Friday, September 18, 2009

Catholic Soteriology summed up fairly easily

on this website I found a typical summation of Catholic soteriology called "A Catholic understanding of how grace saves" :

It seems to still be suspect to my observation that this means that grace is just the ability to do good works and merit salvation, not the absolution of sins or forgiveness which the Reformers taught it was (and which I feel in my heart more partial to still).

To me the issue no Catholic theologians want to touch is sin in the believer. Luther said "when God saves a man he doesn't do it in heaps", and if this is his characterization of Catholicism, then it's kind of true. Catholicism doesn't call Concupiscence Sin and I think has failed to understand what every priest understands: that the average Christian, is a sinner with faith and repentance, not an intrinsically righteous transformed and angelic being.

Hopefully reading some St. Augustine, De Lubac, and Von Balthasar on this will clear some stuff up.


  1. There is a big difference between being a sinner and being totally depreaved. The problem with Protestant theories of our fallen nature is that they are willing to sacrifice a good God who permits sin in order to worship a powerful God who ordains it. To the protestant it is more important for God to be powerful than it is for him to be generous. Consequently God must ordain sin in an irresistable way so that all humans deserve to go to hell but then he forgive sin and regenerates man by an irresistable grace for no good reason other than his "good pleausre." There are many things wrong with this view. Most notably that God is ultimately responsible for sin and makes the sinner sin without choice then he punishes them eternally for doing what he made them do. The Council of Orange II dispensed with that nonsense 1400 years ago.

    Human sinfulness is a tragic failing in the human being, not a necessarily villainous defect that exists in man below the level of moral agency as Luther and Calvin insisted. There are true villains among us who have embraced teh 'dark side' but the rest of us poor schmucks struggle daily with with our dark urges. The usual pattern of human morality is that our actions are a mosiac
    of good and bad acts.

    Salvation is described in great detail in Romans 6 which Protestants usually ignore. We are regenerated in Baptism and become servants of righteousness and no longer are slaves to sin. Through this regeneration, we are sanctified and made pleasing to God. it is the fruit of this sanctification that gains us eternal life.

    The human person is not transformed into a sinless person by baptism but rather empowered to be good in a manner that pelases God. Sin always remains a possibility but we are no longer enslaved to it.

  2. You are dead wrong Mr. Art Sippo , this statement here >>>> ["We are regenerated in
    Baptism and become servants
    of righteousness and no
    longer are slaves to sin.
    Through this regeneration, we
    are sanctified and made
    pleasing to God." ] clearly shows you hold to the heresy of baptismal regeneration. You claim Protestants avoid Romans 6, we dont, and on the contrary it would do you good to check out Romans 10 from verse 8 through to 18, it lays out the basis of Salvation.

    Baptism is in order to fulfill all righteousness, Matthew 3:15, but baptism doesn't equate salvation! Baptismal regeneration is a heresy which we totally repudiate, once again Romans 10:9-10, the apostle makes it stark clear "That if you confess with your mouth - Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, YOU WILL BE SAVED", please note what it says for you to be saved, not your baptism. If you continue in verse 10, it says "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess, and ARE SAVED!"

    How and when does baptism come in here? Absolutely no way. Again we dont diminish the importance of baptism, its in order so that we fulfill all righteousness, but when the apostle discourses in Romans 6, he is speaking to the church at Rome, people already saved, thats why he aks them in 6:1 "What shall we say then, shall we continue to sin so that grace may increase? Certainly not. Or dont you know that ALL OF US WHO WERE BAPTISED INTO CHRIST JESUS WERE BAPTISED INTO HIS DEATH?"

    Thats why most pentecostal and evasngelicals baptise one after they have received Christ as their saviour (the method as stated in Romans 10:9-10). And a question to you, why do you baptise infants? Its unbiblical, just catholic church traditions which become church dogma over a course of time!

    Finally, your definition of "Protestant" as you've put above is just but Calvinist, or rather Reformed theology, protestantism is more than Calvinism or Reformed theology, we have the Arminian side of it. Shallom sir