One of the most common claims Catholic and Orthodox critics make of Protestant theology is that the doctrine of forensic justification by faith alone amounts to a legal fiction. God calls us righteous, but we really aren’t righteous. God cooks the books, and the whole atonement is a clever gambit by which God uses Christ’s … Continue reading "The Anthropology of Sola Fide"
Two days ago was Reformation Day (and Halloween, of course, but that’s less interesting), and I never did get around to writing anything or throwing in my token of celebration. So I’m taking up a different topic on this later day: the aftermath of the Reformation. I want to offer a few thoughts on the way the … Continue reading "Protestant Reformation: The Day After"
This is post 2 of 2 in the series “Could Protestants and Catholics Ever Reunite?” Continuing from my last post, here are my responses to the other 4 reasons why Catholics and Protestants supposedly cannot at all reunite. I think type A unity, explained in the last post, is a minimum requirement to fulfill the commands of … Continue reading "Could Protestants and Catholics Ever Reunite? (Continued)"
Unity. This word frequently presses on my mind in relation to the Church. There appears to be little unity these days. We’ve splintered into thousands of denominations. Even the large denominations and groups are internally divided in many ways. Churches split from churches for stupid reasons. Churches fall apart because of horrible, divisive people. So many groups make their distinctives … Continue reading "Jesus Prayed, “May They Be One as We Are One” (My Growing Passion for Church Unity)"
Tradition. Such an interesting word for Christians. It seems innocent enough, but as it turns out there are very many ways it can be used, few of which are entirely free of controversy. Take, for example, the following statements: “You’re just follow human tradition instead of the Bible!” “Tradition tells us that John died on the isle of Patmos under house … Continue reading "Streams: Beliefs about the Bible and Tradition"
Justified. So we are as believers. We stand before God in some kind of right relationship. We know that this is done because of Jesus’ work for us. But the Bible can be a bit unclear on the details. As I mentioned in a recent post, both Catholic and Protestant views have strengths and weaknesses … Continue reading "An Experimental Framework for Justification"
The Fight A Catholic bishop and a Presbyterian preacher walk into a bar. Seeing that they were both teachers of Scripture, they began talking theology over drinks. The discussion soon got heated when they got to the topic of justification by faith. Before anyone knew what had happened, both men lay dead on the floor, … Continue reading "Faith and Works, Plus a Bar Fight"
Before I get into the meat of this post, I’ll define my terms for any readers who don’t know exactly what Evangelical Protestant refers to. “Protestant” encompasses all churches descended from the Reformation, when Martin Luther and others concluded there was rampant intuitional and doctrinal corruption in the Catholic Church. They tried to reform it, … Continue reading "Why I’m Still An Evangelical Protestant"
I, along with most of you, am a Protestant. One of the cries, probably the second most important cry, of the Protestant Reformation was sola Scriptura, or “Scripture alone.” In combating the corruption they saw in the Catholic Church, the Reformers came to a unanimous conviction: our ultimate authority as believers must be Scripture itself, not any magisterium, … Continue reading "How Should We Believe Scripture Alone?"
Can Catholics be real Christians? This is a question that many evangelical Protestants ask at some point, and I think there is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation out there. This linked article, while not exhaustive, is I think a good start to understanding this issue.