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This room is for discussion related to learning about the faith (Catechetics), defense of the Faith (Apologetics), the Liturgy and canon law, motivated by a desire to grow closer to Christ or to bring someone else closer.

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I'm a fairly new convert, and while I can rattle off some interesting things about some topics, "high" theology is a topic I always shied away from. I'm a bit of a wuss. But I would like to learn how to answer Protestant friends who teach salvation by "faith alone".

I started out Church of Christ, which is really more fundamentalist than evangelical, but at least they understand that baptism is necessary. They also reflexively avoid high theology. When I was among Evangelicals for four years, I basically didn't accept their formulation of "faith alone" (since I've always believed baptism is crucial), but I never bothered engaging their view. And if you've talked with Evangelicals at all, it's their main beef with the Church.

Does anyone have some very helpful resources on the matter?

Thanks!
May 23 new
Sorry, no useful resources and I'm surprised that you ask, Gary- given your position as a convert I would expect you to have the best answers as to why "faith alone" doesn't cut it. :) I was going to ask you about it!

By "their beef", do you mean their dinner? I'm kidding.. this refers to the Church's teachings on Purgatory, sacrifice, Baptism, Penance, etc..?

It definitely gets into the theology of it all... A merciful God would alleviate the punishment, but would a just God take all the punishment to Himself and demand no sacrifice of us? Would a good and just God allow the bad to go unpunished- whether here or later? Would a perfect God accept into Himself (in Heaven) something less than perfect? Would an all-knowing God allow secret sins? Would a timeless God condemn those who came before Jesus- and are thus unable to 'accept Him', and allow those who came after Him into Heaven?
Didn't Jesus say "whose sins you shall forgive..."?
Didn't Jesus and the apostles say several times: do as Christ does? - wouldn't this include following Him on the Way of the Cross? The Apostles in their martyrdoms?
May 23 new
(quote) Felicity-929402 said: Sorry, no useful resources and I'm surprised that you ask, Gary- given your position as a convert I would expect you to have the best answers as to why "faith alone" doesn't cut it. :) I was going to ask you about it!

By "their beef", do you mean their dinner? I'm kidding.. this refers to the Church's teachings on Purgatory, sacrifice, Baptism, Penance, etc..?

It definitely gets into the theology of it all... A merciful God would alleviate the punishment, but would a just God take all the punishment to Himself and demand no sacrifice of us? Would a good and just God allow the bad to go unpunished- whether here or later? Would a perfect God accept into Himself (in Heaven) something less than perfect? Would an all-knowing God allow secret sins? Would a timeless God condemn those who came before Jesus- and are thus unable to 'accept Him', and allow those who came after Him into Heaven?
Didn't Jesus say "whose sins you shall forgive..."?
Didn't Jesus and the apostles say several times: do as Christ does? - wouldn't this include following Him on the Way of the Cross? The Apostles in their martyrdoms?
Hi, Felicity.

I did not start out with the assumption of faith alone and then reject it. Technically, that means I was never Evangelical. I was a fundamentalist, and then a fundamentalist-turning-Catholic-who-didn't-know-it-and-played-Evangelical-anyway, which is a long title, so I just say recovering Evangelical anyway.

I can definitely make a case against faith alone, but I wanted to make sure that if I make such a case and claim to be explaining the Catholic position, I wanted to double-check that I wouldn't be misrepresenting the Church. I am a very cautious person when it comes to not overstating my case. Our first encounter is an exception. I'll send you a message with a longer response.

The problem with dialogue here is breaking through communication barriers. Protestant-Catholic dialogue often has a lot of talking past each other, and that's what I want to try to avoid.
May 23 new
If you get a printed (vice online-although thy might have it too) copy of the Catechism, it will have footnotes that will reference other documents that expand on the various topics.

I don't know if he's done anything specifically on faith alone, but Mark Shea wrote an excellent booklet addressing the Eucharist in Evangelical terms.
May 23 new
Speaking of Mark Shea and soteriology:

www.patheos.com

May 25 new
(quote) Gary-936836 said: I'm a fairly new convert, and while I can rattle off some interesting things about some topics, "high" theology is a topic I always shied away from. I'm a bit of a wuss. But I would like to learn how to answer Protestant friends who teach salvation by "faith alone".
Hi, Gary,

I would counsel you against discussing such things lightly. Remember, even Our Lord warned us neither to cast what is holy to the dogs nor pearls before swine. That said, if a person is actually genuinely interested in hearing the truth, it's best to send these to the authority. The First Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith is a great place to start for explanation of Holy Mother Church's authority...and...The Sixth Session of the Council of Trent (On Justification) is an excellent read regarding what is necessary to effect the state of grace. The problem with discussing this sort of thing with protestants, whether fundamentals or evangelicals, is that more often than not their definitions for words such as faith, salvation, justification, grace, anathema, etc. are circular or based solely upon subjective feelings, meaning no communication actually occurs during the discussion.


May 25 new
(quote) Gary-936836 said: The problem with dialogue here is breaking through communication barriers. Protestant-Catholic dialogue often has a lot of talking past each other, and that's what I want to try to avoid.
Just remember, you can't talk someone into assent:

"If anyone says that the assent to Christian faith is not free, but is necessarily produced by arguments of human reason; or that the grace of God is necessary only for living faith which works by charity: let him be anathema." -- First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Canons, 3. On Faith, #5

so, don't tire yourself out trying to convince the other person. All we're (laity) commanded to provide ordinarily is a reason for our hope (1 Peter 3:15), beyond that, we're at liberty to offer spiritual works of mercy as it is prudential. If your goal is not to instruct the ignorant (within the bounds of fraternal correction), counsel the doubtful, admonish the sinner, or comfort the afflicted, then it may be wise to review the purity of the labour you're undertaking.
Jun 02 new
(quote) Gary-936836 said: I'm a fairly new convert, and while I can rattle off some interesting things about some topics, "high" theology is a topic I always shied away from. I'm a bit of a wuss. But I would like to learn how to answer Protestant friends who teach salvation by "faith alone".

I started out Church of Christ, which is really more fundamentalist than evangelical, but at least they understand that baptism is necessary. They also reflexively avoid high theology. When I was among Evangelicals for four years, I basically didn't accept their formulation of "faith alone" (since I've always believed baptism is crucial), but I never bothered engaging their view. And if you've talked with Evangelicals at all, it's their main beef with the Church.

Does anyone have some very helpful resources on the matter?

Thanks!
Hello Gary - I once had a conversation with a friend from work who is a former pastor, don't know from what denomination though. I remember responding to a "Faith alone and once saved always saved." comment he made which made him ask me " So your believe that your good works will get you to heaven?" To which I responded " Well first we need to respond to God's grace so that we can have faith (hope and love). And when we do, it will show in our actions." He didn't say anything after that.

I learned with Protestants that quoting scripture to "pave the way" helps. Maybe this link might be helpful:
www.scripturecatholic.com




Jun 02 new
This is a quick summary that will give you some good scriptural supports:
www.catholicbible101.com
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