1) Creation vs. Evolution : CMI and Reformers, *sigh* , 2) Great Bishop of Geneva! : 2 Timothy 3:16, 3) HGL's F.B. writings : With Matt Singleton on LXX/"Apocrypha" and on liquor in moderation, 4) Great Bishop of Geneva! : In defense of Jay Dyer's Objections from Back Then
CMI : Refuting Compromise
by Dr Jonathan Sarfati
Avoid those who cause divisions?
Romans 16:17 says, ‘Now I beseech you, brethren, mark those who cause divisions and offenses … and avoid them,’ and some have used this against YECs. But they fail to cite the clause in this passage which defines what Paul meant by causing divisions (διχοστασία dichostasia) and offenses (σκάνδαλον skandalon)—it is bringing teachings ‘contrary to the doctrine which you have learned.’ As we show, it is those who compromise on a straightforward reading of Genesis that are bringing doctrines contrary to those the Apostles taught, and that the church has understood through most of its 2,000-year history. It’s interesting, too, that the Reformers, like Martin Luther, who reasserted the authority of scripture and salvation by grace through faith alone, were also accused of being ‘divisive.’
I agree that changers of doctrine are those who really cause division. Let us break this down a bit.
But they fail to cite the clause in this passage which defines what Paul meant by causing divisions (διχοστασία dichostasia) and offenses (σκάνδαλον skandalon)—it is bringing teachings ‘contrary to the doctrine which you have learned.’ As we show, it is those who compromise on a straightforward reading of Genesis that are bringing doctrines contrary to those the Apostles taught, and that the church has understood through most of its 2,000-year history.
It’s interesting, too, that the Reformers, like Martin Luther, who reasserted the authority of scripture and salvation by grace through faith alone, were also accused of being ‘divisive.’
And very rightly so.
The authority of Scripture was NOT being disputed or even diluted by the Catholic Church.
Genesis as written, chapters 1, 2, 3, was certainly being popularised by the Catholic Church, Rijmbijbel in Flemish and mystery plays in English, diocese of York, made sure no one was ignorant of either these or of the Flood.
So, as to "authority of Scripture" Luther had nothing to reassert, since nothing had been lost.
As for "salvation by grace", that is also a RC doctrine. Our works do not merit Heaven until they are made in the state of grace. And this goes per se even for almsworks.
But "through faith alone," yes, here Luther was actually asserting sth which Catholics were NOT asserting.
And the word "alone" was by him added to Romans 3:28.
Here is a correct text and a Catholic comment:
For we account a man to be justified by faith, without the works of the law.
By faith: The faith, to which the apostle here attributes man's justification, is not a presumptuous assurance of our being justified; but a firm and lively belief of all that God has revealed or promised. Heb. 11. A faith working through charity in Jesus Christ. Gal. 5. 6. In short, a faith which takes in hope, love, repentance, and the use of the sacraments. And the works which he here excludes, are only the works of the law: that is, such as are done by the law of nature, or that of Moses, antecedent to the faith of Christ: but by no means, such as follow faith, and proceed from it.
Sochorek : Martin Luther: Sendbrief vom Dolmetschen
And here are the words of Martin Luther:
Erstlich warum ich »An die Römer« im dritten Kapitel (28) die Worte Sankt Pauli: »Arbitramur hominem iustificari ex fide absque operibus« also verdeutscht habe: »Wir halten, daß der Mensch gerecht werde ohn des Gesetzes Werke, allein durch den Glauben« – und daneben anzeigt, wie die Papisten sich über die Maßen ereifern, weil im Text Pauli nicht stehet das Wort »sola« (allein) und man dürfe solchen Zusatz bei Gottes Worten von mir nicht dulden usw.
Note that he cuts short the Latin quote at "absque operibus". Here is the Vulgate:
Arbitramur enim justificari hominem per fidem sine operibus legis.
Absque/sine are synonyms, practically, esp. in Medieval Latin. But "absque operibus" and "sine operibus legis" ...
Here we see how Luther was allergic to any suggestion that the works that St Paul was excluding were very specifically "works of the law". He was not excluding works of grace, like obedience or conversion. Very unlike what Luther taught. He wanted to exclude ALL works from being salvific. As Bossuet very rightly argued, if Luther admitted one could be sure one was believing by saying "I believe", how could he have missed that one could equally be sure one was repenting by saying "I repent"? Yet Luther was telling people they should not bother to make sure their repentance was real.
This if the theological flaw of Protestant creationists. They admire Luther. Note that Evangelical movement is pretty different. Praying this is nearly making sure one is truly repentant:
"Our Father in Heaven
I recognize that I am a sinner... and am worthy of the fires of Hell. Father, I believe that Jesus is Your Son, that He died for all of our sins, and that You brought Him back to life again. I pray, Father... send Jesus into my heart--right now. Send Jesus to cleanse me of my sins and to make me right in Thine eyes.
...this I pray, in Jesus' precious name... Amen."
The words "to cleanse me" and the words "to make me right" clearly imply that one wishes to change in order to henceforth please God.
One can argue that one is here not expressing the pain of contrition, or the preference to die over committing just one mortal sin. I am not saying (I leave that to others as for general advice and to God as to how He judges each person) that this is sufficient. I am saying that this is a good deal more than Luther required. Especially as the follow up text is "If you sincerely prayed that prayer, ..." whereas Luther had said basically "don't bother to check if you were sincere". Namely when it came to repentance.
As for Luther's Sendbrief, he also admitted without qualms that he had changed the wording of Luke 1:28.
His attitude is basically "I know what the Bible meant, and I translate accordingly". I. e. not according to the actual words.
But this blog is not against the Reformers, I have another one for that, and this message only is here, because I found what I object to on CMI. Here is the other blog:
Great Bishop of Geneva!
And, obviously, it is Catholic Apologetics against Protestantism, as were some of the shorter writings of the Bishop of Geneva, St Francis of Sales, himself.
The problem to note here, by saying things like that, on a creationist site, some of the more hotheaded Catholics may start to imagine creationism itself is Protestant. Not so. St. Francis of Sales was quite as much a creationist as the Beza he tried to convert and the Calvin who had usurped his predecessor's authority in Geneva.
Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
St Placidus and Companions
martyred by a Pirate at Messina*
* Messanae, in Sicilia, natalis sanctorum Martyrum Placidi Monachi, e beati Benedicti Abbatis discipulis, et ejus fratrum Eutychii et Victorini, ac sororis eorum Flaviae Virginis, itemque Donati, Firmati Diaconi, Fausti et aliorum triginta Monachorum, qui omnes a Manucha pirata, pro Christi fide, necati sunt.