Vatican II, Salvation, and the Unsaved

Carl Olson writes:

“Vatican II, Salvation, and the Unsaved: A CWR Symposium”, has just been posted on the CWR site:

Here are direct links to the eight essays:

“Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required” by Douglas Bushman

Vatican II and the “Bad News” of the Gospel by David Paul Deavel

The Universality of Christ’s Saving Mission – The Teaching of Vatican II by Nicholas J. Healy, Jr.

Salvation and Christian Evangelization: Vatican II in Continuity with Tradition by Father David Vincent Meconi, SJ

Salvation and Missionary Work after Ad Gentes by Tracey Rowland

On Universal Salvation: The Logic by James V. Schall, SJ

Who Will Be Saved? The Council and the Question of Salvation by Father Thomas Joseph White, OP

Did Hans Urs von Balthasar Teach that Everyone Will Certainly be Saved? by Mark Brumley

For my take on the matter, go here.

  • HornOrSilk

    I am still surprised at how much traction Martin’s book gets. It is rather simplistic, reductionistic, indeed, fundamentalistic in methodology: reduce tradition to one idea (and discount anything else as “minority of tradition”), ignore conflicting ideas within tradition, and create straw men presentations of those systems he criticizes. Interestingly enough, he often criticizes people like Balthasar for “ignoring” such conflict, when it is clear Balthasar did not (he was strong on the issue of paradoxes which cannot be answered when dealing with eschatology, for example). The popularity, in part, comes from the assumption “we must preach damnation to get people to be saved,” but how is that really good news? Yes, we must fear hell, and sin is to be warned against (anyone who has read Balthasar will know that, too!) but that is not the Gospel! The Gospel is good news; Jesus himself said he came to save, not condemn the world. We must always keep that at the center; when hell becomes the center, one can even wonder, has it become an idol and one’s real God? Sometimes, it feels like it, with the wrath which is sent out to anyone who hopes for salvation of others!

    • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com/ Kevin Tierney

      If one thinks Ralph Martin puts hell at the center of His Gospel, you’re doing it wrong.

      • HornOrSilk

        The problem is he makes hell a necessity, and thinks it is needed to be a central aspect of evangelism. Again, talk about hell, warn about the possibility of hell, fine; but to think it ties to the good news? NO WAY. The good news is hell is not necessary, while Martin and others seem to think, it is (for some people, if not the majority of people, which of course, would also not be so good a news, would it?)

        • capaxdei

          Surely you’re not arguing that, since it would be bad news if the majority of people are damned, and since Jesus came to announce the Good News, therefore the majority of people aren’t damned.

          I’m hard pressed to make sense of your claim that hell in NO WAY ties to the Good News, since you’re perfectly aware that Jesus explicitly ties hell to the Good News, again and again, in the Gospels.

          My impression is that you’re putting far too much weight (at least in these comments) on an equivocation, measuring the truth of the Gospel by whether it’s received as good news. The Gospel, though, is news of salvation and redemption, and has never been received as good news by those who don’t consider themselves in need of salvation or redemption. If I presume I am saved, then of course I won’t think the Gospel truth that I may not be saved is good news.

          • HornOrSilk

            Jesus tied the good news to salvation, not hell. Hell is NOT good news. Jesus pointed out that hell is not necessary. THAT is the good news.

            If people think the majority MUST go to hell, or that it is a necessity that even SOME MUST go to hell, it is no longer good news. It is determinism, and a damnable one at that (hell is necessary). That is not good news.

            To say some or many might go to hell is not the same thing. The Gospel, the good news, is about heaven, salvation, theosis. It is not about hell. It is about the overcoming of hell. Those who focus on hell and act upset that people hope all are saved really don’t get the good news. That’s the point.

            “Good news: people are damned” is not good news. Good news “people don’t have to be damned” is good news. Get the difference?

            And no one is presuming salvation. Enough with that straw man. Fear hell, work out your salvation with much fear and trembling: yes. Necessity of hell for anyone: NO. Once you say YES, you enter not the good news, but the promotion of hell. If people do end up in hell, that is their own doing, but it is not determined that any shall. When you say it IS, again, the good news of Jesus overcoming hell has been rejected.

            • capaxdei

              “And no one is presuming salvation. Enough with that straw man.”

              Straw man? Have you been to a Catholic funeral recently?


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