Thursday, November 09, 2006

Saints, Purgatory, and Penance (Index Page for Dave Armstrong)


The Communion of Saints


Dialogue With a Protestant on the Communion of Saints (vs. Angel Manuel Negron)





Online Resources: The Saints [Links Page]

Worshiping God Through Images in Holy Scripture [Facebook]

"New" Biblical Argument for the Veneration of Saints: God "In" and "Through" St. Paul [Facebook]

Lutheran Philosopher Gottfried Leibniz on Non-Idolatrous Veneration and Pious, Devotional Use of Images [Facebook] 

Veneration of and Bowing Before an Angel in the Bible (Joshua 5:13-15) [Facebook post and discussion, 7 Sep. 2013]

John Calvin's Antipathy to Veneration of Saints and Angels vs. Explicit Biblical Evidences of Same

Blasphemy Against Creatures and Immaterial Things in Scripture (Not Just Against God) / New (?) Analogical Biblical Argument for Veneration of the Saints and Angels from the Disapproval of Blasphemy of the Same

Biblical Evidence for Worship of God Via an Image (Pillar of Cloud, Burning Bush)


Dialogue on Sheol / Hades (Limbo of the Fathers) and Luke 16 (the Rich Man and Lazarus) With a Baptist (vs. "Grubb")

John Wesley's View of Purgatory and Analogous Processes: a Classic Case Study of Inadvertent Approximation of the Very Catholic Teaching He Ostensibly Opposes [now available only in my book, Biblical Catholic Apologetics]

Clarification of My Biblical Defense of Purgatory and its Doctrinal Development

Prayer for the Dead 

A New (?) Biblical Argument Re: Prayers for the Dead

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

"Pray for the Dead Like Paul Did!" [mock Church billboard; Facebook, 10 Feb. 2014]

Fasting for the Dead in the Old Testament: Not Essentially Different from Praying for Them

Prayer for the Dead: Attempted "Dialogue" (Ha Ha) on its Biblical Support with a Protestant Preacher

C. S. Lewis' Belief in Purgatory and Prayer for the Dead Documented From Five of His Works

Penance and Indulgences and Suffering

Last Updated: 23 July 2014.



Sophia's Lover said...

Dave, it's Pito, and I'm curious as to yours and others' thoughts on this article by Greg Koukl:


Dave Armstrong said...

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.

Adomnan said...

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.