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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Is sinfulness what prevents "Works" from saving us?

I'm glad to say this blog is not dead. I did take a break, but mostly because I was busy with life and didn't have anything new/original to share. I never wanted this blog to be about posting for the sake of posting, so I deliberately limited my number of posts and only would post when I felt I had something worthwhile to share that wasn't the same old apologetics you read anywhere else. 

For this post I want to discuss an interesting twist on the "not saved by works" discussions a Catholic will typically get into with a Protestant. First, the Catholic must understand that, in the Protestant mind, man is absolutely saved by his own works apart from faith and God's grace, but because of sin man is now unable to save himself and must have Jesus do those works for man in man's place. Human works alone (apart from faith and grace) are still what save us in the Protestant mind, the only thing that changes is that now Jesus does that work in man's place. This is completely contrary to the Catholic understanding of salvation, in which man can only be saved by faith and grace, never by his own works no matter how good those works are. I discuss this more HERE

This leads me to the main focus of this post: Did Paul say that the reason why "works" cannot save us is because those works are 'tainted by sin'? That's certainly the typical Protestant answer, but as you will see, that's not the 'plain teaching' of Paul at all. For this post I will look at some of Paul's key salvation 'apart from works' texts. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Penal Substitution is the key to understanding Protestant Evangelicalism.

Over at the CCC Blog I recently posted "Understanding Christ's Cry of Abandonment" and I began by 'predicting' that by Good Friday we'd see a flood of posts from well-educated Protestants (mostly Calvinist/Reformed) who were going to completely botch the meaning of "My God, Why have you abandoned me?" And it turned out, a number of Protestant outlets posted on precisely this.

As you read the following quotes, take note of how the Protestant understanding of the Cross (Penal Substitution), in which they openly speak of "Christ being damned to hell in our place," is directly linked to Justification by Faith Alone and is the heart of the Gospel as Protestants understand it. So if you want to improve your apologetics and dialogue with Protestants, you should be ready to talk about this issue. Even the average Evangelical you run into believes this stuff, they just don't realize this is what they're espousing with their "Just say the Sinner's Prayer" theology.

And now the quotes from famous conservative Protestant ministry blogs (with my highlights). Since it's about 2.5 pages of quotes, I have trimmed them only to cut down on size:

How much did prayer cost God?
March 30, 2015 by Justin Taylor [The Gospel Coalition blog network],

[Quoting Reformed Pastor Tim Keller:] The only time in all the gospels that Jesus Christ prays to God and doesn’t call him Father is on the cross, when he says, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus lost his relationship with the Father so that we could have a relationship with God as father. Jesus Christ bore all the eternal punishment that our sins deserve. That is the cost of prayer. Jesus paid the price so God could be our father.
“My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?”  
Mar 30, 2015 by Dr. Pastor Joel Beeke [Ligonier Ministries],
Experiencing the full brunt of His Father’s wrath, Jesus cannot stay silent. He cries out: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Here Jesus descends into the essence of hell, the most extreme suffering ever experienced. It is a time so compacted, so infinite, so horrendous as to be incomprehensible and, seemingly, unsustainable. All the sins of the elect, and the hell that they deserve for eternity, are laid upon Him. With Jesus as our substitute, God’s wrath is satisfied and God can justify those who believe in Jesus (Rom. 3:26). You are immune to condemnation (Rom. 8:1) and to God’s anathema (Gal. 3:13) because Christ bore it for you in that outer darkness. 
This is a beautiful summary of the Protestant understanding of the Gospel. Jesus died in our place, we accept this by Faith Alone, and we can never lose our salvation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Two new posts at CCC: Problems with the Reformed view of Federal Headship and problems with the Reformed view of Liturgy.

I have two new posts up at Creed Code Cult. The first deals with the Reformed doctrine of "Federal Headship" and the problems with seeing salvation strictly in terms of Imputation (from a perspective most people don't think about), and the second is an article that explores the problems with the Reformed approach to Liturgy (and how Sola Scriptura is to blame).


Monday, February 2, 2015

Biblical proof that being "Clothed in Christ" has nothing to do with Protestant Imputation.

HERE is my latest post at Creed Code Cult where I show St Paul certainly did not have the Protestant dogma of "Christ's Imputed Righteousness" (by faith alone) in mind when he said we are "Clothed in Christ."

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Traditionalism is the 'right wing' of AmChurch


The "American Catholic Church" (or "AmChurch" as some call it) refers to the Catholic experience in America of practicing the Faith with a "don't tell me what to believe" type attitude that is characteristic of Protestantism. The term is typically used by Traditionalists when speaking of “Liberal Catholics” in America, but the problem is much more serious because the Tradosphere is actually founded upon essentially the same erroneous (Liberal) principles as the AmChurch’s 'left wing'.

Long ago Rome saw these dangers creeping in, and so Pope Leo XIII issued an Encyclical against "Americanism" in which he singled out three big dangers we face:
These dangers are: (1) the confounding of license with liberty; (2) the passion for discussing and pouring contempt upon any possible subject; (3) the assumed right to hold whatever opinions one pleases and to set them forth in print to the world. (Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae)
The first error is the chief characteristic of Liberalism, which states that man is not bound to any law beyond himself, including not bound to Natural Law. The result is that "Liberty" becomes defined as “the right to do or say whatever you want” - which is not true Liberty at all, since it lacks restraints.

Building on the first error, the second and third AmChurch errors listed above immediately find their justification. They now think they have the right to discuss, criticize, pour out contempt upon, and especially publish anything he pleases. This "assumed right" states that one can even smear the reputation of another, protected under the guise of "free speech" (another Liberal error).