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.
Last month, Pope Francis celebrated the opening of the Year for Mercy. But before we praise mercy, then, we first have to ask what it is. What makes it unique? Matthew Rensch (Burlington) looks at some of the oft-overlooked features of this virtue.
This is really two short posts rolled into one: (1) is the Catholic Church the origin of the Bible? and (2) What's the Gospel message of salvation, according to the Catholic Church?
“Are you going to Heaven?” “I think so. After all, I’m basically a good person.” Like me, you’ve probably heard versions of this conversation countless times. It relies on a simple but attractive theological premise: since you’re basically a good person, it would be unjust to send you to Hell; therefore, you’ll be in Heaven […]
"This entire dynamic of goodness, approval, and reception of praise lies at the heart of our relationship with God. For in heaven, [...] God showers us with praise. “Well done, my good and faithful servants” (Mt 25:23). “Come, O blessed of my Father” (Mt 25:34). In this heavenly experience, the blessed responds with gratitude. The saved creature graciously receives the divine accolade, expressing thanks. The humility of creature permits thanksgiving, and in giving thanks the creature reaffirms its humility. " - Guest post by Matthew Rensch.
In Exodus 14:13-14, Moses says to the Israelites, "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still." It's a famous rallying cry, popularized on everything from t-shirts to non-denominational blogs as a way of living out "faith alone." But there's a problem: Moses' plan is a bad plan, and God corrects him for it.
St. Paul reports that when he went to Corinth to preach the Gospel, he experienced fear and trembling in the face of such a great task, the task preaching the good news of justification. Nothing less than the fate of their souls hung in the balance. In much the same spirit of trembling I write to you today, hoping to propose anew the good news of justification. Specifically, I propose for your consideration that justification, rightly understood, resonates with the desire of the human heart to be truly good and approved as such.
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 […]
Anonymous, The Last Supper (17th c.) Are we saved by faith and works, or by faith alone? This question is, from a traditional Protestant perspective, the single biggest issue dividing Catholics and Protestants. R.C. Sproul has pointed out the historical importance of the question: Luther made his famous comment that the doctrine of justification by […]
Yesterday, I began a multi-part series looking at St. Edmund Campion’s Ten Reasons against the Reformation. The first reason, addressed yesterday, was the canon of Scripture: the Reformers took books out of the Bible (and not even the same books as one another), and end up leaving no coherent authority upon which to have a […]