Friday, October 12, 2007

"Sola Ecclesia"

Since the use of the term “sola ecclesia” is being questioned in the previous post, I thought I would try to briefly clarify (since Rhology is on hiatus).

In regards to the rule of faith, "Sola Ecclesia = Church Alone" as "Sola Scriptura = Scripture Alone".

From the Catholic Encyclopedia under the heading “THE CHURCH AS THE RULE OF FAITH”:

This follows necessarily from any adequate view of the Church as a Divinely constituted body, to whose keeping is entrusted the deposit of faith, but the grounds for this doctrine may be briefly stated as follows…If faith is necessary for all men at all times and in all places, and if a true saving faith demands a clear knowledge of what we have to believe, it is clear that an infallible teaching Church is an absolute necessity. Such a Church alone can speak to men of all classes and at all times; it alone can, by reason of its perpetuity and ageless character, meet every new difficulty by a declaration of the sound form of doctrine which is to be held. If the teaching of Christ and His Apostles is distorted, none but the Church can say "This is its true meaning, and not that; I know that it is as I say because the Spirit which assists me is One with the Spirit which rested on Him and on them"; the Church alone can say, "Christ truly rose from the tomb, and I know it, because I was there, and saw the stone rolled back". The Church alone can tell us how we are to interpret the words "This is My Body", for she alone can say, He Who spoke those words speaks through me, He promised to be with me all days, He pledged Himself to safeguard me from error at all times".

34 comments:

Rhology said...

To see what I meant, go to the debate I linked to and see how Orthodox deals with the inconsistencies between Ch Fathers and in individual CFs' own writings, where they contradict themselves. Which one is Sacred Tradition and not just 'part of tradition'? The one that The Church® accepts, of course. It's a perfect illustration.

e i e said...

The text you quote does not say that the Church alone holds God's revelation, just that The Church and no other organization has the Christ-given authority to decide standards of faith: such things as what does and what does not constitute revelation itself, which as a matter of fact is something that Scripture itself does not dictate.

This is by no means comparable to "sola scriptura" as a doctrine, although "sola scriptura" deneys it.

You've taken two words that happen to fall together whose grammatical construct resemble "sola scriptura" when translated into Latin, as the appear in one document and pull them out of context then proffer it as false evidence of a Catholic doctrine that the Church's Authority is greater than the revelation given to us in the very Scriptures the Church, (by her Christ-given authority) deems are indeed the inerrant revelation of God. Nonsense.

The Church does not "trump" Scripture. The Church does tell us what is and is not Scripture, as Scripture does not.


Our doctrines regarding the primacy of Scripture specifically dictates that no bishop, the Pope included, may authoritatively contradict the true teachings of scripture.

The Protestant "sola ecclesia" argument is a straw man. The very text you cite demonstrates it is so.

This is indeed a source of great frustration with pop apologetics on either side of such debates: the constant asserting that the other party believes or confesses that which each in it denies.

"Sola Ecclesia" as described by Protestants in these blogs is neither defined as such by Catholics nor defended as such.

Enough is Enough

kmerian said...

Carrie, the "Church" is the body of Christ. So the more accurate term should be "sola christos".

Tim said...

e i e,

You are quite correct that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that Scripture is infallible, and must not be contradicted. They teach that no bishop, the Pope included, may authoritatively contradict the true teachings of scripture.

What's the topic? When Protestants use the term sola ecclesia, are we saying that Catholics believe only the Church is infallible? That seems to be how you're taking it, but that's not what is meant. The topic is, what serves as our rule of faith?

You said, "The Church does tell us what is and is not Scripture, as Scripture does not." That speaks of canon. If that were the only relevant claim made by the RCC, then a Catholic could hold to sola scriptura. Ask yourself, once you get an authoritative copy of Scripture, what happens then? How can you use it for determining truth?

The problem for you is, it does not matter what the Bible says. It does not matter how clearly it might contradict an authoritative pronouncement of the Roman Catholic Church. The Magisterium stands between you and the text as an ostensibly infallible interpreter, and you are not free to test them against Scripture. A Roman Catholic cannot come to Scripture and use it as a rule of faith. Regardless of what it says, you must submit to what the Magisterium tells you it means, else you will be upbraided for being a "private interpreter".

In that light, "sola ecclesia" seems to me to be a very apt label.

e i e said...

"In that light, "sola ecclesia" seems to me to be a very apt label."

Tim:


If my perception is incorrect, and indeed reference to Church authority in matters of faith were the only use of the term "sola ecclesia" then I might have good reason to reconsider. However, I ask you to honestly review how this term is used by Protestants and report whether or not it is employed as an attempt to accurately describe or it is used as a misrepresentation, willful or otherwise.

Please also note that given even the most forgiving interpretation, the term remains inaccurate at best, because of the "sola." Regarding Church oversight of the Rule of Faith, we teach that the Church is the only earthly body that has such authority; however, we do not claim that Scripture does not also have that authority--only that one cannot subject the faith taught by Holy Scripture or any other revelation to one's personal whimsy. The "sola" descriptor is patently false. Frankly, I've not seen it offered as anything but defamation, but then I've not managed to read everything--not yet.

Even so, knowing full well that we generally object to this as a gross mischaracterization, do you deem it appropriate? I know of some Catholics who refer to the Reformation as the "deformation" as it can aptly be said to have de-formed the church from our perspective. Would you deem it prudent for me to do so? I do not employ it, regardless of whether I'm speaking to Catholics or Protestants, as it is counter-productive and (in my opinion) intended only to defame and antagonize.

Would my thinking "the Deformation" a very apt label be justification for using the term, especially as a means of defamation as "sola ecclesia" is used? If so, how much more would I be wrong to use it if I also knew in my heart that the term is not quite so apt as I'd first believed?

E i E

Jason L. said...

The assumption that the Church® is the source of all truth simply because its officers and officials declare it as such is begging the question. Would Congress pass a resolution declaring itself unnecessary and calling for its own dissolution? The Church hierarchy has been and still is self-serving and self-justifying. Without need for corporate salvation, not only would they be out of a job, their entire earthly existence would be for naught and they will have spent years in apostasy (supposing the Protestant rule of faith to be correct). We needn’t go into the breaks in papal succession, or the countless indiscretions of the Church’s ® bureaucracy to see the error of hierarchical salvation; we merely need to look at man’s need to feel important.

I don’t doubt the Magisterium’s educational credentials or sincere heart for interpretation of the Word of God, and I thank God for enabling the Catholic Church to preserve the Word for centuries until the printing press came about. However, declaring oneself infallible by creating an unbiblical bureaucracy that declares itself as such is ludicrous, and blind submission to its teaching above exegetical self-study and application of the Bible is wrong.

A parting shot:

“This is its true meaning, and not that; I know that it is as I say because the Spirit which assists me is One with the Spirit which rested on Him and on them”

Doesn’t this sound an awful lot like:

…he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

--JML

David Waltz said...

Hello kmerian,

You posted:

>>Carrie, the "Church" is the body of Christ. So the more accurate term should be "sola christos".>>

Uhhhh…you have the gender and case all mixed up! So “the more accurate term” would be: solus Christus (nominative, masculine).


Grace and peace,

David

Rhology said...

eie,

Yes, it is appropriate. Just b/c you don't like it doesn't mean it's not right. It's amazing to us why, when the label is so obviously accurate, you would object to it. Why not be proud of your position? I'm proud of mine!

We use "SE" as defamation, as pejorative, b/c it's an ungodly and false doctrine.

"Deformation" - fine, use it. It's your opinion. It's not quite the same b/c it doesn't carry the explanatory force that SE does and is also explicitly pejorative, as opposed to SE, which is just a definition of your position.
"Anti-Catholic" - not the same thing, b/c it implies that we focus only on RCC, which we don't.

Peace,
Rhology

kmerian said...

David, thanks for the greek lesson. As you can tell, it is not my strong suit! ;-)

e i e said...

"Yes, it is appropriate. Just b/c you don't like it doesn't mean it's not right"

Sola Ecclesia is not a doctrine that we believe or teach. You choose to be a liar. So be it. May God have mercy.

E i E

Jeff said...

EiE,

I know this is off topic but I was just curious. So I hope you don't mind my question.

What is it that you, as a Catholic, presumably reject regarding justification by faith alone?

Is it that you believe a person cannot be righteous in God's sight and yet still be a sinner? In other words is it that you believe God cannot declare a person righteous who is not inherently righteous?

Is it that you believe works (done in grace by the power of the Spirit) are a ground for your righteous standing before God?

Exactly where do you disagree with protestant theology on this vital matter?

I appreciate your thoughts.
Jeff

e i e said...

jyogf"The assumption that the Church® is the source of all truth simply because its officers and officials declare it as such is begging the question"

Indeed that’s true, but of the 1 billion or so Catholics that currently live on this planet, who believes that. Seriously, what's with you people? Is there any Catholic doctrine that you attack that is actually Catholic doctrine?

Enough is Indeed Enough!

e i e said...

"Exactly where do you disagree with protestant theology on this vital matter?"

I appreciate your thoughts.


I profess that we are justified by Christ through faith in Him and His sacrifice made once and for all, while acknowledging that faith without works is dead. I profess that our salvation is by grace and any treasures we accrue (It is Jesus who told us to store up treasures in heaven) are ultimately by grace: which we define as unmerited favor.

For me it is not an either / or choice. I view the question of “how do you disagree with justification by faith?” question as laboring under a false dichotomy and misconception. Rather I view salvation and justification as a sacred mystery: meaning that even if to some of us it seems a contradiction, to God (for whom there are no real paradoxes) it reconciles perfectly.

The Word of God tells us that all of these things are true: Christians were saved, Christians are being saved and Christians will be saved if we endure, and that no person can come to the Father but by the Jesus, the Son. I likewise profess these are all true. Indeed, regarding salvation past, present and to come, all are true, even if from our finite view some of us might think them contradictory ideas.

Now, that is an honest, impromptu answer to your question as best I understood you to mean. My turn to ask--Can anyone be saved who does not understand how he is saved?

E i E

E i E said...

"Is it that you believe works (done in grace by the power of the Spirit) are a ground for your righteous standing before God?"

Specifically, no. It is the virtue of the shed blood of Jesus Christ alone that is the foundation upon which anyone can be seen as righteous before God. It is His righteousness, not mine, for mine is but as filthy rags and whatever extent I can make my sacrifice holy, it remains ultimately by God's grace. His is utter holy and perfect righteousness and His sacrifice is utterly holy and perfect as He is The Lamb of God.

My own sinning in spite of this sacrifice made for me has temporal consequences and requires me to confess and offer reparation as per God's instruction and justice, but the true wages of sin are death, and that debt cannot be erased by personal reparation.

When at the final judgment the Father looks upon me, it must be the Robe of Christ's Righteousness that He takes into account, or I am hopeless, lost and eternally damned.

This I profess.
I do not expect you to agree with all I profess, but I ask you to at least acknowledge that this is what I believe, not the pseudo-Catholic nonsense offered as straw-man argumentation.

Jason L. said...

What you are saying is not much different from the doctrinal code to which many of the people here are adhering. The reason behind this isolation of certain Catholic practices (be they official doctrine or not) is that they seem to add to the Bible's instructions. The idea that prescribed, codified penance is "per God's instruction" is incorrect. We believe that God's instruction is found in the Bible alone. These instructions you speak of are per the Church's understanding and subsequent distribution through their infallible yet ever-evolving determination of God's Word. Sola Scriptura cannot be combined with any other extrabiblical teaching, doctrine or practice, hence the author's decision to distinguish them (in my opinion).

Tim said...

eie,

I do consider it an apt label. It may well be that the term is often used poorly, without sober awareness & precision in the issues involved. I consider it often imprudent (or "inappropriate") to use "sola ecclesia", at least as the primary default descriptive term. I do not think your "Deformation" example is a good parallel, though you raise a good issue (you might be able to come up with a better example).

So, to flesh that out.

You said, "Regarding Church oversight of the Rule of Faith, we teach that the Church is the only earthly body that has such authority; however, we do not claim that Scripture does not also have that authority--only that one cannot subject the faith taught by Holy Scripture or any other revelation to one's personal whimsy. The 'sola' descriptor is patently false."

And of course, I agree that revelation cannot be subject to whimsy. It has an objective meaning that must respected & sought out diligently, in humble submission of your own prejudices & assumptions & preferences to the authority of God's revelation to reform your thinking. If you are genuinely seeking to raise the level of discourse, I would submit to you that calling this "whimsy" is as terrible a straw man as you believe you're correcting.


I gave a calm, careful explanation of why I believe "sola ecclesia" to be an apt description, and I'm having trouble seeing how your response interacted with it.

Apart from the issue of common Protestant usage of the term--focusing on the understanding I gave--was there anything inaccurate about what I said? What inaccuracy did you see in how I brought out a "sola" in the Roman Catholic doctrine? (I'm referring to the paragraph that starts, "The problem for you is".)


The fact that Catholics generally object to this as a gross mischaracterization does impact the appropriate use of it. I believe in a principle of irenic theology where we must start out by explaining an opponent's view in terms they would accept; I want you to be able to say, "I'm happy with how he laid out my views." It's important for effective and civil communication--but more urgently, it's important for my own ability to approach God's revelation with humility and willingness to reform, laying aside my own assumptions & traditions & prejudices.

There does come a point in the discussion, however, when I would be willing to use terms that you don't appreciate--after I've laid out your own view in terms you would accept, when I've moved on to critiquing it. Just because you don't like the term doesn't mean it is not apt.


You said, "I know of some Catholics who refer to the Reformation as the 'deformation' as it can aptly be said to have de-formed the church from our perspective." The difference is that "deformation" has no content other than to say that you think the Reformation was wrong. It's not an analysis of Reformation doctrine. It has no content other than, "You're wrong."

A slightly better parallel would be "solo scriptura". If you're talking to someone who rejects all use of the early church fathers, who subscribes to a "me and my Bible in the woods" mentality and pays no attention to the context of church history, then it could be appropriate for you to call it solo scriptura--even if they didn't like it. There might be limits on when it would be prudent to use it, and I'm sure you could use it poorly, but I would consider it allowable.


For the sake of clarity, I'll end with this: If and when Protestants uses the term "sola ecclesia" unthoughtfully, without careful awareness of the issues, without explaining, as a simple throwaway insult, then they deserve correction.

E i E said...

"The idea that prescribed, codified penance is "per God's instruction" is incorrect. We believe that God's instruction is found in the Bible alone."

This is an honest and reasonable disagreement.

E i E

Carrie said...

I profess that we are justified by Christ through faith in Him and His sacrifice made once and for all, while acknowledging that faith without works is dead.

Don't forget baptism! Since the RCC insists on infant baptism, then infants are justified by their baptism (without explicit faith).

CCC 1992 Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men. Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith.

“What then is meant by justification? Justification denotes that change or transformation in the soul by which man is transferred from the state of original sin, in which as a child of Adam he was born, to that of grace and Divine sonship through Jesus Christ, the second Adam, our Redeemer ... In the New Law this justification cannot, according to Christ's precept, be effected except at the fountain of regeneration, that is, by the baptism of water.” Catholic Encyclopedia

e i e said...

"The difference is that "deformation" has no content other than to say that you think the Reformation was wrong."

Well, no, it could be meaningful apart from its obvious maligning construct to say that the practical upshot of the Reformation was that rather than reform the church as intended it de-formed it, attacking its coheasion--but again, I would not use this term, and I won't--and we can add to the reasons I won't that most Protestants don't see it as having any genuine meaning even though someone theoretically could.

Likewise with "sola ecclesia." Perhaps you see it as a useful phrase, but I can't imagine its applicability in spite of your reasoned explanation--the gap between what you understand it to mean and what I know the teaching of the Church to be remains too wide.

"The problem for you is, it does not matter what the Bible says. It does not matter how clearly it might contradict an authoritative pronouncement of the Roman Catholic Church.

I do not believe such an instance has ever occurred. Before this gets you laughing your butt off, try to hold off and read the entire post, as I hope to clarify what you probably see as a preposterous claim.

Perhaps what we take as our belief that Jesus' promise to send the Holy Spirit to lead us in all truth actually applies to the Church he founded, others percieve as an improper practice that an authoritative pronouncement of the actually Church can contradict scripture, and therefore "trump" it in our view. Where we see only that such an authoritative statement does is affirm Scripture, you see room for doubt. I don’t say this to cry "lack of faith", but to point out some of the real differences. I believe this perception is a misperception. Why? See below.

The Magesterium stands between you and the text as an ostensibly infallible interpreter, and you are not free to test them against Scripture.

I think you might not truly know what we mean by the Magesterium. Sometimes I think that people imagine that we have Magesterium meetings where twenty guys in tall hats gather in a secret room, take role and vote on what God is up to. This image is not even close to the truth. Although we sometimes consider special conclaves and synods as operations of the "Special Magesterium" and although we see the Holy See as an authoritative subset of it, ultimately the Magesterium consists of all Christians throughout all time (including, believe it or not, even you if you’re a baptized Christian—though we both know neither your voice alone nor mine would carry by itself—but that is the point of the Magesterium).


To say that the Magesterium stands between Christians and Scripture is like saying that Christians stand between Christians and Scripture or that the Church stands between the Church and Scripture. The Magesterium is the collective witness of all Christianity throughout time. We are indeed free to test the pronouncements of the Magesterium against Scripture, for that is how we have development of doctrine--and Development of doctrine is indeed a Catholic doctrine.

E i E

Carrie said...

Although we sometimes consider special conclaves and synods as operations of the "Special Magesterium" and although we see the Holy See as an authoritative subset of it, ultimately the Magesterium consists of all Christians throughout all time

This is a new one. You'll have to provide some official documentation of such an idea since the Catechism seems to say otherwise:

CCC85 "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ." This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.

CCC100 The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.

CCC2034 The Roman Pontiff and the bishops are "authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach the faith to the people entrusted to them, the faith to be believed and put into practice." The ordinary and universal Magisterium of the Pope and the bishops in communion with him teach the faithful the truth to believe, the charity to practice, the beatitude to hope for.

e i e said...

"Don't forget baptism! Since the RCC insists on infant baptism, then infants are justified by their baptism (without explicit faith)."

Regarding baptism itself, this is also far more complex than just the snippet of teaching you cite, but I’m sure you already knew that. The good thief was not literally baptized, but we recognize him as the saint whom Jesus personally assured salvation to. Do you think we are unaware of this for the last 29 hundred and some-odd years since then? On the flip side, Cornelius who was the paterfamillias had his entire houshold baptised though we see no record of their expressing faith. Infants may have been (some say would have been) among them. Do you say God is not free to save whomever He wishes?

Yes, baptism is a regenerative sacrament (an outward sign of an inward truth) just as St. Paul said it was. Argue with him if you disagree with him. As for me, I find you disingenuous and will leave that debate to those who feel more able to tolerate you.

We believe that we who baptize the infants can "believe for them" by God's merciful provision, and that by raising them in the fear of the Lord, he directs their path, so if they survive to an age of reason, they must then affirm their baptism by repentance and submission to God. If they do not achieve reason, we trust god will do as He promised and allow the little ones to come to Him, for it is as one child that even we are to come. But then I'm sure you know this view is shared by other Protestants.

Is your view that God pre-damns babies, children and the retarded to eternal torment in the fires of hell for His glory? I know there is division among Calvinists in this regard. Which side of the debate does your sola scriptura understanding place you?



E i E

Anonymous said...

"29 hundred years" should have been "19 hundred years."

e i e said...

"CCC85 "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ." This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome. "

There’s more to it than that. This doesn't say that the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome are the Entire Magesterium. There is the ordinary, the special and the universal Magesterium. We view the pope and his bishops as the effective acting Magesterium,; however, when they gather for the purpose of consensus of the Church, they are to gather the representative view of the entire church. Under each bishop is a synod that can consist of any and all members of the church. In fact many diocese in the US are convening synods this year. Further, they are to consider the opinions of the Church and believers throughout history--and yes, they can consider the opinions of even heretics. Origen is often cited, and he thought Christ was not God. In the ultimate sense, all Christians throughout all history comprise the Magesterium. That the bishops speak for it is only natural and in accordance with Scripture, good order and cannon law. Where else would this happen?

E i E

Jeff said...

EiE,

Thanks for the response.

You asked,

"Can anyone be saved who does not understand how he is saved?"

If one holds to a false view of how he can stand righteous before God, then no, that person cannot be saved.

Also, a follow-up for you. I was not quite satisfied with the response to my question. It may be my fault for being unclear so I apologize. I will restate my question a bit differently and in two parts:

1. Do you believe that the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone as the Reformers expounded is heretical or contrary to the view of Rome which you claim to hold (assuming Rome's position hasn't changed since that time)?

2. If yes, why? Or what makes holding the view of justification by faith alone insufficient to save according to Rome?

I do believe that the differences concerning this doctrine at the time of the reformation were substantive (and still are). You may disagree with that.

I hope you will be able to respond briefly and clearly to these. I think they should be fairly straight forward.

Thanks again,
Jeff

orthodox said...

Rhology: Which one is Sacred Tradition and not just 'part of tradition'? The one that The Church® accepts, of course.

Orthodox: I see. When you actually cough up the goods on who told YOU what books of the bible make up sacred tradition, then we can find out what you are REALLY sola-....

How about it? Or would that ruin the sound bite?

EgoMakarios said...

Protestants and Catholics both misinterpret Scripture the same way, and might as well admit it. Both apply nonsense tradition to the text.

To the Catholic,
"call no man father" = "call the priests father"

To the Prot,
"We are raised with Christ in baptism" = "baptism is a worthless symbol"

Both Prots and Caths have spiritual dyslexia, which causes them to see something other than what is written when they read Scripture.

Tim said...

eie,

For the moment, I'd just like to ask a clarifying question.

How would you suggest I verify that your way of defining the Magisterium is correct? That it is not your own private, novel definition?

My brief googling does not bear out your definition. Yours seems reminiscent of an Eastern Orthodox view of the Church. The Roman Catholic Magisterium seems to be the authoritative teaching office, consisting of the Pope and the bishops in communion with him.

"2034 The Roman Pontiff and the bishops are 'authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach the faith to the people entrusted to them, the faith to be believed and put into practice.' The ordinary and universal Magisterium of the Pope and the bishops in communion with him teach the faithful the truth to believe, the charity to practice, the beatitude to hope for." Catechism hosted at vatican.va

"The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him." Wikipedia quoting the 1997 Catechism.

"Finally with regard to the organ of tradition it must be an official organ, a magisterium, or teaching authority." Catholic Encyclopedia (This does not appear to be an authoritative source.)


From these official teachings, it seems my view was correct--that the Magisterium is an official authority within the Church hierarchy, standing between you and the text as an infallible interpreter. The task of authentic interpretation lies solely with them. While you regard Scripture as infallible and authoritative, you, as an individual, cannot approach Scripture so as to use it directly as a rule of faith, i.e. to interpret it and form conclusions--the task of authentic interpretation lies solely with the office of the Magisterium.

To be clear, I am not doubting that the Magisterium consists of more than the presently living body of the Pope and the bishops in communion with him. It would at least include the dead popes and bishops. Rather, I am doubting that the interpretative authority of the Magisterium extends outward in the manner you seem to be suggesting--in a manner that would render inaccurate my understanding of the Magisterium as an office standing between you and the text.

Tim said...

One more clarification. It may be that you can show me official teachings that establish a broader sense of Magisterium. If you want to quote that to demonstrate that you weren't "making it up", I understand.

But let's stay focused. What I'm asking for is a demonstration that the broader sense is the only sense--that I was wrong to use "Magisterium" in a restricted sense. If my restricted understanding (that seems to be stated in the Catechism) is wrong, then I need to back up and re-evaluate. If my restricted understanding is valid, then I think you would need to back up and try again.

David Waltz said...

Hi Carrie,

Could not sleep, so I thought I would check the boards…you posted:

>>Don't forget baptism! Since the RCC insists on infant baptism, then infants are justified by their baptism (without explicit faith).>>

Me: Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, Anglicans, EO’s (and other Christians) insist on infant baptism—your objection seems a bit skewed.

As for infants, you certainly seem to imply that infants who die are all headed for hell for they have no faith—and here in lies the complexity which you seem to avoid, for I suspect you believe infants can/are saved apart from faith…


Grace and peace,

David

Carrie said...

Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, Anglicans, EO’s (and other Christians) insist on infant baptism—your objection seems a bit skewed.

Do they believe that the infants are justified by their baptism as you do? Since I am none of the above though, this argument really doesn't matter to me either way.

My point was that Baptism is the means of justification, not faith. Hence, infants (who cannot have faith) can be justified by Baptism as are adults in the RCC.

EIE's description of justification left out that very important point which seems odd for a description of RC justification.

David Waltz said...

Hi Carrie,

You posted:

>>Do they believe that the infants are justified by their baptism as you do? Since I am none of the above though, this argument really doesn't matter to me either way.>>

Me: Some do, some do not.

Now, with that said, the issue of infants and salvation is (IMHO) a very important aspect to the larger issue of justification/salvation.

In the gospel according to Carrie, can infants be saved? If so, how are they “justified” before God?


Grace and peace,

David

Rhology said...

The question of infant salvation is not contained in the Gospel, strictly speaking, since the Gospel is a proclamation of salvation, who it's for, and how to obtain it. Infants don't understand that proclamation.

And Scr is not clear on whether or how infants are saved. John MacArthur did a decent job going over the subject in his book "Safe in the Arms of God".

Peace,
Rhology

Anonymous said...

Origen, Commentary on Romans, 5:9 (A.D. 244)."The Church received from the Apostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants. For the Apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of divine mysteries, knew that there is in everyone the innate stains of sins, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit."

Anonymous said...

"To the Catholic,
"call no man father" = "call the priests father"


Either St. Paul was likewise guilty in the writing of Scripture itself, or this instruction is not meant to be taken literally. The latter seems most likely.