New Ebook by Jimmy Akin! [Akin] I decided to celebrate my recent birthday by making a low-carb pizza and by launching a line of ebooks.

The new ebooks are designed to be read quickly, in just a few minutes, and the first one is already up on Amazon.

It’s called**Justification by Faith and Works? What the Catholic Church Really Teaches*.

It will prove to be an eye-opener for anyone who repeats the standard claim that Catholics believe in justification “by faith and works.”

As always, I make extensive use of Scripture and official Church documents–including what Pope Benedict XVI had to say on this subject (his answer may surprise you!).

At just $2.99, the new ebook gives you a quick but thorough look at a hot-button issue in apologetics, grounded in the Church’s official teachings.

Thanks for checking it out! If you like it, I hope you’ll leave a positive review!

Here’s the link to get it . . .

Click here to downloadJustification by Faith and Works? What the Catholic Church Really Teaches.***


What do you mean by, “justification”?

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

A biblio-ecclesiastical term; which denotes the transforming of the sinner from the state of unrighteousness to the state of holiness and sonship of God. Considered as an act (actus justificationis), justification is the work of God alone, presupposing, however, on the part of the adult the process of justification and the cooperation of his free will with God’s preventing and helping grace (gratia praeveniens et cooperans). Considered as a state or habit (habitus justificationis), it denotes the continued possession of a quality inherent in the soul, which theologians aptly term sanctifying grace. Since the sixteenth century great differences have existed between Protestants and Catholics regarding the true nature of justification. As the dogmatic side of the controversy has been fully explained in the article on GRACE, we shall here consider it more from an historical point of view.

Here is a link to a paper, also by Jimmy Akin, that might be useful:

I’ll not get into the different Protestant definitions, except to point out that the Holiness movements, in particular, would apply the above definition to the term “sanctification,” not “justification.” But that’s another discussion.

The Catholic Encyclopedia’s definition is better than Jimmy’s. Anyway, Jimmy says some things, in the writing you posted a link to, that are off concerning justification and righteousness. For example:

“Both Protestants and Catholics agree that when a person is justified, God starts to change his behavior. He starts to purify our thoughts and intentions so that we begin to behave more righteously than we did before.”(Akin, Justification in Catholic Teaching, 1995.)

I’ve never heard that before, and I couldn’t disagree more. God doesn’t change His behavior toward us. It’s we who change because God has opened our eyes and ears through His grace. That grace, is different for everyone.

The paper here from Jimmy is over 20 years old, so maybe it’s just not current. I wouldn’t want to throw something old out there as a current definition of his.

That sentence is a little vague, because the nearest possible antecedent for the pronoun “his” is God. In fact, “his” refers to the person who comes to God. It would have been a lot clearer if Jimmy had written, “Both Protestants and Catholics agree that when a person is justified, God starts to change that person’s behavior.” When the sentence is read that way, it is obvious that Jimmy was spot on.

Thank you for clarifying that. I would still say something like, ‘God sets in motion, and the Church fosters, a change in the person’. But maybe I’m being too critical.

I’m trying to draw out the difference between how Catholics and some Protestants define justification. The term is used more in Protestant circles and given little weight in Catholic circles. There is good reason for that. Catholics don’t believe in, “once saved, always saved”. Catholic’s don’t even use the term ‘saved’.

Catholic’s are not to determine the eternal state of a person’s soul. So why talk about who’s justified? What do you mean by justified? There is a fundamental difference here in thinking between Catholic and some Protestants.

Being given the grace to live according to God’s will is not always accepted or acted on according to God’s will. Hence the Catholic understanding that we are all sinners. Who is to determine justification of an individual if most individuals don’t even know if they are truly doing the will of God? Are they to determine if they, themselves, are justified?

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