From: Dad To: Me
Subject: Sermon notes
From: me To: Dad
RE: Sermon notesFor a very detailed look: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08573a.htmBut it seems in a large degree accurate. I am not terribly familiar with the issue off hand, but I know our fundamental position on salvation is that faith and works are largely the same thing and that if there is faith there will be works.
This conflict may be reduced to four differences of teaching. By a justifying faith the Church understands qualitatively the theoretical faith in the truths of Revelation, and demands over and above this faith other acts of preparation for justification. Protestantism, on the other hand, reduces the process of justification to merely a fiduciary faith; and maintains that this faith, exclusive even of goodworks, is all-sufficient for justification, laying great stress upon the scriptural statement sola fides justificat. The Church teaches that justification consists of an actual obliteration of sin and an interior sanctification. Protestantism, on the other hand, makes of the forgiveness of sin merely a concealment of it, so to speak; and of the sanctification a forensic declaration of justification, or an external imputation of the justice of Christ. In the presentation of the process of justification, we will everywhere note this fourfold confessional conflict. -via Catholic Encyclopedia
I think the basic distinction between the Catholicism and everything else is that in our reconciliation of James (You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone…faith without works is dead…… ) and Romans (Therefore, since we have been justified through faith…) we say that faith is a continuing action and state of desire or being; whereas protestants tend to treat it as a statement and moment in time.
From: me To: dadSubject: RE: Sermon notes
Justification to my knowledge is not how we were saved (It is by grace you have been saved) but rather the transformation of the inner man from a state of sin to a state of grace. The question is not whether it is Christ’s death that saves us, but how we come to take part in, or more specifically prepare ourselves for, that grace. To expand that earlier quote we know that “It is by grace we have been saved, through faith, not of works lest any man should boast.” In this statement it is the “through” that constitutes what we call justification. Grace is the unmerited gift of God that effects our salvation. “Through faith” is justification, that is how we come to partake of that grace. In that same verse, the Church holds that the last portion (Not of works…) is intended only to show that it is not of our own own merits that we are saved, nor even of our own merits that we fully come to take part in sanctifying grace… In light of the entirety of scripture however, it cannot be held to mean that faith as a singular confession of belief in point at time is sufficient for justification. As the below demonstrates, works are not sufficient for justification, but they are necessary for it: John 14:23Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Mt 25:34-36 Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ John 3:36He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.
James 2:24 See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.Mt 16:27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct.
Phil 2:12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
Note that in the last verse we see that our salvation is refered in a definitively present tense. As something that is on going and you will also note that the summary offered by Grace Bible Church clearly states that the Catholic Church is the only system that holds our justification to be a present process, and thus the only one in accord with not only that last scripture, but all the preceeding ones as well.
Arminism does not make much sense in it’s distincion; some obscene bickering over vocabulary it seems since it with the Catholic church holds that salvation can be lost because you have no works. I don’t see a substantial difference other. In both systems, a sincere deathbed confession will save, and in both you are saved so long as you remain within the faith.
Calvinism is self contradictory: alternatively holding that you can be assured of your salvation, but that you can be self-decieved about your own salvation. That you are saved when sincere, but you don’t even know if you are sincere since at some future point you might prove to not be sincere. Similarly, their statement that those who do sincerely hold the faith cannot fall away from it despite their actions, is clearly opposed to verses that state that doing in the will of God is a necessary part of faith. There are multiple other problems with Calvinism, especially predestination.
Free Grace fails in that it totally ignores Mt. 25, John 3 and John 14. Christ’s love is not here predicated on belief alone, but on action. Some translations of John 14 read “he who believes (faith) and obeys my teaching” and John 3 clearly states that belief is not all there is to the equation.
There are mutliple other verses that I have snippets of floating around in my head, but I cannot recall the location. I will look for them later, but suffice to say that the above list of verses on the role of works is not comprehensive.
If you have another view of justification you know of, I can look at it. But yes, protestantism is myriad and this is the single most frustrating thing about debating a protestant. No one is really a Calvinist or a Lutheran or anything. They all shop around a cherry pick, not realizing of course that this often leads to logically inconsistent frameworks of belief.
Note too that all of the above frameworks involve at least one work, the confession of Christ as savior. That is a positive action, a definitive work. We all must cooperate with Christ’s will in at least that much, we all must believe. And a proper framework will recognize this fact, or like Calvinism skirt it by arguing that some are predestined to be saved and other predestined to not be saved.
From: Dad To: Me
From: me To: dad
RE: Sermon notes
The nuances are such that it is all very confusing. As near as I can tell Salvation entails God’s victory over sin and redemption of mankind in the cross and resurrection, grace is divided into two things:
- actual grace is a supernatural help of God for salutary acts granted in consideration of the merits of Christ. (Helps us perform holy actions)
- sanctifying grace is characterized by it’s operations in the soul and these are a disposition towards holiness and habit of acting in a holy fashion, a beautifying of the soul, friendship with God, and sonship.
Justification being the manner in which we arrive at Sanctifying Grace, you can see from it’s effects how it is both entirely of God, yet requires our active participation, for lest we deny free will we must admit that the habit of holiness like any other is cultivated by our own actions, and that part of the beautification of the soul is the result of these actions, but of course the Sonship of God is His free gift, as is His Friendship, it is He that fully beautifies our Soul, and Christ’s blood that first removes the stains of sin, and it is from Him we recieve the disposition and ability to be Holy and desire Holiness. Grace is undisputably of God, magnificent, and undeserved. But the two work in tandem, and though we only be a part of the building, yet if you remove only a few support beams the whole tower falls, and our actions can have that effect. You cannot climb the ladder to heaven when there are missing rungs..On the ressurrection:
- It shows the justice of God who exalted Christ to a life of glory, as Christ had humbled Himself unto death (Philippians 2:8-9).
- The Resurrection completed the mystery of our salvation and redemption; by His death Christ freed us from sin, and by His Resurrection He restored to us the most important privileges lost by sin (Romans 4:25).
- By His Resurrection we acknowledge Christ as the immortalGod, the efficient and exemplary cause of our own resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:21; Philippians 3:20-21), and as the model and the support of our new life of grace (Romans 6:4-6 and 9-11).The not guilty verdict is I think redemption. Justification does not pertain to our sins being forgiven, but to us being transformed from a sinful state, to a graceful state. Something that involves not just the forgiveness of our many sins, but an inner transformation.If you read much of Chesterton, you know that Catholicism is very fond of its paradoxes. But these paradoxes do not undermine our logical framework, and when reached as a conclusion support the arguments and facts which gave rise to the paradoxical conclusion. In Calvinism, I do not see that.Miracles are indeed a form of grace, but not the strict theological eternal life granting capital G Grace of which we have been speaking. Rather they are just another example of God’s providence and grace in the sense of any free, undeserved gift. Certainly not justification, though.-Micah