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Either/Or – or – Both/And??

May 8, 2007

As you have probably heard, Dr.

Read his account here.

I left a comment on his post and I have received a few emails from Catholic scholars and lay people discussing what I had to say. Here are my comments,

“It has been said that every lapsed Catholic looks for a reason to return to Rome, and apparently you have been looking in that direction for a long time.

From your post it is clear that you see a difference between the RCC doctrine of justification and the Protestant/Reformed doctrine of justification, but yet you also say that you hold to both. And, as you know, it is abundantly clear from the writings of the RCC and the Protestants that they hold to different definitions of this key doctrine.

So, it seems as if your decision is less of a theological one and more of a philosophical one. It seems as if you have followed one of the spirits of the age and have no problem believing two completely opposed views of this essential doctrine at the same time.

There is no theological reconciliation between the RCC and the Reformed understanding of justification. But, philosophy has always enabled men to hold positions that theology proves impossible.

I don’t know your heart. To your own master you stand or fall. But I wonder, where does this come from? Where has your journey taken you – to Athens through Rome, or to Jerusalem?

To date, no one has been able to theologically reconcile Rome and the Reformation. No doubt you will work toward that end, but it will be philosophical not scriptural.”

I will *probably* be posting the emails and my replies on this subject.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. jeff ronk permalink
    May 10, 2007 3:57 pm

    It is interesting to me that it is the seeming lack of continuity of reformed theology, especially soteriology, with pre-reformational christianity that pushes some evangelicals into the RCC. therE is little sense of connection with historical christianity in evangelical circles. it is as if there was no true church between the apostles and luther. we need to do a better job of teaching church history.

  2. May 10, 2007 8:22 pm

    Jeff,
    You are exactly right about this. God saved us and adopted us into a family that has existed for thousands of years. It is right to long for that kind of fellowship. It is right to want that kind of belonging, to desire the outward manifestation of the unity of the Spirit.
    I am probably as tightly wound theologically as anyone, but I don’t go looking for reasons not to fellowship with those who confess the biblical lordship of Jesus Christ.

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