Monday, September 19, 2005

Waking Up in Perdition
...a tragic end to John Paul II's loving humanitarianism

Today's Mulligan Monday goes to the dear Roman Catholic men and women who have heard the genuine gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ from a Christian friend, family member or neighbor, and responded in repentance of sin to salvation by God's grace gif of saving faith to them. But who may still be attending Romanist churches. This could be out of ignorance, family ties, tradition, peer-pressure, personal friendships/relationships, etc. they still remain in a Roman Catholic church for a season. I have many former Romanist friends who all, without exception, have told me that when they met the Lord, they had to leave the Roman church and its false teachings eventually--and there was a bit of uncertainty about making that decision because they didn't know where to begin to look for a new church. So let us remember to pray for those caught in that scenario and encourage them to get into a solid Bible believing church for their daily growth and fellowship in the Lord. We all need His grace (Titus 2:11-13) to move on daily from the "old ways"... don't we?

I have included this article for them to let them know further about Rome, the Pope, and what its Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, and Nuns really believe and practice. This, I realize is shocking for many to hear--but necessary and done so in the spirit of Christian charity and fidelity.

(May I also wncourage to read the article and the comments listed entitled, "Eggs" Benedict Serves Up Indulgences to Youth ...still heretical after all these years." found to your left in the "previous post" section.) It will help clarify several doctrinal issues surrounding Romanism.

From the fairway of grace,
SJ Camp
"The SledgeHammer"
Jeremiah 23:29

Waking Up in Perdition:
According to a new Vatican volume that chronicles the last two months of his life, the Pope's (John Paul II) last comprehensible words were "Let me go to the house of the Father." According to John 8:44 he got his dying wish (cp, 1 John 3:8-10; Galatians 1:6-9). You will notice on this photo to the right that John Paul II's casket bears part of his coat of arms - a long-gated cross with a large "M" underneath it. Even to his last breath, JPII denied that salvation was by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone; and affirmed the false doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church known as "The Fifth Marian Dogma" (Mary as Co-Redemptrix; Co-Mediatrix with Christ). This Pope was one of the most Marian centered in papal history. He prayed to and worshipped her as the Queen of Heaven (a Babylonian cultic term) and was even leaning upon "her grace" for his acceptance into glory. This is a graphic and heartbreaking photo that unquestionably marked John Paul's eternal condemnation.

In light of our recenet discussion on this blog about Pope Benedict XVI, here is an article written last April a few days after the passing of John Paul II. Read with a heavy heart, for even God "does not delight in the death of the wicked."

The Wages of Trusting in a "Gospel" of Works Righteousness
The most frightening words anyone could ever hear would be those of our Lord found in Matthew 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'” Can you imagine, you called Him Lord; you did works in His name—even works of ministry; and He declares that you were only workers of lawlessness and that He never knew you? Thinking you were on your way to heaven, you wake up instantly upon your death in Hades in the full conscience of your sin, His Lordship and the eternal punishment that awaits you?—can there be anything more loathsome to fall on an unregenerate yet religious man?

Faith Works
Man’s best works, even those mentioned above, are nothing but “filthy rags” before a holy God (Isaiah 64:6). Paul makes it abundantly clear that our salvation is because “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:4). Even when/if we had done all things in perfect obedience to the Lord, Jesus still calls us “unprofitable [or unworthy, useless] servants” (Luke 17:10).

If all our righteousness is considered lawlessness; filthy rags; unfit to save us; and renders us unprofitable, useless servants damning us to an eternal hell—then how much more our sin, even the most insignificant or trivial of our failings from the standard of God’s law, His holy character and perfect Word, is sufficient to incarcerate us all in hell forever!

Rome's Religious Works: The Wide Road to Hell
Today, this very moment, such is the horrifying plight of Pope John Paul II if he continued in the false gospel of Romanist works righteousness to be saved (which he never recanted during his life in any manner whatsoever). The gospel of this Pope and of Rome has always been a false gospel. (This is what Luther and Melanchthon contended for and the reason for the Reformation: reclaiming the gospel of Sola Fide.) Romansim has always propagated a gospel of Semi-Pelagianism: works+faith, rather than faith alone; merit+grace, rather than grace alone; inherent infused righteousness of Romanism+Christ, rather than the imputed righteousness of Christ alone - rather than the great Augustian biblical gospel. It's not that we (Romanists and Evangelicals) "have differences" about the same gospel. What Rome has always believed is a different gospel fulfilling Matthew 7:21-23 and Galatians 1:6-8. The Scriptures clearly state, without equivocation, that a rejection of the gospel of grace--justification by faith alone--is only sufficient to damn and cannot save--ever. If you trust in that gospel of works, you do not wake up in the glory of heaven in the presence of the Lord, but you wake up in perdition in the horror of your own righteous rags.

Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul when he powerfully rejects a gospel of works righteousness:

"For if Abraham was justified by works,
he has something to boast about,
but not before God.
For what does the Scripture say?
Now to the one who works, his wage is
not credited as a favor, but as what is due.
But to the one who does not work,
but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly,
his faith is credited as righteousness" -Romans 4:2-5.

Could it be anymore clear than this?

The Pope's Best Righteous Deeds; Still Filthy Rags The Pope by human/political/philanthropic evaluation was a good humanitarian; a political figure of peace; a champion for the poor and unborn children; a voice for human rights in oppressive countries; a caretaker for those inflicted with HIV/AIDS around the world; a faithful practitioner of religion; the recognized leader of a church with membership totaling 1.5 billion people; even one who is currently heralded by evangelical leaders giving profound praise for John Paul II being "the most beloved religious leader of our time"; "May his death remind each of us that some day we too must die and enter into God's presence -- and may we each commit ourselves afresh to Jesus Christ, who died and rose again for our salvation"; and "that the Pope didn't fear death, because all who are in Christ need not fear death"; he offered daily prayers to Mary; believed in the Fifth Marian Dogma (that she is co-redemptrix, co-mediatrix with Christ); adhered to the teachings of Trent, Vatican II and the 1994 Catechism of the Church; believed in the continual perpetual sacrifice of Christ through transubstantiation in communion; held to Purgatorial cleansing of sin; The Treasury of Merit; and believed that salvation was a matter of our works plus His grace. And yet, in spite of what are considered to be good acts of loving kindness, social justice, human dignity and religious piety, trusting in those things as evidence of one's salvation can only awaken one in perdition. Again, because John Paul II believed in a gospel of Christ plus works; Christ plus merit; Christ plus inherent righteous; etc. - for no one can be saved by the utter futility of salvation by works righteousness - he awakened in perdition and none can help him; not the Vatican; not Mary; not any Cardinal or Bishop. He is forever cut off without hope (Heb. 6:4-8). That is why we should feel great sadness of heart for John Paul II, for now he has full knowledge of his eternal torment for he tried coming to God in another way other then how the Lord has prescribed through the pages of Scripture alone (John 14:6). The shocking reality is that ringing in John Paul's ears this very moment are the words “I never knew you; depart from Me you practice lawlessness.” He now knows that salvation is only by faith alone, through grace alone, because of the resurrected Christ alone, on the Word alone, to the glory of God alone.

Tetzel's Den of Thieves
Dear beloved, as we are watching the foolish parade of Pope John Paul's corpse through “Tetzel’s Den of Thieves” in Saint Peter’s Basilica, may we remember that because Pope John Paul II has trusted in a another gospel other than the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:6-9) the wages of another is death. Because of which he has spent already what must seem like an eternity under the holy wrath of a living God. And even this is but a foretaste of the torment that awaits him (Heb. 10:29); for one day he will be given a resurrected body for torment; and as he stands before the Great White Throne Judgment to hear the Lord’s final words of perditious sentencing; he will then be cast into the lake of fire with Satan and his demons, with Death and Hades, and with all who have rejected the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 20:13ff). This is cause for great sadness, beloved, for even God does not delight in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23; 33:11).

The Fear of the Lord and the Call to Repentance
Are you quickened today with the fear of the Lord? Is it by the terror of the Lord that you are persuading men to repent of their sins and follow Christ? Have each of us even on this forum trusted in Christ alone for our salvation or have we been spiritually charmed to believe that our works plus His grace somehow saves us?

This should cause us all to be moved beyond measure to share the gospel of grace with all that the Lord has sovereignly put in our path; to reach out especially to those who are trapped in the false religion of Romanism—Satan’s greatest hellish masterpiece on earth; and call to repentance even now evangelical leaders who are playing politics with God on CNN and FOXNEWS; who lack the courage, compassion, love and grace to call people to the real gospel of grace and warn them of the wrath to come if they believing in another gospel think they can be saved--a gospel of works (the gospel of Pope John Paul II and Rome) which is not another gospel at all (Galatians 1:6-8)—and ultimately denies justification by faith through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 3:21-26).

Justification by Faith in Christ Alone: The Gospel According to Jesus
Listen to the words of Paul when he said, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law”
(Romans 3:19-28).

As the Day Approaches,
Steve Camp
Col. 1:9-14

CLICK HERE to visit AudienceONE Ministries to read about the Council of Trent and its skewed teachings


Apolonio said...

Thank you, I knew Pope John Paul II was in hell, along with St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, I just needed it confirmed by Steve Camp and his blog since he apparently is God almighty, the Judge of heaven and earth, and knows the Scriptures and the gospel better than all the Catholic saints, the Catholic martyrs, Catholic Bishops, Catholic Fathers, Catholic Doctors, and Popes of the Catholic Church, who have read Scripture, preached Scripture, loved and lived Scripture for 2000 years. Yes, the entire Catholic Church, from St. Ignatius of Antioch to Martin Luther, and don't forget the Orthodox, is roasting in hell for all eternity since they taught nothing but the lies of satan for 2000 years. Just needed that clarified as the true Reformed position.

DOGpreacher said...

Sledgehammer, thou dost surely know how to stir the pot!

Seriously...thanks for being faithful to rebuke, reprove, and instruct in righteousness (sound doctrine) amid persecution by the enemy of the cross of Christ. It is during this type of faithful 'preaching' that the Holy Spirit is pleased to come along side the word and quicken those to life whom He will (like some who oppose you today, possibly).

I saw a comment on one of your posts the other day that asked if you had considered becoming a Teaching/Pastor/Elder. It is quite obvious to me that you are...right here.

Keep sowing the seed, Preacher.

A Fellow Sower.

Shawn L said...
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Joel said...

"As Steve Camp said the pope didn't recant the Roman Catholic teaching on works righteousness."

This is interesting. Was John Paul the Great damned by his having wrong doctrine (stipulating that it was wrong), or was he saved by his faith in Christ Himself? Are we saved by grace, or by faith, or by the perfection of our doctrine?

Apolonio said...

shawn: "I do think that as a person John Paul was probably more patient than I and had many other traits that were much better."

Nonsense. John Paul II was a liar, a deceiver, a selfish dog gone dirty rotten scoundrel. There is no question he is burning in hell. Steve Camp got that right. And so is St. Augustine damned, St. Thomas Aquinas damned, and let's not forget Mother Teresa. Damned, damned, damned. All damned. St. Ignatius of Antioch to St. John Damascene? All damned. Damn the entire patristic period. None of them gave any hint they knew or understood the true gospel of justification by faith and imputed righteousness alone. All of them are therefore damned. They knew nothing of Christ, all lost. There were no Christians in fact and no Christian church between the death of the apostles to Martin Luther. The Church apostasized into Catholicism by the 2nd century. All were clearly damned since the gospel was completely lost. And no I will not discuss this, since Steve Camp is right and represents the true Reformed position. I thought I would try a different tactic since the other one with Benedict XVI didn't seem to be working. PhilVaz

ambiance-five said...

[quote]the gospel was completely lost[/quote]

Is it possible for the gospel to get lost? I thought that was man's job.

Apolonio said...

ambiance: "Is it possible for the gospel to get lost? I thought that was man's job."

Yes not only is it possible, it in fact happened. In case you didn't know, the true Gospel was completely lost for 1,500 years, in fact more like 1,980 years, since the true Gospel was only recently restored in the songs and ministry of Steve Camp. You didn't know that? Damn John Paul II, Mother Teresa, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, damn all these false preachers of false gospels, dead works and idols. There, I think I am coming around to the true Reformed position. PhilVaz

Apolonio said...

Evangelical Anglican scholar Alister McGrath writes at the conclusion of his doctoral dissertation IUSTITIA DEI: A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification (Cambridge Univ Press, 1986), Volume 1, Chapter 5, Section 19 --

"The significance of the Protestant distinction between -iustificatio- and -regeneratio- is that a FUNDAMENTAL DISCONTINUITY has been introduced into the western theological tradition WHERE NONE HAD EXISTED BEFORE."

"However, it will be clear that the medieval period was astonishingly FAITHFUL to the teaching of Augustine on the question of the nature of justification, WHERE THE REFORMERS DEPARTED FROM IT."

"The essential feature of the Reformation doctrines of justification is that a deliberate and systematic distinction is made between JUSTIFICATION and REGENERATION. Although it must be emphasised that this distinction is purely notional, in that it is impossible to separate the two within the context of the -ordo salutis- [the order of salvation], the essential point is that a notional distinction is made WHERE NONE HAD BEEN ACKNOWLEDGED BEFORE IN THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE."

"A fundamental discontinuity was introduced into the western theological tradition WHERE NONE HAD EVER EXISTED, OR EVER BEEN CONTEMPLATED, BEFORE. The Reformation understanding of the NATURE of justification -- as opposed to its mode -- must therefore be regarded as a genuine theological NOVUM."

I wonder what this means?

Maybe John Paul II isn't damned after all since perhaps he believed the true Gospel that was believed before Martin Luther. Now you got me thinking.....


Apolonio said...

Joel: "or was he saved by his faith in Christ Himself? Are we saved by grace, or by faith, or by the perfection of our doctrine?"

Oh I think Steve Camp has established that John Paul II had no faith in Christ, he only had faith in Satan. Come on, anybody who reads his writings, hears him speak, and examines his life knows he didn't have any faith in Christ. His faith was in Satan, and on occasion, in Mary. But definitely not in Christ. It is so clear in all his writings. Allegiance to Satan is on every page and every word he ever uttered. PhilVaz

Shawn L said...
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Shawn L said...
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MTG said...

While I am in complete agreement with you regarding the beliefs and cotrines of the catholic church..I hope I never assume authority to pronounce a person eternally damned based on my small finite knowledge as compared to the infinite knowledge and wisdom of God. This was a most troubling post for me, you see I am married to a man who attended the 'anti' church if christ and his favorite thing is to tell me that I am a devil worshipper. (I am OPC)

I struggle every day to love him through this and to not respond in kind. Now perhaps you know how this post has affected me. It is my personal belief in light of the fact that I am a 'created being' that I have no authority to judge as you have done. A good post showing doctrinal discernment might have been a tad bit more appropriate.

However, as always I now know more than I did yesterday.

Unchained Slave said...

I know it is ‘customary’ and generally ‘proscribed’ to ‘link’ to other sites. However, in the introductory paragraphs, Steve, you addressed this article to ‘bad Catholics’. A former Catholic nun, Mary Collins, wrote a book called "The Catholic Undertow". This book (online) is a loving outreach to ‘bad-Catholic’ ‘Christians’. It is a compassionate book aimed at ‘healing’ those who have been ‘harmed’ by their experiences within the Catholic Church.

DOGpreacher said...

Hey...alright, this apolonio is finally coming, I'll leave the sarcasm behind, and just plead with you to believe on Jesus, and you shall be saved. If you have TRULY done this, I am not worried about you. Now THAT is the reformed position! If you have truly believed on Christ for your salvation, I trust God according to His word, " lose none, but raise them up on the last day".

However, if your faith isn't solely in Him & what He did for your righteous standing before God, you will be among those to whom He says,"...I never knew you".

It really is that simple.

I do of course expect the typical condescending, sarcastic, remarks that seem to be your repertoire.



Jeremy said...


SledgeHammer is a great name for this blog,bro.

its a great read!


Sparks said...

Well, Steven J Camp, I guess it's a good thing that all the ECB'ers and CCM'ers didn't come at you in the same numbers and vitriol as the Romanists!!


Ryan & Amy said...

Figured you hadn't seen this yet...

Answering Chick Tracts

...Look for double standards.
Chick often will portray a particular belief or practice as an abomination when it is done by Catholics, even though the same thing occurs in Protestant circles. For example, he points to the Catholic belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, belief in baptismal regeneration, and the practice of infant baptism as key points in his argument that Catholics are not Christian.[40] Yet each of these is paralleled among Protestants. Lutherans and many Anglicans believe in the Real Presence. The same also believe in baptismal regeneration. And infant baptism is practiced by the majority of Protestants in the world, including not only Lutherans and Anglicans but also Presbyterians, Dutch Reformed, Methodists, and others. Only the Baptist and Pentecostal traditions (and those movements stemming from them) oppose the practice.

8. Watch for prejudicial presentations.
A key technique that Chick uses is to make Catholics, their beliefs, and their practices "look" or "sound" bad by presenting them in a prejudicial light. This happens when he takes something innocent and uses language that makes it sound sinister. Or when he shows Catholics as angry, ugly, and foul-mouthed. Or when he uses exaggerated, hysterical language. Or when he tries to play upon one’s emotions by drawing demons lurking about. Be aware that this kind of subterfuge is a major part of what Chick does and be on the lookout for it. When you see it, ask yourself: How could this same thing be presented in a balanced, non-prejudicial manner?

These principles of critical thinking will go a long way toward helping you answer and evaluate Chick tracts. They will let you see through a large number of the errors, half-truths, and misrepresentations that fill their pages. But you also need specific facts to answer or evaluate many of the particular things he says. It is not possible in a special report to do a thorough refutation of all of Chick’s claims, but here are some things you should be aware of concerning the most common themes in his tracts, as well as pointers for where to go for more information.


Like many, Chick does not understand what the term anathema means. He thinks that it means "damned as a heretic."[41] Elsewhere he uses "damned as a heretic" in place of the word anathema.[42]

But this is not what the term means. In Catholic documents the term refers to a kind of excommunication. By the time of the Council of Trent (which Chick faults for using it), it referred to an excommunication done with a special ceremony. Thus when Trent says things like "If anyone says . . . let him be anathema," it means that the person can be excommunicated with the ceremony. It also did not apply to Protestants since they were not part of the Catholic Church. Only someone who is part of the Catholic Church can be excommunicated from it.

The purpose of excommunication is not to damn a person but to bring him to repentance—the same principle Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 5 and 2 Corinthians 2:5–10.

Further, though ordinary excommunication still exists, the ceremonial form of excommunication (anathema) does not exist. The 1983 Code of Canon Law ended the penalty. Thus, while one can still be excommunicated for holding beliefs against the Catholic faith, one cannot be anathematized.

Anointing of the Sick

Chick doesn’t like the anointing of the sick,[43] but it has a firm biblical basis. The book of James tells us: "Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven" (Jas. 5:14–15).


Chick presents Alberto Rivera as saying that John’s prophecy (cf. 1 John 2:18–22) of many antichrists and a final Antichrist "are fulfilled in the dynasty of the papacy and that the Antichrist will be the pope who is in power when Jesus Christ returns."[44] Chick himself agrees. He always shows the Antichrist wearing papal robes and says that "he rules from the Vatican."[45] In The Only Hope we are told bluntly: "The last pope will be the antichrist, or the Beast."[46]

This is not possible. John tells us: "Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son" (1 John 2:22; cf. 4:3; 2 John 7). The Antichrist will deny that Jesus is the Messiah. But the pope’s authority as the vicar (representative) of Christ depends on Jesus being the Christ. The pope is the one man least likely to deny that Jesus is the Messiah. His job depends on it! For this same reason one cannot refer the "many antichrists" (cf. 1 John 2:18) to "the dynasty of the papacy."

Assurance of Salvation

Chick occasionally takes swipes at the Catholic Church for not teaching "assurance of salvation" and cites verses such as 1 John 5:13—"I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life." He’s taking this verse out of context. John has just been giving tests by which one can tell whether one is in a state of salvation (1 John 4:16–5:12). These tests include whether one believes in God and Jesus, whether one loves God and one’s neighbor, and whether one keeps God’s commandments. This means that one can have a reasoned assurance of salvation but not an absolute one. One cannot claim to "know" that one has eternal life without applying (and passing) the tests, and there is always the possibility that one could be self-deceived about whether one passes the tests. Thus assurance can be only relative, not absolute.


Chick singles out two problems with baptism as understood and practiced by Catholics. The first is that one is born again in baptism and the second that Catholics baptize infants.

Scripture clearly indicates that we receive God’s grace in baptism. Peter says that in the ark "eight persons were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body [i.e., not by the physical effect of baptism] but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ [i.e., by the spiritual effect of baptism]" (1 Pet. 3:20–21). Paul tells us that when we were baptized we were united to Christ’s death so that "we might walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:4), and when Paul himself was baptized, he was told: "Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name" (Acts 22:16). On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins" (Acts 2:38). The early Church Fathers were unanimous in understanding John 3:5 ("unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God") as referring to baptism.

Regarding infant baptism, when Peter preached baptism for the forgiveness of sins, he added: "For the promise is to you and to your children" (Acts 2:39). Jesus himself said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:16), and he was speaking of infants (cf. Luke 18:15)! It is no surprise then when we see entire households being baptized at once (Acts 16:15, 33; 1 Cor. 1:16). This is natural when one recognizes that baptism is "the circumcision of Christ" (Col. 2:11) or the Christian equivalent of circumcision—which was applied to infants.

It also is worth noting that many Protestants believe in baptismal regeneration and practice infant baptism. The first Protestant of all—Martin Luther—did so, as does the Lutheran church to this day.

Bible Corruption

Chick is a supporter of the King James Version of the Bible. He denounces multiple other Protestant translations. His chief grievances are: (1) that the other translations are based on corrupt "Alexandrian" manuscripts rather than on the "Textus Receptus" manuscript tradition, (2) that even Protestant preachers "correct the Word of God" according to what the original languages say, (3) that some Bibles have footnotes, and (4) that some Bibles contain the deuterocanonical books of Scripture ("the Apocrypha"). All of this, Chick says, is a satanic and Catholic plot.[47]

1. The issues regarding what manuscripts are the closest to the original is too complex to go into here, but suffice it to say that the differences between the different manuscript traditions are tiny. They do not, as Chick says, "downplay" the deity of Christ, the Virgin Birth, or salvation by grace through faith.[48] Westcott and Hort (the textual scholars Chick blames most) were not "closet Catholics." They were Anglicans.

2. It is good for Protestant preachers to correct Bible translations in light of the original languages because no translation is perfect—even the KJV. For example, in Acts 12:4 the KJV says "Easter" where the Jewish holiday of Passover is being referred to.

3. While bad footnotes are a problem in many Bibles, footnotes also can help, given the complexity and obscurity of some passages. When Philip asked the Ethiopian eunuch if he understood the prophet Isaiah, he replied, "How can I, unless some one guides me?" (Acts 8:31).

4. The deuterocanonical books were reckoned as Scripture by the early Christians. As Protestant church historian J. N. D. Kelly writes, "It should be observed that the Old Testament thus admitted as authoritative in the Church was somewhat bulkier and more comprehensive [than the Protestant Bible]. . . . It always included, though with varying degrees of recognition, the so-called apocrypha or deuterocanonical books."[49] Further, some New Testament passages clearly allude to passages in the deuterocanonicals. (For instance, compare Hebrews 11:35 with 2 Maccabees 7.)

Clergy & Religious

Chick has a big problem with the pope, priests, and religious (e.g., monks and nuns). We will deal with the pope in another section, but as for priests, the word priest is actually taken from the Greek word presbuteros ("elder").

Further, Paul tells us that God’s ministers in the New Testament age do perform "priestly service" (Rom. 15:16).

Regarding monks and nuns, the Old Testament records people who took special vows of consecration to God (Nazirites, cf. Num. 6), the Old Testament equivalent of monks and nuns. In the New Testament, Anna the prophetess seems to have lived like a cloistered nun, as "she did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day" (Luke 2:37). Paul tells us of an order of widows devoted to good works who had vowed to not marry again (cf. 1 Tim. 5:9–12).


Chick’s claim that Communism is a creation of the Vatican is one that does not pass the common sense test. Historically, Communism has been militantly atheistic, and the Church has condemned it in extremely forceful terms.

Neither is the claim that "liberation theology"—the misguided attempt of some third-world priests to fuse Catholicism and Marxism—credible as a Vatican plot. The Vatican cracked down on the movement and censured its theologians.

The claim that John Paul II is a Communist is especially preposterous. He suffered under Communist rule, has written against it forcefully, and is credited by many as one of the key players in the downfall of the Soviet Bloc.


Chick tells us that "no man has the power to forgive sins." It’s true that God’s forgiveness is the one that counts, but this doesn’t mean that God doesn’t use men as the instruments by which he absolves people.

The Pharisees made the same charge against Jesus during his own public ministry (cf. Mark 2:7), but Jesus proved he had the power to forgive sins by healing the paralytic man. When the crowds saw it, "they glorified God, who had given such authority to men" (Matt. 9:8, emphasis added).

With the coming of Christ, God began to use men as instruments of his forgiveness, and after the Resurrection Jesus commissioned his disciples to do this, telling them: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained" (John 20:22–23).


One of the problems with Chick’s grand, Vatican-centered conspiracy theory is that so many of the groups the Vatican allegedly created or controls are anti-Catholic. Muslims, Communists, Nazis, Masons, the Klan, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.—all are anti-Catholic, some as much so as Jack Chick. Further, many of these movements are large enough that they have been specifically rejected by the Vatican. The idea that the Vatican started or runs them is simply absurd.


Demons lurk the pages of Chick tracts, sometimes guffawing at the misfortunes of humans, sometimes plotting devilry, sometimes just hovering sinisterly.

The extensive use of this theme is one of the ways Chick plays on the emotions of his readers. Instead of making a calm, rational appeal for why his readers should or should not believe certain things, Chick wants to engage the reader on a sub-rational level. He substitutes disturbing, even horrific imagery for reason and argument. He doesn’t want the reader to think. He wants to generate emotions of fear and revulsion toward certain doctrines and practices and so associates demonic imagery with them. No proof is necessary to show why a doctrine or practice is bad; Chick just wraps demons around it to make the reader want to reject it.

Chick attributes many things he doesn’t like directly to the devil. Again, no proof or argument is offered. He simply asserts that something was engineered by Satan. Sometimes he even shows the devil plotting the object of Chick’s contempt. Once again, he substitutes fear and revulsion for offering evidence.

Frankly, he gives the devil too much credit. While one may reasonably assume that the devil looks favorably on every moral evil that occurs in the world, this is not the same as saying he causes every individual evil. While he may have set the human race on a bad road in the beginning (Gen. 3), this does not mean that he directly engineered every individual sin since that time.

Divided Loyalties

Chick occasionally takes swipes at Catholics for having divided loyalties between the Church and the U.S. (insinuating or directly stating that their loyalty to the former is greater than to the latter). This kind of argument was common in many older American anti-Catholic works. At the time these works were written, many Catholics in the U.S. were immigrants, and their loyalty to their new country was suspect. Most anti-Catholics today have dropped this allegation—and with good reason—yet Chick hangs onto it. It’s essential to his Catholics-out-to-subvert-the-U.S. conspiracy theory.

The reason that most anti-Catholics no longer make the charge is that now most Catholics in the U.S. are native-born. They are as loyal to America as anyone. They have put their lives on the line for her whenever the nation has gone to war, and many are war heroes.

In addition, Chick’s facts are wrong. Catholics are not "citizen[s] of two countries." The Vatican City State has a tiny number of citizens—fewer than a thousand.[50] They are mostly people who live and work at the Vatican. The vast majority of Catholics are citizens of only one state—their homeland—and they understand their civic duties as well as anyone. The Catechism of the Catholic Church stresses these duties,[51] and the Catholic Bible says just as much as the Protestant one, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s" (Matt. 22:21).


Chick makes the usual charges against the Eucharist. He doesn’t like the Real Presence and the sacrifice of the Mass in particular. He even says that the Mass is not mentioned in Scripture, despite the fact that the very first Mass occurred during the Last Supper (cf. Luke 22:19–20). The charges he makes have been answered many times.

What is distinctive about his approach is the attempt he makes to link the Eucharist with paganism. He claims: "On the altars of Egypt were sun-shaped wafers made of unleavened bread. These wafers were consecrated by the Egyptian priests and supposedly they magically became the flesh of the sun god, Osiris."[52]

Although Osiris was an Egyptian god, he wasn’t the sun god. That was Ra (in some cases identified with Horus). Osiris was the grain god and the god of the dead. There were grain cakes (little and not so little) connected with the worship of Osiris, but, since he wasn’t the sun god, they were not shaped like the sun. They were shaped like a man since Osiris was pictured as a man. The use of these grain men was connected with Osiris’s annual cycle as the god of grain. Every year, the Egyptians made cakes shaped like Osiris out of grain as an offering asking the grain god to reappear and make the land fruitful again. According to Egyptian wall art, priests even watered the cakes to get the grain in them to sprout and send up shoots. These Osiris cakes weren’t anything like communion wafers.[53]

Another of Chick’s attempts to link the Eucharist with paganism is found in his frequent depictions of the host imprinted with the letters IHS. He tells the reader that this stands for a trio of Egyptian gods (who were not a trinity, incidentally). Chick’s claim is nonsense. The letters aren’t English at all, but Greek. In fact, they are the first three letters of Jesus’ name in Greek: iota-eta-sigma (capital eta in Greek looks like the English H). This has been a common abbreviation for Jesus throughout Church history.

Though you wouldn’t know it from Chick, few Catholics have ever seen a host imprinted with these letters. Most hosts either have nothing on them or a cross design. What design, if any, is imprinted on a host is up to the maker. There is no Church regulation on this, and few makers have used the IHS design. Yet Chick would lead one to believe that it is omnipresent in Catholic churches.

Faith Alone

One would expect Chick to have problems with Catholic teaching on salvation, and he does. The verses he uses most often[54] to attack it are Ephesians 2:8–9—"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God—not because of works, lest any man should boast."

Catholics agree with what is being said in these verses. Even if one grants Chick’s understanding of "works" in this passage as "good works" rather than "works of the [Mosaic] Law," it remains true. Good works do not contribute to our coming to God and being saved. In fact, Catholic theology holds that it is impossible for a person who is not in a state of justification to do good works, because he lacks the principle—charity—that makes them supernaturally good. It is when one is in a state of justification and has the virtue of charity that good works become possible.

Inquisition/Death to Non-Catholics

Chick’s lurid comics are filled with tales (and scenes) of Catholics killing non-Catholics. These images are often linked to one of the various historical inquisitions (though Chick does not seem to be aware that there was more than one of these). He sees the breaking out of a new inquisition as not only an ever-present danger but a certainty.

Regarding the historical inquisition, Chick credits it with killing 68 million victims from 1200 to 1800.[55] This is not accurate. The inquisitions that took place in Europe were localized—in France, Spain, and Italy—and there the total population never approached 68 million. Even spread out over six hundred years, that many executions is impossible. Chick is relying on sources using grossly inflated figures.[56]

Chick also is wrong about the identity of the people who were executed. He portrays them as "Bible-believing Christians"[57] (meaning those with Fundamentalist theology), many of whom were hiding the Textus Receptus to keep it safe,[58] and claims that English Bible translator William Tyndale was executed for translating the Bible.[59] These claims are false. Protestantism did not exist during much of the time in question, and there is an utter lack of evidence of anyone being put to death for hiding the Textus Receptus. Indeed, this Greek New Testament manuscript tradition springs from the work of the Catholic scholar Erasmus.

Chick does not seem to understand what a heretic is. Heretics are baptized individuals who obstinately reject an obligatory part of Christian dogma.[60] They do not include Jews, though Chick appears to think they do.[61] Further, the fact that someone may be a heretic does not give anyone the right to kill him. The penalties for heresy specified in the Code of Canon Law include things like not being able to receive the sacraments and not being able to exercise a Church office.[62] Death is not one of these penalties. Yet Chick assures his readers that Trent created the right to "slaughter Jews and non-Catholics alike."[63] It didn’t, though Chick thinks it did based on his misunderstanding of anathemas.[64]

He further tells his readers: "Still in effect? Yes! All the popes during the Vatican II council and since have accepted the ratification of the entire council on this decree [of Trent]."[65] This isn’t the case, since Trent did not order the death of anyone and the penalty of anathema has since been abolished.

As for the prospect of a looming attempt of the Catholic Church to exterminate non-Catholics, apply the common sense test: Canon law contains no provisions calling for the death of anyone (read the entire Code of Canon Law from front to back; you won’t find any). The penalty of anathema (which did not mean death) has been abolished. Rome is very reluctant to see the death penalty used at all.[66]

Anti-Catholics of Chick’s ilk often wish to portray the Catholic Church as bent on bloodshed and their own religious forebears as opposed to religious violence. But this is erroneous. Both sides have things to apologize for. Religious violence tainted every stream within the Protestant Reformation. To cite a few cases: Henry VIII executed St. Thomas More, Elizabeth I executed St. Edmund Campion, John Calvin executed the heretic Michael Servetus, Martin Luther advocated the killing of Anabaptist leaders and the burning of Jewish synagogues, and Anabaptists seized the town of Münster in 1534 and killed many people before their attempt to establish a "New Jerusalem" in the town fell apart the next year. Protestants have the same fallen human nature as Catholics and are just as prone to violence.


Chick makes a lot of the conventional anti-Marian arguments that are common in Fundamentalism: that Mary is not the Mother of God, that we are not to ask for her intercession, that statues of her should not be venerated, that she was not preserved by God’s grace from sin, etc.[67]

What is distinctive about Chick’s approach is his is claim that "the ‘Mother of God’ that Catholics worship is not the Mary of the Bible. Satan has tricked them into worshiping a counterfeit goddess."[68] The basis for this claim is a story he borrowed from Alexander Hislop, according to which there was a queen in ancient Babylon named Semiramis. She married her son, Nimrod. After his death, she claimed to have had a virgin birth of another son, Tammuz, who was Nimrod reincarnated. This pair of Semiramis and Tammuz was often depicted in artwork as a mother and child. They form the basis of all of the mother-child statues in the different religions of the world, and when Catholics worship Mary and the Baby Jesus, they are actually worshiping Semiramis and Tammuz.

What is one to make of this? Setting aside the fact that Catholics do not worship Mary, it is still complete nonsense. Hislop’s wild ideas cannot be substantiated historically.[69] We have mother and child images from cultures that predate Babylon. Further, if you want to depict a famous mother, a good way of doing it is by picturing her holding her child. Thus before literacy became widespread Christians often would picture Mary holding the Baby Jesus, and it became an established image in Christian art.


All Christians recognize the existence of the time period known as the Millennium, which is spoken of in Revelation 20:1–10. During this period Satan is bound so that he cannot deceive the nations (Rev. 20:3). The question is: When in history does this period refer to? Chick belongs to a school of thought known as pre-millennialism or millenarianism, which holds that the Millennium is a future time period during which Christ will reign on earth as its King. He further holds that the Millennium will be preceded by an event known as the Rapture. These views are common among Evangelical and Fundamentalist Protestants, though the idea of the Millennium being preceded by the Rapture goes back to only about 1830.

The Catholic position is similar to the position of traditional Protestants. In Protestant circles the position is called amillennialism, and it was held by Luther, Calvin, and the majority of traditional Protestants. It holds that the Millennium is a present reality—that the devil is bound now in such a way that he cannot deceive the nations by stopping the proclamation of the gospel. This is why the world is no longer swallowed in pagan darkness the way it was at the time of Christ. The devil has not been able to stop the spread of Christianity, and now a third of all men are Christians, and half are believers in one God. Today, the prophecy is fulfilled that "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Is. 11:9), and Christ reigns from heaven (1 Cor. 15:25–26) and through his Church on earth (Rev. 20:4). At the end of the Church age, there will be a period of bitter deception and persecution of the Church as the devil is again freed to deceive the nations (Rev. 20:7–8). Then Christ will return, as the Creed says, "to judge the living and the dead" (Rev. 20:11–15).


Chick makes the bizarre claim that not only was Pius XII sympathetic to Nazism (as some in the popular press have claimed) but that Hitler and his cohorts were trying to conquer the world in order to bring about the "Millennial Kingdom" under Pius XII. This doesn’t pass the common sense test since Catholics view the Millennium as a present rather than a future reality.

Further, Pius XII was not sympathetic to Hitler at all. On April 28, 1935, four years before the war started, Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pius XII) caught the attention of the world press. Speaking to an audience of 250,000 pilgrims in Lourdes, France, Pacelli stated that the Nazis "are in reality only miserable plagiarists who dress up old errors with new tinsel. It does not make any difference whether they flock to the banners of social revolution, whether they are guided by a false concept of the world and of life, or whether they are possessed by the superstition of a race and blood cult."[70] It was talks like this—in addition to his private remarks and numerous notes of protest that he sent to Berlin as Vatican secretary of state—that earned Pacelli a reputation as an enemy of the Nazi party.

Other Christs

Chick periodically rails against Catholics worshiping multiple Jesuses...
Let us see if Chick’s charge of idolatry holds up:

* Images of the Baby Jesus: Catholics do not worship these. They worship Jesus by venerating images of him, just as one might kiss a photo of a departed loved one.

* Crucifixes: First, who says that Jesus on the cross is dead? He is depicted being crucified, and there is no reason to suppose that crucifixes depict only the brief time between when he died and when he was taken down from the cross. Second, we worship the real Jesus in heaven by venerating his image on earth. The crucifix is an image of the most important thing he did for us on earth.

* The Pope: The pope is not "Jesus on earth," and Catholics don’t worship him. He is the vicar (representative) of Christ. What is wrong with treating one of Christ’s representatives with respect?

* Priests: Priests aren’t worshiped, but they do represent Christ as his ministers. Don’t Protestants treat their own ministers with respect (1 Thess. 5:12)?

* The Eucharist: The Eucharist is worshiped, but since it is Jesus himself it does not amount to worshiping "another" Jesus. Many other Christians, including Lutherans, believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist (although they do not in fact have the Real Presence in their churches) and recognize that Jesus is to be worshiped wherever he is.

* The "Angry Jesus" in Heaven: Literal anger is not compatible with being in the beatitude of heaven. In keeping with the language of Scripture one can speak of God being "angry" with our sins (Eph. 5:6), but Catholics recognize this as a metaphor for divine justice.[71] It is far less clear that Chick understands the concept of divine wrath as a metaphor, and his Jesus sometimes seems very angry. In any event, the Jesus ruling in heaven is still the real Jesus, not another one.


One of the major themes of Chick tracts is the attempt to portray Catholicism as a form of paganism. According to Chick’s mythology, ancient Babylonian paganism spread all over the world, with deities taking new names in different cultures but remaining fundamentally the same. He holds Catholicism to be one of its expressions and devotes many pages to showing that the Catholic Mary is actually the ancient Babylonian queen Semiramis and that the Eucharist is based on the worship of ancient sun gods.

Unfortunately, Chick gets his mythology all wrong. For example, he claims that "in ancient Babylon, they worshiped the sun god, ‘Baal.’ Then this religion moved into Egypt using different names."[72] In reality, ancient Babylonians worshiped the sun god Shamash. Baal was neither a Babylonian deity nor the sun god. In fact, he was the Canaanite storm god. Chick could not have had his ideas more muddled.

The source Chick depends on for his mythological ideas is The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop, an eccentric nineteenth-century Anglican clergyman. Chick essentially recycles Hislop’s central thesis of Catholicism being a revival of Babylonian paganism. This allows him to identify the Catholic Church with the Whore of Babylon.

Yet the book lacks credibility. Hislop was writing when anthropology and archaeology were in their infancy, and the idea that all world religions spring from a common source (especially one in Babylon) has been completely disproven. We have knowledge of multiple mythologies from all over the world that are unrelated to Babylonian paganism. Fundamental differences between them are easy to illustrate. For example, Indo-European paganism (to which Babylonian mythology is related) typically has the sky deity being male and the earth deity as female. But in Egyptian mythology this is reversed: The sky deity is female and the earth deity is male.

The most thorough refutation of The Two Babylons was written by one of its chief twentieth-century popularizers. As a young man, Ralph Woodrow wrote a book called Babylon Mystery Religion, which introduced many to Hislop’s ideas. It was very popular in Fundamentalist circles. Yet with time Woodrow realized that Hislop’s claims and logic were deeply flawed, and he wrote a new book—The Babylon Connection?—to refute them.


Chick’s problems with the pope seem to be as follows: (1) The line of popes is a fulfillment of the biblical prophecy of there being many antichrists, and the final pope will be the Antichrist. (2) The popes have been engaged in a global conspiracy spanning centuries, with tendrils in almost every major world event. (3) There is no biblical basis for the office of the pope.

It is very clear in Scripture that Jesus told Peter, whose name means "rock," that "you are Peter [rock], and on this rock I will build my church" (Matt. 16:18). To undermine this, Chick makes the familiar claim that two different words are used here in Greek—petros and petra—and that the first means a small stone or pebble while the latter means a huge rock or boulder.[73]

This simply is not true. The difference in meaning can be found only in Attic Greek, but the New Testament was written in Koine Greek—a different dialect. In Koine, both petros and petra simply meant "rock." The argument shows a faulty knowledge of Greek.[74] Further, Jesus’ native language was Aramaic, not Greek, and in the Aramaic underlying this passage, the same word—kepha—would have been used in both instances.


Chick claims: "Purgatory is NOT in the Bible! It was created by the Vatican as one of the greatest sources for money ever invented. Billions have made ‘the Whore’ rich from poor Roman Catholic survivors who paid to get their loved ones out of purgatory."[75]

What Chick is referring to (as he makes clear in context) is the paying of Mass stipends when a priest says Mass for a departed loved one. This does not make the Vatican rich. A typical Mass stipend is five dollars, and if a priest gets an occasional five dollars for saying Mass for someone’s loved one, it doesn’t make him or the Church rich. The priest himself keeps the stipend, and the practice is closely regulated to prevent abuse.[76] As a moneymaking scheme, purgatory leaves a lot to be desired.

But then that isn’t what it is. It has been part of the Judeo-Christian tradition since before the time of Christ. Judah Maccabee and his men prayed for and took up a collection for an offering (the Old Testament equivalent of a Mass) for men who, although they "fell asleep in godliness" (2 Macc. 12:45), nevertheless needed to be purified from the consequences of their sins. Similarly, Paul tells us: "The fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Cor. 3:13–15). Even common sense tells one that, since we will be totally pure in heaven, we must be purified if we are still impure at our deaths. Purgatory is the name the Church gives to this purification.


"The Rapture" is the name given in Evangelical circles to an event where living and dead Christians are caught up in the air to be with Christ. When this term is used, it usually is assumed that the event will occur shortly before the Millennium, conceived of as a period in which Christ reigns in person on earth, before the end of the world. This idea dates back to around 1830, when it was popularized by John Nelson Darby and by a school of thought called "Dispensationalism," which stems from his work. Chick is a big believer in the Rapture, and it appears in his tracts.[77]

Though it does not use the term Rapture, the Catholic Church acknowledges that Christians will be gathered to Christ (likely not with exploding graves), but at a different time. The Church’s view is like that of traditional Protestants: The dead in Christ will be raised and caught up together with him and living Christians at the Second Coming, at the end of the world. Thus Paul speaks of the event happening in the time of those who "who are left until the coming of the Lord" (1 Thess. 4:15, cf. 4:16–17).

Repulsive Catholics

A typical tactic in Chick tracts is to portray Catholics as being unpleasant or revolting in various ways. They drink. They smoke. They cuss. They are mean-tempered. They may even be willing to kill non-Catholics. Some are eager to do so. Frequently, Catholics are drawn to be physically ugly as well. The only good Catholics in Chick tracts are ex-Catholics—those who have left the Church to become Fundamentalists. (Apparently becoming a Fundamentalist helps your appearance, too, because the ex-Catholics are better looking than their former co-religionists.)

When you see this in Chick tracts, recognize it for what it is: an attempt to avoid calm and rational discussion by substituting emotional manipulation, making Catholics "look bad"—literally and figuratively—so that you won’t like them and will transfer this dislike to their beliefs. This is a prejudicial way of presenting Catholics, and it illustrates the prejudice Chick harbors against Catholics...


Chick makes the typical charges against tradition, for example, quoting Matthew 15:3—"Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?"[78] What Chick fails to note is that the Bible does not condemn all tradition, only traditions of men that are contrary to the Word of God. Traditions of men that are not contrary to the word of God (e.g., having carpeting in churches) are not a problem.

Then there is a whole other class of tradition: apostolic ones, traditions coming from the apostles. These not only are not problematic, but the keeping of them is praised and commanded by Scripture. Thus Paul tells the Corinthians, "I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you" (1 Cor. 11:2). He commands the Thessalonians: "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thess. 2:15).

Vatican Riches

Like many, Chick faults the Catholic Church for having too much money.[79] It is true that the Church does have a lot of money invested in churches. You need a lot of churches for a billion Catholics to worship in. It also is true that many of these churches are beautiful and ornate, but it is the natural impulse of Christians to honor God by making the places where he is worshiped beautiful and ornate. This same impulse is reflected in the Old Testament, where God actually ordered his house to be made of costly materials, down to gold clasps for its curtains (Ex. 26:6).

In terms of its liquid assets, the Vatican has a remarkably small budget and regularly runs deficits. For example, in 2002 it spent $260 million but only took in $245 million, with a deficit of $15 million.[80] This budget—much of which is devoted to human relief efforts—is quite modest on the scale of world affairs. Many individual dioceses have budgets this size, and it is dwarfed by numerous companies and by every state in the U.S.

2Tal said...

Well he gets a reaction does he not? I will debate justification by faith alone till the cows come home with the scriptures (to which illumination is spirit reveled not "church"). What about being like the Bereans in Acts Apolonio?
I can't tell if Apolonio was sarcastic in saying all those reformed think Catholics are all going to hell if they add human merit (i.e. freewill,works etc) to Christ in obtaining final salvation. Of course they don't. J.I. Packer signed that pact (or whatever you call it) "Protestants together with Catholics in the faith" did he not? He's the quintessential Reformed theologian is he not? The question is what defines faith in Christ? Is it the case that one must believe in Christ ALONE for salvation in every sense of the word to be saved? I personally would not say for a fact that I'm absolutely sure that it's impossible to believe in Jesus and yet not believe in justification by faith alone. However I would be greatly concerned for anyone who tries to add anything in the human realm to Christ for salvation.
Also there are other serious issues to contend with as well. For example: Mary - co-redemptrix with Christ!?. OH...MY..GOSH!!!

Sparks said...

"Ryan & Amy said...
In terms of its liquid assets, the Vatican has a remarkably small budget and regularly runs deficits."

The key words in this sentence is "liquid assets". Let's discuss the true wealth of the works of arts, historical documents and artifacts and other priceless holdings of the Vatican. How many millions or billions dollars are hiding in the stores of the Vatican, money that could be used to finance more good works.

You guys do realize you can't take it with you in the end..regardless of which way you go.

Apolonio said...

Thanks Ryan, but we don't want to forget that John Paul II is in good company.


Alexander of Alexandria HELL
Alexander of Lycopolis HELL
Ambrose of Milan HELL
Aphraates HELL
Archelaus HELL
Aristides the Philosopher HELL
Arnobius HELL
Athanasius of Alexandria HELL
Athenagoras HELL
Augustine of Hippo HELL
Bardesanes HELL
Basil the Great HELL
Clement of Alexandria HELL
Clement of Rome HELL
Cyprian of Carthage HELL
Cyril of Jerusalem HELL
Dionysius of Rome HELL
Dionysius the Great HELL
Ephraim the Syrian HELL
Eusebius of Caesarea HELL
Gregory the Great HELL
Gregory Nazianzen HELL
Gregory of Nyssa HELL
Gregory Thaumaturgus HELL
Hilary of Poitiers HELL
Hippolytus HELL
Ignatius of Antioch HELL
Irenaeus of Lyons HELL
Jerome HELL
John of Damascus HELL
John Cassian HELL
John Chrysostom HELL
Julius Africanus HELL
Justin Martyr HELL
Lactantius HELL
Leo the Great HELL
Mathetes HELL
Methodius HELL
Minucius Felix HELL
Moses of Chorene HELL
Novatian HELL
Origen of Alexandria HELL
Pamphilus HELL
Peter of Alexandria HELL
Polycarp HELL
Rufinus HELL
Socrates Scholasticus HELL
Sozomen HELL
Sulpitius Severus HELL
Tatian HELL
Tertullian HELL
Theodoret HELL
Theodotus HELL
Theophilus of Antioch HELL
Venantius HELL
Victorinus HELL
Vincent of Lérins HELL


St. Bonaventure HELL
St. Peter Chrysologus HELL
St. Alphonsus Liguori HELL
St. Francis de Sales LOWEST DEPTHS OF HELL
St. Peter Canisius HELL
St. John of the Cross HELL
St. Albertus Magnus HELL
St. Anthony of Padua HELL NEXT TO AC/DC STAGE
St. Lawrence of Brindisi HELL
St. Catherine of Siena HELL
St. Thérèse of Lisieux LOWEST DEPTHS OF HELL

I'll get you the rest later. Don't want to leave any important Catholic people out. NONE of these so-called Catholic Christian people believed in justification by faith alone and imputed righteousness alone. NONE. THEREFORE, therefore ALL are in hell. PhilVaz

Sparks said...

Has this rule gone out the window?

5.. No posting in "book form;" say what you need to say, but keep it a reasonable length. It will foster better discussion and allow more to contribute. (A few shorter comments promote profitable discussion than writing one very long comment.)

Apolonio said...

morgan: "A good post showing doctrinal discernment might have been a tad bit more appropriate."

Now come on, don't get all wishy washy on us. You know Pope John Paul II is in hell. Steve Camp says so and knows so. Every Christian from the 2nd century to the 16th century who rejected justification by faith alone and imputed righteousness alone, which would be every Chrsitian who ever lived from the 2nd to the 16th century, including all those so-called Church Fathers and Church Doctors I listed, are in HELL. You know they are there. Steve Camp says so and knows so. PhilVaz

Apolonio said...

dogpreach: "no, I'll leave the sarcasm behind, and just plead with you to believe on Jesus, and you shall be saved"

Hey don't get all wishy washy on us either, I am Catholic and therefore there is no hope for me. You know it, I know it, Steve Camp knows it. Damned, damned, damned. Me, the Church Fathers, the Church Doctors, Pope John Paul II, and of course Benedict XVI in a few years. In fact I am looking forward to the company I have listed there in hell since I couldn't possibly want to exist in a heaven with Steve Camp and dogpreacher. That place would not be heaven. You know it, I know it, Steve Camp knows it. :-) PhilVaz

Apolonio said...

2tal: "I can't tell if Apolonio was sarcastic in saying all those reformed think Catholics are all going to hell if they add human merit (i.e. freewill,works etc) to Christ in obtaining final salvation. Of course they don't."

Hey don't be so wishy washy, mamsy pamsy. J.I. Packer is a heretic and will certainly wind up in hell, since he doesn't believe all Roman Catholics are going to hell like Steve Camp does. J.I. Packer also doesn't believe all the Church Fathers and Church Doctors went to hell like Steve Camp does. NONE, I repeat, NONE of the Church Fathers and NONE of the Church Doctors believed justification was by faith alone and by imputed righteousness alone. NONE. And neither do orthodox, faithful, believing Roman Catholics (like myself). Therefore, according to the true Reformed position of Steve Camp, ALL the Church Fathers, ALL the Church Doctors, and ALL believing faithful orthodox Roman Catholics (and the Eastern Orthodox we suppose) are in hell or are going to hell. Can I make that any clearer? That is Steve Camp's position, he has made it quite clear. PhilVaz

pilgrim said...

I posted this in my comment to the "Benedict" thread--but it also very appropriate here-

An objection that some will give to this is that you can't judge his heart.
Well, you don't need to. Any gospel that includes indulgences (whether sold or granted) is not the same gospel the Bible teaches.
I'm not saying we all have to have 100% agreement in all areas to believe the same gospel, but indulgences strike at the heart of grace in the gospel, and therefore is on a wholeother plain than differences over baptismal mode, eschatology, or election.

Apolonia--talk about overreacting and putting words in people's mouth!

Sparks said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SJ Camp said...

To Philvaz:

You wrote: Every Christian from the 2nd century to the 16th century who rejected justification by faith alone and imputed righteousness alone, which would be every Chrsitian who ever lived from the 2nd to the 16th century..."

That is just not true. The gospel of the Apostles and many of the early church fathers believed the biblical gospel of sola fide, sola gratia and solus Christus. My question for you is simple: Why don't you believe the biblical gospel and are defending a Romanist works righteousness gospel? Why would you want to empty the cross, as Paul would say, of its power (1 Cor. 1:16-23); and if you embrace semi-Pelagianism (which is clearly Rome's declaration by her leading apologists) then "Christ shall profit you nothing" (Gal. 5:2-3).

You can be flippant and sarcastic about the gospel if you so choose; but this is crucial... for it is the salvation of souls that we are discussing here.

On a practical note, let's avoid historical revisionism and stay on the biblical path. I would like to ask you and other Romanists visiting on this blog a key question: can you provide any historical evidence biblically where any Pope of Romanism affirmed the biblical gospel aside from any church councils, creeds, decriees or anathemas?

Yours for the Master's use,
Titus 1:15f

SJ Camp said...

Let's keep the posts brief and if necessary in outline form. All future posts in "book form" will be deleted immediately regardless which side of the issue you may embrace. (per rule #5 and #7)

I have been very patient, kind and flexible to this point, but there will come a purging of purgatorial proportion of the comments on this blog that no indulgence will satisfy for the pundits who cannot restrain their posts to pithy, epigrammatic and laconic length :-).

IOW, for those from the Rio-Vatican, keep it short or be erased.

Thank you,
Steve Camp

Ryan & Amy said...

You're right, Steve...we should trust the Scriptures!

I. Faith Justifies Initially, but Works Perfect and Complete Justification

James 2:24 - the phrase "faith alone" (the Greek "pisteos monon") only occurs once in the Bible. "Man is justified by works and NOT faith alone." Unlike what many Protestant churches teach, no where in Scripture does it say that man is justified or saved by "faith alone." To the contrary, man is not justified by faith alone. In Catholic theology, a person is justified by faith and works acting together, which comes solely from God�s divine grace. Faith alone never obtains the grace of justification (Council of Trent, chapter 8, canon 9). Also, the word �justified� (dikaiow) is the same word Paul uses for justification in Rom. 4:3 in regard to Abraham (so Protestants cannot argue James is not referring to �justification� in James 2:24 unless they argue Paul wasn�t in Rom. 4:3 either).

Heb. 11:6 - faith is indeed the minimum requirement without which we cannot please God. But this is just the beginning of the process leading toward justification. Faith alone does not justify a person. Justification is only achieved by faith and works, as we see below. Also, this gratuitous gift of faith from God also includes the grace of hope and love the moment the person is justified.

Eph. 2:8-9 � Paul teaches us that faith is the root of justification, and that faith excludes �works of law.� But Paul does not teach that faith excludes other kinds of works, as we will see below. The verse also does not say we are justified by �faith alone.� It only indicates that faith comes first. This, of course, must be true, because those who do works outside of faith are in a system of debt, not of grace (more on that later). But faith alone does not justify. A man is justified by works, and not by faith alone. James 2:24.

Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38, 3:19, 17:30 - the faith we have must be a repentant faith, not just an intellectual faith that believes in God. Repentance is not just a thought process (faith), but an act (work) by which we ask God for His mercy and forgiveness.

Psalm 51:17 � this means we need a �broken and contrite heart,� not just an intellectual assent of faith. Faith in God is only the beginning.

John 3:36; Rom. 1:5, 6:17; 15:18; 16:26; 2 Cor. 9:13; 1 Thess. 1:3; 2 Thess. 1:11; 1 Peter 2:7-8; Heb. 5:9; cf. Rev. 3:10; Ex. 19:5 � this faith must also be an �obedient faith� and a �work of faith.� Obedience means persevering in good works to the end.

2 Cor. 10:15 � this faith must also increase as a result of our obedience, as Paul hopes for in this verse. Obedience is achieved not by faith alone, but by doing good works.

2 Cor. 13:5 � Paul also admonishes us to examine ourselves, to see whether we are holding to our faith. This examination of conscience is a pious Catholic practice. Our faith, which is a gift from God, must be nurtured. Faith is not a one-time event that God bestows upon us.

Gal. 5:6 � thus, the faith that justifies us is �faith working through love,� not faith alone. This is one of the best summaries of Catholic teaching. Faith and love (manifested by works) are always connected. Faith (a process of thought) and love (an action) are never separated in the Scriptures. Cf. Eph. 3:17; 1 Thess. 3:6,12-13; 2 Thess. 1:3; 1 John 3:23; Rev. 2:4-5,19. Further, all faith (initial and perfected) are gratuitous gifts from God, and not earned or merited by any human action. God effects everything, both the willing and the achievement. But God also requires human action, which is necessary to perfect our faith.

James 1:22-25 - it's the "doers" who are justified, not the hearers. Justification is based on what we do, which means �works.� Notice that there is nothing about �false faith.� The hearers may have faith, but they need to accompany their faith by works, or they will not be justified. See also Rom. 2:13.

James 2:17,26 - James clearly teaches that faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. Works are a cause, not just an effect, of our justification because good works achieve and increase our justification before God. Scripture never says anything about �saving faith.� Protestants cannot show us from the Scriptures that �works� qualify the �faith� into saving faith. Instead, here and elsewhere, the Scriptures teach that justification is achieved only when �faith and works� act together. Scripture puts no qualifier on faith. Scripture also never says that faith �leads to works.� Faith is faith and works are works (James 2:18). They are distinct (mind and action), and yet must act together in order to receive God�s unmerited gift of justification.

James 2:19 - even the demons believe that Jesus is Lord. But they tremble. Faith is not enough. Works are also required.

James 2:20 - do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren? Good works in God's grace are required for justification. But there is nothing in the Scriptures about �saving faith.�

James 2:22 - faith is active with works and is completed by works. It does not stand alone. Faith needs works to effect our justification.

James 4:17 - in fact, James writes that the failure to do works is a sin! So works are absolutely necessary for our justification.

James 2:15-17 - here are the examples of the "works" to which James is referring - corporal works of mercy (giving food and shelter to those in need).

James 1:27 - another example of "works" is visiting orphans and widows in their affliction. Otherwise, if they do not perform these good works, their religion is in vain.

James 2:25 - another example of "works" is when Rahab assisted the spies in their escape. Good works increase our justification and perfect our faith.

Joshua 2:9-11 - Rahab's fellow citizens had faith in God, but in Joshua 6:22-25, Rahab alone acted and was saved. This is faith in action.

James 2:18 - to avoid the truth of the Catholic position that we are justified by both faith and works, Protestants argue the justification that James is referring to in James 2 is "before men" and not "before God." Scripture disproves their claim.

James 2:14 - James asks, "Can faith save him?" Salvation comes from God. This proves the justification James is referring to is before God, not men.

James 2:19 - also, James reminds us that even the demons believe and tremble. This refers to our relationship with God, not with men. Thus, our justification that requires works and not faith alone relates to our status before God, not men.

James 2:21 - James also appeals to the example of Abraham. Abraham's justification refers to his position before God, not men. This proves justification is before God, not men.

Acts. 10:35 � Peter teaches that anyone who fears the Lord and does what is right is acceptable to Him. It is both fear and works, not fear alone.

Rom. 2:7,10 - to those who by patience and good works will be granted glory and honor and peace from the Lord.

Rom. 2:13 � for it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. Paul is referring to the �law of Christ� in Gal.6:2, not �works of the law� in Rom. 3:20,28; Gal. 2:16; 3:2,5,10; and Eph. 2:8-9. The �law of Christ� is faith in Christ and works based on grace (God owes us nothing) and �works of the law� mean no faith in Christ, and legal works based on debt (God owes us something).

Rom. 4:5-6 � to him who does not work but believes, his faith is accounted to him as righteousness, like David, who was righteous apart from works. Here, Paul is emphasizing that works must be done in faith, not outside of faith. If they are done outside of faith, we are in a system of debt (God owes us). If they are done in faith (as James requires), we are in a system of grace (God rewards us). Hence, Paul accepts the works performed under God�s forbearance (grace) in Rom. 2:7,10,13 (see also Rom. 14:10-12; 1 Cor. 3:12-17; and 2 Corinthians 5:10) which lead to justification and eternal life. These verses have nothing to do with �faith alone.� Paul uses the word �alone� three times in Rom. 4:12,16,23, but never uses it with �faith.� Certainly, if he wanted to teach �faith alone,� he would have done so.

Rom. 6:16 - obedience leads to righteousness. Obedience is a good "work," an act of the will, which leads to righteousness before God.

2 Cor. 9:8 - Paul teaches that God will bless us so that we may provide in abundance for "every good work." Good works are encouraged to complete our faith.

Eph. 6:8 - whatever good anyone does will receive the same again from the Lord. God rewards good works done in grace.

Phil. 4:17 � Paul says �I seek the fruit which increases to your credit.� Fruits (good works) increase our justification. Paul says these works increase our �credit,� which is also called �merit.� These merits bring forth more graces from God, furthering increasing our justification as we are so disposed. But the fruits, works, and merits are all borne from God�s unmerited and undeserved mercy won for us by Jesus Christ.

Titus 3:8 - good deeds are excellent and profitable to men (just like the Old Testament Scriptures in 2 Tim. 3:16). Good deeds further justify us before God. This verse should be contrasted with Titus 3:5, where we are not saved by works of righteousness �we have done.� As further discussed below, in this verse what �we have done� refers to a work of law or obligation for which we seek payment. But verse 5 also says the �washing of regeneration� in reference to baptism saves, which is a work of grace, for which we are rewarded by God in Christ. There is a distinction between �works of law or obligation� and �works of grace.�

1 Peter 2:7-8; John 3:36 - shows that belief in Jesus means obeying Jesus. Having faith means being faithful, which requires good works as well. Hence, obeying Jesus means doing works of love, not just having faith alone.

II. Works of Law versus Good Works

Rom. 3:20,28; Gal. 2:16,21; 3:2,5,10; Eph. 2:8-9 - many Protestants err in their understanding of what Paul means by "works of the law� in his teaching on justification. Paul�s teaching that we are not justified by �works of the law� refer to the law of Moses or to any legal system that makes God our debtor. They do not refer to good works done in grace with faith in Christ. This makes sense when we remember that Paul's mission was to teach that salvation was also for the Gentiles who were not subject to the "works of the law." Here is the proof:

James 2:24 � compare the verse �a man is justified by works and not by faith alone� to Gal. 2:16 � �a man is not justified by works of the law,� and Rom. 3:20,28 � �no human being will be justified in His sight by works of the law.� James 2:24 appears to be inconsistent with Gal. 2:16 and Rom. 3:20,28 until one realizes that the Word of God cannot contradict itself. This means that the �works� in James 2:24 are different from the �works of the law in Gal. 2:16 and Rom. 3:20,28. James is referring to �good works� (e.g.,clothing the naked; giving food to the poor) and Paul is referring to the �Mosaic law� (which included both the legal, moral and ceremonial law) or any works which oblige God to give us payment. Here is more proof:

Rom. 3:20,28; Gal. 2:16 - Paul's phrase for "works of the law" in the Greek is "ergon nomou" which means the Mosaic law or Torah and refers to the teachings (legal, moral) and works (ceremonial) that gave the Jews the knowledge of sin, but not an escape from sin. We have further proof of this from the Dead Sea Scrolls which provide the Hebrew equivalent ("hrvt ysm") meaning "deeds of the law," or Mosaic law. James in James 2 does not use "ergon nomou." He uses "ergois agathois." Therefore, Paul�s "works of the law" and James' "works" are entirely different types of works. Again, they could never contradict each other because the Scriptures are the inspired word of God.

Rom. 3:29 - Paul confirms that works of the law in this case refer to the Mosaic law by rhetorically asking "Or is God the God of the Jews only?" It does not mean "good works."

Rom. 4:9-17 - Paul provides further discussion that righteousness God seeks in us does not come from Mosaic law, but through faith. But notice that Paul also never says �faith alone.�

Rom. 9:31-32 - righteousness is pursued through faith, not works of the law. Again, "works of law" does not mean "good works."

Rom. 11:6,11 - justification is no longer based on "works" of the law, but on the grace of Christ. Why? Because salvation is also for the Gentiles.

Rom. 15:9-12 - Paul explains that Christ also saves the Gentiles. Therefore, "works of law" are no longer required.

Acts 13:39 - Luke also confirms this by providing that we have been �freed from the law of Moses.� This is the �works of the law� from which we have been freed.

Rom. 3:20,28 - in addition to the Mosaic law, as stated above, "works of the law" can also refer to anything that makes God a debtor to us. This is because law requires payment, but grace is a free gift from God. Therefore, faith must be behind every good work in order for it to be a work of grace. If not, it is a work of debt, and we cannot obligate God to do anything for us.

Rom. 4:3-4 - Paul refers to works apart from God's grace. We do not obligate God to give us grace like an employee obligates his employer to pay wages. Faith in Christ must be behind our good works in order for it to be considered a work of grace; otherwise, it is a work of law or obligation.

Rom. 6:23 � this is why Paul says the "wages" of sin is death. Eternal life is a free gift from God. We cannot obligate God to pay us for our works; otherwise, we are in a system of law, not a system of grace.

Rom. 11:6 � Paul says that if justification is now based on grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise, grace would no longer be grace.

Rom. 11:35 - it is impossible to obligate God for payment, and sinful to think we can. We cannot do "works of the law" to obligate God. We are not in a debtor/creditor relationship with God. He owes us nothing. Instead, we are in a Father/child covenant relationship with Him, and He will reward us for being faithful.

Gal. 6:8-9 - the earnings referred to here are from God's grace. It is a free gift, not an obligation. This underscores that our relationship with God is Father/son and daughter, not employer/employee.

Rom. 8:14-17; Heb. 12:5-11 - these texts further emphasize our father/son relationship with God. Our relationship is familial, not legal.

Rom. 7:6 - we are now discharged from the "law," that is "works of the law." We now serve God in faith working in love.

Rom. 10:4 - Christ is the end of the "law." We are now justified by faith in Christ, not faith in the law.

Rom. 13:8,10 - loving one another is fulfilling the new law of Christ. This is internal and personal, not external and impersonal.

Gal. 2:16 - again, man is not justified by "works of the law." Again, Paul is referring to the Mosaic law and anything which views God as a debtor to us.

Gal. 2:19,21 - justification "through the law" means justification through the Mosaic law or a legal system that makes God a debtor to us.

Gal. 3:10 � shows that "works of the law" refers to the "book of the law" which was the strict and impersonal Mosaic law of the Old Testament.

Gal. 3:17 - this "law" came 430 years after Abraham. So "works of law" here clearly refer to the Mosaic law, not "good works."

Gal. 3:13; 4:4-5 - in fact, the "works of the law" (not good works in God's grace) is a curse from which Christ freed us.

Gal. 3:19 - these "works of law" were only good for showing us our sinfulness, but not teaching us how to live.

Gal. 5:4,14; 6:2 - the "law" is of no use. The new law is the law of Christ, which is faith working through love.

Eph. 2:8-9 - we have been saved by grace through faith, not because of "works," lest anyone boast. This much-quoted verse by Protestants refers to the "works" of the Mosaic law or any works performed in a legalistic sense, where we view God as a debtor to us, and not as our heavenly Father. Paul is teaching us that, with the coming of Christ, we are now saved by grace through faith, not by Mosaic or legal works.

This is why Paul refers to �works of ourselves� and so we can�t �boast.� Paul says the same thing about �works� Rom. 4:2,4 � if Abraham was justified by �works,� he would have something to �boast� about. Here, the wages are not counted as grace, but debt. �Boasting� does not attribute works to God, but to oneself. But good works done in faith are necessary for justification (James 2:24, etc.) because we receive rewards by grace, not by legal obligation, and we attribute these works to God, not ourselves.

Eph. 2:10 - in quoting Ephesians 2:8-9, Protestants invariably ignore the very next verse. Right after Paul's teaching on "works" referring to Mosaic law, Paul says we are created in Christ for "good works" - a clear distinction between "works of law" (Mosaic law/legal payment) and "good works" (law of Christ/reward of grace).

Eph. 2:11-16 - this section further explains Paul's reference to "works" which relates to following the Jewish legal ordinances.

Eph. 3:17 - Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, but we also must be rooted and grounded in love.

III. Justification = Inner Change of Person (Infusion); Not Just a Declaration by God (Imputation)

Psalm 51:1-2 - O God, blot out my transgressions, wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. This cleansing requires an inner change of heart. Many Protestants believe that we are so depraved that God only covers our sins up by declaring us righteous (imputing Christ�s righteousness to us). The Catholic (and Scriptural view), however, is that God is powerful enough to blot out our sins and remove them. The view that God just declares us righteous by �covering us up,� denigrates the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, who continues the work of Christ through His work of justification and sanctification (infusing His grace into souls and changing the inner person).

Psalm 51:7-9 - purge me and I shall be clean, wash me whiter than snow, fill me with joy, blot out my iniquities. We are purged and filled up internally, not just covered up externally.

Psalm 51:10 - create in me a clean heart, oh God, and put a new and right spirit within me (not "cover" me). God is so powerful that He brings about a real metamorphosis in ourselves.

Isaiah 1:18 - though my sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though red like crimson, they shall be like wool.

Isaiah 43:25 - I am He who blots out your transgressions and forgets your sins. God does not cover our sins up. He blots them out by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 44:22 - I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud, and your sin like mist. This is a real elimination of sin, not a covering up of sin.

Isaiah 64:5 � thou meetest him that joyfully works righteousness. This means righteousness is not just imputed to us. We can actually do works of righteousness by God�s grace.

Ezek. 36:26-27 - a new heart I will give you and a new spirit I will put within you. These are interior changes effected by God.

Ezek. 37:23 � the Lord will save His people from all their backslidings in which they have sinned, and He will cleanse them (not cover them).

Matt. 5:3,5,8 - blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, and the pure of heart. These are internal dispositions, not just an external reality.

Matt. 5:6; Luke 6:21 - those who hunger for righteousness "may be filled." It is an inner change, not snow covering up a dunghill.

Matt. 5:20; Luke 1:6; Acts 10:35 - here are more examples of "doing" righteousness, not just being "imputed" external righteousness. We are not just defendants in a courtroom who have been exonerated. We are children of God endowed with the power of the Holy Spirit by whose grace we can become righteous.

Matt. 5:28 - Jesus teaches that just looking lustfully at a woman is adultery. But avoiding this involves an inner change, a response to God's grace.

Matt. 6:1 - beware of practicing righteousness before men. We are not just declared righteous; we can practice righteousness as well.

Matt. 8:3 � Jesus cleanses the man�s leprosy. Jesus� power reaches both the external and internal conditions of human beings. See also Matt. 11:5.

Matt. 15:18; Mark 7:15 -Jesus teaches the interior disposition is what defiles man. Thus, God's infusion of grace changes us interiorly.

Matt. 23:25-28 - the Pharisees appeared outwardly righteous to men, but inside they were filled with hypocrisy. God desires and helps us effect an inner change of heart. He doesn't just declare that we are righteous.

Luke 11:39-40 - the Pharisees cleansed the outside of the cup but inside they were full of wickedness. God demands an internal change and gives us the grace to make that change.

John 1:29 - Jesus the Lamb of God literally takes away the sin of the world. He does not just cover up the sins of the world.

Acts 3:19 - repent, that your sins may be "blotted" out. The word blotted comes from the Greek word "exalipho" which means an actual wiping away or removal, not a covering up.

Acts 22:16; 1 Cor. 6:11 - again, the phrase "wash away" is from the word "apolouo" which mean a literal removal or an infusion of cleansing, not an imputation or covering.

Rom. 4:3 - it was "credited" to him as righteousness. The word "credited" comes from the Greek word "elogisthe" which means a book entry. God records what there actually is; He does not make a phony entry on the books.

Rom. 5:17 - we do not receive Christ's personal level of righteousness (which is impossible), but we are made righteous on His account by God's mercy and the Lord's work on the cross. The word �made� in Greek is �katestathesan� which refers to a real, actual, ontological change in the person�s soul.

Rom. 5:19 - through "Adam/Christ" we were made "sinners/righteous." This means that there is not just a relational change in status, but an objective change in nature. We are not just declared righteous, but are actually made righteous. God does not declare something without making it so. For example, in Gen. 1:3, God declares that there is light, and there is light. The declaration is followed by the reality.

2 Cor. 3:18 � Paul says that we are being changed into the Lord�s likeness from one degree of glory to another, by the power of the Spirit. This shows that justification is ongoing, and changes in degrees throughout one�s life, based upon one�s obedience of faith.

2 Cor. 4:16 � though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. Justification does not happen all at once, and is not an external declaration. Justification happens every day, and concerns our inner nature.

2 Cor. 5:17 - Paul says that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. He is not just the old creation that is covered up. The old has passed away, and behold, the new has come.

2 Cor. 7:1 � Paul says that we must cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God. Holiness deals with being, what is, because its source is God, who is. It does not deal with what appears to be.

2 Cor. 13:5 � do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? This indwelling of Christ brings about an internal transformation to those who cooperate with His grace.

Gal. 6:15 � for neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.

Eph. 4:22-24 - putting off the old nature for the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness, involves an internal change. Our lives are actually transformed. This is required in order for us to become adopted sons (not just defendants acquitted in a courtroom).

Phil. 2:13 - God is at work "in you." God is so powerful, he can actually transform us by working in us. He is not just outside us making declarations about us.

Col. 3:10 � we have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. We are new, and this newness is a continual process of renewal throughout our lives.

Titus 3:5 - justification is a generation of supernatural life in a former sinner. This means a real inner change or infusion, not just donning an outer cloak.

1 John 1:7,9 � Jesus will "cleanse" us from sin and unrighteousness. The word cleanse comes from the Greek word "katharizo" which means an actual "infused" cleansing, not an "imputed" pretend cleansing.

1 John 3:7,10 - righteousness may be obtained by "doing." One who practices righteousness is righteous. God is not just declaring the person righteousness.

Rev. 19:8 - when we are clothed in fine linen in heaven, the fine linen is "our righteous acts." It is our own righteousness, from the work and mercy of Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:4 - we are actually made righteous because God is the eternal family, and we partake of this divine nature as children. The Catholic position thus gives Jesus the most glory. His grace is powerful enough to change us interiorly.

1 Cor. 3:9 - this is because we are His fellow workers. God is not threatened by the grace and glory He gives His children!

IV. Some Examples of Justification as Ongoing (not a one-time event)

2 Cor. 4:16 - though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed "every day." This not only proves that justification is internal (not legal and external), but that it is also ongoing (it's not a one-time event of accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Savior). Our inner nature is being renewed every day as we persevere in faith, hope and love.

John 3:16 - justification is ongoing, not a one-time event. God so loved (past) the world, that He gave (past) His only Son, that whoever believes (ongoing) in Him may have eternal life. The word �believes� is �pisteuo� in Greek which necessarily includes obedience throughout one�s life. This is proved by 1 Peter 2:7-8 which also uses �pisteuo� (to obey) and �apitheo� (to disobey). The same word �pisteuo� is used in many other verses about �believing in Christ� such as John 3:36; 5:24; Rom. 4:24; 10:9-10; cf. Rom. 1:5,16; 6:17; 16:26; 1 John 5:13 (often used by Protestants to support their �faith alone� theology). To �believe� means to �obey� throughout one�s life; it is not a one-time acceptance of Jesus as Savior.

Heb. 5:9 � Paul also confirms this by writing that Jesus became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him. Here are some examples of justification as an on-going process, and not a one-time event:

Gen. 12:1-4 � Abram is justified here, as God promises to make his name great and bless the families of the earth through his seed. Abram is justified by his faith in God. Heb. 11:8-10 confirms Abraham's justification occurred here, before Gen. 15:6 (later) by referring to Gen. 12, not Gen. 15. Abraham's justification increased over time because justification is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process of growing in holiness.

Gen. 14:19, 22-23 - Abram is also justified here, by being blessed by the priest-king Melchizedek. Melchizedek calls Abram blessed and Abram gives him a tenth of everything.

Gen. 15:6 � Abram is further justified here, as God promises him that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars. Because the Scripture says, �He believed the Lord, and He reckoned it to him as righteousness,� Protestants often say this was Abram�s initial justification, and cite Rom 4:2 to prove Abram was justified by his faith. Yes, it is true Abram was justified by his faith, but he was justified 25 years earlier in Gen. 12:1-4, as Heb. 11:8-10 proves.

Gen. 22:1-18 � Abraham is further justified here, this time by works, when he offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice to God. James 2:21 proves this as James writes, �Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?� James then confirms this by writing, �Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness� (James 2:23). These verses prove that justification before God is an on-going process, not a one-time event of accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Savior, and is accomplished by faith and works.

1 Sam. 13:14 - David is justified here, as God describes him as �a man after his own heart.� No one in Scripture is described like this. Acts 13:22 confirms David�s justification before God.

1 Sam. 16:13 � David is also justified here. �The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.�

1 Sam. 17:37-54 � David is further justified here, as he responds to God�s grace and God delivers him from the hand of Goliath the Philistine.

2 Sam. 6:9,14 � David is further justified here, as he expresses a fear for the Lord in the presence of His ark, and dances before the ark of the Lord with all his might.

2 Sam. 12:7-15 - however, after David�s on-going justification before God, David falls out of justification by committing adultery with Bathsheba and slaying Uriah the Hittite. David still had faith in God, but he lost his justification because of his evil works.

Psalm 32:1-2; Rom. 4:7-8; cf. 51:2,7-10,17 � David repents of his sin and writes these beautiful psalms about God�s mercy and forgiveness. Of himself, he writes, �Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered up.� David is re-justified before God. This proves that we can be justified before God, then lose our justification, and then be re-justified through repentance and reconciliation with God.

Matt. 16:18-19 � Jesus blesses Simon for receiving a Revelation from God, changes his name to Peter, and gives him the keys to the kingdom of heaven. In John 6:68-69, Peter, justified before God, declares that Jesus has the words of eternal life. In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus prays for Peter that his faith may not fail and charges him to strengthen the rest of the apostles. In these and many other examples, Peter is justified before God.

Matt. 26:75; Mark 14:72; John 18:17, 25-27 � Peter denies he knows Jesus and loses his justification before God.

John 21:15-17 � Peter is re-justified before God after he negates his three-fold denial of Jesus with a three-fold confirmation of his love for him. Jesus then charges Peter to feed the Lord�s sheep. Peter was justified, loses his justification, and regains it again through repentance and love.

Luke 15:24,32 - the prodigal son was dead, and now is alive again; he was lost and now is found. The prodigal son regained his father�s favor through repentance (v. 18-19,21). When we ask our Father for forgiveness, we too will regain His favor and be justified.

Acts 9:1- 17 - Protestants would say that Paul is instantly justified here, when he encounters Christ, obeys His command to enter the city, and is moved by the Holy Spirit. They would say that Paul�s sins are now covered up and Christ�s righteousness is imputed to him.

Acts 9:18; 22:16 - then why does Ananias command Saint Paul (who was directly chosen by Christ) to stand up and be baptized and "wash away" his sins? Because justification, as the Church has taught for 2,000 years, is ongoing. It is not a one-time event of accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. Justification is freely given by God through faith, hope, love and the sacraments of the Church (here, baptism).

V. Jesus and Apostles Teach that Works are Necessary for Justification

Matt. 5:2-11 - Jesus' teaching of the beatitudes goes beyond faith - being pure, merciful, and peacemakers are all good works. They are acts of the will that are necessary for a right relationship with God.

Matt. 5:16 - Jesus confirms this by teaching, "let your light shine before men that they may see your 'good works' and give glory to God." Good works glorify God and increase our justification before the Father.

Matt. 5:39-42 - give your striker the other cheek, give away your cloak, and go with him two miles. This faith in action, not faith alone.

Matt. 5:44-47 - this means even loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us. Love is a good work, an act of the will.

Matt. 6:12 - forgive us our sins, not by how much faith we have, but as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Matt. 7:19-23 - just saying "Lord, Lord" and accepting Jesus as personal Savior is not enough. We must also bear the fruit of good works.

Matt. 19:16-22 - Jesus teaches the man to sell all he has and give it to the poor. It is not just about accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. We also need good works by keeping Jesus' commandments.

Matt. 22:39; Mark 12:31 - Jesus says You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love is a good work - an act of the intellect and will.

Mark 9:39 - Jesus said no one who does good works in His name will be able to soon after speak evil of Him. Good works justify us before God.

Luke 6:46-47 - the Lord asks us to do what he tells us, and that is to keep His commandments, not just "accept" Him as personal Lord and Savior.

Luke 6:20-38 - again, beatitudes, the love of enemies, giving to the needy, forgiving, bearing fruit - all these good works justify a man before God.

Luke 8:21 - Jesus says that His mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.

John 5:24 - note that "eternal life" here means sanctifying grace (the life of God within us). We can choose to fall from this grace.

John 5:36, 10:37-38 - Jesus emphasizes that His works testify to who He is. We must imitate Christ's works to be more fully united with Him.

John 5:39-42 - knowing the Scriptures is not enough if you do not have love in your heart.

John 8:31-32 - Jesus requires works even from those who believe in Him. Mere belief is not enough.

John 13:34-35 - Jesus gives us a new commandment, that we love one another as He loves us. He commands love which is an act of our will.

John 14:15 - Jesus says, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." This requires works, not just faith (and not faith alone).

John 14:21 � he who hears my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. This is doing good works for others.

John 15:8 � Jesus requires us to bear the good fruit of works if we are to be His disciples. These fruits are merits in Catholic teaching, all borne from God�s unmerited gift of grace.

John 15:10 - if you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, as I have kept the Father's commandments.

John 15:12 - this is My commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. Love is both a cause and the fruit of our justification.

Rom. 12:10 - Paul commands us to love one another. Love is a good work, an act of the intellect and will, not just a feeling.

1 Cor. 3:8 � Paul teaches that he who plants and he who waters are equal, and each shall receive his wages according to his labor.

1 Cor. 13:2 � Paul teaches that if our faith moves mountains, but we have not the works of love, we are nothing indeed.

1 Cor. 13:13 - abide in faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. Love is the greatest work which justifies us (not faith, and most importantly, not faith alone!)

1 Tim. 6:18-19 - we are to do good and be rich in good works thus laying up a good foundation for a chance at eternal life.

Titus 1:16 - people claim to know God, but their deeds deny Him. Like Jesus, it is our works that testify to our faith in Christ.

1 John 2:3-5 - and by this we may be sure that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. This requires good works, not faith alone.

1 John 3:23 - God's commandment is to believe in His Son Jesus and love one another. Belief is not enough, but good works to perfect that belief.

1 John 4:7-21 - and this commandment we have from Him, that he who loves God should love his brother also. John gives us repeated exhortations to love one another.

1 John 5:2-3 - we know we love God and God's children when we keep His commandments. We need to love which is manifested in good works and not faith alone.

2 John 6 - we must love one another and keep Jesus' commandments. We must cooperate with Christ's grace.

Ryan & Amy said...

Oh, and PhilVaz, don't forget C.S. Lewis! He believed in Purgatory, so therefore...


Obviously, if he believed in Purgatory than he couldn't have believed that God's grace was sufficient.


So sayeth Steve Camp, so sayeth the flock!

Bhedr said...

Hey Sledge,

You've done an excellent job. I would like to input. His Word is His name. Both are magnified and exalted together as we see in Revelation that His name is the Word Of God. Scripture tell us who the real God is and if you don't believe in the God of Scripture alone then you believe in a false God. Also I do not personaly insult you as you have done with me. I attack as Steve does the Roman model system that was set up by Constantine and set into motion a philosophy of religious institutions that do not seek His Name. The name YHVH. Torah points to Him and He is the only one. There can only be one God. 2 Corinthians 11:4. Why do you wish to believe in another Jesus that Scripture does not bear witness of? Wake up before it is too late.

Bhedr said...

And to my Catholic friends who refer to me as an ignorant dunce, I do not need Jack Chick and his comics or anybody else you knock off the list at your leisure. As Sledgehammer said Scripture is sufficient. Ah but you don't believe that so what have you to stand on? Popes who contradict themselves? Hey they only feed the Chick comics even more, but i will be gracious and only refer to scripture in the future lest I be called "Thou Fool" again. Remember that I never attacked you as I have nothing but a burden of Love for you and pray that your eyes will be opened. I only attack the Mother Church of false systems. Rome. She set up a model that many protestants follow. Jesus said, "My Kingdom is not of this World" so Rome clearly does not house it.....And on it goes.

Ryan & Amy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ryan & Amy said...

Bhedr said:
Remember that I never attacked you as I have nothing but a burden of Love for you...

Bhedr ALSO said:
Not only are you blind but you wish to hide others from the truth.

Don't play the innocent - hypocracy doesn't suit you. I have no trouble with you attacking me or my faith, but I do have a problem with you attacking with one tongue and then wooing with the other.

An objective person can see where the vitriol originates. If they can't...they should scroll back up to the top of the page.

God Bless,

Breuss Wane said...

Joel wrote:
>Are we saved by grace, or by faith, or >by the perfection of our doctrine?

Doctrine is the means by which Christ saves through faith alone. You cannot have one without the other. Regeneration, which precedes faith, is predicated by the faithful proclamation of the Word (Romans 10), so that if there is false doctrine where the gospel is concerned, there is no saving faith.

Breuss Wane said...

The idea that there were none preceding Luther who believed in sola fide is absolutely false. That Luther and Calvin further developed the idea of sola fide is irrelevant. Sola fide is implicit in Augustine's understanding of free will, regardless of his formulation of saving faith. IOW, Augustine had more in common with Luther and Calvin than he did with Trent. To suggest otherwise is revisionist history (which is standard M-O for Rome).,

2Tal said...

If we really preach sola scriptura I think that for every one of these scriptures brought up by Ryan and Amy, we should actually give a meaningful response and not just gloss over them ALL IN ONE POST LIKE THEY DID!!! It might be a pain for us but it certainly would not be difficult. Eisegesis is what's difficult to accomplish here. After all, do we really know for a fact that they are completely closed to the truth? Who knows? Is it not possible that maybe some of these Catholics are truth seekers. Maybe for someone out there their church dogma DOESN'T cancel out a reasonable and scripturally consistent exegesis. I think I may try to get around to giving one or two posts myself to one or two of their verses. We shouldn't exept Steve Camp to do it for us. After all, he does have a family and many other obigations outside his written articles and the bloshpere.

Apolonio said...

Steve Camp: "That is just not true. The gospel of the Apostles and many of the early church fathers believed the biblical gospel of sola fide, sola gratia and solus Christus."

Two words for you: NAME THEM. Name the Church Fathers who believed your biblical gospel of sola fide before Martin Luther. Did St. Augustine believe your biblical gospel of sola fide? Did St. John Chrysostom believe your biblical gospel of sola fide? They did not. Who can you name between the apostles and Martin Luther who believed your biblical gospel of sola fide?

The biblical gospel of grace alone and Christ alone, Catholics would have no problem with. Salvation is all of grace, and all of Christ. When you say faith alone, and by that you mean faith alone in the imputed righteousness of Christ, a declared/forensic justification, that simply was never believed until Martin Luther. Evangelical Anglican scholar Alister McGrath documents that clearly in his history of justification (quoted above) which was his doctoral dissertation at Cambridge.

NO Father, NO Doctor, NO Bishop, NO Pope, NO Saint of the Catholic Church ever believed "sola fide" in the Protestant Reformation sense. That was brand new with Luther.

Steve Camp: "My question for you is simple: Why don't you believe the biblical gospel and are defending a Romanist works righteousness gospel?"

I believe what the Catholic Church teaches on the subject, and in my view that is the biblical gospel. It is not a works-righteousness gospel in the sense of "earning" salvation, since the Church condemned that at the Council of Orange (6th century) and Trent (16th century). See the first three canons in the session of Trent on justification. From on the Council of Orange:

"The Council of Orange dealt with the Semi-Pelagian doctrine that the human race, though fallen and possessed of a sinful nature, is still 'good' enough to able to lay hold of the grace of God through an act of unredeemed human will. The Council held to Augustine's view and repudiated Pelagius."

So semi-Pelagianism was condemned by Orange. You do not know your Church history. I suggest reading St. Augustine as well.

Salvation is by grace alone, and by Christ alone, and by a faith working in love, not by faith alone (James 2:24; Gal 5:6; 1 Cor 13:2). That is the Catholic and biblical gospel.

Steve Camp: "can you provide any historical evidence biblically where any Pope of Romanism affirmed the biblical gospel aside from any church councils, creeds, decrees or anathemas?"

Not sure what you mean by "historical evidence biblically." What I can provide for you is the name of every Pope of the patristic age (the first 700 years of Christianity), and none of them believed your biblical gospel. They believed a different biblical gospel since they interpreted the Bible differently from you and the Reformed. Again: no one believed this "imputed righteousness by faith alone" idea until Martin Luther.

For a few biblical texts, see the posts above from Ryan. Here are two more quotes from St. Augustine:

"Now as to LOVE, which the Apostle says is greater than the other two, that is, than faith and hope [1 Cor 13:13], so much the better is he in whom it is found. For when it is asked whether someone is a good man, it is not asked what he BELIEVES or what he hopes for, but what he LOVES. For if someone loves rightly, without a doubt he believes and hopes rightly. But someone who does not love believes IN VAIN even if what he believes is TRUE; and he hopes IN VAIN, even if what he hopes for is rightly taught as pertaining to true happiness unless he believes and hopes for this also, that through prayer it may be given him to love.....This however, is the FAITH of Christ which the Apostle commanded, which WORKS THROUGH LOVE [Gal 5:6]; and for whatever it does not yet have in love, it asks and receives, seeks and finds, knocks so that it will be opened to it [Matt 7:7]. Faith asks and OBTAINS what the law COMMANDS. For without the Gift of God, that is, without the Holy Spirit, through whom LOVE is poured out into our hearts [Rom 5:5], the law could command but could not help. Moreoever, the law could make a man a transgressor, who could not excuse himself on grounds of ignorance. Where there is NO love of God, carnal desire does reign." (Enchiridion of Faith, Hope, and Love 31:117)

"What is grace? Something given -gratis-. What is given -gratis-? That which is bestowed rather than paid as owed. If it is owed, it is wages paid, not a gift graciously given. If it was truly owed, you have been good; but if, as is the case, you have been evil, but YOU DID BELIEVE IN HIM WHO JUSTIFIES THE IMPIOUS [i.e. Rom 4:5] -- and what is MEANT BY "He justifies the impious?" That HE MAKES THE IMPIOUS PIOUS -- think what was rightly threatened you by the law, and what you have obtained by grace! But since you have gotten that grace of faith, you shall be just by faith; for the just man lives by faith [Rom 1:17; Hab 2:4]. And by LIVING FAITH you shall DESERVE WELL of God; and when you shall have deserved well of God by LIVING by faith, as REWARD you shall receive immortality and ETERNAL LIFE. AND THAT IS GRACE. Because of what MERIT, then, do you receive ETERNAL LIFE? BECAUSE OF GRACE." (Homilies on the Gospel of John 3:9)

There's a ton more. My opinion is that there is very little difference between the classic "Protestant" concept of faith alone (imputed righteousness), and the Catholic concept of faith and works (infused righteousness), once you include all aspects of past, present, and future salvation, justification, sanctification, and glorification. The article "The Gift of Salvation" by ECT shows some of that agreement.

Apolonio said...

breuss: "The idea that there were none preceding Luther who believed in sola fide is absolutely false."

The idea that there were NONE preceding Luther who believed in sola fide is absolutely true and documented very clearly by Alister McGrath. Argue with McGrath, an evangelical scholar on the subject. See the accurate quotations I looked up myself from his 2-volume work on the history of justification.

The idea that St. Augustine had anything to do with a forensic/declared/imputed righteousness "by faith alone" concept is absolutely false. None of the Fathers believed that, and none of them interpreted the Bible that way.

The Church Fathers and Sola Fide

What are you going to argue next, that St. Thomas Aquinas believed in sola scriptura? Don't worry I have an article for that one as well.

St. Thomas Aquinas and Sola Scriptura


Apolonio said...

Bhedr: "I attack as Steve does the Roman model system that was set up by Constantine"

More uneducated and ignorant nonsense. I'm telling you, stop reading Dave Hunt, Jack Chick, J.M. Carroll, or Alex Hislop, and START reading McGoldrick on baptist history, JND Kelly on the Fathers, and Jaroslav Pelikan on the early Church. The Catholic Church and her bishops was in place by the end of the apostolic age.

Lutheran/Orthodox historian Jaroslav Pelikan on the early Church:

"To identify orthodox doctrine, one had to identify its locus, which was the catholic church, neither Eastern nor Western, neither Greek nor Latin, but universal throughout the civilized world (oikoumene). This church was the repository of truth, the dispenser of grace, the guarantee of salvation, the matrix of acceptable worship. Only here did God accept sacrifices, only here was there confident intercession for those who were in error, only here were good works fruitful, only here did the powerful bond of love hold men together and 'only from the catholic church does truth shine forth.' " (Pelikan, The Christian Tradition, volume 1, page 334-335)

Anglican canon A.J. Mason writes:

"The society was well known and unmistakable. Its doctrine was everywhere the same; its worship, with rich diversity of forms, centered around one Eucharistic memorial. It had an organized hierarchy for worship and for the pastorate of souls. This hierarchy maintained union between the local branches, and did so in the name and by the authority of Christ. However far back the history is traced, no date can be assigned, however roughly, for the appearance of Catholicism in the Church. The Church was Catholic from the outset." (Mason, cited in The Church and Infallibility [1954] by BC Butler, page 37-38)

Assignment for Bhedr: in the next month you will find, at your local public or university library, the following 3 books:

(1) Baptist Successionism: A Crucial Question in Baptist History by James Edward McGoldrick(1994)

(2) Early Christian Doctrines by JND Kelly

(3) The Christian Tradition by Jaroslav Pelikan (volume 1)

And you can, for extra credit, read the 19th century classic by Luke Rivington, or the book by John Chapman, both Catholic converts from Anglicanism, on the early Papacy.

The Primitive Church and the See of Peter by Luke Rivington

Studies on the Early Papacy by John Chapman

Real scholarship. You will find these books, read these books, write a report on them, and turn them in to me to be graded. You will then desperately search the Internet for rebuttals to these books, and finding none, you will then become Catholic in a month or so. Maybe longer. Sometimes it takes time.

2Tal said...

I'm sure most of the others here can give a much better response here than myself but here it goes.

Concerning James "We SEE a man is not justified by faith alone but also by works." Okay...
Do you ackowledge Romans and Ephesians (among others) say we are saved and justified by faith APART from works? It can't be both. Faith alone excludes boasting here because it alone turns turns from relying upon ones own merits and instead relies on the merits of Christ. Works are not the same thing and therefore they cannot receive God's righteousness. "He became sin for us so that IN HIM we might become the righteousness of God."

James mentions Abraham offering up Isaac but you can't separate his works from his faith. It says he offered him up because he believed the promise that he would receive an inheritance. God already knew Abraham trusted him even before he proved his faith or "justified" himself in following him in obedience. So he was clearly already sufficiently justified in God's eyes. Works were the inevitable fruit. Faith alone was the channel. Christ was the ground. As someone else basically pointed out earlier (much better than myself) James mentions right before your cited text to SHOW our faith by our works (not have faith and then do something separate from it)Therefore WE SEE A man is justified(in our eyes not God's) by the fruit of faith (i.e. works).
Look at the verse Sledge uses (IF POSSIBLE). It says the faith that justifies us before God is a faith which trusts in God AS A JUSTIFIER OF THE UNGODLY AND DOES NOT DO WORKS TO EARN IT.

"We see..his faith is perfected by his works." James 2:22 Perfected means "to come to it's end or fulness". Here's an analogy. An apple tree is counted an apple tree by it's seed even before it produces it's first apple because of it's seed. We are counted righteous in Christ by His seed (which will remain since it's imperishable) even before all our inevitable fruits of abiding in Christ occur.

Hope that helps.

RyanL said...


Thank you for your gracious reply. You are a good example of what this dialog should be. May God bless you and your family richly.

I understand what you are saying, but as an answer I would pose the following questions:

Question #1: If we are saved by faith alone, then do we need to love in order to be saved? If so, then we are not saved by faith alone, are we? We are saved by faith and love—which Catholics refer to as faith working through love (cf. Gal. 5:6). If a person says we do not need love in order to be saved, then he is saying we can get to heaven without loving God or our fellow man—a patently ridiculous position to take. Also, if faith alone saves us, faith without love, why does 1 Corinthians 13:13 say that love is greater than faith? After all, if salvation is the greatest thing we can achieve, and it is by faith alone that we achieve salvation, then faith should be greater than love. But the Bible says differently.

Question #2: If you have faith, but have not works, can your faith save you? If a persons answers yes, then he contradicts Scripture (cf. Jas. 2:14–17). If he agrees with Scripture and answers no, then he agrees that it’s not faith alone that saves us.

Question #3: Christ redeemed all men with his death on the cross. In other words, he paid the price for all men’s sins. Yet not all men are saved. What is the difference between those who are merely redeemed and those who are redeemed and saved? Is it something Jesus did, or is it something each saved individual does? If it’s something Christ did, then why aren’t all men saved? After all, Scripture says he desires that all men be saved (cf. 1 Tim. 2:3–4). But if it’s something the individual believer did, then isn’t that a work? The point here is that the believer has to "do" something in order to be saved. The difference between the believer and the unbeliever is not something Jesus did; it is something the believer did that the unbeliever didn’t do: The former believed, by the grace of God, but he had to cooperate with that grace. He had to do something or else he would not have been "saved."

Question #4: Do we have to forgive others in order to have our sins forgiven by God? If yes, then we are not saved by faith alone. After all, we cannot be saved if we do not have our sins forgiven, and we cannot have our sins forgiven if we do not forgive others. Therefore, we are saved by faith and at least one work: the work of forgiving others of their sins against us. If a person’s answer is no, that we do not have to forgive others in order to have our sins forgiven, then he is going directly against what Jesus says in Matthew 6:14.

Looking forward to the reply.

God Bless,

SJ Camp said...

Dear Ryan:

You wrote: "Christ redeemed all men with his death on the cross. In other words, he paid the price for all men’s sins. Yet not all men are saved."

This is untrue, duplicitous, schizophrenic (He redeems, but doesn’t save?) and found nowhere in Scripture. This is a key issue in the discussion, and I say this lovingly to you, Romanists do not understand or hold to an efficient view of Christ's atoning work on the cross biblically.

To help me understand further your assertions, could you define for me the following terms so that I am not assuming as to what you mean by them and the truths they represent. Please limit your responses to the Bible alone IOW, biblically define them (the 66 books of th O.T. and N.T. only):

1. justification
2. propitiation
3. redemption
4. adoption
5. salvation
6. grace
7. faith
8. peace with God
9. atonement

Thank you in advance,
Steve Camp
2 Cor. 4:5-7

Wyman Richardson said...

Goodness knows I want to stay out of this fracas! I am curious, though, about Apolonio's question, which seems to be a valid one. We've seen two assertions in this discussion saying that Apolonio is wrong when he says that there were no church fathers who held the Reformed understanding of sola fide before the Reformation and in neither case did those disagreeing with him cite evidence to the contrary. Then we saw Apolonio ask for proof. He said, "Name them." He has provided the McGrath quote as well as a couple of links to some fathers' soteriological views, but, as yet, nobody has "named them" - meaning those fathers who held to the Reformed understanding of sola fide. Saying that the view was "implicit" in a father doesn't seem to me to cut it. Ironically, that kind of sounds like the Catholic idea of doctrinal development: meaning that the nascent germ of an idea was lying beneath the surface of an earlier idea and only later came to fruition.

So I'm not trying to agree with Apolonio necessarily. I'm just curious as to why we've seen two robust dismissals of his claim and no evidence backing up these dismissals? Seems to me that he deserves an answer from somebody.

I, for one, don't know the answer. I know that Tom Oden did a little book in which, I think, he tries to show patristic evidence for the sola fide view, but I've heard it dismissed from more than one Baptist theologian and haven't read it myself.

One of you guys that dismissed Apolonio's claim need to do more than say, "No, you're wrong." He deserves an answer and I'm curious about it.

RyanL said...


Why should I re-invent the wheel for you? The Catechism of the Catholic Church has already done what you have requested. I'm not going to do your homework for you.

Look it up. It's good for you.

God Bless,

RyanL said...

Steve said:
This is untrue... and found nowhere in Scripture.

Scripture says:
2 Corinthians 5:14
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

Christ died for all. That's what the Scriptures say. How does your theology make this Scripture to no effect? Did Christ die for all, as Scripture plainly says? Was it insufficient? I'm really curious as to what you have to say...

God Bless,

Wyman Richardson said...

Not trying to repeat myself here, but I found the two dismissals of Apolonio's claim.

Steve, you said, "That is just not true. The gospel of the Apostles and many of the early church fathers believed the biblical gospel of sola fide, sola gratia and solus Christus." But you didn't name any. If there are "many," then name and document some of them so that Apolonio can stand corrected.

And Breuss, you said, "The idea that there were none preceding Luther who believed in sola fide is absolutely false. That Luther and Calvin further developed the idea of sola fide is irrelevant. Sola fide is implicit in Augustine's understanding of free will, regardless of his formulation of saving faith. IOW, Augustine had more in common with Luther and Calvin than he did with Trent. To suggest otherwise is revisionist history (which is standard M-O for Rome)."

Well, the idea of Luther and Calvin "further developing" sola fide actually is relevant to the discussion at hand. Question: Do you personally think that Luther and Calvin "further developed" the ideas of sola fide, sola gratia, etc.? If so, how? If they did further develop it, what did it look like before they did so? I mean, was it "sola fide" before the Reformation or not? And if it wasn't "sola," then can we really claim that it was...well..."sola"?

Again, let me be clear on something. I am not a Catholic. I am a Baptist. But I am curious about what seems to be a deafening silence when it comes to actually refuting Apolonio's claim concerning the reformed understanding of "sola fide" prior to Luther and Calvin. Again, I don't personally know the answer, but I do want to.

SJ Camp said...

I fully agree with you wyman. Here are a few quotes that I hope will demonstrate that sola fide is not a 16th century discovery. Never forget, more than the early church fathers, we have the solid and unequivocal testimony of Scripture that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone (Rom. 4:1-12; 3:21-26; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-7; Heb. 11, etc.). Romanism simply can't dismiss away the infallible inerrant writings of the Apostle Paul--the most reliable of all "church fathers."

Before listing a few quotes below, here are statements of Rome that clearly show their pronouncement of anathema for adhering to sola fide/sola gratia. These are very disconcerting and troublesome.

The decrees of Trent, Session VI.vii. This doctrine is immediately applied in the unhappy canon 9: "If any say that the sinner is justified through faith alone, in the sense that nothing else is necessary that cooperates to obtain the grace of justification, and that it is not necessary for the sinner to prepare himself, by means of his own will, let him be anathema."

Cf. the remarkable statement of Session V.v: "Concupiscence, which the Apostle sometimes calls sin, the holy Council declares that the Catholic Church has never understood to be called sin in the sense that it is truly and properly sin in those born again, but in the sense that it is of sin and inclines to sin. Should anyone be of a contrary opinion, let him be anathema."

Some Fathers on Sola Fide:
"Similarly we also, who by His will have been called in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, or our own wisdom or understanding or godliness, nor by such deeds as we have done in holiness of heart, but by that faith through which Almighty God has justified all men since the beginning of time. Glory be to Him, forever and ever, Amen." - St. Clement of Rome (Letter to the Corinthians, par. 32)

"Human beings can be saved from the ancient serpent in no other way than by believing in him who, when he was raised up from the earth on the tree of martyrdom in the likeness of sinful flesh, drew all things to himself and gave life to the dead." - Irenaeus (Against the Heresies, IV, 2, 7).

"Indeed, this is the perfect and complete glorification of God, when one does not exult in his own righteousness, but recognizing oneself as lacking true righteousness to be justified by faith alone in Christ." - St. Basil the Great (Homily on Humility, PG 31.532; TFoTC vol. 9, p. 479)

"They said that he who adhered to faith alone was cursed; but he, Paul, shows that he who adhered to faith alone is blessed." - St. John Chrysostom (First Corinthians, Homily 20, PG 61.164)

"For you believe the faith; why then do you add other things, as if faith were not sufficient to justify? You make yourselves captive, and you subject yourself to the law." - St. John Chrysostom (Epistle to Titus, Homily 3, PG 62.651)

"To declare His righteousness." What is declaring of righteousness? Like the declaring of His riches, not only for Him to be rich Himself, but also to make others rich, or of life, not only that He is Himself living, but also that He makes the dead to live; and of His power, not only that He is Himself powerful, but also that He makes the feeble powerful. So also is the declaring of His righteousness not only that He is Himself righteous, but that He doth also make them that are filled with the putrefying sores (katasapentaj) of sin suddenly righteous. And it is to explain this, viz. what is "declaring," that he has added, "That He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Doubt not then: for it is not of works, but of faith: and shun not the righteousness of God, for it is a blessing in two ways; because it is easy, and also open to all men. And be not abashed and shamefaced. For if He Himself openly declareth (endeiknutai) Himself to do so, and He, so to say, findeth a delight and a pride therein, how comest thou to be dejected and to hide thy face at what thy Master glorieth in? - St. John Chrysostom (Homilies on Romans 3).

Some Fathers on Sola Gratia as well:
But when the Lord Jesus came, He forgave all men that sin which none could escape, and blotted out the handwriting against us by the shedding of His own Blood. This then is the Apostle's meaning; sin abounded by the Law, but grace abounded by Jesus; for after that the whole world became guilty, He took away the sin of the whole world, as John bore witness, saying: Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Wherefore let no man glory in works, for by his works no man shall be justified, for he that is just hath a free gift, for he is justified by the Bath. It is faith then which delivers by the blood of Christ, for Blessed is the man to whom sin is remitted, and, pardon granted. Ambrose (Letter 73, to Irenaeus, a layman)

“After speaking of the wages of sin, in the case of blessings, he has not kept to the same order: for he does not say, the wages of your good deeds, but the gift of God: to show, that it was not of themselves that they were freed, nor was it a due they received, neither yet a return, nor a recompense of labors, but by grace all these things came about. And so there was superiority for this cause also, in that He did not free them only, or change their condition for the better, but that He did it without any labor or trouble upon their part: and that He not only freed them, but also gave them more than before, and that through His Son.” - St. John Chrysostom (Epistle to the Romans, Homily 12, Rom 6:23)

And he well said, "a righteousness of mine own," not that which I gained by labor and toil, but that which I found from grace. If then he who was so excellent is saved by grace, much more are you. For since it was likely they would say that the righteousness which comes from toil is the greater, he shows that it is dung in comparison with the other. For otherwise I, who was so excellent in it, would not have cast it away, and run to the other. But what is that other? That which is from the faith of God, i.e. it too is given by God. This is the righteousness of God; this is altogether a gift. And the gifts of God far exceed those worthless good deeds, which are due to our own diligence. Chrysostom (Homily on Philippians 3)

Suppose someone should be caught in the act of adultery and the foulest crimes and then be thrown into prison. Suppose, next, that judgment was going to be passed against him and that he would be condemned. Suppose that just at that moment a letter should come from the Emperor setting free from any accounting or examination all those detained in prison. If the prisoner should refuse to take advantage of the pardon, remain obstinate and choose to be brought to trial, to give an account, and to undergo punishment, he will not be able thereafter to avail himself of the Emperor's favor. For when he made himself accountable to the court, examination, and sentence, he chose of his own accord to deprive himself of the imperial gift. This is what happened in the case of the Jews. Look how it is. All human nature was taken in the foulest evils. "All have sinned," says Paul. They were locked, as it were, in a prison by the curse of their transgression of the Law. The sentence of the judge was going to be passed against them. A letter from the King came down from heaven. Rather, the King himself came. Without examination, without exacting an account, he set all men free from the chains of their sins. All, then, who run to Christ are saved by his grace and profit from his gift. Bu those who wish to find justification from the Law will also fall from grace. They will not be able to enjoy the King's loving-kindness because they are striving to gain salvation by their own efforts; they will draw down on themselves the curse of the Law because by the works of the Law no flesh will find justification. Chrysostom (Discourses Against Judaizing Christians. Discourse I:6-II:1)

Brief Bios:
Ambrose – (340-397) bishop of Milan, famous for his commentaries on Paul’s epistles and for baptizing St. Augustine.

Athanasius – (c. 296-373) bishop of Alexandria from 328, opponent to Arianism and staunch defender of Nicene Orthodoxy

Augustine – (354-430) bishop of Hippo from 396, most influential theologian of the Western Church. Opponent of Pelagius and known therefore as the Doctor of Grace.

Basil – (c. 330-379) bishop of Caeserea from 370, opponent of Arianism. One of the Cappadocian fathers.

Chrysostom – (c. 347-407) Bishop of Antioch, Patriarch of Constantinople. Prolific writer and famous interpreter of the Scriptures. His name means “golden mouthed” from his fine oratory.

Clement of Rome – (flourished c. 96 A.D.) Bishop of Rome shortly after the Apostles

Cyril of Jerusalem – (c. 315-386) Bishop of Jerusalem. Famous for his catechetical lectures and for his attendance at the Council of Constantinople where the Nicene Creed was completed.

Gregory of Nyssa – (c. 330-395) Greek bishop of Nyssa, and brother of Basil.

Irenaeus – (c. 130-c. 200) Bishop of Lyon, early Christian apologist and disciple of Polycarp, disciple of John.

Mark the Ascetic – (c. 425) Famous ascetical writer who denounced trust in our own works.

DOGpreacher said...

apolonio: You obviously do not read whole comments, before you respond to them.

I went on to say, after the part you responded so childishly to, that IF YOU have believed IN Jesus as Romans 10:9-13 & 1 John talks about, I SINCERELY have no problem with calling you my brother in Christ...and neither should anyone who claims to be "reformed".

The reason I say this, is John 6:37-40! If you have come to Christ, it is BECAUSE the Father gave you (to come) to the Son. And as this passage shows, those whom the Father has given to the Son (and consequently those who come), the Son will lose NONE! So I can assuredly say, that IF you & I have believed in Jesus according to Romans 10:9-13, Jesus says that's it, that He will not lose us, and will raise us up at the last day.

Now, the process & chronology of sanctification He uses (effects) in each of us (and remember, THAT will be for His glory, even if we can't see it in ourselves, or OTHERS) I can't imagine that any commentator here would be so foolish and vain to say they could tell you exactly how that would look.

Anyone who believes in the preservation/perseverance of the saints (Reformed), should have no problem with this. Is it any wonder why there are so many levels of understanding. We (in the process of sanctification) are being brought along as He sees fit, that the whole process shall glorify Him.

IF YOU & I have believed in our hearts,& confessed with our mouths that Jesus is Lord & that God has raised Him from the dead...

...then I should be Brother to you, and you to me.

Now, I know your "we're all in hell" stuff is tactical, but HERE is a believer in Christ, asking you if you are the same...WHAT will you do with that?

Wyman Richardson said...

Thanks Steve. I'll print these off and read them through...AFTER I go eat a ham sandwich.

RyanL said...

If they were "Faith Alone" believers, who thought there was nothing we could do to lose Eternal Life, could you please explain the following quotes by the SAME people you just listed....

The Didache

"Watch for your life’s sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord comes. But you shall assemble together often, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if you be not made complete in the last time" (Didache 16 [A.D. 70]).


"And as many of them . . . as have repented, shall have their dwelling in the tower [i.e., the Church]. And those of them who have been slower in repenting shall dwell within the walls. And as many as do not repent at all, but abide in their deeds, shall utterly perish. . . . But if any one relapse into strife, he will be cast out of the tower, and will lose his life. Life is the possession of all who keep the commandments of the Lord" (The Shepherd 3:8:7 [A.D. 80]).

Ignatius of Antioch

"And pray without ceasing in behalf of other men; for there is hope of the repentance, that they may attain to God. For cannot he that falls arise again, and he may attain to God?" (Letter to the Ephesians 10 [A.D. 110]).

Justin Martyr

"[E]ternal fire was prepared for him who voluntarily departed from God and for all who, without repentance, persevere in apostasy" (fragment in Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5:26 [A.D. 156]).


"[T]o Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, ‘every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess’ [Phil. 2:10–11] to him, and that he should execute just judgment towards all. . . . [T]he ungodly and unrighteous and wicked and profane among men [shall go] into everlasting fire; but [he] may, in the exercise of his grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept his commandments, and have persevered in his love, some from the beginning [of their Christian course], and others from [the date of] their penance, and may surround them with everlasting glory" (Against Heresies 1:10:1 [A.D. 189]).


"[Regarding confession, some] flee from this work as being an exposure of themselves, or they put it off from day to day. I presume they are more mindful of modesty than of salvation, like those who contract a disease in the more shameful parts of the body and shun making themselves known to the physicians; and thus they perish along with their own bashfulness" (Repentance 10:1 [A.D. 203]).

"Discipline governs a man, power sets a seal upon him; apart from the fact that power is the Spirit, but the Spirit is God. What, moreover, used [the Spirit] to teach? That there must be no communicating with the works of darkness. Observe what he bids. Who, moreover, was able to forgive sins? This is his alone prerogative: for ‘who remits sins but God alone?’ and, of course, [who but he can remit] mortal sins, such as have been committed against himself and against his temple?" (Modesty 21 [A.D. 220]).

Cyprian of Carthage

"Of how much greater faith and salutary fear are they who . . . confess their sins to the priests of God in a straightforward manner and in sorrow, making an open declaration of conscience. . . . I beseech you, brethren, let everyone who has sinned confess his sin while he is still in this world, while his confession is still admissible, while the satisfaction and remission made through the priests are still pleasing before the Lord" (The Lapsed 28 [A.D. 251]).

Basil the Great

"The clergyman who is deposed for mortal sin shall not be excommunicated" (Canonical Letter, canon 32 [A.D. 374]).

Pacian of Barcelona

"Stinginess is remedied by generosity, insult by apology, perversity by honesty, and for whatever else, amends can be made by practice of the opposite. But what can he do who is contemptuous of God? What shall the murderer do? What remedy shall the fornicator find? . . . These are capital sins, brethren, these are mortal. Someone may say: ‘Are we then about to perish? . . . Are we to die in our sins?’ . . . I appeal first to you brethren who refuse penance for your acknowledged crimes. You, I say, who are timid after your impudence, who are bashful after your sins, who are not ashamed to sin but now are ashamed to confess" (Sermon Exhorting to Penance 4 [A.D. 385]).


"There are venial sins and there are mortal sins. It is one thing to owe ten thousand talents, another to owe but a farthing. We shall have to give an accounting for an idle word no less than for adultery. But to be made to blush and to be tortured are not the same thing; not the same thing to grow red in the face and to be in agony for a long time. . . . If we entreat for lesser sins we are granted pardon, but for greater sins, it is difficult to obtain our request. There is a great difference between one sin and another" (Against Jovinian 2:30 [A.D. 393]).


"[N]othing could have been devised more likely to instruct and benefit the pious reader of sacred Scripture than that, besides describing praiseworthy characters as examples, and blameworthy characters as warnings, it should also narrate cases where good men have gone back and fallen into evil, whether they are restored to the right path or continue irreclaimable; and also where bad men have changed, and have attained to goodness, whether they persevere in it or relapse into evil; in order that the righteous may be not lifted up in the pride of security, nor the wicked hardened in despair of cure" (Against Faustus 22:96 [A.D. 400]).

"[A]lthough they were living well, [they] have not persevered therein; because they have of their own will been changed from a good to an evil life, and on that account are worthy of rebuke; and if rebuke should be of no avail to them, and they should persevere in their ruined life until death, they are also worthy of divine condemnation forever. Neither shall they excuse themselves, saying—as now they say, ‘Why are we rebuked?’—so then, ‘Why are we condemned, since indeed, that we might return from good to evil, we did not receive that perseverance by which we should abide in good?’ They shall by no means deliver themselves by this excuse from righteous condemnation. . . . since it may be said, ‘O man, in that which you have heard and kept, in that you might persevere if you want’" (Admonition and Grace 11 [A.D. 426]).

"But those who do not belong to the number of the predestined . . . are judged most justly according to their deserts. For either they lie under sin which they contracted originally by their generation and go forth [from this life] with that hereditary debt which was not forgiven by regeneration [baptism], or [if it was forgiven by regeneration] they have added others besides through free choice: choice, I say, free; but not freed. . . . Or they receive God’s grace, but they are temporal and do not persevere; they abandon it and are abandoned. For by free will, since they have not received the gift of perseverance, they are sent away in God’s just and hidden judgment" (ibid., 13).

"[O]f two pious men, why to the one should be given perseverance unto the end, and to the other it should not be given, God’s judgments are even more unsearchable. . . . had not both been called and followed him that called them? And had not both become, from wicked men, justified men, and both been renewed by the laver of regeneration?" (The Gift of Perseverance 9:21 [A.D. 428]).

Caesarius of Arles

"Although the apostle [Paul] has mentioned many grievous sins, we, nevertheless, lest we seem to promote despair, will state briefly what they are. Sacrilege, murder, adultery, false witness, theft, robbery, pride, envy, avarice, and, if it is of long standing, anger, drunkenness, if it is persistent, and slander are reckoned in their number. Or if anyone knows that these sins dominate him, if he does not do penance worthily and for a long time, if such time is given him . . . he cannot be purged in that transitory fire of which the apostle spoke [1 Cor. 3:11–15], but the eternal flames will torture him without any remedy. But since the lesser sins are, of course, known to all, and it would take too long to mention them all, it will be necessary for us only to name some of them. . . . There is no doubt that these and similar deeds belong to the lesser sins which, as I said before, can scarcely be counted, and from which not only all Christian people, but even all the saints could not and cannot always be free. We do not, of course, believe that the soul is killed by these sins, but still they make it ugly by covering it as if with some kind of pustules and, as it were, with horrible scabs" (Sermons 179[104]:2 [A.D. 522]).

God Bless,

SJ Camp said...

Ryan you said: "Why should I re-invent the wheel for you? The Catechism of the Catholic Church has already done what you have requested. I'm not going to do your homework for you.

And you call this legitimate discussion? What if I pointed to Luther or Calvin or Mead or Spurgeon or Edwards or Owen and said, "they've already done what you've requested--look it up it will do you good..." Cop out comes to mind.

I knew it! You're not interested, and more importantly, nor capable of defining biblically these things. You, in fact, in your response point not to the Scriptures, but to a Romanist doc, The Catechism of the Catholic Church--how vatican of you.

A word of advice to all on my blog:
For future reference, disregard what Ryan has to offer here; he is not a student of God's Word nor a thinker of his own volition, but a Catechized Romish puppet. For any of his comments on anything about Romanism, just read the Catechism of the CC (1994 I presume) and you will "find" your answers. He is neither astute in theology nor educated enough biblically to speak for himself and to develop his thoughts from the pages of Scritpure alone on these issues.

This is unfortunate... I was beginning to take you seriously.

Col. 2:21-23

Joel said...

Guys, could we ease up a skosh on the rhetoric? We're all brothers here (at least from where I sit) and we don't have to get nasty. Comments like "[T]he true Gospel was completely lost for 1,500 years, in fact more like 1,980 years, since the true Gospel was only recently restored in the songs and ministry of Steve Camp" don't help. :)

PhilVaz, you make a good point about the Christians between the close of the NT and the Reformation, and it's the biggest reason I switched feet and became a "Romanist." I'd like to see some discussion of it, although this may not be the post for it. The topic, in this case, was JPII's salvation, and whether being a Catholic meant he had no faith in Christ.

So I'll ask again, are we saved by grace, or by correctness of doctrine? And can we know on earth whether Christ's grace is withheld from JPII or any other specific individual? Was His death and resurrection sufficient to accomplish even a pope's salvation?

SJ Camp said...


Everyones time here is too important to go down another "romanist rabbit trail" with you. Your pages of "cut and paste" are unimpressive; and now, I must your motives and sincerety are in question.

Please answer biblically your obvious support for the anathema's from the Tridentine convictions stated above that clearly represent a denial of faith and grace in Christ alone as being sufficient for salvation.

Deal with the substance of what I and ohters write here and BTW are gracious to provide for you per your own request--or retreat from my blog. I'm sure you can find an audience somewhere that will take you seriously... and then again, maybe not.

I will not tolerate factiousness in any form (Titus 3:10).

Steve Camp
2 Cor. 4:5-7

Joel said...

" [H]e is not a student of God's Word nor a thinker of his own volition, but a Catechized Romish puppet... He is neither astute in theology nor educated enough biblically to speak for himself and to develop his thoughts from the pages of Scripture alone on these issues."

Neither am I, to be honest, and I suppose I qualify as a "Catechized Romish puppet," if that means believing that Catholic theology is right and Protestant theology wrong in the areas where they differ. However, speaking for myself seems like a stupid idea, when wiser and more intelligent men than myself have read and studied the scriptures and come out with the same answers. If I say one thing, and, say, Augustine says the opposite, then I'm doubly a fool to insist that my take must be correct. He's not infallible, but he's a durn sight smarter than I am.

Steve, you speak of the catechism as though it were the opposite of the Bible, which is not the case. It's an articulation of what the Catholic Church teaches in light of the scriptures, not an invention of men from whole cloth. The whole thing is filled with scriptural citations to back up the doctrines it expounds. The interpretations aren't the same as yours, it's true, but it's far from the substitute for scripture you imply it is.

How is it logical to assume that the men who wrote the Catechism did not consult the scriptures? Would you apply the same standard to, say, the Westminster Confession?

RyanL said...


Let's cut to the heart of things. You continue to insult and slander the Catholic Church and those who faithfully hold to her teachings. You are a religious bigot. Period. You use epithets and insults and then claim that my motives are suspect. You demand that I give a biblical definition for an item that would take a page to do justice, and then you demand that I do it nine times over. That is absurd. You quote mine the Early Church Fathers, and then object when I show that you are misportraying them. You demand biblical proof for faith completed by cooperation with God, and ignore the HUGE list of verses that I posted earlier.

I question YOUR motives, sir.

On your "indulgence" thread, I have been reasonable and cheritable. On this thread I have served like in like kind. Why then, would you be offended when you get what you dish out? Don't act pius when your hands are muddier than anyone else's on this blog.


SJ Camp said...

Yes I would... That is why I make my appeal and argument first through the Word of God--not from the Confessions, Westminster or otherwise.

The confessions are not inspired writings and still need to be examined and held accountable to the standard of God's Word. "Follow me as I follow Christ" -Paul said. I follow him only as he follows Christ. I follow Calvin, Luther, etc. only as they follow Christ. They depart from the standard of God's Word, so must we. Sola Scriptura is for all...

I want you to know that I just took the better part of a half an hour to answer your four questions; and when it came time to post them, my internet connection "geeked" on me and I lost my post.

I have a few other things to get to now, but I WILL get to this a bit later today.

As to the Ryan and Catechism, if that were sufficient then any time a Romanist posted on any Reformed site all they would have to say is "read the Catechism; it will do you good; I'm not doing your homework for you..."

I have read the Catechsim--scripture is not primary there but secondary. In Roman beliefs the church is the preeminnet authority--not the Word of God. That is undisputed.

So when I ask Ryan to define those terms biblically, I am asking him to get out his Bible, search the Scriptures as a faithful Berean would, and see what IT is saying--not what the Catechism is saying.

BTW, have you noticed that most of the verses in the Catechism are proof texts to support their own teachings, (a proof text is any text taken out of context as a pretext). The Word of God is living, active sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12-16). The Catchism is Rome's invention. I was simply asking Ryan to define biblically those terms--not regurgitate Rome's views. I have read Rome's views, but I am interested in what Ryan thinks about those things.

Fair enough? I hope so.

Thank you again for the spirit in which you approach these issues. You are rare among Romanists.

Col. 1:12-14

SJ Camp said...


You are forgetting something--this is my blog. I set the rules here--not you.

Get your own blog; and if anyone listens to you there, fine. You are the first I have had to say this too since beginning to blog, but you are not welcome here any longer. You are outside the perview of what this blog is designed for.

All future posts of yours will be deleted immediately.

Grace and peace,
2 Cor. 4:5-7

DOGpreacher said...

Amazing...Steve tells this guy (Ryan) thats it , you're out (and rightfully so, not because of the side you take, but the way you take it), and Ryan comes back and says that he understands & will comply. Then he immediately tells the one whose blog it is, what he should and should not do, then feigns (or so it seems) a spirit of ecumenism in his sign-off. WOW.

At some point, you shake the dust off your feet and move on.

Grace & Peace to brothers and sisters in the 'faith once delivered to the saints'.

Joel said...

"BTW, have you noticed that most of the verses in the Catechism are proof texts to support their own teachings, (a proof text is any text taken out of context as a pretext). The Word of God is living, active sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12-16). The Catchism is Rome's invention. "

I don't believe that the proof-texting in the Catechism is any more out-of-context than the equivalent proof-texting employed by Protestants against Rome. In both cases, the scriptural citations are intended to back up the particular interpretation of scripture.

There is a differenec in how the two approach scripture, at least on the surface. We see thhe Bible as being written for a community of believers that already knew what it meant, which is why we appeal to the early fathers for how they understood the Word. This doesn't mean we consider the Bible fallible or of diminished importance, but that we see it as the centerpiece of the "faith once delivered." Protestants, by contrast, try to approach the Bible as a separate entity, to be interpreted according to an inividual intellect.

Of course, no matter how much any reader of the Bible tries, he can't entirely divorce his Bible reading from tradition. You use terminology developed by Calvin, for instance, even though you would never assert that the Institutes were equal to the Bible. And you use the Westminster Confession, not as a substitute for the Bible, but as a concise summary of what you believe the Bible teaches on certain subjects. On passages like Matthew 16:18, or John 6, you approach the scriptures with a particular idea of which parts are literal and which figurative, or how one applies to another. You read the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats from a standpoint that takes sola fide as a given, even though the text can be understood both ways. You have one traditional understanding of it, we have another.

The difference is that we don't make any bones about believing that the Bible should be interpreted in a traditional context. As I say, it was written originally to Christians (at least the NT) who already knew the Gospel by oral teaching, which made it unnecessary for the Holy Spirit to define every possible question of interpretation within the text. I'm no Bible scholaar, but I've found that whenever I go back to my trusty King James and read it at face value, with no Protestant asssumptions, it comes out Catholic.

(Your results may vary.) :)

John Kettner said...

Since the Pope is Antichrist, his fate was sealed before the beginning of time.

There is only one Holy Father!

Joel said...

"Since the Pope is Antichrist..."

Got a chapter and verse for that, battlegroundjesus? I don't recall seeing the word "pope" mentioned at all in the Bible, but then, I'm just a poor, benighted Romanist. :)

MTG said...


I find your comment to me as nasty and hurtful as my coc husband comments to me; for the record again: I refuse to go there and damn someone to hell doctrinally. That is Gods job. Not mine. Yes there are most distressing theological differences, these I know all too well after living through a horrific PCA church split last October over the doctrine of justification by faith alone. (For the record..I left the PCA church contending FOR the doctrine of justification by faith)I however prefer God to be God. He does not need my help in naming people for damnation. That has already been decided.

Joel said...

"In Roman beliefs the church is the preeminnet authority--not the Word of God. That is undisputed."

Actually, Steve, I dispute it (respectfully, of course), at least the way you mean it. We don't see the same separation between Church and Bible that you do. rather, we see them as parts of the same thing, the Christian faith. So the Church is not pre-eminent over the Bible, but the context in which the Bible should be read. We don't separate them.

Jeremy Weaver said...

"We have learned the plan of our salvation from no one else other than from those through whom the gospel has come down to us. For they did at one time proclaim the gospel in public. And, at a later period, by the will of God, they handed the gospel down to us in the Scriptures-to be the 'ground and pillar of our faith.'"
From "Against Heresies" by Irenaus

Notice that Irenaus says that the scriptures, not the church, are the 'ground and pillar of our (the church's) faith'.

Apolonio said...

Morgan: "I find your comment to me as nasty and hurtful as my coc husband comments to me; for the record again: I refuse to go there and damn someone to hell doctrinally."

OK sorry, I was being mildly sarcastic. I apologize. And I agree with you especially concerning John Paul II who showed his love for Christ and faith in Christ on every word he ever spoke, every page he ever wrote, every action and accomplishment he made, every detail of his life. Now you have my true view. We got that cleared up. He is John Paul the Great.

St. John Chrysostom was brought up by Steve. He might have used the term "faith alone" but he did not accept "faith alone" in the Protestant Reformation sense of an imputed/declared/forensic justification. St. John Chrysostom believed in an infused righteousness, he did not interpret the Bible the way Protestant Reformed do today. All the Fathers that Steve Camp mentioned are dealt with in detail in the article I linked, or the articles at the bottom of this link.

The Church Fathers and Sola Fide

Consider the one long quote Steve produced:

"'To declare His righteousness.' What is declaring of righteousness? Like the declaring of His riches, not only for Him to be rich Himself, but also to make others rich, or of life, not only that He is Himself living, but also that He makes the dead to live; and of His power, not only that He is Himself powerful, but also that He makes the feeble powerful. So also is the declaring of His righteousness not only that He is Himself righteous, but that He doth also make them that are filled with the putrefying sores (katasapentaj) of sin suddenly righteous. (Homily 7 on Romans 3, NPNF1, Volume 11, page 378)

This appears to be the opposite of the Reformed/Protestant position. The declaring of righteousness actually MAKES the sinner rich, powerful, living, righteous. Not that He (Christ) is righteous alone and simply covers over our sins with his righeousness (i.e. imputed righteousness), but that he MAKES us sinners righteous (an infused righteousness). That is justification in Catholic teaching. And that is confirmed in many other statements of this great eastern/Greek Father of the Church.

St. John Chrysostom on the sacrament of BAPTISM and righteousness:

"They are citizens of the Church who were wandering in error. They have their lot in RIGHTEOUSNESS who were in the confusion of sin. For not only are they free, but HOLY also; not only holy, but RIGHTEOUS too; not only righteous, but SONS also; not only sons, but HEIRS as well; not only heirs, but BROTHERS even of Christ; not only brothers of Christ, but also co-heirs; not only co-heirs, but His very members; not only His members, but a temple too; not a temple only, but likewise the instruments of the SPIRIT. You see how many are the benefits of BAPTISM, and some think its heavenly GRACE consists ONLY in the remission of sins; but we have enumerated TEN honors. For this reason we baptize even INFANTS, though they are not defiled by sin [or do not have sins]: so that there may be given to them HOLINESS, RIGHTEOUSNESS, ADOPTION, INHERITANCE, BROTHERHOOD with Christ, and that they may be His MEMBERS." (from Baptismal Catecheses 2:4)

And his use of the phrase "faith alone" should be interpreted in light of this statement:

" 'He that believes in the Son has everlasting life' [John 3:36]... 'Is it ENOUGH, then, to BELIEVE in the Son,' someone will say, 'in order to have everlasting life?' BY NO MEANS! Listen to Christ declare this Himself when He says, 'Not everyone who says to Me, Lord! Lord! shall enter into the kingdom of heaven' [Matt 7:21]; and the blasphemy against the Spirit is alone sufficient to cast him into hell. But why should I speak of a PART of our teaching? For if a man BELIEVE rightly in the Father and in the Son and in the Holy Spirit, but does not LIVE RIGHTLY, his faith will avail him NOTHING TOWARD SALVATION." (Homilies on John 31:1)

St. John Chrysostom on free will, which is the opposite of the Reformed position:

" 'If salvation is BY GRACE [Rom 11:6],' someone will say, 'why is it we are not all saved?' BECAUSE YOU DID NOT WILL IT; for grace, even though it be grace, saves the WILLING, not those who are NOT willing and who TURN AWAY from it and who constantly fight against it and OPPOSE themselves to it." (Homilies on Romans 18:5)

St. John Chrysostom on suffering and salvation:

"Now what humility can compare with this, seeing that those who fell so far short of him he raiseth to the same dignity of endurance? for he saith, 'Which worked in the enduring of the same sufferings;' FOR NOT THROUGH BELIEVING ONLY COMETH YOUR SALVATION, but also through the suffering and enduring the same things with us." (Homily on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, NPNF1: Volume 12, page 277)

I could go on and on. Read St. John Chrysostom for yourself on the Eucharist and the Mass and the priesthood, on prayers for the dead and purgatory, on apostolic succession and tradition and Scripture, on salvation, justification and baptism, etc. He is an orthodox Catholic through and through, as were all the Fathers. Don't take my word for it. JND Kelly, Anglican Protestant and one of the greatest patristic scholars of the 20th century, wrote a large book on him called "Golden Mouth" which is what Chrysostom means. Golden Mouth: The Story of John Chrysostom -- Ascetic, Preacher, Bishop (baker academic, 1999). He was the golden-mouthed preacher of the early Church, and his writings were thoroughly Catholic. Thank you for reading.

Apolonio said...

little-gal: "Did I just hear a grateful, concerted sigh of relief echoing through cyberspace?"

Not really, since myself (PhilVaz/Apolonio) and Joel are still here. :-) Now on to more rebuttals. Ryan contributed plenty, and I hope you consider his comments. Please join us at the Catholic Answers forums if you want to go even more in depth than can be accomplished here.

doxo: "Notice that Irenaus says that the scriptures, not the church, are the 'ground and pillar of our (the church's) faith'."

Yes I noticed that. Thanks for bringing it up. It means that someone who clearly affirmed the authority of bishops and apostolic succession, including the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, believed Scripture is the ground and pillar of our faith. Here is a little more on St. Irenaeus.

For Irenaeus "tradition" included three things:

(1) the Christian faith that was handed on -- oral or in writing

"For how should it be if the Apostles themselves had NOT left us their writings? Would it not be necessary to follow the course of the TRADITION which they handed down to those whom they did commit the Churches?" (Against Heresies 3:4:1)

(2) a living authority

"Wherefore it is incumbent to OBEY the presbyters who are in the Church...those who, together with the succession of the episcopate [the bishops], have received the certain gift of TRUTH..." (Against Heresies 4:26:2)

(3) transmission and preservation by succession

"In this order, and by this SUCCESSION, the ecclesiastical tradition from the Apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is MOST abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the Apostles until now, and handed down in truth." (Against Heresies 3:3:3)

"The TRADITION of the Apostles, manifested 'on the contrary' in the whole world, is open in every Church to all who see the truth...And, since it is a long matter in a work like this to enumerate these successions, we will confute them by pointing to the TRADITION of that GREATEST and MOST ANCIENT and UNIVERSALLY KNOWN Church, founded and constituted AT ROME by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul, a TRADITION which she has had and a faith which she proclaims to all men from those Apostles." (ibid)

Now I am going to quote someone else, and I'll let you guess who this might be:

"The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures as she venerated the Body of the Lord, in so far as she never ceases, particularly in the sacred liturgy, to partake of the bread of life and to offer it to the faithful from the one table of the Word of God and the Body of Christ. She has always regarded, and continues to regard the the supreme rule of her faith. For, since they are inspired by God and committed to writing once and for all time, they present God's own Word in an unalterable form, and they make the voice of the Holy Spirit sound again and again in the words of the prophets and apostles. It follows that all the preaching of the Church, as indeed the entire Christian religion, should be nourished and ruled by sacred Scripture. In the sacred books the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them. And such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as her support and vigor, and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting fount of spiritual life. Scripture verifies in the most perfect way the words: 'The Word of God is living and active' [Heb 4:12] and 'is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified' [Acts 20:32; cf. 1 Thess 2:13]."

This happens to be the official position of the Roman Catholic Church on the Scriptures, from Vatican Council II, Dei Verbum.

Now about the early Fathers and their position on Scripture and Tradition, I suggest you read some Protestant scholars on the subject:

Philip Schaff, Presbyterian/Reformed, History of the Christian Church

"The church view respecting the sources of Christian theology and the rule of faith and practice remains as it was in the previous period, except that it is further developed in particulars. The divine Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as opposed to human writings; AND the ORAL TRADITION or LIVING FAITH of the catholic church from the apostles down, as opposed to the varying opinions of heretical sects -- TOGETHER FORM THE ONE INFALLIBLE SOURCE AND RULE OF FAITH. BOTH are vehicles of the same substance: the saving revelation of God in Christ; with this difference in form and office, that the church tradition determines the canon, furnishes the KEY TO THE TRUE INTERPRETATION of the Scriptures, and guards them against heretical abuse." (volume 3, page 606)

JND Kelly, Anglican, Early Christian Doctrines

"It should be unnecessary to accumulate further evidence. Throughout the whole period Scripture AND tradition ranked as complementary authorities, media different in form but coincident in content. To inquire which counted as superior or more ultimate is to pose the question in misleading and anachronistic terms. If Scripture was abundantly sufficient in principle, tradition was recognized as the SUREST CLUE TO ITS INTERPRETATION, for in TRADITION the Church retained, as a legacy from the apostles which was embedded in all the organs of her institutional life, an UNERRING GRASP of the real purport and MEANING of the revelation to which Scripture AND tradition alike bore witness." (page 47-48)

"Thus in the end the Christian must, like Timothy [cf. 1 Tim 6:20] 'guard the deposit', i.e. the revelation enshrined in its completeness in Holy Scripture and CORRECTLY interpreted in the Church's UNERRING tradition." (page 51)

That is the position of St. Irenaeus, and the early Fathers, Bishops, and Christians of the first 700 years of Catholic Christianity (the entire patristic period). Thank you for reading.

pilgrim said...

I read this-
"I don't believe that the proof-texting in the Catechism is any more out-of-context than the equivalent proof-texting employed by Protestants against Rome. In both cases, the scriptural citations are intended to back up the particular interpretation of scripture."

And while people of all sorts of persuasions do that--not all of us do.

One of the major factors that lead to me leaving Roman Catholicism was the Bible-the more I read it, the more I questioned my beliefs--and the more I read it, the more I see the gospel, and the less I see RCism.
I was not reading it to "prove" anything.
I was reading it to learn who God is.

But what I read did not fit my RC upbringing or education. It did not fit the books on RCism--including the Catechisms--(at this point that would have primarily been the Baltimore one.)

No RC's had answers to my questions. But the Bible did.

So no pretexts from me.
Just the Solid Word.

Joel said...

"I was not reading it to "prove" anything.
I was reading it to learn who God is."

Pilgrim, I know it's not what you intended, but you just reminded me of something important that I forget too often. It's easy to get caught up in apologetics, and I'm a miserable offender in that regard.

I still don't agree that the Bible is more supportive of Protestant positions than Catholic (quite the contrary), but I think I'll go home now and read some scripture for its own sake, not for debate fodder. I've gone too long without doing that, and I'm chastened by your reminder. Thank you.

Apolonio said...

Furthermore, I'm not done yet. Here is a summary of the position of the early Church on the relationship of Scripture, Tradition, and Church authority. This is the Church of the early Fathers, the Church of the early Bishops, the Church of the martyrs, confessors and Christian saints.

(A) The true Catholic Faith and true interpretation of the Scriptures is found only in the Church which is bound up with the succession of its ministers (apostolic succession, not of doctrine only but of its bishops, ministers, pastors succeeding the authority of the apostles);

(B) The "rule of faith" or "rule of truth" was not the whole of Tradition; it may be the principal part, but there are other things transmitted from the apostles by tradition: rules of conduct, behavior/practice, on worship/liturgy, etc.

(C) The content of tradition consisted "materially" of the Scriptures, but "formally" of the Faith of the Catholic Church, its reading of the Scriptures in the Creed, etc; the mere text of Scripture alone was insufficient; heretics also quoted Scripture but they did not read that Scripture in the context of the Tradition or the orthodox Faith of the Catholic Church;

(D) The Catholic Church alone has received the apostolic deposit of truth, for in her the Holy Spirit of truth lives (John 14:16f; 16:13f); the Church alone is the sole inheritor of the true Christian teaching from God through Christ to the Apostles;

(E) This Tradition -- the Church's Tradition -- is itself oral; and if there were no NT Scriptures it would have been sufficient for the Church to follow "the order of tradition" received from the apostles; in the minds of the early Christians it made no difference if the transmission was purely oral since there was an assured connection to the apostles through the Churches founded by the apostles to guarantee authenticity;

(F) Scripture was everything for the Fathers, and Tradition was everything also;

(G) What was the nature of the Church of the Fathers? It was one universal visible Church ruled by a hierarchy of bishops, presbyters/priests, deacons, etc in succession from the apostles (apostolic succession, again not "succession of doctrine" only);

(H) The entire activity of the Fathers demonstrates that they united three terms that were separated and set in opposition by the controversies of the 16th century -- these three terms were Scripture, Tradition, and Church; it was always affirmed that Scripture is the rule and norm of faith only when conjoined to the Church and her Tradition;

(I) Hence, the Scriptures were never considered by the Fathers as formally "sufficient" or exclusive.

That is an accurate summary of chapter 2 (The Fathers and the Early Church, pages 23ff) of Yves Congar's massive volume Tradition and Traditions of the position of the first 700 years of Catholic Christianity. He basically agrees with Schaff and JND Kelly that I cite above, but goes into a lot more detail. A little bit of scholarship for you. Thank you for reading.

Jeremy Weaver said...

I didn't say Irenaeus was right about everything.:-)
I think a historical and contextual reading of Irenaeus will show that he ultimately believed that the Scriptures were all important, that the context of the church universal was the correct context for interpreting Scripture, that the church at Rome was a good example of what he was saying as far as the place of Scriptural interpretation, but not that he believed that the church at Rome exercised any authority or private interpretation over the other churches of the time, the majority of which were either directly or indirectly founded by the apostles. This shows that he believed that individual churches had the right to interpret the Scriptures as long as they held on to the 'Rule of Faith' passed down from the apostles in those churches.

Apolonio said...

pilgrim: "One of the major factors that lead to me leaving Roman Catholicism was the Bible-the more I read it, the more I questioned my beliefs--and the more I read it, the more I see the gospel, and the less I see RCism."

Yes I understand. I've heard that story before. And I was there about 15 years ago. But the main factor may not be merely Bible reading, but listening (in my case) to radio preachers who interpreted the Bible against my Catholic beliefs. No one reads Scripture in a vacuum. Also to be fair, you should seek out the best Catholic defenses (biblical and historical) of the beliefs you had questions about. Did you ever do that?

Once I discovered the fact that the first 700 years of Christians (the Fathers, Bishops, and saints) did not interpret the Bible the way Protestants/ Evangelical/ Reformed do, and the fact that the full NT canon of the Bible didn't even exist until late in the 4th century AD, and the fact that the Bible was compiled by the historical Catholic Church, and the fact that the Bible can be interpreted in a Catholic sense (get Dave Armstrong's book A Biblical Defense of Catholicism for a recent example), then I came back to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of Christ.

pilgrim said...

I would disagree with your interpretation of the Church Fathers--I could quote from them to show they support what I'm saying, and you can quote from them to support your view.

But what's the context?

And is it Biblical?

Thye could err, and they did.
As we do as well.

I did not have an agenda, I didnot have a reason to stop being RC, and there was an overlap of tiem where I was sort of half & half.
There's a lot of stuff written about why RCism is wrong that's a lot of bunk, and growing up as one--I could spot it. So I never took people like Jack Chick seriously.

If a Church Fatehr says something that doesn't square with scripture--then he was wrong.
That doesn't mean he was a heretic--just wrong. Unless he denied an essential of the Faith.

I think most of them would be aghast at what RCism teaches.

Augustine did hold some views that sound like medeval through modern RCism, but I believe in many cases the RC view of him is wrong, because it doesn't square with other stuff, or things he wrote later.

He also held views that sound very anti-RC.

So context is important.

And another point is looking to God's Word--not depending on any Church Father or theologian, preacher, philospher, etc since then. You're not going to agree with all he says.

pilgrim said...

Oh, and Armstrong's book is full of strawmen, lacks context and in some ares is laughable.

I've read lots of stuff like that, and it's not very convincing.

Bhedr said...


The grace you seek to rob others of is the same grace you rob yourself of.

Shawn L said...


You said,

"And I agree with you especially concerning John Paul II who showed his love for Christ and faith in Christ on every word he ever spoke, every page he ever wrote, every action and accomplishment he made, every detail of his life. Now you have my true view. We got that cleared up. He is John Paul the Great."

My goodness, don't you fear God when you say words like that. Never have I read such praise for a man. Only a MAN, not Christ. Whom do you really worship

John Paul was like all of us sinners!!!!

Romans 3:10-18
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
in their paths are ruin and misery,
and the way of peace they have not known.”,
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Sparks said...

"Apolonio said...
Furthermore, I'm not done yet."

Obviously no end is in sight.

Is it your intention to cut and paste the entire Catholic library here attempting to make your argument?

Do you put this much effort into evangelizing those who have NO knowledge of Jesus Christ?

2Tal said...

I understand some may think Steve goes too far here. Well maybe so...maybe not. Look to the scriptures. However, he is certainly gracious in allowing these long posts. These Catholics have posts here at least ten times longer than previous posts from other articles Steve had deleted in the past FOR BEING TOO LONG! Do not despise Steve's mercy here. YOUR POSTS ARE WAY TOO LONG!!!! Are you intentionally disregarding his rules? (i.e. no personal character attacks, no posting in book form etc.) Do you want to get kicked out? Is that it?

Tim said...


Chapter 7 of Daniel should spell out the papacy for you. 2 Thessalonians should suffice to point out what he does and his end.

May I quickly address the earlier comment concerning anathema. Though Ryan tried to tell us that anathema means something other than what it means biblically, he made a serious blunder. He said, "Like many, Chick does not understand what the term anathema means. He thinks that it means "damned as a heretic."[41] Elsewhere he uses "damned as a heretic" in place of the word anathema.[42]

But this is not what the term means. In Catholic documents the term refers to a kind of excommunication. By the time of the Council of Trent (which Chick faults for using it), it referred to an excommunication done with a special ceremony. Thus when Trent says things like "If anyone says . . . let him be anathema," it means that the person can be excommunicated with the ceremony. It also did not apply to Protestants since they were not part of the Catholic Church. Only someone who is part of the Catholic Church can be excommunicated from it.

The purpose of excommunication is not to damn a person but to bring him to repentance—the same principle Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 5 and 2 Corinthians 2:5–10."

Did anyone read those verses? Not once is the term anathema used. However it is used in Galatians 1. Let's be clear. The word anathema, in Greek, means, "a thing devoted to God without hope of being redeemed, and if an animal, to be slain; therefore a person or thing doomed to destruction; 2a) a curse 2b) a man accursed, devoted to the direst of woes" (yes, I cut and pasted:). Paul specifically used it when confronting the error of those who tried to say that you had to have faith AND keep the law in order to be justified before God. Therefore, if you use the term, you better have defined it before Jack Chick came along and this Roman spin doctor who is telling us anathema doesn't mean anathema and wasn't for Protestants. Brothers and sisters and those who may fall outside of Christ, on both sides, Rome is simply not being honest here. They take biblical language and it means something in one century and then something else in another.

I wonder what the Covenanters thought about those anathemas. I wonder if they thought it was only for the Catholics. I wonder about the many precious souls whose blood was spilled for holding to that which Rome said made them anathema. They certainly didn't receive mercy from Rome and just so that no one blows a gasket, yes, we readily admit some in the Protestant camp went too far in their decry of heretics. But........we admit it. We are not infallible.

Anathema means.........what anathema means, period. The sad part is, as I posted in the other RC post is that when the members of Trent came in and anathematized the true gospel and those who held to it, I really don't think every pereson who showed up wanted to anathematize the gospel, but they were blinded to the truth.

Apolonio said...

Shawn: "John Paul was like all of us sinners!!!!"

Sorry, I mis-typed. My fault. I completely forgot to mention something. You are right. What I meant to say:

John Paul II is a sinner, who went to confession every day, confessed his sins to God every day, was absolved of his sins by God every day, and who showed his love for Christ and faith in Christ on every word he ever spoke, every page he ever wrote, every action and accomplishment he made, every detail of his life. Now you have my true view. We got that cleared up. He is John Paul the Great.

Obviously no end is in sight. That is correct. You have many objections to the Catholic faith, and I have many answers and counter-objections. I've done this a long time (10+ years online now). But I can't stay here forever, so please join me at the Catholic Answers boards, where I plan on posting for the next 25 years, until Jesus comes back.

We can discuss St. John Chrysostom in depth there. Steve Camp says he was a Reformed Baptist pastor who believed in sola scriptura and justification by faith alone. I suggest he might have been an orthodox Catholic bishop in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

Apolonio said...

sparks: "Do you put this much effort into evangelizing those who have NO knowledge of Jesus Christ?"

Well, that's not my job. That is Apolonio's job. I am PhilVaz the web guy, game programmer, and part-time Catholic apologist, expert on the James White, Eric Svendsen, William Webster, and Jason Engwer style of anti-Catholic apologetics. Apolonio is the philosophy student currently at Rutgers Univ. We make a great team.

Apolonio philosophy articles

I don't meet a lot of atheists or skeptics in person, but I do try to speak to them when I can. Many of them can be found at

pilgrim said...

Just a question--you refer to James White, et al as engaging in anti-Catholic ministry. Yet White deals with many areas of apologetics.

It sounds like a description used to try and engender a negative response.

Yet you describe yourself as a part time Catholic apologist.

Now to be fair-if RC apologists categorize others as Anti-Catholic Apologists, shouldn't they refer to themselves as anti-Protestant apologists, rather than Catholic apologists?
Or should they refer to men such as James White as Protestant apologists?

They don't. They are Catholic apologists, and anyone who dares question the ROman Catholic Church is an anti-Catholic apologist. Even though these men sometimes are harsher in their criticismas of Protestantism?

I've encountered that myself.

That's quite the double standard.

I'd prefer it more honest.

Apolonio said...

Ryan quoted by Tim: "The purpose of excommunication is not to damn a person but to bring him to repentance -- the same principle Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 5 and 2 Corinthians 2:5–10."

Ryan is absolutely correct. It is not the word "anathema" but the concept of excommunication as found in 1 Cor 5, 2 Cor 2, also Titus 3:10-11; Matthew 18:17-18 that apply here. Here are some quick links:

What does the Bible say about excommunication?

Internatl Standard Bible Ency on excommunication

The online Catholic Encyclopedia article on anathema

Anathema when used by the early Councils (from Nicaea in 325 AD to Trent in the 16th century and beyond, etc) had a very specific meaning: excommunication or "let him be cut off..." from the visible Church. It was not a condemnation or damnation to hell. It was written to Catholics, about Catholics, for Catholics who left the Church -- I think I've already said that. There are also levels of "heresy" in Catholic theology, formal and material heretics, and levels of culpability (invincible ignorance, etc). The "anathemas" of Trent (for example) simply do not apply to Protestant Christians (or Orthodox for that matter) living in the 21st century. From the online Catholic Encyclopedia:

"At an early date the Church adopted the word anathema to signify the exclusion of a sinner from the society of the faithful; but the anathema was pronounced chiefly against heretics. All the councils, from the Council of Nicaea to that of the [First] Vatican [Council], have worded their dogmatic canons: 'If any one says....let him be anathema'. Nevertheless, although during the first centuries the anathema did not seem to differ from the sentence of excommunication, beginning with the sixth century a distinction was made between the two." (Catholic Encyclopedia, from, on "Anathema")

There's much more there.....

You need a lot greater theological sophistication and greater theological accuracy if you are going to say Roman Catholicism has another gospel and/or damns Protestants to hell. It does not, and I've quoted the Decree on Ecumenism from Vatican II already. You are explicitly called there a Christian brother in the Lord because of your faith in Christ and Trinitarian baptism (Matthew 28:19).

Tim: "Did anyone read those verses? Not once is the term anathema used. However it is used in Galatians 1. Let's be clear."

Tim again: "Brothers and sisters and those who may fall outside of Christ, on both sides, Rome is simply not being honest here. They take biblical language and it means something in one century and then something else in another."

You do not understand Catholic teaching, you misrepresent Catholic teaching, and you aren't even trying to understand. Stop doing that. If you want to find out what anathema meant in the context of Church councils, you have to do the hard work and look it up in a Catholic theological source. Stop being lazy, and start looking this stuff up. Something like Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma is acceptable, or the Sources of Catholic Dogma by Denzinger. The online Catholic Encyclopedia is also acceptable (quoted and linked above).

2Tal: "YOUR POSTS ARE WAY TOO LONG!!!! Are you intentionally disregarding his rules?"

Maybe so, if Steve Camp wants to delete all my posts, go ahead and delete them all. The material I have been posting comes right from my own site, typed in by myself long ago. I've seen all these objections before, billions of times, and they are terrible objections, gross distortions, and overall quite boring. But that won't stop me from answering them all again since people don't seem to get the message.

Apolonio said...

pilgrim: "engaging in anti-Catholic ministry. Yet White deals with many areas of apologetics."

Read what I said. I said he engages in anti-Catholic apologetics. Why? Because he doesn't believe an orthodox faithful believing Catholic is a Christian, nor does he believe the Roman Catholic Church is a Christian church. He also writes books specifically attacking Catholic beliefs (along with defending his own Protestant beliefs).

On the other hand, as I've already pointed out, the Decree on Ecumenism in Vatican II calls him a Christian brother in the Lord because of his faith in Christ and Trinitarian baptism (Matthew 28:19). That happens to be my position.

I'll make this clear: All Protestants are Christians because of their faith in Christ and Trinitarian baptisms. I do not believe you are preaching or teaching another gospel, since we basically agree on the basics of the Christian Gospel: that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again, and by believing in him we can have eternal life (1 Cor 15:1-5; John 3:16). That is the basics of the Gospel that we agree on. We disagree on the specifics of justification, but I don't think we even disagree all that much there (imputation vs. infusion, etc). See the ECT "The Gift of Salvation" document.

THEREFORE, you can't call me an anti-Protestant apologist in the same sense I call White an anti-Catholic apologist, but you can call me that if you like.

I am only here since I heard (from a link at Catholic Answers boards) that this crazy music man named Steve Camp (who I knew James White was fond of) was drawing strange pictures of Benedict XVI on his blog. That got me curious. Hee hee. Now I understand why James White likes this Steve Camp music guy so much. I play a little guitar/keyboard myself and might even check him out. :-)

Normally I call White himself a Reformed Baptist apologist since that's basically what he is. Or I could call him simply an evangelical Christian apologist. I wouldn't call White simply a "Protestant apologist" since he certainly doesn't speak for many Protestant theologies. He speaks for his Reformed Baptist faith, which I would call, in case you missed it, a Christian faith.

pilgrim said...

While I myself am not a Baptist--I do consider Reformed Baptists to have the same gospel I hold to. But if you have read my posts you will see serious reasons why the RC gospel is different than the one I hold dear. We could both be wrong, but we can't both be right--even if you're including me.
Many RC's I've encountered would disagree with you.

If you usually refer to White and others as an Evangelical apologist or Reformed Baptist apologist, etc. then I applaud that. You would be an exception to most of the RC's I have encountered, whether on the internet or in person.

I have asked the same basic question to other RC's and had them try to bite my head off. Some have even admitted a double standard and then tried to defend that! So I appreciate your response. I may not agree with everything in it, but I appreciate the manner in which you responded.
Yours was the most civil response I have had, and the only one that really tried to deal with the question.

Apolonio said...

pilgrim: "So I appreciate your response. I may not agree with everything in it, but I appreciate the manner in which you responded.
Yours was the most civil response I have had, and the only one that really tried to deal with the question."

OK, now we're finally getting somewhere.

I've read some of your posts, but I tend to go with the ecumenical approach of ECT. I do not think our differences are all that great. There are important theological differences on salvation/justification and (for some Protestants) on sacraments, but not so different we can't call each other Christians.

If you've read The Shape of Sola Scriptura by Keith Mathison even this Reformed writer sees the necessity of the historical Church in biblical interpretation. So even our differences over "sola scriptura" and authority don't have to be all that great once you include the visible Church as an authoritative interpreter of Scripture (which Mathison does).

I'll only respond and continue to respond to blogs when I see Reformed musicians start putting up pictures of Benedict XVI, John Paul II, and/or Mother Teresa with devil horns, devil tails, bats flying around, satanic symbols, AC/DC music playing in the background, and most importantly the sinister 666 and/or pentagrams on their foreheads like they are Damian Thorne or something. Hee hee.

SJ Camp said...

The difference between an infused righteousness (Romanism) and an imputed righteousness (biblical Christianity) is nothing less than eternal life. PhilVaz would like you to believe that the differences are petty, superficial, peripheral concerns. This discussion is not intramural, but bellicose. Don't be fooled with the language that says "we're pretty much saying the same things on these issues... the differences between us aren't that great" as is being suggested here.

Listen, ECT is not just rhetoric of semantics. It is “unity” for the purpose of co-belligerence to fight the culture wars--but in actuality it promotes unity based upon unsound doctrine and a false gospel. J.I. Packer and Charles Colson are gifted men; but they and all other supporters and assignees of ECT are dramatically wrong on this. The fallout to biblical thinking and the faith has been profound. No question Rome is delighted; but heaven weeps.

Lastly, on sola scriptura the differences are mammoth between Romanists and true biblical Christianity. Rome holds to a deficient view of the Word of God making it subservient to St. Peter’s Basilica Church – better known as “Tetzel’s Den of Thieves.” Their Church, by their own admission on this blog, is not under the authority of the Word of God; but the Word of God is under their authority.

Let's not confuse cordial conversation from time to time with “the truth” in our discussions. Remember, Satan had a very "nice" conversation with Eve...

Guarding the Trust,
1 Tim. 6:20

Joel said...

"They don't. They are Catholic apologists, and anyone who dares question the ROman Catholic Church is an anti-Catholic apologist. Even though these men sometimes are harsher in their criticismas of Protestantism?"

Thanks, Pilgrim. I'd been meaning to blog on this myself, and you just gave me the excuse to do it. I won't have the bad manners to post the link, but you can find it from my blogger profile. I'll have it up later in the day.

Sparks said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Apolonio said...

Steve Camp: "The difference between an infused righteousness (Romanism) and an imputed righteousness (biblical Christianity) is nothing less than eternal life."

OK, here we go again. St. Augustine did not have eternal life, he rejected the true gospel since he taught infused righteousness not imputed righteousness by faith alone. St. Thomas Aquinas did not have eternal life, he rejected the true gospel since he taught infused righteousness not imputed righteousness by faith alone. The Fathers and Doctors of the Catholic Church before Martin Luther did not have eternal life, they rejected the true gospel, they did not interpret the Bible the way Martin Luther and Steve Camp does, they taught infused righteousness not imputed righteousness by faith alone.

To be consistent, if you condemn John Paul II, Mother Teresa, Benedict XVI, and all orthodox faithful believing Catholics and Orthodox today, you'll have to condemn every Christian before Luther since none of them understood the gospel in the Protestant Reformational sense.

I've already quoted evangelical scholar Alister McGrath. Here is more McGrath and Norm Geisler on the subject:

"The importance of this development lies in the fact that it marks a complete break with the teaching of the church up to that point. From the time of Augustine onwards, justification had always been understood to refer to both the event of being declared righteous and the process of being made righteous. Melanchthon's concept of forensic justification diverged radically from this. As it was taken up by virtually all the major reformers subsequently, it came to represent a standard difference between Protestant and Roman Catholic from then on....The Council of Trent...reaffirmed the views of Augustine on the nature of justification...the concept of forensic justification actually represents a development in Luther's thought....Trent maintained the medieval tradition, stretching back to Augustine, which saw justification as comprising both an event and a process...." (Alister McGrath, Reformation Thought: An Introduction, 2nd ed, Baker Books, 1993, pages 108-109, 115)

" can be saved without believing that imputed righteousness (or forensic justification) is an essential part of the true gospel. Otherwise, few people were saved between the time of the apostle Paul and the Reformation, since scarcely anyone taught imputed righteousness (or forensic justification) during that period!....Before Luther, the standard Augustinian position on justification stressed intrinsic justification. Intrinsic justification argues that the believer is made righteous by God's grace, as compared to extrinsic justification, by which a sinner is forensically declared righteous (at best, a subterranean strain in pre-Reformation Christendom). With Luther the situation changed dramatically...." (Norman Geisler/Ralph MacKenzie, Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences, Baker Books, 1995, pages 502, 85, 89, 91-93, 99, 222, etc)

These are from Dave Armstrong's site. I have verified the earlier McGrath quotes I produced, and I have this book by Geisler/MacKenzie and its accurate.

Beside ECT, you can also read the Lutheran-Catholic dialogue statement on justification, and plenty of good articles on the subject at Dave Armstrong's site, and a few at my own. We'll have to agree to disagree on our interpretations of the Bible, and I don't condemn anyone because of that.

Shawn L said...

Apolonio web site said

"I concluded therefore the Roman Catholic Church is the only true Church of Christ, His Mystical Body. While this was going on, I had to pray a lot. I soon prayed the rosary every day as a habit and this led me closer to Christ. Mary has directed me to Christ in every way and without her, I would not have found Christ. It is through my devotion to her that I found out that the Catholic Church is the only true religion. So if anyone who reads my articles are impressed in any way or have come closer to Christ in any way, it is from the grace of God through Mary that I possess any good qualities."

-----Where is this mariology you speak of in the scripture. Mary brought you to Christ??? Where is the scriptural basis for your faith? That's all Steve Camp has been saying this whole time base your beliefs on scripture.

There is only mediator between God and Man ---- Jesus Christ alone.

DOGpreacher said...

Thanks Shawn, that was very enlightening. Interesting how God's grace had to come 'by way of Mary' to him. God's wonderful grace came 'by way of Mary' in that she was picked by God to be Jesus' mother in this physical world. It is agiant leap from there to Mary being a mediator, or anyone we pray to whatsoever.

SJ Camp said...

Shawn: Thank you so much for this amazing quote from PhilVaz's site! WOW. No wonder no one from that "camp" has responded to my post under the article of "Justification by Faith Alone" when I quoted from their canons and Popes and proved what they were saying was false and disingenuous.

PhilVaz, (or whatever your name is Apolonio?) if you are reading this, you have been BUSTED my friend. Talk about being less than forthright on this blog about your true beliefs? We as Protestants may post our views from the Word of God with strong conviction, some sarcasm and humor, but it is not deceptive. You know where I stand--like it or not--it is truthful and honest.

However, this quote from your site reveals the deception you've represented on my blog. You have not posited your Marian devotion even when I commented on it several times as part of Romanist dogma, and you had the gall to say that your salvation was all of grace and faith in Christ alone? Skubalon! All along, you have believed the outright heresy of The Fifth Marian Dogma. Listen, Mary was a sinner like you and me and needed God's grace for salvation just as much as you and I do. But you have exalted her to a place that the Word of God never speaks of (co-mediatrix, co-redemptrix)--You have made an idol of Mary... Do you realize you have committed idolatry in doing so? Repent! "No one comes to Me unless the Father which has sent Me draws him." (John 6:44). Where is Mary leading you to Jesus in Scripture as some mystical salvific tour guide?

I have visited many Catholic churches in various countries overseas, and the one consistent shocking reality is that Mary is the undeniable center of and exalted one in Romanist worship. While Jesus Christ is literally placed in a closed glassed casket off to the side in their “sanctuary” and a separate room "designed for Him only" where He is “honored.”

If all that Shawn quoted from your site is your current beliefs and 100% accurate, then I can say sir, you have lost all credibility here. “Time and truth walk hand in hand” Dr. MacArthur is fond of saying and is he right! And here, it only took a few days for you to unmask yourself on your own website by God’s providence. This is indefensible and thoroughly unbiblical. We will all pray for you that the Lord would grant you true saving faith--as He also granted to Mary for her salvation.

SJ Camp
2 Cor. 4:5-7

Tim said...


I applaud that little piece of investigation. However, don't think there won't be an answer, though it won't be a biblical one, but will be clothed with the pretext of Scripture.

I would like to comment one more time for Philvaz (I'm not going to continue to refer to apolonio, since he's not writing). You say I was wrong because the RCC defines anathema a different way NOW. However, my point was that the use of the term up until recently was not understood that way. Further more, if you are going to use biblical language, such as anathema, then use it in the context of the Bible. Don't use a word, then assign some other meaning to it. Your church uses a biblical word found in Galatians and then seek to change that, "to get along with their wayward Protestant children", by claiming that what they really mean is found in 1 and 2 Corinthians. That my friend is being a chameleon.

Once again, we can quote church fathers from now till the cows come home. I find too many Protestants become entangled with such things as well. While I appreciate some great quotes. The fact is, that it is widely known that Augustine's views on grace changed over the course of his life and he came to understand the truth of it. It is sad that he did not come to understand the truth of the church. Yet, as Campi has pointed out, we only follow the testimony of godly men when they follow Christ, just as Paul exhorted us to. But we are following Christ.

Lastly, I do desire that the RC people who have come here would see the truth, because you know what? God is the one who opens blinded eyes and He does it to whomever He wishes. Therefore, unless the Spirit of God opens our eyes to the fact that Jesus is the only One our devotion should be towards, then we will remain in our sins, under the judgment of God and a ficticious Mary will not be able to intercede for us. May God grant you new eyes and a new heart.

DOGpreacher said...

Thank you to the host of commentators who have diligently responded to the attack (false teaching)that these Catholic representatives have fired against the 'faith once delivered to the saints'. Let us continue to sharpen each other, so as to be ready to 'give a reason for the hope that lies within us'. Thanks Steve for the posts, & venue.

grateful for grace.

Breuss Wane said...

>However, don't think there won't >be an answer, though it won't be >a biblical one, but will be >clothed with the pretext of >Scripture.

I agree with this caution. Catholic apologists have no problem affirming both mariology AND sola gracia and solo Christus.

Our imperative is to show them *how* their mariology is really mariolatry... praying to Mary involves a *fiducial* trust belonging to Christ alone. One cannot *pray* without the involvement of an inherent fiducial *trust* or *faith* (the expectation of answer) that is soteriological in its nature. One CANNOT pray to Mary and still claim "Christ alone" or "grace alone"... the fiducial trust inherently granted to Mary in the prayers negates the claim.

Further, one *must* be able to delineate the difference between "intercession" and "mediation". Catholics' use of Mary goes far beyond intercession, even though their default argument is that what they call "mediatrix" is really a form of intercession. It is not.

And of course, the no-brainer, one must point out that Mary is *dead* as far as our communication with her goes. In the end, a prayer to Mary (or any other Catholic "saint") is no different than Saul conjering up Samuel.

Hats off to Shawn. Sola gracia and solo Christus are not compatible with what you found.

Tim said...

I also note that on Philvaz's web site, when you hover over the pray button, an icon of Mary appears.

Apolonio said...

OK you got me, the Mother of Jesus is the Mother of God the Son since Jesus is God and the Son of God. Jesus is God and man in one divine Person. And since (pay attention closely here) we Christians are all spiritually brothers and sisters in Christ, so Mary is spiritually our Mother too. You got me, I'm busted. And a little from the Calvinist scholar Max Thurian on this:

"Mary is not simply an impersonal instrument which enables God to come amongst us and which one can really ignore. Her human and real person, her nature and history are linked with the incarnation of God.....The divine motherhood of Mary is a truly human motherhood in the deep sense of the unity of mother and son, the human mother of God and the Son of God made man.

"A purely physical conception without any conception by the spirit would not only have been meaningless, but truly frightening; and it is not possible that redemption for men should end with the destruction of her who should be first to share in it. Mary only became the mother of this Son without peer because she could embody that motherhood in a personal sense. To do that would in the end be to lessen faith in the true humanity of Christ, and not to consider Mary as a mother in any real sense, as physical and yet also psychological and spiritual as well.

"Hence the title of 'MOTHER OF GOD' emphasizes all the more the humanity, as well as the true divinity, of Christ. MARY IS 'MOTHER' OF GOD: that means to say that God is truly one who became her son, a son in the human sense of fully man.

"MARY IS THE MOTHER OF 'GOD': that means to say that, as from her miraculous conception, her son was the Son of God, God Himself in his Incarnate Presence. Thus the Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431) which gave Mary the title 'MOTHER OF GOD' and that of Chalcedon (A.D. 451) which asserted the two natures of Christ in ONE person, are in the end saying the same thing and expressing very well the mystery of Christ who is truly God and truly man, as the Gospel states." (from Mary, Mother of All Christians [Herder, 1963], pages 67-68, 72-73)

Heinrich Bullinger, Cranmer's brother-in-law, Zwingli's successor said:

"What pre-eminence in the eyes of purity, her saintliness and all her virtues, so that she can hardly be compared with any of the other saints, but should by rights be rather elevated above all of them..." (cited in Thurian).

French Reformed pastor Charles Drelincourt, who well represents the Reformed belief of the 17th century:

"We do not simply believe that God has favoured the holy and blessed Virgin more than all the Patriarchs and the Prophets, but also that He has exalted her above all Seraphim. The angels can only qualify as servants of the Son of God, the creatures and workmanship of his hands; but the holy Virgin is not only the servant and the creature but also the Mother of this great and living God." (cited in Thurian)

And comments from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

487. What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ.

466. The Nestorian heresy regarded Christ as a human person joined to the divine person of God's Son. Opposing this heresy, St. Cyril of Alexandria and the third ecumenical council at Ephesus in 431 confessed "that the Word, uniting to himself in his person the flesh animated by a rational soul, became man." Christ's humanity has no other subject than the divine person of the Son of God, who assumed it and made it his own, from his conception. For this reason the Council of Ephesus proclaimed in 431 that Mary truly became the Mother of God by the human conception of the Son of God in her womb:

"Mother of God, not that the nature of the Word of his divinity received the beginning of its existence from the holy Virgin, but that since the holy body, animated by a rational soul, which the Word of God united to himself according to the hypostasis, was born from her, the Word is said to be born according to the flesh."

pilgrim said...

The problem is that the term "Theotokos" (From which "Mother of God") comes was intended to be a statement about Christ--not about Mary--but it was distorted to be about Mary.

She is not my spiritual mother, but is my sister in the Lord.

I think she would horrified if she knew what RCism has made of her.

Apolonio said...

pilgrim: "She is not my spiritual mother, but is my sister in the Lord."

She is both your sister in the Lord and spiritual mother, since all that Christ has is ours as Christians. Uh oh I have to quote a little Martin Luther on you:

"It is the consolation and the superabundant goodness of God, that man is able to exult in such a treasure. Mary is his true Mother, Christ is his brother, God is his father." (Martin Luther, Sermon, Christmas, 1522)

"Mary is the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of all of us even though it was Christ alone who reposed on her knees....If he is ours, we ought to be in his situation; there where he is, we ought also to be and all that he has ought to be ours, and his mother is also our mother." (Martin Luther, Sermon, Christmas, 1529)

I strongly recommend the book by Calvinist author Max Thurian titled Mary: Mother of All Christians. Published in the 1960s in French, it is hard to find but someone sent me a copy in English. I might scan it in and make it publicly available. He summarizes the views of the original Protestant Reformers (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and others) and we see how Catholic was their Mariology. It's also one of Scott Hahn's favorite books on Mary. Thurian was one the leading Calvinist scholars of the 1960s and 70s, and yes he became Catholic in the 1980s I believe.

Tim said...


I guess we must point out that we depart from men, even great men, when they are in error. Sola Scriptura Philvaz. Therefore, if you want to prove your position on Mary, we must go to the Scriptures and not rely on proof texting and feelings, but on what it says.

pilgrim said...

What Tim said...

And don't get me started on Scott Hahn.

Tim said...

by the way Philvaz, don't violate the 8th commandment by stealing. Works written in the 60's are not public domain. :)

John Kettner said...

Joel said...
"Since the Pope is Antichrist..."

Got a chapter and verse for that, battlegroundjesus? I don't recall seeing the word "pope" mentioned at all in the Bible, but then, I'm just a poor, benighted Romanist. :)

battlegroundJESUS said ...
Chapter and Verse on who the true Holy Father is ...

John 17:11
11And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.