September 12, 2018

I think an orthodox “Reformation” Calvinist would agree with the definition of Total Depravity in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (edited by F. L. Cross, rev. 1983, 1387) — with which I also agree: [T]he extreme wretchedness of man’s condition as the result of the Fall. It emphasizes the belief that this result was not a mere loss or deprivation of a supernatural endowment possessed by unfallen man, but a radical corruption or deprivation of his whole nature, so that apart from Christ he… Read more

September 11, 2018

  * The Catholic Church, following St. Augustine (e.g., Grace and Free Will, 1, 1; Sermon 169, 11, 13), accepts predestination of the elect to heaven, but also affirms the freedom of the human will, thus staking out a position distinct from Calvinism. Predestination to hell, in Catholicism, always involves man’s free will, and foreseen sins, so that man is ultimately responsible for his own damnation, not God (double predestination is rejected). God is sovereign, in our view, every bit as much… Read more

September 11, 2018

Atheist and anti-theist Bob Seidensticker runs the influential Cross Examined blog. He asked me there, on 8-11-18: “I’ve got 1000+ posts here attacking your worldview. You just going to let that stand? Or could you present a helpful new perspective that I’ve ignored on one or two of those posts?” He also made a general statement on 6-22-17: “In this blog, I’ve responded to many Christian arguments . . . Christians’ arguments are easy to refute.” He added in the combox: “If I’ve misunderstood the Christian position or Christian arguments, point that… Read more

September 10, 2018

Atheist and anti-theist Bob Seidensticker runs the influential Cross Examined blog. He asked me there, on 8-11-18: “I’ve got 1000+ posts here attacking your worldview. You just going to let that stand? Or could you present a helpful new perspective that I’ve ignored on one or two of those posts?” He also made a general statement on 6-22-17: “In this blog, I’ve responded to many Christian arguments . . . Christians’ arguments are easy to refute.” He added in the combox: “If I’ve misunderstood the Christian position or Christian arguments, point that… Read more

September 10, 2018

This is an exegetical soteriological argument from Blessed John Henry Newman’s book: Lectures on the Doctrine of Justification (1838), chapter 7. All passages are from RSV. * * * * * The plain meaning of power is ability to perform or do something. As such, it is not conceived (either in Scripture or everyday usage) as a mere abstract declaration. It’s a concrete thing. If this is tied in with salvation and justification, in terms of our being directly empowered by them, then it is… Read more

September 10, 2018

Atheist and anti-theist Bob Seidensticker runs the influential Cross Examined blog. He asked me there, on 8-11-18: “I’ve got 1000+ posts here attacking your worldview. You just going to let that stand? Or could you present a helpful new perspective that I’ve ignored on one or two of those posts?” He also made a general statement on 6-22-17: “In this blog, I’ve responded to many Christian arguments . . . Christians’ arguments are easy to refute.” He added in the combox: “If I’ve misunderstood the Christian position or Christian arguments, point that… Read more

September 10, 2018

A Reformed Protestant friend of mine, “Pilgrimsarbour” (OPC), asked some questions, and I clarified and made other relevant comments. His words will be in blue. * * * * * Catholicism sees justification as an ongoing process (synergistic) which does not cease even after the death of the individual (purgatory). Protestantism sees justification as a one-time declaration by God which does not involve our work to attain it (monergistic). The Protestant would call the entire process, including justification, salvation, the component parts being:  1) justification… Read more

September 9, 2018

Dialogue with heleninedinburgh: who describes herself as a “Militant agnostic. I don’t know and you don’t either. Atheist by default.” Her words will be in blue. ***** What miracles can you point to? That’s a sincere question, by the way.  I always ask it of people who claim their god/s perform/s miracles. No one ever seems to answer. I did a post documenting some (from Lourdes). I’m afraid I couldn’t read all the books you mentioned in your article, but I did see the… Read more

September 8, 2018

This dialogue took place on the Lutheran blog Three Hierarchies, underneath the post, “Reformed and Roman Catholic doctrine as compromise platforms.” Professional historian CPA’s words will be in blue; Eric Phillips’ words in green, and Tom R’s in purple. * * * * * So apparently, Catholic teaching explicit states that those are justified who merely believe, as a set of facts that has nothing to do with their lives, the church’s creed, as long as they sincerely try to be a good person (as defined by Christian… Read more

September 8, 2018

John Wesley’s words will be in blue. I was initially responding to remarks from someone who had stated that faith alone (sola fide) was essential to any definition of a Christian. ***** If sola fide [“faith alone”] defines a Christian, then John Wesley and Methodists, the whole Wesleyan tradition, and many traditional Anglicans are not Christians. Such a conception of Christianity would exclude folks like John Wesley himself, C. S. Lewis, and Dorothy Sayers. With regard to the condition of salvation, it may be remembered… Read more

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