Thursday, December 13, 2012
A simple but helpful diagram
John Gertsner, in an appendix ("Rome NOT Home: A Response to Scott and Kimberly Hahn's Rome Sweet Home"), in the excellent book, Justification by Faith Alone, edited by Don Kistler, on pages 172-173, has a very helpful but simple diagram that lets us see the issue of the doctrine of justification by faith alone clearly.
The book has good chapters by John McArthur, R. C. Sproul, Joel Beeke, John Gertsner, and John Armstrong.
1. Biblical/Protestant View:
Faith = Justification + works
2. Roman Catholic View:
Faith + works = Justification
3. Antinomian / Easy Believe -ism View (what Trent and RCC mis-understood and thought Luther and Reformers were saying)
Faith = Justification - works
(Note: in the book, the diagrams have arrows, but I could not figure out how to make arrows, so I had to use the equal (=) sign.) The arrow seems to communicate, "leads to". So true faith in Christ alone for salvation leads to justification, resulting also in good works. And the Roman Catholic view is that one must have faith as an adult, and that includes that one must believe in the 1854, 1870, and 1950 dogmas, since they are "de fide" (part of the doctrines of the faith that one must believe . If one is an infant with RC parents, one must be baptized as a baby and that is called "initial justification", but that can be lost, so there must be good works of penance, indulgences, confession to the priest, giving alms, being a good Roman Catholic, going to mass, etc. and keeping it up and loosing it and gaining it back (the treadmill of sacramentalism) until, maybe, Lord willing, one dies in a "state of grace", but even then, every R.C. has to go through Purgatory, since nobody is sinless. No R.C. ever knows if he is justified or not or if they can have peace or assurance of his/her salvation. According to one article I read a while back, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine and other RCs since Trent have said that the greatest Protestant heresy was "assurance"!! The Antinomian view means that faith leads to justification with no works or fruit as a necessary result. John McArthur's 2 books, The Gospel according to Jesus and The Gospel according to the apostles (originally it was titled, "Faith Works: The Gospel according to the Apostles") are two excellent works that refute the antinomian or "easy believism" view.