Thursday, November 5, 2009

Catholic and catholic

Internet Monk has a special perspective on Evangelical and Catholic relations - his wife has converted to Catholicism (not to mention his blog is overrun by Catholics trying to convert him! :).

In this light, he has published a five part interview with Catholic apologist Bryan Cross. I would love to dig in line by line, but I am a little (a lot) overwhelmed.

Michael also has some closing words.

For part 1, I was surprised to see the weight he gives to philosophy. I was reminded of Colossians 2:8:
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

He also has a very odd view of the Gospel:
"For this reason, unity is at the very center of the gospel of Jesus Christ, because the unity of God and man in Jesus Christ is at the center of His gospel, in the greatest union of all time, God united to man in the incarnation of Christ."
and an odd absorption with "unity":
"So the unity and catholicity of the Church are together a sign to the world that the One whose Name we bear as Christians was from God"


TheDen said...

Bryans view of the Gospel is exactly what I was explaining to you before about the Body of Christ.

Salvation occurs with our unity in the Body of Christ.

That unity is not taken lightly as God chooses to share in His divinity through Jesus Christ and in that unity, we are saved--actually, it's the only way to be saved.

THAT IS THE GOSPEL. The Good News that Jesus Christ came down and through dying and resurrection, He destroyed death and restored life. Through faith and belief in Him, we are saved as we enter into His body and partake in His role as Priest, Prophet, and King.

Regarding Philosophy, philosophy is in everything. The problem is when you make a certain philosophy the center of your life. For example, the existentialist movement in Europe has taken a hold and taken God out of our lives. That's a problem. However, there are elements of truth in everything and to understand philosophy is noble.

nedbrek said...

Perhaps it is an imputed/infused righteousness thing...

I would agree we are united to Christ in salvation (1 Cor 12:13) - of course, I would say this is spiritual baptism (baptism of the Spirit), where (I believe) you would say this is physical baptism.

There are many aspects of the Gospel, but I think most Protestants focus on salvation. In my Gospel by the numbers series, I focus on repentance and trust, the forgiveness of sins and escape from Hell.

I think that is our major problem, probably because I think the unity in the Catholic Church is overstated.

How many stories have we seen of Catholic nuns who play at priest, and lay Catholics who play cafeteria. And Crossan is a heretic who was a Catholic priest, and teaches at a Catholic university.

TheDen said...

I think the problem with Protestants is the focus on Salvation. While salvation is important, I don’t think it’s the only thing. I think Salvation is the end of the road but I don’t think it’s the key to the whole Gospel.

Unity is key. Specifically, it’s unity with God. The unity is achieved through our love for God which is achieved only through obedience to the Church. The key to our faith is a unity that is mirrored by a wife’s love for her husband. Our love for God should be similar and that love stems from obedience (“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”) We are not united into Christ in salvation. You’re misreading 1 Corinthians 12 (It does not say into Salvation). We are united into Christ. It’s through Christ that we are saved but the importance isn’t the Salvation. The importance is the unity (per 1 Corinthians 12:13)

Salvation is attained only through our love and obedience to Christ. Heaven does not happen when we die. Heaven is achieved when we are reborn in Christ (through Baptism) and we remain in heaven as long as we are obedient to Him. It’s through our disobedience that we experience sin and damnation. It’s in that act of non-loving where we risk our salvation.

Regarding the stories of nuns playing priests, cafeteria Catholics, and heretics within the Church, I am 100% in agreement with you. They are NOT Catholic (or rather Catholic in name only). They are examples of disobedience and thus not showing the love of Christ and are better examples of disunity. If a non-Christian were to ask me whom they should follow, a faithful Protestant or someone from the above, I would likely tell them to pick the Protestant as at least they’ll have a better foundation and albeit not perfect unity, in their hearts, they are striving to be obedient in what they know.

TheDen said...


I don’t think I ever read your Soteriology piece and I don’t know if you’re grasping what’s happening in salvation.

As a result of Adam’s original sin, we are born in a fallen state. A state deprived of original holiness. In order to be restored into holiness, we must be reborn into Christ—stripped away of our sins—in Baptism. Again, in our unity in Christ through Baptism, we are reborn into a state of righteousness. It’s not our holiness, it’s Christ’s holiness and righteousness that saves us. It’s our obedience to Christ that keeps us in His body but it’s is Holiness that allows us salvation.

Unfortunately, because of Adam’s sin, our fallen nature inclines us to sin and be disobedient. We must however present ourselves as slaves of righteousness—avoiding anything that leads to death.

Please reread Romans 5:12 through Romans 6 (the whole thing) to get a grasp of what I’m talking about.