Non sequitur. The presence of splintered Christianity in the West is the consequence of the struggle. Therefore, as such, it is evidence that the struggle took place in the past and continues to this day.
You make a good point - I don’t deny it. Thanks for opening my eyes. I am with the Lutherans on this one - more than I thought.
In the 7th century B.C., China faced the struggle of military incursions from the nortth. The Great Wall is the consequence of these incursions. The Great Wall contiues to exist. However, that doesn’t imply that this struggle does not continue today. QED.
So, although we do have free will, it is still true that God gives us grace that enables us to accept His offer of justification. Moreover, through the sacramental economy, He gives us grace that allows us to perform supernatural acts of virtue.
Our acceptance of His grace is ours; the ability to accept it is freely given by God. It’s a delicate interplay between “grace” and “free choice”, in such a way that we can’t take credit for it, but we nevertheless must make a choice ourselves.
Without that element of “free choice”, the whole system devolves into an exercise in God pulling the strings and forcing us to accept Him.
We’re not talking about a wall. We’re talking about human institutions which replaced God’s Church and continue to teach the human errors which Luther invented. That is the essence of the splintered Christianity which is the consequence of the errors and institutions which Luther engendered.
Not a bunch of bricks stacked on top of each other. He put forth errors in Christian doctrine which people believed and thus he endangered their salvation.
Right, my original point - it is God’s grace that is the agent. We receive grace to free us to choose and accept him. Some do some don’t. We are in a sense compelled to choose God to achieve salvation no?
Also - do you agree that God is omniscient in the sense that he knows who says yes and who says no? Who achieves salvation and who does not? Did he know this at the time of creation?
Hmm… I’m not an expert on the various theologies within Lutheranism, but this might be a point of divergence from Catholic theology. In the Catholic context, we’re not compelled by God’s grace to accept His offer. His grace gives us the opportunity to accept the justification He offers, but does not compel us to do so.
He knows, but this does not mean that He predestines some to reject Him. His knowledge of their free will decision to reject Him does not mean He wills it (nor does it impinge on His sovereignty that they choose to reject His grace).
Give a listen to Dr. David Anders, theologian and convert from Calvinism - who studied the reformation and its characters with the intent of leading Catholics away from a false Church. Predictably, he ended up entering the Catholic Church. He well knows Luther’s, Calvin’s and Zwingli’s histories, theologies and personalities. He has a daily EWTN radio show “Called to Communion” in which he dares to ask non-Catholics of every stripe “What is keeping you from becoming Catholic?” Here is Dr. Anders’ website: http://calvin2catholic.com/
Lutherans believe one can reject grace.
From the Augsburg Confession
[Lutherans] "condemn the Anabaptists, who deny that those once justified can lose the Holy Ghost. "
That was written by Menanchton, right, who disagreed with Luther’s idea that we have no free will?
Yes. Written by Melanchthon, but Luther fully supported AC
Interesting. How could he do that when he taught that “everything is wrought in us necessarily according to whether God has either loves us or not loved us from all eternity” (“bondage of the will”)?
- Well, my point is that the choice is life and salvation with God or gnashing teeth in hell for eternity. That is the offer.
- As for God knowing vs predestining. I fail to see much of a distinction - the results in terms of the damnation of souls are the same. Same exact number of them.
That’s a different assertion, though. First off, we’re talking about accepting grace in the first place. Second, this part of the Confession is talking about sin. What it’s asserting is that Anabaptists say that there is no post-baptismal sin that requires forgiveness, but Luther asserted that there is post-baptismal sin of which one must repent. Right?
Huge difference, I’d assert. Not in the results wrt humans, as it were, but in the nature of God.
I totally get why Catholics argue for this - don’t get me wrong. I just don’t think it makes sense. If God knows that the souls of those who reject Christ are damned with no reprieve I don’t see how that is any different from predestination. How God is somehow more merciful because we screw up such a no brainer decision that he set us up in - in original sin, right? And this somehow affirms our dignity? That we can’t even get accepting God vs damning ourselves to hell correct? In fact, I like the idea of God’s elect. For all we know he elects us all, right? Everyone still has the same chance of salvation. The odds don’t change. Plus it matches Scripture. I do think God calls his flock. It doesn’t violate reason anywhere near as much as the RCC argument. IMHO.
Nearly 400 years of the tribunal of the holy office of the Spanish inquisition. 150,000 people arrested and 3000-5000 tortured and murdered for the crime of not following the Catholic Church. And Luther is the bad guy?
Predestination implies intent. Knowledge does not.
God didn’t “set us up in original sin”. We did that on our own.
Yep… cause it means that God allows us to choose and doesn’t do it for us.
That God calls us doesn’t imply that we answer the call.
Not seeing where you perceive a “violation of reason”…?
For example, and to who’s benefit?
You can receive good information on Luther from (Nihil Obstat) Radio Replies online