[quote=Prometheum_x]I thought that was the case – I wasn’t aware that was speculative theology. How were the old testament saints saved?
**I’m NOT saying that sacraments are speculative theology, not at all! **I didn’t mean that and I reread what I wrote which sounds that way. The seven sacraments of the Catholic Church are dei fide dogma’s and aren’t part of speculative theology. I was just making the point that the OT saints didn’t have them but had those things that prefigured sacraments, i.e., circumcision became baptism.
The Old Testament saints were saved like we are, by faith and obedience. Hebrews 11 is a chapter of what’s called hagiography which is the study of the saints and tells us about saints i.e. Abraham, Joseph, Rahab, Noah et al., who had faith and obedience to God even in trials and suffering. Those who were under the Levitical law had to obey Gods commands of the Law through circumcision, animal sacrifice, food obligations etc. but they were also bound by the moral laws of God too. They had to obey what God had revealed or commanded them to do. Obviously God hadn’t revealed that there was three persons within the Godhead (Trinity) yet ONE God. They could only follow in faith and obedience what had been revealed to them.
I sometimes write in my mind without explaining with my fingers what I’m thinking, although I’d be the first to admit that I don’t know as much as some but more than most Catholics. What I meant was, “limbo” was/is speculative theology in that what happens to unbaptized babies hasn’t been defined for us specifically by the magisterium. What has been defined is that the Church leaves the children up to the mercy of God. If one wants to believe in “limbo” as a Catholic then that’s fine, provided one stays within Church teaching that baptism is necessary for salvation and is the ordinary way to infuse sanctifying grace into the soul.
If, for example someone holds to the idea that unbaptized babies can’t or will not beyond a shadow of doubt go to heaven or that they go to hell, then they are outside of what the Church has proclaimed, since the Catholic Church doesn’t say one way or another.
Protestants often wrongly assert that Catholics can’t think on our own, but they don’t really understand speculative theology, which stimulates debate in Catholic theologians and if the matter needs to be settled, the pope takes hold and proclaims what God has revealed, or at least gives guidelines as to what we can believe.
The problem with speculative theology is that the liberals/decenters (especially theologians/priests) take it and abuse its intent, because is gives them a platform to spew their outrageous and rebellious words against the papacy and traditional/historical Christian orthodoxy.
christi simus non nostri