Why Imputation Is Not a Legal Fiction

A very common objection from Roman Catholics against the Protestant doctrine of imputation is that God declares someone to be innocent who is not, in fact, innocent. This is legal nonsense, to them. They believe that God would never declare a person to be righteous who is not, in fact, righteous. So, the Protestant idea that an alien righteousness, that of Christ, is reckoned to the sinner, is nonsense to them. It would be God declaring something to be true which is actually false. So, how do Protestants respond to this? There are a variety of responses, but the best one, it seems to me, resides in the metaphor of marriage union. We will also add a few things afterwards that will help us understand.

In most marriages, property entails joint ownership. Now, if a woman comes into the marriage with a debt (like a college debt), the husband assumes that debt. It becomes their debt (it can also be described as his debt), even though the husband did not incur that debt. Similarly, whatever money the husband brought into the marriage doesn’t belong just to him anymore, it also belongs to her, even though she did not earn it. So, by virtue of the marriage union between husband and wife, the debts and the assets are transferred.

In a very similar way, when the believer becomes united to Christ by faith, a new legal situation results with transfers happening. I think a lot of the problems that Roman Catholics have over the Protestant doctrine is that sometimes Protestants formulate the alien righteousness imputation idea as though there were no other accompanying-but-distinct salvific benefits happening at all.

Now, let us be clear here. The Protestant doctrine should never be formulated in such a way that union with Christ, for instance, has an internal change happening in the believer that thereby becomes the basis for the imputation. Christ’s righteousness is the basis for the transfer, not anything that happens in the believer. It happens by the instrumentation of faith.

What the marriage union does accomplish in justification has to do with the legality of the transfer. The new legal status we have as being part of the bride of Christ (our being married to Christ) means that anything Christ transfers to us happens legally whether we deserve it or not.

There is, of course, another concomitant salvific benefit that has equal power to explain how it is that justification is not a legal fiction. This benefit works on a different level, but it is still quite effective in combating the “legal fiction” charge, and it is just as biblical. When the believer comes to faith in Christ, he is adopted as God’s child. Adoption also confers a new legal status, this time with more reference to the Father through Jesus (whereas the marriage happens between Christ and the church, adoption is more the Father’s action, though it certainly has reference to the Son and the Spirit of adoption). When God declares us His heirs, then there is no reason whatsoever that God can not transfer anything to us that originally belonged to His Son. It would be no more difficult than imagining a father changing his will.

One last distinction can help us here. There is a difference between being a sinner as opposed to what our legal status before the law is. With regard to being a sinner, we are always sinners until God takes away our sin nature in death. However, with regard to our legal status before the law, God’s declarative action makes us legally innocent, even though that declaration does not change our nature. So when Luther says simul justus et peccator (simultaneously just and a sinner), we are to understand that we are still sinners (though we have been changed in regeneration such that being a sinner is not all there is to say) in our being, and yet we are actually just in the view of the law. Our legal status has similarities to a criminal who is acquitted of a crime that he did in fact commit. He is in his being guilty, and yet in the eyes of the law, he is not guilty.

While Roman Catholics will certainly not agree with these formulations, nevertheless, I believe that the above does put to rest the rather old canard that Protestants believe in a legal fiction in the doctrine of imputation. Marriage and adoption create new legal situations where transfers are not only easily accomplished, but are in fact rather normal.

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360 Comments

  1. Pete said,

    August 18, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    The problem, at least in many states, is that what you say about separate property of the spouses is simply not true. For instance, the debt of the wife prior to marriage remains the debt of that spouse; however, the community estate can be made to pay that debt but not the separate property of the husband. so if the husband has a fat bank account that he brings into the marriage, that does not become property of the community estate. It must be transmuted. If it is not transmuted, it remains his separate property and cannot be accessed by creditor to pay the debt of the wife.

  2. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 18, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    For over 15 years, I’ve been deeply interested in this and have been writing about it. While marriage and adoption are good pictures, there is a more explicit answer, and it is the spiritual union of Christ in the believer. But to really explain that answer will require some review of history (if you have the patience). It’s not history as usually taught, so you might find it useful.

    Over the course of the last several centuries, the importance of reality in Christian theology has been eclipsed by the importance of position. Imputation and justification have come to be seen as mere exercises within God’s mind—a divine choice to put people in the categories of guilty or righteous—without regard to what people are in reality. The importance of reality has been all but lost, and this decline has resulted from abandoning the idea of a real union of the moral nature of all men within Adam when he sinned. To regain the reality, the Church must retrace her steps, and revisit the doctrine of the union in Adam. A return to reality must begin with a return to the Biblical realism that was implicitly contained in all the creeds and confessions of the early Reformed Church, and which flowed from Augustine, and ultimately from Scripture.

    The early Reformed Church was under the sway of “a realistic mode of thinking” (as G. P. Fisher calls it) when it came to Adamic unity and depravity. Total depravity itself comes from the idea that souls are propagated in such a way as to have shared responsible existence with and in their progenitors. To be spiritually propagated out of Adam is also to have acted in Adam—and this is exactly the original idea of being “in Adam.” The idea of soul propagation was first taught by Tertullian, and then came down through Hilary of Poitiers and Ambrose of Milan to Augustine. Although Augustine was hesitant to commit himself to any philosophical explanation of traducianism, he gave many excellent arguments for it and none against it. More often than not, in Augustine, this comes out most often as the moral nature of all men deciding to sin in Adam and then being propagated to all men with the guilt inhering.

    However, between Augustine and Luther came Rosceline’s nominalism, which philosophically undercut any possibility that the union with Adam had any real substance to it. Nominalism is the denial of any union of species within substantial reality, relegating all such unions to mere perception of union in the mind. In theology, this is the denial of any union of immaterial nature of mankind in Adam, and the relegation to a mere union in God’s chosen perception. In the broad picture, it is the diminishment of substantial reality—a paradigm from which God’s judgments and justice have no standard other than His own sovereign will. Realists say that God does something because it is right, while nominalists say that what God does is right merely because He does it. Thus, the realists look for a substantial union of the immaterial nature of men in order to ground within reality the justice of passing the penal consequences of Adam’s sin onto His posterity. Nominalism, on the other hand, results in an empty representationism, “constituted” by decree or covenant alone, since God’s justice needs no grounds within substantial reality—all that His justice needs is His own will. Realism says that you cannot be guilty unless you commit a crime, while nominalism says you are guilty if God says you are guilty, and no commission of crime is needed.

    The effect of nominalism on theology was so gradual that the name itself was left behind and all but forgotten. Yet, the changes it wrought in theology over the centuries were deep and broad. The first change was to reinforce the idea of creationism as opposed to traducianism. Racial union was not something substantial within Adam himself, according to nominalism, but was, rather, something only within the all-observing Mind of God. The moral union with Adam was entirely a matter of how God chose to view us in the situation. Therefore, there was no objectively existing entity of human nature that sinned in Adam and was immaterially propagated to mankind. Rather, all that exists are individuals, and the soul is created out of nothing in every case. Nominalism’s influence in the Church ensured that special creation of the soul would be the prevalent view (as it is to this day).

    Although Calvin disliked traducianism, and was not an explicit realist, he and most who followed him were not ready to abandon that “realistic mode of thinking” that was the essence of Augustine’s doctrine. So they inconsistently held onto the idea that all men shared a responsible existence in Adam, by virtue of the [moral] “nature” of all men existing in and propagated from Adam. This they held even while maintaining that the soul is specially created out of nothing in every case. As Fisher explains it, “the great majority of the theologians [prior to the eighteenth century] who adopted the theory of a covenant coupled with it the Augustinian principle. That is to say, they maintained the Augustino-federal or semi-federal doctrine…”

    Eventually, in Turretin for example, there is an attempted reconciliation in the idea that special creation of the soul is according to the natural laws which God set up at creation, such that God creates the child’s soul with the nature of the parents as part of what is considered natural propagation. By glossing over the supernatural nature of a creation out of nothing, and emphasizing terms that tend to imply propagation from the substance of the parents (such as communication of depravity, etc.), they effectively taught that depravity is propagated just as humanity is propagated. While this might explain (albeit poorly) inherited depravity, it does nothing to explain the kind of union in Adam that involves a sharing of the responsibility for his sin (the shared existence of the moral nature or soul). Therefore, the realistic mode of thinking (the Augustinian principle) was eventually dropped in favor of the nominalistic federal representation. What began with the idea of men being held justly responsible for a sin that we all owned by our shared action in Adam became the idea that men are sovereignly held responsible for a sin that is as alien to us as is the righteousness of Christ. As Robert Landis pointed out, while the early Reformed Church taught that Adam’s sin was imputed to us because it is ours, the later (current) federal view teaches that Adam’s sin is ours because it is imputed to us.

    The answer is to apply the old realistic mode of thinking regarding Adamic union to our union with Christ. The union of believers with Christ is spiritual, and not merely legal or “federal.” This union happens within substantial reality, and does not exist only within the mind of God. Rom. 6:3, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” and, 1 Cor. 6:17, “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” It is not speaking of water baptism, but baptism into the Spirit, which happens at the point of saving faith. To be spiritually baptized into Christ is to be joined to Him so that the new believer and Christ are one spirit, and the result of this is that the new believer is joined to (or, baptized into) His death. As the spirit is the core of a man, it is the core of a man’s identity. When the Holy Spirit indwells the man, He creates a new man by joining the spirit of the man to the Spirit of Christ. They are not joined to the extent that either is lost in the other, but they are joined to the extent that the man’s new identity is in Christ and his old identity is no longer valid in the eyes of justice. In fact, the believer is so identified with Christ that he is considered to have been crucified with Him. Gal. 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

    There’s more to say, but I’ll need a second comment…

  3. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 18, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    There are certain truths about God, reality and justice that have been abandoned and need to be recovered. God is not disconnected from substantial reality: truth corresponds to reality, and God does not lie but is always a God of truth. If a man is to be condemned and sent to hell within substantial reality, and not merely seen within the mind of God as if he were in hell, then the crime for which he is sent there ought to be one that he has committed in reality and not merely one of which he is only seen within the mind of God as if he had committed.

    Identification or representation that is merely of the mind, such as federal representation (in its usual, putative form that is found today, and not the implicitly realistic form found in the early Reformed Church), cannot be accurately called “real.” Reality exists even in the absence of any thoughts regarding it; whereas, federal representation is claimed to exist even in the absence of any reality regarding it. Realistic union is the most Biblical way to address and acknowledge the rightful place of reality in theology, because it acknowledges the reality of mankind’s inbeing in Adam when he sinned, as well as the reality of the believer’s inbeing in Christ.

    The meaning of the word, justification, is clearly forensic (legal). But the deeper question remains: is that forensic verdict an accurate and true assessment of the believer when united to Christ, or is it a nominal and putative designation of a recategorization within God’s mind alone? The answer is found in our union with Christ. Are we joined to Christ in reality or in God’s mind alone? We are joined to Christ in reality to the extent that we gain His identity in the eyes of justice. In that sense, the “infused identity does make us subjectively righteous (when the subject is the whole man, consisting of both the man and Christ in union), but only insofar as we are joined to Christ and it is His righteousness – already accomplished in His human life – that is the only righteousness in view. However, when we are joined to Christ, we are not joined to the extent that either is lost in the other. The union is sufficient to make us one with Christ in the eyes of justice, but the righteousness that is now ours remains the righteousness that He lived and not any righteousness that we live out or accomplish – in that sense it is still an alien righteousness. This infused identity is the substance and reality which our prior justification had in view. Turretin[1] (T16, Q1, §§VII):

    (2) Justification is opposed to condemnation: “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?” (Rom. 8:33, 34). As therefore accusation and condemnation occur only in a trial, so also justification. Nor can it be conceived how God can be said to condemn or to justify, unless either by adjudging to punishment or absolving us from it judicially.

    Although justification occurs “only in a trial,” we do not stand alone in that trial. Christ stands in us. Failure to apprehend this fact of reality is what caused N. T. Wright to claim, “Righteousness is not an object, a substance or a gas which can be passed across the courtroom.”[2] The Holy Spirit can indeed move across the courtroom (and into the defendant) and carry the identity of Christ (and title to His righteousness) with Him. But the fact that must not be overlooked is that all of this does not happen only in some courtroom far removed from us, but rather, the believer is judged as he is in reality — right where he stands — as the piercing gaze of heaven’s Judge sees the Spirit of His Son inside him. Christ is the Intercessor within, standing in us on earth and reaching to heaven’s court.

    Turretin continues (T16, Q1, §VIII): “Finally, unless this word is taken in a forensic sense, it would be confounded with sanctification. But that these are distinct, both the nature of the thing and the voice of Scripture frequently prove.” It is true that justification is distinct from sanctification. But, again, the forensic sense is not necessarily the putative, nominal sense. It is true that the righteousness that we gain by faith is Christ’s alone, and does not make the sinner righteous in himself when viewed apart from Christ; however, it is also true that we are so joined to Christ as to never be apart from Him. Scripture tells us that we are so joined to Him as to be “one spirit with Him.”

    Turretin says (T16, Q2, §XV),

    Legal justification takes place in no other way than by inherent righteousness, whether actual or habitual; gospel justification is to be sought not in us, but in another. This the apostle clearly teaches when he wishes ‘to be found in Christ’ (to wit, in the judgment of God) ‘not having his own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ’ (Phil. 3:9) (i.e., not an inherent righteousness, arising from an observance of the law and which is called ours because it is in us and is perfected by our actions, but the righteousness of God and Christ, imputed to us and apprehended by faith).

    Turretin qualifies the phrase, “to be found in Christ,” with, “to wit, in the judgment of God.” This misses the force of the apostle’s meaning, by replacing the substance of a spiritual union with nothing more substantial than “the judgment of God.” We are in Christ because Christ really is in us. God’s judgment in finding us “in Christ” is an accurate and true judgment of our state within substantial reality. It is not a mere decision to put us into the category of “in Christ.” Thus, the righteousness of Christ is accounted to us because it really is in us, since Christ is in us. This righteousness is apprehended by faith insofar as it is faith that brings the indwelling Holy Spirit and union with Christ.

    Turretin continues (T16, Q3, §XXIII):

    What is imputed to anyone by a mere gracious acceptation, that is not really paid, but is considered as paid; but what is imputed on account of a true payment made by another supposes the thing to be paid. Now the imputation of the righteousness of Christ (of which we speak) is not to be understood in the first sense (the improper sense, for an imputation which takes place without any payment at all whether of the debtor or of the surety); but is to be understood in the latter sense inasmuch as it is founded in another’s payment (that of Christ the surety).

    Unless the Surety and the debtor are so united as to become one man in the eyes of justice, it remains but a mere gracious acceptation that the payment of the Surety is accepted in the place of the debtor. Justice has no place for such gracious acceptation. Turretin (T16, Q7, §VIII), in denying that faith is considered our righteousness “by a gracious acceptation,” makes a comment here that is germane: “For in the court of divine justice (which demands an adequate and absolutely perfect payment), there cannot be room for a gracious acceptation which is an imaginary payment.” Just as there cannot be room in the court of divine justice for an imaginary payment, neither can there be room for an imaginary union on which to ground the efficiency and particularity of this payment. In order for the exacted payment to be applied to a particular sinner, there must be a real union between the two.

    Turretin (T16, Q3, §XX):

    Sixth, our justification is “a justification of the ungodly but to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:5). A justification of the ungodly cannot be made by infusion, but by imputation. For although he that is justified does not remain wicked, but is renewed by the grace of Christ, he cannot be said to be justified by that renovation (which is the effect following justification, not the cause which precedes it). And faith, by which man is justified and is made righteous in Christ, does not prevent him from being and being called wicked in himself, inasmuch as he is opposed to the one working as he who has nothing upon which he can rely before the divine tribunal for his justification and so is “ungodly,” partly antecedently; partly with respect to justification; not however concomitantly, still less consequently.

    Justification of the ungodly cannot be made by infusion, but it is made by an indwelling spiritual union. It is not the renewed morality of sanctification that justifies, but the renewed identity (the “new man”) that is formed from Christ and the believer. While the saved man has nothing of his own (apart from Christ) to offer as a meritorious righteousness, he has everything of Christ’s to offer as a meritorious righteousness, since the union entitles him to all of Christ’s human experiences and accomplishments.

    Although justification is prior to union with Christ, it cannot be adequately understood apart from union with Christ. Rather, justification is grounded on the absolute certainty of the divinely promised salvific union with Christ for those of faith. Justification is legal (forensic), and thus it is seemingly putative. However, it is grounded in a union that is real and substantial, even when that union is in the future. Justification provides the initial legal judgment of our salvation, but the union with Christ provides the substance and reality of our salvation—the ground and basis for our justification.

    For any who read through all that, thanks for bearing with me. For those who did not, please accept my apology for the length.

    Ken Hamrick
    _______________
    [1] Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, (Phillipsburg: P & R, 1992)
    [2] N. T. Wright, What Saint Paul Really Said (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005), p. 98

  4. August 18, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Paul could never intended with dikaiou = the process of getting better.

  5. Bryan Cross said,

    August 18, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Hello Lane,

    Last summer Doug Wilson made a similar case for extra nos imputation, from the marriage analogy, and I explained what was wrong with it in comment #429 of the “Imputation and Paradigms” thread at CTC. The only thing I would add, given what you write above, is that the same applies to adoption. Because for God there cannot be a legal realm that contradicts reality (akin to double truth theory), adoption cannot be merely stipulative; we become sons of God by becoming partakers of the divine nature. A merely stipulated adoption would also therefore be a “legal fiction.”

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  6. August 18, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Bryan Cross, There isn’t a legal realm that contradicts reality. Christ fulfilled the Law and when we receive Him by faith alone we are adopted ( which happens at the beginning of a relationship) justified, sanctified glorified. Its all forensic for Paul. Its a legal “reality”. We get situated form the courtroom to the living room. Thats why Paul didn’t want to be found in his own righteousness, but the one that comes from God in Christ. No condemnation or justification or adoption isn’t a statement about ontology, its a verdict a declaration based on a reality of someone who did for us what we could not do for ourselves, namely Jesus who lived the Law in our place and fulfilled all righteousness. Christ did not come to help us achieve His favor with His help but lived the Law in our place and fulfilled all righteousness. Bryan if you just take of your Roman glasses it should become clear. God Bless.

  7. greenbaggins said,

    August 18, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Bryan, you are forgetting that if Christ’s righteousness really is transferred, then we are judged ON THAT BASIS, which is a real basis. That is a real righteousness, not just a legal righteousness. God sees us IN CHRIST. So He judges us as united to Christ, which is a real union, not just a legal union. So when God looks at us, He is not merely making a judicial statement (though He certainly is doing that). He is making that judicial decision based on a real, earned righteousness, that of Christ. He omnisciently sees every last bit of Christ’s righteousness and judges us on that basis. So, your objection about God’s omniscience therefore falls to the ground.

  8. greenbaggins said,

    August 18, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Pete, you are nitpicking. I am not talking about arrangements where there is a pre-nuptual agreement. I am talking about normal people’s marriages, where the property is truly joint-owned. That is the basis for the analogy.

  9. Bryan Cross said,

    August 18, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Lane,

    you are forgetting that if Christ’s righteousness really is transferred, then we are judged ON THAT BASIS, which is a real basis. That is a real righteousness, not just a legal righteousness.

    I haven’t forgotten that. The question is not my memory, but the truth of the position. If it were real righteousness really transferred, and not merely a legal fiction, there wouldn’t be room for further sanctification, because in Reformed theology perfect law-keeping is God’s only standard of righteousness. Christ’s righteousness is real, of course, but the transfer (in extra nos imputation) is only legal in this present life so long as the recipient remains actually unrighteous by not perfectly keeping the law.

    So He judges us as united to Christ, which is a real union, not just a legal union. So when God looks at us, He is not merely making a judicial statement (though He certainly is doing that). He is making that judicial decision based on a real, earned righteousness, that of Christ. He omnisciently sees every last bit of Christ’s righteousness and judges us on that basis.

    What “real union” means, in Reformed theology, is the combination of legal union and “vital union,” i.e. friendship. Reformed theology denies ontic union. (See the Clark section of “Nature, Grace, and Man’s Supernatural End: Feingold, Kline, and Clark,” and footnote 14 there referencing the chapter in Horton.) But friendship is not the sort of union that makes the righteousness of the one, the righteousness of the other. And neither does legal union, for the reasons I explained at the link in comment #5 above. So appealing to “real union,” while denying ontological participation, leaves the “legal fiction” question right where it would be if the union were only legal.

    So, your objection about God’s omniscience therefore falls to the ground.

    No, because the Reformed position requires that God does not peek behind the cross, as depicted in Horton’s cartoon:

    Otherwise, there would be no need to undergo the completion of sanctification at the moment of death. One could just stay simul iustus et peccator eternally in heaven, since one is already (allegedly) perfectly righteous in one’s present simul iustus et peccator condition. God would continue to ‘see’ the person as perfectly righteous (i.e. remain blind to the person’s actual unrighteousness). But we know that not to be the case. Hence, because God has only one standard of righteousness, and because the embodied believer is presently not yet actually righteous as he will be in heaven, it follows that his present extra nos imputed ‘righteousness’ is only a legal fiction.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  10. Bryan Cross said,

    August 18, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    The Horton cartoon I have in mind can be viewed in comment #109 here.

  11. August 18, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Hey, bro. This is really great! The marriage analogy is so tight, I am finding it quite helpful.

  12. theoldadam said,

    August 18, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    God declares us holy and righteous.

    In our Baptism (Romans 6) (Gal. 3) (1st Peter)…etc.

    Catholics love religion (‘what we ‘do’ to make ourselves better in the eyes of God…even with God’s help).

    God hates that sort of thing. He did say (on the Cross) “It is finished.” Did he not?

    Oh…except for Catholics and Baptists and Mormons and anyone else who has a zeal for God, but is not enlightened.

  13. August 18, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    If it were real righteousness really transferred, and not merely a legal fiction, there wouldn’t be room for further sanctification, because in Reformed theology perfect law-keeping is God’s only standard of righteousness.

    Bryan,

    Just focusing on your last phrase above, from the Reformed perspective righteousness is defined by the law in Scriptures. Thus perfect righteousness is equated with perfect law keeping. But if we grant this contention, and we further grant the contention that we are unified with Christ as Scriptures say we are (i.e. Eph 2:6), it does not follow that we will be perfectly sanctified, because perfect righteousness in terms of Christ’s saving work in our lives does not necessarily translate into perfect sanctification. To affirm that it does blends justification and sanctification together as if they were one, and while sanctification may be subsumed within justification in the Roman Catholic system, it is not in the Reformed one. If you want to start with a Roman Catholic assumption then yes, the Reformed system won’t make sense.

    The whole point of our union with Christ, in terms of its effect on our status before God, is that although we sin we are righteous because we are united with Christ who is our righteousness. At this point we can say, as per Philippians 3, that we possess a righteousness that is not our own, but one that is a gift of God by faith. But the fact that we have been declared righteous by a faith which is not our own does not mean that this righteousness is “fiction,” but rather that the basis of this faith is our union with Christ and is not based on our own merits. Again, think of this discussion within the context of justification. If you want to blend in sanctification into the mix then you are adding an assumption we reject.

    What “real union” means, in Reformed theology, is the combination of legal union and “vital union,” i.e. friendship.

    I cannot say I’m interested in trying to exegete Scott Clark, and unless he shows up here I’m not sure it’s worthwhile doing so. What does it mean to be vital but not ontic? I don’t know, maybe you do. And how do you get “friendship” out of “vital” but not “ontic”. What does “friendship” mean? Maybe it’s not all that helpful to cite Clark unless we can in no uncertain terms understand his terminology.

    Otherwise, there would be no need to undergo the completion of sanctification at the moment of death.

    Now you are blending in glorification and making even more of a tangle. Do really want to talk about glorification?

  14. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 18, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Were my comments too long to reply to? Would anyone care to address the parallel between Adam & Christ?— or the shared identity of immaterial union?

  15. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 18, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Were my comments too long to reply to? Would anyone care to address the parallel between Adam & Christ?— or the shared identity of immaterial union?

  16. August 18, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Old Adam your dead on. Roman Catholicism is church worship and man worship. Without inherent righteousness and merit the system would fall. Its a a system of preoccupation with inner mechanics.

  17. August 19, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Imputation and justification have come to be seen as mere exercises within God’s mind—a divine choice to put people in the categories of guilty or righteous—without regard to what people are in reality. The importance of reality has been all but lost, and this decline has resulted from abandoning the idea of a real union of the moral nature of all men within Adam when he sinned.

    Ken,

    Thanks for your very thorough and intriguing post. I would love to dig into the nominalist/realist discussion within the context of the development of a Reformed mindset in general, but I don’t have time right now. However I would like to say something about the comment above. The Catholic understanding of the Reformed approach to God’s interaction with His people sometimes approaches what you write above. I have had quite a few discussions with RC’s on just this issue. It is perceived that in our doctrines of salvation we are positing things that only exist in the mind God and do not find expression in the life of the individual believer. We are accused of promoting legal fiction. But it’s not the case – we believe that the legal realities are mirrors of the ontological ones. When God draws us to Himself He really transforms us and we are more conformed to His image.

    The reality of the changed legal status of the new believer is reflected in the changed life of this new Christian. Regeneration and justification cannot be separated in any temporal manner because legal standing cannot be separated from a transformed life. “Righteousness” is not just a word that has no reflection in the life of the individual. If we are realists in our understanding of God’s interaction with us then we believe that God can transform us entirely, or at least to the extent that it is possible within our creatureliness. We really participate in the divine nature when our hearts and minds and wills are changed by the power of His Spirit. And I would add that one of the issues that we have with Roman Catholic sacramentology is that oftentimes a reality is proclaimed when no reality exists. People go through the ritual but there is no reality that follows. How many Catholic funerals happen every day where it is claimed that the sins of the individual were washed away and that they are in Heaven solely because they were baptized, confirmed, etc? Is not this a sort of nominalism – words and rites with no evident spiritual reality to follow?

    The Reformed contention which separates it from the Roman Catholic understanding is that works which follow from justification don’t affect justification. Because of this refusal to make works a cause we are told that our system is legal fiction. But in reality we are just trying to assure that grace remains grace and God’s free gift remains free. The manifestation of this gift in our lives should evidence the fact that there is no nominalism at play here – true faith has arms and legs and won’t stay sitting still.

    Cheers….

  18. theoldadam said,

    August 19, 2014 at 12:53 am

    “…true faith has arms and legs and won’t stay sitting still.”

    Well…when we are at our best. But we are all mixed bags…no?

    Romans 7 is evidence of that in Paul’s life…and the mirror we look into each day is evidence enough in our own lives.

    But we (also as St. Paul said) do not put any stock into what we see…but rather, “we walk by faith, not by sight.”

  19. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 19, 2014 at 1:35 am

    Andrew, it seems that all you’re saying is that the reality of justification is seen in sanctification. But on what reality can one man be justly joined to another man’s morality? It can only be if the two are made one in reality. Thanks for replying.

  20. Bob S said,

    August 19, 2014 at 1:51 am

    Oh boy. We have an objection from someone who insists that possession of the apostolic bones – not apostolic doctrine _ is the ticket to being the true church, if not that possession of the bones is the true apostolic doctrine of salvation.

    So remind me again, where were we in the discussion?
    Oh, that’s right. God can’t impute Christ’s righteousness to sinners by faith because it wouldn’t be reasonable, if not that it doesn’t fit in with Bryan’s philosophical paradigm.

    Well, so what?
    The real question is, is it taught in Scripture?

    To that Bryan really has nothing to say other than throwing us a a red herring, for all practical purposes, in even another article that he has written if we are not befuddled enough by his comments here already.
    Which pretty much amount to “it’s not fair”, if not a handwaving assertion to the effect, that Imputation/JBFA is “unreasonable”.

    In this he is ignorant, for as the Scripture plainly says, God not only quickeneth the dead, he calleth those things which be not, as though they were Rom 4:17 the specious objections by the creature of legal fiction notwithstanding. Who is he to reply to or question God?

    But there is nothing new under the sun.
    This is not the first time that one has thought God to be such a one as himself Ps. 50:21, if not shown up over here to lecture us on the deficiencies of the reformed faith.

    As to whether the apostolic bones are rotten, never mind real to begin with, protestants ought to know better than question the self appointed lay representative of an infallible church. It wouldn’t be ecumenical/charitable, so we must supinely suffer his patronization via his paradigmatic assertions.

    KH, there’s a lot to digest for a combox comment; you wouldn’t want someone to go off halfcocked and say the paradigm espoused therein is as cockeyed as CtC now would you?

  21. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 19, 2014 at 4:02 am

    CtC??

  22. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 19, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Brother Lane,

    You stated:

    In most marriages, property entails joint ownership. Now, if a woman comes into the marriage with a debt (like a college debt), the husband assumes that debt. It becomes their debt (it can also be described as his debt), even though the husband did not incur that debt. Similarly, whatever money the husband brought into the marriage doesn’t belong just to him anymore, it also belongs to her, even though she did not earn it. So, by virtue of the marriage union between husband and wife, the debts and the assets are transferred.

    In a very similar way, when the believer becomes united to Christ by faith, a new legal situation results with transfers happening.

    The problem with most nominalistic [federal] analogies is that they work with financial but not criminal debt. No husband is criminally liable for the wife’s crimes. Only financial debts are transferable. You also stated:

    Now, let us be clear here. The Protestant doctrine should never be formulated in such a way that union with Christ, for instance, has an internal change happening in the believer that thereby becomes the basis for the imputation. Christ’s righteousness is the basis for the transfer, not anything that happens in the believer. It happens by the instrumentation of faith.

    I disagree. Union with Christ does indeed happen within the believer, and is an internal change—from the absence of Christ to His presence, and from alienation to union with Him. This union occurs as a fact of substantial reality and it happens within the believer—and it is the only solid ground of our justification. Faith is only instrumental for the purpose of bringing this vital, salvific union. You also stated:

    When God declares us His heirs, then there is no reason whatsoever that God can not transfer anything to us that originally belonged to His Son. It would be no more difficult than imagining a father changing his will.

    If a father has one son in jail and one free, a change in his will cannot reverse the guilt or innocence of either son. But, If God puts the Spirit of His Son into my heart, making me “one spirit with Him,” then I by grace become a true son just as if I were His only Son (who is in me).

  23. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 19, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Samuel J. Baird, pastor of the Presbyterian Church, Woodbury, NJ, from 1849-1865, and author of The First Adam and the Second: The Elohim Revealed in the Creation and Redemption of Man, (Philadelphia: Parry & McMillan, 1860), saw that “a real inbeing” in Christ was the ground of imputed righteousness, just as “a real inbeing” in Adam was the ground of imputed sin. He also understood why the idea of a shared identity through spiritual union with Christ is so consistently ignored. He states, in A Rejoinder to The Princeton Review, upon The Elohim Revealed, (Phila.: Joseph M. Wilson, 1860), p. 34:

    If the imputation of Christ’s righteousness be founded in a real inbeing in him, wrought by the uniting power of his Spirit in regeneration,—if it is thus that we are brought within the provisions of the covenant of grace to our justification, it follows, (we will venture the word,) incontestably, that the imputation to us of Adam’s sin, is founded in a real inbeing in him, by natural generation, by virtue of which we come under the provisions of the covenant of works, to our condemnation. But this, according to our reviewer [Charles Hodge], is “simply a physiological theory,” involving “a mysterious identity,” which he cannot admit. Hence the necessity of ignoring the doctrine, in its relation to justification.

    He also states, (Ibid., pp. 32-33):

    We have seen the zeal with which the position is maintained, that the doctrine of imputation “does not include the idea of a mysterious identity of Adam and his race.” By parity of reason it should not include the idea of a mysterious identity between Christ and his people. And accordingly, in the system presented in the review [by Charles Hodge, of Baird's book, The Elohim Revealed], the relation which in the Scriptures and our standards, the mystical union sustains to justification is ignored, and the doctrine represented as complete without it, and to the exclusion of it. “Christ in the covenant of redemption, is constituted the head and representative of his people; and, in virtue of this federal union, and agreeably to the terms of the eternal covenant, they are regarded and treated as having done what he did and suffered what he suffered in their name and in their behalf.” According to our understanding of the Scriptures, it was provided in the eternal covenant that the elect should be actually ingrafted into Christ by his Spirit, and their acceptance and justification is by virtue of this their actual union to him. “This principle is not to be so understood as though the character thus conveyed were the meritorious cause of the relations predicated; as if the believer were justified by the personal righteousness which he receives through the power of Christ’s Spirit given to him. On the contrary, the union, which is constituted by virtue of the transmission of the nature, itself conveys a proprietary title in the moral and legal relations of the head; whilst the efficient principle which thus unites, is also fruitful in effects appropriate to the nature whence it flows. Thus, the sin of Adam, and the righteousness of Christ are severally imputed to their seed, by virtue of the union, constituted in the one case by the principle of natural generation, and in the other, by ‘the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,’ the Holy Spirit, the principle of regeneration. At the same time, the power by which the union is in these cases severally wrought produces likeness to the head.” [The Elohim Revealed, p. 317]

    Although I’m a Baptist, I love reading 19th century Presby’s—especially those who were not in favor of the Princeton nominalism led by Hodge. Shedd, Dabney, Landis, Baird, etc.

  24. theoldadam said,

    August 19, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Either Christ does it ALL…or we are ALL in big trouble.

    It’s ALL…or nothing.

    If we start down that road of having to look at ourselves for proof that we are truly of the elect, then we will have NO assurance.

    That’s why we fight so hard for the external Word of Promise…alone. In preaching, and in sacraments (pure gospel from outside of ourselves).

  25. roberty bob said,

    August 19, 2014 at 9:26 am

    in response to #23 . . .

    Your view, and that of Joseph Wilson (whom you are quoting) echo the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:1-4, where we see those who are in Christ Jesus actually doing [or meeting] the righteous requirements of the law because they have within them Christ’s own Spirit [of life!].

  26. August 19, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Catholics wil have us believe their doctrine really doesn’t say what it says. Bryan Cross yesterday that Catholics are no different than Protestants in that its all of God’s grace. ” converted to your own justification” as a reward to their merits and good works” The RC calling the Mass “the work of the people” Satan will make good look eveil and evil look good. My rule read Roman doctrine believe the opposite and arrive at biblical truth. When their apologists tell us the RC is all of grace, its really the opposite..

  27. August 19, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Right before the Reformation for at least a half century all Catholics were excommunicated by one Pope or another. And the result of Trent canon 9 says it all ” if anyone says that a man is justified by faith alone” ….let him be anathema. Line in the sand.

  28. roberty bob said,

    August 19, 2014 at 10:57 am

    in response to the old adam in #24 . . .

    What do you say to the Apostle Peter, who exhorts us to take specific actions [adding to our faith goodness, etc. 2 Peter 1] so that we can be assured of our calling and election? How could you not conclude that you have a duty to build up [or build out] your faith, and that by actually doing so become assured of your election? Yes, we do look at how our own faith is performing for evidence [proof!] of our election. A few days ago I lopped off some branches from one of my trees because they had no leaves [no evidence of life].

    So, where do you find proof for your election? Peter says that you need to make your calling and election sure, and he tells you what you are supposed to be doing about it.

  29. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 19, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Roberty Bob, I was quoting Dr. Samuel J. Baird—Joseph Wilson was the publisher. You can find him here: https://archive.org/details/firstadamandsec00bairgoog. His view differs with mine on more than a few things.

    You are right that what good works we do, we do them because of Christ who is in us; but our righteousness comes not from the works but from our gaining of a proprietary title to the righteousness of Christ who is in us. The Law requires that we live a perfectly righteous life from cradle to grave, and Christ did live exactly that. We died to our old identity and gained one in Christ, and now we have gained His human experience to our credit, just as if we had lived His life from manger to grave. As sinners, the Law also requires that we endure the complete wrath of God against sin, and Christ endured just that on the cross. Now that we have Christ inside us, no failure on my part can ever again incur God’s wrath, since the critical gaze of Justice is ever met in me by the Christ of the cross—the full wrath endured already—just as if it had been me who was taken outside the gate in Jerusalem and hung on a tree 2000 years ago. His blood does not cleanse us only at conversion, but ever cleanses us as we go along—and this is exactly how it cleanses (through the life and death of Christ credited to me as if they were my human experiences, because the Man who experienced them lives in me and is forever joined to me in spiritual union)!

  30. August 19, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Roberty bob, I agree we are to test ourselves to make sure we have true faith. Proof of our election comes from the assurance of scripture and our obedience.

  31. ajmccallum said,

    August 19, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Ken (re: 19),

    Andrew, it seems that all you’re saying is that the reality of justification is seen in sanctification. But on what reality can one man be justly joined to another man’s morality? It can only be if the two are made one in reality.

    I’m agreeing with with you here and I tried (maybe unsuccessfully) to make that clear. When we become one with Christ we share in His nature as much as it is possible for us to as creatures Hear what John Calvin has to say in his commentary of I Pet 1:9:

    For we must consider from whence it is that God raises us up to such a height of honor. We know how abject is the condition of our nature; that God, then, should make himself ours, so that all his things should in a manner become our things, the greatness of his grace cannot be sufficiently conceived by our minds. Therefore this consideration alone ought to be abundantly sufficient to make us to renounce the world and to carry us aloft to heaven. Let us then mark, that the end of the gospel is, to render us eventually conformable to God, and, if we may so speak, to deify us.

    So with Calvin I would say that God “deifies” us, as much as our humanity will allow for. And as Calvin states, the purpose here is to make us conformable to God. How could anyone say this is any less than true union with Christ?

    Our Catholic friends hear so much about forensic aspects of justification that they often come away from these discussions thinking that, from the Reformed standpoint, the whole purpose of union with Christ is to gain a certain legal status, end of story. They get this idea in their heads and sometimes it proves impossible to disabuse them of it. In these apologetic interactions we do of course emphasize the forensic aspect of our union with Christ to counter the Roman Catholic error of making righteousness coming from union with Christ part of the basis for justification. If the RC synergism of faith and works (done in charity) to obtain justification is correct then we cannot say with Paul that “since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God…” If justification and sanctification are mushed together and we are always working and working towards our justification, then justification is continually ongoing and we never know how much we have to work to obtain peace with God. In such a system grace becomes just a word with no underlying reality.

  32. August 19, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Ken,

    One other thing – CtC is short for Called to Communion, a Roman Catholic apologetics site particularly focused on engaging Reformed Protestants.

    Cheers….

  33. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 19, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Andrew,

    I’m glad to have your agreement.

    It is because of Christ’s human nature that we are able to be joined to Him. It is His humanity that allows the mutual identity—that allows His experiences to be credited to us. This union is unhindered by any misfitting of different natures. Christ took on the nature of a man specifically to be able to identify in union with men and thus to save them. Otherwise, there could be no identifying union, since His divinity alone and our sinful humanity alone could never be united (darkness has not union with light). The fitting together of the human and divine natures was taken care of by Christ’s incarnation. Through the divine nature of the Holy Spirit, the Person of Christ is put in us, and to that Person inseparably belongs both His humanity and His divinity. To be joined to Christ in us is to be joined to all that He is, both His human and His divine natures.

    I agree that the Reformed emphasis on the putative forensic aspect of justification comes out of a resistance to the Catholic works-justification; but the realism-to-nominalism trajectory has eroded the union-with-Christ aspect. Often, union with Christ is seen mainly as a chosen perception in God’s mind and the actual indwelling is relegated to a lesser importance. As Baird criticized Hodge (and those like him):

    [...]The relation which in the Scriptures and our standards, the mystical union sustains to justification is ignored, and the doctrine represented as complete without it, and to the exclusion of it. [Hodge:] “Christ in the covenant of redemption, is constituted the head and representative of his people; and, in virtue of this federal union, and agreeably to the terms of the eternal covenant, they are regarded and treated as having done what he did and suffered what he suffered in their name and in their behalf.”

    And do we not see the results of such a trajectory when the best explanation we can come up with in the face of Catholic arguments is to appeal to the analogies of marriage and adoption?

  34. August 19, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Ken, Christ came to incorporate us into His body by the Spirit not the flesh. I’m sure you would agree with that. We become all that He became to us, not what He is. The word partakers of divine nature is koininia. The scripture clearly says that Gos dwells in unapproachable light and that our God is a consuming fire. Getting outside God’s limits of the distinction between creator and creation got Aaron’s sons toasted. So when we are told that god became man that man might become God, it means we will become truly human in all holiness and righteousness. Again we will become what He became to us ” like Him” not what He is .

  35. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 19, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Kevin, yes, by the Spirit. But the human nature is both human flesh and human spirit. And no, we do not become what He is. He, however, did become what we are—didn’t He?

  36. August 19, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Ken, absolutely!

  37. August 19, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    I agree that the Reformed emphasis on the putative forensic aspect of justification comes out of a resistance to the Catholic works-justification; but the realism-to-nominalism trajectory has eroded the union-with-Christ aspect. Often, union with Christ is seen mainly as a chosen perception in God’s mind and the actual indwelling is relegated to a lesser importance.

    Ken,

    You are probably right. The doctrine of the union with Christ does not get explored in many Reformed communions. I think part of this is a reaction against mysticism and partially a historical reaction against the realism in the Medieval Church, and maybe also a reaction against a different sort of realism in the Early Church.

    But I think that the Medieval Church was badly in need of the corrective that nominalism brought, particularly in ecclesiology but also in soteriology. The Medieval mind tended to think of salvation in such a corporate sense that the place of the individual’s personal salvation got pushed into the background. But Christ came to save individuals. What do you think that the the typical Medieval theologian would have said to Jesus had Jesus suddenly come to earth and said “Hey you, Mr Medieval, YOU must be born again!?” It would have melted his mind! And even today there is this same ideological gap that often exists between Catholic and Protestant. We try to get the Catholics to think about individual manifestations of theological realities while they try to get us to focus on theological ideals and forms.

    I listened to a Christian radio station a few days ago where some nice Christian people were telling me that we need to reach out and minister to people who were not interested in formal churches, but worshiped God on their own. Well what can you say to this? Individual worship is one of the idols of the age that has captured so many sincere Christians. In the West the Church is living in a theologically and culturally hyper-nominalistic age.

    And do we not see the results of such a trajectory when the best explanation we can come up with in the face of Catholic arguments is to appeal to the analogies of marriage and adoption?

    I think that these are good metaphors since they come from Scripture. Maybe if you substituted “only” for “best” in your sentence above I would like the sentence better.

  38. theoldadam said,

    August 19, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Roberty bob,

    (In response to #28)

    Let’s cut to the chase if we are going to be law keepers (be justified in some way by ‘what we do’)…Jesus said “be perfect…”

    What do you do with that, my friend?

    As soon as we face the fact that we have nothing that God wants or needs…then we can start to realize the greatness of God’s grace.

    How do I know that my election is sure?

    “I am Baptized.”

    There it is. The external Promise…DONE TO ME…by God.

    And by His grace alone…I believe it.

    This gift of God, keeps us off the religious, spirituality/ascendency project.

  39. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 19, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Andrew,

    The “realistic mode of thinking” that became Augustinian (or natural) headship was gradually abandoned only as the truth was corrupted. It was brought back at the Reformation, and then gradually abandoned again, and—as I see it—as the truth was corrupted again. But since the Reformers did not fully abandon the nominalism of Catholicism from the start, then the erosion began from the beginning. Al least Augustine consistently held his realistic principle, since he often defended the prospect of propagation of the soul; while most of the Reformers were implicit realists but were explicit creationists. But according to Landis, most of them were simply agnostic toward the question and were happy to leave it to mystery while accepting the Scriptural revelation that Adam’s sin was ours in a real, substantial way that put our ownership of it logically prior to its imputation.

    The idea of corporate salvation was a corruption of realism, and was inconsistent with what Augustine taught—especially in the later form, in which the union within the incarnate Christ between humanity and divinity was claimed to be the saving union. We do need a union with God to save us; but it is the union of Christ and the believer that happens within the individual believer.

    Nominalism may have served well to mark us off from Catholicism, but it will never win many Catholics. It is a denial of the significance of reality to the justice of God, which is inherently contradictory, since the very idea of justice is wrapped up in truth, and truth must correspond to reality to be truth. Instead, answer Cathoics with the truth that Christ is in the believer in a union so close and so real as to identify the believer with the personal identity of Christ—and give the believer a just right to the ownership of all of Christ’s human deeds, both righteous life and atoning death. All their arguments against legal fiction will fall away at that.

  40. De Maria said,

    August 19, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Green Baggins said:

    Why Imputation Is Not a Legal Fiction
    August 18, 2014 at 11:23 am (Justification)
    A very common objection from Roman Catholics against the Protestant doctrine of imputation is that God declares someone to be innocent who is not, in fact, innocent…

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this what you claim happened with Abraham when Scripture says?

    Genesis 15:6

    6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

    Because, if Abraham was declared innocent when God declared him righteous, why is is that Abraham did not receive the promise?

    Hebrews 11:39King James Version (KJV)

    39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

    Nor was he made perfect:

    40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

    So, if the righteousness of Christ was “imputed” to him in Gen 15:6, why didn’t he go to heaven when he died? Why did he not receive the promise when he died?

  41. De Maria said,

    August 19, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    ….I think a lot of the problems that Roman Catholics have over the Protestant doctrine is that sometimes Protestants formulate the alien righteousness imputation idea as though there were no other accompanying-but-distinct salvific benefits happening at all…..

    The problem we have is that none of this stuff is in Scripture.

  42. De Maria said,

    August 19, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    Now, let us be clear here. The Protestant doctrine should never be formulated in such a way that union with Christ, for instance, has an internal change happening in the believer that thereby becomes the basis for the imputation. Christ’s righteousness is the basis for the transfer, not anything that happens in the believer. It happens by the instrumentation of faith.

    Therein lies the fiction. Protestants make much ado about being born again in Christ. They make much ado about being regenerated.

    But apparently they don’t believe in either.

    Those who are born again in Christ are washed of their sins and regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Scripture says they are “new creatures”. But if you don’t believe that you are changed inside, how can you believe you are born again or regenerated?

  43. theoldadam said,

    August 20, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Because He says that we are “a new creation”.

    That’s why.

    We “walk by faith, not by sight.”

    It helps to keep us from becoming little self-righteous jerks…or despairing because we can’t “see” or “feel” the changes that others tell us that we must be “seeing” or “feeling”.
    Or we turn into phonies who just play the game and do our best to not be found out to be the real sinners that we are.

    We look solely to God’s promises and NOT to the futile exercise of looking for anything in ourselves that we deem worthy of God’s acceptance.

    We are completely acceptable in Jesus.

    That, DM, is what is called, “the gospel”. Just in case you have never heard it before.

    I say that because in my 40 years in the Catholic Church, I never heard it (the pure gospel for sinners).

    All that I ever heard from the priests and nuns and from my longtime Catholic relatives, was a bunch of semi-Pelagian tripe. Mush the same brand of cooperative salvation that you are trying to peddle.

    Personally…I’m not buying.

  44. theoldadam said,

    August 20, 2014 at 12:40 am

    It was supposed to read ‘much’…not “mush”.

    But ‘mush’ works just fine when talking about the errant semi-Pelagian teachings of the Catholic Church.

  45. theoldadam said,

    August 20, 2014 at 12:45 am

    This is a terrific class on what caused the Reformation:

    http://theoldadam.com/2012/02/21/here-it-is-the-question-that-percipitated-the-reformation/

    I’d urge DM to listen to it, but I know from dealing with him previously that he would just cover his ears and start to make indecipherable noises from his mouth (like the children do) when they don’t want to hear something that is disagreeable to them.

  46. Hans said,

    August 20, 2014 at 3:17 am

    Gentlemen:

    Why do we Reformed types get all bent out of shape hearing the “legal fiction” epithet? Is it really all that much of an insult?

    Isn’t grace itself “unmerited” favor? Isn’t the forgiveness of sins a granting of clemency in spite of guilt? Doesn’t Scripture speak of God “casting sin behind his back” (so that he might not see it)? And “removing sin so far from us, as far as the east is from the west” (so that he might not identify us with it)? And “remembering our sins no more” (so that he might in good conscience absolve us of them). Obviously, these are all metaphors to help us understand how an omniscient, holy God might nevertheless have mercy on us. But Horton’s lampooned cartoon is also a metaphor, and no more (and no less) a legal fiction than the biblical metaphors mentioned here.

    But once we get beyond the moment of regeneration-faith-repentence-justification…once we get beyond the blink of an eye that guarantees the whole process will be based on Jesus’ righteousness rather than ours…our own sanctification, our own nascent, inherent righteousness necessarily begins to grow. As John Murray puts it, our righteousness is not only declared but constituted. What no earthly judge can do in declaring the innocence of a guilty defendant, God can do. His declaration of our innocence also MAKES us innocent. He establishes and guarantees it. He sponsors us…kind of like the immigration service has trusted sponsors guarantee the good conduct of asylum seekers and refugees.

    John Murray:

    “In God’s justification of sinners there is no deviation from the rule that what is declared to be is presupposed to be. God’s judgment is according to truth here as elsewhere. The peculiarity of God’s action consists in this that he causes to be the righteous state or relation which is declared to be. We must remember that justification is always forensic or judicial. Therefore what God does in this case is that he constitutes the new and righteous judicial relation as well as declares this new relation to be. He constitutes the ungodly righteous, and consequently can declare them to be righteous. In the justification of sinners there is a constitutive act as well as a declarative. Or, if we will, we may say that the declarative act of God in the justification of the ungodly is constitutive. In this consists its incomparable character.”

    I also wanted to comment briefly on Bryan Cross’s contention that the Reformed concept of Union with Christ was covenantal, legal, and vital. The way I have usually seen it described is as covenantal, legal, and mystical. The mystical component transcends analogies, but it is defined as quite real if not downright ontic. Analogies of branches in vines, the physical intimacy within marriage (becoming one flesh), and the connection of a mother to her unborn child are bandied about. Reymond states that the union is as real as if a lengthy, lengthy umbilical cord attached the believer here on earth with the body of Christ in heaven. What Calvinists are studious to avoid is any rupture of the Creator-creature distinction. We indeed participate in Christ’s divinity, and at least in some spiritual sense ontologically, but we do not participate in his essence. We do not become one with Christ as Hindus become one with the Oversoul. We hold onto our identities despite union. Branches may be lopped off of vines without destroying the vine. Though one in flesh, a married couple are two individuals. Babies are detached from their mothers after birth without killing the mother…

  47. greenbaggins said,

    August 20, 2014 at 7:19 am

    De Maria, apparently you don’t know very much about Reformed theology if you claim that we don’t believe in regeneration or an inward change. Just because we don’t believe that this change happens *in justification* doesn’t mean that we don’t believe it happens at all. You would do well to read a standard Reformed systematic theology or two like Berkhof, Bavinck, Turretin, Hodge, or Calvin’s Institutes, before you go making a fool out of yourself. I read Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals, and the Catholic Catechism, an quite a few other Catholic works to make sure that I don’t misrepresent what official Catholic teaching is. You would do well to further your knowledge of what Reformed theology actually is.

  48. greenbaggins said,

    August 20, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Bryan (#9), you say,

    BOQ If it were real righteousness really transferred, and not merely a legal fiction, there wouldn’t be room for further sanctification, because in Reformed theology perfect law-keeping is God’s only standard of righteousness. Christ’s righteousness is real, of course, but the transfer (in extra nos imputation) is only legal in this present life so long as the recipient remains actually unrighteous by not perfectly keeping the law. EOQ

    You don’t have Reformed theology correct here. Reformed theology believes in two forms of righteousness: one a justification righteousness (perfect, complete, alien, imputed) and a sanctification type righteousness (imperfect, incomplete in this life, inherent, and infused). While perfection is required, God is gracious with our weaknesses. Because of the imputed righteousness, God is willing to allow our imperfections in this life so that we can know how much we really do depend on Him all the time for grace. Your conclusion is bizarre, in my opinion. You are assuming that Reformed theology only believes in one kind of righteousness. As I have said, this is completely incorrect.

    You say,
    BOQ So appealing to “real union,” while denying ontological participation, leaves the “legal fiction” question right where it would be if the union were only legal. EOQ

    Well, I’m not sure what you mean by “ontological participation.” If you mean that we become part of God, I would have to deny that such ever happens, even in glory. If you mean that we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, I would say that happens at regeneration. We have the same kind of relationship to Christ that a wife has with her husband. There is an ontological change that happens at regeneration, and there is a union with Christ such that we can say that Christ dwells in us and we dwell in Him. That has ontological ramifications. It is probably not everything that Eastern Orthodoxy would want to say about it, but I hardly think it is necessary to go as far as they do in order to have a real union with Christ that makes imputation not a legal fiction.

    You say,

    BOQ No, because the Reformed position requires that God does not peek behind the cross, as depicted in Horton’s cartoon:

    Otherwise, there would be no need to undergo the completion of sanctification at the moment of death. One could just stay simul iustus et peccator eternally in heaven, since one is already (allegedly) perfectly righteous in one’s present simul iustus et peccator condition. God would continue to ‘see’ the person as perfectly righteous (i.e. remain blind to the person’s actual unrighteousness). But we know that not to be the case. Hence, because God has only one standard of righteousness, and because the embodied believer is presently not yet actually righteous as he will be in heaven, it follows that his present extra nos imputed ‘righteousness’ is only a legal fiction. EOQ

    There are remnants of the “old man” in the believer his life long. These need to be removed utterly before the soul can be presented to God in heaven. This complete removal happens at death. As I have said, there is more than one kind of righteousness in Reformed theology. This is because there is more than one result of sin. Sin makes us guilty before the law, and it makes us corrupt inside. Justification takes care of the first problem, and sanctification culminating in the final eradication of sin in the life of the believer (which happens at death) takes care of the second problem. The hymn “Rock of Ages” expresses this perfectly when it says, “Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure.”

  49. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 20, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Hans,

    The problem isn’t the insulting nature, but the reasonableness of the criticism. I agree with you, that, “Obviously, these are all metaphors to help us understand how an omniscient, holy God might nevertheless have mercy on us.” But shouldn’t such a reasonable criticism present us with the possibility that our understanding falls short somehow? Clearly, the Reformed view is far better than the Catholic, but we still strive for a better understanding, and engaging in such debate can sometimes help in that.

    You said:

    But once we get beyond the moment of regeneration-faith-repentence-justification…once we get beyond the blink of an eye that guarantees the whole process will be based on Jesus’ righteousness rather than ours…our own sanctification, our own nascent, inherent righteousness necessarily begins to grow. As John Murray puts it, our righteousness is not only declared but constituted. What no earthly judge can do in declaring the innocence of a guilty defendant, God can do. His declaration of our innocence also MAKES us innocent. He establishes and guarantees it. He sponsors us…kind of like the immigration service has trusted sponsors guarantee the good conduct of asylum seekers and refugees.

    It is true that once we have been justified, our own righteousness begins to grow. However, that was not what Murray was referring to in the cited text. There will always be a difference between the imperfect righteousness of our sanctification and the perfect righteousness of Christ. But according to Murray’s meaning here, there is no difference between what God declares and what He constitutes—and the two are simultaneous. However, as much as Murray tries to establish a difference between God constituting us and declaring us righteous, he fails to do so, because neither the declaration nor the constitution that Murray intends happen anywhere other than in the mind of God, and neither consists in anything more than His will to so view us. Murray states, a little further in that chapter on justification (Redemption: Accomplished and Applied):

    Justification is both a declarative and a constitutive act of God’s free grace. It is constitutive in order that it may be truly declarative. God must constitute the new relationship as well as declare it to be. The constitutive act consists in the imputation to us of the obedience and righteousness of Christ [...]

    But this amounts to nothing more than to say that God must first choose to see us with the righteousness of Christ before He declares us to have that righteousness.

    You also mentioned Reymond, “Reymond states that the union is as real as if a lengthy, lengthy umbilical cord attached the believer here on earth with the body of Christ in heaven.” The nominalistic paradigm is so pervasive that even when acknowledging the fact of Christ’s Spirit within the believer, the reality is minimized—as shown by Reymond’s unfortunate but revealing illustration here. Reymond (A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith):

    [...The] Scriptures make it clear that, though it is spiritual and mystical, this nonmaterial union with Christ is as real as though there were in fact a literal umbilical cord uniting them, reaching “all the way” from Christ in heaven to the believer on earth.

    Christ’s intercession in heaven does not leave the believer with only a spiritual “umbilical cord” of His presence. Christ is able to stand in us on earth and reach to the court of heaven! His intercession there is firmly grounded in the reality of Christ in us here. If there were no Christ in us, there could never be a Christ who intercedes for us. The legalities in the court of heaven would be thrown out on objection of the accuser if there were no Christ in us.

    Our union with Christ can be described as perichoretic (as James Gifford describes it in Perichoretic Salvation): the union is close enough to make Christ and the believer to become one in identity in the eyes of justice, but not close enough that the believer becomes Christ or Christ becomes the believer. Neither is lost in the other, but the union is close enough to make the two one nonetheless. That is why we are seated in Christ in heavenly places. It is why I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet, not I but Christ lives in me…

  50. TurretinFan said,

    August 20, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Bryan wrote: “If it were real righteousness really transferred, and not merely a legal fiction, there wouldn’t be room for further sanctification, because in Reformed theology perfect law-keeping is God’s only standard of righteousness.”

    There are a number of problems with Bryan’s claim. On its face, it’s wrong for at least two reasons (a) the declaration of present righteousness is not dependent on future holiness (Adam was created upright but fell) and (b) no matter how much righteousness one transferred, the past remains an unchanged reality (Adam really did fall). Additional righteousness doesn’t somehow wipe out past misdeeds.

    But there is a deeper problem with Bryan’s position.

    The “legal fiction” (I don’t know why my brother greenbaggins thinks it’s such a dirty word) is treating Christ’s righteousness as my righteousness – it’s the imputation of his passive and active obedience to me.

    It really is mine, in a sense, because of my union with Christ. But I was not personally free from sin from the time I was formed in the womb, nor did I receive the punishment my sins deserve. Instead, those things are attributed to me by virtue of my union with Christ – which union is illustrated for us in the Lord’s Supper.

    The judgment of righteousness is based on real righteousness, not some fictitious righteousness. We are judged as righteous because Christ really was righteous.

    The (hopefully unintended) blasphemy of Bryan’s position comes out in the flip side of the great exchange. If he makes Christ actually and infusedly sinfully rather than just imputedly sinful – yikes!

    Recall that Scripture says:

    2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

    Christ took the attribution of our sins and died in our place, but to say that Christ became actually sinful is too horrible a blasphemy to be countenanced.

    -TurretinFan

  51. August 20, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Your conclusion is bizarre, in my opinion….

    Lane – Maybe Bryan’s conclusion is not so bizarre if you keep in mind that in RC theology sanctification is subsumed within justification. Bryan is starting with a Roman Catholic assumption.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “ontological participation.”

    As I pointed out to Bryan in my response to him (#13), he has a number of undefined terms in his response to you. I don’t know if Bryan expects you and others to dig through his references to try to figure out what he means, but I think you are right to start by asking him to define this term. Let’s see if he is willing to do that without citing another long reference that you have to read through to figure out his meaning….

  52. August 20, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Andrew, Roman Catholics set aside redemption and choose and ontological model of salvation borrowed from the Philosophers. IOW when Paul said that Jesus specifically came into the world to save sinners of which he is present tense foremost, what he really meant God came to offer us an ontological process, a treadmill virtue climb out of nature, thru the acts of the church that elevates them out of their nature. They replace faith, and the atonement with a sacramental system of climbing out of nature thru their cooperation. The church replace the natural body of Christ and the Spirit and becomes then secondary cause the sovereign distributor of the ontological climb out of nature into divinity. Redemption is only secondary. They like the Philosophers got the little heads lost in their little globe and confuse heaven and earth. So Roman Catholic salvation is a elevator to perfection by finishing Christ’s incarnation. When the Scripture says the Word became flesh, they take that to mean them. They take from Christ what only is his, namely the incarnation and the atonement. Their sacrifices help to atone their sins. Sacramental efficacy in the place of the atonement. Frankly, they won’t let Him off the cross to be Lord and Savior. He is an eternal victim in Rome, never risen, never Lord and Savior. We sing the amen and witness to a salvation already atoned for and purchased. K

  53. Bryan Cross said,

    August 20, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Lane,

    You don’t have Reformed theology correct here. Reformed theology believes in two forms of righteousness: one a justification righteousness (perfect, complete, alien, imputed) and a sanctification type righteousness (imperfect, incomplete in this life, inherent, and infused). While perfection is required, God is gracious with our weaknesses. Because of the imputed righteousness, God is willing to allow our imperfections in this life so that we can know how much we really do depend on Him all the time for grace. Your conclusion is bizarre, in my opinion. You are assuming that Reformed theology only believes in one kind of righteousness. As I have said, this is completely incorrect.

    I did not claim that Reformed theology holds that there is only one “form” of righteousness, or one “kind” of righteousness. Nor does anything I said entail that. Rather, what I said is that in Reformed theology God has only one “standard” of righteousness. And what I said follows from that. If the merely extra nos “form” of righteousness equally satisfied God’s one standard, we wouldn’t need sanctification, even in heaven. But we do need sanctification in heaven. Hence, the merely extra nos kind falls short of that one standard. Hence the merely extra nos kind is a legal “fiction,” because it is not some smaller percentage (e.g. 50%, 70%, etc.) of that one standard. Or are you willing to say that justified but unsanctified sinners could as such enter into heaven?

    … there is a union with Christ such that we can say that Christ dwells in us and we dwell in Him. That has ontological ramifications.

    And that’s precisely where the hand-waving begins. Dwelling inside something does not ipso facto entail ontological transfers of anything intrinsic to the occupant or to the occupied dwelling.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  54. August 20, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    They replace faith, and the atonement with a sacramental system of climbing out of nature thru their cooperation.

    Kevin – Yes!

    The church replace the natural body of Christ and the Spirit and becomes then secondary cause the sovereign distributor of the ontological climb out of nature into divinity. Redemption is only secondary

    This dovetails with the conversation that Ken and I were having concerning realism/nominalism. In the context of the blend of Medieval sorteriological systems from which the Reformation developed it’s distinctive soteriology, redemption of the individual was what is secondary from my perspective. Hence my comment to Ken that the typical late Medieval theologian just could not have gotten his mind around Jesus telling him that he personally and individually needed to be born again. The salvation of the individual was absorbed into the greater concern of Christ’s redemption of His Church. And today you still get Catholics who look at passages like John 3 and tell us that it’s all about the sacraments – the believer gets born again into the Church via the sacraments and he is justified through sacramental works and charitable works (done in love of course) as he labors in a synergistic manner with God’s grace to maintain justification. You described this process well in your post.

    This reminds me that I owe a response back to Ken. Hopefully at lunch….Cheers….

  55. roberty bob said,

    August 20, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    There is a reason why the imputation doctrine strikes many as a legal fiction; when you credit real righteousness — the righteous deeds and good character — of one person to other persons who are guilty of having done unrighteous deeds and are of immoral character, someone may start waving their red flag here in order to say that giving credit where credit is NOT due is false and deceitful. Crediting goodness [or merits!] to a someone who is not a doer of good does not suddenly change the fact that he is guilty of having committed particular sins or crimes. To say to one who is known to have committed particular sins or crimes, “You are not guilty!” is to falsify what is established fact. That is a fiction.

    To forgive the guilty sinner or criminal, however, is quite another matter. Forgiveness is not falsification. In forgiveness, the person or persons sinned against choose to not hold the sin against the sinner; a pardon is granted so that the sinner does not suffer the punishment or pay the penalty that is deserving due to the sin or crime. There is no fiction going on here. The sinner isn’t credited with having done something he didn’t do, or of having qualities of character that are foreign to his nature.

    Forgiveness is clearly taught in the Scriptures, and appears to be the way God deals with sin in truth, not in fiction.

    As to the sinner’s or criminal’s guilt, the Prophet Isaiah speaks of the Servant whose life would be made a guilt offering (53:10) for the many sinners. After the suffering endured through this offering, the Lord’s servant would see the light of life and be satisfied, and then go on to justify many.

    …….

    I’ll continue this soon . . .

  56. Ron said,

    August 20, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Rather, what I said is that in Reformed theology God has only one “standard” of righteousness.

    That is rather simplistic, Bryan. Paul exhorted in 1 Corinthians 4 to imitate him and Job is held up as a paragon of patience and endurance in James 5. These texts are consistent with Reformed thought.

  57. TurretinFan said,

    August 20, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Bryan wrote: “If the merely extra nos “form” of righteousness equally satisfied God’s one standard, we wouldn’t need sanctification, even in heaven.”

    One of Bryan’s errors here is to assume that we need sanctification/glorification for the purpose of having a right judicial standing with God. Bryan would need to establish that premise rather than just assume it.

    Bryan wrote: “Dwelling inside something does not ipso facto entail ontological transfers of anything intrinsic to the occupant or to the occupied dwelling.”

    That’s an insufficient rebuttal. First, even if “dwelling inside something” does not in itself entail the consequences, it can still explain the consequences. Explanations don’t have to be in the form of entailment. Second, Bryan seems to be stuck on transfer – but the effect of union is not a loss to Christ, but only a gain to us. He does not become less righteous the more people he makes righteous. We are declared righteous on the basis of our union with him – but not because of the infusion of righteousness from Christ.

  58. August 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Crediting goodness [or merits!] to a someone who is not a doer of good does not suddenly change the fact that he is guilty of having committed particular sins or crimes. To say to one who is known to have committed particular sins or crimes, “You are not guilty!” is to falsify what is established fact.

    RB – So did you not read Lane’s post or any of the following dialogue that addresses this point? I guess not. Seems as though we are just not getting through…..

  59. August 20, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    The idea of corporate salvation was a corruption of realism, and was inconsistent with what Augustine taught—especially in the later form, in which the union within the incarnate Christ between humanity and divinity was claimed to be the saving union. We do need a union with God to save us; but it is the union of Christ and the believer that happens within the individual believer.

    Hello again Ken,

    Re #39, I don’t agree that corporate salvation is a corruption of realism although I may be misunderstanding you. And I don’t think that there is any reason we should not talk about corporate salvation. It’s proper to say that God saved Israel as a people, and not just that God redeemed individual Jews. Likewise today God redeems His Church and also redeems individual Christians. But at different points during the history of the Church the blinder of realism or the blinder of nominalism so colored the thinking of the people of God that they overly focused on either corporate or individual salvation. As you point out, in the Church today we are on the nominalistic side of things. From my perspective there is a balance between the two.

    Nominalism may have served well to mark us off from Catholicism, but it will never win many Catholics. It is a denial of the significance of reality to the justice of God,….

    I agree with this in principle, but I wanted to point out that there is an equal and opposite problem with realism. The problem of the One and the Many, as the ancients used to refer to the essential philosophical problem here, manifests itself in so many ways that affect our theology. And we need to be careful about driving too close to the ditch on either side of the theological highway.

    Cheers….

  60. Ron said,

    August 20, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    So some sharp shooter doesn’t pick at TF’s remark regarding justification on the basis of union with Christ, we must maintain, as I believe TF does, that union is distinct from imputation yet they are inseparable and also simultaneous.The Reformed do not embrace N.T. Wright’s formulation that would make imputation superfluous to union.

  61. Reed Here said,

    August 20, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Roberty-Bob, no. 55: the reformed position is not a bald declaration of “not-guilty”. Do you really not understand the position or are you just refusing to acknowledge it?

    The position is a declaration of “not-guilty” of an acknowledged guilty party – on the basis of an innocent party assuming the guilt!!!! There is no fiction in that. It is all fact.

  62. August 20, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    One of Bryan’s errors here is to assume that we need sanctification/glorification for the purpose of having a right judicial standing with God. Bryan would need to establish that premise rather than just assume it.

    TF – Several people have pointed this out to Bryan now, and I think if we could get him to analyze this one assumption it would be some progress. It would be nice to at least get him to concede that it is an assumption, and one that is central to Roman Catholic soteriology.

  63. roberty bob said,

    August 20, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    . . . picking up from my #55 . . .

    So, the word of the prophet (Isaiah 53) was fulfilled in the dying and rising of our Lord Jesus Christ. In laying down his life as a guilt offering, he suffered the punishment and paid what all we sinners owed. In his atonement, Christ made satisfaction for sins. Thus the grounds were established for the forgiveness of our sins; and not only ours, but for the sins of the world. Any repentant sinner of contrite heart will find God to be the same gracious forgiver of sins that we have found Him to be . . . through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    When we forgiven sinners confess our sins [as we do both privately and corporately], we still acknowledge the truth of our guilt; we OWN UP to the wrong we have done and to the right that has gone undone. It strikes me that in corporate [congregational] prayers of confession that we are quick to plead guilty [and not credit unto ourselves the perfect law-keeping deeds of Jesus] and ask forgiveness in the knowledge that our God is merciful, compassionate, and understands our human frailty.

    In Christ we have redemption, even the forgiveness of our sins. Does this mean, then, that we are also credited with the perfect law-keeping achievements [merit!] of Jesus? Is it necessary for us to have such a deposit of righteousness put into our accounts in order to be stand with the justified before the Supreme Court of All Creation? I don’t believe so. And I don’t see this kind of transaction ever occurring.

    What I do see occurring is the believer’s incorporation into Christ. Baptism is the union sacrament. All who are baptized are baptized into Christ. The transfer I see is that of being brought over from Adam [being in Adam / in the dominion of death] to Christ [being in Christ / in the dominion of life]. By virtue of this new incorporation, we benefit mightily from our membership in Christ. As Hans points out in #46, we are not only declared to be righteous, but constituted so.

    Hans in #46 then goes on to point out that this righteousness comes to fruition [inherently!] in the actual works and deeds of the faithful. I think that this is really the key truth of what is going on. As the Apostle Paul explains [Romans 8:1-4]: There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus [Why not?] for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me from from the law of sin and death. [How, then, does this happen?] For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the RIGHTEOUS REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW MIGHT BE FULLY MET IN US, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit [of life].

    This is quite a different thing than having all of the merits of Christ credited to our account. We have been forgiven of our debt. Now we have Christ’s Spirit [who is LIFE unto us] enabling us to meet [or do] the righteous requirements of the law. In this we submit to God’s law, and God is pleased [Romans 8:7,8]. This is how our account is filled us. There is no fiction in this. And at the Last Day our actual works, the deeds done in our bodies during our lifetime, will be judged. I am not aware that we can cover ourselves by saying that we have all the merits of Christ credited unto us.

  64. August 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Andrew, Michael Taylor and I exchanged posts on Jason’s site about it starting with baptism ex opere operato. Tim Kauffman has an article this week on his site ( Out of His mouth) that totally exposes Bran Cross and CCC complete misinterpretation of the fathers on baptism. It is the first article he actually show that the fathers said exactly the opposite as CCC’s interpretation, which is just another opportunity to apply my rule, read Roman doctrine and believe the opposite and arrive at biblical truth. There is no way a Priest can usurp the Spirit and the sovereignty of God to save who he wills. The Spirit blows where and how He wants. Simply in Roman Catholicism the church usurps the sovereignty of God and becomes the determiner in who gets salvation and how much they get at each sacramental visit. JC Ryle rightly said beware of a church that makes salvation all about sacraments since there are only 4 verses in all the Epistles on the Lord’s supper. Paul said that faith not only was the entry point into our holistic salvation, but it was from faith to faith, the entirety of it. The righteous shall live by faith. Luther said they cannot rob from faith and give to love( sacraments ex o o) what God intended only for faith. ! John 4 says by faith we overcome the world, and God says in Hebrews without it it is impossible to please Him.

  65. Mark said,

    August 20, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    The analogy to the married couple and discussion is interesting. Minor quibble (as Pete points out in comment #1), the legal statements about debts and assets before and after marriage is actually incorrect in most U.S. states. This is true both for purposes of the legal requirements to pay debts, and the division of property after marriage. There is an important legal distinction depending on what assets/debts the husband held before marriage.
    The thought/analogy is helpful, but the legal part of it isn’t quite accurate.

  66. August 20, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Roberty bob said ” is it necessary to have a certain righteouness placed in our account” Evidently Paul thought so. He was the law righteous stud of righteous stud having said he was blameless as to the law, yet he DIDNOT want to be found in this righteouness but he wanted to be found in Him becoming the righteouness of God. This is the filthy rags of Isaiah 64. Jesus said to the Catholics of His day that unless their righteouness exceeded that of the scibes and pharisees, they were doomed. Hedidnt say if it exceeded that of the Prostutes. Paul put all his righteouness in one column and all Christ’s in the other. 1 Cor 1:30 says He became to us righteouness, sanctification, redemption. Its all forensic for Paul. Its time for Rome to let Him off the cross as an eternal victim and let Him be Lord and Savior. He is Risen!

  67. greenbaggins said,

    August 20, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Mark, as I pointed out to Pete, this quibble is irrelevant. The legal situation is true at some point somewhere in history. It doesn’t really matter where or when.

  68. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 20, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Lane, how about #22 (or 2-3)?

  69. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 20, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Bryan 53,

    You stated: “Dwelling inside something does not ipso facto entail ontological transfers of anything intrinsic to the occupant or to the occupied dwelling.”

    Scripture does not portray the indwelling Holy Spirit—Christ within us—as merely a visitor but as united with us in identity. The true identity of a man is who he is in the inner man, and not the body he dwells in. When we are saved, Christ comes to dwell with that inner man in such a close union that we are said to be “one spirit with Him.” Not only is He said to be in us, but we now are said to be in Him. Not only is He where we are, but we are said to be credited with being where He is (“seated in heavenly places”). Because He is in us now, we are credited with all that He accomplished long ago (“crucified with Christ,” etc.). Rom. 6:3, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” and, 1 Cor. 6:17, “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” It is not speaking of water baptism, but baptism into the Spirit, which happens at the point of saving faith. To be spiritually baptized into Christ is to be joined to Him so that the new believer and Christ are one spirit, and the result of this is that the new believer is joined to (or, baptized into) His death. In fact, the believer is so identified with Christ that he is considered to have been crucified with Him. Gal. 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” To be immersed into the Spirit of Christ is to be plunged into that flood of sufficiency that all His human experiences provide.

  70. roberty bob said,

    August 20, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    in reference to Kevin, #66 . . .

    I totally agree with the Apostle Paul’s assessment of his own striving for righteousness [a failing grade!], and of his desire to be found in Christ, who is for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. I do not deny the need to be found in Christ, who is our righteousness.

    The question for me is HOW Christ is righteousness for us. In what relationship or in what form does this righteousness come to us? In what does it consist?

    I see it coming to us by virtue of being incorporated — having Christ as our representative and covenant head — of having his atoning sacrifice avail for my sins — of being forgiven and adopted into the family of God.
    What I do not see — even in 1 Corinthians 1:30 or Philippians 3:9 — is explicit reference to the merits of Christ’s perfect law-keeping being transferred to my account. I agree that he, in keeping the law, did what I as I sinner could not do. But, now, being IN CHRIST, the law of the Spirit of life enables me to do the righteous requirements of the law.

    When I DO those things which are enabled by Christ’s Spirit of Life, I am not doing deeds of filthy unrighteousness; I am doing those things that are pleasing to God [Romans 8:1-8]. Right?

  71. August 20, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    roberty bob, He is righteousness by imputation. Paul uses dikaiow not dikaiadzo which he totally had available to Him. Its declarative. Even Catholic apologists are admitting this. Paul could never mean by dikaiou = the process of being better, or doing better. Think about this robbery bob, Paul says in Ephesians 2:8 ” not that of yourselves” not of works” That eliminates Rome’s gospel. They only thing they can do is read installments into that verse and unfortunately the verb for saved doesn’t allow it. I mean its not like its ambiguous roberty bob. Paul only says it 100 times. If your drowning and I go out and save you, when we get back to shore are you going to tell people how well you you cooperated with me. You said “in what doe this righteousness consist ” 1 corinthians 1:30 tells us its Christ’s, not a works righteousness that is born in us out of love in merits and demerits. By His doing we are in Who became to us all those things. Its all forensic for Paul. Our righteousness isn’t derived from His, it is His righteousness. The scripture says we become one spirit with Him. And we are offered a person, not a derivative that comes off that person. We are truly righteous in Christ and that brings with it the papers of justification, adoption which undergirds our sanctification. We get situated from the courtroom to the living room because we are in him by the Spirit and he is in us. Your problem though is if there is no imputation then Paul can’t talk about justification as aorist past tense in Romans 5:1 and 8:1 which brings no condemnation and brings present shalom. And also if our sins weren’t forgiven past, present and future, then He didn’t do His job and I can’t have peace. Also Paul can’t tell me that I am reconciled and justified by faith and His blood past tense. Jesus isn’t up there going ok Dad Joe just finished the mass give him a little more grace and justice. He is continually applying His perfect sacrifice Heb>10:14 as we confess and pray. We have an advocate with the Father. His sacrifice perfected us and now its being applied. There is no sacramental system in scripture NT being delved out by OT recapitulated OT Aaronic Priests. He is from the order of Melchizadek, perfect permanent. The writer of Hebrews called the need for a physical altar, sacrifice and Priesthood shrinking back in one’s faith. Hid altar and sacrifice and priesthood are in heaven, and we go there freely to offer up spiritual sacrifices , confessions and prayers.

  72. theoldadam said,

    August 20, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Our doing …or not doing …is neither here nor there.

    We put our trust in His Promises…for us…to us.

    That’s it.

    Anything else is a co-op and one might as well be a Catholic…or a Jew for that matter.

  73. Bob S said,

    August 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Rather, what I said is that in Reformed theology God has only one “standard” of righteousness. And what I said follows from that. If the merely extra nos “form” of righteousness equally satisfied God’s one standard, we wouldn’t need sanctification, even in heaven. But we do need sanctification in heaven. Hence, the merely extra nos kind falls short of that one standard

    God has one standard of righteousness and it is fulfilled in Christ.
    But we are not in heaven now and God is gracious to accept us in Christ here on earth in the mean time.
    nd that despite the quibbles, complaints and prevarications of the creature that this is a “legal fiction”, which is to insinuate that either God or reformed theology/JBFA is a lie, if not both in the drive to substitute a god made out of bread that can be eaten.

    IOW that’s what the handwaving is all about from our interlocutor.
    True, it takes some time to pierce the veil of the Roman semaphore code, but it is not an insurmountable goal, and there has been plenty of time to observe CtC in action due to the wonders of the internet.

  74. Bryan Cross said,

    August 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Ken (re: #69)

    I agree with everything you said in that comment (presently #69). But all of that implies an ontological union that is not what Horton calls “fusion,” i.e. that does not imply the loss of the Creator-creature distinction. A merely legal (or covenantal) union does not achieve this. Likewise, positions/locations (i.e. “inside”) don’t achieve this either, as I pointed out at the end of #53. So what is needed to account for the nature of the textual evidence for the sort of unity (of Christ and the believer) described by Scripture is something ontological. And because of its nominalism, Reformed theology does not have that metaphysical resource as an option, and thus it works with the following [in my opinion false] dilemma: either fusion or mere covenant/vital union. Again, as I mentioned in comment #9 above, see chapter 18 of Horton’s The Christian Faith. What is missing is the ontological category of participation, as I explained in the penultimate paragraph of comment #182 of CTC’s transubstantiation post. But that takes us into a very different paradigm.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  75. August 20, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    robert bob, Even Augustine said that yes our works are pleasing to God if done by faith and not trying to be justified by them, but even our best works are stained with sin. If our works are perfectly good, why did we need Christ. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves, namely lived the law in our place and fulfill all righteousness. Its gift. In fact 5:17 calls it “the free gift of righteousness” How can that be the free gift of our righteousness in any way. It can’t. Romans 6:23 calls it the free gift of eternal life (watch) thru Jesus christ our Lord. Incidentally the first part of the verse says for the wages of sin is death. There is no distinction between mortal or venial. You will go to hell as a policeman or a prostitute if your not trusting in Christ alone for your salvation. Christ did not come to help us achieve His favor with His help, he saved us. He aint on the cross anymore, He is risen, thats the good news. We should live with the peace and assuredness of our salvation each day knowing He saved us not on the basis of righteousness but by His mercy. Hallelujah!

  76. Bob S said,

    August 20, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Either that or the “legal fiction” objection is to impugn God’s ability on account of Christ’s perfect work to declare sinners righteous by faith.

    Again, who are you O man to repliest against God? Rom. 9:20
    IOW they greatly err who think God is such a one as they are themselves and bound by human ability.
    But Roman hubris knows no such bounds, if it can repeat Christ’s perfect atonement in the resacrifice of the mass.

  77. theoldadam said,

    August 20, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Nice work, Kevin.

    But it is too simple. You need to start throwing in big words to get people mixed up so that they might to believe there is something special required outside of the Cross…for real sinners.

    “We are saved by grace through faith, not of works lest anyone should boast.”

    How does this happen? Christ gives it to us…in His Word of promise …and in Baptism and Holy Communion. They are all pure gospel. Pure gift.

    If you’re into co-op religion, than that is not good news. But if you come to the point where you realize the depth of your own sin and that there is nothing that you can do about it…then it is very good news. Very good news indeed.

  78. Bob S said,

    August 20, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    and thus it works with the following [in my opinion false] dilemma: either fusion or mere covenant/vital union.

    We’re making headway. Bryan admits something is his fallible opinion and not an infallible divine truth.
    As to how he would know one way or another is a different matter, but perhaps the lest said the better.
    Because then private judgement might come into play and we know what kind of a bugaboo that is for Romanists, who necessarily resort to it all the while they deny it.
    Nevertheless we are to sit pretty with Bryan’s PJ on legal fictions and ontic nominalism instead of resting on divinely infallible truths only available in Rome to Romanists. Why the coy remarks then? Can not Bryan give us the real goods and stop playing footsie? Or are we really talking about gnosticism and one hast to join before they can be initiated into the higher knowledge?
    Hmmm. Did Utah emulate the papists here, or is it the other way around?
    Yet another question I’ll have to ask the men in black and white when they next knock on the door.
    Until bon jovie to my conflicted friend and his pj.

  79. August 20, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Bryan Cross you truncate the Reformed view. We are incorporated into Christ body by the Spirit of Christ not by the flesh. It is a person that is offered, not a derivative thing off that person. Our entire salvation is mediated by the Spirit . The onus is on you to prove the philosophical ontological categories that the Roman religion has adopted form Aquinas connecting a Christian faith ethic to pagan self autonomy. . Good luck! They aren’t there. We have union of Christ throughout our entire Christian existence, even in glory, thru the SPIRIT and faith alone in Christ alone. We don’t need the metaphysical option. Since it isn’t biblical. You guys read the book of John like a metaphysics essay. The Apostles knew nothing of these pagan categories. He simply left us with the Spirit for true koininia and all the benefits of Christ. In fact the scripture says we have ALL things pertaining to life and Godliness. We don’t need what Rome offers falsely thru your human institution of secondary causes. God has control of the conscience, not the church, and the church cannot substitute itself for the natural body of Christ and the Spirit and become their regent. He blows where and how HE wills. He said He was going to make a place for us, and that He would not drink of the fruit of the Vine until he returned, or He wouldn’t eat with us until He returned. The scripture says we now look in a mirror dimly and then we will see face to face. Rome smashes the incarnation, ascension, parousia and collapses the head into the body. So the Roman church becomes the kingdom on earth bringing Christ down at the ringing of the bell, putting Him on the church’s lap and becoming His regent. False system.

  80. greenbaggins said,

    August 20, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Ken, almost every analogy breaks down if you press it too far, including the one I used. If one enters into the spirit of the analogy, then one can see how it works, rather than trying to burst its boundaries. Union with Christ is undoubtedly the umbrella benefit of salvation: everything fits inside it. As Calvin said, Christ and all His benefits are of no value whatsoever to us until we are united to Him.

  81. Mark said,

    August 20, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Maybe because I’m an attorney who does a lot of work in property law that the quibble sticks with me. Plus, I’m not entirely sure it is true that “the legal situation [exactly as you described it] is true at some point somewhere in history.”
    In any case, I think the fact that it is usually not the case at most points and most places in history means that the analogy may serve as more of a distraction than helpful. But, I may only think that because I’m an attorney that works in this attorney and, you know, attorneys are often pretty obnoxious about such things. :)
    Carry on…

  82. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 20, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Andrew,

    I don’t agree that corporate salvation is a corruption of realism although I may be misunderstanding you. And I don’t think that there is any reason we should not talk about corporate salvation. It’s proper to say that God saved Israel as a people, and not just that God redeemed individual Jews. Likewise today God redeems His Church and also redeems individual Christians. But at different points during the history of the Church the blinder of realism or the blinder of nominalism so colored the thinking of the people of God that they overly focused on either corporate or individual salvation. As you point out, in the Church today we are on the nominalistic side of things. From my perspective there is a balance between the two.

    I don’t see realism and nominalism in this way. Mostly, I’m concerned with Biblical realism—that Biblical principle of shared identity based on immaterial union, to which philosophical realism (with all its excesses) came to be applied. Biblical realism is the recognition of a shared personal identity, effected by immaterial (spiritual) union or singularity of immaterial origin, which is sufficient in itself to account for the headships of Adam and Christ. More broadly, Biblical realism is a paradigm from which God’s judgments and justice are dependent upon substantial reality — a reality which He may sovereignly change but cannot justly ignore. It was from this paradigm that the principle of realistic union, and specifically traducianism, was arrived at. Nominalism is the denial of any union of immaterial substance of mankind in Adam, and the relegation to a mere union in God’s chosen perception. In the broad picture, it is the diminishment of the importance of substantial reality—a paradigm from which God’s judgments and justice have no standard other than His own will.

    Although explicit theological realists have most commonly employed the terms and constructs of Plato’s realism in expounding principles of Biblical realism, such use of Plato is neither necessary nor beneficial. The difference between Platonic realism and Biblical realism is as great as the difference between a “universal” and a spirit. The strongest objections to theological realism are actually objections to Platonic realism inappropriately applied to theology. When divested of Platonic constructs, Biblical realism yields an understanding of justification, rebirth and atonement that is vastly superior to what representationism offers, and solves many longstanding theological problems.

    Biblical realism is not a blinder but an illuminator. And the main difference between realism and nominalism is not that the former emphasizes the corporate while the latter emphasized individuals; but rather, realism emphasizes a corporate spiritual union of shared indentity between the individual and the head, while nominalism denies any such identifying spiritual union (and therefore grounds the justice in God’s sovereign will alone and not in the supposed reality of a real, substantial union). So, I don’t follow your meaning when you go that route. There can be no balance between a denial of the significance of reality to God’s justice and an acknowledgement of the significance of reality.

  83. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 20, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Lane,

    If the analogy does not address the objection of the opposing argument, then you cannot effectively offer it as if it did.

  84. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 20, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Bryan #74,

    Reformed theology used to have a category of participation, but not as you intend. It was a participation in the defining action of the head with whom they were immaterially united. Adam’s sin was imputed to us because it was ours, and not the other way around. It was ours because the moral nature of every man was in Adam and chose to sin when he did. That’s participation in the defining action of the head. Since the same immaterial nature in me was in Adam, then the ownership was passed down with the nature. What is needed is to view Christ’s headship in the same way but in the other direction. The shared nature of all men was propagated out of Adam, with the one becoming the many. But the children of God are propagated not by dispersion—from the union in one to become the many—rather, children of God are propagated by bringing the many (one at a time) into union with the One, Christ. Therefore, we as believers gain a retroactive participation in Christ’s defining acts by being united with the indwelling Person of Christ NOW. Nonetheless, our saving participation in Christ is a participation in what He has long ago accomplished—and that’s all that’s needed to save us.

  85. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 20, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Reed #61,

    You stated:

    The position is a declaration of “not-guilty” of an acknowledged guilty party – on the basis of an innocent party assuming the guilt!!!! There is no fiction in that. It is all fact.

    Where’s the substance, Reed? You’re not usually one to substitute mere assertions. The charge of fiction is valid in the sense that condemnation and righteousness cannot be justly transferred. Denying the validity of that is useless. Instead, substantively address how God can indeed be just with such a transfer.

  86. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 20, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Turretinfan #50,

    You said, “The judgment of righteousness is based on real righteousness, not some fictitious righteousness. We are judged as righteous because Christ really was righteous.” We need more than the reality of Christ’s righteousness. We need to have something in reality on which to ground the transfer. The two (believer and Christ) need to become one in reality.

  87. August 20, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Kevin (re: 79),

    I would add to your post that what you say about our union with Christ IS ontological. We are told in Scriptures that we are in Christ, and because we are in Christ we are transformed in mind and body and spirit. Such statements in Scripture are ontological in nature. But the ontological union we have in Christ is that which 1) is grounded in Scripture, 2) becomes the basis for our being more completely made into His image, and 3) ultimately makes us completely conformable to God as we are glorified in Him. This is the metaphysics of our union with Christ.

    But as you allude to, Bryan presents us with this nebulous ontological union and goodness knows what it is based upon. He certainly is not defining it for us. How ironic then that he tells Lane (see #53) that Protestants are “hand-waving” when Lane speaks of our union with Christ!

    Cheers….

  88. Ron said,

    August 20, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Ken,

    The Reformed claim is that God’s justice is satisfied virtue of the penalty for sin having been justly paid, which explains why God can remain just while being the justifier of sinners. Sinners can be constituted not guilty and even right with the law, even declared such, due to the realities of penal substitution and imputation. Much more is contemplated under these ideas, like enmity removed (expiation) and wrath spent (propitiation).

    When you say things like “x cannot be justly transferred,” you’re simply announcing your personal view of justice that is informed by, well, mere opinion and not God’s revelation.

  89. August 20, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Andrew, I meant to mention that. Thats a good point. We have an ontological/vital union with Christ thru His Spirit. Thanks. Thats their schtick you know that we have the imputed righteousness of Christ but we don’t have union. When we believe we posses the Spirit of Christ. We have a person that is offered, not a derivative thing off off that person. We enjoy union, relationship, and all of god’s blessings thru the Spirit. We are in christ and He is in us. The notion that the imputed righteousness of Christ that comes from outside and justifies us doesn’t get implanted in us for righteous living is absurd. J It juste brings the adoption papers and the justification which undergirds all of salvation. Paul interestingly calls the rag tag Corinthians ” those who have been sanctified” Now how could he say that about them. Its all forensic for Paul. How can the person in Hebrews 10″14 be perfected while in the process of sanctification. Yet thats what the verse says He perfected those who are being sanctified. Imputation.

  90. TurretinFan said,

    August 20, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Ken:

    I wrote: “The judgment of righteousness is based on real righteousness, not some fictitious righteousness. We are judged as righteous because Christ really was righteous.”

    You responded: “We need more than the reality of Christ’s righteousness. We need to have something in reality on which to ground the transfer. The two (believer and Christ) need to become one in reality.”

    a) In fact, the believer and Christ do become one in reality, as per Jesus’ prayer in John 17, and as illustrated in the Supper. That oneness is real, even if it is not easily explained.

    b) All that is necessary to ground the imputation (not sure why you insist on “transfer”) is the impetration of Christ (and one might argue the acceptance of that impetration). Since Christ, as high priest, pleads his merits on our behalf, we are justified. Likewise, Christ as lamb is condemned for our sins, and dies on our behalf.

    c) There is certainly a lot more to salvation than just justification – but focusing on justification, the judicial declaration of innocence/righteousness, it’s sufficient that the righteousness is real to free God from the accusation of calling evil good. How/why exactly the righteousness is imputed from Christ to the believer may be an important topic, but is one that goes beyond the question at hand – unless it’s proposed that imputation is not what occurs, or unless it’s proposed that the imputation could not occur.

  91. De Maria said,

    August 20, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    theoldadam said,
    August 20, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Because He says that we are “a new creation”.

    That’s why.

    We “walk by faith, not by sight.”

    Sooo? New creation means new only on the outside. But not new and cleansed of all sin on the inside?

    Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

    It helps to keep us from becoming little self-righteous jerks…or despairing because we can’t “see” or “feel” the changes that others tell us that we must be “seeing” or “feeling”.
    Or we turn into phonies who just play the game and do our best to not be found out to be the real sinners that we are.

    We look solely to God’s promises and NOT to the futile exercise of looking for anything in ourselves that we deem worthy of God’s acceptance.

    We are completely acceptable in Jesus.

    That, DM, is what is called, “the gospel”. Just in case you have never heard it before.

    You’ll have to show me from Scripture. Here’s what I see:

    Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    I say that because in my 40 years in the Catholic Church, I never heard it (the pure gospel for sinners).

    All that I ever heard from the priests and nuns and from my longtime Catholic relatives, was a bunch of semi-Pelagian tripe. Mush the same brand of cooperative salvation that you are trying to peddle.

    Personally…I’m not buying

    That’s between you and God.

    Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

  92. De Maria said,

    August 20, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    greenbaggins said,
    August 20, 2014 at 7:19 am

    De Maria, apparently you don’t know very much about Reformed theology if you claim that we don’t believe in regeneration or an inward change. Just because we don’t believe that this change happens *in justification* doesn’t mean that we don’t believe it happens at all.

    Sooo? Being “born again” doesn’t mean being justified?

    You would do well to read a standard Reformed systematic theology or two like Berkhof, Bavinck, Turretin, Hodge, or Calvin’s Institutes, before you go making a fool out of yourself. I read Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals, and the Catholic Catechism, an quite a few other Catholic works to make sure that I don’t misrepresent what official Catholic teaching is. You would do well to further your knowledge of what Reformed theology actually is.

    There are a lot of flavors of Protestantism out there. Does this guy count at all?

    Salvation and Regeneration:
    The New Birth
    By William Webster
    Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3)
    Regeneration is the exclusive work of God by which he imparts new life to an individual. There is no sanctification or justification apart from regeneration. It is what scripture calls the new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) or being born again (Jn. 3:3–6). The imperative nature of the new birth was taught by Jesus in his conversation with Nicodemus when he said, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ (Jn. 3:5). Jesus taught that it is not enough that we be religious, moral people. We must be born again, born from above, born of God. We must be recreated on the inside in our very natures or we cannot enter the kingdom of God. As D.A. Carson comments:

    Here was Jesus telling Nicodemus, a respected and conscientious member not only of Israel but of the Sanhedrin, that he cannot enter the kingdom unless he is born again…The focus here is not on the potential convert’s humility, brokenness of faith, but on the need for transformation, for new life from another realm, for the intervention of the Spirit of God (D.A. Carson, The Gospel According To John (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 19910, pp. 189-190)…..

    Because, if he does, he seems to be contradicting you.

  93. De Maria said,

    August 20, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Bob S said,
    August 19, 2014 at 1:51 am

    Oh boy. We have an objection from someone who insists that possession of the apostolic bones – not apostolic doctrine _ is the ticket to being the true church, if not that possession of the bones is the true apostolic doctrine of salvation.

    So remind me again, where were we in the discussion?
    Oh, that’s right. God can’t impute Christ’s righteousness to sinners by faith because it wouldn’t be reasonable, if not that it doesn’t fit in with Bryan’s philosophical paradigm.

    Well, so what?
    The real question is, is it taught in Scripture?

    Good point. Show me from Scripture.

    To that Bryan really has nothing to say other than throwing us a a red herring, for all practical purposes, in even another article that he has written if we are not befuddled enough by his comments here already.
    Which pretty much amount to “it’s not fair”, if not a handwaving assertion to the effect, that Imputation/JBFA is “unreasonable”.

    In this he is ignorant, for as the Scripture plainly says, God not only quickeneth the dead, he calleth those things which be not, as though they were Rom 4:17 the specious objections by the creature of legal fiction notwithstanding. Who is he to reply to or question God?

    But there is nothing new under the sun.
    This is not the first time that one has thought God to be such a one as himself Ps. 50:21, if not shown up over here to lecture us on the deficiencies of the reformed faith.

    As to whether the apostolic bones are rotten, never mind real to begin with, protestants ought to know better than question the self appointed lay representative of an infallible church. It wouldn’t be ecumenical/charitable, so we must supinely suffer his patronization via his paradigmatic assertions.

    KH, there’s a lot to digest for a combox comment; you wouldn’t want someone to go off halfcocked and say the paradigm espoused therein is as cockeyed as CtC now would you?

    I didn’t see anything from Scripture in that spiel. Maybe the next.
    I hope you at least try to produce some, sometime.

  94. Ron said,

    August 20, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    The Webster quote is perfectly Reformed and evangelical. Not to recognize this confirms Lane’s suspicion.

  95. De Maria said,

    August 20, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    And contradicts Lane’s retort.

  96. Ron said,

    August 20, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Ignorant and arrogant is no way to go through life. At the very least, learn your topic.

  97. Ron said,

    August 20, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    I would humbly suggest that this RC be required to show how Lane and Webster are at odds before being allowed to post on other matters.

  98. theoldadam said,

    August 21, 2014 at 12:01 am

    “Sooo? New creation means new only on the outside. But not new and cleansed of all sin on the inside?”

    Who said that?

    Don’t you know how to read?

  99. De Maria said,

    August 21, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Lane said:

    greenbaggins said,
    August 20, 2014 at 7:19 am

    De Maria, apparently you don’t know very much about Reformed theology if you claim that we don’t believe in regeneration or an inward change. Just because we don’t believe that this change happens *in justification* doesn’t mean that we don’t believe it happens at all.

    Webster says:

    There is no sanctification or justification apart from regeneration.

    Ron said,
    August 20, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Ignorant and arrogant is no way to go through life.

    You should know.

    At the very least, learn your topic.

    I know it quite well, as you are learning.

  100. August 21, 2014 at 12:51 am

    Mostly, I’m concerned with Biblical realism—that Biblical principle of shared identity based on immaterial union, to which philosophical realism (with all its excesses) came to be applied.

    So now that you give me this definition I understand where you are coming from and I agree. I hope you understand that when you speak of just “realism,” as you have throughout this discussion, that people will take you to be speaking of classical realism, as I did. Classical realism had very distinct effects on the Church, both ancient and Medieval. So I was answering you as one who was speaking to classical realism and nominalism.

    realism emphasizes a corporate spiritual union of shared identity between the individual and the head, while nominalism denies any such identifying spiritual union (and therefore grounds the justice in God’s sovereign will alone and not in the supposed reality of a real, substantial union).

    The statement above is just what we are getting at. We Reformed affirm that God’s judgment of the righteous as innocent is only made over those who really are righteous.

  101. Ron said,

    August 21, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Pasting Webster’s quote after Lane’s does not tell us why their statements are not compatible. Please argue your point and don’t just assert it.

  102. Tim Harris said,

    August 21, 2014 at 7:43 am

    I think what dM is highlighting is Lane: “we don’t believe [regeneration] happens in justification” vs. Webster: “no justification apart from regeneration.” He sees a contradiction between “non in” and “not apart from.”

    However, if this is confusing, it is only because of the telegraphic form, and perhaps using the same words with different force. The concepts could be stated in different words that would relieve and clarify the tension; and have been, throughout this thread. Which, as has been pointed out, dM himself could do if he was a little more thoroughly grounded. DM, I might suggest a study of G I Williamson’s commentary on the Westminster Confession. It is relatively short but very clear.

  103. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 21, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Ron #88,

    You stated:

    The Reformed claim is that God’s justice is satisfied [by] virtue of the penalty for sin having been justly paid, which explains why God can remain just while being the justifier of sinners. Sinners can be constituted not guilty and even right with the law, even declared such, due to the realities of penal substitution and imputation. Much more is contemplated under these ideas, like enmity removed (expiation) and wrath spent (propitiation).

    When you say things like “x cannot be justly transferred,” you’re simply announcing your personal view of justice that is informed by, well, mere opinion and not God’s revelation.

    The same objections to justification apply to atonement. One man cannot die in the place of another (unless the two men can somehow be made one within substantial reality). Face it, Ron. The real “concrete” union of Christ within the believer is not some adjunct or afterthought but is the very foundation of all of salvation. Without this “concrete” reality within the believer, all these other things that you call realities are not real at all.

    What is reality, Ron? If you ask me to give you the money I borrowed from you, and I reply that I’ve already paid you in my mind, would you be satisfied with that? Why is it that when a man lusts after his neighbor’s wife, he’s guilty of committing adultery with her in his heart but she’s not made guilty by that sin? The fact is that while thinkers may incur guilt for thinking what they should not, no Thinker can make anyone else guilty merely by thinking—or righteous, for that matter. Reality exists regardless of any thoughts (or lack thereof) regarding it. And yes, I’m saying that this applies to God as well. If it did not, Christ would not have needed to die. God could have just chosen to view Him as if He had died. Or, God simply could choose to impute Christ’s righteousness to those who believe without any need for the cross. But the fact is that instead of merely viewing reality in His mind as if it matches what His justice requires, God actually does what is necessary to change reality to suit His justice. Rather than merely viewing believers AS IF we had the righteousness of Christ, God actually puts Christ Himself within the believer, joining the two into one new man who has full title to all of Christ’s human experiences (including His death and resurrection).

    It is no mere opinion of mine that the guilty cannot be justly called righteous. It is a matter of truth and justice that is both Biblical and universally understood by those made in God’s image (in whom the law is written on their consciences by nature).

  104. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 21, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Andrew,

    You stated:

    So now that you give me this definition I understand where you are coming from and I agree. I hope you understand that when you speak of just “realism,” as you have throughout this discussion, that people will take you to be speaking of classical realism, as I did. Classical realism had very distinct effects on the Church, both ancient and Medieval. So I was answering you as one who was speaking to classical realism and nominalism.

    I’m glad to have your agreement. I’m sorry for the confusion. But while the excesses may be cut away from the true principles doctrinally, it is difficult to separate the two historically—at least until we come to extremes. There has been a broad spectrum from the realist view to the nominalist. As Fisher points out, many of the Reformers were not realists, but were under the sway of a realistic mode of thinking only as it pertained to original sin. And most of the realists held to both Platonic and Biblical realism. Nominalism is antithetical to both, so the struggle between the Nominalism and realism applies to both Platonic and Biblical realism. However, since I see Biblical realism as that which the Church needs to return to, then that is my focus and the system behind all my arguments.

    You said, “The statement above is just what we are getting at. We Reformed affirm that God’s judgment of the righteous as innocent is only made over those who really are righteous.” It all depends on how you define “really are.” Realists (of both kinds) would demand that they really are righteous within substantial (“concrete”) reality—otherwise, they really aren’t. But as said before, this does would only require that Christ really is within them, joined to them in identity and spirit.

    What every man needs to gain heaven under the law is two human experiences:
    1) we need to have lived in perfect righteousness from cradle to grave; and,
    2) (because we have sinned) we need to have endured the complete wrath of God against sin.

    Christ experienced both of these, and He did so by walking in our shoes, so to speak, and doing all that we should have done or need to do. He didn’t need to be baptized, but He did so with us in mind as He said, “It is fitting for US to fulfill all righteousness.” When He was accused and at trial, He spoke not a word in His defense, even though He was innocent, because He was in our shoes and we are guilty. Acting in our place, He could not rightly plead innocent. Nor could He rightly plead guilty, being innocent. So He spoke not a word… And the crime was every sinner’s crime: the blasphemy of making oneself out to be God.

    When God sends the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, He brings with Him all His past experiences as a man, including the two listed above that actually save us from wrath and make us perfectly righteous. Our old identity dies and we rise to new life in Christ as we are forever immersed in His Spirit. As for the eyes of Justice, any view of our sinful failures is blinded by the brightness of what was accomplished on the cross by the One who is in us as a part of us. Justice never has a chance for any further claim upon us, since it is continually met with the fact that we are “crucified with Christ.” It is as much a fact of reality that I (the new man in Christ) have already paid the penalty for sin as it is a fact that Christ is in me and joined with me in an identifying spiritual union. I can no more be condemned than Christ Himself can be. There is no other way that one man can pay the penalty for another or act righteously for another.

    Do you still agree?

  105. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 21, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Anyone interested in seeing how such a view of reality illuminates atonement can find it here.

  106. Ron said,

    August 21, 2014 at 8:56 am

    One man cannot die in the place of another (unless the two men can somehow be made one within substantial reality).

    Ken,

    Your post is rather iconic for this thread. Long on opinions but nothing more.

    Nobody denies that union with Christ is a necessary condition for salvation, but who informs you that imputation is superfluous? All I’m hearing is what you think sounds reasonable to your unaided, autonomous reason.

    Face it, Ron. The real “concrete” union of Christ within the believer is not some adjunct or afterthought but is the very foundation of all of salvation. Without this “concrete” reality within the believer, all these other things that you call realities are not real at all.

    That something is necessary doesn’t make it sufficient. You’ve yet to show why imputation cannot take place in the orbit of union and how union can meet that which imputation contemplates. You’re not arguing. You’re simply pontificating about justice.

    Your analogies are too far afield to take seriously and the conclusions of your attempt at a reductio exceed your premises. In any case, imputation does not imply that God could have thought us righteous apart from the work of Christ. If you think it does, then please put forth a formal proof to that end rather than just sharing your opinion.The Reformed position maintains a full orbed salvation, which encompasses redemption accomplished and its application. Moreover, from the Reformed perspective imputation can be distinguished but not separated from union, therefore, to suggest that imputation from a Reformed perspective need not entail ontological considerations is simply unfounded and unjustified. Start proving some things.

  107. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 21, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Ron,

    I’m not saying that imputation is superfluous, but that to impute is to reckon things as they really are or will be. I’ve already given you an argument from reason as to why substantial reality is necessary to truth and justice. That was not pontification. I also asked you for your definition of reality. I think your dismissals are too quick and convenient.

    It’s not a question of whether God “could have thought us righteous apart from the work of Christ,” but whether that work of Christ could affect our standing apart from a real union with Him within substantial reality (within us). I say that God may sovereignly ignore the exigencies of substantial reality when it comes to these matters, but He cannot justly do so. Truth must correspond to reality—if you disagree, then argue your case—and justice is always a matter of truth.

  108. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 21, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Ron, you might find from me some of what you’re looking for by way of argument in post #3.

  109. Ron said,

    August 21, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Not at all, Ken. It’s just a longer version of the same question begging, false dichotomies and display of unaided reasoning.

  110. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 21, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Ok, Ron. Aid me, then. Show me how an argument should be made—like your argument, for example. If mine is just question begging, then how would you propose to raise your own claims above that level? Maybe if you set a good example for me to follow, I might be able to present something acceptable in form even if you disagree with it. What do you say?

  111. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 21, 2014 at 9:35 am

    It seems to me that I did substantively engage Turretin on a few points, after all. It was a summary, as I did not want to over burden the readers here with anything longer.

  112. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 21, 2014 at 9:45 am

    …Unless, of course, all your bluster is merely frustration over encountering a paradigm that doesn’t fit your categories and patterns of thinking. If that’s the case, then let’s take it one point at a time: name one question that I have begged, and I will substantively answer it.

  113. Ron said,

    August 21, 2014 at 10:23 am

    “I’ve already given you an argument from reason”

    An argument from unaided reason doesn’t get far with me, but in any case you were to have done more than that. A persuasive argument should entail showing why imputation must entail fiction and not reality. After all, that’s your claim. I’m just asking you to defend it. So, let me walk you through the process. What in your unaided reason prohibits God from reckoning sinners in Christ as righteous on the basis of Christ’s person and work through the mediation of the Savior’s effectual prayer? Moreover, why would such a divine accounting imply the conclusion of your reductio, that one could be constituted righteous outside of union with Christ and even apart from the actual occurrence of the historical work of the cross?

  114. Ron said,

    August 21, 2014 at 11:04 am

    “However, it [justification] is grounded in a union that is real and substantial, even when that union is in the future.”

    Why would imputation be any less real and substantial? I find it fictitious that one could be constituted perfectly righteous without it.

    Attending a conference out west. Signing off now.

  115. August 21, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Paul is not ambiguous in Romans 5: 12-19 that sin reigned from Adam to Moses and it was not and imitation of Adam or no law existed. It has to be imputation. So they one offense death reigned, so thru the obedience of one the free gift of righteousness came to the many. He says it 7 times in this section. The word make there is best translated appoint.

  116. Reed Here said,

    August 21, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Ken, no. 85: I was challenging RB’s criticism of the reformed position. He misrepresented it, and then criticized it on the basis of that misrepresentation. That just lacks integrity.

    Your comment basically hijacks my challenge and turns it into a charge of mere assertion on my part. Since I was not arguing for the position, but merely against its mischaracterization, that is an incorrect charge. Rather I was assuming agreed knowledge of the position, a charitable assumption based on how RB has been arguing.*

    Still, I will bear with the hijacking, at least for one response I hope helps. You offer this assumption without validation:

    BOQ The charge of fiction is valid in the sense that condemnation and righteousness cannot be justly transferred. Denying the validity of that is useless. EOQ

    I actually do deny the validity of that assertion and don’t agree that it is useless to do so.

    (2Co 5:18-21 ESV) 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
    20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
    21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    Sounds to me like God is arguing for the validity of a transfer, righteousness for condemnation.

    * If you or RB are that unfamiliar with the reformed position then does not integrity compel y’all to become more informed lest you be guilty of bearing false witness? I can assure you that there are many here who will graciously and kindly take time to help direct and guide you in becoming more informed what you are critiquing.

  117. Ron said,

    August 21, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Since I was not arguing for the position, but merely against its mischaracterization, that is an incorrect charge

    Reed,

    I almost posted something very similar.

    Please take a look at this and help me to understand whether I am understanding Ken. I’d appreciate TF and Lane’s thoughts too.Break is over…

    Rather, justification is grounded on the absolute certainty of the divinely promised salvific union with Christ for those of faith. Justification is legal (forensic), and thus it is seemingly putative. However, it is grounded in a union that is real and substantial, even when that union is in the future. Justification provides the initial legal judgment of our salvation, but the union with Christ provides the substance and reality of our salvation—the ground and basis for our justification.

    You allow for one to be reckoned as righteous prior to the consummation, which is to say on the basis of what the future holds. Does this comply with your standard of reality at it relates to justice? No, it doesn’t, at least without denying your own strictures as I understand them. After all, on your terms one cannot be constituted and declared according to a non-reality; yet that is what this loophole of yours would seem to allow for, that God can justify sinners prior to the *reality* of their justification. (Now that would be a fiction.) To say that the present justification is somehow “grounded” in the future reality of the person being justified is to play both sides. Your loophole lacks the required corresponding real-time reality of what the declaration “not guilty”contemplates. Your truth does not correspond to your reality.

    Christ was the lamb slain before the foundation of the world, so on that basis I can understand God counting men as righteous based upon the future sacrifice of Christ (yet even they were awaiting the cross, even in the grave). However, Scripture, as opposed to unaided reason, does not depict us as existentially united to Christ in this eternal way. Rather, Scripture informs that the elect are only identified in Christ before creation while not yet baptized into His death. Consequently, Christ’s treasury of merit is not limited by time. God could charge against it so to speak by way of reckoning and imputation through the real-time reality of faith in the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. However, given that your view of justification entails ontology only, there is nothing to charge against since the reality of existential union has not yet occurred. Whereas Christ is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, we are not the existentially united before the foundation of the world. Rather, we are truly children of wrath, just like the rest.

    Hey, I love union with Christ and when I began to see its beauty I couldn’t think of anything else…

  118. Ron said,

    August 21, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Let me clarify this: “However, given that your view of justification entails ontology only, there is nothing to charge against since the reality of existential union has not yet occurred. Whereas Christ is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, we are not the existentially united before the foundation of the world.”

    The reality for OT saints of existential union with the Second Adam raised from the dead had not yet occurred. Accordingly, on your terms the reality of not being raised with Christ would not correspond to the verdict. And for everyone at all times, the reality of consummation has not yet occurred – yet you seem to require consummation given your reference to an initial legal judgment.

    Just curious Ken, is this understanding of yours found in any confessional document?

  119. August 21, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Do you still agree?

    Ken (Re: 104),

    Yes. To me what you so eloquently state is just the historic Reformed position on union with Christ, and it emphasizes and illustrates how right Lane is in the contentions that he makes in his original post above. The Roman Catholic critique about “legal fiction” has no basis in reality (no pun intended).

    Concerning philosophic nominalism in the late Medieval era and early Reformation eras, from my perspective this philosophical school played an important part in correcting the philosophic realism that was such a dominant ideological force at this point in time. On issues of ecclesiology, soteriology, and other matters it was the universal concepts which shaped their thinking, and individual instantiations of these concepts were often forgotten. So for instance, for the Medievals “church” was all about the universal Church as it had existed for all of the history of God’s people, and individual congregations and individuals within the congregation often received little thought (this is why I talked about the typical Medieval theologian having difficulty grappling with the concept of an individual Christian getting born again). My contention is that philosophic nominalism laid the philosophical groundwork that helped Reformation ideas to take root. The promises of God to His people were to individuals, to congregations, and to the Church universal equally. So to the question of universals that is sometimes abbreviated by speaking of the problem of the One and the Many, I would say that both the One and the Many must be held as equally valid. Universals are important but so are individual instantiations of these universals.

    I would just briefly add that based on what I say above, it is not correct to label Reformed Protestants as nominalists. If we were nominalists we would deny the reality or at least the relevance of universal concepts. Philosophically speaking we are neither nominalists nor realists.

    Today the modern American church has swung completely to the other side. The radical nominalism in American Evangelicalism allows dismissing the universal Church as having any relevance, and in some cases goes beyond this to reject the local church as having any necessary relevance, favoring instead a Christianity governed solely by the individual.

    Cheers….

  120. August 21, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Andrew #119,

    You said,

    I would just briefly add that based on what I say above, it is not correct to label Reformed Protestants as nominalists. If we were nominalists we would deny the reality or at least the relevance of universal concepts. Philosophically speaking we are neither nominalists nor realists.

    Yes. This is very important.

    I’ve stated this elsewhere but when I asked Richard Muller a question at WSCAL about whether or not the Reformed tradition was Nominalist he looked inquisitively at me and stated that such things were ever only really discussed in Jesuit apologetic circles in the 19th century. There is no denying that nominalism, “laid the philosophical groundwork that helped Reformation ideas to take root.” as you so aptly put it, but to equate them is historical, theological, and philosophically misguided.

    Bryan makes a similar error in #74 (he doesn’t claim that Reformed theologian is inherently nominalist, but based on other things he’s written I believe it’s lurking)

    because of its nominalism, Reformed theology does not have that [ontological] metaphysical resource as an option

    There are a number of problems with this statement, as others have pointed out (i.e. it’s loaded with RC assumptions and ambiguous language), but in conjunction with Andrew’s comment, it’s important that people understand that equating the Reformed tradition with Nominalism and then falsifying Nominalism is wrongheaded on multiple levels. It’s very important to distinguish between philosophical influences upon Protestantism and the philosophical foundation of Protestantism.

  121. De Maria said,

    August 21, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Ron said,
    August 21, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Pasting Webster’s quote after Lane’s does not tell us why their statements are not compatible. Please argue your point and don’t just assert it.

    1. I asked a question.
    2. Read the exchanged messages. Then you’ll understand the context within which I asked the question.

    Do you make it a habit to jump into discussions without knowing what is being discussed as you did in message #94?

  122. Bryan Cross said,

    August 21, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Brandon,

    when I asked Richard Muller a question at WSCAL about whether or not the Reformed tradition was Nominalist he looked inquisitively at me and stated that such things were ever only really discussed in Jesuit apologetic circles in the 19th century.

    The notion that if the alleged property z of a position was only really discussed by x group of persons in y century, then it does not have that property, performatively presupposes nominalism. It looks at how often the position was *labeled* z, rather than whether the position has property z.

    Bryan makes a similar error in #74 (he doesn’t claim that Reformed theologian is inherently nominalist, but based on other things he’s written I believe it’s lurking)

    What would need to be shown is that my claim *is* an error. Asserting that it is an error doesn’t *show* that it is an error. (Anything can be asserted.)

    There are a number of problems with this statement, as others have pointed out (i.e. it’s loaded with RC assumptions and ambiguous language),

    Any claim can be said to have a “number of problems.” The question is whether the claim is true. And my claim is true. Reformed theology is nominalist; that’s precisely how there can be such a thing (in Reformed theology) as God (i.e. Truth Himself) declaring something righteous (i.e. putting the ‘righteous’ label on it) while within itself it is (and remains everlastingly) unrighteous.

    but in conjunction with Andrew’s comment, it’s important that people understand that equating the Reformed tradition with Nominalism and then falsifying Nominalism is wrongheaded on multiple levels.

    One common feature of nominalism is attempting to refute by means of applying labels (e.g. “wrongheaded”), rather than by *showing* a claim to be false.

    It’s very important to distinguish between philosophical influences upon Protestantism and the philosophical foundation of Protestantism.

    For the reason explained just above, insofar as simul iustus et peccator is at the heart of Protestantism, nominalism is at the heart of Protestantism. If some Protestants are inconsistent (e.g. by acknowledging essences in other areas), that doesn’t show that Protestantism is not nominalist; it simply shows that the nominalism of their Protestantism is not consistent with their realism in these other areas.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  123. De Maria said,

    August 21, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Tim Harris said,
    August 21, 2014 at 7:43 am

    I think what dM is highlighting is Lane: “we don’t believe [regeneration] happens in justification” vs. Webster: “no justification apart from regeneration.” He sees a contradiction between “non in” and “not apart from.”

    However, if this is confusing, it is only because of the telegraphic form, and perhaps using the same words with different force. The concepts could be stated in different words that would relieve and clarify the tension; and have been, throughout this thread. Which, as has been pointed out, dM himself could do if he was a little more thoroughly grounded. DM, I might suggest a study of G I Williamson’s commentary on the Westminster Confession. It is relatively short but very clear.

    Thanks for the irenic tone of your message. And thanks for your suggestion. However, I prefer to compare everything to Scripture. I am a devout Catholic and I find all Catholic Doctrine in Scripture.

    And I don’t find any Protestant doctrine which is in disagreement with Catholic Doctrine, in Scripture. In fact, many times, Protestant doctrine blatantly disagrees with Scripture.

    That is what I do. If a Protestant tells me that something he says is in Scripture, I want to see it there.

    Does that sound fair?

  124. theoldadam said,

    August 21, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    You must be reading a different Book than we are. I don’t seem to be able to find Purgatory or Indulgences or co-operative salvation in mine.

  125. Ron said,

    August 21, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    You reject Tim’s suggestion because you say all you need is Scripture. What escapes you is Tim’s suggestion was intended to aid you in understanding Reformed theology so that you might find that William Webster, D.A. Carson and Lane are not at odds with each other. So, let’s pretend no longer that you want to interact intelligently with Reformed theology.

  126. Tim Harris said,

    August 21, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Well sure, but it’s also a bit naive. We are not talking about differences that can be resolved piece-meal. It is a systematic conflict, and that can only be resolved at the system level.

    Plus, in one sense, I’m glad to see you thumpin’ your Bible as good as any proof-texting fundy, but is that really an honest summary of the method propounded by your communion (e.g. rejection of sola scriptura). So you are claiming to do something that you can’t really do — unless you bring the “system” back in, in which case it wasn’t really settled with a simple proof text after all.

  127. Ron said,

    August 21, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Yes, Tim, but we should not lose sight of the context of your offer, What is below I sent from my iPhone but it’s “awaiting moderation.” Here it is again from a PC.

    You reject Tim’s suggestion because you say all you need is Scripture. What escapes you is Tim’s suggestion was intended to aid you in understanding Reformed theology so that you might find that William Webster, D.A. Carson and Lane are not at odds with each other. So, let’s pretend no longer that you want to interact intelligently with Reformed theology.

  128. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 21, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Reed, #116,

    You stated:

    I was challenging RB’s criticism of the reformed position. He misrepresented it, and then criticized it on the basis of that misrepresentation. That just lacks integrity.

    RB’s #55 comment was opposed to your view, but why assume that any misrepresentation is intentional? Often in theological debates, the most disputed point is whether something is in fact a misrepresentation or is an accurate representation inconsistently denied.

    Let’s look at your #61, which was your first comment in this discussion:

    Roberty-Bob, no. 55: the reformed position is not a bald declaration of “not-guilty”. Do you really not understand the position or are you just refusing to acknowledge it?

    The position is a declaration of “not-guilty” of an acknowledged guilty party – on the basis of an innocent party assuming the guilt!!!! There is no fiction in that. It is all fact.

    There is no reason not to conclude that in your second paragraph, you offer a refutation of RB’s objection that the Reformed position (in your words) is “a bald declaration of ‘not-guilty.'” And what do you offer that is supposed to refute the objection? Nothing other than to offer that the guilty party acknowledges his guilt and the declaration proceeds on the basis of an innocent party assuming the guilt. But you offered no substance to show how these two things mitigate the “baldness” of the declaration. You just assert them as if they did. When I asked you, “Where’s the substance” in that? You state:

    Your comment basically hijacks my challenge and turns it into a charge of mere assertion on my part. Since I was not arguing for the position, but merely against its mischaracterization, that is an incorrect charge. Rather I was assuming agreed knowledge of the position, a charitable assumption based on how RB has been arguing.*

    So then, am I to understand you as claiming that any substance lacking in your answer was assumed by you to be already known by RB and so unnecessary to include in your response? —and, therefore, the most effective part of your argument was already known by RB? And how could I know that you made such an assumption? I attempted to prod you for substance (since that’s what substantive discussions are made of), and you say I’ve “hijacked” your challenge. Then you offer a footnote:

    * If you or RB are that unfamiliar with the reformed position then does not integrity compel y’all to become more informed lest you be guilty of bearing false witness? I can assure you that there are many here who will graciously and kindly take time to help direct and guide you in becoming more informed what you are critiquing.

    “Guilty of bearing false witness?” That accusation is not used by those who argue substantively and fairly, but is used by those who resort to personal attacks. I can always use more knowledge; but don’t assume too much.

    Then, you offer this:

    [...] You offer this assumption without validation:

    BOQ The charge of fiction is valid in the sense that condemnation and righteousness cannot be justly transferred. Denying the validity of that is useless. EOQ

    I actually do deny the validity of that assertion and don’t agree that it is useless to do so.

    (2Co 5:18-21 ESV) 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
    20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
    21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    Sounds to me like God is arguing for the validity of a transfer, righteousness for condemnation.

    “IN CHRIST God was reconciling the world to Himself…” and, “…so that IN HIM we might become the righteousness of God.” I see no declaration based merely “on the basis of an innocent party assuming the guilt.” Rather I see the declaration based on the fact that we are placed IN HIM. Either the placing of the believer IN HIM is simply a declared state and a part of the declaration of righteousness, or it is an act and state within substantial reality. That, Reed, was the substance that I had hoped to bring out. So your cited text does NOT support your denial. A transfer of morality based on a mere declaration is not one grounded on just reasons within substantial reality.

    As for Reformed theology, it varies to a degree among Reformed folks. It certainly has varied regarding Adamic imputation, from what William Shedd called elder Calvinism to what he called later Calvinism:

    According to the elder Calvinism, as represented by Paraeus and those of his class, original sin propagated in every individual rests upon original sin inherent in every individual; original sin inherent in every individual rests upon original sin imputed to every individual; and original sin imputed to every individual rests upon original sin committed by all men as a common nature in Adam. On this scheme, the justice and propriety of each particular and of the whole are apparent. The first sin, which it must be remembered consisted of both an internal lust and an external act, of both an inclination and a volition, is justly imputed to the common nature because it was voluntarily committed by it, is justly inherent in the common nature because justly imputed, and is justly propagated with the common nature because justly inherent. This scheme if taken entire is ethically consistent. But if mutilated by the omission of one of more particulars, its ethical consistency is gone. To impute the first sin without prior participation in it is unjust. To make it inherent without prior imputation is unjust. To propagate it without prior inherence is unjust. The derangement of the scheme by omission has occurred in the later Calvinism… The advocate of representative imputation deranges it by imputing original sin as inherent, but not as committed, except in the deluding sense of nominal and putative commission…

    Just as later Calvinists had no problem with an imputation of Adam’s sin to a posterity that had no real union in him other than what was “baldly” declared by God, they have no problem (many of them) basing the justifying imputation on a union with Christ that is primarily “federal” and just as putative as the Adamic union. But since views do vary, then I will say that to the extent that the justifying imputation is seen as grounded on a real union with Christ, then the Biblical view of reality is maintained.

  129. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 21, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Kevin, #115,

    you said:

    Paul is not ambiguous in Romans 5: 12-19 that sin reigned from Adam to Moses and it was not and imitation of Adam or no law existed. It has to be imputation. So they one offense death reigned, so thru the obedience of one the free gift of righteousness came to the many. He says it 7 times in this section. The word make there is best translated appoint.

    Sin and death did not reign because all men imitated Adam, but it reigned because all men had a responsible, corporate participation in Adam’s sin. As Augustine taught, the moral nature of all men was in Adam originally, chose to sin in Adam, and has been propagated to all men in the depraved condition that resulted. As the early Reformed church taught, Adam’s sin was imputed to us because it was ours.

  130. August 21, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Ken, Men are sinners by hereditary right. I don’t think I said men sinned because they imitated Adam.

  131. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 21, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Andrew, #119,

    Your post is informative. I had not traced out those aspects of realism and nominalism. But I must still disagree with this:

    I would just briefly add that based on what I say above, it is not correct to label Reformed Protestants as nominalists. If we were nominalists we would deny the reality or at least the relevance of universal concepts. Philosophically speaking we are neither nominalists nor realists.

    Even Shedd sees the nominalism, as he said in my quote of him in #127:

    The advocate of representative imputation deranges it by imputing original sin as inherent, but not as committed, except in the deluding sense of nominal and putative commission…

    Charles Hodge said (Princeton Essays):

    Adam was our representative; as a public person, we sinned in him in virtue of a union resulting from a covenant or contract. Let it be noted, that this is the only union here [Westminister Larger Catechism 22] mentioned. The bond arising from our natural relation to him as our parent is not even referred to.
    (Shedd, Dogmatic, 3rd ed., p. 453)

    And to Hodge, there was nothing immaterial to the natural relation between parent and child. Of course, this is on the Adam side of it, and not justification. But it speaks to the kind of nominalistic lens that has developed and does affect how union with Christ is viewed—as well as how justice and reality and God’s relation to both are viewed. Millard Erickson explains the difference between the views of God’s righteousness. He contrasts the [Platonic] realists and the nominalists, and concludes that “the biblical position falls between [the two]” [Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990), p. 287]:

    A question which has been a topic of debate down through the history of Christian thought is, What makes certain actions right and others wrong? In medieval times one school of thought, the realists, maintained that God chooses the right because it is right. What he calls good could not have been designated otherwise, for there is an intrinsic good in kindness and an inherent evil in cruelty. Another school of thought, the nominalists, asserted that it is God’s choice which makes an action right. God does not choose an action because of some intrinsic value in it. Rather, it is his sovereign choice of that action which makes it right. He could have chosen otherwise; if he had done so, the good would be quite different from what it is. Actually, the biblical position falls between realism and nominalism. The right is not something arbitrary, so that cruelty and murder would have been good if God had so declared. In making decisions, God does follow an objective standard of right and wrong, a standard which is part of the very structure of reality. But that standard to which God adheres is not external to God—it is his own nature. He decides in accordance with reality, and that reality is himself.

    This “Biblical position,” with the added qualification that God’s nature as a moral standard is immutable from eternity past so that God currently makes no “new” moral decision, is the position of Biblical realism. And while representationists (those who hold to a nominalistic federal representation) might not explicitly hold that God’s standards of righteousness are arbitrarily defined by whatever actions He sovereignly chooses to do, such a nominalist view is logically involved in an arbitrarily designated representation that results in men being condemned for the sin of another man (with whom they have no connection other than the physical). This frequently comes out in discussions between realists and representationists. The realist will object that condemning any man for a sin that some other man committed goes against justice and righteousness; and the representationist will reply, “Who are you, O man, to tell God what is right?” In other words, if God does something, it is for us to assume that it is right and not to question it. However, since what exactly it is that God does in this case remains in dispute, then the question is begged. This begging of the question amounts to the representationists claiming exemption from being challenged about anything that they propose God does, since anything that they propose that God does must automatically be assumed to be righteous merely because it is He who does it.

    God deals with men according to reality, rather than merely shuffling categories in His mind in spite of a contradicting reality. The difference is that the former is required for real justice, while the latter displays not justice but sovereignty clothed in the mere name of justice.

  132. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 21, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Kevin, I was agreeing with you that men do not imitate Adam, but then offering a better explanation for the imputation. What do you mean by “hereditary right?”

  133. August 22, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Ken,

    You disagree with my position and then adduce Hodge and Shedd, but your comment was in response to what I had to say about the theologians from the early Reformation era and that period which lead up to it. You have not given me enough context from Hodge and Shedd to make any judgement, but you could be right and perhaps some of these folks tended towards a union which was only contractual. But this is not the theology of the Reformation, right?

    On Erickson, sounds like he got things right – good quote!

    God deals with men according to reality, rather than merely shuffling categories in His mind in spite of a contradicting reality. The difference is that the former is required for real justice, while the latter displays not justice but sovereignty clothed in the mere name of justice.

    I think you state things well here. I wish that some of our Catholic friends who see historic Protestantism as nominalistic could read and comprehend the things you say here and in #104. If they could really get their minds around the fact that the Reformers believed that God could declare men righteous because they really were righteous they might start to rethink their position. Some of the RC’s don’t seem to care about what we think or what the Reformers thought, but there are some well meaning Catholics who really try to understand us. Unfortunately they are far too few.

    Cheers…..

  134. Bob S said,

    August 22, 2014 at 1:25 am

    93 I didn’t see anything from Scripture in that spiel.

    Then Rom. 4:17 isn’t Scripture. It reads:

    (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

    IOW what Christ said to the Pharisees is applicable:

    John 9:41  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

    122 For the reason explained just above, insofar as simul iustus et peccator is at the heart of Protestantism, nominalism is at the heart of Protestantism.

    But mistaking possession of the apostolic bones for apostolic doctrine is not the heart of romanism, if not a so called apostolic superstition succession – Avignon anyone? – is apostolic doctrine?

    But then again, in light of Rom. 4:17 maybe nominalism is at the heart of at least the Book of Romans. Ya think?

    IOW mebbe somebody needs to revise their philosophical paradigm so that it isn’t so blatantly in contradiction to Scripture. If we are to take every thought captive, that includes both realism and nominalism. Which is not to say that philosophy is not a handmaid and help to theology, but only that if idolatry, superstition and self righteousness are at the heart of Romanism, chances are we’re not going to get much help from that quarter by way of a constructive critique on the basis of Scripture.
    Neither do we believe in luck.

  135. Bob S said,

    August 22, 2014 at 1:41 am

    122 The notion that if the alleged property z of a position was only really discussed by x group of persons in y century, then it does not have that property, performatively presupposes nominalism. It looks at how often the position was *labeled* z, rather than whether the position has property z. . . .

    What would need to be shown is that my claim *is* an error. Asserting that it is an error doesn’t *show* that it is an error. (Anything can be asserted.) . . .
    Any claim can be said to have a “number of problems.” The question is whether the claim is true. And my claim is true.

    Mark the last. “My claim is true”. Yet the sophistry continues:

    Reformed theology is nominalist; that’s precisely how there can be such a thing (in Reformed theology) as God (i.e. Truth Himself) declaring something righteous (i.e. putting the ‘righteous’ label on it) while within itself it is (and remains everlastingly) unrighteous.

    Rather before Mr. Cross can claim that his claim is true, he needs to make good on his claim that Reformed theology teaches that the justified sinner “remains everlastingly unrighteous”.

    Until then the discussion – or what passes for it – remains on everlasting hold. As in why bother talking to somebody who can only assert that his claim is not an error when he can’t show that it is not in error?

    But I do remember starting out the day with “Show and Tell” in first grade with Sister Mary Steven at St. Peter’s Grade School. What I don’t remember is seeing any apostolic bones though. Plenty of puppies and kittens, but no bones.
    Oh well.

  136. theoldadam said,

    August 22, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Very good, Bob.

    These Catholics refuse to believe God’s Word. “Hath God really said?” is right out of the mouth of the snake..was it not?

    So then, what’s left? ‘You’d better get busy climbing our ladder’…that’s what’s left.

  137. johnshelley said,

    August 22, 2014 at 8:50 am

    A light conversation between the two opposing perspectives will reveal similar terminology and phrases that sound as if we might agree on more than one thinks. The centrality of the problem lies mostly in the way in which the term justification is understood in scripture. Is it a one time act? Or is it a process? Is it a declaration of a new state of being? Or is it a word that is used interchangeably with sanctification. The problem is complicated by a seemingly logical conclusion that flows from the idea of a person being justified in the Protestant sense. The conclusion begs the question: “You can do whatever you want, right?” This, I think, is an area where the argument possibly goes awry. A red herring.1 Though it is a distraction, I think it might be worth analyzing. Before I do, I want to clarify what appears to be the Catholic position first and then respond.

    The Catholic understanding of salvation blends Justification and Sanctification into one. As a result there is confusion (in the mind of the Protestant) over the issue of works. I have provided a few quotes below from two Catholic authoritative bodies: councils and catechism.

    “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” (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9).” (CARM)

    “If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.”2 (Canon 14). (CARM)

    “Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ. It is granted us through Baptism. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who justifies us. It has for its goal the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life. It is the most excellent work of God’s mercy,” (CCC, par. 2020). (CARM)

    “Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as ‘the second plank (of salvation) after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace,” (CCC, par. 1446). (CARM)

    To understand this doctrine [Indulgences] and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.84 3 (CCC 1472)

    Simplified, justification, according to Catholicism functions as a doorway where one may enter it only by the saving grace of Jesus Christ and walk upon the path beyond the door by the grace of Jesus. Justification, therefore, is not a declaration, but a state of being in grace, rather than a metaphysical change of identity–though the righteousness of Christ is attributed to man–it is more so in the form of a title than any actual inward change. Being in sate of grace is temporary and dependent entirely on one’s behavior, actions, and works. In this way, justification is the door way and the path of becoming sinless. One walks the path by grace through the sacraments (since they are the means of grace). As a result, the Christian’s obedience, love to God, good works, and general benevolence to virtue has a two-fold motivation. The first is to love and know God and the second is to secure one’s salvation, since it is evidently forever in question–there is never certainty. My personal conviction is the latter becomes the central focus for living well, because fear motivates one to keep his soul safe. Since such a fear exists, capitalizing on it would be very tempting. Johann Tetzel’s chime, “as soon as a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs” becomes the hallmark card for Catholicism’s desire to use fear against people. It worked well–St. Peter’s Basilica is beautiful. Again, we have another possible red herring. Just because the doctrine of indulgences was abused in history does not mean its not true. Agreed. However, the doctrine of indulgences creates a setting like a playwright’s stage where the actors perform–not because they love the play or acting but because if they don’t the souls of their loved ones are in danger. What kind of person are you if you have it in your power to help your loved ones with a small purchase of an indulgence, but choose to not do so?

    The entire focus shifts from obeying God because one wants to love and glorify him to what can I do to take care of my soul or the soul of a loved one. The audacity of such a doctrine removes Christian piety and in its stead places a system of control where you plug in the necessary factors into an equation and get the results you want. It is the difference between in inward focus and and outward focus. The protestant view of justification, I think, is more biblical in the sense that it fits within the greater gospel narrative of scripture. The protestant view follows below:

    Justification is:

    “Justification is a divine act where God declares the sinner to be innocent of his sins. It is a legal action in that God declares the sinner righteous — as though he has satisfied the Law of God. This justification is based entirely on the sacrifice of Christ by His shed blood: “…having now been justified by His blood…” (Rom. 5:9).1 Justification is a gift of grace (Rom. 3:24; Titus 3:7) that comes through faith (Rom. 3:28; 5:1).2 Christians receive Jesus (John 1:12) and put their faith-filled trust in what Jesus did on the cross (Isaiah 53:12; 1 Pet. 2:24) and in so doing are justified by God. The Bible states that justification is not by works (Rom. 3:20, 28; 4:5; Eph. 2:8-9) because our righteous deeds are filthy rags before God (Isaiah 64:6). Therefore, we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.” (CARM)

    “Built into justification is the idea of imputation. “To impute means “to set something to one’s account.” In the Bible imputation is used as a legal term in several different ways. For example, when Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon, he told Philemon that if Onesimus had incurred any debts they were to be put on Paul’s account (Philemon 17,18). When a groom says to a bride “with all my worldly good I thee endow”, he is talking about imputation, placing to the bride’s account all of his property. The Greek verb for imputation is logidzomai. It is used more than 40 times in the New Testament, ten times in Romans 4 alone, the imputation chapter. In the KVJ of Romans 4 it’s translated “counted” in 4:3,5, “reckoned” in 4:4,10, and “imputed” in 4:6,8,11,22,23,24.”4

    Christian Liberty:

    “The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the gospel consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law; and in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin, from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation; as also in their free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto him, not out of slavish fear, but a childlike love, and a willing mind. All which were common also to believers under the law; but under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further enlarged in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, to which the Jewish Church was subjected; and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of.” (Chapter XX, Westminster Confession)

    When, Christ’s righteousness is counted to us by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9) we take on a new identity within a legal status (imputed righteousness) between us and God. The tearing down of the wall of hostility provides an opportunity for man to participate in worship, obedience, sanctification for the first time without worry or fear that his salvation is at stake. Because of the liberty that is gained because of Christ’s works and death, not mine, I am declared righteous in the sight of God. Here, in the Protestant view, justification is separate from sanctification. My participation in relational communion, obedience, worship, submission, and community of the church is the sanctification of my heart and mind (soul). Though my legal status before God is already declared, I am still in need to reflect the holiness of Christ in the way I live. I am a new creation and I sin. As the holy spirit whispers to my heart and guides my mind, I am being transformed and empowered to repent, submit, change, and mature. All of this, again, takes place without any fear that my salvation is in jeopardy.

    So in answer to the red herring that challenges this profound freedom with the declaration that the Protestant has total freedom to do as he pleases, “you can do what you want,” I say, yes, this is true, however, if one has truly submitted his life to the Lord with a sincere desire to be in fellowship with the Father, justification will not prompt disobedience but gratitude, humility, and most of all love for God.

    __________________________

    1 I say it is a distraction because if one rejects the Protestant view of Justification on the account that they don’t appreciate the effects or consequences of being justified it is like rejecting the existence of God because his existence does not appear to be meaningful.

    2 Etymology: Late Latin anathemat-, anathema, from Greek, thing devoted to evil, curse

    3 Council of Trent

    4 http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics/imputation.html

    CARM (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry – http://www.carm.org/religious-movements/roman-catholicism/roman-catholic-view-justification

  138. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 22, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Andrew,

    Right, the theology of the Reformation was not nominal as regarding Adam. The old Augustinian headship was brought back. A form of realistic thinking ruled the day, but which was much more developed on the Adam side than the Christ side of that parallel. In that, I submit that further progress is possible. As Samuel Baird attests, the importance of the “mystical union” with Christ to justification is sustained in both Scripture and the “standards:”

    [...] in the system [of Charles Hodge], the relation which in the Scriptures and our standards, the mystical union sustains to justification is ignored, and the doctrine represented as complete without it, and to the exclusion of it. [...] According to our understanding of the Scriptures, it was provided in the eternal covenant that the elect should be actually ingrafted into Christ by his Spirit, and their acceptance and justification is by virtue of this their actual union to him. “This principle is not to be so understood as though the character thus conveyed were the meritorious cause of the relations predicated; as if the believer were justified by the personal righteousness which he receives through the power of Christ’s Spirit given to him. On the contrary, the union, which is constituted by virtue of the transmission of the nature, itself conveys a proprietary title in the moral and legal relations of the head; whilst the efficient principle which thus unites, is also fruitful in effects appropriate to the nature whence it flows. Thus, the sin of Adam, and the righteousness of Christ are severally imputed to their seed, by virtue of the union, constituted in the one case by the principle of natural generation, and in the other, by ‘the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,’ the Holy Spirit, the principle of regeneration. [...]

    So, here’s a 19th century Presby who finds that justification “is by virtue of their actual union” with Christ—that identification with Christ is grounded on our “inbeing” in Him and being “actually ingrafted into Christ by his Spirit.” Yes, he may not have been the usual Presby of that day, but his differences stemmed from his Augustinian approach to anthropology. And the main dispute with the fellow he’s arguing with regards whether or not there was a real inbeing in Adam, by which God’s covenant with Adam was a covenant with all the descendants yet present within him (immaterially and seminally).

    When the Reformed church moved off this foundation of Augustine, and abandoned the idea that a just condemning imputation demands a real participation in the crime, they left behind the importance of substantial reality to justice—and with it, much of the ability to see the substance in God’s federal or covenantal methods. That’s why leaving it behind took some time, as they first transitioned into what G.P. Fisher called the Augustino-Federal theory, accepting a covenantal theology while still maintaining the reality of an immaterial participation in Adam’s sin. The Federal or Covenant headship is like like the shell of an egg. The substance within the shell is the immaterial union with the head. Without this spiritual substance, Federal headship is only a shell of truth. It works as far as it goes, but it offers no depth as to why it works—for that we must look to union with the head. But even that has been nominalized, so we must distinguish between a federal union and a real immaterial union.

    Therefore, it’s only natural that our immaterial union with Christ should lose its prominence while the federal imputation is emphasized. And the fault lies with the Realists as well. The excessively philosophical and naturalistic terms that are characteristic of most realists have served to obscure this parallel relationship of union to identity. Viewing the union in Adam as a union of species and a union of nature has hindered the recognition of the parallel of spiritual unions, and provided a reason for objections by the nominalists. John Murray makes such an objection:

    The analogy instituted in Romans 5:12-19 (cf. I Cor. 15:22) presents a formidable objection to the realist construction. It is admitted by the realist that there is no “realistic” union between Christ and the justified. That is to say, there is no human nature, specifically and numerically one, existing in its unity in Christ, which is individualized in those who are the beneficiaries of Christ’s righteousness. On realist premises, therefore, a radical disparity must be posited between the character of the union that exists between Adam and his posterity, on the one hand, and the union that exists between Christ and those who are his, on the other… This sustained emphasis not only upon the one man Adam and the one man Christ but also upon the one trespass and the one righteous act points to a basic identity in respect of modus operandi. But if, in the one case, we have a oneness that is focused in the unity of the human nature, which realism posits, and, in the other case, a oneness that is focused in the one man Jesus Christ, where no such unity exists, it is difficult not to believe that discrepancy enters at the very point where similitude must be maintained. For, after all, on realist assumptions, it is not our union with Adam that is the crucial consideration in our involvement in his sin but our involvement in the sin of that human nature which existed in Adam. And what the parallelism of Romans 5:12-19 would indicate is that the one sin of the one man Adam is analogous on the side of condemnation to the one righteousness of the one man Jesus Christ on the side of justification. The kind of relationship that obtains in the one case obtains in the other. And how can this be if the kind of relationship is so different in respect of the nature of the union subsisting?

    There is indeed a realistic union between Christ and the justified. It is a union of spirit. The parallel has an inverse quality: the spirit of Adam is propagated to all, while the spirits of the many are collected back into one head, Christ. We are generated out of Adam and regenerated into Christ. The “modus operandi” is that of a shared personal identity. We are joined to Adam’s sin because we were joined to Adam at the time of his sin; but we are joined to Christ’s death because we are joined to Christ now.

    Anyway, my objections in this area are not to Reformed theology, but to what it became as it moved away from Augustinian realism and toward a contractualized federalism. By moving back from that, a deeper understanding of the mystical union within us can be found by parallel. Christ is not merely interceding at the right hand of God in heaven, but rather, He is the Intercessor WITHIN, standing in us on earth and reaching to the court of heaven! That is all I’m really trying to get people to see. I don’t know if I’ve addressed your questions or not. Maybe I should just stick to working on my book and leave you people alone here. I’ve participated in some excellent and irenic discussions here on Genesis and creation, so I thought I’d wade into this.

    Be blessed! I need to take a few days off to watch my 70-yr-old Mom graduate college…

  139. August 22, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Ke, all humanity is user a death sentence because of what Adam did.

  140. Reed Here said,

    August 22, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Ken H: as I feared you might, simply more hijacking.

    Plain and simple to you and RB, he asserted a position that IS NOT the reformed position. I did not assume it was intentional, as is CLEAR in my question to him, and my offer to you of backgrounding.

    If you want to act with integrity and actually debate what we believe, I’m good with that. If not, then you are at best a time waster. And yes, consider how bearing false witness might indeed apply.

    No need to respond further to me. Others with more time can interact.

  141. August 22, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Hey Ken,

    I’d recommend “Imputation and Impartation” by William B. Evans. It traces some of the tension in Reformed theology, and based on what you’ve written I think it shows that the debates within the Reformed community are a bit broader than you’ve characterized them. There was a real dispute on whether or not Warfield, Hodge, et. al., were actually departing from the Reformed tradition on justification or not. Evans shows that Hodge was even willing to say that Calvin was wrong on union and justification–a rather startling admission that showed there was at least divergence from Calvin.

    As my prof’s at WSCAL helpfully pointed out, disagreeing with Calvin is not tantamount to disagreeing with the Reformed tradition–the tradition is much bigger than Calvin–yet I still think Evan’s point packs some pretty serious punch. There were different trajectories in Reformed theology regarding union, justification, sanctification, and even things like mediate and immediate imputation of Adam’s sin. All of these “controversies” help to contextualize some of the issues you’ve raised in your posts and may help broaden the discussion a bit.

    Thanks for your comments, I’ve enjoyed reading them!

  142. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 22, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Brandon,

    Thank you for the recommendation. I will gladly read it. And thank you for reading enough of my comments here to get something out of them. Anyone wanting to can email me, ken_hamrickhotmail.com

  143. August 22, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Bryan,

    Feel free to respond to my last comment, but I’m not getting sucked into this everlasting vortex.

    You said,

    The notion that if the alleged property z of a position was only really discussed by x group of persons in y century, then it does not have that property, performatively presupposes nominalism. It looks at how often the position was *labeled* z, rather than whether the position has property z.

    I’m really not sure what you’re talking about, though it seems you’ve again twisted an argument in a way that makes for the application of some fallacy. If you’re fine rescuitating a Jesuit apologetic that an expert in the field says no one believes anymore because it is poor scholarship, be my guest. To be honest, Muller didn’t really care about the Roman Catholic apologetic—it didn’t even get brought up—he was just flabbergasted that people would still talk that way about the Reformation because he told me it had been thoroughly discredited. He wasn’t concerned about the apologetic consequences, he just wanted to history to be accurate in its own right.

    You continue,

    What would need to be shown is that my claim *is* an error. Asserting that it is an error doesn’t *show* that it is an error. (Anything can be asserted.)

    If I took this same tactic Bryan, no dialogue would even be possible. You asserting that my claim is an error doesn’t show it’s an error. And we get on this merry-go-round again trading assertions about what is an assertion, who is in error, and who is being unhelpful by hand-waving. This is most unhelpful and unless you drop this tactic you will continue to stifle dialogue and cause people to get exceedingly frustrated with you.

    You go on to say,

    Any claim can be said to have a “number of problems.” The question is whether the claim is true. And my claim is true. Reformed theology is nominalist; that’s precisely how there can be such a thing (in Reformed theology) as God (i.e. Truth Himself) declaring something righteous (i.e. putting the ‘righteous’ label on it) while within itself it is (and remains everlastingly) unrighteous.

    As many have pointed out to you, you are misconstruing the Reformed teaching as if the Reformed do not have a robust doctrine of union with Christ. None of the benefits of Christ come to us outside of him. The imputation of Christ’s righteousness only comes as we are united to him, but imputation and infusion of grace are the “duplex gratia,” yet your characterization severs the fact that everyone (even those who are on the “other side” of the union debate, like J.V. Fesko) acknowledges: none of the benefits of Christ come to us outside of our union with him. There are *some* Lutheran formulations that place the ordo salutis in a justification union order, but even most Luther scholars acknowledge that he retained a robust notion of union with Christ placing justification as a benefit of that union.

    No one anywhere claims that we are everlastingly unrighteous, but they do assert that the righteousness that we possess is not our own (Phil 3:9). At the same time the Reformed vigorously affirm that, “Behold, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” Outside of Christ we are wretched, or as Paul describes, “by nature children of wrath.” In this way, we could never—even in Heaven—expect to approach God outside of Christ because we have attained a certain level of righteousness ourselves.

    The basis for our standing before God is therefore not my righteousness, but Christ’s. This is our alien righteousness and imputation.

    You’ve not anywhere successfully argued that your claim is true—you’ve simply asserted it. Unfortunately your debating tactics prohibit us from actually addressing the disagreement, because you will invariably double down on your insistence that nothing I’ve said touches anything you’ve said. If that’s the approach you want to take, don’t expect anyone to be eager to have a conversation with you.

    You continue by saying,

    One common feature of nominalism is attempting to refute by means of applying labels (e.g. “wrongheaded”), rather than by *showing* a claim to be false.

    One common feature of sophistry is that is uses formal logic or verbosity to subtly distort an argument and deceive rather than showing the distinctions are “one common feature of nominalism.”

    Finally,

    For the reason explained just above, insofar as simul iustus et peccator is at the heart of Protestantism, nominalism is at the heart of Protestantism. If some Protestants are inconsistent (e.g. by acknowledging essences in other areas), that doesn’t show that Protestantism is not nominalist; it simply shows that the nominalism of their Protestantism is not consistent with their realism in these other areas.

    No, this is why the distinction I mentioned is so very important to keep in mind. This is similar to Protestants critiquing Aristotle’s notions of substance and accidents to falsify the teaching of transubstantiation. The Catholic is very quick to remind us that while transubstantiation is explained in Aristotelian terminology, it would be uncharitable to equate transubstantiation with Aristotelianism. Christians appropriated the philosophical categories of their time to be sure, but people believed in transubstantiation without the Aristotelian categories. If Aristotelian categories are falsified (as many believe they have been) it does not falsify transubstantiation because Aristotelian metaphysics was a tool to explain a spiritual reality. But that’s why there are theologians that believe Aristotelian explanations of transubstantiation are wrong, but still affirm transubstantiation.

    Joshua Lim posted over at CtC on this issue and in my private conversations with him he admitted that he was attempting to falsify Nominalism to show that Protestantism was false, but as I explained to him, that is a deeply problematic approach. First of all, you have to deal with the fact that the earliest Reformed theologians were not all nominalists. That’s a huge problem for this approach. Second, you’d have to show that the “nominalism” of the Reformed belief of justification derives from philosophy, but considering that people like Luther rarely had glowing things to say about philosophy, that is equally problematic. Third, while nominalism was important, the most important catalyst for the Reformation was Humanism. “Ad Fontes” was more foundational than nominalism, and the notion of “ad fontes” is what motivated the Reformers to re-examine Scripture. At the end of the day, the Reformers argued for the notion of imputation because it was the teaching of Scripture. This is why in order to refute the tectonic foundation of Protestantism you need to focus on exegesis, because for the Reformed, their commitment is not to philosophy, it is to Scripture.

    To assert that because Protestants affirm imputation that they are nominalists is as accurate to say that because transubstantiation is codified in Aristotelian terms that Catholics are thorough-going Aristotelians or that the “Aristotelianism of their Catholicism is not consistent.” This is poor reasoning. You need to actually falsify the position from Scripture because this is where the actual issues reside. If you wanted to talk about Jesus in John 6 while I kept insisting that Aristotelian metaphysics was false, you’d probably throw your hands up in exasperation. That’s where I’m at, so I’m going to spend my energy in more fruitful endeavors.

  144. Bryan Cross said,

    August 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Brandon,

    I’m really not sure what you’re talking about, though it seems you’ve again twisted an argument in a way that makes for the application of some fallacy. …

    In general, if you’re not sure what your interlocutor is talking about, the good-faith way of responding, in accordance with the principle of charity, is to ask for clarification, rather than accuse him of “twisting some argument.”

    If you’re fine rescuitating a Jesuit apologetic that an expert in the field says no one believes anymore because it is poor scholarship, be my guest. …

    As one goes through the grad school process, one usually comes to see more and more the weakness and unreliability of the argument from [mere human] authority, because one comes to see the frequent mistakes, biases, assumptions, etc. by academics. However, the argument from mere human authority is the only argument available to persons who because of lack of training cannot evaluate the questions for themselves, and therefore must trust and appeal to some mere human authorities (usually chosen for their agreement with themselves). All that to say, the appeal to mere human authority is, as St. Thomas explains, the weakest of arguments.

    If I took this same tactic Bryan, no dialogue would even be possible. You asserting that my claim is an error doesn’t show it’s an error. And we get on this merry-go-round again …

    That’s because you’re ignoring the rules of rational dialogue. Refutations always have the burden of proof. So if you claim that something your interlocutor said is an error, then you have the burden of proof to show that it is an error. Merely asserting that it is an error is not sufficient, and your interlocutor is right to point that out. Responding instead by claiming that your interlocutor’s pointing this out is a mere assertion shuts down the possibility of rational dialogue. That sort of response does lead to an infinite regress, which would indeed be frustrating and exasperating because dialogue would be futile. But those futile paths can be avoided if we simply follow the rules of rational dialogue.

    If you think I have not provided adequate substantiation for a claim that I have made, then the proper response is either to point out that I have not substantiated my claim, or to request substantiation. But as soon as you claim that my claim is in error, then you take on the burden of proof of showing that it is in error.

    As many have pointed out to you, you are misconstruing the Reformed teaching as if the Reformed do not have a robust doctrine of union with Christ.

    On the contrary, I have never made any claim about whether the Reformed doctrine of union with Christ is robust or not, or how robust it is. I have claimed rather that in Reformed theology this union is not ontological, but instead legal/covenantal and vital.

    No one anywhere claims that we are everlastingly unrighteous,

    I agree. I have not claimed that anyone claims this. Rather, I have argued that it follows from a Reformed conception of what righteousness is, and how we receive it.

    You’ve not anywhere successfully argued that your claim is true—you’ve simply asserted it.

    If the particular claim you have in mind is that we remain everlastingly unsanctified, then my argument for it can be found at the link in #122 above. I don’t claim that my argument is “successful,” only that it is sound. (I don’t hold the pragmatist philosophy of truth or argumentation.)

    One common feature of sophistry is that is uses formal logic or verbosity to subtly distort an argument and deceive rather than showing the distinctions are “one common feature of nominalism.”

    Sophistry rarely uses formal logic. Sophistry despises logic.

    No, this is why the distinction I mentioned is so very important to keep in mind. This is similar to Protestants critiquing Aristotle’s notions of substance and accidents to falsify the teaching of transubstantiation. The Catholic is very quick to remind us that while transubstantiation is explained in Aristotelian terminology, it would be uncharitable to equate transubstantiation with Aristotelianism. Christians appropriated the philosophical categories of their time to be sure, but people believed in transubstantiation without the Aristotelian categories. If Aristotelian categories are falsified (as many believe they have been) it does not falsify transubstantiation because Aristotelian metaphysics was a tool to explain a spiritual reality. But that’s why there are theologians that believe Aristotelian explanations of transubstantiation are wrong, but still affirm transubstantiation.

    All this is compatible with the truth of what I said.

    First of all, you have to deal with the fact that the earliest Reformed theologians were not all nominalists. That’s a huge problem for this approach.

    Even if every single early Reformed theologian was not a nominalist, this would not entail that the simul iustus et peccator position is not nominalist. The nominalism of the position is in the very position itself, for the reason I’ve explained in the links I’ve listed in the comment linked in comment #5 above.

    Second, you’d have to show that the “nominalism” of the Reformed belief of justification derives from philosophy,

    Nominalism is a philosophy. The nominalism of the Reformed doctrine of imputation does not have to derive from a *philosopher* to be a philosophy, or to be nominalist.

    but considering that people like Luther rarely had glowing things to say about philosophy, that is equally problematic.

    Persons who hate and despise philosophy are the most vulnerable to holding and using bad philosophy. Even the notion that philosophy is bad is a philosophical position. As Aristotle said in a famous dilemma, “You say one must philosophise, then you must philosophise. You say one must not philosophise. Then (to prove your contention), you must philosophise. In any case, you must philosophise.” The mistake would be assuming that some persons have escaped philosophising, or escaped bad philosophy, by hating or eschewing philosophy.

    Third, while nominalism was important, the most important catalyst for the Reformation was Humanism. “Ad Fontes” was more foundational than nominalism, …

    I agree. But that does not make the simul iustus et peccator position non-nominalist.

    At the end of the day, the Reformers argued for the notion of imputation because it was the teaching of Scripture.

    As interpreted in a way that is open to a nominalist conception of imputation. Only a person with an openness to a nominalist conception of imputation would be able to interpret it that way. Those who believed a nominalist conception of imputation to be impossible (on account of the falsity of nominalism) would not and do not interpret it that way.

    This is why in order to refute the tectonic foundation of Protestantism you need to focus on exegesis, because for the Reformed, their commitment is not to philosophy, it is to Scripture.

    This claim presupposes that no philosophy or philosophical assumptions are brought to the interpretive process. And believing such a claim is precisely what makes such interpreters vulnerable to and unaware of the role such philosophies and philosophical assumptions are playing in their interpretation of Scripture.

    To assert that because Protestants affirm imputation that they are nominalists is as accurate to say …

    I have never made that assertion (i.e. that Protestants are nominalists). What I am claiming is that the simul iustus et peccator position is nominalist.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  145. August 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Bryan,

    I just want to point out one final thing. You said,

    As interpreted in a way that is open to a nominalist conception of imputation. Only a person with an openness to a nominalist conception of imputation would be able to interpret it that way.

    This is nothing more than a bare assertion that needs to be argued from the text itself, which is my point. No one is denying that philosophy impacts one’s exegesis, but you are allowing philosophy to determine the limits of the text. Why? Because the text couldn’t possibly say that. Why? Because if the text said that it would violate reason.

    But why does that mean the text can’t say that? What if the text is wrong, or what if your reasoning is wrong? The problem here is that you are presupposing what the text can and cannot say because of your philosophy.The Reformation wanted to point out this is the tail wagging the dog. It’s not that philosophy does not play a role in exegesis, it does, but it is a question of priority. You come from a completely different starting point and this is one of the essential things we are Protesting.

  146. Bryan Cross said,

    August 22, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Brandon,

    Show me your exegesis that does not already start with the law of non-contradiction, and you’ll have a good point. Show me your exegesis that does not already start with the belief that your senses are reliable, and that God cannot lie. But as soon as you are picking and choosing which philosophical truths you will and won’t bring to exegesis, you are already doing exactly what you claim I’m doing; you just don’t know it.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  147. August 22, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Anyway, my objections in this area are not to Reformed theology, but to what it became as it moved away from Augustinian realism and toward a contractualized federalism.

    Ken,

    I know you won’t be answering back cuz of your Mom (wow, graduating at 70 yrs old, congratulation to the dear lady!) but I wonder how much there has been this shift in Reformed theology that you speak of. Maybe it’s something significant, but I just don’t know of it. In terms of what I know of Reformed theology, there is no question that at the heart of justification is God’s redeeming a people to Himself. This means that the reality of our being in Christ and transformed by Christ cannot be separated from us being called righteous. In Reformed theology we are declared righteous because we really are righteous.

    In terms of our sanctification, this in not just theory but is tangibly reflected in the way Reformed churches operate. We don’t recognize the claim of someone who says they have been redeemed if there is no evidence that they have been united to Christ. How different from the Catholic congregations where folks can be “united to Christ” by virtue of their baptism into the RCC, but yet in complete rebellion to the clear commands of Christ. Declaring someone to be united in Christ when they are in utter rebellion to Christ – now THAT is fiction.

  148. De Maria said,

    August 22, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    theoldadam said,
    August 21, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    You must be reading a different Book than we are. I don’t seem to be able to find Purgatory or Indulgences or co-operative salvation in mine.

    Let me help you:

    Purgatory:

    Hebrews 11:39-40King James Version (KJV)

    39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

    40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

    Where did all these good Jews go to be made perfect from the time they died to the time of Christ, if not Purgatory?

    Indulgences:

    Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

    Treasure in heaven is indulgences.

    co-operative salvation

    Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    Now, show me justification by faith alone and Sola Scriptura in Scripture.

  149. theoldadam said,

    August 22, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    DM,

    I’m not even going to bother.

    For you, “the clay is baked.”

    You wouldn’t believe it if Jesus put His arm around you and told you Himself that you need to add nothing to His Cross. And that a worker receives his due, while a person of faith receives righteousness as a gift.

    You’ll never believe it.

    So…you had better get busy. You are wasting so much of your valuable time (that you could be helping the poor and hungry) at your keyboard that you probably don’t have a shot in hell at making it to Heaven. Maybe after 80 trillion years in Purgatory…maybe.

  150. August 23, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Old Adam, DM is Roman Catholic. He reads everything with RC glasses. Only God can remove the veil. He cited on Jason’s” store up treasures in heaven” as evidence for Purgatory and indulgences. Rc’s can’t receive the free gift of grace because they can’t resist the need to smuggles their own character into God’s work of grace. We shouldn’t confuse orthodoxy with conversion. A true believer trusts Christ alone and has the peace and assurance scripture offers. They have neither. ?

  151. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Thanks, Kevin.

    God can certainly save him if He wants (horrible theology aside). I certainly hope He does. I don’t have all my theological ducks lined up exactly perfect, either, but good enough to have some real assurance and real freedom from all of that RC crap they heap on people.

    I do thank the good Lord that He brought me out of that stuff some 17 years ago. I get nosebleeds when I climb too high on ladders.

  152. Reed Here said,

    August 23, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Is it a fiction when the new couple are declared to be one flesh at their wedding?

  153. Tim Harris said,

    August 23, 2014 at 9:13 am

    It’s amazing to me that the same person could think Mt 6:20 teaches a “treasure in heaven” that can be “applied” to other sinners to cancel the temporal punishment due to THEIR sins, under the control of the church, none of which makes any sense in the context; yet scream bloody murder when Luther inserts “only” in Rom. 3:28, though the word is very reasonable and epexegetical to the context.

  154. August 23, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Old Adam, I didn’t realize you came out of that. Praise God he chose you. I have lost all my Catholic friends lovingly sharing the gospel with them. Mathew 11:12

  155. Ron said,

    August 23, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Tim,

    It’s even more amazing to me when a Roman Catholic undermines the need for an external, infallible interpreter of Scripture by making appeals to Scripture as if Scripture could interpret itself.

  156. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Yes, Kevin, sometimes the desire to be a member of ‘the club’ is stronger than the desire to know the Truth.

  157. August 23, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Old Adam, I see so much of that on Jason’s site. The want to put on the cool basketball uniforms without looking at what they are made of. God sent Luther to unpile all that had been heaped on the cross and the Reformers dismantled ecclesiastical machinery that had developed in the church that was mostly human in origin.

  158. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Exactly.

    If you attempt to divert them from admiring their “cool basketball uniforms” (love that!) long enough, they will do away with you, in one form or another. Even though I was always respectful, Jason banned me from his site. I would not play the ‘counting how many angels could fit on the head of a pin’ game…and my uniform wasn’t nearly so cool as theirs…so I had to go. That’s ok. Probably more than ok…because they weren’t hearing it anyway and one wonders how much time should be wasted on them. Jesus had the right idea on that score.

  159. William Scott said,

    August 23, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Bryan said: “What I am claiming is that the simul iustus et peccator position is nominalist.”
    Christ says to His disciples, many of whom were infused with righteousness, “If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more will your Father who is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him?” (Matt 7:11).

    Therefore, these justified individuals were declared “evil” by the Great Judge of Heaven and Earth. If Bryan’s assertion is true then I gladly embrace “nominalism” on this point. God Bless, W.A.Scott

  160. Bryan Cross said,

    August 23, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    William,

    The Church Fathers were well aware of this verse, and not a single one took it as support for the extra nos imputation position. They either treated the word ‘evil’ as used here as a term of comparison with God (cf. Mk. 10:18), or treated the ‘you’ as referring to the human race in its fallen condition, not to the regenerate per se.

    It is easy to co-opt a verse in support of a false philosophy so long as one remains unaware of alternative interpretations. This is one of the consequences of the “solo scriptura” approach of biblicism.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  161. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Some Church Fathers, long before the Reformation:

    http://theoldadam.com/2011/06/24/long-before-luther/

    Those Catholics had it right!

  162. Bryan Cross said,

    August 23, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    theoldadam,

    All those patristic citations are in keeping with present Catholic doctrine.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  163. August 23, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Old Adam, take heart. Ive been banned three times. Ive been called a SOB, idiot, Igor, stupid, Oaf, and names I can’t even mention, all because I stand agains the false gospel of Salvation on the installment plan. But they don hate us, they hate the gospel of Christ. roman Catholicism isn’t another denomination, it is another Religion.

  164. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Yes, Kevin. They are of another spirit.

  165. WAScott said,

    August 23, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Thanks for the reply Bryan. The position I’m asserting is the normative position of the Church historically–I.e. every person justified or unjustified is “evil” (I.e. a sinner, wicked, etc) in view of the sinless/righteous perfection (immaculate agape) of our God. As Bernard of Clairvaux says (see post 30 of the Is Imputation Taught in Romans 4 thread), if strictly judged the righteousness of the believer is “filthy rags” and “mere unrighteousness.” While righteousness is infused into the believer in greater and greater measure in this life we still stand condemned/evil before the Awesome Holiness of God (Psalm 143:2). Is there any time in life when we no longer need the covering of Christ’s Righteous Blood for our Salvation? This will likely be my last post on this thread for the moment so have a good weekend.

  166. August 23, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    William, great point! Also Paul said it is a trustworthy statement that Christ came into the world to save sinners( so much for an ontological virtue climb into divinity replacing redemption), of who I AM foremost. Romans 7 Paul thought He was in a constant battle with the flesh. 7:6 says we have been released for the law. But Rome would have us to believe thatChrist wasn’t the “end of the Law for righteousness to all who believe” but the beginning of the law to all…… Jesus is a kinder Moses with a softer law, as if loving God with all of your heart soul and mind want huge.

  167. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Bryan,

    The Council of Trent refutes your statement.

    Plus…Catholics have different definitions for words that we all use.

    We know that ‘grace’ is unmerited favor. The RCC erroneously believes and teaches that ‘grace’ is some sort of cosmic help to do what is already in us. That’s the fact of the matter.

  168. August 23, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Bryan said ” it is easy t co-opt a verse in support of a false theology” Bryan, you mean when the writer of Hebrews 10′:18 says there are no more sacrifices remaining for sin” it really means animal sacrifices” that kind of co opting. Or all the verses that say there is one sacrifice at the consummation of the ages that perfected those being sanctified meaning keeping Him continually on the cross and an altar as an eternal victim and not elating Him be risen Lord and Savior. That kind of cooping. Or when Paul says there is one mediator between man and God it really means many including yourself. Would that be what your talking about?

  169. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Bryan,

    If you had to guess, how long do you think that you will have to spend in Purgatory to clean yourself up?

    Jesus did ALL the cleaning up for me. That’s why I will go straight to Heaven with all those who trust in God’s Word of Promise for the ungodly.

    I think you are a pretty decent Joe, Bryan. If it were up to me (if I were Pope) I’d spring you in under 10 million years. I do realize, however, that you can redeem some coupons for pilgrimages made to lessen that sentence even further.

    Does this not sound ridiculous to you? It should.

    Could you imagine someone trying to explain how all this works to Jesus, who said on the Cross, “It is finished.”?

  170. WAScott said,

    August 23, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    P.s. The reformers agree with Bernard that our faith and good works are filthy rags if strictly judged on their own merit. However, they explicitly teach that our faith and good works are pleasing to God and are imputed for righteousness (ps 106:31) and rewarded with eternal life (Matthew 25:31-46) through the infinite merits of Christ poured out on us in His Blood.

  171. WAScott said,

    August 23, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    P.p.s. there was quite a gap between my post and the p.s.–sorry for the confusion.

  172. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    “However, they explicitly teach that our faith and good works are pleasing to God and are imputed for righteousness..”

    I wish you good luck!

    Hope you’ve done enough of them…and with the right motive…

    (and how can you know?)

  173. Bryan Cross said,

    August 23, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    William,

    The position I’m asserting is the normative position of the Church historically–I.e. every person justified or unjustified is “evil” (I.e. a sinner, wicked, etc) in view of the sinless/righteous perfection (immaculate agape) of our God.

    What you are conflating is the distinction between righteousness by infusion, and righteousness by comparison. In comparison to God, nothing is good. But that does not mean that creation is in itself evil. (That would be a heresy.) Likewise, the Church has always believed that by comparison, God alone is good. The Church has also always believed that all creation is good, and not evil. But the Church has never believed that the regenerate are internally unrighteous, except by comparison, i.e. in the same way that even the angels and perfected saints in heaven are (by comparison with God) unrighteous.

    As Bernard of Clairvaux says …

    St. Bernard’s statement (which is from one of his sermons on the Feast of All Saints, a feast incompatible with Reformed theology for reasons D.G. Hart can explain to you), is fully compatible with Catholic theology. St. Bernard is speaking of righteousness by comparison, not denying righteousness by infusion. St. Bernard in no place endorsed extra nos imputation, nor said anything entailing it.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  174. Bryan Cross said,

    August 23, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    theoldadam,

    The Council of Trent refutes your statement.

    Each of those patristic statements is fully compatible with Trent.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  175. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Wrong, Bryan.
    Those statements of the Church Fathers speak of “faith alone”…”no works”.

    The Council of Trent reads “that is anyone believe that we are saved by faith alone, let them be anathema.”

    If you can’t see the difference there…then it is hopeless talking to you.

    You really are in love with that ‘cool basketball uniform’, aren’t you?

  176. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Doesn’t it ever hit you Catholics that you are arguing for ‘the self’…and that we are arguing for the sufficiency of Christ?

    You know…”I must decrease, He must increase” sort of stuff…

    I guess not.

  177. Bryan Cross said,

    August 23, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    theoldadam,

    The “faith alone” condemned by Trent is the singular virtue of faith not informed by the virtue of agape. The faith alone affirmed by the Church Fathers is not the singular virtue of faith, but faith apart from works. Hence there is no contradiction between them. This is how Pope Benedict XVI could affirm “faith alone” (see here) without contradicting Trent.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  178. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    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.

    There’s another one.

    Luther was right. “Our wills are bound in sin.”

    This Catholic co-op stuff is a lie straight from the pit of hell.

    Good luck, Bryan.

    I sincerely don’t know how you can possibly have a prayer of making it based on your works in addition to Christ. You sit for endless hours at your keyboard while people out in the world need you to help them.

    I just don’t know what it is that you will appeal to on that Day. I do wish you a lot of luck, though.

  179. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    “Peace of Christ”? Are you kidding me? What does a co-op view from a bunch of slackers who are good at pouting the finger at others, know about the “Peace of Christ”?

    It’s a joke.

  180. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Do a little reading (everyone) on the Medici Popes. Particularly the Medici Pope at the time of Luther, Leo X.

    Talk about a murdering, tyrant, pedophile, thieving spendthrift.

    And he (Leo X) was right…and Luther was wrong.

    Give me a break.

    In the peace of my own participation with Christ.

  181. Bryan Cross said,

    August 23, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    theoldadam,

    Regarding Canon IX of Trent 6, that is referring to the cooperation required to come to baptism, through which sacrament one receives the virtue of faith. The patristic passages you cited affirming “faith alone” are not denying that such cooperation is required in coming to baptism (for those who have reached the age of reason). None of the Church Fathers endorsed the idea of baptizing sinners who have attained the age of reason and who show no willingness to repent. Rather, they are in these statements affirming that the justification that takes place in rebirth is not merited by works, or by some combination of faith and meritorious works. And Trent nowhere denies that.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  182. Mark said,

    August 23, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Wow. I am honestly pretty shocked at the lack of charity shown toward Bryan and the catholic commentators. I generally agree much more with the reformed commenters than the catholic ones on the substance. But, I have to confess I am impressed with Bryan’s continued charity and patience in the face of snarky uncharitable comments.
    As one commenter mention, if this is the type of “loving” witness if the gospel shown to his catholic friends, I’m not surprised such “loving” sharing of the gospel left him with no remaining catholic friends. If I were catholic and talked to like that, I wouldn’t remained friends.
    There is type of sharing the gospel that is done charitably and with the intent of pointing toward the love and truth of Christ. There is another type that is uncharitable, critical, snarky, and done more to boost one’s pride and make oneself feel good about mucu better “we” are than “them.” This isn’t true of every comment toward Catholics on this thread, but it certainly applies to some.
    If scripture is correct that by your fruits you shall know them, I’m not sure that those who claim to be “real Christians” following the gospel are very well known at this point.

  183. WAScott said,

    August 23, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Hello Bryan quick last reply. Matthew 7:11 is clearly not speaking simply if differing degrees if dignity, but of moral status–I.e. even those morally evil know how to give good gifts. This judgment from Christ of morally “evil” in Matt 7:11 cannot be applied to angels and the glorified saints, although they share our nothingness in comparison to God.

    I have no problem with the “Gospel” as the reformers call it of the abundant infusion of righteousness into the believer. If this was sufficient however for a status of “innocent”/”righteous”/”not guilty”in view of God’s Law of Love then continued forgiveness/covering with Christ’s righteous Blood would be at least theoretically unnecessary.

  184. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Sure.

    I could quote where the Catholic Church teaches anything …’this is black’…’now the same thing is white’…and you would say “this does not contradict the teachings of the Catholic Church”.

    You can have your little semi-Pelagian, no assurance, religious ascendency project. And I’ll stick with Christ and His finished work on the Cross…alone.

    And if by the grace of God we meet in Heaven, we’ll shake hands and I’ll buy you a beer.

    But I can’t discuss this stuff with any longer because I feel as though I am talking to the wall.

    Have a wonderful life, Bryan.

  185. WAScott said,

    August 23, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Sorry, that should be 2 “of” rather than 2 “if” in the second sentence.

  186. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Mark,

    Come on. Get real. This guy is stonewalling the gospel at every turn. We don’t float around six inches off the ground and have that phony pious front that they teach the Catholic priests to have…or that many Baptists carry around. We are real people. Real saints of God who just so happen to be real sinners too.

    It’s awfully tough to be gracious to someone who is advancing a view that l;lessens the work of Christ…while advancing the work of ‘the self’.

    St. Paul (not comparing myself to him in any way, shape, or form…told these types that “they cut themselves off from the grace of Christ”…and he also said that if they believe in adding something top Christ, such as circumcision, they he hoped that “they would slip with the knife.”

    How’s that for a “real Christian” being gracious?

  187. Mark said,

    August 23, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Theoldadam,

    I’m just telling you how you (and others) appear from the outside by someone who agrees with your substantive position.
    As holy scripture says, if I have truth but no love, I am clanging gong. If you don’t care whether you turn people away from the gospel by your obnoxious attitude (and, to be blunt, you and others are turning me away and based on my theology, you’d consider me a real Christian), carry on.
    If your purpose is not to actually bring people to truth of the free unmerited gift of salvation through faith in Christ, but to just pat yourself on the back about how great your theology is and those Catholics have corrupted the gospel, carry on.
    From what I have seen of Bryan’s comments, he probably has a thick skin and couldn’t care less about uncharitable obnoxious (and , honestly, not that clever) insults. But, other Catholics and non Christians do. If you think you’re being a good Christian because your “loving” sharing of the gospel leaves with no more catholic friends. Carry on. Sounds like we don’t see eye to eye at all.

  188. Mark said,

    August 23, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Also, whenever someone says, “I’m not comparing myself to x, but…” , they invariably are comparing themselves to x.
    It’s sort if like when my teenage daughter says, “no offense, dad, but…” I know whatever she is about to say next will be offensive.

  189. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Mark,

    I’m just trying to get across to you the seriousness of the denial of the pure gospel.

    St. Paul, Luther, and many others, thought that calling a spade a spade to be the more loving thing than to let these wolves in sheep’s clothing take a lot of people to hell by advocating something of the self, in addition to Christ Jesus.

  190. Bryan Cross said,

    August 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    William,

    Matthew 7:11 is clearly not speaking simply if differing degrees if dignity, but of moral status–I.e. even those morally evil know how to give good gifts. This judgment from Christ of morally “evil” in Matt 7:11 cannot be applied to angels and the glorified saints, although they share our nothingness in comparison to God.

    Like I said in #160, treating the ‘you’ in the passage as referring to man in his fallen condition is one way it was taken by the Church Fathers. But none of the Fathers took it to mean that the regenerate were (while regenerate) morally evil.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  191. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Know what we know about Pope Leo X…was it right for Luther to fight against him and his disgusting distortion of the Christian faith?

    Luther and others had the guts to risk their own lives in standing up to the murderous Popes of the time.

    And we should walk on eggshells with people who advocate these devilish doctrines? Hardly.

    That said, the average Catholic is ignorant to these facts and I don’t believe God will punish them for that. But for those leaders who lead all those poor sheep astray, the punishment will be very harsh.

  192. August 23, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Bryan said ” the church has always said that creation is good” Your schoolmen didnt. Lombard and the boys tried to locate their polution in God’s creation with the need for pre fall sanctifying grace. So sin was God’s fault and not their own oral failure.

  193. August 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Someone tell Bryan according to Paul faith doesnt have virtue attached to it that merits the acceptance of God, “not that of yourself” not of works”all the gep physics degrees and all the seminary trainingg cant overcome these words by Paul. He eliminates love in justification. Why? Because love reaches out to neighbor and is always secong in natural order. Only faith can receive Christ and bring Him to the heart, thats why it justifies. Luther sais Rome takes from faith and gives to love what exclusively belongs to faith.

  194. August 23, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Mark, I wont go into the lack of charity shown to me by Bryan on Ctc. I been called every name you can think of on Jason’s site. And the one time I confronted Bryan on something on his site, instead of appologizingg, he deleted my comment.

  195. August 23, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Bryan said ” Rome says justification in rebirth isnt merited. ” Why didnt you tell him you merit your continuance in grace, and final justification is based in some way on the live lived. Grace is the means of exchange on the church’s merit system. Grace is a reward , not a gift in Rome.

  196. Bryan Cross said,

    August 23, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Kevin,

    I wont go into the lack of charity shown to me by Bryan on Ctc.

    Where, exactly, do you think I showed a lack of charity to you?

    And the one time I confronted Bryan on something on his site, instead of appologizingg, he deleted my comment.

    As for your deleted comment at CTC, it contained ad hominems, which are not allowed at CTC per the comment guidelines.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  197. August 23, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Bryan, Im not talking about the recenent comment. But when I was on Ctc a year ago you confronted me on my behavior on ths blog. Each time I apologized. Then the one time I confronted you on being rude to me on the blog, insread of allowing the comment, you screened it and didnt allow it because you didnt want to allow me the same curtisy that you took to confront mr publicly. You also never apologized, I have this against you. God bless

  198. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    It cracks me up how someone constantly engaged in working to lower the work of Christ for sinners…and to raise the work of those same sinners, can say, “In the peace of Christ”.

    More appropriate would be, “In the bonds of the Roman Church”.

  199. Mark said,

    August 23, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    The old Adam,

    I find it genuinely puzzling that you equate “being charitable” with not standing up for the truth. If you think that not being able to make sarcastic, snide comments means you have to sacrifice the ability to defend the gospel and stand, then we might have a slight difference of perspective.
    I am all in favor of strongly defending the gospel, but I don’t see how being obnoxious is an essential element of it.
    Kevin, I have read a fair amount of the discussion on ctc, and I have to say that the dialogue (Bryan’s and other Catholics as well as the Protestants) has been generally very charitable and constructive. There have been exceptions, but I’ve noticed it to be quite charitable and constructive, even while strongly expressing disagreement,
    I haven’t seen all of Bryan’s comments on there, so I can’t say there haven’t been charitable ones. But, my overall impression of Bryan and the rest of ctc is more charitable than most places. This is contrast to a lot (most?) of these “Christian” discussion websites, where most people seem less interested in charitably defending truth and the gospel and more interest in banging their chest, making snide remakes, and proving how much “smarter” and “in line with the gospel” “i am” than “those people are.” It basically becomes not an exercise in sharing the gospel and pursuing truth through constructive dialogue but just an exercise in pride.
    Anyway, I have said my piece (pun intended), and I don’t have anything else constructive to add. Just my two cents from the outside perspective of someone who generally agrees with the substance of the theology here.

  200. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Mark,

    I’ll tone it down…for your sake.

    But you must understand how frustrating it is when people reject the freedom of the gospel for the bondage of religion (‘religion’ being what ‘we do’ to ascend to God, or become more acceptable in the eyes of God).

    One last anecdote about those who would not be as ‘nice’ as some others might like;

    When Jesus sent the disciples out to proclaim the gospel, he told them that if the message was not accepted then to “shake there dust from their sandals and leave them.”

    That, in the Middle East, then and now, is a huge insult.

  201. Bryan Cross said,

    August 23, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Kevin,

    But when I was on Ctc a year ago you confronted me on my behavior on ths blog. Each time I apologized.

    The only time I interacted with you a year ago on CTC was on the “Rome, Geneva” thread, in which I was assisting in the comment moderation, and you were new to commenting on CTC. I am unaware that any of my comments there were uncharitable toward you, but if they were, I’m sorry.

    Then the one time I confronted you on being rude to me on the blog, insread of allowing the comment, you screened it and didnt allow it because you didnt want to allow me the same curtisy that you took to confront mr publicly. You also never apologized, I have this against you.

    I think I see now why there is a misunderstanding. If a moderator calls you out for violating the site guidelines, you don’t get a free ‘jab’ at the moderator in return on the site. It is nothing personal; we just don’t allow personal attacks on the site. (Imagine if an NFL player claimed the right to foul a referee whenever the ref called him for an infraction.) But if you every want to throw a jab at me, you are free to do so through email (or here, I suppose). You have my email address. May you have a blessed Lord’s Day.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  202. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    One more before I go watch the A’s beat my Angels…

    When Peter tried to keep Jesus from going to the Cross, Jesus said to him, “Get behind me Satan”.

    That is what the Living God thinks of those who would elevate earthly goals (human effort towards righteousness) over the Cross for real sinners.

    That’s it for tonight.

  203. Mark said,

    August 23, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    The old Adam,

    It’s not for my sake, it’s for the sake of the gospel. “I became all things to all people, so that some may come to believe.”
    It’s for Catholics or Protestants considering Catholicism who, whether they should or not, are affected by the charity of the one delivering the gospel. As you say, we are all sinners and imperfect messengers. But, we are his messengers, called to spread the gospel with the world and “be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”
    I appreciate you taking my comments to heart, because your comments are thoughtful and incisive. I understand you are defensive of the gospel and get upset when you feel people are twisting it (I feel that way too). But, your comments would be more effective for the kingdom without the sarcastic snarky stuff. For example, do you think anyone is going to read your mocking comments about Bryan saying “the peace of Christ” and say, “you know what, I am convinced that the catholic presentation of the gospel is false.” I think we both know the answer to that.
    God bless.

  204. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    Beware of the devil…”for the devil can come all dressed up as an angel of light.”

    “Let him be accursed who presents another gospel.”

    – St. Paul

    (if those verses are offensive to anyone…take it up with Paul)

  205. Mark said,

    August 23, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    The Old Adam,
    When I was younger, I had a godly pastor give me advice. I would get into discussions about theology and the gospel. People told me I was being offensive. I pointed those same verses to say, “Paul offended people. If people are offended. Take it up with him.”
    The pastor said, sometimes, when people are offended, they are offended by the gospel. A lot of time, it’s not the gospel that is offensive to them, but you are being offensive. Don’t blame the gospel for your offensiveness.”
    It is important to prayerful consider , if people are offended, is it the gospel they are offended by, or is it you they are offended by (and you are living in denial). A lot of times people are offensive, and blame the gospel for it.

  206. theoldadam said,

    August 23, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    I can see what the pastor meant, Mark.

    I’m not saying, however, that since it was ok for Paul, it is ok for me. Not at all. I’m trying to show how important it is to wake these people up! Maybe a little shock value. Pull their pants down.

    This stuff is a matter of life and death…and they are happily and smugly (in many cases) floating peacefully towards the falls up ahead.

    Sometimes they just need a good knock in the head, when all else fails.

  207. De Maria said,

    August 24, 2014 at 12:00 am

    theoldadam said,
    August 22, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    DM,

    I’m not even going to bother.

    Its not that you won’t, its that you can’t.

    For you, “the clay is baked.”

    You wouldn’t believe it if Jesus put His arm around you and told you Himself that you need to add nothing to His Cross. And that a worker receives his due, while a person of faith receives righteousness as a gift.

    You’ll never believe it.

    And you won’t believe when Scripture says:

    Galatians 6:6-8King James Version (KJV)

    6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

    7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

    8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

    So…you had better get busy. You are wasting so much of your valuable time (that you could be helping the poor and hungry) at your keyboard that you probably don’t have a shot in hell at making it to Heaven. Maybe after 80 trillion years in Purgatory…maybe.

    I have one Judge, and it isn’t you. With the Apostle, I say:

    1 Corinthians 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
    4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

  208. De Maria said,

    August 24, 2014 at 12:05 am

    Kevin Failoni said,
    August 23, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Old Adam, DM is Roman Catholic. He reads everything with RC glasses. Only God can remove the veil. He cited on Jason’s” store up treasures in heaven” as evidence for Purgatory and indulgences. Rc’s can’t receive the free gift of grace because they can’t resist the need to smuggles their own character into God’s work of grace. We shouldn’t confuse orthodoxy with conversion. A true believer trusts Christ alone and has the peace and assurance scripture offers. They have neither. ?

    On the contrary, Jason, we have both.

    Here is what Scripture says about assurance:

    Hebrews 6:10-12King James Version (KJV)

    10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

    11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

    12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

  209. August 24, 2014 at 12:07 am

    Mark, I agree everyone should be charitable. But It goes both ways,,

  210. August 24, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Bryan, Iforgive you. God bless

  211. De Maria said,

    August 24, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Tim Harris said,
    August 23, 2014 at 9:13 am

    It’s amazing to me that the same person could think Mt 6:20 teaches a “treasure in heaven” that can be “applied” to other sinners to cancel the temporal punishment due to THEIR sins, under the control of the church, none of which makes any sense in the context; yet scream bloody murder when Luther inserts “only” in Rom. 3:28, though the word is very reasonable and epexegetical to the context.

    It makes sense in the Catholic understanding:

    “Word made flesh, by Word He maketh Very bread his flesh to be; Man in wine Christ’s Blood partaketh, And if his senses fail to see, Faith alone the true heart waketh, To behold the mystery.” St. Thomas Aquinas.

    It is by faith alone that we believe that water of Baptism washes us of sins. It is by faith alone that we believe that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ, it is by faith alone that we believe that man and wife become one flesh in holy matrimony, etc. etc.

  212. August 24, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Old Adam, DeMaria always quotes the warning passages, he is Catholic. You wont be seing Romans 8:1, 5:1, 8: 28_30

  213. De Maria said,

    August 24, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Ron said,
    August 23, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Tim,

    It’s even more amazing to me when a Roman Catholic undermines the need for an external, infallible interpreter of Scripture by making appeals to Scripture as if Scripture could interpret itself.

    On the contrary, I interpret Scripture according to the Teaching of the Catholic Church.

  214. August 24, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Old Adam, ask DeMari where to find a sacramental system of salvation where one merits increase in justice and grace in scripture, where we can find sacramental efficacy in the place of the atonenment in scripture. See where he takes you.

  215. theoldadam said,

    August 24, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Thanks, all, for an invigorating and thoroughly frustrating discussion.

    But I think we are at the point where we are chasing our tails.

    So, as they say on ‘The Shark Tank’,…”I’m out.”

    See you in church!

  216. De Maria said,

    August 24, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Kevin Failoni said,
    August 24, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Old Adam, DeMaria always quotes the warning passages, he is Catholic. You wont be seing Romans 8:1, 5:1, 8: 28_30

    I quote them all Kevin. You cast out the ones which don’t agree with your false ideas.

  217. theoldadam said,

    August 24, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Kevin,

    I’ll leave those questions for DM, to you.

    I really am going to ‘bug out’, as they (who?) say.

    Keep up the good work, my friend.

  218. August 24, 2014 at 12:20 am

    DeMaria, you use your falible judgment informed by the holy spirit and place your faith in a church. We do the same and place our faith in the Word. But a church cant save you, only b the Word.

  219. De Maria said,

    August 24, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Kevin Failoni said,
    August 24, 2014 at 12:20 am

    DeMaria, you use your falible judgment informed by the holy spirit and place your faith in a church. We do the same and place our faith in the Word. But a church cant save you, only b the Word.

    Here’s what the Word says:

    Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

    The Word also says:

    Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    and again:

    Hebrews 13:17King James Version (KJV)

    17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

  220. Don said,

    August 24, 2014 at 2:19 am

    De Maria 219,
    These verses are a non sequitur response to Kevin Failoni, except perhaps to someone who already believes that it is the church that delivers salvation (and does not care much about the context of those verses). Which is to say, quoting these verses to Protestants is not going to do anything to prove the point you’re apparently trying to make.

  221. De Maria said,

    August 24, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Don said,
    August 24, 2014 at 2:19 am

    De Maria 219,
    These verses are a non sequitur response to Kevin Failoni,

    No they’re not.

    except perhaps to someone who already believes that it is the church that delivers salvation (and does not care much about the context of those verses).

    Scripture tells us that it is God who adds to the Church, those who would be saved.

    Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

    Scripture also tells us to obey the Church or we will be condemned:

    Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    Scripture also tells us to obey the priests and Bishops (i.e. Rulers) in the Church:

    Hebrews 13:17

    17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

    It is Scripture which tells us to have faith in the Church and in our leaders in the Church, so I don’t understand why you would not want to do so.

    Which is to say, quoting these verses to Protestants is not going to do anything to prove the point you’re apparently trying to make.

    Some Catholics plant, others water, God makes the growth. If there are some out there who understand what I’m saying, God be praised.

  222. De Maria said,

    August 24, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Don, its not as though the Church is separate from Christ. The Church is the Body of Christ.

    Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

    The Church represents Christ:

    Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

    Anyone who rejects the Church, rejects Christ:

    Luke 10:16

    16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

    Because Christ sent the Church to Teach His all which He commanded:

    Matthew 28:19-20

    19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

  223. August 24, 2014 at 10:03 am

    DeMaria, and here is what 1 John 2:27 says ” As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is TRUE and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.” The church can’t substitute itself for the Spirit and the natural body of Christ. It is God who owns the conscience, not the church. It is the Spirit who brings Christ to the heart and all of god’s blessings, not the church. The church can lead us to faith, but its the Spirit who blows where and how He wills. Your men and their human institution have usurped the place of the Trinity. The Pope didn’t die on a cross, and he didn’t give his life for his people. Christ didn’t die on the cross to have the Pope come in and steal the glory. A mere sinner like you and me taking the name Holy Father, Vicar, head of the church. These Popes die, and how could the church live if its head were dead. Christ is the head of His church and the church forever lives in Him.

  224. De Maria said,

    August 24, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    August 24, 2014 at 10:03 am

    DeMaria, and here is what 1 John 2:27 says

    Does that say that I shouldn’t have faith in the Church? Where?

    ” As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is TRUE and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”

    First, that is a description of the Sacrament of Confirmation. Look back at verse 20:

    20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

    That is the anointing of the Sacrament of Confirmation:

    III. THE EFFECTS OF CONFIRMATION

    1302 It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost.

    1303 From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:
    – it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, “Abba! Father!”;117
    – it unites us more firmly to Christ;
    – it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
    – it renders our bond with the Church more perfect;118
    – it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross:119

    Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear in God’s presence. Guard what you have received. God the Father has marked you with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts.120

    The church can’t substitute itself for the Spirit

    It doesn’t. But it is through the Church that God speaks by the power of the Holy Spirit:

    2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

    and the natural body of Christ.

    Scripture says that the Church is the body of Christ.

    Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

    Are you denying this?

    It is God who owns the conscience, not the church.

    But it is the Church which God established in order to Teach what Jesus commanded to the world.

    Matthew 28:19-20King James Version (KJV)

    19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    It is the Spirit who brings Christ to the heart and all of god’s blessings, not the church.

    But it is the Church through the Church that God gives you the Holy Spirit in Baptism.

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    The church can lead us to faith,

    Bingo!

    but its the Spirit who blows where and how He wills.

    And the Spirit wills to blow through the Church, because, as you admitted, the Church brings us to faith.

    Your men and their human institution have usurped the place of the Trinity.

    On the contrary, they are the men whom God placed on this earth to teach us the Word of God:

    Hebrews 13:7

    7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

    The Pope didn’t die on a cross,

    No, he didn’t. But he speaks in the name of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:20).

    and he didn’t give his life for his people.

    Yes, he did. You don’t have to die to give your life for those you love.

    Luke 9:23 [Full Chapter]
    And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

    Christ didn’t die on the cross to have the Pope come in and steal the glory.

    The Pope gives Christ all the glory. But the Pope obeys Christ and in obedience to Christ, rules the Church:

    John 21:15-17

    15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

    16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    A mere sinner like you and me taking the name Holy Father, Vicar, head of the church.

    Jesus Christ appointed him, Vicar. (John 21:15-17; Matt 16:18-19).

    These Popes die,

    And God appoints another.

    and how could the church live if its head were dead.

    Jesus Christ will never die. The Pope is the Vicar, the visible head who speaks in the name of Christ and for Christ. Again, Scripture says:

    2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

    Christ is the head of His church and the church forever lives in Him.

    Absolutely! And the Church also teaches us the Wisdom of God:

    Ephesians 3:10

    10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    That is why we have faith in the Church, because we have faith in Christ.

  225. August 24, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Old Adam, I want you to look at DeMaria’s response to me about 1 John 2:27 and think about what the problem with rome isn’t traditionalism, but invention and novelty. He says that verse speaks of Confirmation the sacrament. In the movie Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory there is a hit song, its called pure imagination. This is what happens in Rome. They make it up as they go. Remember my rule, read Roman doctrine, believe the opposite and arrive at biblical truth.

  226. August 24, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    DeMaria, said ” this I why we have faith in the church, because I have faith in Christ.” Two questions 1 Is Christ the church? 2 What if a church has an apostate gospel, can that church save them? Would you know a false gospel if you saw it? Could Paul be talking about any other church in Galatians 1:9 than Rome. Paul opposes works and faith in justification, Rome affirms works in justification, can you explain this?

  227. roberty bob said,

    August 24, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    in reference to #226 . . .

    “Could Paul be talking about any other church in Galatians 1:9 than Rome?”

    At the time Paul wrote to the Galatians, he had the Judaizers in mind. The Judaizers were mainly headquartered in Jerusalem, and they were demanding that Gentiles submit to Jewish rites [circumcision, etc.] as a prerequisite to church membership.

    Protestants typically believe that the Church of Rome promoted, and continues to promote, the same kind of error as that of the Judaizers.

    Also, DeMaria has already explained the place of works in justification. He included biblical references from Paul and James.

  228. De Maria said,

    August 24, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    August 24, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    DeMaria, said ” this I why we have faith in the church, because I have faith in Christ.” Two questions 1 Is Christ the church?

    The Church is the body of Christ:

    Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

    And the two are so closely linked, that when Saul persecuted the Church:

    1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

    Jesus said:
    Acts 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

    2 What if a church has an apostate gospel,

    The True Church can’t teach an apostate gospel because God guaranteed that the Church would never fall:

    Matthew 16:18-19King James Version (KJV)

    18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    And Scripture predicts that the True Church will preach the Gospel even in Eternity:

    Ephesians 3:10

    10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    Scripture describes the True Church as one with a Pope:

    John 21:15-17King James Version (KJV)

    15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

    16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    With a hierarchy of Bishops:

    Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

    Which Baptizes and Teaches the Doctrines of Christ:
    Matthew 28:19-20King James Version (KJV)

    19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    can that church save them?

    God saves those whom He adds to the Catholic Church:
    Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

    Would you know a false gospel if you saw it?

    One sign is that it contradicts Scripture. Take Sola Scriptura for instance. Scripture says:
    2 Thessalonians 2:15King James Version (KJV)

    15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

    Thus, Sola Scriptura, contradicts Scriptuire.

    Take also Sola Fide:

    Scripture says:
    James 2:24King James Version (KJV)

    24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    Thus Sola Fide contradicts Scripture.

    These are foundational features of the Protestant gospel. Thus, the Protestant gospel is proved false.

    Could Paul be talking about any other church in Galatians 1:9 than Rome.

    St. Paul is predicting the coming of the Protestants. Protestantism preaches another gospel which is not found in Scripture.

    Paul opposes works and faith in justification, Rome affirms works in justification, can you explain this?

    I can identify your error. St. Paul says:

    Romans 2:13King James Version (KJV)

    13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    Therefore, Paul does not oppose works in justification. You have misunderstood what St. Paul is saying because you are relying upon the non-biblical traditions of men taught by the Protestants.

  229. August 24, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    roberty rob, Paul is clear in Galatians 3:10 cursed is anyone who does not abide in all things of the law. The Holy Spirit adds the word all thru Paul here. This section is a reference to Deuteronomy which is the moral law. Incidentally every time Paul spas of the law he is talking about all of it, even love of neighbor. He says those who receive circumcision were guilty of the whole law. Its a whole. In Romans he says that thru the law comes the knowledge of sin. The knowledge of sin doesn’t come thru circumcision or dietary laws. The NPP is wrong. Galatians isn’t really about the law as much as it is how works and hearing by faith are opposed in justification. He wrote the book to combat those who were trying to undermine jbfa. His epistles aren’t ambiguous, works and faith are opposed for Paul in justification. Romans 11:6. Romans 4:16 says that if a Roman Catholic wants to be justified by grace it will have to be by faith.

  230. Ron said,

    August 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Scripture describes the True Church as one with a Pope:

    John 21:15-17King James Version (KJV)

    15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

    16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    How is the papacy deduced from the passage? If you can deduce it from any passage(s) of Scripture I’ll confess my sins to a priest on Saturday and attend mass this coming Sunday.

  231. roberty bob said,

    August 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    in reference to #229 . . .

    OK. You quote Galatians 3:10. I agree with the Apostle Paul that those who strive to be right with God apart from faith had better make sure that they abide by the law in its entirety. The problem is that the law [by itself] lacks the power to deliver the obedience God requires; it takes faith, for without faith it is impossible to please God. How, then, do people with faith please God? They obey his commandments. They obey even as they trust God’s promise. Yes, it’s Paul in Galatians who says that the law is not opposed to the promises. It is also Paul in Galatians who urges us not to become weary in doing good.

    Oh, and in Galatians 2:14 Paul is quite specific about the activity of the Judaizers — and even Peter got caught up in the fervor — who were insisting that Gentile converts abide by Jewish customs.

  232. Don said,

    August 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    De Maria 221,
    Also, if you use a modern translation, you’ll find that “the church” does not appear in the text of Acts 2:47 (as made explicit by a footnote in the New King James Version).

    I’m pretty sure that no translation has “priests” in Hebrews 13:17 so that verse doesn’t particularly help your cause.

    “It is Scripture which tells us to have faith in the Church”
    As they say on Wikipedia, [citation needed].

  233. De Maria said,

    August 24, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Ron said,
    August 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Scripture describes the True Church as one with a Pope:

    John 21:15-17King James Version (KJV)

    15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

    16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    How is the papacy deduced from the passage?

    Jesus appointed St. Peter as Shepherd over His flock.

    If you can deduce it from any passage(s) of Scripture I’ll confess my sins to a priest on Saturday and attend mass this coming Sunday.

    Matt 16:18-19 This is where Jesus names Simon, “Rock” or “Peter” and gives him the keys to the kingdom.

    First, let’s look at some other Scriptures about Rock:

    Deuteronomy 32:4
    King James Version (KJV)
    4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

    And also:
    1 Corinthians 10:4
    King James Version (KJV)
    4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

    Now consider, God is our Rock and Jesus is the Rock, correct?
    Why would Jesus (i.e. God) turn to Simon and say, “You are rock”? Because He wanted all to know that Simon would be he to whom all must turn who want to know God’s will. There is a precedent for this in Scripture:

    Exodus 7:1
    King James Version (KJV)
    7 And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

    Exodus 18:13-15
    King James Version (KJV)
    13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.14 And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:

    Exodus 19:9
    King James Version (KJV)
    9 And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.

    God put Moses in a position of authority over the people. Jesus has done the same thing with Simon. God covered Moses with the Cloud, Jesus gave Simon His own name:

    John 21:15-17
    King James Version (KJV)
    15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    Jesus has appointed Simon as Shepherd over His flock. And in order to bring this point home, Jesus gave Simon His own name, “Rock” or “Peter”.

    Matthew 16:18-19King James Version (KJV)

    18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    This is to signify the type of authority which Jesus has given to Simon. He has the authority to bind and loose in God’s name (Matt 16:18-19).

  234. August 24, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    roberty rob, read Galatians 3:1-6. He compares working with hearing by faith. You asked how do people with God please God. You strive for God’s approval and we live out an approval we already possess. God didn’t come to help you save yourself, he saved us. He didn’t come to make salvation possible, he saved us. He didn’t come to put us in the state of reconciliation ,He reconciled us Romans 5:9. God didn’t come to help us achieve His favor with His help. He lived the law in our place and fulfilled all righteousness. He dint come to make salvation possible, He redeemed for himself a people, and Hebrews 9:27 says the next time He comes it won’t be in regards to sin but to gather His people. You are caught in an awful religion. Never knowing your saved, the threa of a Mortal sin throwing you out. God offers men peace thru the gospel because the job is finished and Paul simply says the righteous shall live by faith. You do your level best and God gives you grace, God gives us grace and we do our best. That is the difference between Roman catholicism and Christianity.

  235. roberty bob said,

    August 24, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    “If you can deduce it . . . “, saidst Ron.

    DeMaria didst deduce!

  236. De Maria said,

    August 24, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Don said,
    August 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    De Maria 221,
    Also, if you use a modern translation, you’ll find that “the church” does not appear in the text of Acts 2:47 (as made explicit by a footnote in the New King James Version).

    From the Biblegateway

    Acts 2:47New King James Version (NKJV)

    47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church[a] daily those who were being saved.

    Footnotes:

    Acts 2:47 NU-Text omits to the church.

    Those which don’t use it simply change the interpretation of ekklesia to assembly or gathering. But ekklesia means Church.

    I’m pretty sure that no translation has “priests” in Hebrews 13:17 so that verse doesn’t particularly help your cause

    It is the Bishops and priests who are the rulers of the Church from the time of the Apostles.

    “It is Scripture which tells us to have faith in the Church”
    As they say on Wikipedia, [citation needed].

    When Scripture tells us in Matt 18:17 to “hear the Church” and in Eph 3:10 that the Church teaches the Wisdom of God, that is sufficient for me to have faith in the Church.

    But, since you’re asking for citations, how about the citations needed for Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, absolute assurance of salvation and covered with the righteousness of Christ.

  237. roberty bob said,

    August 24, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    to #234 Kevin . . .

    Trust in the Lord and do good!

    Now, where in the Bible did I read that?

  238. Tim Harris said,

    August 24, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    De Maria — you reason exactly like Harold Camping used to. A very smart guy, but… mama mia!

    I guess, if we are forced to “own” Camping as a Protestant, then we would have to concede that there is some crazy logic and exegesis on both sides of the aisle!

    I don’t, however.

  239. roberty bob said,

    August 24, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    in reference to #238 . . . “crazy logic” . . .

    DeMaria’s reasoning comes through years of seasoning. Listen and learn because you’re being schooled!

  240. De Maria said,

    August 24, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    Tim Harris said,
    August 24, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    De Maria — you reason exactly like Harold Camping used to. A very smart guy, but… mama mia!

    I guess, if we are forced to “own” Camping as a Protestant, then we would have to concede that there is some crazy logic and exegesis on both sides of the aisle!

    I don’t, however.

    Mine is not crazy logic Tim. My logic is based upon these facts which you can look up in Scripture or in history.

    1. Jesus Christ did not write the New Testament.
    2. Jesus Christ established a Church.
    3. Jesus Christ commanded that Church to teach all which He commanded. We call that Sacred Tradition.

    4. The Church wrote the New Testament based upon that Sacred Tradition which Jesus Christ commanded the Church to Teach.

    This all fits Catholic Teaching and you can read it in the Bible.

    Do you see the logic yet?

    If Jesus Christ established the Church and commanded that Church to teach me His Word, why would I disregard that Church?

    If the Church wrote the New Testament, why would I go to any other source to learn what the New Testament says?

    If the New Testament is based upon that which Jesus Christ commanded the Church to teach, why should I reinvent the wheel, so to speak, and read the Bible without guidance from the Church?

    Not only that, but if I know what is contained in Sacred Tradition, I know what is contained in the New Testament.

    No sir, the ones with crazy logic are the Protestants, who look to Scripture alone and eschew the guidance of the Church. Yeah, one of their loudest complaints is, “you checked your brain in at the door of the Catholic Church.” Well, guess what, that is what Scripture tells us to do. Scripture doesn’t tell us to invent our own religion.

    Hebrews 13:7

    7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

    But I welcome you showing me from Scripture, where my logic is not sound. I guarantee that I can show you the reasons for my faith, from Scripture, from the Church Fathers and from history.

    But I know you guys don’t accept anything but Scripture. So I stick to the King James, since that is what Protestants want to hear mostly. But let me know what you prefer. Every Bible that I’ve ever read, supports Catholic Doctrine.

    Isaiah 55:11King James Version (KJV)

    11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

  241. Don said,

    August 25, 2014 at 2:18 am

    De Maria 236,

    Acts 2:47 NU-Text omits to the church.

    Those which don’t use it simply change the interpretation of ekklesia to assembly or gathering. But ekklesia means Church.

    This is nonsense. What I’m trying to tell you is there is no “ekklesia” in Acts 2:47. As far as I can briefly tell, “to the church” was added to English translations after Wycliffe and before Geneva. And then removed as the translations improved. It is not a legitimate prooftext for Catholicism.

    It is the Bishops and priests who are the rulers of the Church from the time of the Apostles.

    Odd how one of these roles isn’t mentioned in the NT as a church-leadership position. Again, I realize this isn’t a big deal to you with your acceptance of Roman Tradition; but if you’re going to try to Protestants, then saying “because the RC church says so” will be entirely ineffective.

    But, since you’re asking for citations, how about the citations needed for Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, absolute assurance of salvation and covered with the righteousness of Christ.

    Try the prooftexts that come with the Westminster Confession of Faith. The relevance of some are more, uh, obvious than others, but it’s probably a good place for you to start.

  242. Ron said,

    August 25, 2014 at 8:26 am

    De Maria,

    Your argument you just gave for the papacy was this:

    1. Jesus appointed St. Peter as Shepherd over His flock.
    2. God is our Rock and Jesus is the Rock
    3. [Jesus] wanted all to know that Simon would be he to whom all must turn who want to know God’s will. There is a precedent for this in Scripture
    4. God put Moses in a position of authority over the people. Jesus has done the same thing with Simon. God covered Moses with the Cloud, Jesus gave Simon His own name:
    5. Jesus has appointed Simon as Shepherd over His flock. And in order to bring this point home, Jesus gave Simon His own name, “Rock” or “Peter”.
    6. This is to signify the type of authority which Jesus has given to Simon. He has the authority to bind and loose in God’s name (Matt 16:18-19).

    Your argument is not for the papacy. Your argument is at best an argument for Peter’s primacy during the apostolic age. An argument for the papacy would need to conclude with the principle of a perpetual line of popes that would point to what the Roman communion alleges today. Yet we don’t even have two data points from which to infer this trajectory so it’s going to be difficult to draw that straight line to Rome. Yet even your Peter-primacy-proof was inadequate. First, your analogy of Moses fails you since Moses did not have a unique position equivalent to that of the popes. Accordingly, to find papal equivalence from Moses is to reduce the office of pope to one who penned Scripture and was a leader of God’s people. The referenced authority Jesus gave Peter, which was derivative and not original, was extended to the church just two chapters later. Moreover, there is no indication that Peter as the ecclesiastical overseer over the censure of 1 Corinthians 5 and the restoration that may be inferred from 2 Corinthians 2. Consequently, you have some work to do if you’re going to try to establish the popes from Scripture. If that were even possible I would think that someone would have done so in the last five hundred years at least.

    My earlier post about confessing my sins to God through the mediation of a priest and attending mass was not in jest. A point was being made. Protestants are to obey God’s word. So, if it can be shown from Scripture that the Roman communion has been invested with the office of the papacy, then Protestants would have to submit to God’s word on the matter. All you’ve shown is that Peter was a significant apostolic figure.

  243. Ron said,

    August 25, 2014 at 8:31 am

    De Maria, this post eliminates a couple of typos that you would have been able to work through but probably not after reading the sentences a few times.

    De Maria,

    Your argument you just gave for the papacy was this:

    1. Jesus appointed St. Peter as Shepherd over His flock.
    2. God is our Rock and Jesus is the Rock
    3. [Jesus] wanted all to know that Simon would be he to whom all must turn who want to know God’s will. There is a precedent for this in Scripture
    4. God put Moses in a position of authority over the people. Jesus has done the same thing with Simon. God covered Moses with the Cloud, Jesus gave Simon His own name:
    5. Jesus has appointed Simon as Shepherd over His flock. And in order to bring this point home, Jesus gave Simon His own name, “Rock” or “Peter”.
    6. This is to signify the type of authority which Jesus has given to Simon. He has the authority to bind and loose in God’s name (Matt 16:18-19).

    Your argument is not for the papacy. Your argument is at best an argument for Peter’s primacy during the apostolic age. An argument for the papacy would need to conclude with the principle of a perpetual line of popes that would point to what the Roman communion alleges today. Yet we don’t even have two data points from which to infer this trajectory so it’s going to be difficult to draw that straight line to Rome. Yet even your Peter-primacy-proof was inadequate. First, your analogy of Moses fails you since Moses did not have a unique position equivalent to that of the popes. Accordingly, to find papal equivalence from Moses is to reduce the office of pope to one who penned Scripture and was a leader of God’s people. The referenced authority Jesus gave Peter, which was derivative and not original, was extended to the church just two chapters later. Moreover, there is no indication that Peter was the ecclesiastical overseer of the censure recorded in 1 Corinthians 5 and the restoration that may be inferred from 2 Corinthians 2. Consequently, you have some work to do if you’re going to try to establish the popes from Scripture. If that were even possible I would think that someone would have done so in the last five hundred years at least.

    My earlier post about confessing my sins to God through the mediation of a priest and attending mass was not in jest. A point was being made. Protestants are to obey God’s word. So, if it can be shown from Scripture that the Roman communion has been invested with the office of the papacy, then Protestants would have to submit to God’s word on the matter. All you’ve shown is that Peter was a significant apostolic figure.

  244. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Don said,
    August 25, 2014 at 2:18 am

    This is nonsense. What I’m trying to tell you is there is no “ekklesia” in Acts 2:47. As far as I can briefly tell, “to the church” was added to English translations after Wycliffe and before Geneva. And then removed as the translations improved. It is not a legitimate prooftext for Catholicism.

    If you don’t like that verse, I think I’ve posted enough other verses about the importance of the Church to prove the point.

    Odd how one of these roles isn’t mentioned in the NT as a church-leadership position. Again, I realize this isn’t a big deal to you with your acceptance of Roman Tradition; but if you’re going to try to Protestants, then saying “because the RC church says so” will be entirely ineffective.

    Let me see, here is what the book of Hebrews says. Do you accept the book of Hebrews? Because Luther doubted its authenticity.

    Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls and will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with sighing—for that would be harmful to you.

    Do you recognize there, the Sacrament of Confession?

    In Confession, we obey the priest and submit to them because they are keeping watch over our souls and will make an account to God.

    Therefore, the word “leader” means “priest” in the book of Hebrews.

    Try the prooftexts that come with the Westminster Confession of Faith. The relevance of some are more, uh, obvious than others, but it’s probably a good place for you to start.

    Show me from Scripture.

  245. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Ron said,
    August 25, 2014 at 8:31 am

    De Maria, this post eliminates a couple of typos that you would have been able to work through but probably not after reading the sentences a few times.

    De Maria,

    Your argument you just gave for the papacy was this:

    1. Jesus appointed St. Peter as Shepherd over His flock.
    2. God is our Rock and Jesus is the Rock
    3. [Jesus] wanted all to know that Simon would be he to whom all must turn who want to know God’s will. There is a precedent for this in Scripture
    4. God put Moses in a position of authority over the people. Jesus has done the same thing with Simon. God covered Moses with the Cloud, Jesus gave Simon His own name:
    5. Jesus has appointed Simon as Shepherd over His flock. And in order to bring this point home, Jesus gave Simon His own name, “Rock” or “Peter”.
    6. This is to signify the type of authority which Jesus has given to Simon. He has the authority to bind and loose in God’s name (Matt 16:18-19).

    Your argument is not for the papacy. Your argument is at best an argument for Peter’s primacy during the apostolic age.

    That is certainly step 1. But Christ handed him the keys to the Kingdom, symbolizing the establishment of an office.

    An argument for the papacy would need to conclude with the principle of a perpetual line of popes that would point to what the Roman communion alleges today.

    That principle has stood for 2000 years.

    Yet we don’t even have two data points from which to infer this trajectory so it’s going to be difficult to draw that straight line to Rome.

    YOU don’t have two data points. Jesus gave the keys to Peter. And Peter went to Rome.

    Yet even your Peter-primacy-proof was inadequate. First, your analogy of Moses fails you since Moses did not have a unique position equivalent to that of the popes.

    Not perfectly equivalent. But it foreshadows the Chair of Peter:

    Exodus 18:13-16King James Version (KJV)

    13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. 14 And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? 15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:

    Notice how Moses sat in a particular seat to inquire of God. This is what the Popes do, as well. They speak to us in the person of Christ.

    Matthew 23:2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

    According to Jesus, this seat was transferred to the Pharisees. It is not recorded in Scripture, but Jesus said that the Moses’ seat continued throughout the Old Testament.

    Accordingly, to find papal equivalence from Moses is to reduce the office of pope to one who penned Scripture and was a leader of God’s people. The referenced authority Jesus gave Peter, which was derivative and not original, was extended to the church just two chapters later.

    Not completely.

    Matthew 18:18

    18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    No mention of keys. The keys were given to St. Peter. In order for anyone else to use the keys to bind and loose, speaking metaphorically,
    they need to work with Peter.

    And that is the Catholic Doctrine. The Church, with Peter (i.e. the Pope) can bind and loose. The Church without Peter, can’t.

    Moreover, there is no indication that Peter was the ecclesiastical overseer of the censure recorded in 1 Corinthians 5 and the restoration that may be inferred from 2 Corinthians 2. .

    There is no need that St. Peter be involved in local decisions.

    Consequently, you have some work to do if you’re going to try to establish the popes from Scripture. If that were even possible I would think that someone would have done so in the last five hundred years at least

    The work was done by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. The fact that the Reformers disobeyed the Church and the Word of God is not proof of anything but their disobedience.

    My earlier post about confessing my sins to God through the mediation of a priest and attending mass was not in jest. A point was being made. Protestants are to obey God’s word. So, if it can be shown from Scripture that the Roman communion has been invested with the office of the papacy, then Protestants would have to submit to God’s word on the matter. All you’ve shown is that Peter was a significant apostolic figure.

    The office of Peter was established by Jesus Christ. We believe He intended it to be a perpetual office. The Church has honored this office for 2000 years. It was the Reformers who 15 centuries later, decided to change the order which Jesus established.

    You have the choice to follow the order established by Jesus. Or the order or lack thereof, established by the Reformers.

  246. Mark said,

    August 25, 2014 at 9:33 am

    theoldadam,

    How often has “the old knock in the head” been effective? This isn’t rhetorical, but an honest question. If the answer is, “Not very often,” then perhaps the cliched definition of insanity is appropriate “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

    I certainly can understand the temptation to get protective (defensive?) and snap out with snarky comments (goodness knows I do it too). But, even if your concern is solely rescuing people from the Gospel (even ignoring being charitable for charity’s sake), my experience has been, that method is not effective anyway. Maybe your experience has been different and lots of people have had scales fallen from their eyelids after hearing your version of an “old knock in the head” through sarcastic snotty comments.

  247. Ron said,

    August 25, 2014 at 9:51 am

    The office of Peter was established by Jesus Christ. We believe He intended it to be a perpetual office. The Church has honored this office for 2000 years. It was the Reformers who 15 centuries later, decided to change the order which Jesus established.

    DM,

    Allowing for the grand claim that the office of pope was established by Peter, that you “believe He intended it to be a perpetual office” does not establish that it is a perpetual office let alone that the office pertains to the Roman communion. Your argument is a fallacious one from silence and, therefore, unsound. That you would bet your soul on what is not plainly set forth in Scripture is terrifying.

    1. There is no OT precedent of infallibility. (from Scripture, which RC’s don’t dispute)

    2. The burden of proof is upon Rome to prove infallibility in the NT church. (from 1 and def. of fallacious argument from silence)

    3. Rome has yet to put forth a proof for NT infallibility, only assertions. (observation)

    4. Any shifting of onus to a demand that one must prove infallibility wrong is nothing more than a fallacious argument from silence and, therefore, to be considered invalid. (from 2 and 3)

    5. Invalid arguments are always unsound. (def. of valid and sound arguments)

    Can Rome produce an infallible tradition not found in Scripture that has its origins with the apostles? Of course not, which leads to the question – If Scripture does not inform the Roman Catholic magisterium about what Scripture has to say, then who or what does? To deny that the popes affirm the analogy of Scripture for the magisterium is to reduce Scripture to brute particulars that have no discernible coherence, which would mean that the magisterium with respect to interpreting Scripture must be making things up as they go along and that any appeal to Scripture is disingenuous at best. Therefore, it’s not so much that Rome denies the intelligibility and lucidity of Scripture. Rather, the implication is that Rome would have us believe that Scripture is only intelligible and clear to the magisterium! That they might on occasion deny this does not undermine that the inference should be drawn. Consequently, individual Roman Catholics should not, as they do, appeal to Scripture to justify the Roman Catholic communion and the church’s need for the popes. Rather, Roman Catholics should be consistent and honest by simply pointing to the authority of the popes to defend the claims of the popes, and once they do that then yes, we will be at an impasse. That, however, would be an admission of being a blind follower of something other than Scripture, which is an embarrassment for Roman Catholics yet a necessary implication of their view of the church and Scripture. All you’ve said on this front is that the church has given you “guidelines” to interpret Scripture, but again “guidelines” undermine your appeals to particular verses and any interpretation.

    In sum, as soon as a Roman Catholic argues from Scripture he denies the need for an infallible magisterium. Once he points to Rome apart from Scripture, he shows himself to be a blind follower of something in the face of Scripture. Roman Catholics pay lip service to the authority of Scripture, for given an apparent discrepancy between Scripture and tradition Scripture always loses. For instance, Scripture teaches that all miracles appeal to the mind through the senses. Now then, imagine that Jesus looked as though he were sinking in water yet claimed to be walking on it. Or imagine that the Israelites drowned in the Red Sea but that tradition said they crossed over on dry ground and only looked as though they drowned. Should we believe such testimony in the face of contrary truth? So it is with the hocus-pocus of the mass. We are told we must believe, lest we risk hell(!), that the bread and wine has changed into the body and blood of the Lord; yet the elements continue to manifest the physical properties of bread and wine. Not only is there no biblical precedence to accept such obviously false claims, in principle we are warned and commanded not to do so! Yet such blind, irrational faith is required for one to be a good Roman Catholic. Yes, the demands are high, maybe because the stakes are so high. The skepticism created by Romanism begets doctrinal infidelity. No, demands it!

    Finally, Scripture has always taught that Scripture itself is to judge the teachers of God’s word. After all, if we were to allow the teachers to judge the Scriptures then the rejection of Christ by the religious leaders of his day would have been justified. There would be no Christianity! So it is with Rome. By placing herself above the Scriptures she too has fallen away – no less than the Jews.

    Peter was blessed because flesh and blood had not revealed Christ to him but rather the Father in Heaven did. Imagine though if Peter’s loyalty was to the magisterium of his day? Most Roman Catholics I know have never heard from God in this way but have merely heard some things about him, which is why they would sooner trust a communion that claims truth rather than the Christ who is the truth. By and large, Roman Catholics have no relationship with God through Christ. They know nothing of the forgiveness of sins, adoption as sons, the gift of the Holy Spirit and the hope of glory. Indeed, Roman Catholicism forbids such presumption and in doing so would deny access to the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit. It might just go without asking…What fellowship can be found within Rome?

    Jesus was clear when he said: his sheep hear his voice; they follow him; he gives them eternal life; and nobody will pluck them from his or his Father’s hand. That is why I also know that when Rome denies doctrines like perseverance of the saints that it is not Christ who is in error but Rome.

  248. Don said,

    August 25, 2014 at 10:40 am

    De Maria 244,

    If you don’t like that verse, I think I’ve posted enough other verses about the importance of the Church to prove the point.

    I like the verse, I don’t like your use of an obsolete translation of it.

    Do you recognize there, the Sacrament of Confession?

    Nope.

    Show me from Scripture.

    I just pointed you to a useful source. It’s not my intention here to defend any and every Protestant doctrine that you bring up. It’s to let you know that your Scripture references are often not effective, either because your audience is not going to immediately adopt your Catholic interpretation of them (e.g., taking every mention of the church as a reference to the Roman Catholic congregation), or because you are using a mistranslation.

  249. roberty bob said,

    August 25, 2014 at 11:43 am

    to #248 Don . . .

    “I like the verse [Acts 2:47], I don’t like your use of an obsolete translation of it.”

    So, are you denying that the Lord’s act of adding those who believed the gospel “to their number” is not the same act as adding them “to the Church?” Tell that to your godly protestant forebears who treasured their obsolete translations. Of what non-obsolete translations does God approve? Surely thou knowest.

  250. August 25, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    roberrty rob, we do deny that they were added to the Roman Catholic church,with the home office in Rome. They certainly were added to Christ’s church, the group of all saved believers. Rome has no claim to be that church since it is the apostacy that Paul speaks of in Thesalonians. The Pope is the man of perdition that puts himself up as God in the Temple. God no longer dwells in buildings, scripture says our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

  251. roberty bob said,

    August 25, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    in reply to #250 . . .

    “Rome has no claim to be that [Christ's] church.”

    The Apostle Paul wrote an Epistle to the Church of Rome. Could you pin point the time where this Church of Rome was expelled out of the Church of Jesus Christ? In the 100s? In the 200s? In the 300s? When? Under the shepherding of what bishop? I’m curious.

  252. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Ron said,
    August 25, 2014 at 9:51 am

    DM,

    Allowing for the grand claim that the office of pope was established by Peter,

    By Jesus Christ:

    Matthew 16:18-19

    18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    that you “believe He intended it to be a perpetual office” does not establish that it is a perpetual office

    I’m giving my reasons for what I believe, from Scripture. I didn’t say you had to believe my line of reasoning.

    However, your denials do not constitute an argument. They do not prove that Jesus did not establish a perpetual office.

    And the evidence from Scripture weighs heavily in support of a perpetual office. For instance, we see that the equivalent of the Papacy, the Seat of Moses, was a perpetual office until Jesus fulfilled the OT:

    Exodus 18:13-16King James Version (KJV)

    13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.

    14 And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?

    15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:

    16 When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.

    Matthew 23:2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

    We also see that Peter saying:
    Acts 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

    So that, all the offices of the Apostles were perpetual.

    But most importantly, we know that Jesus Christ intended the Church to stand forever, thus He said, “it will never fall (Matt 16:18).” And if the Church will never fall, then it is perpetual. And if the Church is perpetual, then the office which Jesus established to rule the Church, must also be perpetual.

    let alone that the office pertains to the Roman communion.

    There are other Churches which claim the office of Pope. They are all ancient religions and none of them are Protestant.

    However, I believe that the Catholic Church is the one described in Scripture for the following reasons:

    First, Jesus Christ appointed a Pastor as head of the entire Church:
    John 21:17
    He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    I see only a few Churches with such a Pastor. Further, Jesus Christ said that the Pastor over His Church would be infallible:

    Matthew 16:17-19 (King James Version)
    17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    The list of Churches accept this teaching gets smaller. Certainly, all Protestant denominations can now be eliminated.

    Jesus Christ not only said that the Pastor was infallible but Scripture describes the Church as infallible:
    Ephesians 3:10
    To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    The list remains the same, but now I can certainly eliminate all Protestant denominations.

    Back to Matt 16:18, Scripture says that Jesus Christ established one Church. History shows that all the Churches sprang from the Church which is frequently described as the Mother Church. The Catholic Church.

    So, even using just a few verses we can eliminate the Protestants. None of their denominations even come close to being in Scripture. But we can continue to find Catholic indicators throughout the Bible:

    The Church which is infallible (1 Tim 3:15; Eph 3:10).
    The Church which is united (Eph 4:5).
    The doctrines of the Catholic Church which are distinctive from other churches:
    Purgatory (1 Cor 3:15).
    Eucharist (1 Cor 11:23-27).
    Communion of Saints (Rom 12:12-20).
    The Mass and the necessity to attend (Heb 10:25-31).
    The Sacrament of Confession (Heb 13:17).
    The Sacrament of Holy Orders (1 Tim 4:14).
    The Sacrament of Baptism (Titus 3:5).
    Justification and salvation by faith and works (Rom 2:1-13; James 2:24; Gal 6:8).

    And we find that the Protestant doctrinal pillars all contradict Scripture. For instance:

    Sola Scriptura contradicts 2 Thess 2:152 Thessalonians 2:15
    King James Version (KJV)
    15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

    Sola Fide contradicts James 2:24
    James 2:24
    King James Version (KJV)
    24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    OSAS contradicts Heb 6:4-6
    Hebrews 6:4-6
    King James Version (KJV)
    4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
    5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    Salvation by grace alone contradicts:
    Philippians 2:12
    Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    and also:
    Romans 6:16
    Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

    Every Protestant doctrine which contradicts the Catholic Church also contradicts the Word of God in the Bible. So, I certainly won’t look for the True Church within their walls.

    Your argument is a fallacious one from silence and, therefore, unsound. That you would bet your soul on what is not plainly set forth in Scripture is terrifying.

    On the contrary, my argument is solidly based upon the Word of God.

    1. There is no OT precedent of infallibility. (from Scripture, which RC’s don’t dispute)

    We have better promises.

    2. The burden of proof is upon Rome to prove infallibility in the NT church. (from 1 and def. of fallacious argument from silence)

    The Church has proved it for 2000 years. But for some, no proof is ever enough.

    3. Rome has yet to put forth a proof for NT infallibility, only assertions. (observation)

    They have proved it to me and to billions of others.

    4. Any shifting of onus to a demand that one must prove infallibility wrong is nothing more than a fallacious argument from silence and, therefore, to be considered invalid. (from 2 and 3)

    I haven’t made that argument, so it is a red herring.

    5. Invalid arguments are always unsound. (def. of valid and sound arguments)

    My arguments are solidly based upon the Word of God.

    Can Rome produce an infallible tradition not found in Scripture that has its origins with the apostles? Of course not,

    Why would she want to? That’s not the Teaching. The Teaching is that all Catholic Tradition is found in Scripture, explicitly or implied.

    Can Protestants produce a doctrine which contradicts Catholic Teaching, in Scripture? I haven’t seen even one. But, you’re welcome to show me.

    which leads to the question – If Scripture does not inform the Roman Catholic magisterium about what Scripture has to say, then who or what does?

    The order of the Gospel is such that Jesus established a Church. Then Jesus sent that Church into the world to teach what He commanded.

    That which He commanded, we call Sacred Tradition. It is based upon this Sacred Tradition that the Catholic Church wrote the New Testament.

    Notice that the Scriptures do not command us to seek to learn the Teaching of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, strictly from the Bible. But in fact, commands us to learn from our leaders in the Church:

    Hebrews 13:7

    7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

    To deny that the popes affirm the analogy of Scripture for the magisterium is to reduce Scripture to brute particulars that have no discernible coherence, which would mean that the magisterium with respect to interpreting Scripture must be making things up as they go along and that any appeal to Scripture is disingenuous at best.

    The Catholic Church does not deny Scripture. But the Catholic Church also does not deny Sacred Tradition. The Catholic Church teaches that both are the Word of God.

    Therefore, it’s not so much that Rome denies the intelligibility and lucidity of Scripture. Rather, the implication is that Rome would have us believe that Scripture is only intelligible and clear to the magisterium!

    What does the Scripture say?

    2 Peter 3:16

    16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    Acts 8:29-31King James Version (KJV)

    29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readiest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

    Scripture recognizes that it is better to have a guide to teach us the Scriptures. What better guide than the one which Scripture says will teach the Wisdom of God even in eternity?

    Ephesians 3:10

    10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    That they might on occasion deny this does not undermine that the inference should be drawn. Consequently, individual Roman Catholics should not, as they do, appeal to Scripture to justify the Roman Catholic communion and the church’s need for the popes. Rather, Roman Catholics should be consistent and honest by simply pointing to the authority of the popes to defend the claims of the popes, and once they do that then yes, we will be at an impasse.

    You’re just upset because Scripture tells you to obey the Church. And you’re even more upset because we can use anything to prove the Authority of the Catholic Church; Scripture, Tradition, writings of the early Church Fathers, history, anything.

    That, however, would be an admission of being a blind follower of something other than Scripture, which is an embarrassment for Roman Catholics yet a necessary implication of their view of the church and Scripture. All you’ve said on this front is that the church has given you “guidelines” to interpret Scripture, but again “guidelines” undermine your appeals to particular verses and any interpretation.

    These guidelines can be found in the Scriptures.

    We see in Acts 8:29-31 above quoted, that Scripture suggests we use guides to understanding the Scriptiure.

    We see Scripture saying that we are taught the Word of God by our leaders in the Church:

    Hebrews 13:7King James Version (KJV)

    7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

    We also see that Scripture tells us to hold Sacred Tradition along with Scripture:

    2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

    2 Thess 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

    This is precisely what the Catholic Church teaches. That we understand the Scriptures in the context of Sacred Tradition. This is logical because Jesus Christ did not write the New Testament. But the Church wrote the New Testament based upon the Sacred Tradition of Jesus Christ.

    In sum, as soon as a Roman Catholic argues from Scripture he denies the need for an infallible magisterium.

    That doesn’t even make sense. Just because I read Scripture does not mean that I set aside any Catholic Teaching.

    Once he points to Rome apart from Scripture,

    Scripture does not tell us to separate Scripture from the Church nor to put Scripture in opposition to the Church. Scripture tells us that the Word of God is taught us by the Church.

    he shows himself to be a blind follower of something in the face of Scripture. Roman Catholics pay lip service to the authority of Scripture, for given an apparent discrepancy between Scripture and tradition Scripture always loses.

    There are no discrepancies between Scripture and Sacred Tradition. There are many discrepancies between Scripture and Protestant traditions of men though.

    For instance, Scripture teaches that all miracles appeal to the mind through the senses. Now then, imagine that Jesus looked as though he were sinking in water yet claimed to be walking on it. Or imagine that the Israelites drowned in the Red Sea but that tradition said they crossed over on dry ground and only looked as though they drowned. Should we believe such testimony in the face of contrary truth? So it is with the hocus-pocus of the mass. We are told we must believe, lest we risk hell(!), that the bread and wine has changed into the body and blood of the Lord; yet the elements continue to manifest the physical properties of bread and wine. Not only is there no biblical precedence to accept such obviously false claims, in principle we are warned and commanded not to do so! Yet such blind, irrational faith is required for one to be a good Roman Catholic. Yes, the demands are high, maybe because the stakes are so high. The skepticism created by Romanism begets doctrinal infidelity. No, demands it!

    We believe the Scripture which says:

    John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

    And the one which says:

    1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

    Finally, Scripture has always taught that Scripture itself is to judge the teachers of God’s word.

    Please provide chapter and verse.

    Here’s what I find:

    Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    1 Corinthians 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

    After all, if we were to allow the teachers to judge the Scriptures then the rejection of Christ by the religious leaders of his day would have been justified. There would be no Christianity! So it is with Rome. By placing herself above the Scriptures she too has fallen away – no less than the Jews.

    The Catholic Church is the servant of the Word of God in Scripture and Tradition.

    Scripture can not judge anyone. That is why Jesus wisely said, “bring him to the Church” (Matt 18:17). You can see this principle in action if you study about Arius and Athanasius. Two bishops of the Church who brought their case to the Church. And the Church judged one of them a heretic.

    Peter was blessed because flesh and blood had not revealed Christ to him but rather the Father in Heaven did. Imagine though if Peter’s loyalty was to the magisterium of his day?

    Jesus was the Magisterium of his day. That is where the word Magisterium comes from, “Teacher, Master”.

    The Church is the “Teacher and Master” because she teaches with the authority of Christ:

    Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    Most Roman Catholics I know have never heard from God in this way but have merely heard some things about him, which is why they would sooner trust a communion that claims truth rather than the Christ who is the truth. By and large, Roman Catholics have no relationship with God through Christ. They know nothing of the forgiveness of sins, adoption as sons, the gift of the Holy Spirit and the hope of glory. Indeed, Roman Catholicism forbids such presumption and in doing so would deny access to the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit. It might just go without asking…What fellowship can be found within Rome?

    That is your judgement of Catholics. All I can say, with the Apostle is:

    Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

    and again:

    1 Corinthians 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
    4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

    Jesus was clear when he said: his sheep hear his voice; they follow him; he gives them eternal life; and nobody will pluck them from his or his Father’s hand. That is why I also know that when Rome denies doctrines like perseverance of the saints that it is not Christ who is in error but Rome.

    Here is what the Scripture says:

    Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    and again:

    2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

    Which goes to show what I said before, every doctrine which you hold in contradiction of the Catholic Church, also contradicts Scripture. There is no such thing as once saved always saved in Scripture. That doctrine contradicts the Word of God.

  253. TurretinFan said,

    August 25, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    “The Apostle Paul wrote an Epistle to the Church of Rome. Could you pin point the time where this Church of Rome was expelled out of the Church of Jesus Christ? In the 100s? In the 200s? In the 300s? When? Under the shepherding of what bishop? I’m curious.”

    Actually, Paul wrote to “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” That included a plurality of churches, not one single church. We see that in the concluding chapter, where he offers salutations to a variety of church groups (Romans 16:5, 10, 11, 14, and 15)

    Also notable in those salutations is the absence of any greeting of Peter (because Peter wasn’t in Rome) or of any of the supposed successors of Peter.

    -TurretinFan

  254. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Don said,
    August 25, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I just pointed you to a useful source.

    But not to Scripture.

    It’s not my intention here to defend any and every Protestant doctrine that you bring up. It’s to let you know that your Scripture references are often not effective, either because your audience is not going to immediately adopt your Catholic interpretation of them (e.g., taking every mention of the church as a reference to the Roman Catholic congregation), or because you are using a mistranslation.

    I understand why you won’t attempt to defend your beliefs, which contradict Catholic Teaching from Scripture. I’ve looked them up in Scripture myself and I can’t find them either.

    Thanks for the discussion.

  255. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    TurretinFan said,
    August 25, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Actually, Paul wrote to “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” That included a plurality of churches, not one single church. We see that in the concluding chapter, where he offers salutations to a variety of church groups (Romans 16:5, 10, 11, 14, and 15)

    Also notable in those salutations is the absence of any greeting of Peter (because Peter wasn’t in Rome) or of any of the supposed successors of Peter.

    Where does Scripture say that the St. Peter could not have been in Rome? Or that any of Peter’s successors could not be in Rome?

  256. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    August 25, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    roberrty rob, we do deny that they were added to the Roman Catholic church,with the home office in Rome. They certainly were added to Christ’s church, the group of all saved believers. Rome has no claim to be that church since it is the apostacy that Paul speaks of in Thesalonians. The Pope is the man of perdition that puts himself up as God in the Temple. God no longer dwells in buildings, scripture says our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

    Those are mere assertions without evidence. And certainly without any indication in the Word of God. Here is what Scripture says about the Church.

    First, Jesus Christ appointed a Pastor as head of the entire Church:
    John 21:17
    He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    I see only a few Churches with such a Pastor. Further, Jesus Christ said that the Pastor over His Church would be infallible:

    Matthew 16:17-19 (King James Version)
    17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    The list of Churches accept this teaching gets smaller. Certainly, all Protestant denominations can now be eliminated.

    Jesus Christ not only said that the Pastor was infallible but Scripture describes the Church as infallible:
    Ephesians 3:10
    To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    The list remains the same, but now I can certainly eliminate all Protestant denominations.

    Back to Matt 16:18, Scripture says that Jesus Christ established one Church. History shows that all the Churches sprang from the Church which is frequently described as the Mother Church. The Catholic Church.

    So, even using just a few verses we can eliminate the Protestants. None of their denominations even come close to being in Scripture. But we can continue to find Catholic indicators throughout the Bible:

    The Church which is infallible (1 Tim 3:15; Eph 3:10).
    The Church which is united (Eph 4:5).
    The doctrines of the Catholic Church which are distinctive from other churches:
    Purgatory (1 Cor 3:15).
    Eucharist (1 Cor 11:23-27).
    Communion of Saints (Rom 12:12-20).
    The Mass and the necessity to attend (Heb 10:25-31).
    The Sacrament of Confession (Heb 13:17).
    The Sacrament of Holy Orders (1 Tim 4:14).
    The Sacrament of Baptism (Titus 3:5).
    Justification and salvation by faith and works (Rom 2:1-13; James 2:24; Gal 6:8).

    And we find that the Protestant doctrinal pillars all contradict Scripture. For instance:

    Sola Scriptura contradicts 2 Thess 2:152 Thessalonians 2:15
    King James Version (KJV)
    15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

    Sola Fide contradicts James 2:24
    James 2:24
    King James Version (KJV)
    24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    OSAS contradicts Heb 6:4-6
    Hebrews 6:4-6
    King James Version (KJV)
    4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
    5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    Salvation by grace alone contradicts:
    Philippians 2:12
    Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    and also:
    Romans 6:16
    Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

    Therefore, the Church described in Scripture looks just like the Catholic Church and nothing like the Protestant myriad of disassociated, self reliant groups.

  257. Ron said,

    August 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I’m giving my reasons for what I believe, from Scripture. I didn’t say you had to believe my line of reasoning.

    Ah, so you aren’t so much deducing this from Scripture but rather you have a sense that it could very well be true. In other words, Scripture doesn’t demand this interpretation of you (otherwise I’d think that you’d put forth a rigorous proof). It’s just a teaching that seems good to you. And you learned this teaching where? Ah yes, the popes.

    However, your denials do not constitute an argument. They do not prove that Jesus did not establish a perpetual office.

    There’s that argument from silence again. You just can’t rid yourself of it. :) Well, given that there’s no OT precedent for such a magisterium, it would seem reasonable that we need something a bit more robust to establish such a claim especially given the track record of the religious leaders for the first 4000 years of redemptive history.

    And the evidence from Scripture weighs heavily in support of a perpetual office.

    Evidence? Again, there is no OT precedence for this sort of thing and you aren’t able to deduce the teaching from Scripture. Your communion tells you it’s so and then you proof text things that seem good to you so that you might corroborate the claim. At the very least, that’s very poor procedure. AT the end of the day your confidence in this life and the life to come is in the claims of the popes. I know there is no peace there. God’s word informs me of that, so in a sense I’ve been reading your mail. Same goes for Bryan cross. When he signs “In Christ’s peace” I am quite confident he knows no such thing.

  258. Ron said,

    August 25, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Where does Scripture say that the St. Peter could not have been in Rome?

    Where does Scripture say he’s not sitting on my couch? Or that my Uncle Joe doesn’t have a chip of one of Peter’s bones?

    DM, do you know what a fallacious argument from silence looks like? You’re basing your eternal destiny on teachings that are only supported by fallacy upon fallacy.

    Don’t be afraid of listening to your Bible.

  259. roberty bob said,

    August 25, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    in reply to #253, turretin fan . . .

    “he [the Apostle Paul] offers salutations to a variety of church groups”

    That would be the Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, and Pentecostals.

    You guys are losing your grip.

  260. Ron said,

    August 25, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    I wriote: Any shifting of onus to a demand that one must prove infallibility wrong is nothing more than a fallacious argument from silence and, therefore, to be considered invalid. (from 2 and 3)

    You responded: I haven’t made that argument, so it is a red herring.

    DM,

    That is indeed your platform. The magisterium seems good to you just like Peter’s visit to Rome but you can’t *deduce* these things from Scripture. Then you make the test that one prove something false from the same corpus of silence that you appeal to. But your final appeal is not to what Scrioture *demands* but to what you hope it might allow for. To satisfy you I’d have to appeal to your good opinion.

  261. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Ron said,
    August 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Ah, so you aren’t so much deducing this from Scripture but rather you have a sense that it could very well be true.

    I am deducing it from Scripture and Sacred Tradition as instructed by the Magisterium. That is the model which Scripture presents. Let me show you:

    Acts 17 King James Version (KJV)

    1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:

    St. Paul and co. visited Thessalonica and entered a synagogue.

    2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

    There, St. Paul, a member of the Church and a member of the Magisterium began to reason with the Jews out of the Scriptures.

    Now, we know that these are the Old Testament Scriptures, because the Jews do not, to this day, accept the New Testament. And we know that the Jews accept the Old Testament, so when they reject St. Paul as they will next, it is not because of the Old Testament.

    However, at this point, we see two legs of the Catholic model of understanding the Word of God, Magisterium and Scripture.

    3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

    Now we see the third, we see St. Paul beginning to introduce the Sacred Tradition of Jesus Christ.

    4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

    and some of them believed the Sacred Tradition which was being taught by the Church, i.e. St. Paul and Silas.

    5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

    But others did not believe the Sacred Tradition and they ran the Church off.

    Now, we continue and find St. Paul and Silas in Berea. And what did they do? The very same thing. They presented the Traditions of Jesus Christ and how they could be proven in the Old Testament Scriptures:

    10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

    11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

    Apparently, all the Bereans accepted the Word of God taught by the Church and found the proof of them in the Scriptures. And this is confirmed by St. Paul when he says elsewhere:

    1 Thessalonians 2:13King James Version (KJV)

    13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

    There is no Scripture alone taught here. But the Catholic model of Sacred Tradition and Scripture as taught by the Magisterium.

    In other words, Scripture doesn’t demand this interpretation of you (otherwise I’d think that you’d put forth a rigorous proof).

    Yes, it does. And I have set forth a rigorous proof. Something sorely lacking in any of your unsupported denials and assertions.

    It’s just a teaching that seems good to you. And you learned this teaching where? Ah yes, the popes.

    And Scripture says:

    Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

    So, Scripture tells me to learn from the leaders of the Church. The Pope certainly fits that description.

    There’s that argument from silence again.

    From you. I have produced tons of evidence, from the Scriptures.

    You just can’t rid yourself of it. :) Well, given that there’s no OT precedent for such a magisterium, it would seem reasonable that we need something a bit more robust to establish such a claim especially given the track record of the religious leaders for the first 4000 years of redemptive history.

    I’ve already produced the proof. The Old Testament magisterium was not infallible, however. But that is because it was established by the mediation of Moses and the levitical priesthood. Fallible people. Whereas now we have the mediation of the Son of God, an infallible Person.

    Evidence? Again, there is no OT precedence for this sort of thing and you aren’t able to deduce the teaching from Scripture.

    I’ve already produced the evidence and deduced it for you. All you do is offer denials as counter arguments.

    Your communion tells you it’s so and then you proof text things that seem good to you so that you might corroborate the claim.

    Confirming it by the Scripture.

    At the very least, that’s very poor procedure. AT the end of the day your confidence in this life and the life to come is in the claims of the popes.

    Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

    I know there is no peace there. God’s word informs me of that, so in a sense I’ve been reading your mail. Same goes for Bryan cross. When he signs “In Christ’s peace” I am quite confident he knows no such thing.

    Who made you my judge? And who made you a reader of hearts? Are you God? No.

    But God is my Judge and it is in Him that I put my hope and trust:

    1 Thessalonians 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

  262. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Ron said,
    August 25, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Where does Scripture say he’s not sitting on my couch? Or that my Uncle Joe doesn’t have a chip of one of Peter’s bones?

    I’m not making the claim that St. Peter is on your couch. Nor that Uncle Joe has one of St. Peter’s bones. But Protestants are making the claim that St. Peter was never in Rome. Where is the evidence to support that claim?

    Not in Scripture.

    DM, do you know what a fallacious argument from silence looks like?

    Like what you are making. You and the Protestants claim that St. Peter is not in Rome because Scripture does not say that he was in Rome. That is a fallacious argument from silence.

    You’re basing your eternal destiny on teachings that are only supported by fallacy upon fallacy.

    I think I’ve proven my case. And from the Scriptures. You have yet to provide any evidence at all for the doctrines you hold in contradiction to Catholic Teaching.

    Don’t be afraid of listening to your Bible.

    I’m not. But it seems as though you are.

  263. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Ron said,
    August 25, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    I wriote: Any shifting of onus to a demand that one must prove infallibility wrong is nothing more than a fallacious argument from silence and, therefore, to be considered invalid. (from 2 and 3)

    You responded: I haven’t made that argument, so it is a red herring.

    DM,

    That is indeed your platform.

    When did I challenge you to prove infallibility wrong? Provide the quote from me.

    What I have been doing is providing the evidence for the truth of infallibility of the Pope and the Church, from Scripture.

    The magisterium seems good to you just like Peter’s visit to Rome but you can’t *deduce* these things from Scripture.

    You weren’t discussing Peter’s whereabouts with me. You were discussing that with someone else. I don’t remember with whom.

    My only input to that argument is that Protestants can’t use Scripture as evidence that St. Peter was not in Rome, since Scripture does not forbid his presence there.

    As for St. Peter’s presence in Rome. I believe it because the Church tells me so. The very same Church which Scripture describes as the Pilar of Truth (1 Cor 3:15). So, I have no reason not to believe the Church since it comes so highly recommended in the Word of God.

    Then you make the test that one prove something false from the same corpus of silence that you appeal to. But your final appeal is not to what Scrioture *demands* but to what you hope it might allow for. To satisfy you I’d have to appeal to your good opinion.

    I think I’ve proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is you appealing to fallacious arguments from silence.

  264. Don said,

    August 25, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Roberty Bob 249,

    So, are you denying that the Lord’s act of adding those who believed the gospel “to their number” is not the same act as adding them “to the Church?” Tell that to your godly protestant forebears who treasured their obsolete translations. Of what non-obsolete translations does God approve? Surely thou knowest.

    Whether or not that’s the same, the text only says one thing.

    Beyond that, I’m not really certain what you’re ranting about. Please don’t interpret that as a request for clarification.

  265. Don said,

    August 25, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    De Maria,
    In 236 you said,

    But, since you’re asking for citations, how about the citations needed for Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, absolute assurance of salvation and covered with the righteousness of Christ.

    Despite this sounding like a bunch of issues being thrown on the wall to see what sticks, I replied in 241:

    Try the prooftexts that come with the Westminster Confession of Faith.

    Let me emphasize that I referred you to the prooftexts, not to the WCF itself. You said in 244,

    Show me from Scripture.

    To which I replied in 248

    I just pointed you to a useful source.

    With you responding in 254,

    But not to Scripture.

    Which makes me wonder which of the few thousand prooftexts you think is not from Scripture. Well, really it makes me certain that you did not look at a copy of the WCF, and it makes me suspect that you possibly don’t know what a “prooftext” is.

  266. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Don said,
    August 25, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Despite this sounding like a bunch of issues being thrown on the wall to see what sticks, I replied in 241:

    Try the prooftexts that come with the Westminster Confession of Faith.

    Let me emphasize that I referred you to the prooftexts, not to the WCF itself. You said in 244,

    So what? You, personally, still have not produced any Scripture to support your assertions and denials. If you think that the WCF provides proof texts, provide them so we can examine their validity.

  267. Don said,

    August 25, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    De Maria 266,
    The prooftexts were added within a few years of it being written. Which is to say, they’ve been around a while. This is not a novelty.
    If you don’t want to google “Westminster Confession of Faith” yourself, then you could try

    http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/index.html

    or

    http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/westminster-confession-faith/

  268. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Don said,
    August 25, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Roberty Bob 249,

    So, are you denying that the Lord’s act of adding those who believed the gospel “to their number” is not the same act as adding them “to the Church?” Tell that to your godly protestant forebears who treasured their obsolete translations. Of what non-obsolete translations does God approve? Surely thou knowest.

    Whether or not that’s the same, the text only says one thing.

    Yes, the actual text of the King James and the New King James says:

    Acts 2:47New King James Version (NKJV)

    47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church[a] daily those who were being saved.

    The footnote says something different.

    Another Protestant website says:

    Acts 2:47
    “Church” (or “assembly/congregation”) has been omitted or altered to “number” or similar by the DR, RV, Ne, NIV, RSV, GN, LB, AMP, NASV, NEB, NWT, JB. The NKJV marg. indicates that “to the church” is omitted from the Nestle-United Bible Societies Text.

    Omission of the word “church” is objectionable on the grounds that it eliminates the cross references to Acts 5:14, 11:24 and thus obscures the fact that the “Body of Christ” (Colossians 1:18, 24) began in Acts 2. “Ekklesia” is found in Berry’s Greek text, underlying its presence in the Majority Text…..

    Beyond that, I’m not really certain what you’re ranting about.

    He is objecting to you setting aside Scripture whenever it is inconvenient to your beliefs and doctrines.

    Please don’t interpret that as a request for clarification.

    Ok.

  269. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Don said,
    August 25, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    De Maria 266,
    The prooftexts were added within a few years of it being written. Which is to say, they’ve been around a while. This is not a novelty.
    If you don’t want to google “Westminster Confession of Faith” yourself, then you could try

    http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/index.html

    or

    http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/westminster-confession-faith/

    I’ve read them and find them unconvincing. If you want to convince me of their validity in support of your doctrines, provide your arguments.

    Otherwise, I guess you and I are done. Thanks for the discussion.

  270. Ron said,

    August 25, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Dear DM,

    I think I’ve given you enough to make you more culpable before God and to aid you in salvation. I pray that the latter will be the result.

  271. TurretinFan said,

    August 25, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Considering that the Vulgate (which Trent said is authentic) doesn’t have the Latin word for church at Acts 2:47, this is a very puzzling objection from De Maria. Apparently the KJV is even more authentic than the Vulgate! :D

  272. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Ron said,
    August 25, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Dear DM,

    I think I’ve given you enough to make you more culpable before God and to aid you in salvation. I pray that the latter will be the result.

    I pray the same for you.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  273. Don said,

    August 25, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    De Maria,
    In 266 you were unaware that the WCF had prooftexts. In 269 you say you’ve read them. OK then.

  274. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    TurretinFan said,
    August 25, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Considering that the Vulgate (which Trent said is authentic) doesn’t have the Latin word for church at Acts 2:47, this is a very puzzling objection from De Maria. Apparently the KJV is even more authentic than the Vulgate! :D

    I am using a Protestant Bible to prove Catholic Doctrine to Protestants.

    Whenever I, in the past, used Catholic Bibles to prove Catholic Doctrine, Protestants would object that the Catholic Bible was not valid because it contained Catholic presuppositions.

    Now, when I use Protestant Bible to pre-empt that objection, they object that the Protestant Bible isn’t valid.

    Now, instead of the Bible, they want to substitute the WCF.

    Besides, I’ve provided several verses which are not contested which say that we should obey and submit to the Church and which describe the Church as Pillar of Truth and teacher of the Wisdom of God.

    That should be enough to prove that we can have faith in the Church.

    But, instead of engaging the discussion, you would rather derail the conversation and focus on a dispute within the Protestant community. Because most Protestants, with whom I’ve discussed this topic, accept the word “church” in that verse. This is the only time that any Protestant has denied it.

  275. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Don said,
    August 25, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    De Maria,
    In 266 you were unaware that the WCF had prooftexts. In 269 you say you’ve read them. OK then.

    Here’s what I said in #266:

    De Maria said,
    August 25, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    So what? You, personally, still have not produced any Scripture to support your assertions and denials. If you think that the WCF provides proof texts, provide them so we can examine their validity.

    Where did I deny that the WCF had proof texts?

    I simply denied that the purported proof texts support what Protestants claim they support. So I challenged you to provide them in order that we could examine their validity to support what Protestants claim they support.

  276. Don said,

    August 25, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    De Maria,

    Where did I deny that the WCF had proof texts?

    Where you challenged me to “provide them” in #266. As if they aren’t there? You are still calling them “purported” even here!

    I’m not trying to play “gotcha.” I am, again, trying to point out that many of your own prooftexts are irrelevant, or incorrect, or are not going to be read by a Protestant as they would be read by a Catholic. For example, again, just because there are some verses that say the church is important and does important things, no Protestant is going to make the logical step, which apparently seems obvious to you, to put “faith in the Church.” Let alone the Roman Catholic denomination. (In fact, a phrase like “faith in the Church,” which I do not believe appears in Scripture, tends to feed into Protestant stereotypes that Catholic doctrine replaces worship of God with worship of the church, the Pope, Mary, etc.) Repeatedly quoting the same semi-relevant Scriptures is not an effective arguing technique.

    Because most Protestants, with whom I’ve discussed this topic, accept the word “church” in that verse [Acts 2:47?]. This is the only time that any Protestant has denied it.

    OK, so I’ll bite: what does your favorite Catholic translation say? But if your previous interactions have been with KJV-Onlyists, then yeah, that would be a different matter.

  277. TurretinFan said,

    August 25, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    De Maria:

    I’m sorry to hear that you have only now run into Protestants who were able to point out the errors of your arguments on a textual level.

    But even in translations that say “added to the church,” the text doesn’t mean that the people were saved by being added to the church. They were added to church because they were saved. Your understanding of the text is wrong.

    This may be the first time you’ve met people who can point these things out to you, but now that they are being pointed out, reconsider your errors!

    -TurretinFan

  278. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Don said,
    August 25, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Where you challenged me to “provide them” in #266. As if they aren’t there? You are still calling them “purported” even here!

    That’s right. Just because someone listed some Scripture verses and called them “proof texts” doesn’t mean that they proved what they claimed.

    I’m not trying to play “gotcha.” I am, again, trying to point out that many of your own prooftexts are irrelevant, or incorrect, or are not going to be read by a Protestant as they would be read by a Catholic.

    And I believe that many of them are going to be accepted by some.

    Should I stop providing them simply because you’re of the opposite opinion?

    For example, again, just because there are some verses that say the church is important and does important things, no Protestant is going to make the logical step, which apparently seems obvious to you, to put “faith in the Church.”

    So you say. But several Protestants have written to me in the past and said, “I hadn’t seen that before.”

    Let alone the Roman Catholic denomination.

    Many more Catholics have thanked me for providing them the information that they can use to make a stronger defense of the Catholic Faith.

    (In fact, a phrase like “faith in the Church,” which I do not believe appears in Scripture, tends to feed into Protestant stereotypes that Catholic doctrine replaces worship of God with worship of the church, the Pope, Mary, etc.)

    That is your opinion. But others don’t share that opinion.

    Repeatedly quoting the same semi-relevant Scriptures is not an effective arguing technique.

    And repeatedly making the same unsupported assertions do not making an effective arguing technique either.

    OK, so I’ll bite: what does your favorite Catholic translation say?

    It says that the Church will never fail:

    Matthew 16:18Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

    18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    It says we must listen to the Church:

    Matthew 18:17

    17 And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.

    It says the Church is the pillar of truth:

    1 Timothy 3:15

    15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

    And that the Church teaches the Wisdom of God:

    Ephesians 3:10

    10 That the manifold wisdom of God may be made known to the principalities and powers in heavenly places through the church,

    It does not say that we should not have faith in the Church and in fact counsels us to follow the faith of our leaders in the Church who have taught us the Word of God:

    Hebrews 13:7

    7 Remember your prelates who have spoken the word of God to you; whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation,

    But if your previous interactions have been with KJV-Onlyists, then yeah, that would be a different matter.

    I have interacted with many, many sorts of Protestants in the last twenty years.

  279. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    TurretinFan said,
    August 25, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    De Maria:

    I’m sorry to hear that you have only now run into Protestants who were able to point out the errors of your arguments on a textual level.

    No one has pointed out any errors in my arguments. You have pointed out that there are disagreements amongst Protestants in how Acts 2:47 is interpreted.

    But even in translations that say “added to the church,” the text doesn’t mean that the people were saved by being added to the church.

    Did I say they were? Read what I said. I said that God added to the Church, those who should be saved.

    They were added to church because they were saved. Your understanding of the text is wrong.

    So you now agree they were added to the Church? Good.

    We can proceed then. They were saved by baptism:

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

    40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

    41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

    As you can see by the context, those who were baptized were added to the Church.

    This may be the first time you’ve met people who can point these things out to you, but now that they are being pointed out, reconsider your errors!

    No one has pointed out any errors in my understanding. All you have pointed out is that Protestants can’t agree on how to interpret Acts 2:47.

  280. roberty bob said,

    August 25, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    in reference to #279 DeMaria . . .

    The Acts 2:47 text is simply one case in point where they cannot agree on the interpretation; they contradict themselves at every turn.

    When we catch them at it and call them out, they have no answer, but they don’t need to have an answer because they always know the right answer even when they give no answer at all. Just ask them!

    Thank you, DeMaria, for your clear argumentation with the fitting biblical quotations. May we all listen like the Bereans of old.

  281. Tim Harris said,

    August 25, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    In St Paul we hear the very voice of God. In the Shepherd, in Clement, in all the subsequent doctors, we do not — however helpful some may be.

    The Fathers agree with us. None of them pointed to themselves as the reason to believe a doctrine. They all pointed to Scripture.

    The idea that the NT is “the church” speaking is a real novelty. I’d be interested to know when that thesis was first broached.

  282. Tim Harris said,

    August 25, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Roberty @239 — the point is, if dM applied his hermeneutic to Shakespeare, he would fail English 201. If he then said, “this is infallibly true because Uncle Papa told me so,” he’d be sent to the Dean’s office.

    Either language conveys meaning according to publicly-accessible canons of interpretation, or it does not. If it does not, then no Tradition is going to help you either! (for you would then have no way to know what the Tradition meant either)

  283. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Tim Harris said,
    August 25, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    In St Paul we hear the very voice of God. In the Shepherd, in Clement, in all the subsequent doctors, we do not — however helpful some may be.

    The Fathers agree with us. None of them pointed to themselves as the reason to believe a doctrine. They all pointed to Scripture.

    They pointed to the Church as well:


    Ignatius of Antioch

    Follow your bishop, every one of you, as obediently as Jesus Christ followed the Father. Obey your clergy too as you would the apostles; give your deacons the same reverence that you would to a command of God. Make sure that no step affecting the Church is ever taken by anyone without the bishop’s sanction. The sole Eucharist you should consider valid is one that is celebrated by the bishop himself, or by some person authorized by him. Where the bishop is to be seen, there let all his people be; just as, wherever Jesus Christ is present, there is the Catholic Church (Letter to the Smyrneans 8:2 [A.D. 110]).

    Irenaeus

    The Catholic Church possesses one and the same faith throughout the whole world, as we have already said (Against Heresies 1:10 [A.D. 189]).

    Cyprian

    The spouse of Christ cannot be defiled; she is uncorrupted and chaste. She knows one home . . . Does anyone believe that this unity which comes from divine strength, which is closely connected with the divine sacraments, can be broken asunder in the Church and be separated by the divisions of colliding wills? He who does not hold this unity, does not hold the law of God, does not hold the faith of the Father and the Son, does not hold life and salvation (On the Unity of the Catholic Church 6 [A.D. 251]).

    St. Augustine wrote:

    Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental.

    Perhaps you will read the gospel to me, and will attempt to find there a testimony to Manichaeus. But should you meet with a person not yet believing the gospel, how would you reply to him were he to say, I do not believe? For my part, I should not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church. So when those on whose authority I have consented to believe in the gospel tell me not to believe in Manichaeus, how can I but consent? Take your choice. If you say, Believe the Catholics: their advice to me is to put no faith in you; so that, believing them, I am precluded from believing you;-If you say, Do not believe the Catholics: you cannot fairly use the gospel in bringing me to faith in Manichaeus; for it was at the command of the Catholics that I believed the gospel (Ch 5 §6).

    The idea that the NT is “the church” speaking is a real novelty. I’d be interested to know when that thesis was first broached.

    The New Testament is the Word of God. But the New Testament was not written by God, but by holy men of the Church who were inspired by the Holy Spirit, first to preach and then to write down that which they preached.

    2 Pet 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

    Note that the Holy Spirit inspired men, first, to speak. These men are, of course, men of the Church. These men were later inspired by the same Spirit, to write down what they preached.

  284. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Tim Harris said,
    August 25, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Roberty @239 — the point is, if dM applied his hermeneutic to Shakespeare, he would fail English 201. If he then said, “this is infallibly true because Uncle Papa told me so,” he’d be sent to the Dean’s office.

    Who taught you that the Scripture was infallible?

    The Church taught me about the inerrancy of Scripture.

    Either language conveys meaning according to publicly-accessible canons of interpretation, or it does not.

    Which canons are you holding up against the teaching of Scripture? Scripture says I am to learn the Word of God from my rulers in the Church:

    Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

    If it does not, then no Tradition is going to help you either! (for you would then have no way to know what the Tradition meant either)

    That makes no sense. Why wouldn’t I or anyone know what Sacred Tradition is teaching?

    Besides, why would I disobey Scriptures clear teaching that I should hold Sacred Tradition?

    2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

  285. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    roberty bob said,
    August 25, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    in reference to #279 DeMaria . . .

    The Acts 2:47 text is simply one case in point where they cannot agree on the interpretation; they contradict themselves at every turn.

    When we catch them at it and call them out, they have no answer, but they don’t need to have an answer because they always know the right answer even when they give no answer at all. Just ask them!

    Thank you, DeMaria, for your clear argumentation with the fitting biblical quotations. May we all listen like the Bereans of old.

    Amen! And thank you, roberty bob for your timely and pointed additions.

    Thanks also to Green Baggins for permitting these discussions.

    And thanks be to God for the grace to expound upon the reasons for the hope we have in Christ:

    1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

  286. roberty bob said,

    August 25, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    in response to #282 Tim Harris . . .

    DeMaria’s hermeneutic is biblically faithful and rational. You can see the connections between the Catholic doctrine he is defending and the biblical texts which support it. He answers your questions by showing you the texts which speak to your questions. Listen and learn.

    I don’t know what you mean by publicly-accessible canons of interpretation. You seem to be saying that DeMaria’s method of interpreting scripture is inaccessible to the public. Well, I am of the public, and I find DeMaria easily accessible. He shows us when he is opening a door, and when he is closing one; I can go in and out and not get my face or fingers slammed in the door!

    It’s called integrity.

  287. TurretinFan said,

    August 25, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    “Who taught you that the Scripture was infallible?”

    God, in Scripture.

    “DeMaria’s hermeneutic is biblically faithful and rational.”

    Considering that De Maria quotes the “Protestant Bible” without regard to whether or not it is accurate to the actual Word of God, that hardly seems to be an accurate characterization.

    “I don’t know what you mean by publicly-accessible canons of interpretation.”

    He means that Scripture can speak for itself. You don’t need a gnostic or quasi-gnostic magisterium to tell you its secret meaning.

    “Scripture says I am to learn the Word of God from my rulers in the Church:”

    It’s one thing to learn from them – another thing to treat them as infallible. One does not imply the other. One is also to reverence one’s parents, but one need not make them infallible authorities, either.

    The system of Roman Catholicism can’t be supported by valid arguments, which is why we see these constant leaps.

    -TurretinFan

  288. Don said,

    August 25, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    roberty bob 280,

    The Acts 2:47 text is simply one case in point where they cannot agree on the interpretation; they contradict themselves at every turn.

    This is not an issue of interpretation. This is a matter of translation. You seem astounded that a modern translation would be different, let alone more accurate, than one that’s over four hundred years old. But if I may share from someone’s favorite translation (Douay Rheims 1899 American):

    Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord increased daily together such as should be saved.

    Note the lack of the word “church” in this Catholic translation.

  289. De Maria said,

    August 25, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Don said,
    August 25, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Note the lack of the word “church” in this Catholic translation.

    That is still a red herring, since Scripture gives you plenty of reason to have faith in the Church.

  290. August 26, 2014 at 12:05 am

    […] the Presbyterian Church in America and is pastor of Lebanon Presbyterian Church in Winnsboro, S.C. This article appeared on his blog and is used with […]

  291. De Maria said,

    August 26, 2014 at 12:13 am

    TurretinFan said,
    August 25, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    The system of Roman Catholicism can’t be supported by valid arguments, which is why we see these constant leaps.

    On the contrary, it is you whose arguments are not valid.

    “Who taught you that the Scripture was infallible?”

    God, in Scripture.

    You have omitted a very important step. God inspired the Church to write the New Testament and canonize the Old. God did not hand you a copy of Scripture.

    “DeMaria’s hermeneutic is biblically faithful and rational.”

    Considering that De Maria quotes the “Protestant Bible” without regard to whether or not it is accurate to the actual Word of God, that hardly seems to be an accurate characterization.

    It is the Bible which is accepted by most Protestants. And it is a quarrel which Protestants have between each other.

    The fact is, that Protestants complain no matter which version of the Bible I use.

    “I don’t know what you mean by publicly-accessible canons of interpretation.”

    He means that Scripture can speak for itself. You don’t need a gnostic or quasi-gnostic magisterium to tell you its secret meaning.

    And yet, I’m the one quoting Scripture. And you are simply posting your unsupported opinions.

    For instance, Scripture tells us to obey our rulers in the Church:

    Heb 13:17
    New Living Translation
    Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.

    English Standard Version
    Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

    New American Standard Bible
    Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

    King James Bible
    Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

    Obviously, in order to do so, we must have faith in the Church as well as Scripture. But you deny and reject the Scripture.

    “Scripture says I am to learn the Word of God from my rulers in the Church:”

    It’s one thing to learn from them – another thing to treat them as infallible.

    Scripture says the Church is infallible:

    Eph 3:10

    New International Version
    His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,

    New Living Translation
    God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

    English Standard Version
    so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

    New American Standard Bible
    so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

    King James Bible
    To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    The Wisdom of God is infallible. Therefore, the Teacher of the Wisdom of God must also be infallible.

    One does not imply the other. One is also to reverence one’s parents, but one need not make them infallible authorities, either.

    Scripture explicitly teaches the infallibility of the Church:

    1 Tim 3:15

    New International Version
    if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

    New Living Translation
    so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.

    English Standard Version
    if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.

    New American Standard Bible
    but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

    King James Bible
    But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

  292. Don said,

    August 26, 2014 at 1:09 am

    De Maria 289,

    That is still a red herring, since Scripture gives you plenty of reason to have faith in the Church.

    You brought this verse up. You are accusing yourself of raising a red herring.

    The fact is, that Protestants complain no matter which version of the Bible I use.

    You might pause and consider the substance of the complaints.

  293. De Maria said,

    August 26, 2014 at 1:36 am

    Don said,
    August 26, 2014 at 1:09 am

    You brought this verse up. You are accusing yourself of raising a red herring.

    I produced many verses which show that Scripture tells us to have faith in the Church. But you attempted to focus on this inter-Protestant issue in order to deflect attention from that fact.

    You might pause and consider the substance of the complaints.

    I have. And I have explained them to you.

  294. Don said,

    August 26, 2014 at 2:36 am

    If you keep calling this an “inter-Protestant issue,” is it because you think Catholics don’t care about having an accurate translation of the Bible?

  295. De Maria said,

    August 26, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Don said,
    August 26, 2014 at 2:36 am

    If you keep calling this an “inter-Protestant issue,” is it because you think Catholics don’t care about having an accurate translation of the Bible?

    For personal use, I prefer Catholic translations above all others. I believe they are the most accurate.

    I use the KJV and other Protestant versions to talk to Protestants because they object to Catholic translations. I believe the KJV is one of the worst translations of the Bible ever attempted. But this is what most Protestants prefer. I believe the NIV and the Living Bible are interpreted based upon Protestant presuppositions. That is why they substitute “teach” for “tradition”. And the NIV adds “alone” to faith in several places.

    But the fact remains, that although Protestants have attempted to write Catholic Doctrine out of the Bible, they have not succeeded in any of their versions of the Bible. The reason being that the New Testament was written based upon the Sacred Tradition of Jesus Christ. Sacred Tradition is the foundation of the New Testament.

  296. roberty bob said,

    August 26, 2014 at 9:41 am

    in response to #288 Don . . .

    With regard to the Acts 2:47 text, you say that this is not an issue of interpretation, but a matter of translation.

    Well, I got raked over by one of the commenters for saying that “added to their number” means “added to the church.” My opponent claimed that since there was no ekklesia found in the original text, I was in error to say that God added 3000 to the church. For me, this was an issue of interpretation because I, like any Bible reader, had to ask, “added to WHOSE number?” And the only sensible answer is the number of those who had been joining the CHURCH. Go ahead with your translating, my friend, and translate the church right out of Acts 2:47. You are still left with the question, “added to their number” is a reference to WHAT?

    And you try to make US look like fools!

  297. TurretinFan said,

    August 26, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Bryan wrote: “The “faith alone” condemned by Trent is the singular virtue of faith not informed by the virtue of agape. The faith alone affirmed by the Church Fathers is not the singular virtue of faith, but faith apart from works.”

    I don’t think that’s a fair or accurate summary of the more than half dozen negative references to “faith alone” in Trent. A major emphasis of Trent was on the need for the sacraments for salvation as distinct from needing only faith.

    While it is quite reasonable to suppose that the fallible fathers of Trent tilted at windmills and attacked straw men instead of addressing the Reformed, Lutheran, and other Protestant doctrines, there is evidence that they meant to condemn the idea that faith alone is the instrumental means of justification.

    The strongest positive evidence is Trent’s declaration that baptism is the instrumental means of justification in that it infuses people with faith, hope and charity.

    Trent does say, “For faith, unless hope and charity be added thereto, neither unites man perfectly with Christ, nor makes him a living member of His body.” And Trent goes on to explain that this entails works, namely obedience to the law – even to the point of saying that the baptized is placed back in the position of Adam under the covenant of works:

    “For which reason it is most truly said, that Faith without works is dead and profitless; and, In Christ Jesus neither circumcision, availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by charity. This faith, Catechumen’s beg of the Church-agreeably to a tradition of the apostles-previously to the sacrament of Baptism; when they beg for the faith which bestows life everlasting, which, without hope and charity, faith cannot bestow: whence also do they immediately hear that word of Christ; If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. Wherefore, when receiving true and Christian justice, they are bidden, immediately on being born again, to preserve it pure and spotless, as the first robe given them through Jesus Christ in lieu of that which [Page 36] Adam, by his disobedience, lost for himself and for us, that so they may bear it before the judgment-seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, and may have life everlasting.”

    Here are the negative references to “faith alone”:

    Decree on Justification

    Chapter IX

    “neither is this to be asserted ,-that they who are truly justified must needs, without any doubting whatever, settle within themselves that they are justified, and that no one is absolved from sins and justified, but he that believes for certain that he is absolved and justified; and that absolution and justification are effected by this faith alone: as though whoso has not this belief, doubts of the promises of God, and of the efficacy of the death and resurrection of Christ.”

    Chapter XI

    “Wherefore, no one ought to flatter himself up with faith alone, fancying that by faith alone he is made an heir, and will obtain the inheritance, even though he suffer not with Christ, that so he may be also glorified with him. ”

    Canons on Justification

    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.

    CANON XIV.-If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.

    CANON XXIX.-If any one saith, that he, who has fallen after baptism, is not able by the grace of God to rise again; or, that he is able indeed to recover the justice which he has lost, but by faith alone without the sacrament of Penance, contrary to what the holy Roman and universal Church-instructed by Christ and his Apostles-has hitherto professed, observed, and taugh; let him be anathema.

    Canons on the Sacraments in General

    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 indeed necessary for every individual; let him be anathema.

    CANON V.-If any one saith, that these sacraments were instituted for the sake of nourishing faith alone; let him be anathema.

    CANON VIII.-If any one saith, that by the said sacraments of the New Law grace is not conferred through the act performed, but that faith alone in the divine promise suffices for the obtaining of grace; let him be anathema.

    Canons on Baptism

    CANON VII.-If any one saith, that the baptized are, by baptism itself, made debtors but to faith alone, and not to the observance of the whole law of Christ; let him be anathema.

    Canons on the Eucharist

    CANON XI.-lf any one saith, that faith alone is a sufficient preparation for receiving the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; let him be anathema. And for fear lest so great a sacrament may be received unworthily, and so unto death and condemnation, this holy Synod ordains and declares, that sacramental confession, when a confessor may be had, is of necessity to be made beforehand, by those whose conscience is burthened with mortal sin, how contrite even soever they may think themselves. But if any one shall presume to teach, preach, or obstinately to assert, or even in public disputation to defend the contrary, he shall be thereupon excommunicated.

    Decree on the Sacrament of Penance, Chapter VI

    “the penitent ought not so to confide in his own personal faith, as to think that,–even though there be no contrition on his part, or no intention on the part of the priest of acting seriously and absolving truly,–he is nevertheless truly and in God’s sight absolved, on account of his faith alone. ”

    – TurretinFan

  298. August 26, 2014 at 10:09 am

    We are talking about two completely different systems. Rome= pay as you go. Biblical Christianity= all sins past present future forgiven by faith alone in Christ alone.

  299. Don said,

    August 26, 2014 at 10:13 am

    De Maria 295,

    I use the KJV and other Protestant versions to talk to Protestants because they object to Catholic translations. I believe the KJV is one of the worst translations of the Bible ever attempted.

    Nah, it’s good for what it was, when it was. Still probably the most lyrical. But for a serious study of what the text says, in words people actually use, it’s simply outdated.

    But this is what most Protestants prefer.

    You need to get out more.

  300. Don said,

    August 26, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Roberty Bob 296,
    OK, I think I see where you’re coming from, but I’m not sure if you’re appreciating the difference between “interpretation” and “translation.”

    A word-by-word translation of Acts 2:47b says something like “And the Lord added the [ones] being saved from day to day together.” If someone produces a translation that says something like “added to the church” then that translation is accurate because it is adding words that are not there.

    Interpretation is a distinct issue. A natural question is, “Added to what?” Plausible answers to that question, by attempting to correctly interpret the text, include: “the church,” “the community,” and “their number.” Actually, in this case I don’t see how those three answers aren’t essentially synonyms. So if someone says, “It doesn’t mean ‘added to the church’ because the word ‘church’ is not in the text,” I would consider that a problematic and frankly rather poor interpretation. But if someone says, “It must mean ‘added to the church’ because the word ‘church’ IS in the text,” that is using a demonstrably incorrect translation.

    And you try to make US look like fools!

    Yes, that’s exactly what I’m doing when I’m asking you to not use outdated translations and to understand your audience.

  301. roberty bob said,

    August 26, 2014 at 11:59 am

    So . . . #300 . . .

    What Bible translation warms the ears of the Green Baggins audience?

  302. roberty bob said,

    August 26, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Also . . . #300 . . .

    When I first used the term “added to the church” [Acts 2:47] I did not give any reason for my choice of that term. I did not even say that I translated the original Greek text and got “church” out of it. I simply put out the commonly understood meaning of “added to their number.”

    If you were to preach this text to your congregation, you would most assuredly give it the same meaning by way of interpretation. I take that back. You would be telling your congregation that there are three ways to interpret this passage with God adding to the number of the church being one possibility!

    I know whereof I speak.

  303. Don said,

    August 26, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Roberty Bob 302,

    I know whereof I speak.

    There’s no evidence from this in your previous paragraph.

  304. De Maria said,

    August 26, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    In reference to #297:

    TurretinFan said,
    August 26, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Bryan wrote: “The “faith alone” condemned by Trent is the singular virtue of faith not informed by the virtue of agape. The faith alone affirmed by the Church Fathers is not the singular virtue of faith, but faith apart from works.”

    I don’t think that’s a fair or accurate summary of the more than half dozen negative references to “faith alone” in Trent. A major emphasis of Trent was on the need for the sacraments for salvation as distinct from needing only faith.

    You are right. But it is in the Sacraments, specifically Baptism, that we are justified by faith apart from works. Luther’s confusion continues in the Reformed community to this day.

    Luther confused Justification by faith apart from works with faith alone.

    When St. Paul said, “justified by faith apart from works”, Luther interpreted that as faith “alone”: But that s not what St. Paul meant. St. Paul was teaching the justification which occurs in the Sacraments.

    Let me explain:

    St. Paul taught the Catholic Teaching that only those who do the works of the Law are justified:

    Romans 2:13
    King James Version (KJV)
    13(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    In Catholic Teaching, we are justified by faith and works. That is the foundation and root of all justification. Faith is expressed and perfected in works.

    However, the Church also teaches that we are justified in the Sacraments where we are washed in sanctifying grace. Especially Baptism. Sacraments are God’s mighty works. We don’t do anything except submit to His works in the proper dispostion, which is that of faith.

    This is the Justification by faith apart from works to which St. Paul referred.

    The process is evident in every semester of RCIA. By faith, we seek the Lord and study to show ourselves approved. Only those who undergo this process are then JUSTIFIED in Baptism.

  305. De Maria said,

    August 26, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    August 26, 2014 at 10:09 am

    We are talking about two completely different systems. Rome= pay as you go.

    I wouldn’t characterize it as pay as you go. But certainly the Word of God requires us to do good:

    Romans 2:7King James Version (KJV)

    7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

    Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    Biblical Christianity= all sins past present future forgiven by faith alone in Christ alone.

    Show me from Scripture.

    1 John 1:8-10

    8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

    9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

  306. roberty bob said,

    August 26, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    “all sins past present future forgiven . . . ” — A Protestant

    “Rome = pay as you go.” — A Protestant

    Q. Does A Protestant have to confess today’s sins and make amends for them if he has already been forgiven of them yesterday? If not, he is in denial of the teaching from 1 John 1:8-10 [as DeMaria shows] If so, then he is does in fact engage in the “pay as you go” of which he accuses Rome.

  307. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 26, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Ron, #113, 114, 117, 118,

    You stated:

    An argument from unaided reason doesn’t get far with me, but in any case you were to have done more than that. A persuasive argument should entail showing why imputation must entail fiction and not reality. After all, that’s your claim. I’m just asking you to defend it. So, let me walk you through the process. What in your unaided reason prohibits God from reckoning sinners in Christ as righteous on the basis of Christ’s person and work through the mediation of the Savior’s effectual prayer? Moreover, why would such a divine accounting imply the conclusion of your reductio, that one could be constituted righteous outside of union with Christ and even apart from the actual occurrence of the historical work of the cross?

    It’s not that imputation itself must be fiction; but rather, it must look to a ground in reality—whether eventual or current—upon which it may consist in truth. Imputation happens only within the mind and not within substantial reality. Even a man may impute guilt or righteousness to another man merely by accounting him so. When a jury finds a defendant guilty, they have imputed guilt to him. It is agreed that that God in reality accounts to us Christ’s righteousness. What seems to be in dispute is whether or not God can look to something other than His own thoughts on which to ground that accounting.

    Don’t you also differentiate between the reality of what God thinks and the reality of what God does within the substantial world? Do not even you agree that God’s justice would not have been satisfied if God merely accounted to Jesus suffering and death just as if He had died on the cross but without any actual suffering and death happening within substantial reality? There was a need for Him to actually come and die and not merely to be seen in the mind of God as if He had done so. God is a God of justice and truth. Justice requires truth, and truth must correspond to reality.

    I had said:

    Rather, justification is grounded on the absolute certainty of the divinely promised salvific union with Christ for those of faith. Justification is legal (forensic), and thus it is seemingly putative. However, it is grounded in a union that is real and substantial, even when that union is in the future. Justification provides the initial legal judgment of our salvation, but the union with Christ provides the substance and reality of our salvation—the ground and basis for our justification.

    To which you replied:

    You allow for one to be reckoned as righteous prior to the consummation, which is to say on the basis of what the future holds. Does this comply with your standard of reality at it relates to justice? No, it doesn’t, at least without denying your own strictures as I understand them. After all, on your terms one cannot be constituted and declared according to a non-reality; yet that is what this loophole of yours would seem to allow for, that God can justify sinners prior to the *reality* of their justification. (Now that would be a fiction.) To say that the present justification is somehow “grounded” in the future reality of the person being justified is to play both sides. Your loophole lacks the required corresponding real-time reality of what the declaration “not guilty”contemplates. Your truth does not correspond to your reality.

    That’s an excellent question. My goal is not to develop a system that has no loose ends, but my goal is to understand Scripture as it is. Prior to Christ’s death, believers were justified by faith as we are, but grounded on what Christ would do in the future. Therefore, while they were justified on God’s good credit, so to speak, justice was not yet satisfied in their case. That is why they did not go to heaven when they died, but instead went to sheol, separated by a great gulf from the place of torment. They did not suffer as unbelievers, but they were still, in a sense, captive to justice, waiting until that day when the Messiah would pay for sin, unite with them spiritually and bring them to heaven.

    Communicating across differing paradigms is difficult. I apologize for my lack of clarity. But I did not mean that the “concrete” reality must be actualized prior to imputation; but only that there must be a concrete reality to which the imputation answers, even if in the future. To ground His declaration of “now righteous,” the God who sees the future may indeed look to the future—but it is not true that He need not look to anything other than His own thoughts or decisions. Imputing is like writing a check: at some point, the funds must actually be deposited into the bank—not by “fixing the books” within God’s mind but by putting Christ within the believer in a union so close that the two become one new man in reality.

    You stated:

    Christ was the lamb slain before the foundation of the world, so on that basis I can understand God counting men as righteous based upon the future sacrifice of Christ (yet even they were awaiting the cross, even in the grave). However, Scripture, as opposed to unaided reason, does not depict us as existentially united to Christ in this eternal way. Rather, Scripture informs that the elect are only identified in Christ before creation while not yet baptized into His death. Consequently, Christ’s treasury of merit is not limited by time. God could charge against it so to speak by way of reckoning and imputation through the real-time reality of faith in the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. However, given that your view of justification entails ontology only, there is nothing to charge against since the reality of existential union has not yet occurred. Whereas Christ is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, we are not the existentially united before the foundation of the world. Rather, we are truly children of wrath, just like the rest.

    Christ was NOT the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. That comes from Rev. 13:8, “and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain” (ESV). Were this the only textual evidence, then it could be worded wither way; however, Rev. 17:8 decisively resolves the question: “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come” (ESV).

    You are correct in that we are indeed children of wrath just like the rest until we are saved by faith. God has promised to justify (by imputing Christ’s righteousness to) those who believe. And this promise is possible only because He has also promised to spiritually join believers to the risen Christ who has paid the penalty and fulfilled the law. You stated:

    Let me clarify this: “However, given that your view of justification entails ontology only, there is nothing to charge against since the reality of existential union has not yet occurred. Whereas Christ is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, we are not existentially united before the foundation of the world.”

    The reality for OT saints of existential union with the Second Adam raised from the dead had not yet occurred. Accordingly, on your terms the reality of not being raised with Christ would not correspond to the verdict. And for everyone at all times, the reality of consummation has not yet occurred – yet you seem to require consummation given your reference to an initial legal judgment.

    Our spiritual union with Christ occurs when we are joined to Christ by the Holy Spirit’s indwelling. Yes, God accounted the OT saints as righteous even without this real union with the risen Christ. But then, He went about to accomplish within reality what actually needed to be done in order to fulfill that accounting as true. But it is not as if all things were the same in the OT as in the New. As He says in Rom 3:25b-26, “…This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” In the case of the OT saints, “in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.” He “passed over” their sins while He waited to accomplish Christ on the cross. He passed over their sins until such a time as the victorious Christ could be united with them through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Prior to the cross, He was the Justifier but it had not yet been shown that He was just. After the cross, He was shown to be both just and justifier.

    You asked, “Just curious Ken, is this understanding of yours found in any confessional document?” Not explicitly, except as union in Christ is affirmed to be reason why we are partakers of His inheritance, etc. Like the issue of how Adam’s sin can make us all sinners, the issue of how Christ’s righteousness can make believers holy is a question of how one understands the confession. Just as different men can come to different understandings of how Adam’s sin affected us (one seeing a real, substantial union as the ground of justice and the other seeing only a “federal union” as sufficient), so also can different men come to a different understanding of what is meant when confessions speak of union with Christ (one seeing a real inbeing and spiritual ingrafting, while the other seeing a “federal union” as sufficient ground).

  308. August 26, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Roberty rob, Of course we confess our sins, but they are already payed for. If you get in a plane accident tomorrow morning and you slept with your neighbors wife right before going to the airport and didn’t get a chance to confess your sin, you going to hell?

  309. August 26, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Roberty rob, Jesus isn’t up there saying, yo dad, Bob just did the mass cut him a little more grace and justice. He is up there applying a sacrifice that perfected us by FAITH. The righteous shall live by faith. The spirit convicts us of our sin and we confess and repent, but His righteousness makes up for any of our lack, because we are justified by His righteousness. Our righteousness isn’t derived from His, it is His. Romans 8:1 there is NOW no condemnation for those in Christ. Another way to say this, there is now justification for those in Christ. It is finished and He obtained eternal redemption, He reconciled us by His blood 5:9 His incarnation is not still continuing thru the acts of the church, and you are not qualified to mediate your sins or sacrifice yourself for your sins. You can’t take form Him what is His. We are called to believe. Romans 10:9-10 is a death sentence for Rome. It says by confessing and believing the results are righteousness and salvation.

  310. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 26, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Kevin, #139,

    You said, “all humanity is user a death sentence because of what Adam did.”

    OK, how do you find any justice in that? I’m not Adam and neither are you. Unearned salvation is grace, but unearned condemnation is injustice.

  311. De Maria said,

    August 26, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    August 26, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Roberty rob, Of course we confess our sins, but they are already payed for. If you get in a plane accident tomorrow morning and you slept with your neighbors wife right before going to the airport and didn’t get a chance to confess your sin, you going to hell?

    You tell me:

    1 Corinthians 6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

    9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters,

    nor adulterers,

    nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

    10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

  312. De Maria said,

    August 26, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    August 26, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Roberty rob, Jesus isn’t up there saying, yo dad, Bob just did the mass cut him a little more grace and justice.

    Yes, Kevin, that is exactly what he is doing. Here is what the Apostle says:

    1 Cor 10:
    5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

    God was not pleased with all of the Israelites.

    6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

    7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

    8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

    9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

    10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

    Those who sinned in the desert, died in the desert as a punishment for their sins.

    11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

    This was so that we would learn a lesson to leave sin behind.

    12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

    If you claim you are saved, watch out, lest sin tempt you and you be condemned.

    13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

    But God will not tempt you beyond what you can bear.

    14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

    Especially if you flee from idolatry.

    15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

    Listen, all you who are wise in the Spiritual Doctrines.

    16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

    Therefore, if you are wise, do not abstain from the grace given you in the Body and Blood of Christ, which is communion with our Lord.

    He is up there applying a sacrifice that perfected us by FAITH.

    Yeah. The Eucharist.

    The righteous shall live by faith.

    when they receive the Sacraments.

    The spirit convicts us of our sin and we confess and repent, but His righteousness makes up for any of our lack, because we are justified by His righteousness.

    In the Sacraments.

    Our righteousness isn’t derived from His,

    Yes, it is.
    1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

    it is His.

    If we live according to His grace:
    Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

    19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

    20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

    21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

    23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

    24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

    25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

    Romans 8:1 there is NOW no condemnation for those in Christ.

    Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

    3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

    4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

    6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

    7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

    Another way to say this, there is now justification for those in Christ.

    If they do the works of the Law:
    Romans 2:13King James Version (KJV)

    13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    It is finished and He obtained eternal redemption,

    For those who obey His word:
    Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    He reconciled us by His blood 5:9

    IN the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:
    Hebrews 10:25-31King James Version (KJV)

    25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

    26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

    27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

    28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

    31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

    His incarnation is not still continuing thru the acts of the church, and you are not qualified to mediate your sins or sacrifice yourself for your sins.

    Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

    1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

    You can’t take form Him what is His. We are called to believe. Romans 10:9-10 is a death sentence for Rome. It says by confessing and believing the results are righteousness and salvation.

    Rom 10:9-10 points us to Baptism. It is in Baptism that we are justified when we confess our faith in Jesus Christ:

    Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

  313. Tim Harris said,

    August 26, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    No I like that dM is using the AV. Right gentlemanly. And AV is the best, Don’s cavil notwithstanding. And I wish the bickering over whether “ekklesia” is in the greek text etc. would cease. Rabbit trails. I agree that being saved is highly correlated with and inseparable from joining the church. We don’t need to argue over every nit.

    The point about language is that language is by and large successful, so we know that there is not this huge interpretive difficulty requiring the invocation of “tradition.” And much of dM’s exegesis has exactly as much plausibility as Pico della Mirandola’s kabbalistic exegesis of Genesis 1. That is, zero plausibility. I’m particularly stuck on the idea that “Lay up treasures in heaven” means works of supererogation that can be applied by the pope to other people to reduce their temporal punishment for their sin.

    Sorry fellows, that’s just laughable. That is about as far from contextual exegesis as it is possible to go.

    So yes, you are quoting a lot of Scripture, just like Pico did. It is all to a tendentious and distorted purpose.

    Think about it — it wasn’t until centuries after Christ that the system of purgatory, the treasury of merits, indulgence etc. came into being. When the “lay up treasure in heaven” was FIRST exegeted in that manner, it was not guided by Sacred Tradition. No, the Sacred Tradition on that theme was just being launched. I believe the canon law even specifies how long a belief has to hang around before it can be venerated as Tradition. So to be persuasive to us, you would have to show how the texts were interpreted in the first generation, before all the accretions.

  314. Don said,

    August 26, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Tim Harris 313,

    And I wish the bickering over whether “ekklesia” is in the greek text etc. would cease.

    Me too!

  315. roberty bob said,

    August 26, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    in response to #308 . . .

    At last the truth comes out [no one on the Green Baggins gang is calling you out on this comment, Kevin] !

    Do you really believe someone can commit adultery with his neighbor’s wife, with no hell to pay? I think that you are making a mockery of God’s forgiveness. It’s not that adulterers cannot be forgiven; the repentant ones are. It’s that forgiven men and women go forth, as Christ said, to sin no more. We are not to tempt God [push God's buttons] as if to say, “You’ve forgiven me so you can’t touch me now when I set my heart upon sinning.”

    I had a feeling it would eventually come down to this.

  316. De Maria said,

    August 27, 2014 at 12:11 am

    Tim Harris said,
    August 26, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    ….Think about it — it wasn’t until centuries after Christ that the system of purgatory, the treasury of merits, indulgence etc. came into being.

    The nomenclature perhaps. But the principles were in existence before Christ.

    Although Protestants do not accept the Deuterocanonicals as inspired, I’m not aware that any dispute the fact that they were written before Christ and by the Jews. One of those books says:

    2 Macc 12:39 And the day following Judas came with his company, to take away the bodies of them that were slain, and to bury them with their kinsmen, in the sepulchres of their fathers.
    40 And they found under the coats of the slain some of the donaries of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbiddeth to the Jews: so that all plainly saw, that for this cause they were slain.
    41 Then they all blessed the just judgment of the Lord, who had discovered the things that were hidden.
    42 And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten. But the most valiant Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forasmuch as they saw before their eyes what had happened, because of the sins of those that were slain.
    43 And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection,
    44 (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,)
    45 And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them.
    46 It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

    Note that they exercised what we call the Doctrine of Indulgences by submitting offerings and prayers for the purification of the sins of the souls in what we call Purgatory. Note also that he used the term “grace laid up for them”. That is the definition of the treasury of merit.

    So, although the terminology to explain these principles took much longer to develop. They existed long before Jesus Christ was born.

    When the “lay up treasure in heaven” was FIRST exegeted in that manner, it was not guided by Sacred Tradition. No, the Sacred Tradition on that theme was just being launched. I believe the canon law even specifies how long a belief has to hang around before it can be venerated as Tradition. So to be persuasive to us, you would have to show how the texts were interpreted in the first generation, before all the accretions.

    You’re making up a lot of claims against the Catholic Church with nothing to back them up. Please provide the canon law which you believe exists and any other document which you claim came into existence centuries after the birth of Christ. Otherwise, you have nothing to stand upon, since the New Testament is itself the first exposition of the Sacred Traditions of Jesus Christ which He deposited in the Catholic Church.

  317. Tim Harris said,

    August 27, 2014 at 9:34 am

    I was thinking of
    Can. 26 Unless the competent legislator has specifically approved it, a custom contrary to the canon law now in force or one beyond a canonical law (praeter legem canonicam) obtains the force of law only if it has been legitimately observed for thirty continuous and complete years. Only a centenary or immemorial custom, however, can prevail against a canonical law which contains a clause prohibiting future customs.

    However, the point is a bigger one. I am saying that your exegesis, dM, of “treasures in heaven” is impossible to suppose being expounded by the apostles when they preached on the sermon on the mount. The whole tone, tenor, spirit, not to mention linguistics is against it. Therefore, there had to be a “first” time this kind of exegesis was done, hundreds of years later. And at the moment, it was launching a tradition, not basing on it.

    Whereas your argument SEEMS to be, that any tradition that eventually came to light, MUST HAVE been present from the time of the apostles, even if there is no positive evidence for it. But this is just a baseless article of faith — though I don’t like to use the word “faith” in such contexts, because then we are using it in the mock sense suggested by Mark Twain, “believing something you know to be false.”

  318. De Maria said,

    August 27, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Tim Harris said,
    August 27, 2014 at 9:34 am

    I was thinking of
    Can. 26 Unless the competent legislator has specifically approved it, a custom contrary to the canon law now in force or one beyond a canonical law (praeter legem canonicam) obtains the force of law only if it has been legitimately observed for thirty continuous and complete years. Only a centenary or immemorial custom, however, can prevail against a canonical law which contains a clause prohibiting future customs.

    This is speaking of local customs. Not of Sacred Tradition. Canon Law is not the equivalent of Sacred Tradition. Nor does it carry the same force. Canon Law can not and does not contradict Sacred Tradition.

    However, the point is a bigger one. I am saying that your exegesis, dM, of “treasures in heaven” is impossible to suppose being expounded by the apostles when they preached on the sermon on the mount. The whole tone, tenor, spirit, not to mention linguistics is against it.

    You’re mistaken. That is precisely one of the topics of the Sermon on the Mount:

    Matthew 6:19-21King James Version (KJV)

    19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

    20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

    21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

    Therefore, there had to be a “first” time this kind of exegesis was done, hundreds of years later. And at the moment, it was launching a tradition, not basing on it.

    It is Jesus Christ who launched the Tradition. The Apostles preached on the basis of the Traditions established by Jesus Christ and later wrote it down in the New Testament.

    Whereas your argument SEEMS to be, that any tradition that eventually came to light, MUST HAVE been present from the time of the apostles, even if there is no positive evidence for it.

    The evidence is there, you simply don’t recognize it because your tradition and you do hold one, does not acknowledge that Jesus Christ established Sacred Tradition when He taught His Doctrines.

    But this is just a baseless article of faith — though I don’t like to use the word “faith” in such contexts, because then we are using it in the mock sense suggested by Mark Twain, “believing something you know to be false.”

    It is you, however, who believes something which is false. It is as though you believe that Jesus was exegeting Scripture when He preached the Sermon on the Mount. And as though you believe that Jesus passed out copies of the New Testament to the Apostles and they in turn exegetes these passages according to the novelties of the Protestants.

    The fact is that Jesus established a Church and commanded that Church to Teach His Doctrines to the world. And He gave that Church the authority to make disciples and baptize them in His name.

    The Church, in turn, wrote down the New Testament based upon the Teachings of Jesus Christ.

  319. August 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Ken, the sentence has been passed on to the lump (all) including guilt from Adam. We have all sinned in Adam. There is no injustice. When Christ died on the cross the sentence was lifted. Colossians says all the legal decrees against us were concealed having been nailed to the cross. Who can bring a charge against God’s elect, it is God who justifies.

  320. August 27, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    that should read cancelled,

  321. De Maria said,

    August 27, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Kevin,

    So, why do people still die? And why is it that the Apostles still warned that some could still go to hell?

    Because we need to do our part. We need to choose to live righteously:

    Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?….19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
    21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

    and again:
    Galatians 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

  322. August 27, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    DeMaria I have never denied that scripture calls us to obey God’s commandments. But you know that none of us do that perfectly, which is what is required of the law. Even gentiles are under God’s judgment. Look no further than Sodom and Gomorra. You fail to recognize that He was born under the Law to redeem those under the law. Romans 7:6 says we have been released form the law. We aren’t under law, we are under grace. You refuse to look at the legal ramifications of that. For instance Colossians says all the LEGAL decrees against us are cancelled and nailed to the cross. Romans 8:1 says we have justification and not condemnation. Again legal language, not a statement about the condition of our affairs inside of us at the end our our life. 5:1 justified. Romans 8 again, who can bring a CHARGE against God’s elect, it is God who justifies. Legal language again. We die DeMaria as the consequence for our sin. We all are sinners in Adam by hereditary right. We are all sinners in Adam because we sin. But the cross is penal substitution, its justification, it is a sentence lifted. He lived the law in our place and fulfilled all righteous. He did it. He only asks us to receive Him. John 1:12 ” to as many as receive Him He has given the right to be called sons of God. Why do you attend a church that piles so much on the cross to be saved. John says receive Him and live. Works can only be our reasonable service of worship, and never the grounds upon which we are justified. ” as reward to THEIR merits and good works.” converted to THEIR own justification” to the one who WORKS well to the end” These statements from Trent aren’t in sync with the Gospel and never will be. they can only be statements from a false church. K

  323. De Maria said,

    August 27, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    August 27, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    DeMaria I have never denied that scripture calls us to obey God’s commandments. But you know that none of us do that perfectly, which is what is required of the law.

    That’s not true.

    Let me explain.

    First, commandment is synonymous with requirement.

    a statement of what to do that must be obeyed by those concerned

    Synonyms behest, charge, commandment, decree, dictate, direction, directive, do, edict, imperative, injunction, instruction, order, word

    Related Words demand, requirement; mandate; countermand, counterorder; law, precept, prescript, prescription, rule; ordinance, regulation, statute

    Near Antonyms appeal, entreaty, petition, plea, urging; proposal, recommendation, suggestion

    Since they are Ten Commandments, they are Ten Requirements.

    Scripture says that breaking one commandment, we break them all. This is true. But Scripture recognizes, from the beginning of time, that God knew we could not meet His requirements without His grace.

    Therefore, even in the Old Testament, people who sinned could confess their sins and be forgiven. This continues to this day in the New Testament with confession being elevated to a Sacrament.

    Even gentiles are under God’s judgment. Look no further than Sodom and Gomorra. You fail to recognize that He was born under the Law to redeem those under the law. Romans 7:6 says we have been released form the law. We aren’t under law, we are under grace.

    Correct. Grace which we receive in the Sacraments.

    Romans 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    You refuse to look at the legal ramifications of that. For instance Colossians says all the LEGAL decrees against us are cancelled and nailed to the cross.

    That is still correct. But that doesn’t make us lawless:

    Romans 8 King James Version (KJV)

    1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

    3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

    4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

    6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

    7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

    Romans 8:1 says we have justification and not condemnation.

    If we walk by the Spirit:

    Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

    Again legal language, not a statement about the condition of our affairs inside of us at the end our our life.

    You set those aside and focus only on those which agree with your ideas. But setting aside one commandment, you set them all aside. For Scripture is clear:

    13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

    14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

    16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

    17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

    18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

    19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

    20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

    21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

    23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

    24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

    Yeah and Amen! You have no understanding of the Word of God and are paying lip service to the lessons of Scripture in order to give yourself liberty for occasions to the flesh. It isn’t just here that you’ve revealed that you believe you can continue sinning with impunity. I’ve been on another forum where you were also bragging about it.

    Repent and turn away from your sins! That is what God wants. Whether you are Catholic or Protestant. Understand this, if you don’t keep the Commandments in good faith, you have condemned yourself:

    Revelation 22:13-15King James Version (KJV)

    13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

    14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

    15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

  324. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 27, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Kevin, #319,

    This speaks to the necessity of substantial reality to imputation, whether of justification on the Christ side of the parallel or original sin on the Adam side. Do you see the need to be “in Adam” in a sense that is more real than merely being in Adam in the mind of God?

  325. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 28, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Andrew, #147,

    You stated:

    [...] I wonder how much there has been this shift in Reformed theology that you speak of. Maybe it’s something significant, but I just don’t know of it. In terms of what I know of Reformed theology, there is no question that at the heart of justification is God’s redeeming a people to Himself. This means that the reality of our being in Christ and transformed by Christ cannot be separated from us being called righteous. In Reformed theology we are declared righteous because we really are righteous.

    In terms of our sanctification, this in not just theory but is tangibly reflected in the way Reformed churches operate. We don’t recognize the claim of someone who says they have been redeemed if there is no evidence that they have been united to Christ. [...]

    On the Adam side of the parallel, there is no question that nominalism rules the day. Somewhere in the 18th and 19th centuries, our union with Adam was moved from within Adam himself to within the mind of God. The distinction is revealed in the question of when that union ends. The Augustinian union in Adam was one from which we were propagated out—united with Adam when he sinned, but no longer still in him—whereas the federal union remains until salvation.

    Moving away from the idea of a real inbeing within the man Adam and instead thinking that a constructed union within the mind of God is sufficient cannot but have consequences in how our union with Christ is understood. Is real inbeing necessary between Christ and the believer, or is a constructed union within God’s mind sufficient? You said you wonder how much of a shift there has been. Here’s Louis Berkhof on the mystical union, Systematic Theology, pp. 447-448:

    Reformed theology [...] deals with the union of believers and Christ theologically [...] In doing so, it employ the term “mystical union” in a broad sense as a designation not only of the subjective union of Christ and believers, but also of the union that lies back of it, that is basic to it, and of which it is only the culminating expression, namely, the federal union of Christ and those who are His in the counsel of redemption, the mystical union ideally established in that eternal counsel, and the union as it is objectively effected in the incarnation and the redemptive work of Christ. [...] In the counsel of peace Christ voluntarily took upon Himself to be the Head and Surety of the elect, destined to constitute the new humanity, and as such to establish their righteousness before God by paying the penalty for their sin and by rendering perfect obedience to the law and thus securing their title to everlasting life. In that eternal covenant the sin of His people was imputed to Christ, and His righteousness was imputed to them. This imputation of righteousness of Christ to His people in the counsel of redemption is sometimes represented as a justification from eternity. It is certainly the eternal basis of our justification by faith, and is the ground on which we receive all spiritual blessings and the gift of life eternal. And this being so, it is basic to the whole of soteriology, and even to the first stages in the application of the work of redemption, such as regeneration and internal calling.

    Sanctification cannot be brought in to fill the reality gap, since we are not merely called righteous, but perfectly righteous. Only the reality of the ingrafted presence of the Perfect One within us fills that gap.

    Anyway, thanks for a good discussion!

  326. August 28, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Ken, would love to hear your take on Adam. Was the sentence and guilt passed on by hereditary right ? Give me your take on Romans 5:12-19. Thanks Kevin

  327. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 28, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Kevin, #326,

    Since it has direct bearing on justification (by parallel), then I will answer…

    Like Augustine (and Shedd, Strong, Culver, Erickson, and others), I hold that all men had a responsible participation in Adam’s sin, due to the moral nature of all men having been in Adam and propagated from him. The moral nature is necessarily spiritual, which distinguishes men as made in the image of a God who is Spirit. Animals have neither spirit nor moral nature. What marks off this Realist view (insisting on a real participation) from the nominalistic “Representationists” is that we see men as propagated in their entirety—both body and soul—from the substance of the parent, and without the supernatural intervention of creation ex nihilo. Representationists, such as John Murray, may go far toward seeming agreement in form but not in substance, affirming a community of nature in Adam and that the nature of all men sinned in Adam, was depraved in Adam, and has been propagated to all men in this condition. However, the Representationists include in the idea of propagation a divine creation ex nihilo of the spiritual nature. Therefore, to them, any community of nature or unity in the first sin is only due to God choosing to see such a union and create the spiritual nature of the children in a condition that accords with this solidarity with the first parents that He has already chosen to see them in. Only the Realist view sees a continuity of spiritual being, such that spiritual being (in all except Adam) is first corporate in one’s progenitor(s) and after that, individual. Continuity of being by propagation is the sticking point. Either the spiritual being of a man is propagated from out of the spiritual substance of the parent, or it is created out of nothing in every case. If the latter, then there is no just ground within substantial reality on which to pass the consequences of Adam’s sin onto us. It is only the former view that gives any substantial, real meaning to the idea that “all men sinned in Adam.”

    In Rom. 5:12-19, throughout, it contrasts the one sin of the one man, Adam, with the one act of obedience of the one man, Christ. To see the phrase, “because all sinned,” to refer to anything other than a solidarity of all in the one sin of the one man would contradict this contrast. Representationists and Realists agree that this refers to all men sinning in Adam’s sin. We just disagree on the nature of that solidarity, and thus, how the parallel here works. Murray’s objection to the Realist does not hold (from The Imputation of Adam’s Sin):

    The analogy instituted in Romans 5:12-19 (cf. I Cor. 15:22) presents a formidable objection to the realist construction. It is admitted by the realist that there is no “realistic” union between Christ and the justified. That is to say, there is no human nature, specifically and numerically one, existing in its unity in Christ, which is individualized in those who are the beneficiaries of Christ’s righteousness. On realist premises, therefore, a radical disparity must be posited between the character of the union that exists between Adam and his posterity, on the one hand, and the union that exists between Christ and those who are his, on the other… This sustained emphasis not only upon the one man Adam and the one man Christ but also upon the one trespass and the one righteous act points to a basic identity in respect of modus operandi. But if, in the one case, we have a oneness that is focused in the unity of the human nature, which realism posits, and, in the other case, a oneness that is focused in the one man Jesus Christ, where no such unity exists, it is difficult not to believe that discrepancy enters at the very point where similitude must be maintained. For, after all, on realist assumptions, it is not our union with Adam that is the crucial consideration in our involvement in his sin but our involvement in the sin of that human nature which existed in Adam. And what the parallelism of Romans 5:12-19 would indicate is that the one sin of the one man Adam is analogous on the side of condemnation to the one righteousness of the one man Jesus Christ on the side of justification. The kind of relationship that obtains in the one case obtains in the other. And how can this be if the kind of relationship is so different in respect of the nature of the union subsisting?

    There is indeed a realistic union between Christ and the justified. As in Adam, this realistic union is a union of spirit. But the parallel has an inverse quality: the spirit of Adam is propagated to all, while the spirits of the many are collected back into one head, Christ. While the child’s spirit comes from his father, the spirit of the child, once conceived, is separate from the father. This is opposite in the case of the believer and Christ, since the believer becomes “one spirit” with Christ. Though the propagation of a child of Adam involves the disuniting of the child and father, the propagation of a child of God is the bringing of the believer into union with God. We are generated out of Adam and regenerated into Christ.

    For this reason, the propagation of Christ’s seed is both parallel to and the opposite of the propagation of Adam’s seed. While Adam’s spirit is dispersed to many descendants, the spirits of believers are collected back into one Head, Christ. In the case of Adam, we have the results of his sin being dispersed to the many; while in the case of Christ, we have the many being justified through union into the One. Rom. 5:16, “And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation” [to the many], “but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification” [through the one].

    The “modus operandi” is that of a shared personal identity. While mankind was still within Adam, mankind shared the personal identity of Adam, and shared the ownership of his defining action (his sin). When a man is joined to the Spirit of Christ, he shares the personal identity of Christ such that he gains an ownership in His defining action (His obedience and death). We are joined to Adam’s sin because we were joined to Adam at the time of his sin; but we are joined to Christ’s death because we are joined to Christ now. Since Adam’s “seed” are propagated by dispersion, it was necessary that we be united in Adam during his defining action. But Christ’s “seed” are propagated by annexation, rather than dispersion, and so we need not be united in Christ during his defining action. Unlike the case of Adam, when the Spirit of Christ is propagated to a believer, the Person of Christ is also propagated. Therefore, it is sufficient for our ownership in His defining action that the Christ within us now is the same Christ who died on the cross.

  328. August 28, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Ken, thanks that allot to digest. I have to think about this. I might lean more towards Murray’s view. I was always taught we inherited original sin from Adam. Ambrioasiter said the death sentence and the guilt is passed on. Therefore the Christ death was release of that sentence and guilt. Feel free to chime in. Keep it simple, my brilliance is only on a certain level. Ha!

  329. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 28, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    Kevin,

    Guilt is not something that can be passed to someone else. You’re either guilty or you’re not. Christ releases the believer from the penalty only because Christ suffered the penalty and is not joined to the believer to such an extent that the believer gains that accomplishment as his own—the two made one. It takes less brilliance to see that we sinned in Adam in the way that Levi paid tithes in Abraham than to think that guilt can be passed to those not involved in the crime.

  330. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 28, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Correction: “…and is not joined to the believer…” should read “…and is now joined to the believer…”

  331. August 28, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Ken, Colossians says all the legal decrees against us are cancelled having been nailed to the cross. Would you agree with that? And secondly are we not guilty before God having been the recipient of the sentence of death by our sin?

  332. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 29, 2014 at 6:35 am

    Kevin,

    Certainly, the work of Christ that was necessary to cancel the record of debt against us was finished on the cross for all time. Yet, what He did then does not cancel my debt now until I come to Him in faith and am joined to Him by the Holy Spirit. It is when we are joined as one that I gain credit for what He did back then—just as if I had been the one to do it. That it why it is written, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live…” To be united with Christ is to be united with Him in His death. It is through His past experience of suffering and death that my fleshly self-life can be put to death and nailed to the cross—and by that union, my sins are atoned for and the record of my debt has been nailed to the cross.

    There are children who die in the womb before they have done anything good or evil (see Rom. 9:11). The universal death sentence resulted from sin, but it was the sin of mankind while still in the man, Adam, and not due to the sin of every individual. Does that answer your second question?

  333. August 29, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Thanks Ken, where do you go to church?

  334. Ken Hamrick said,

    August 29, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I’m a Southern Baptist. The closes thing to a confessions for the SBC is the Baptist Faith & Message

  335. August 29, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    […] Sandy Grant gave us some advice on how to handle urgent, international prayer requests. Finally, Lane Keister answered a common objection to imputation, showing why it is not a legal […]

  336. August 29, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Ken, I attend a bible church, and was saved in a church in LA that John MacArthur is the Pastor of. I’ve become more Reformed over the years. love my Southern Baptist brethren. God Bless.

  337. Trent Whalin said,

    August 31, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I haven’t read all the comments nor am I going to but, I find it amazing they we reformed have to say we believe in union with Christ. The FV and NPP always trot it out and think we really believe in some sort of transfer or crediting outside this union.

  338. Ken Hamrick said,

    September 1, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Of course, Reformed do believe in both the imputational transfer and union with Christ. The question, I think, comes down to how much reality is needed for the legality.

  339. September 1, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Ken,

    As I see it, the first thing that needs to happen in this dialogue between Catholics and Protestants, as Lane framed it above, is for the Catholics to accept Lane’s central contention. Many Catholics want to continue to beat up on the straw man of a Reformed Protestant position where there is a legal transfer with no union and no substantive change. This to me is the real fiction and it is a fiction which exists in the minds of the Roman Catholic bent on telling us Reformed what we believe.

    But for the RC’s who are actually interested in interacting on the topic and will accept our contention that we believe that the legal relationship only has meaning within the context of a substantive union with Christ, the dialogue then shifts to the nature of the reality that underlies the legality. Maybe this relates to what you are speaking of in your last sentence above?

  340. September 1, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Hi all. If I may suggest another site to you. Tim Kauffman’s “out of his mouth” whitehorse blog” Tim has never attended Seminary and yet I consider Him one of the foremost theologians in current Reformed thinking. He is a former Roman Catholic, and brilliant on Biblical theology, and Church history. As far as I’m concerned he is making one of the most definitive arguments against the Roman Religion as he prepares current Protestants to defend the gospel. The Roman church has substituted itself for the Gospel. This is what is so attractive to Confessional Reformed like Jason Stellman”s move to Rome. A high ecclesiology in place of the Gospel. Faith in a church instead of the Word, and faith in sacramental efficacy as opposed to faith in the Word. Sacraments ex opere operato which came late in the church replace the Gospel. I invite you all to read all his articles. K

  341. September 1, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Trent, I whole heartily agree. But its there only argument. They cannot understand that we are incorporated into Christ by the Spirit, and truly Christ lives in us and we are in him. They deny this union because they deny the righteousness that comes to us form outside of us. We believe that God regenerates us thru the Spirit thru the word rom.5:17, 1 pet.1:23, James1:18. But they are regenerated thru baptism by faith in the Roman Catholic church by magic baptism ex opere operato. So their faith is in a church and the churches system of sacramental efficacy ex opere operato which was piled on later on in the church. They still have Christ on the cross as the incarnation is being finished thru the acts of the church. But faith in church and sacraments with a savior who hasn’t risen can’t save them. Only faith in the Word alone can save. The sovereign winds of God’s purpose in his elect, and the spirit blowing where and how He wills can never be usurped by Priestscraft and sorcery. God ha jurisdiction on the soul, not the church. The church can lead us to faith but it is the Spirit who brings fiducia to the heart. Truly Luther was right the Pope and his religion has not permuted men to be saved. We are to share the gospel and call people out of her ( Revelations) ” come out of her my people.” God will save his elect.

  342. Ken Hamrick said,

    September 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Andrew, #339,

    You have stated the issue well. However, they don’t need to be two separate questions. (Take a look at #307 & 325). As one who holds that the alien righteousness of Christ is imputed to the believer, I came here to argue for the necessity of something within substantial reality on which to justly ground such an imputation—in contradiction to the federal idea that divine imputation needs no such ground. Many here have insisted to me that I am wrong about Reformed theology—that Calvinism does indeed affirm a real union with Christ within the believer. I have no reason to doubt that they do; but most do not apprehend the importance of that substantial union to imputation—that it is the vital ground without which such an imputation would indeed be a legal fiction unworthy of a God who is both just and true.

    It has been said, “We believe in a full-orbed doctrine of salvation that includes union with Christ,” as if the question of imputation was not held apart from a real, substantial union with Christ, but was only being looked at with a narrow focus on the legality—such that a real union with Christ was left out of the narrow discussion but not out of the doctrine in its larger connections. But this is not borne out in the way that the Reformed defend justification. It is appropriate, when the Catholics object that the legality does not take place, to emphasize and argue that a legal imputation does take place. However, when the RC’s object that legality without ground in reality is fiction, then the Reformed should counter by pointing to the union within substantial reality—within the believer himself—between Christ and the believer, whereby the two become one new man in Christ. But instead, when addressing the objection of legal fiction, the Reformed most often simply reaffirm the “reality” of the legality (as in the opening article by Lane, wherein he answers the charge by pointing to adoption and the legality of marriage).

    So the two questions you mention ought to be one and the same. We are righteous because Christ is IN US, and He is righteous. Bryan may claim that the mere presence of Christ in the believer does not change the identity of the man, but would he argue that the presence of Bryan in his own body does not establish his identity? The identity of a man has mostly to do with WHO is within, as the body is merely a tent. All that the Bible says about our union with Christ speaks volumes about a shared identity in Christ that is our very salvation.

  343. De Maria said,

    September 5, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Ken Hamrick #342 said,

    So the two questions you mention ought to be one and the same. We are righteous because Christ is IN US, and He is righteous.

    Are you talking about justification?

    If you are talking about justification, then, is Abraham’s justification the same as New Testament justification? Was Abraham righteous because Christ was in him?

    Or is this a new sort of justification in the New Testament?

    This is not intended as a trick question. We believe we are justified in Baptism because of our faith in Jesus Christ. We believe there was a difference in Abraham’s justification and in ours. He was not born again in Christ, he was not regenerated and therefore did not receive the promise of the Holy Spirit until Pentecost.

    I just wanted to compare how you answer those questions to what I believe and to Scripture.

  344. Ken Hamrick said,

    September 6, 2014 at 3:51 am

    De Maria,

    Yes, I mean justification. As I said in #307, Prior to Christ’s death, believers were justified by faith as we are, but grounded on what Christ would do in the future. Therefore, while they were justified on God’s good credit, so to speak, justice was not yet satisfied in their case. That is why they did not go to heaven when they died, but instead went to sheol, separated by a great gulf from the place of torment. They did not suffer as unbelievers, but they were still, in a sense, captive to justice, waiting until that day when the Messiah would pay for sin, unite with them spiritually and bring them to heaven. See 307 for a fuller answer.

    I agree that Abraham was not born again or united with Christ by the Holy Spirit at the time that he was justified; but he, with all the Old Testament saints, was born again and united with Christ long after they died and remained in sheol waiting for the victorious Christ to “prepare a place for” them. The immersion (“baptism”) that justifies is not in water but into the Spirit of Christ.

  345. September 6, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Ken, when you say substantial union do you mean mixture of essence, our righteousness with His essential righteousness. Calvin denied this. Christ came to incorporate us into His body thru the Spirit, not the flesh. Christ the person is offered, not something derivative off that person. Christ lives in us thru His Spirit. This is union with the Christ. All his victory spoils and his humanity are communicated thru the Spirit. There is no mixture of essential righteousness. IOW our righteousness isn’t derived from His, it is His righteousness, that we receive from outside of us and becomes ours thru union with Christ by receiving the Spirit of christ.

  346. Ken Hamrick said,

    September 6, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Kevin,

    By “substantial union,” I mean only that the union happens within substantial reality and not merely a union within the mind of God—the substance of the Spirit of Christ is actually present within believer. Christ the Person is joined to us; but since both His humanity and His divinity belong inseparably to His Person, then to be joined to Christ is to be joined to both. Christ’s righteousness, when we are considered apart from Him, is “outside of us.” But we are so joined to Him as to never again be considered apart from Him; and since He Himself is INSIDE us, then so is His righteousness—when the two (Christ and the believer) are considered one in Him. (See #3 for more detail).

  347. ajmccallum said,

    September 6, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Ken (re: 242),

    when the RC’s object that legality without ground in reality is fiction, then the Reformed should counter by pointing to the union within substantial reality—within the believer himself—between Christ and the believer, whereby the two become one new man in Christ.

    That’s well stated. So as I see it Lane’s original contention at the beginning of this thread is sustained, and the RC’s who want to continue to believe Reformed are positing a “legal fiction” are shown to be in error.

    You contrast your statement above with the “federal idea” and I’m not sure what you mean by that. I don’t see anything in Reformed understanding of the covenants which would obviate what you say above.

  348. ajmccallum said,

    September 6, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    when you say substantial union do you mean mixture of essence, our righteousness with His essential righteousness. Calvin denied this.

    Kevin,

    If you mean by “mixture of essence,” that we take on uniquely divine attributes then I would agree with you that there is no blending with His divinity.

    Calvin says this in his commentary on I Peter 1:9:

    For we must consider from whence it is that God raises us up to such a height of honor. We know how abject is the condition of our nature; that God, then, should make himself ours, so that all his things should in a manner become our things, the greatness of his grace cannot be sufficiently conceived by our minds. Therefore this consideration alone ought to be abundantly sufficient to make us to renounce the world and to carry us aloft to heaven. Let us then mark, that the end of the gospel is, to render us eventually conformable to God, and, if we may so speak, to deify us.

    So in our union with Christ He “deifies” us, as much as it is possible to do so while still retaining our status as human creatures. There is obviously some mystery involved here because we cannot divide Christ into human and divine as if Christ was schizophrenic, but then we cannot deny that we are and always will be distinctly human, even in our glorified state.

  349. Ken Hamrick said,

    September 6, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Andrew,

    Lane’s intent is sustained, for sure, but he could have went much farther in his argument. As for federalism, it may be held in either of two ways. A covenant may be seen as supplying its own sufficient moral ground, or it may be seen as dependent upon a greater moral framework (of what some theologians call “natural law”) that is grounded in substantial reality.

    Look at the covenant with Adam. Federalism is most often held in such a way that Adam’s progeny fell into sin, corruption and death based on nothing more solid than the fact that God chose to include them in His covenant with Adam. This idea is a covenant supplying its own sufficient moral ground—it is seen as just merely because it is according to the terms of the covenant.

    But Federalism was originally held in the Reformed church in a different, more Augustinian way. Rather than the covenant being superimposed upon man as already created, the covenant was in mind when God designed Adam, and so He created him with a moral nature that would be propagated to all men. In effect, this allowed God to include all men in the covenant not only by including them in its terms but also by including their very natures within Adam. The fact that the moral nature of every man was in Adam originally and then propagated from him gives men a responsible moral presence within Adam. Thus, a moral covenant with Adam was a moral covenant with all those still within him and yet to be propagated from him. That part of us that chooses to sin was not created brand new for us, but is a hand-me-down from Adam and chose to sin in him.

    Even without any covenant, Adam’s sin would have been just as wrong and just as worthy of death (physical and spiritual). Since sin naturally enslaves and corrupts, then Adam’s sin would have corrupted his nature and enslaved him whether or not there was a covenant. And since the nature of all men was embodied in the single man, Adam, when he sinned, then that nature would be propagated to all men in its morally corrupted, spiritually dead condition—even without any covenant. Because of this, all men justly “inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin.” So you see, while the covenant model serves as a good way to explain the reality, the reality itself does not depend on the covenant.

    Moving to the Christ side of the parallel, the same question appears. Does the justifying imputation, based on the new covenant, supply its own sufficient moral ground? Or, is it grounded in reality on that which would naturally be just? Federalism is commonly held in such a way that our union with Christ within the believer is relegated to having importance mainly to sanctification, with justification depending only on how God chooses to see things.

  350. Ken Hamrick said,

    September 6, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Andrew, #348

    We are as united to Christ’s humanity as to His divinity. Without union with His humanity, we could not be saved. Our need is for a human righteousness, worked out in a human life, and Christ supplies this by first living it out and then joining us to that human past as He joins to us in the Spirit.

  351. De Maria said,

    September 6, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Ken Hamrick said,
    September 6, 2014 at 3:51 am

    De Maria,

    Yes, I mean justification. As I said in #307, Prior to Christ’s death, believers were justified by faith as we are, but grounded on what Christ would do in the future. Therefore, while they were justified on God’s good credit, so to speak, justice was not yet satisfied in their case. That is why they did not go to heaven when they died, but instead went to sheol, separated by a great gulf from the place of torment. They did not suffer as unbelievers, but they were still, in a sense, captive to justice, waiting until that day when the Messiah would pay for sin, unite with them spiritually and bring them to heaven.

    Do you believe in Purgatory? The reason I ask is because Sheol sounds a great deal like what we call Purgatory.

    See 307 for a fuller answer.

    Ok.

    I agree that Abraham was not born again or united with Christ by the Holy Spirit at the time that he was justified;

    Ok.

    but he, with all the Old Testament saints, was born again and united with Christ long after they died and remained in sheol waiting for the victorious Christ to “prepare a place for” them.

    We differ there. I believe they remained in Sheol because they were not yet born again and united with Christ until they received the promise and were perfected with those who received the Holy Spirit.This is when Christ set the captives, in Sheol, free.

    The immersion (“baptism”) that justifies is not in water but into the Spirit of Christ.

    But the Holy Spirit accompanies the water which is poured out upon us in Baptism. The water of the Sacrament is the effective sign of that which God is doing in our souls.

    John 3:5 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.

    Thanks for your courteous reply. I’ll make sure to read #307.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  352. September 7, 2014 at 8:49 am

    AJ, that would be my argument to. We don’t become divine , but more truly human. All that He intended for Adam i holiness and righteousness. We don’t become what He is, but all He became to us. K

  353. Ken Hamrick said,

    September 7, 2014 at 8:57 am

    De Maria,

    No, I don’t believe in purgatory. Sheol comes from Scripture. See the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. The righteous did not suffer there but the unbelieving sinners did.

    We differ there. I believe they remained in Sheol because they were not yet born again and united with Christ until they received the promise and were perfected with those who received the Holy Spirit.This is when Christ set the captives, in Sheol, free.

    I see no difference, but I’m not familiar with all the details of RC doctrine.

    But the Holy Spirit accompanies the water which is poured out upon us in Baptism. The water of the Sacrament is the effective sign of that which God is doing in our souls.

    John 3:5 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.

    That’s not quite right. The Holy Spirit is not limited to accompanying water. The Holy Spirit accompanies faith and immediately fills the converted sinner who believes. If you have water but no faith, you will not be saved. If you have faith, but must die prior to any water, you will still be saved. Water is only the symbolic sign of that which God has done in our souls. The meaning of water in “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit…” is a symbolic reference to the Spirit given for emphasis. See Tit. 3:5 & Eph. 5:26.

  354. De Maria said,

    September 7, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Ken,

    Thanks for the opportunity to compare what we believe.

    You said:

    Ken Hamrick said,
    September 7, 2014 at 8:57 am

    De Maria,

    No, I don’t believe in purgatory. Sheol comes from Scripture. See the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. The righteous did not suffer there but the unbelieving sinners did.

    I would say that the “perfectly” righteous did not suffer there. But the imperfect believing sinner did. The reason being that the Rich Man was a Jew and therefore a believer. Note that he called Abraham, “Father”. Therefore, it is possible that he was expiating his sin in suffering.

    I see no difference, but I’m not familiar with all the details of RC doctrine.

    Ok.

    That’s not quite right. The Holy Spirit is not limited to accompanying water.

    We don’t believe the Holy Spirit is limited to accompanying water either. However, we believe that we receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism. Therefore, in Baptism (and the rest of the Sacraments), we are like Abraham, we believe and God credits it to us as rightreousness.

    The Holy Spirit accompanies faith and immediately fills the converted sinner who believes.

    True. But this is not the washing of regeneration. In the Old Testament, many were filled with the Holy Spirit. But they were not saved until Jesus Christ gave the Holy Spirit.

    1 Samuel 11:6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.

    2 Chronicles 24:20 And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest,

    So, receiving the Holy Spirit and being washed by the Holy Spirit are not the same thing.

    In the New Testament, if you believe Christ’s promise that you will receive the Holy Spirit when you are baptized with water, the water poured on you signifies the truth which God is producing in your soul. Washing away your sins as you call upon His name.

    If you have water but no faith, you will not be saved.

    True. That goes for all the Sacraments. Anyone going through the motions, essentially condemns himself. As St. Paul says about the Eucharist:

    1 Corinthians 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

    If you have faith, but must die prior

    to any water, you will still be saved.

    We agree on this point also. It is Catholic Teaching and is called a Baptism of Desire.

    Water is only the symbolic sign of that which God has done in our souls.

    I would say it is an “efficacious symbol or sign” of that which God is doing in our souls. We believe God works through the water the same way that He worked through the water of the Jordan to heal Namaan. Water is no obstacle to God. And we believe He promised to wash away our sins by the water of Baptism.

    The meaning of water in “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit…” is a symbolic reference to the Spirit given for emphasis. See Tit. 3:5 & Eph. 5:26.

    We believe it is an appropriate symbol, because the Holy Spirit is also called Living Water:

    John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. Therefore, h2o is a very apt symbol for the Holy Spirit which Christ gives us if we approach the Sacraments with faith.

  355. Jim said,

    September 12, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Ken,
    Purgatory and the Bosom of Abraham both existed with in Sheol. The bad angels were held in Tartarus ( hell ). Christ went to preach to the righteous souls held in prison ( Seol/Hades ) since the time of the flood.
    At the end of the world, death and Hades ( purgatory ) will be cast into the lake of fire ( hell ).

    At the beginning of the comments on this thread you said Augustine was a Traducinist. The young Augustine was. The theory made explaining the transmission of original Sin easy. However, my understanding is that he later became a creationist.
    Creation ex nihilo of each soul when sperm meets egg fits with original Sin being an absences of sanctifying grace and the preternatural gifts.
    Traducinism, besides being materialistic, requires Mary to have been sinless or Jesus would have inherited her sin. This means Saints Joachim Anne would have also have had to be sinless. And their parents before that. And theirs before that…
    According to Creationism, even if Jesus had been born of Joseph and Mary, and they had been wicked sinners, Jesus would still have been sinless and full of grace. Creationism also says Mary’s Immaculate Conception was not necessary but fitting.
    Of the three views on the origin of the soul, Creationism, Traducianism or Nemesius’ pre-existence theory, only Creationism can be defended.

  356. Jim said,

    September 12, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Ken,
    I did not bother to include the archaic understanding of 3 successive souls above as it is just a variation of creationism.

  357. Jim said,

    September 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Hi Ken,
    I have been thinking about your interest in nominalism. My understanding is that it entered Europe by way of Averroes and Avincenna and was popular in the Via Moderna.
    Would you agree that Luther, although deriding Gabriel Biel and the nominalists, borrowed from them to form his views on justification which said a man can be a sinner yet reckoned just?

  358. Jason Loh said,

    September 14, 2014 at 1:10 am

    To be more accurate, Luther was an Okhamist and by way of Okham’s reception, an Arustotelian in his understanding of justification. The simul (iustus et peccator) is not static. It is an on-going series of movements of “negation” and “affirmation,” of “beginning” and “end.” The difference is that the movements are not Zeno’s paradox — of moving “step-by-step.” IOW, the Christian is not active but purely passive. S/he does not move but is moved. The Christian does not move to the “goal” (telos) but the goal moves to her/ him.

    The movements therefore are simultaneous (and then only in that light can be understood as also sequential) — and thus these are purely eschatological acts of the triune God in the destruction of the old Adam and Eve and the re-creation of the new Adam and Eve. The movements “short-circuit” any process of sanctification and purgatory but complete and perfect in and of themselves.

    The simul therefore is not a legal category but “metaphysical” (not ontological to be sure but eschatological). The sinner is killed by the law (judged according to the law) but justified, i.e. raised up anew apart from the law.

  359. Jim said,

    September 14, 2014 at 6:50 am

    Jason Loh!
    Like the proverbial bad penny…!
    Yes, Ockhamist would be more accurate.
    Remember, Islamic voluntarism says that God could call murder a good act and feeding the poor a sin if he so chose. This is reminiscent of the Protestant reading of Paul’s, “…justified the ungodly” and imputation of sin to Christ wouldn’t you say?

  360. September 15, 2014 at 1:57 am

    Jason, Luther believed in the imputation of Christ’s righteousness and you don’t.


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