Monday, November 30, 2009

For your consideration, I am amenable to the Catholic position on justification because:

[The 5 Reasons I Might Agree With the Papists On Justification]

1. Love/Charity. If you asked me, "Could a person be wholly acceptable in the sight of God, welcomed into His presence (justified) knowing truths about God, without love for Him and others?" I'd be like, "Um, no, read 1 Cor 13 and 1 John 4." We all know this. But I can totally imagine someone saying, "Synergism! Works! Papist! Arrghh! Nooooo!" at the thought of it all. :) One might try to do it systematically, but why? Why make your systematics a pretzel, when life so obviously teaches otherwise?

2. History. Noone believed Sola Fide until Luther. And I refuse to believe that the people of God were out of luck and incapable of being saved from AD 95 until 1517.

3. James 2. The Catholic way of harmonizing James with Paul is more convincing than the Protestant "What James Really Meant Was..." Defense, and the New Perspectives On Paul at their best are also known as The Old Catholic Perspective On Paul, it would appear.

4. The "They Don't Act Like Hapless Pagans" Defense. I've officially known too many Christ-loving Catholics to believe that it'll be in spite of Rome that I'll see them in Heaven. Furthermore, while still loving Christ above all things, they maintain that we Protestants, God love us, are utterly completely wrong.

5. The "I Don't Know Philosophy, But I'm Learning Some, And Trent Doesn't Seem Totally Nuts" Defense. Um, if Luther had known fully (been alive, for one) the philosophical categories they had used in their response, might he have stayed, upon reflection? All I can say is, having read their carefully nuanced and articulate treatment of the various causes in justification, I cannot reject Trent out of hand. At a certain point, I may have felt I understood what Trent was saying, but without the philosophical categories, I could not.

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