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October 31, 2012

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The Reformation Gospel isn't the Gospel affirmed by the early Church. For quotes from the Father's on justification, see here: http://www.churchfathers.org/category/salvation/reward-and-merit. So the Protestant must either admit that 1) The true Gospel was lost right after the apostles and wasn't rediscovered until the Reformation 2) The Church had it right all along and the Reformation changed the truth. I find it hard to believe that for 1500 years Christians misunderstood the Gospel. But maybe I'm wrong.

All you have to do is read the gospels and decide for yourself if the reformed view is correct or the medieval chuech view is correct. The problem was mainly two-fold: those Christians in high positions (artificially given) let power go to their head and used the gospel for selfish means. Secondly, the laypeople could not read the bible- many were illiterate in everything and most were illiterate in latin, the language which the Bible was translated at the time. There was no check for those in power who told everyone "this is how it is" because the common person had no way of knowing what the gospel actually said.

You say "early church" but I think you mean medieval church. the book of Acts gives a good record of the early Church and it was NOT similar to the way the pre-reformation Church viewed the gospel.

My previous post was directed at Joe. Seems pretty obvious, but I thought I'd clarify :)

Imagine the burden of the guilt from your sin you felt before you were saved, when you realized the depth of your fallenness, unworthiness, and broken relationship with God, your Father. Imagine the overwhelming realization that you were guilty and you could never please God by your own efforts. That is the burden Martin Luther and many others lived under with no hope. No Gospel - bad news.

Cheer up buttercup! Even though most of humanity is abandoned to their sin and therefore eternally doomed, at least you aren't! Yay! Happy Reformation Exclusivist Calvinist Sunday everybody! Don't forget to beg and plead for the salvation of your children and loved ones! You might actually get what you ask for! Woo hoo! Happy happy Reformation Sunday everybody!

The early church relied upon the gifts of tongues and prophesy (seeing through a glass darkly) until the NT canon came together (seeing face to face). By the time of Augustine, the Calvinistic view (and the original Lutheran view) had been drawn from Scripture.

For my take, just click my name.

I have been so irritated by atheists who haunt Christian blogs and have to taunt and ridicule post after post for no real reason. Thanks, Malebranche, for disabusing me of my notion that this is an atheistic trait and for disappointingly showing me and the world that Christians are just as badly behaved.
I guess when you are offended that somebody exists who doesn't exactly agree with you this is the best option.
Carry on.

Being incessantly obnoxious is indeed bad behavior. To the extent that I gravitate towards that, I am not doing what I ought.

Accusing God of saving only a few while abandoning most of his children to eternal wickedness and languishing is perverse and blasphemous. Turning around and calling this ‘good news’ worth celebrating is contemptible. Pointing out that one’s dogmas about Scripture compel one to do such things in no way mitigates the perversion.

Holding up such views as the proper objects of derision is, I would have thought, completely appropriate in its right context. But perhaps this was not the context.

The concept of justification through faith alone is found in sources between the time of the apostles and the Reformation. It was made more popular by the Reformation, but it predates the Reformation both in Biblical times and in post-Biblical times. It's not just a Biblical and Reformation and post-Reformation doctrine. It's also patristic and medieval. For some examples, see here.

It should also be noted that the church fathers and other pre-Reformation sources who advocated some type of justification through works were often inconsistent on the subject and widely contradicted each other. The mere fact that they advocated some form of justification through works doesn't tell us how consistently they did so or whether they all advocated the same view of justification through works. Many church fathers advocated a form of justification through works that's inconsistent with the Roman Catholic view. It's not enough for Catholics to argue that the fathers included works as a means of justification. Many groups that contradict Catholicism concerning justification also include works.

"Perversion, blasphemous, contemptible, derision."

Thanks again.

Carry on.

Malebranche had a chance to defend his taunts with more than derision here:
from here:
http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2010/06/christianitys-greatest-foe-video.html?cid=6a00d83451d2ba69e20134846e1346970c#comment-6a00d83451d2ba69e20134846e1346970c

to
http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2010/06/christianitys-greatest-foe-video/comments/page/3/#comments

As pointed out there, if Malebranche believed his doctrine he wouldn't be posting it here (ridicule and all) in mockery of his host's blog.

Melebranche take a look at this site--http://www.chnetwork.org/journals/justification/justify_12.htm

Instead of calling people names trying proving what you say. Show me in the scriptures that salvation is by any other than through Christ.
If it's just a feeling you have then --- "the gospel is nonsense to the gentile and a stumbling block to the Jew" so where do you stand? Maybe you should stop wasting your time and join Brian Mclarens post-modern liberal group and make things up from your enlightened self.

The argument is quite simple.

(1) For any version of the Gospel G, if G explicitly states or entails that God has decided to freely abandon most of humanity to eternal wickedness and languishing while forgiving only a few, then G is not good news to humanity.
(2) The classical, exclusivist Reformed version of the Gospel explicitly states or entails that God has decided to freely abandon most of humanity to eternal wickedness and languishing while forgiving only a few.
(3) Therefore, the classical, exclusivist Reformed version of the Gospel is not good news to humanity.

From what I can tell, Koukl endorses the classical, exclusivist Reformed version of the Gospel. So, (1) and (2) apply to his version of the gospel, from what I can tell.

I’m at a loss as to why anyone would get in a fuss about me saying that it is perverse to celebrate the classical, Reformed Gospel and parade it around our churches under the label ‘good news to the world.’ One gets the impression that these folks would think it good news to their family if God abandoned most of their family to eternal languishing while saving only a few. But trust me, so long as these folks thought that the Bible compelled them to say even this, rather than question their interpretation of the Bible, they would begin proclaiming the good news of God’s abandonment of most of their family.

Labeling the classical, exclusivist Reformed doctrine ‘perverse’ is not ‘name-calling’ any more than it is name-calling for me to label as ‘perverse and blasphemous’ the view according to which God commanded folks to destroy the World Trade Center on 9/11. I am merely describing the doctrine as I see it. Offensive terms are appropriate to describe offensive realities.

Perhaps it is best to leave this discussion behind and merely point out the following. Consider the following inconsistent propositions:


(A) For any version of the Gospel G, if G explicitly states or entails that God has decided to freely abandon most of humanity to eternal wickedness and languishing while forgiving only a few, then G is not good news to humanity.
(B) The classical, exclusivist Reformed version of the Gospel explicitly states or entails that God has decided to freely abandon most of humanity to eternal wickedness and languishing while forgiving only a few.
(C) The classical, exclusivist Reformed version of the Gospel is good news to humanity.

One cannot consistently believe (A), (B), and (C).

At this point all I can say is, “Choose wisely what you will reject, and rejoice or beg accordingly.”

One gets the impression that these folks would think it good news to their family if God abandoned most of their family to eternal languishing while saving only a few.
Asked and answered. Go read your last performance on this subject.

Notice while there that you admitted that your qualification of "most" being lost is misleading. You believe that if ONE, even Hitler, or Stalin, is lost then (A) this is not a good news Gospel.

Yes, do choose wisely. As for me, I will serve the LORD and not invent an idol more to your liking.

Some Protestants have the notion that Catholics do not “believe” in the Bible, so they bring up Second Timothy 3:15-16 to support their belief of Sola Scriptura:"... from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness."

Certainly Catholics believe in the Bible (Catholics put together the Bible!) but this verse does not really support the belief of Sola Scriptura; it does not say that scripture alone is an adequate guide to the faith For that matter, the whole Bible does not say that we should believe in the Bible alone, nor does it say which books are inspired by God. This is only one hole in the belief of Sola Scriptura; there are many more.

Malebranche,

"Accusing God of saving only a few while abandoning most of his children to eternal wickedness and languishing is perverse and blasphemous."

Not all humanity are God's children. All are God's creation, but children implies relationship, which is only found through Christ according to the Bible.

Darth Dutch

Excellent point Darth.

Malebranche, what is God supposed to do with those that won't turn to Him - no matter what He does?

Guys, to be fair to Malebranche, those comments above are from a couple years ago (this is a post Melinda brought up from 2010), so he's unlikely to see your comments. Sorry!

@ Malebranche -

"Being incessantly obnoxious is indeed bad behavior. To the extent that I gravitate towards that, I am not doing what I ought."

So you know it's bad behavior, but you continue to do it.

"Accusing God of saving only a few while abandoning most of his children to eternal wickedness and languishing is perverse and blasphemous. Turning around and calling this ‘good news’ worth celebrating is contemptible. Pointing out that one’s dogmas about Scripture compel one to do such things in no way mitigates the perversion."

The clear teaching of Scripture is that those who accept Christ's pardon of forgiveness are then made God's children. How this fact squares with what you've said here, I do not know.

@ Michael Gormley -

Some Protestants have the notion that Catholics do not “believe” in the Bible, so they bring up Second Timothy 3:15-16 to support their belief of Sola Scriptura:"

Catholics say they believe Scripture, but they continue to follow teachings and practices that are in direct conflict with Scripture. (Undo attention to Mary which is often bordering on worship, the teaching of Purgatory, getting to heaven by works, etc.)

Hello Mo.

The problem is that you believe orthodoxy has to be judged by Scripture Alone, but Scripture doesn't say anywhere that Scripture Alone is the sole criterion for judging orthodoxy.

You're imposing your non-Scriptural criteria of Scripture Alone on the issue.

Catholics simply don't have to be as narrowly Scriptural as you because the Bible simply doesn't teach what you insist it does.

That is, your doctrine of 'Scripture Alone' is as extra-biblical as the Catholic doctrines on Mary, Purgatory, etc., except the Catholic ones have the living Tradition of the Church for 2000 years behind them, whilst yours was made up by Martin Luther.

It was not 'rediscovered' after being lost for 1500 years. 'Scripture Alone' was not, and is not, in Scripture, and so it cannot be a valid criterion for judging truth in Christianity.

You don't take the Bible literally, but Martin Luther.

@ Paul -

"Catholics simply don't have to be as narrowly Scriptural as you because the Bible simply doesn't teach what you insist it does."

Seems like you are going around in circles here.

You say Scripture Alone is not taught in the Bible. But neither are things like Purgatory, adoration of Mary, etc.

Now, if there are traditions that goes along with Scripture, that's all good and fine. But when you've got doctrines that contradict Scripture, what do you do with that?

Where (and how) is the line drawn?

Purgatory is in Maccabees - a book Luther kicked out of the canon of scripture.
Other sources:
Rev 21.27
Matt 22.1- 14
Matt 18.21- 35
Luke 16.19 - 31
1 Cor 3.10 - 11
1 Pet 4.6

If you can't see how some of them are connected, that's because of your belief in personal interpretation and denial of an authoritative reading of scripture.

Scripture has to be interpreted according to the author's original intention, and Catholics take seriously how the Jews interpreted their own scriptures, and the Early Church, the creation of the canon and the interpretation of that canon.

If Luther was wrong about removing Revelation, James, Timothy, Jude, and Hebrews from the New Testament (which he proposed), what else was he wrong about?
Maybe the 'apocrypha' as you call it, is authoritative, too, but Luther just got his way to remove it?
What about Luther adding the word 'alone' into his translation of Romans 3.28 when it's not in the Greek? Without it, 'faith alone' is not scriptural as Dr Jason Stellman, a Presbyterian theologian who's recently become Catholic, has pointed out, after being the prosecutor at Peter Leithart's trial.

The Reformers were far more power crazed than an wayward pope, because the morally vile popes didn't change what had always been taught by the Church, however murderous and corrupt they were.

Romans 3:28 reads, from three translations:

Amp: "28 For we hold that a man is justified and made upright by faith independent of and distinctly apart from good deeds...."

NIV: "28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law."

Greek NT: "28 λογιζόμεθα [k]γὰρ [l]δικαιοῦσθαι πίστει ἄνθρωπον χωρὶς ἔργων νόμου."

I am not sure any Created-Self can in actuality pull the Uncreated into itself, regardless of what it, in itself, ever does. In fact I know it cannot. The Uncreated, it seems, must spread His arms wide, and pour Himself out, and offer the All Sufficient Cup, and the Insufficient, having thus swallowed up, and having thus been swallowed up by, All-Sufficiency, then finds in itself a Sufficiency of which it had not formally known. We may in good faith perhaps note the action of two wills there within ‘swallowed up’ and within ‘swallowed up by’. But, we must note, that without the action of the later, the former has no hope. It seems to me both are very present, the former and the later, and we simply cannot deny these two motions of these two wills, nor can we deny that the later gets all the credit, for, but for it, the former is hopeless, for it is just not sufficient in its own Self, no matter what it does.

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