Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Salvation, Justification, and "Faith Alone" (Index Page for Dave Armstrong)


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General (Catholic View) / Infused Justification

Dialogue on Catholic Soteriology (Specifically Grace) (vs. Phillip Johnson)

"In Him / God [etc.]" as a Possible Biblical Expression of the Oneness of Deification / Theosis [Facebook, 13 March 2014]

Works Can be Good or Bad (or, "Dead"), Just as Traditions Are (Book of Hebrews) [Facebook, 21 Feb. 2014]

Dialogue on Faith and Works and the Relation of Each to the Final Judgment (vs. Bethany Kerr) [10 Oct. 2013]

The "Obedience of Faith" in Paul and its Soteriological Implications (Justification and Denial of "Faith Alone") [from Ferdinand Prat, S. J.; Facebook]

New Testament Epistles on Bringing About Further Sanctification and Even Salvation By Our Own Actions

Faith and Works (But Not Protestant One-Time Justification) in Isaiah Chapter One

Justification is Not by Faith Alone (Romans 4  + James 2) and is Ongoing, as Seen in Abraham's Multiple Justifications

Sola Fide (Faith Alone: the Protestant View)


The Catholic Understanding of the Anathemas of Trent and Excommunication (includes an important discussion by then-Cardinal Ratzinger [now Pope Benedict XVI] and others about how the Tridentine anathemas do not necessarily apply to many Protestant soteriological positions, rightly understood)

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Sin / Mortal and Venial Sin


Instant Assurance of Salvation / Eternal Security / Perseverance of the Saints

Hebrews 3:14 (Salvation + Lots of Catholic Theology) in the Victorian KJV, KJV, Moffatt, and Revised Fundamentalist Versions [Facebook, 20 Feb. 2014]

Examples of Individuals Losing Salvation in Scripture (Nick's Catholic Blog)

The Gospel, Faith, and "Personal Relationship With Jesus"

Grace, Catholic Anti-Pelagianism, Synergism, and Merit


Merit: Catholic Doctrine vs. Caricature (James McCarthy's Distortions)

Dialogue: "Doing Something" for Salvation (vs. Craig Kott)

Short Exchange on the Attempted Polemical Parallel Between Judaizers and Catholics (Alleged Works-Salvation)

Catholic-Baptist Dialogue on "Being Good Enough" to Go to Heaven, etc. (vs. "Grubb")

The Relationship of Prayer and Penance to the Eternal Destiny of Others

Is Catholic Soteriology Pelagian? (Reginald de Piperno) 

Reply to Lutheran Nathan Rinne: Exegetical Exposition on Whether the "Leaven" of the Pharisees is Hypocrisy or Doctrinal Falsehood  

1 Corinthians 3:9 and Man's Cooperation With God

Human, Pauline, and Marian Distribution of Divine Graces: Not an "Unbiblical" Notion After All?

Baptist Pastor Ken Temple Proves That St. Paul Was a Blasphemer Who Claimed That People Can Save Others (Mariology and Synergistic Soteriology)

"There is One Mediator" (1 Timothy 2:5): Does This Rule Out "Mini-Mediators"?


Atonement / Limited Atonement

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Original Sin and Total Depravity

Christian Replies to the Argument From Evil (Free Will Defense): Is God Malevolent, Weak, or Non-Existent Because of the Existence of Evil and Suffering? [includes lengthy analysis of the nature and cause of the fall of man]

Does St. Augustine Agree with John Calvin and Calvinists Regarding Total Depravity? (Reply to Detractors) [1-7-14 ]

St. Francis de Sales' Argument Against Total Depravity and for the Indefectibility of the Church, from the Psalms

Fr. Robert Barron Denies That Adam Was a "Literal Figure"

Defending the Literal, Historical Adam of the Genesis Account (vs. Catholic Eric S. Giunta)

Total Depravity: Are the Non-Elect Continually Evil? (vs. John Calvin)

Clarification of My Positions on Predestination and Calvinism (Especially Total Depravity), in Reply to the Ridiculously Muddle-Headed Insults of TAO and in Light of John Bugay's Manifest Abominable Ethics

Predestination and God's Sovereignty

Last updated on 18 July 2014.



Chris M said...


There's obviously a lot of different words thrown around between the various Protestant sects and Catholicism in relation to grace, faith, works, merit, sin, etc. I'm going to give an extremely simple analogy, and can you tell me if it reflects the Catholic teachings more or the Protestant?

Guy is walking along a bridge and slips off. The water he falls into is much too strong for him to get out on his own (sin/fallen nature). A guy in a boat comes along and holds out his hand to the drowning guy (grace is freely offered). The guy grabs the boatmans hand (combination of faith and works) and climbs on board. Guy = saved.

As far as I understand Christianity, our condition is, for the most part, along these lines. If one isn't careful, he can slip up in explaining it though. I can sensibly say that "the drowning man saved himself by grabbing the boatman's hand" and at the same time say "the boatman saved the drowning guy's life by offering his hand". These two sentences *seem* to contradict, but as long as the story is understood as it was told above, the confusion is only one of words. If, however, one tries to reason from the words to the story, it can be very confusing. It's hard to piece together backwards in that way, so to speak. Many Protestant sects (from my experience) don't focus on the story and instead (it seems to me) seize on one sentence and only that sentence, which leads to a distortion.

But anyway, latin words aside, does the story above accurately reflect the Catholic understanding of our salvation? (Disregarding Predestination, which I believe to be another case of focusing too much on sentences and losing the general idea)

Chris M said...

I suppose to get more specific I could also say things like "the boatman pulls the guy out of the water" to emphasize more that it is the boatman who has, in a certain sense, the intial and greater task. But even if I didn't add this, the point would still remain that without the boatman's help, the man would drown.

And would it be accurate to introduce the concept of merit by saying that, once on the boat, the drowing man is given some tools to go about fishing or whatever... that is, because he was first given these tools and saved, he is granted the ability to do good deeds(if we take fishing in the analogy as doing a "good deed". I know it's a stretch but work with me!)

Would this be accurate?

Dave Armstrong said...

That's a pretty good description. God causes all good things by His grace; we cooperate along with the grace, so that or merit is just God crowning His own gifts (St. Augustine).

Dave Armstrong said...

Again, for lack of time and energy I'll have to refer you back to my papers, because this topic is such a huge one.

Right now I'm trying to concentrate mostly on generating more income, due to the economy which has done a number on our income.

Randy said...

I do think you have to also give a picture of those who are not saved. Why not? Is it because they are not strong enough to grab the boatman's hand? Is it because the boatman somehow does not do everything required?

The best Catholic analogy I can come up with is that people don't get saved because they choose to swim instead. Life on a boat can be very demanding you know. I have my pride. Maybe I can find a tree and get to shore that way.

Bob Waters said...

C'mon, Dave. James and Paul use the word "faith" in different senses- just as, to be honest about it, Lutherans and Catholics do. When Luther wrote that "Faith alone justifies- but not a faith that is alone," do you seriously intend to suggest that James would have disagreed?

Nothing at all wrong with saying, "The drowning man saved himself by grabbing the boatman's hand-" if it's clearly understood that it was the boatman who made it possible for the suicidally drowning man to want to live. Otherwise the example doesn't even meet the test of Catholic theology, and only a Pelagian (or a Finneyite "Protestant") could accept the formulation.

Dave Armstrong said...

Do you think it is possible to be a Catholic who accepts all Catholic dogmas and still be a Christian, Bob? Is Catholicism a legitimate species of Christianity?