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Salvation WITHOUT justification!?

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Salvation WITHOUT justification!?

Post  Guest on Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:25 pm

I have been discussing theology with a Protestant who claims that a person can be saved without being justified. He used the good thief at Calvary as his example/proof. I have never heard such a thing, and while I did point out the good thief's confession of faith in Our Lord from his cross, this Protestant is being elusive and non-responsive to my further inquiries for him to explain this phenomenon of salvation without justification. Have any of you heard such a wild idea before?

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Re: Salvation WITHOUT justification!?

Post  MRyan on Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:36 pm

MarianLibrarian wrote:I have been discussing theology with a Protestant who claims that a person can be saved without being justified. He used the good thief at Calvary as his example/proof. I have never heard such a thing, and while I did point out the good thief's confession of faith in Our Lord from his cross, this Protestant is being elusive and non-responsive to my further inquiries for him to explain this phenomenon of salvation without justification. Have any of you heard such a wild idea before?
Never. But Protestants have a heretical understanding of Justification anyway.

The only thing that comes close is the notion that a state of sanctification effected by baptism of blood or baptism of desire cannot save anyone who dies in that state without water Baptism. Unfortunately, this bit of heterodoxy is put forth by certain Catholics as totally orthodox.

Both "doctrines" are a result of Protestant-like private interpretation.
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Re: Salvation WITHOUT justification!?

Post  columba on Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:03 pm

MarianLibrarian wrote:
I have been discussing theology with a Protestant who claims that a person can be saved without being justified. He used the good thief at Calvary as his example/proof. I have never heard such a thing, and while I did point out the good thief's confession of faith in Our Lord from his cross, this Protestant is being elusive and non-responsive to my further inquiries for him to explain this phenomenon of salvation without justification. Have any of you heard such a wild idea before?

The Protestants that I know believe that justification takes place when one confesses Jesus as Lord and savior. The Protestant your discussing with must then believe that one can be saved without confessing Jesus as Lord and savior. He/She must believe in implcit faith.

I had a visit around 6 yrs ago from two Bethal Baptists who were on an evangelization mission. We spent a few hours each week in debate until we reached an impasse on Mat 16:18 (Thou art Peter etc).
They believed too that Baptism was unnecessary for salvation (which is strange for a group who have the word Baptist in their title) but I've heard that this is now a Catholic belief also.

There are some strange ideas out there ML. Shocked
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Re: Salvation WITHOUT justification!?

Post  MRyan on Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:36 pm

columba wrote:
MarianLibrarian wrote:
I have been discussing theology with a Protestant who claims that a person can be saved without being justified. He used the good thief at Calvary as his example/proof. I have never heard such a thing, and while I did point out the good thief's confession of faith in Our Lord from his cross, this Protestant is being elusive and non-responsive to my further inquiries for him to explain this phenomenon of salvation without justification. Have any of you heard such a wild idea before?

The Protestants that I know believe that justification takes place when one confesses Jesus as Lord and savior. The Protestant your discussing with must then believe that one can be saved without confessing Jesus as Lord and savior. He/She must believe in implcit faith.

I had a visit around 6 yrs ago from two Bethal Baptists who were on an evangelization mission. We spent a few hours each week in debate until we reached an impasse on Mat 16:18 (Thou art Peter etc).
They believed too that Baptism was unnecessary for salvation (which is strange for a group who have the word Baptist in their title) but I've heard that this is now a Catholic belief also.

There are some strange ideas out there ML. Shocked
Quite strange indeed. You could no more explain to Bethal Baptists the Church's true teaching on "necessity" with respect to Baptism, than you could explain the Church's true teaching on Justification.

Rather, you mock the Magisterium and you mock the greatest Doctors and theologians of the Church, all the while (armed with your Latin-English dictionary) telling us that the authoritative teaching of the Magisterium on baptism of blood and baptism of desire is neither authoritative nor magisterial, and is in fact heretical; while also telling us that the universal doctrine and testimony of the Doctors, Saints and Schools are opposed to the dogma of water baptism, and that no one can be truly justified without the sacrament ... period.

You've proven you don't know the difference between a dogmatic definition and an attendant dogmatic explanation (a non-defined prescription), and here you are with the audacity to challenge the greatest Doctors of the Church, and the Church herself, with your pathetic "scholarship".

In fact, you have no business explaining your private, heterodox, novel and Protestant-like beliefs to anyone.



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Re: Salvation WITHOUT justification!?

Post  Guest on Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:41 pm

MRyan wrote:The only thing that comes close is the notion that a state of sanctification effected by baptism of blood or baptism of desire cannot save anyone who dies in that state without water Baptism. Unfortunately, this bit of heterodoxy is put forth by certain Catholics as totally orthodox.

Both "doctrines" are a result of Protestant-like private interpretation.
Does everything have to be about 'baptism of desire'? Rolling Eyes

columba wrote:The Protestants that I know believe that justification takes place when one confesses Jesus as Lord and savior. The Protestant your discussing with must then believe that one can be saved without confessing Jesus as Lord and savior. He/She must believe in implcit faith.
No, he says a person is "saved when they confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in their heart that God raised Jesus from the dead" (quoting St. Paul in Romans). Though, when I tried to ask about babies and people with mental disabilities he refused to answer anything (...he had just been badgering me for the Church's long-time teaching that unbaptized babies went to hell/limbo--so that may have had something to do with it). I am really having a hard time understanding his position. Not only because it's heretical, but because it's not even consistent. One minute he's telling me that I have to take Scripture at face value (i.e., when Paul says "I came not to baptize" that means baptism doesn't really matter), and the next he's telling me I can't take the Bible at face value (i.e., when James says we are justified by works and not by faith alone it really means that we're only justified by "faith alone" but true believers would do good works because they love God, but it's not really important).

This guy is a Calvinist... but I still couldn't find anything in Calvinist theology that sounds remotely similar to his strange position about salvation without justification.

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Re: Salvation WITHOUT justification!?

Post  tornpage on Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:49 pm

This guy is a Calvinist... but I still couldn't find anything in Calvinist theology that sounds remotely similar to his strange position about salvation without justification.

I don't know what he's talking about. And I know Calvinism pretty well.

Shall I put this in perspective: "I'm debating this Catholic, and he says that no one can be saved unless they receive water baptism." Very Happy
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Re: Salvation WITHOUT justification!?

Post  columba on Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:14 pm

No, he says a person is "saved when they confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in their heart that God raised Jesus from the dead" (quoting St. Paul in Romans).

Though, when I tried to ask about babies and people with mental disabilities he refused to answer anything (...he had just been badgering me for the Church's long-time teaching that unbaptized babies went to hell/limbo--so that may have had something to do with it).

Most of my discussions now are with lapsed Catholics and it's strange that even when they know very little about Church teachings on anything, they all seem to know about the confussion concerning Limbo. I'd be interested in hearing how you explained this to a Protestant.

I am really having a hard time understanding his position. Not only because it's heretical, but because it's not even consistent. One minute he's telling me that I have to take Scripture at face value (i.e., when Paul says "I came not to baptize" that means baptism doesn't really matter), and the next he's telling me I can't take the Bible at face value (i.e., when James says we are justified by works and not by faith alone it really means that we're only justified by "faith alone" but true believers would do good works because they love God, but it's not really important).

It's difficult to dicuss with someone when they don't know what they believe but an opportunity could exist there for bringing some well reasoned arguments to bear.
I have found on a couple of occasions that people like that are easier to convince than say those like the Bethal Baptists I mentioned who are practically immovable in their error.

This guy is a Calvinist... but I still couldn't find anything in Calvinist theology that sounds remotely similar to his strange position about salvation without justification.

I haven't heard of that one either. Maybe he believes the scenario where Christ covers over our sins like snow covering a muddy field. The person being saved not having to do anything other than believe that Christ can do this; merely believing in Him but without any transformation being necessary for the sinner.

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Re: Salvation WITHOUT justification!?

Post  columba on Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:27 pm

MRyan wrote:
In fact, you have no business explaining your private, heterodox, novel and Protestant-like beliefs to anyone.

Oh sorry Mike, you mean me?
I thought you were addressing that to Pope Benedict XVI (alias, author Joseph Ratzinger)
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Re: Salvation WITHOUT justification!?

Post  MRyan on Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:32 am

MarianLibrarian wrote:
MRyan wrote:The only thing that comes close is the notion that a state of sanctification effected by baptism of blood or baptism of desire cannot save anyone who dies in that state without water Baptism. Unfortunately, this bit of heterodoxy is put forth by certain Catholics as totally orthodox.

Both "doctrines" are a result of Protestant-like private interpretation.
Does everything have to be about 'baptism of desire'? Rolling Eyes
Fair enough; but the subject is Justification and I could not help but note the striking parallels in private interpretation and the rejection of the authoritative Magisterium when deciding for oneself what Justification actually means and how it is effected.

Columba has his Latin-English dictionary and his private interpretation of dogmatic pronouncements (while ignoring the true doctrine as professed by the common opinion of the Doctors and Schools, as well as, and more importantly, by the authentic Magisterium in its understanding of Trent's dogmatic description) and gives us a totally novel "re-translation" of Sess. 6, Ch. 4 of Trent and what it actually means; while the Protestant has his Bible and his private interpretations thereof.

But I'll leave that for the other threads; sorry for the distraction.

Part of the problem with debating Protestants is that we do not necessarily speak the same language. If we cannot agree from the outset on what Justification IS (internal regeneration as co-heirs with Christ vs the imputation of justice), or at least recognize that we approach Justification from two entirely different perspectives (even when we can find some commonality), it's tough to make any progress.

Additionally, Protestants generally separate Justification from Sanctification and speak of Justification as a one time event (confession of Faith), rather than a process that continues until death.

Phillip Cary, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Philosophy at Eastern University, wrote an interesting article called Augustine on Justification that highlights these issues and points out that the language and doctrine of the Protestants would have been completely foreign to St. Augustine, so bringing him into the discussion with today's Protestant would be a confusing, and probably a wasted, effort.

Strangely enough, the uniquely Calvinistic "one time event" doctrine was foreign to Luther as well (perhaps that is a good debating point).

The article can be found here:

http://pontifications.wordpress.com/2008/01/07/augustine-on-justification/

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Re: Salvation WITHOUT justification!?

Post  tornpage on Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:22 pm

Columba,

The person being saved not having to do anything other than believe that Christ can do this; merely believing in Him but without any transformation being necessary for the sinner.

I can't speak as to what this guy believes, but there tends to be a caricature of Protestant views of justification, just as there are of Catholic views of the same. A lot of it is the opposite side simplifying for purposes of their polemics. For example, the Protestant view is caricatured as "works" are not necessary, so one can be a libertine and be saved by their faith alone - it doesn't matter what one does. As I said, this is a gross caricature.

There is a wonderful passage in Ephesians which states that salvation is by faith in Christ and shows its intimate connection to works, what James would call a "living," as opposed to a "dead" faith:

Ephesians 2:8-10 (Douay Rheims)

For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God; Not of works, that no man may glory. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus in good works, which God hath prepared that we should walk in them.

Those who have the saving faith are "created in Christ Jesus in good works." The Protestant Marian is engaged in debate with is not far off in saying "when James says we are justified by works and not by faith alone it really means that we're only justified by "faith alone" but true believers would do good works because they love God." Those with faith love God, and if in fact they have the saving faith, they will do good works. One might say it is a living "faith" as opposed to a "dead" faith, really just a "belief," such as even demons have, as James points out.

There are too many statements in Scripture of salvation by faith to dismiss the Protestant view that one is saved by faith (for example, the passage from Ephesians). A person is, but it must be understood as the Bible describes it. It is a salvation by a faith that shows itself in the faithful who are the "workmanship" of God, "created in Christ Jesus in good works."

James in his letter is attacking the caricature I noted above: the claim that one is saved by a faith that is really only a dead faith, a mere belief, that doesn't issue forth in good works or a living response. He doesn't cancel out Paul's direct statement that it is "not of works." I think St. Paul captures the interrelation perfectly there in Ephesians.


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Re: Salvation WITHOUT justification!?

Post  Guest on Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:09 pm

Well this guy has turned about to be somewhat of a caricature of Protestant beliefs. He now denies ever saying such a thing and "doesn't remember" the conversation. Conveniently for him. Razz

tornpage, you are being too kind to him. He did say that believers would do good works out of love for God, but he also specified that they were not obliged to, and if a believer did no good works, but simply avoided evil works (I don't know how this would happen, and he couldn't clarify) that they would still be saved.

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