This Holy Week (and especially today, "Spy Wednesday"), it's worth taking a closer look at the Apostle Judas Iscariot. Here are four things that we can learn from him.
Contemporary Christianity is fond of pushing Jesus without the Church. Like its secular counterpart (in which people claim to be "spiritual, but not religious"), it's an attempt to have the relationship without the rules. If I'm lonely or going through a tragedy, I can pray, but I don't have to worry about fasting when I don't want to, or being associated with a bunch of fellow believers that I look down upon. But Jesus-without-the-Church is a rejection of Jesus.
Does God wish that the damned had been saved? In other words, when a person dies and goes to Hell, is it because that's where God wanted them from all eternity, or because they rejected His plan for their salvation? Was the Cross intended for everyone, or only for the finally-elect?
Does God owe us salvation? Yes, if Protestant theologians (from the Reformation down to today) are right. No, if salvation is a free gift, as the Bible says.
John Calvin taught that concupiscence, our post-Fall inclination towards sin, was itself sinful. He went so far as to say that man was only concupiscence. These views don't square well with the Incarnation, the idea that Jesus Christ became fully man, but without sinning. Perhaps it is unsurprising, then, that Calvin's views led him to functionally deny Christ's sinlessness, particularly at the moment when He was at prayer in the Garden. The broader question: was Calvin's heresy in spite of his Reformed theology, or because of it?
Lines from the Lord’s Prayer, in various languages.From the Eucharist Door at the Glory Facade of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain. It’s Lent in Rome. That means it’s time for one of the great Roman traditions: station churches. Each morning, English-speaking pilgrims walk to a different church for Mass. This morning, on the way to […]
Pompeo Batoni, Sacred Heart of Jesus (1767) Does God hate sinners? There’s a notorious Baptist group based out of Topeka, Kansas, that claims that He does: and specifically, that He hates homosexuals. They’re a radical fringe even amongst Baptist Calvinists, and other Calvinists have sought to distance themselves from them. But many of those doing […]
While not all of the causes of the Protestant Reformation were theological, some of them undoubtedly were. So St. Edmund Campion, in the eighth of his Ten Reasons against the Reformation, addressed some of these. Specifically, he considers certain “impossible positions” that the Reformers held “on God, on Christ, on Man, on Sin, on Justice, on Sacraments, [and] on […]
One of the major issues dividing Catholics and Protestants is the Bible. Catholic Bibles have seven Books that Protestants reject: Protestants call these Books “the Apocrypha,” while Catholics call them “the Deuterocanon.” This dispute matters, because it’s hard to agree on what Scripture says if we can’t even agree on what Scripture is, on which Books are […]
I am frequently asked by Protestants why we Catholics don’t teach “assurance of salvation,” the belief that those who are currently saved are guaranteed ultimate salvation, no matter what. Someone cannot be temporarily saved and ultimately damned. Calvinists and many Evangelicals affirm this doctrine (under different names: assurance of salvation, perseverance of the Saints, “Once Saved, […]