Doctrine of Justification

I had forgotten about this document until just yesterday. Many Catholic individuals on this message board have expressed a certain amount of angst towards Luther’s view of “Grace Alone”.

On October 31, 1999 Bishop Kasper the Secretary of Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity Rev. Ishmael Noko of the Lutheran World Federation signed the “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification”

The link is listed below for the document.

elca.org/ea/Ecumenical/r…/jddj/jddj.html

Some important lines of the documents are…

  1. In faith we together hold the conviction that justification is the work of the triune God. The Father sent his Son into the world to save sinners. The foundation and presupposition of justification is the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ. Justification thus means that Christ himself is our righteousness, in which we share through the Holy Spirit in accord with the will of the Father. Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works.
  1. The understanding of the doctrine of justification set forth in this Declaration shows that a consensus in basic truths of the doctrine of justification exists between Lutherans and Catholics. In light of this consensus the remaining differences of language, theological elaboration, and emphasis in the understanding of justification described in paras. 18 to 39 are acceptable. Therefore the Lutheran and the Catholic explications of justification are in their difference open to one another and do not destroy the consensus regarding the basic truths.
  1. Thus the doctrinal condemnations of the 16th century, in so far as they relate to the doctrine of justification, appear in a new light: The teaching of the Lutheran churches presented in this Declaration does not fall under the condemnations from the Council of Trent. The condemnations in the Lutheran Confessions do not apply to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church presented in this Declaration.

Now I understand that most people on this message board understand the Catholic stance on this issue, but I do not feel that they understand the Lutheran view is not different.

The senior people in our Churches feel the need to reconcile the broken bonds and bridge the gap, I think that it would do us well to emulate such behavior on these message boards.

There is something very promising in this and something very disturbing.

The disturbing part is that the ELCA is a liberal, non-confessional Lutheran. Basically Lutheran in name only. They ordain women and support all sorts of warped liberal ideas and theology. If it were with a confessional Luthern body like the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod, then there would be real hope. But the ELCA is in communion with several liberal mainline Protestant denominations.

When the Catholic Church and the Conservative Reformation Churches find an accord then this thing becomes real. And I pray for that day.

Mel

There’s a difference between “grace alone” and “faith alone.” Most angst, I believe, is directed at the idea of “faith alone.” As Catholics, we believe that both faith and works are the result of our cooperation with the grace that God has provided us as an unmerited free gift. There are things we can do to receive grace (Sacraments) but nothing we do earns it.

[quote=Melchior]When the Catholic Church and the Conservative Reformation Churches find an accord [regarding justification] then this thing becomes real. And I pray for that day.

Mel
[/quote]

Dear Mel,

Please don’t hold your breath; such an accord cannot happen without one of the two parties ceasing to be what it is. That is unless the magisterium can use smoke and mirrors again to redefine its teaching, a la, no salvation outside the Church.

That said, I, too, pray for that day.

God bless,
Dan

The Catholic Church has never had a problem about “Grace alone”.

From Trent session 6

CANON I.-If any one saith, that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the teaching of human nature, or that of the law, without the grace of God through Jesus Christ; let him be anathema.
CANON II.-If any one saith, that the grace of God, through Jesus Christ, is given only for this, that man may be able more easily to live justly, and to merit eternal life, as if, by free will without grace, he were able to do both, though hardly indeed and with difficulty; let him be anathema.

I think a good definition would be by faith and works through the grace of God.

[quote=Dan Blake]Dear Mel,

Please don’t hold your breath; such an accord cannot happen without one of the two parties ceasing to be what it is. That is unless the magisterium can use smoke and mirrors again to redefine its teaching, a la, no salvation outside the Church.

That said, I, too, pray for that day.

God bless,
Dan
[/quote]

The Catholic Church still teaches no salvation outside the Catholic Church. If you reject the Catholic Church with knowledge of what you are doing, you will go to hell. Sin requires knowledge of what you are doing. There is one true church, the Catholic Church. Christ unites in some way, all Christians who desire to be part of the true church. There is a doctrine called “baptism by desire” you can see this in the church fathers. I think it might be Ciprian or Ambrose that is talking about those who have not become part of the church by baptism of water but they have been martyred. This is “baptism of blood”.

[quote=jimmy]The Catholic Church still teaches no salvation outside the Catholic Church. If you reject the Catholic Church with knowledge of what you are doing, you will go to hell. There is one true church, the Catholic Church. Christ unites in some way, all Christians who desire to be part of the true church.
[/quote]

Hi Jimmy,

Okay, you have one [rather small] group going to hell (knowingly reject the Church) and another group going to heaven (Xians desiring to unite with the Church, whatever that means). What do you do with the BILLIONS of people who are in neither group?

Dan

P.S. Be careful; staying up into the wee small hours of the morning reading CAF, while fun, can be detrimental to your studies.:slight_smile:

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