Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What you didn't know about Romans 8:29-30 and Predestination.

The purpose of this post will be to look at one badly neglected reading of Romans 8:29-30. Though a lot can be said about Predestination itself, I think this is a good article that summarizes the Catholic view. For now, I just want to look at these two verses, since I think the details given are often get overlooked because people don't know what to do with them. 
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
This passage is often read as referring to man's whole life being predestined, from their conversion ("called") all the way to Heaven ("glorified"). While there is truth to that concept and a legitimate interpretation of this among some of the Fathers, notably St Augustine, there is also an illegitimate interpretation that the reads it in a way that denies free will and that some are predestined to hellfire. (This illegitimate understanding of predestination has been formally condemned by the Church.) But there are other interpretations that are worth noting that don't really see this as predestination 'from start to finish', but rather the "glorious" predestination to adoption.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Did St Paul really rebuke St Peter? ... Maybe not!

I came across a fascinating article by Catholic apologist James Likoudis which I'd like to discuss on whether or not Peter and Cephas were the same person. There appears to be strong evidence that would lead us to not make the identification of the two men, even if many people throughout Church history have. While this would not affect any dogma of the faith one way or another, it would shed a whole new light on the Incident at Antioch when Paul confronted "Cephas" (Gal 2:11-14) - which is a common text which opponents of the Papacy like to focus on. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pope Francis and the end of Catholicism

I'm starting to get sick to my stomach with the non-stop slew of posts with gloomy-themed comments regarding Pope Francis. Why are so many Catholics, especially among traditionalists, so worried about Pope Francis? Ever since the election of Francis a storm of radically disappointed gloom-filled traditionalists has surged, and it's really soured my experience at certain blogs. Now before I go onto make any further comments, I don't want people fallaciously accusing me of blindly supporting anything and everything the Pope does and treat it as pure gold. I don't do that, but more importantly, that's not the point. The point is that people are blowing things way out of proportion, and I fear it's leading them to the brink of apostasy. That's what's more concerning, and I'm surprised more people aren't alarmed by that eminent danger. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

That time when Jesus came into His Kingdom - More Problems with Penal Substitution

I thought I was off the subject of Penal Substitution for a while, but I've come up with yet another serious problem with that heresy. The good thing is, this should be short. 

When the subject of Penal Substitution comes up, our attention is typically focused on the last hours of Jesus' life. But in reality, Jesus suffered for us the entire course of His earthly life. Even Protestants agree with this, though they interpret Christ's sufferings incorrectly. In the erroneous Protestant view of "imputing guilt," this means the guilt of the elect was imputed to Jesus from the moment of His Conception . . . which means the Father viewed His Son Jesus as a sinner from the moment of the Annunciation!

This error is so outrageous that everyone seeing this should automatically realize it's wrong. I shouldn't even have to dig up Scriptural support, but I will.

At Our Lord's Baptism, the Father's spoke from Heaven saying: "You are My Beloved Son, in You I am well pleased." This is impossible if Jesus was under God's displeasure! And yet the same words were spoken at another time in the Gospels, compounding the absurdity and blasphemy of that doctrine. In the Gospels we see Jesus making some cryptic comments: "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." Many people take these words of "coming in his kingdom" to be speaking about Jesus' Second Coming at the end of time, but the Early Church Fathers saw this as referring to the Transfiguration. But how? St. Peter himself tells us:
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. (2 Peter 1)
A lot of people don't know about this passage and how it explicitly links Jesus' "coming in glory" comments with the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor - which is also why Jesus' words appear immediately before all three Transfiguration accounts, Mt 16:28; Mk 9:1-2; Lk 9:27-28. What amazing light is shed on that glorious event! As with the Baptism, this was a situation where God the Father was bestowing honor and glory on Jesus, again saying "I am well pleased". 

Penal Substitution makes it impossible for God the Father to view Jesus in a favorable way at any point in all 33 years of Jesus' earthly life. Therefore, Penal Substitution cannot be true.