Theology

From Catholic World Report:

Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, “On love in the family,” has been one of the most widely anticipated papal documents in recent years, following the closely watched and sometimes controversial Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in 2014 and the Ordinary Synod of Bishops in 2015. It is also one of the longest and wide-ranging papal documents in recent memory, touching on a host of theological, spiritual, practical, moral, and pastoral questions about family, marriage, children, sexuality, and related matters.

In these essays CWR contributors offer their reflections and analysis of the document, drawing upon their knowledge and experience as married people, priests, theologians, scholars, and journalists.

Francis’ sprawling Exhortation a marriage of profound and muddled | Carl E. Olson

In Amoris Laetitia, who is admonishing whom? | James V. Schall, SJ

The Joy of Love in the Hands of the Clergy | Dr. Leroy Huizenga

The Mystery of Matrimony and Amoris Laetitia | Michael J. Miller 

Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia and St. John Paul II | Eduardo Echeverria 

In Amoris Laetitia, the family is an opportunity, not a problem | Stephan Kampowski 

Make sure you read these passages from Amoris Laetitia, too | Catherine Harmon

The Trending of the Pope | Mark Brumley

The Two Synods and the Exhortation that Followed Them | Mary Jo Anderson

The Shape of Repentance: Reflections on Amoris Laetitia | Adam G. Cooper 

Amoris Laetitia: Another Nail in the “Overpopulation” Coffin | Dr. Samuel Gregg 

Accompanying, Discerning, and Integrating—in the Way of the Master | David Paul Deavel

“Amoris Laetitia’: The Good, the Disturbing, and the Torturous | Dorothy Cummings McLean

First thoughts on the English version of Pope Francis’ Amoris laetitia | Edward N. Peters 

The law before ‘Amoris’ is the law after | Edward N. Peters 

First thoughts on Amoris Laetitia | Bishop Robert Barron

Watch: Ignatius Press editorial staff members discuss “Amoris Laetitia” 

{ 0 comments }

Dave Armstrong wrote an insightful review of this new film and some problematic theological issues. Here is his review:

I wanted to let you know about two recent posts of mine, concerning the new film, The Young Messiah. Based on what I have seen about how it presents Jesus’ knowledge (in other reviews), I’ve concluded that it has heresy in it. Briefly, it appears to present the view that young Jesus (age seven in the movie) did not yet know that He was God (or even the Messiah). 

This notion of developing consciousness of His own identity was, in fact, never taught by the Church fathers or the magisterium of the Church. It first arose with various early heresies, and then was revived and developed much further by modernist theologians after 1800. It looks like it has become quite fashionable today, and has been picked up even by those who are otherwise orthodox, and seek to be orthodox and obedient to the Church.

In my first post, I cited magisterial texts and extensively cited two theologians, Fr. William G. Most and Fr. Bertrand de Margerie, S. J., as well as critical reviews by Brad Miner and Neil Madden.

My second one, just put up in the last hour, is an abridged presentation of a wonderful 1922 book (a dissertation) that I found last night, on the young Jesus’ consciousness. Fr. Patrick Joseph Temple, S.T.L.  goes through the views of the Church fathers, the medievals, the early heretics, and then modernists after 1829, and does scriptural exposition of Luke 2:40-52, showing that orthodox Catholic tradition always taught that Jesus knew Who He was from conception (and possessed the Beatific Vision) as a result of the Hypostatic Union.

The problem is that many notable Catholics have already endorsed the movie, and now it is being extolled on Catholic radio as well. At this point, my view (which I believe to simply be that of orthodoxy and Catholic tradition) is a “minority” position. At least two bishops and a Cardinal have enthusiastically recommended it.

What can I say? It contains serious error. I have to call it as I see it, as a defender of the faith. If the magisterium teaches something (as best I can determine, through thorough research and consultation of experts), I accept it and defend it, as needs be. That’s a higher authority than statements from individual bishops. 

Anyway, if this interests and/or concerns you, you may want to check out my papers and judge for yourself (read both sides of this dispute). I think this is a very serious matter and that Catholics need to come to agreement on it. Heaven knows we have enough division these days, both in the Church and in the political arena.

POPE PIUS XII:
“…But the knowledge and love of our Divine Redeemer, of which we were the object from the first moment of His Incarnation, exceed all the human intellect can hope to grasp. For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the beatific vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him, and He embraced them with His redeeming love. O marvelous condesce.sion of divine love for us! O inestimable dispensation of boundless charity. In the crib, on the Cross, in the unending glory of the Father, Christ has all the members of the Church present before Him and united to Him in a much clearer and more loving manner than that of a mother who clasps her child to her breast, or than that with which a man knows and loves himself……” – MYSTICI CORPORIS CHRISTI, Pius XII.

STEVEN GREYDANUS’ THEOLOGICAL REVIEW: http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/4635/on_jesus_human_knowledge_and_the_young_messiah.aspx

{ 4 comments }

When I was a kid, the “Sinner’s Prayer” was a big deal. It was at the heart of everything we knew about Jesus and getting saved. It was almost used as an incantation.

My mom coached me to pray the Sinner’s Prayer when I was 4 years old. We knelt together in front of the green vinyl couch, and she helped me pray,

“Dear Heavenly Father, I know that I am a sinner and the wages of sin is death. You sent your Son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I ask Jesus to come into my heart. I know my sins are now all forgiven past, present and future. Thank you Jesus for saving me and assuring my entrance into heaven. Amen.”

Saul of Tarsus reciting the "Sinner's Prayer"? I don't think so :-)

It never dawned on me as a young man that such a prayer is never found in the Bible. Nor do we ever see anyone coach sinners to pray such a prayer. The Bible never encourages us to “ask Jesus into our heart.” And the whole idea of sins forgiven into the future with no guilt for future sins is – so unbiblical that I can’t even believe now I ever believed it.

I am grateful to my good mother for loving Jesus and wanting me to be saved. She believed what she was taught and never questioned the Baptist tradition she learned after hearing Billy Graham.

But now that I have read widely and studied these matters from Scripture and the early Church I realize there is much amiss with this Sinner’s Prayer. The Catholic Church is the fullness of the faith and explains salvation as faith in Christ, repentance and water baptism.

You never find St. Paul espousing such a prayer nor St. Peter on the day of Pentecost. My, it is good to be Catholic and cling to the rich and full teaching of the faith.

******************************

One of my old favorite Protestant writers, A. W. Tozer wrote, “I believe that a true ‘sinner’s prayer’ will gush out of anyone who is truly seeking God and is tired of being enslaved to sin. (Matthew 5:6) The very act of ‘leading someone in a prayer’ is utterly ridiculous. You will find nothing even remotely like it in the Bible, or among the writings and biographies of those in Church history. It completely savors of crowd and peer pressure tactics, and (please forgive me) brainwashing techniques. I do not believe that Jesus wants to have his disciples ‘repeat after Me,’ I believe He wants them to follow after Him!

{ 7 comments }

A Quick Reply to Question about Cremation and Scattering the Ashes

January 29, 2016

I was asked a question about Catholics, cremation and the scattering of ash. Here is my brief answer: The whole issue of cremation goes back to the Romans. They denied the bodily resurrection so they often burned the body and if they were rich they put the ashes in urns and put them in the [...]

Read the full article →

Interesting Explanation of Baptism from Protestant Dictionary – “baptism…in itself is unimportant”

January 10, 2016

I was looking up Greek definitions of the word baptism and found this interesting “definition.” This dictionary is usually very good but I found this summary of biblical passages on baptism very intriguing and disingenuous. Take a look at this definition and think about it for yourself. Analyze it and the verses used. Notice how they [...]

Read the full article →

Can Peter Walk on Water? Can Sinful Men be Infallible?

January 9, 2016

Is it possible for a sinful, fallible man to give an infallible interpretation of Scripture or an infallible definition of doctrine? If he is fallible and sinful, doesn’t that preclude his ability to be infallible when it comes to things of God? No. In fact while many Protestants would say the Pope cannot be infallible [...]

Read the full article →

Simple Chart on Hierarchy of Authority, Infallibility, Dogma and Doctrine in the Catholic Church

January 8, 2016

From Jimmy Akin: Periodically, I’m asked what the difference is between dogma and doctrine. People have the idea that they are kinds of Church teaching, but they’re not sure precisely what the difference is (or even if there is one). To help folks understand this, I’ve created an infographic that shows how dogma and doctrine [...]

Read the full article →

Temple Sizes Compared – bigger than a football field

January 7, 2016

The 1) Tabernacle in the wilderness, the 2) Temple of Solomon, 3) Herod’s Temple at the time of Christ and 4) Ezekiel’s Temple are compared. The football field looks insignificant compared to the temples (in more than one way :-) The Muslim Shrine that now sits atop Temple Mount is built over the rock where [...]

Read the full article →

Are You Born Again?

January 5, 2016

 Since we are all renewing our Baptismal Vows at the Jordan River today, thought this post from a year ago might be appropriate :-) It seems that God is kind of predictable in a way :-) since He always starts new things in the same way – with “water and the Spirit“. Consider the following: 1) The [...]

Read the full article →

Is there Evidence for Jesus outside the Bible?

January 4, 2016

Some people think Jesus is a mythical figure like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. Others think Jesus might be historical but only mentioned in the Bible is the only source of information on the existence of Jesus. They question whether Jesus really existed as a real historical figure. Is the Bible the only source [...]

Read the full article →

Response to an Ex-Catholic, now Baptist

January 3, 2016

A while ago I received an e-mail from a Southern Baptist and decided to take a few minutes to respond. Thought others might be edified by it so I have posted it here without using his name. His e-mail is contained in regular text and my response is in CAPITAL LETTERS. **************************************************** HELLO FRIEND: I [...]

Read the full article →

Is DOGMA an Oppressive Catholic Word?

January 2, 2016

When I was an Evangelical Protestant, I thought DOGMA was a dirty word. It had bad connotations. It represented unbiblical teaching forced down people’s throats by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. They invented new doctrines not found in the Bible and then called them dogmas and told Christians if they didn’t believe them — [...]

Read the full article →

My Updated Article on Infant Baptism

December 30, 2015

Even among Evangelical Protestants there is much debate about Infant Baptism. My old Baptist tradition rejected it as a Catholic tradition of men. Dr. Francis Schaeffer, my favorite Evangelical Presbyterian theologian wrote a booklet entitled Infant Baptism in favor of the practice – my wife Janet was raised Presbyterian and baptized as an infant. It [...]

Read the full article →

The Bible out of Context: “Saved by Faith Alone”?

November 19, 2015

When reading the Bible devoid of its historical and textual context, there is no context except the context which any person might supply for it. or put otherwise, A text without a context is a pretext. I always get frustrated when self-proclaimed Bible students or teachers start pontificating about the meaning of the Bible and [...]

Read the full article →

Sola Scriptura and the Canon of Scripture

November 3, 2015

Sola Scriptura and the Canon When non-Catholics are asked to provide biblical support or their belief that the Bible Alone is the sole rule of faith for the believer, they usually cite 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which states that “all scripture is God-breathed and is useful”. However, they somehow miss the fact that the two verses [...]

Read the full article →

Purgatory? Doesn’t that Deny the Work of Christ?

September 29, 2015

What’s the Deal with Purgatory? by Steve Ray Isn’t the finished work of Christ sufficient? Didn’t he pay for all my sins? Why the heck do Catholics teach that we have to suffer in Purgatory for our sins? Plus, the Bible never mentions purgatory so it must be an unbiblical doctrine, right. Wow! Sounds like [...]

Read the full article →