7.) [This passage seems to build upon 1 Jn. 3:7 : “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.”]


On account of her faith and hospitality, Rahab the harlot was saved… Moreover, they gave her a sign to this effect, that she should hang forth from her house a scarlet thread. And thus they made it manifest that redemption should flow through the blood of the Lord to all them that believe and hope in God. Ye see, beloved, that there was not only faith, but prophecy, in this woman. (The Apostolic Fathers, First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, Chapter 12, ANF vol. 1, p. 8.)

Seeing, therefore, that we are the portion of the Holy One, let us do all those things which pertain to holiness, avoiding all evil-speaking, all abominable and impure embraces, together with all drunkenness, seeking after change, all abominable lusts, detestable adultery, and execrable pride. “For God,” saith [the Scripture], “resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.” Let us cleave, then, to those to whom grace has been given by God. Let us clothe ourselves with concord and humility, ever exercising self-control, standing far off from all whispering and evil-speaking, being justified by our works, and not our words. (The Apostolic Fathers, First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, Chapter 30, ANF vol. 1, p. 13.)

For thus says God: “Let us make man in Our image, and after Our likeness. So God made man; male and female He created them.” Having thus finished all these things, He approved them, and blessed them, and said, “Increase and multiply.” We see, then, how all righteous men have been adorned with good works, and how the Lord Himself, adorning Himself with His works, rejoiced. Having therefore such an example, let us without delay accede to His will, and let us work the work of righteousness with our whole strength. (The Apostolic Fathers, First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, Chapter 33, ANF vol. 1, p. 14.)

Ye see, beloved, how great and wonderful a thing is love, and that there is no declaring its perfection. Who is fit to be found in it, except such as God has vouchsafed to render so? Let us pray, therefore, and implore of His mercy, that we may live blameless in love, free from all human partialities for one above another. All the generations from Adam even unto this day have passed away; but those who, through the grace of God, have been made perfect in love, now possess a place among the godly, and shall be made manifest at the revelation of the kingdom of Christ. For it is written, “Enter into thy secret chambers for a little time, until my wrath and fury pass away; and I will remember a propitious day, and will raise you up out of your graves.” Blessed are we, beloved, if we keep the commandments of God in the harmony of love; that so through love our sins may be forgiven us. For it is written, “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not impute to him, and in whose mouth there is no guile.” This blessedness cometh upon those who have been chosen by God through Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (The Apostolic Fathers, First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, Chapter 50, ANF vol. 1, p. 18,19.)

For as God lives, and the Lord Jesus Christ lives, and the Holy Spirit, the object of faith and hope for the elect, the man who with humility and eager gentleness obeys without regret the righteous commandments of God, this man will be listed and enrolled in the number of those who are saved through Jesus Christ, through whom be glory to God for ever and ever. Amen. (First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, Chapter 58, The Apostolic Fathers, edited by Jack Sparks, pp. 49, 50 – see also Loeb Classical Library – Apostolic Fathers, vol. 1. p 109.)

For we have touched upon every topic—faith, patience, reminding you that we must reverently please almighty God in righteousness, and truth and long-suffering… (First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, Chapter 62, The Apostolic Fathers, edited by Jack Sparks, p. 52 – see also Loeb Classical Library – Apostolic Fathers, vol. 1. p 117.)


Grace and peace,

David

Rhology said...

Hi David,

I'm glad to hear you say this:

I am not sure what the motivation is for these types, but beware – there is only one type of ecumenism for Rome and that is for all to be under her submission.

Would you please tell this to Thos?

sola fide can be embraced by a Catholic if we are talking about initial/first justification.

Really? One can be justified fully and be heavenbound (if they died at that moment) without any baptism or sacraments? Why does Trent specifically exclude the formulation of faith alone, then?

When anyone claims that his/her interpretation IS THE “Biblical gospel”, and any other interpretation is false, that is elevating a dogma to irreformable status.

That's just nonsense. I asked you where anyone claimed infallibility. You answer and say we think we're right. Of course we think we're right, but that does not equal infallibility. A little honesty can go a long way, David.
Rather it's the RCs here who make individual statements and claim infall for them. Then when I ask you how you know it's infall, you don't answer but keep attacking. A little honesty goes a long way.

when have I in this thread claimed that one of my interpretations is the only one, and any other is false?

Why limit it to this thread?

God has given His Church gifted teachers; an unbroken chain of gifted teachers from the first century down to our day.

That latter phrase is just begging the question.
And it sounds like you're denying that the Scr has meaning independent of what people see, that it's sufficiently clear to communicate what God intends. Is that your position?

ignore nearly 20 centuries worth of gifted teachers

I don't do so. And I don't "ignore" those with whom I disagree, but I deal with their (often pathetic) arguments and move on.

St. Clement of Rome says nothing in the above quote that is denied by the Catholic Church.

Ah, I'm sure Trent would have had NO problem with: nd we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men
You're just waving your hands at this point and hoping nobody notices.

Clement also says we need to do good works

Who denies that? But when is he talking about JUSTIFICATION in his epistle? Yep - right where I cited him.
This is the same problem as when dealing with you about Scripture itself. You're allergic to context b/c you caught the bug from your church.
You also are remarkably ready to make statements that cause the holy writers, whether CFs or Scr writers, to contradict themselves. It's a scary and blasphemous practice.

Peace,
Rhology

David Waltz said...

Hey Rhology,

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. You posted:

>>sola fide can be embraced by a Catholic if we are talking about initial/first justification.

Really? One can be justified fully and be heavenbound (if they died at that moment) without any baptism or sacraments? Why does Trent specifically exclude the formulation of faith alone, then?>>

Me: Without baptism? IMHO, no. The ordinary means of justification/regeneration (I, like Augustine and so many others, do not separate the two) is via the sacrament of baptism: “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16); “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). For a very interesting analysis on this issue, see the following essay by a Reformed author:

http://www.hornes.org/theologia/rich-lusk/baptismal-efficacy-the-reformed-tradition-past-present-future


Rhology:>>When anyone claims that his/her interpretation IS THE “Biblical gospel”, and any other interpretation is false, that is elevating a dogma to irreformable status.

That's just nonsense. I asked you where anyone claimed infallibility. You answer and say we think we're right. Of course we think we're right, but that does not equal infallibility. A little honesty can go a long way, David.>>

Me: As long as you are willing to admit that you may be wrong about what you believe constitutes “the Biblical gospel”, and make it clear in future posts, then I shall withdraw my charge. Further, to charge Augustine, Aquinas, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, et al. as teaching a “false gospel”, when armed with only the possibility that your interpretation may be the correct one, is a bit presumptuous IMHO.


Rhology:>>Rather it's the RCs here who make individual statements and claim infall for them. Then when I ask you how you know it's infall, you don't answer but keep attacking. A little honesty goes a long way.>>

Me: I don’t think I am “attacking”; I am merely attempting to answer certain charges that have been made in this thread. As for infallibility, I make no such claim for myself (and never have done so); even to the point that my decision to enter the Catholic Church may be in error.

Rhology:>>when have I in this thread claimed that one of my interpretations is the only one, and any other is false?

Why limit it to this thread?>>

Me: Just trying to keep the context within THIS thread. But rest assured, as I said above, I have never claimed infallibility for any of my personal interpretations.

Rhology:>>God has given His Church gifted teachers; an unbroken chain of gifted teachers from the first century down to our day.

That latter phrase is just begging the question.
And it sounds like you're denying that the Scr has meaning independent of what people see, that it's sufficiently clear to communicate what God intends. Is that your position?>>

Me: I hold to the material sufficiency of the Scriptures; but deny their formal sufficiency. My view is pretty much summed up by the famous Protestant historian, Philip Schaff:

“The divine Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as opposed to human writings; and the oral tradition or living faith of the catholic church from the apostles down, as opposed tothe varying opinions of heretical sects—together form one infallible source and rule of faith. Both are vehicles of the same substance: the saving revelation of God in Christ; with this difference in form and office, that the church tradition determines the canon, furnishes the key and true interpretation of the Scriptures, and guards them against heretical abuse.” (Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, MI, 1981 ed., vol. 3, p. 606)



Rhology:>>ignore nearly 20 centuries worth of gifted teachers

I don't do so. And I don't "ignore" those with whom I disagree, but I deal with their (often pathetic) arguments and move on.>>

Me: Excellent. Now, let’s talk about a few of those gifted teachers. Did Irenaeus teach a false gospel? How about Augustine? Anselm? Aquinas?

Rhology:>>Who denies that? But when is he talking about JUSTIFICATION in his epistle? Yep - right where I cited him.>>

Me: So you agree with St. Clement that we are “justified by our works”, and that Rahab was saved “On account of her faith and hospitality.”

Rhology:>>This is the same problem as when dealing with you about Scripture itself. You're allergic to context b/c you caught the bug from your church.
You also are remarkably ready to make statements that cause the holy writers, whether CFs or Scr writers, to contradict themselves. It's a scary and blasphemous practice.>>

Me: I must in all due respect disagree. For instance, it sure seems to me that it is the Reformed/Lutheran position that makes James appear to be contradictory by teaching a radical form of “faith alone”—“You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone.”


Grace and peace,

David

Carrie said...

The basic tenor of your above posts is that the issues between Catholics and Protestants on the all important teaching of “the Biblical gospel” are ‘black and white’ (i.e. clear –cut).

Okay, so a tenor of black and white = "inaccurate", "double-standard", and "caricatures"? Sounds like you overshot on that one.

And the reason I point it out is I don't care to interact with people who come into a combox and accuse a person of inaccuracy and other issues w/out giving concrete examples of what exactly is incorrect. Then it just looks like sour grapes and I don't have the time for that.

Important for OUR discussion at hand is the need to be conversant with this literature, for if one is not ‘up-to-date’, one will be at a significant disadvantage.

Are the Councils of Trent not up to date?

I've played this game before and I'm really not interested in playing it further.

Now, you have just admitted to Rhology that you don't believe in justification by faith alone and you've admitted to the necessity of baptism. So I still see things as pretty black and white: Prots believe in justification by "faith alone" while you believe in justification by "faith + baptism + ?".

Or do you believe in justification by faith alone like me?

David Waltz said...

Hey Carrie,

Twice now I have attempted to get our discussion focused on a single issue, and each time you have deflected my attempts; I am sincerely curious as to why.

While I await your response to the above, I shall make some comments on your last post; you wrote:

Carrie:>>Okay, so a tenor of black and white = "inaccurate", "double-standard", and "caricatures"? Sounds like you overshot on that one.

And the reason I point it out is I don't care to interact with people who come into a combox and accuse a person of inaccuracy and other issues w/out giving concrete examples of what exactly is incorrect. Then it just looks like sour grapes and I don't have the time for that.>>

Me: I did give examples, and you brushed them aside with: “You're all over the place here, David.”

Carrie:>>Important for OUR discussion at hand is the need to be conversant with this literature, for if one is not ‘up-to-date’, one will be at a significant disadvantage.

Are the Councils of Trent not up to date?

I've played this game before and I'm really not interested in playing it further.>>

Me: As up to date as the Bible; but the interpretation of Trent, like the ongoing process of interpreting the Bible, is not static; if you have not read what Catholic and Protestant scholars have written on Trent over the last couple of decades you are bound to misunderstand how Catholics are currently interpreting Trent. One’s conclusions are bound to be inaccurate if based on outdated information. And it does little good for me to spend hours, typing quotes from respected Catholic, Lutheran and Evangelical scholars on this subject if you are just going to chalk their informed assessments up to a “separated brethern approach”.


Carrie:>>Now, you have just admitted to Rhology that you don't believe in justification by faith alone and you've admitted to the necessity of baptism. So I still see things as pretty black and white: Prots believe in justification by "faith alone" while you believe in justification by "faith + baptism + ?".

Or do you believe in justification by faith alone like me?>>

Me: I believe there is a certain sense in which a faithful Catholic can ascribe to “justification by faith alone”; it is the same sense in which many faithful Catholic theologians have understood it—e.g. Hilary, Basil, Ambrosiaster, John Chrysotem, Cyril of Alexandria, Thomas Aquinas, Joseph Fitzmyer, and my personal favorite, Augustine. For instance Aquinas wrote—“Therefore the hope of justification is not found in them [the moral and ceremonial requirements of the law], but in faith alone, Rom. 3:28: We consider a human being to be justified by faith without the works of the law.” (Exposito in Ep. I ad Timotheum cap. 1, lect. 3.) Yet Aquinas also taught that one needed to be baptized to be justified—a contradiction?—only if you misunderstand the whole of Aquinas’ (and Catholic) teaching on justification and grace; for baptism is not a work, it is a means of pure grace. And note the following from the site I suggested to Rhology:

The earliest Reformers held a robust view of baptismal efficacy. A whirlwind tour of sixteenth and seventeenth century writings reveals how far we have moved away from the faith of our fathers. In Calvin’s Strasbourg catechism, he asks the student “How do you know yourself to be a son of God in fact as well as in name?” The answer is “Because I am baptized in the name of God the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” In his Geneva catechism, he asks, “Is baptism nothing more than a mere symbol [i.e., picture] of cleansing?” The answer: “I think it to be such a symbol that the reality is attached to it. For God does not disappoint us when he promises us his gifts. Hence, both pardon of sins and newness of life are certainly offered and received by us in baptism.” (Rich Lusk, http://www.hornes.org/theologia/rich-lusk/baptismal-efficacy-the-reformed-tradition-past-present-future .)


So, once again, for you to say: “After Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide is the most despised doctrine of Protestantism by Catholics”, I am left at a loss as to how one cannot conclude that such statements are in a real sense “simplistic”, “inaccurate”, and as such, a “caricature”.

But then, as I have clearly stated, I am not infallible, and am open to correction and change if the evidence demands such.


Grace and peace,

David

Carrie said...

So, once again, for you to say: “After Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide is the most despised doctrine of Protestantism by Catholics”, I am left at a loss as to how one cannot conclude that such statements are in a real sense “simplistic”, “inaccurate”, and as such, a “caricature”.

I would still say that most Catholics would agree with my statement.

"Thus we need not wonder when later on we see Lutheran theologians declaring that the Sola-Fides doctrine, as the principium materiale of Protestantism, deserves to be placed side by side with the doctrine of Sola-Scriptura ("Bible alone", with the exclusion of Tradition) as its principium formale -- two maxims in which the contrast between Protestant and Catholic teaching reaches its highest point." Catholic Encyclopedia

but the interpretation of Trent, like the ongoing process of interpreting the Bible, is not static; if you have not read what Catholic and Protestant scholars have written on Trent over the last couple of decades you are bound to misunderstand how Catholics are currently interpreting Trent.

Sorry, I thought Trent was infallible - I don't understand how that leaves room for future interpretation. If infallible councils are now a matter of interpretation for Catholic theologians (magesterium members or just random theologiains?) then we are back to Rhology's argument that "infallibility" has gained you nothing in certainty and clarity.

Twice now I have attempted to get our discussion focused on a single issue, and each time you have deflected my attempts; I am sincerely curious as to why.

Because I am not interested in this discussion. As I said, I have had these conversations with Catholics such as yourself and I spend 95% of my time documenting historical Catholic beliefs rather than this Protestantized form you are promoting. It is tiring and this post was never about justification in the first place.

David Waltz said...

Good morning Carrie,

You posted:

Carrie:>> I would still say that most Catholics would agree with my statement.>>

Me: I shall not quibble over percentages, but I do know that most of our important theologians would disagree. I feel in good company with Augustine, Aquinas, Rahner, Yves Congar, Joseph Fitizmyer, Cardinal Dulles et. al.

Carrie:>>Sorry, I thought Trent was infallible…

Me: It is, and so is the Bible, but your interpretations of either are not.

Carrie:>>…- I don't understand how that leaves room for future interpretation. If infallible councils are now a matter of interpretation for Catholic theologians (magesterium members or just random theologiains?) then we are back to Rhology's argument that "infallibility" has gained you nothing in certainty and clarity.>>

Me: There are degrees of clarity. Some defined doctrines are crystal clear, but others have room for further development. For instance, the Churches understanding of “no salvation outside of the Church” is an excellent example of increasing clarity.

Carrie:>>Because I am not interested in this discussion.>>

Me: Thank you. At least I know the why now.

Carrie:>>As I said, I have had these conversations with Catholics such as yourself and I spend 95% of my time documenting historical Catholic beliefs rather than this Protestantized form you are promoting. It is tiring and this post was never about justification in the first place.>>

Me: To be brutally honest, if you actually spent more time studying “historical Catholic beliefs” you would be less prone to making some the emotionally charged, anti-Catholic, polemical accusations that you sure seem to have a penchant for.

And BTW, what you so affectionately term “Protestantized form”, is simply cutting-edge, up to date, Catholic thought—that you have little interest in such scholarly discourse has painfully come to my attention.


Grace and peace,

David

Carrie said...

what you so affectionately term “Protestantized form”, is simply cutting-edge, up to date, Catholic thought


So does that mean that you guys are still not sure how you are justified?

If you guys are still trying to figure it out 400+ years after Trent, then you certainly can't expect me to keep up.

Anonymous said...

"DA explicitly denies sola fide; he's not only not saved but he's a false teacher."

Alas for poor St. James: damned by Rhobology!