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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.

Saint Augustine of Hippo is considered on of the greatest Christian thinkers of all time and the Doctor of the Church.
Learn More: Saint Augustine

Jun 4th 2013 new
(quote) Reena-961146 said: 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:
http://www.scripturecatholic.com/justification_qa.html




Thank you. The real challenge for me is how to phrase things. I was always a Gospels-first guy, and the once-saved-always-saved Evangelicalism is very much a [Reformation-reading-of-]Romans-first approach to theology. I never could even figure out where to start in explaining that the New Testament doesn't begin in Acts chapter 2, and that the Gospels actually contain teachings that are binding on Christians. Somehow, that just isn't something people want to hear.

I mean, really, Jesus? Turn the other cheek? Give to him who asks? What are you, Jesus? Some sort of conservative Democrat?!

The problem I find is that there are so many sacred cows that would need to be laid aside if they actually did take the words of Jesus seriously -- especially in regards to "not everyone who says lord, lord" or "repent or perish" and whatnot. Jesus can't be fit in a works-don't-matter paradigm, but His actual teachings make us uncomfortable, so the Reformation myth is popular because it is easier to digest. It's as much a heart problem as it is a head problem, IMO.
Jun 28th 2013 new
I think you hit on the core of the whole problem and probably why I've always stuck with being Catholic despite the number of apologetics conversations I've been in - I'm too much of an intellectual (not that I'm smart, my head just drowns out my heart whereas most people do it the other way around). Most people like fluffy "I love everyone" Jesus and don't like that Jesus says some pretty tough things like "Pluck your eye out if it causes you to sin" or "If you look at a woman with lust in your heart you have committed adultery with her."

You do have to get down to the words themselves and whether Jesus meant what He said when He said them. When the young man in Matthew 19 asked "Master, what do I have do to be saved?" Jesus didn't say "Have faith in me and that will be enough." He said "Keep the commandments." When the young man said "I have" Jesus didn't say, "Awesome, now have faith and you're great!" He said "Give away all of your wealth and follow me." It was always faith and works. The young man initially had faith that Jesus had the right answer but then had to follow through with what Jesus told him to do. Both together, hand in hand. It always comes down to the two of them together and James 2:17 - "Faith without works is dead."

In the end though, you'll find that most people believe the same thing. You can't just have faith, sit back, and do nothing with it. We may not call it the same thing, but we all believe you have to do something with your faith in order for it to be salvific. You can find other good primers on the subject from http://www.catholic.com - that's Catholic Answer's web page. Good, easy one right here. www.catholic.com
Jul 2nd 2013 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!
Rome sweet Home by Scott and Kimberly Hahn. To begin with, if they can't read through that short book, they aren't worth wasting your time to talk to. You have a ton to learn of the faith, rather then playing defender, you also have a ton of garbage to purge from what you were mis taught as well, give yourself a few years at least, unless you are in the insane IQ land world, to go that route to debate with them,. A foundation of truth that is solidly suported in your prayer life, is where you must come from along from with debate and the whole, getting through to them.

I have an extensive background, in Catholic and Protestant theology, theirs is weak, limited, lacks in so many areas, but at least a remnant of truth and the way is still in place with a few of them. I know, sounds harsh, but they lack the fullness of the faith and stumble along the basics, here, "many catholics do as well", at least you have the framework and proper guidance to get you along the best path possible. Give it prayer above all, for them and even for yourself. If you run into opposition and you don't have an answer, or just desire to bring in the heavy guns, PM me for my contact information to relay to them, I am more then willing and capable of dealing with the likes of those, regardless of their so called positions of authority.
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