I'm not attempting to be mean-spirited about this blog, I'm just responding to all the readings I've done from the Reformed blogosphere, and writing tongue-in-cheek about their grandiose anathemas to traditional/pre-Reformation christendom.
I was reading John Piper's blog/Desiring God for some reason - another Reformed blog linked me there, and every Reformed Christian I heard writing said "Roman Catholics are not going to heaven because they don't believe the proper biblical doctrine of justification" .
I've fought about this issue ad infinitum, with peace of mind and clarity of conscience I've chosen to side with St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, The Council of Trent, and N.T. Wright in disagreeing with Luther. I wrote a blog the other day (http://theologyofandrew.blogspot.com/2009/03/im-good-enough-for-dr-alister-mcgrath.html) with extensive quotes from one of my favourite Evangelical Anglicans - Dr. Alister McGrath, showing how clearly the Reformation strayed from Augustinian justification systems, and basically Luther was a pioneer when it came to sola fide (theoretically excepting St. Paul). Now McGrath still sides with Luther and believes that all the early Christians were wrong, but he at least gives us papists a fair defense, namely, that we're only following the false doctrines of the early church.
I also find it hillarious that our "heresies" like the real presence, sacrifice of the mass, hierarchical episcopacy, Petrine supremacy, and more were all being taught and expounded while St. John the Evangelist's corpse was still warm.
Then I actually thought for a second about the argument of the Reformation Christians. They honestly believe that God has predestined 16 centuries of apostate Christians (including Augustine, Aquinas, and all the Church Fathers remember) to Hell. And not only that, but the Calvinists I read, say that Arminians as well are going to Hell, because they attach a work -human choice- to grace. So, sitting next to St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Irenaeus, Mother Teresa etc, will be C.S. Lewis (believed in purgatory, denied Protestant view of Atonement) in Hell will possibly be John Wesley, and Rick Warren and Billy Graham (when they die).
So then I kept on thinking, the (Eastern) Orthodox who do not hold a Protestant view of justification also must stand condemned. In my mind the next people to take chairs beside Billy Graham, were Bishop Timothy Kallistos Ware, Frank Schaeffer, and Jaroslav Pelikan.
So here we have it, throughout all of history only those born after the 1550s (approximately), and only those with full rational capacity (Mentally handicapped, take a seat next to Pelikan, because you can't logically adhere to the correct theology), and only those who properly understood Justification by faith alone - and only those who by Justification mean Christ's extrinsic and alien imputed righteousness, indelibly applied to the believer at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone - not a decision or choice for Jesus.
I've heard Dr. R.C. Sproul's passionate and fairly reasoned defense of such views, hey at least the Calvinists are honest about their heritage. But I just have to say that even though I'm going to Hell, maybe it won't be bad with some of the most charitable, loving, and Christ-centred reprobates I've ever read about (but it's not like I chose to go to Hell, it's God's fault for predestining me this way, and not providing me with irresistible grace, so I guess I shouldn't feel as guilty about it).
Well, Augustine, Aquinas, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Mother Teresa, and John Wesley (maybe), save me a seat by the fire!
"For God so predestined the world, that whosoever believeth in Calvin's Dogma of Justification, shall not perish, but have eternal life" -I think that's how the ESV will translate it for future generations.
... of course there's also the other argument provided by that trouble-making, pelagian, reprobate Peter...
"Then Peter began to speak to them: ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him." - Acts 10:34-35