Arguements needed - Imputation vs. Infusion


#1

Yesterday a guy was playing some RC Scroll stuff. Scroll tries to be fair about Catholicism it seems but of course gets it wrong. He was basically implying that baptism does not completely cleanse us of our sin. That we have to become righteous first, before heaven and so we have the doctrine of purgatory. Yet the truth of the matter is we are infused with grace and made rigtheous at baptism and that it is our sins after baptism that cause the need for purgatory. Mr. Scroll and the radio guy were basically using this as a straw man arguement against Catholicism and infusion to prop up imputation.

The guy has a free for all call in on friday and I was thinking of calling in (if he will let me, I haven’t tried in a while but he has banned me in the past because I defend Catholicism, maybe the screener has forgotten my voice). I need your best arguements against imputation, primarily scriptural. Any articles specifically on this issue would help as well.

Thanks

Thess


#2

catholic.com/thisrock/1991/9108chap.asp

Where I think you’ll run into difficulty is when they deny that grace is intrinsic, but claim that sanctification (which they completely separate from justification) is an internal process accomplished by the grace of God.

Best of luck spreading the truth, and if you get a chance, put in a plug for catholic.com!

God bless,
RyanL


#3

[quote=RyanL]http://www.scripturecatholic.com/justification.html#justification-III

catholic.com/thisrock/1991/9108chap.asp

Where I think you’ll run into difficulty is when they deny that grace is intrinsic, but claim that sanctification (which they completely separate from justification) is an internal process accomplished by the grace of God.

Best of luck spreading the truth, and if you get a chance, put in a plug for catholic.com!

God bless,
RyanL

[/quote]

Yes, I am aware of that. His solution for the sins after we are “born again” is that future sins were forgiven when we were born again. A rather nonsensical proposition. Thoughts in that area would help as well if the conversation goes in that direction.


#4

[quote=thessalonian]Yesterday a guy was playing some RC Scroll stuff. Scroll tries to be fair about Catholicism it seems but of course gets it wrong. He was basically implying that baptism does not completely cleanse us of our sin. That we have to become righteous first, before heaven and so we have the doctrine of purgatory. Yet the truth of the matter is we are infused with grace and made rigtheous at baptism and that it is our sins after baptism that cause the need for purgatory. Mr. Scroll and the radio guy were basically using this as a straw man arguement against Catholicism and infusion to prop up imputation.

The guy has a free for all call in on friday and I was thinking of calling in (if he will let me, I haven’t tried in a while but he has banned me in the past because I defend Catholicism, maybe the screener has forgotten my voice). I need your best arguements against imputation, primarily scriptural. Any articles specifically on this issue would help as well.

Thanks

Thess
[/quote]

Do you mean R.C. Sproul? I thought he had assented to the validity of infant baptism.

I have some stuff at home on infusion vs. impution that I’ll look up later when I have a chance and pass it along. I’m actually in a discussion about that with my father now.


#5

[quote=thessalonian]His solution for the sins after we are “born again” is that future sins were forgiven when we were born again.
[/quote]

Thus eternal security?


#6

[quote=thessalonian]Yet the truth of the matter is we are infused with grace and made rigtheous at baptism and that it is our sins after baptism that cause the need for purgatory.
[/quote]

Thessalonian, I always appreciate the threads that you start, as they often deal with issues I’ve been thinking about. This issue is yet another example.

Are imputation and infustion really mutually exclusive, though? I certainly reject the notion that imputation covers sins that amount to our rejection of God and salvation (mortal sin). But you have to admit that, as long as we are in a state of grace, Christ’s atonement covers future venial sins. Since the Father cannot look upon sin at all, even venial sins would normally be offensive to Him. So in some respect, we are “covered” and reckoned as perfectly righteous even when we commit a venial sin.

It seems to me that imputation and infusion are concepts that pertain to different aspects of our salvation. They are an apple and an orange rather than an apple and an opposite of an apple.

Imputation pertains to the legal declaration that we are reckoned as righteous. We are in a state of grace. We have a relationship with the Father because we are covered by the righteousness of Christ. However, we are always free to reject God overtly or by ignoring the Holy Spirit’s energetic efforts to keep us from mortal sin. Outside of grace, righteousness is no longer imputed.

It seems to me that infusion is a companion of imputation. It is the gift of grace that ACTUALLY enables us to resist sin and ACTUALLY be righteous. Of course, we will never be perfectly sinless on this earth, but infused grace enables us to grow in actual righteousness and sin less and less.

When we die in a state of grace, it is unlikely that we will be perfectly unstained by venial sin and the temporal consequences of sin. The final healing and cleansing of these temporal consequences is necessary in Purgatory before meeting the Father face to face. He cannot be in the presence of stain or blemish.

The doctrine of Purgatory seems to prove the need for a legal, imputed covering of declared righteousness upon us on this earth. Otherwise, the Father could not hear our prayers. We could not know Him.

I believe that the reason Protestants misinterpret imputation is because of their false view of eternal security. But properly understood, I don’t see that imputation and infusion are mutually exclusive.


#7

How do people of other Faiths reconcile “Once Saved, Always Saved” and/or “Born Again cleanses all past and future sins”, with Christs own Words:

It is harder for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle…

You must take up your own cross and follow me …

The parable of the two sons, one who agreed but did not work, and the one who disagreed but did work (This is a good argument against “Faith Alone” also).

There are many that say “Lord, Lord”, but I tell you I do not know them.

I could go on, but you get the point.

NotWorthy


#8

Hi, thessalonian,

I’ve always understood the difference to be one of
"legal fiction" versus the "ontological = “being.”

To say that Christ’s righteousness is “imputed” to us,
means that no “ontological” change takes place in
our spiritual “being.”

Luther, of course, likened it to a “dunghill covered with
snow.” Somehow, we are “wrapped” or “covered” in Christ’s
own righteousness.

The RCC position is one of ontological change in our
very souls, wrought by the infusion of God’s grace, made
possible through Christ’s saving life, death and
resurrection. In Christ, we are a “new being.”

I believe the above to be accurate, but am sure open
to correction on this.

Best,
reen12


#9

[quote=petra]Thessalonian, I always appreciate the threads that you start, as they often deal with issues I’ve been thinking about. This issue is yet another example.

Are imputation and infustion really mutually exclusive, though? I certainly reject the notion that imputation covers sins that amount to our rejection of God and salvation (mortal sin). But you have to admit that, as long as we are in a state of grace, Christ’s atonement covers future venial sins. Since the Father cannot look upon sin at all, even venial sins would normally be offensive to Him. So in some respect, we are “covered” and reckoned as perfectly righteous even when we commit a venial sin.

It seems to me that imputation and infusion are concepts that pertain to different aspects of our salvation. They are an apple and an orange rather than an apple and an opposite of an apple.

Imputation pertains to the legal declaration that we are reckoned as righteous. We are in a state of grace. We have a relationship with the Father because we are covered by the righteousness of Christ. However, we are always free to reject God overtly or by ignoring the Holy Spirit’s energetic efforts to keep us from mortal sin. Outside of grace, righteousness is no longer imputed.

It seems to me that infusion is a companion of imputation. It is the gift of grace that ACTUALLY enables us to resist sin and ACTUALLY be righteous. Of course, we will never be perfectly sinless on this earth, but infused grace enables us to grow in actual righteousness and sin less and less.

When we die in a state of grace, it is unlikely that we will be perfectly unstained by venial sin and the temporal consequences of sin. The final healing and cleansing of these temporal consequences is necessary in Purgatory before meeting the Father face to face. He cannot be in the presence of stain or blemish.

The doctrine of Purgatory seems to prove the need for a legal, imputed covering of declared righteousness upon us on this earth. Otherwise, the Father could not hear our prayers. We could not know Him.

I believe that the reason Protestants misinterpret imputation is because of their false view of eternal security. But properly understood, I don’t see that imputation and infusion are mutually exclusive.
[/quote]

Petra,

Thanks for you comments. I’ve been wrestling with this a bit myself. Are they contradictory and is imputation against Catholic theology. Because of reen12’s post I think it is. The sin must not only be covered over but washed away. Cleansed interenally. Even venial sin. Though I was listening to another program today that put them at odds and by the definition that they were using of “saved” you are not completely incorrect in your view I don’t think. They were pitting the difference as with imputed righteousness it is because Christ’s atonement is applied to us but nothing has really happened internally. We are just given credit for his finished work. Then later we are sanctified. This seems to be a huge can of worms for them as it seems to me to point to the neccesity of purgatory. How can they enter heaven if they are not actually MADE CLEAN? And if they are not actually MADE CLEAN how can they enter heaven? What if the born again Christian is immediately run over by a bus. They however say he would go to heaven without the sanctification being comeplete. Seems odd.

In the Catholic view however we are MADE CLEAN by the washing of water and the laver or regeneration, i.e. the action of the Holy Spirit. We would go directly to heaven. This makes much more sense. It is our sins afterward that cause purgatory or a fall. These need justification and real cleansing before heaven. This of course by the action of his grace. Thus I have not drawn the conclusion that imputed righteousness can be applied at all. I suppose in the sense with venial sins that we would still be “saved” it can possibly apply. But it doesn’t seem to quite fit to me.

Thanks for all replies. I was not able to call in yesterday. I will try this friday.

Blessings


#10

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