It has occurred to me that the bulk of Protestant Theology is formed around a forensic/legalistic Justification model (sola Fide) that at its core seems to me to be very contradictory to undisputed core Christian tenants. That is the Protestant’s tend toward a predominant focus on personal salvation (e.g. “Personal Lord and Savior”) over any real notion of community salvation and “Christian Charity” (which Catholics define as “Loving God and Neighbor”). Don’t misunderstand me here - I am not saying Protestants do not participate in community charity - but there does seem to be high focus on personal salvation.
Catholics are also guilty of this to some degree since afterall Catholics are all taught that we must cooperate with God’s grace to gain our sanctification (theosis) so that we may individually gain heaven and enter into an eternal relational beatitude with God. But the difference with Catholics is that we also draw on the strengths and needs of the community of believers in The Church as well as in the community of Saints for support as a core aspect of our theology. We look forward to joining the “heavenly family” and I believe we think less in terms of “individual salvation” (though this is subjective opinion here). As well, Catholics see works, especially active charitable works, as fruits of grace that form an integral and necessary part of our sanctification process which benefits both Church, self and society at large (even if society is not particularly supportive of us - “loving even those who hate and persecute us”).
So I wanted to solicit feedback and provoke some dialog and thought in this area and see if Protestantism passes the “common sense” test as being compatible with the social aspects of the Christian message for the larger “human family”. My intention frankly, is to challenge some thinking on Protestantism’s key sola - sola-fide and see if it really is a self-centered justification model that over emphasizes a “personal salvation” perspective. Is it deficient and incompatible with the prime Christian directive of “Charity” (loving God & Neighbor above self). As well I want to see if I can impress how critical it is for Christians to have a communal relationship with Church and humanity at large that is more than just a “fellowship” and social relationship - and is actually a burden since we do have an obligation to help get your neighbor into heaven with us. I want to see if I can get Protestants seeing the importance of The Church as integral with salvation as Catholics believe.
Here is an interesting related article from a Protestant Source: Demythologizing the Gospel
Would appreciate thoughts and comments.