[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.
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.