Saints, Purgatory, & Penance (Index Page)

Saints, Purgatory, & Penance (Index Page) November 9, 2006
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(February 2012, 152 pages)
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COMMUNION OF SAINTS: GENERAL
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Classic Reflections on the Communion of Saints [2-17-91; revised and expanded: 12-14-93]
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Communion of Saints: Biblical Introduction & Overview [1995; published in The Catholic Answer (Nov / Dec 1998)]
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Treatise on Communion of Saints (Anthony Zarrella) [6-9-16]
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COMMUNION OF SAINTS: INVOCATION AND INTERCESSION OF SAINTS AND ANGELS 
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Praying to Angels & Angelic Intercession [2015]

Asking Saints to Intercede: Teaching of Jesus [2015]

Why Pray to Saints Rather than God? [9-4-15]

Reply to a Lutheran Pastor on Invocation of Saints [12-1-15]

John Calvin Did Not Pray to Philip Melanchthon [9-19-09; revised with retraction, 5-3-16]

Dialogue on Praying to Abraham (Luke 16) [5-22-16]

Prayer to Saints: “New” [?] Biblical Argument [5-23-16]

Treatise on Communion of Saints (Anthony Zarrella) [6-9-16]

Must Catholics Pray to Saints or be Excommunicated? [12-2-16]

Why Would Anyone Pray to Saints Rather Than to God? [National Catholic Register, 1-8-17]

Invocation & Intercession of Saints & Angels: Bible Proof [10-22-16 and 1-9-17]

“Armstrong vs. Geisler” #5: Prayer to Creatures [2-20-17]

Dialogue: Rich Man’s Prayer to Abraham (Luke 16) and the Invocation of Saints (vs. Lutheran Pastor Ken Howes) [5-3-17]

Dialogue on Samuel Appearing to Saul (Witch of Endor) [5-6-17]

Dialogue on Prayer to the Saints and Hades / Sheol [12-19-17]

Prayers to Saints & for the Dead: Six Biblical Proofs [6-8-18]

4 Biblical Proofs for Prayers to Saints and for the Dead [National Catholic Register, 6-16-18]

Angelic Intercession is Totally Biblical [National Catholic Register, 7-1-18]

Why the Bible Says the Prayers of Holy People Are More Powerful [National Catholic Register, 3-19-19]

C. S. Lewis & the Invocation & Communion of Saints [10-10-19]

Vs. James White #13: Jesus Taught Invocation of Saints (And by James White’s “Reasoning,” Jesus Couldn’t be God and was a Blaspheming False Teacher) [11-16-19]

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COMMUNION OF SAINTS: VENERATION OF SAINTS AND ANGELS 

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The Veneration of Angels and Men is Biblical [National Catholic Register, 8-24-17]
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Biblical Evidence for Veneration of Saints and Images [National Catholic Register, 10-23-18]
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Worshiping God Through Images is Entirely Biblical [National Catholic Register, 12-23-16]
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The Biblical Understanding of Holy Places and Things [National Catholic Register, 4-11-17]
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How Protestant Nativity Scenes Proclaim Catholic Doctrine [12-15-13; expanded for publication at National Catholic Register: 12-17-17]
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Dialogue on Worship of God Via Natural Images (vs. Jim Drickamer) [1-16-17]
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Biblical Evidence for Veneration of Saints and Images [National Catholic Register, 10-23-18]
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COMMUNION OF SAINTS: RELICS

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PURGATORY AND SHEOL (HADES)
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Classic Catholic Reflections on Purgatory [1994]

Fictional Dialogue on Purgatory [1995]

25 Bible Passages on Purgatory [1996]

Purgatory: A Short Exposition [5-9-02]

A Biblical Argument for Purgatory (Matthew 5:25-26) [10-13-04]

“Catholicism Refuted” (?): “Father” / Purgatory / Statues / Confession (Pt. III) [12-11-04]

Is Purgatory a “Place” or a “Condition”?: Misconceptions From [Eastern Orthodox] Fr. Ambrose About My Opinion (and the Church’s View) / Also: Development and Alleged Historical Revisionism [7-24-05]

Dialogue with Lutherans on Jesus’ Descent Into “Hell” [2-1-07]

Purgatory: Refutation of James White (1 Corinthians 3:10-15) [3-3-07]

Has Limbo Been Relegated to Limbo? [12-28-07]

Luther Believed in Soul Sleep; Thus He Rejected Purgatory [2-9-08]

Dialogue on Sheol / Hades (Limbo of the Fathers) and Luke 16 (the Rich Man and Lazarus) with a Baptist (vs. “Grubb”) [2-28-08]

Luther: Purgatory “Quite Plain” in 2 Maccabees [3-5-09]

Purgatory is the Waiting Room for Heaven [4-25-09]

Luke 23:43 (Thief on the Cross): “Paradise” = Sheol, Not Heaven, According to Many Reputable Protestant Scholars [5-25-09]

50 Bible Passages on Purgatory & Analogous Processes [2009]

John Wesley’s Belief in an Intermediate State After Death [7-13-09]

Purgatory: My Biblical Defense of its Doctrinal Development [9-20-11]

Jewish Belief in Purgatory By the Time of Jesus (Paul Hoffer) [9-20-11; Facebook]

John Wesley’s View of Purgatory and Analogous Processes [2013]

Dialogue with an Evangelical on Purgatory [10-7-13]

Multiple Meanings of “Paradise” in Scripture [1-2-14]

Purgatory in One Verse (1 Corinthians 3:15) [Facebook, 1-29-14]

Martin Luther’s Belief in Purgatory (1517-1522, 1528) [11-17-14]

Dialogue w Calvinists on Prayer for the Dead & Purgatory [3-18-15]

Raising of Tabitha: Proof of Purgatory (Tony Gerring) (see also in-depth Facebook discussion) [3-20-15]

50 Biblical Indications That Purgatory is Real [National Catholic Register, 10-24-16]

“Armstrong vs. Geisler” #1: Purgatory (Mt 12:32) [2-17-17]

“Armstrong vs. Geisler” #2: Purgatory (Lk 23:43) [2-17-17]

Does Matthew 12:32 Suggest or Disprove Purgatory? [National Catholic Register, 2-26-17]

Did Jesus Descend to Hell, Sheol, or Paradise After His Death? [National Catholic Register, 4-17-17]

25 Descriptive and Clear Bible Passages About Purgatory [National Catholic Register, 5-7-17]

Purgatory: Exchange with a Presbyterian (Calvinist) [5-11-17]

Armstrong vs. Collins & Walls #7: Unbiblical / Non-Patristic Purgatory? [10-19-17]

Dialogue on Prayer to the Saints and Hades / Sheol [12-19-17]

Reflections on Interceding for the Lost Souls [National Catholic Register, 6-26-18]

C. S. Lewis Believed in Purgatory & Prayer for the Dead [6-22-10; rev. 10-8-19]

Does Time & Place Apply to Purgatory? (vs. James White) [11-6-19]

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PRAYER AND PENANCE FOR THE DEAD

Baptizing the Dead? (Odd Verse 1 Corinthians 15:29) [6-5-02]

Baptized for the Dead: The “UnProtestant” Verse (1 Cor 15:29) [2004]

New (?) Biblical Argument: Prayers for the Dead [2004]

“Catholicism Refuted” (?): “Father” / Purgatory / Statues / Confession (Pt. III) [12-11-04]

Prayer for the Dead & Retroactive Prayer (Luther & Protestants) [3-22-05]

Does God Forbid All Contact with the Dead? [6-23-07]

John Wesley Believed in Prayer for the Dead [7-13-09]

Fasting for the Dead in the Old Testament (Not Unlike Praying) [11-4-12]

Dialogue on Prayer for the Dead & the Bible [11-5-12]

Elijah, Jesus, and Peter Prayed for the Dead, and Jesus and St. Peter Practiced Invocation of the Dead (Isn’t the Bible Great?) [Facebook, 6-9-13] 

“Pray for the Dead Like Paul Did!” (mock Church billboard) [Facebook, 2-10-14]

Dialogue w Calvinists on Prayer for the Dead & Purgatory [3-18-15]

“Armstrong vs. Geisler” #4: Prayer for the Dead [2-20-17]

Prayers to Saints & for the Dead: Six Biblical Proofs [6-8-18]

4 Biblical Proofs for Prayers to Saints and for the Dead [National Catholic Register, 6-16-18]

Reflections on Interceding for the Lost Souls [National Catholic Register, 6-26-18]

Dialogue w Lutherans: “Proxy Baptism”? (1 Cor 15:29) [12-28-18]

C. S. Lewis Believed in Purgatory & Prayer for the Dead [6-22-10; rev. 10-8-19]

The Anglican Newman on Prayer for the Dead (1838): It was as well-attested in the early Church as the Canon of Scripture [10-11-19]

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PRAYER FOR THE DEAD: ST. PAUL AND ONESIPHORUS

Paul Prayed for Dead Onesiphorus (Protestant Commentaries) [7-14-09]

Cardinal Newman on Onesiphorus and Prayer for the Dead [Facebook, 3-18-15]

St. Paul Prayed for a Dead Man: Onesiphorus [8-19-15]

St. Paul Prayed for Onesiphorus, Who Was Dead [National Catholic Register, 3-19-17]

Was Onesiphorus Dead When Paul Prayed for Him?: Data from 16 Protestant Commentaries (1992-2016) [3-20-17]

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SACRAMENT OF PENANCE: CONTRITION, CONFESSION, SATISFACTION, AND ABSOLUTION

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Confession and Absolution Are Biblical [National Catholic Register, 7-31-17]
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INDULGENCES
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MORTIFICATION, FASTING, ABSTINENCE, ASCETICISM, MONASTICISM, SUFFERING, & REDEMPTIVE SUFFERING
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Suffering With Christ is a Biblical Teaching [National Catholic Register, 3-27-18]
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The Bible Says Your Suffering Can Help Save Others [National Catholic Register, 1-31-19]
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Bodily Mortification is Quite Scriptural [National Catholic Register, 2-28-19]
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More Biblical Support for Bodily Mortification [National Catholic Register, 3-5-19]
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Biblical Hope and Encouragement in Your Times of Suffering [National Catholic Register; abridged and edited from 1981 material: 4-22-19]
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LENT
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Where are Lenten Practices in the Bible? [National Catholic Register, 2-23-19]
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[for lengthy philosophical analyses of suffering and the problem of evil, see my Philosophy, Science, and Christianity web page; second section]

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Last Updated: 16 November 2019.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Dave, it's Pito, and I'm curious as to yours and others' thoughts on this article by Greg Koukl: http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id;=5517

    Thanks.

  • I think it is a garden-variety critique. I would set my articles on the topic next to his any day. Mine have a lot more meat. I have found 50 passages that I think have some relation to purgatory, and used 25 in my first book. He cites a few and dismisses them (in the usual Protestant polemical fashion).

    Like many Protestants, I don't think he even knows the depth in which Catholic arguments go, in defending these doctrines.

  • Purgatory — or the idea that the dead can be helped by prayers; same thing — is taught in 2 Maccabees, which is in the canon. Therefore, it is a biblical doctrine.

    Koukl claims that Paul's statement that "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" is inconsistent with purgatory. However, those in purgatory are "present with the Lord," and so there's no inconsistency.

    Koukl fundamentally misunderstands the gospel. He believes that Jesus Christ has to pay our debts to the Father to obtain forgiveness. This is a contradiction in terms. Debts can either be paid off or they can be forgiven. If they are paid off, then they are not forgiven. If Jesus Christ paid the Father for our sins, then the Father did not forgive our sins. But He did; and so there was no payment.

    People often miss the most obvious of truths.

    Here's what Koukl says (in another article):

    Koukl: God knows that I have all kinds of sins to my credit.

    Me: Well, okay.

    Koukl: That's the certificate of debt that Paul talks about in Colossians 2.

    Me: Actually, no. The certificate of debt in Colossians 2 is Gentiles' (and Jews') failure to follow the Mosaic Law. It is not about sin in general. "He has wiped out the record of our debt to the Law, which stood against us; he has destroyed it by nailing it to the cross." For Paul, the Law is always specifically the Jewish Law. Elsewhere he says that those who are not under the Law (i.e., Gentiles) do not transgress the Law. Their "debt" is not that they transgressed it, but that they were never under it in the first place. In the preceding verse, Paul also points out that God has forgiven sins, but this "debt to the Law" is something else.

    Koukl: There's the list of things and all of those were future events to Christ. God knows from the beginning to the end the sins I haven't even committed yet, sins that my mind has committed that my hands haven't gotten to yet. God has them all on His list because they will all eventually be against me in the final tally. Jesus had to die for every one of those sins or else I have to pay for some that He didn't die for. If I have to pay for some, then I'm sunk. But if Jesus paid for them, then He paid for them and that's it.

    Me: So here Koukl says that Jesus paid these debts to the Father. If so, then, as I explained, the Father did not forgive debts/sins, but rather received payment for them. A forgiven debt is an unpaid debt.

    The notion that we have to "pay" for sins that Jesus didn't "pay" for is a flat-out denial that God forgives. All He does in this scheme is collect debts from one person or another. This is an insult to God, Who does forgive our debts just as Christ asks us to forgive our debtors (rather than demanding payment).

    So Koukl has got it all wrong, as people usually do when they make up their own religion.