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The Faith vs Works Controversy, Part II

St. Paul & St. JamesSummary of Part I: The ideas central to Humanistic Psychology have created a dismissive attitude toward righteousness and salvation. To overcome this attitude, Catholics and Protestants must heal their historic division over faith and works.

Protestants believe that faith in Christ is alone sufficient for salvation. Catholics believe that faith must be joined by good works. For four centuries the difference has not been resolved.… Read More

 

The Faith vs Works Controversy

St. Paul & St. JamesSt. Paul claimed that we are saved by faith alone (Romans, 4:2,3,13); St. James claimed that faith must be joined by good works (2:21-24). Interestingly, both men used the biblical story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac to support their conclusions. Fifteen hundred years later the argument arose again in a less brotherly manner when Martin Luther sided with St. Paul by proclaiming that salvation is by faith alone (sola fide) and adding Scripture alone and grace alone.… Read More

 

Has Salvation Lost Its Meaning?

FullSizeRender (14)Salvation has always been the most important concept for Christians. Their core belief, regardless of denomination, is that from the beginning human sinfulness barred us from heaven, but God in his mercy sent his Son to atone for our sins and make possible our salvation.

Most Christians still hold that belief and live by it. But a growing number have abandoned it or embraced an understanding that in times past would have qualified as heresy.… Read More

 

Stimulating Catholic Intellects, Part III

Human MindSummary of Parts I and II: With Christianity under attack from secularism, selfism, socialism, and Islamism, Catholics need to be engaged in its defense. Their arguments should focus on reason more than faith because that is the focus their opponents understand. Yet Catholics have been conditioned to distrust their own reasoning. They therefore need to overcome this handicap and engage issues, becoming acquainted with a variety of views, including those outside their religious and philosophical perspective.Read More

 

Stimulating Catholic Intellects, Part II

Books in PileChristians should be leading the defense of western civilization against the threats of secularism, selfism, socialism, and Islamism. Lamentably, they are not showing that leadership, mainly because of the arguments they use. Protestants generally use biblical arguments; Catholics, biblical and doctrinal arguments. Such arguments, based on Revelation, are perfectly valid. Yet they are unimpressive to people who reject the authority of the Bible and the Church.… Read More

 

Stimulating Catholic Intellects

 

Library (Heavenly)Ambrose Bierce, a master of insightful wit, once defined the term Scriptures as “the sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.” The sly implication that no religion has greater insight into the divine than all other religions is, of course, false—there are truths about the divine as about any other subject, and some inquirers (and religions) are more successful than others in identifying them.… Read More

 

Trump’s Christianity . . . and America’s

Trump PhotoDonald Trump says he is a Christian—more specifically, a Presbyterian. Should we believe him? Our first answer may be, “We can’t read his mind and heart, so charity demands we take him at his word.” But a more thoughtful response would be, “It depends on whether he speaks and acts in a way that is consistent with Christian principles and values.” Does he do so? Let’s see.… Read More

 

The Unity Dilemma

Pope Francis, 35359877_sPope Francis has joined non-Catholic Christians, including Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and Mormon, in an effort to “put aside all polemical or apologetic approaches, and seek instead to grasp more fully what unites us,” and to “advance the life and ministry of Jesus.”

He has met, too, with Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus, stressing “the importance of furthering respect [and] friendship between men and women of different religious traditions.” He has even dialogued with agnostic and atheistic humanists, calling them “precious allies” in the search for truth.… Read More

 

Overcoming Religious Triumphalism

BIBLE, 10924261_sReligious triumphalism is the conviction that one’s religious beliefs are superior to other people’s. Ironically, triumphalism violates the virtue of humility that is extolled by virtually every religion. It is the theological equivalent of sports’ fans chanting “We’re number one.” In sports the practice is innocuous, even somewhat charming. That is certainly not the case in religion.

Unfortunately, religious triumphalism is most common among the staunchest religious believers.… Read More

 

Pope Francis Inspires but Oversimplifies

Pope FrancisPope Francis’ recent messages to the U.S. Congress and to the Catholic bishops revealed his personal goodness and his deep compassion for the poor and downtrodden. His words and demeanor were inspirational not only to Catholics but to all people of good will.

As expected, there have been criticisms of the Pope’s message, notably from those who believe his views are more politically progressive than those of his predecessors.… Read More