[quote=Gracehawk]Hey Robert, thank you for clarifying yourself. I’m sorry if I seemed a little hostile myself in saying you seemed a little hostile.
I’ll respond to your arguments in peacemeal fashion but in the mean time, could you and/or one of the other posters here elighten me about how Roman Catholics can be fully assured of their salvation. Or in Roman Catholicism, is it impossible to fully assured of one’s salvation?
Peace be with you Gracehawk,
Let me say that Martin Luther, the first proponent of “Once Saved, Always Saved” offered a unique exegesis for interpreting Holy Scripture which was simply not found among the generations stretching from the apostolic age to the onward until its genesis with him. Of course, one must also recognize that Luther struggled greatly to establish such a exegesis in the face of the “whole of the Scriptures” which is why he rejected the deuterocanonical books as well as some of the New Testament.
Martin Luther had developed his theory that only those books that taught his exegesis of Justification by Faith Alone should be accepted as part of the canon. However, he didn’t work out this theory until after he had lost a debate with a Catholic (either Cardinal Cajetan in 1518 or Johann Eck of Ingolstadt in 1519 AD), when 2 Maccabees 12:43-45 was quoted to refute Martin Luther’s “Faith Alone.” His standards were also the reason for claiming that Hebrews, James, Jude, and the Book of Revelation were also not to be considered as fully the Inspired Word of God. (Although, evidently the Lutherans of the 17th century added these NT books back into their canon.)
In Luther’s German translation of the Bible, he took Hebrew, James, Jude and Revelation and placed them at the end of the New Testament. He categorized them as inferior to the rest of the Bible. He also had done this with the seven Deuterocanonical Old Testament books. (Until recently, the Deuterocanonical books called “apocrypha,” were still in many Protestant Bibles, but in a separate section at the end.)
The book of James contradicts Luther’s principle of Justification by Faith Alone. James 2:24 says “See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” Rather than change his theology, Luther just denied that, James the Apostle, was the author of James and removed it from his canon.
In his preface to James he claimed,
“But this James does nothing more than drive to the Law and to its works. Besides, he throws things together so chaotically that it seems to me he must have been some good, pious man, who took a few sayings from the disciples of the Apostles and thus tossed them off on paper…In a word he wanted to guard against those who relied on faith without works, but was unequal to the task.”
In his preface to Hebrews, Luther said,
“We should not be deterred if wood, straw, or hay are perhaps mixed with them [precious notions], but accept this fine teaching with all honor.” ( Luther’s works. Volume 35 Word and Sacrament I, pages 395-397 ed. E.T. Buchman [Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1960.])
In Luther’s commentary on Revelation he wrote, “Everyone may make up his own mind as regards this book. As for me, I have a personal aversion to it and that is enough.”
In another translation of Martin Luther’s writings, “Martin Luther: Selections from his Writings” Dillenberger, page 35, we read in the Prefaces to Luther’s German Translation of the New Testament in 1522 in regard to the epistle of St. James:
“Firstly, because in direct opposition to St. Paul and all the rest of the bible, it ascribes justification to works, and declares that Abraham was justified by his works when he offered up his son. St. Paul, on the contrary, in Romans 4:3, teaches that Abraham was justified without works, by his faith alone, the proof being in Gen. 15:6 which was before he sacrificed his son. Although it would be possible to save the epistle by a gloss giving a correct explanation of justification here ascribed to works, it is impossible to deny that it does refer Moses’s word in Gen. 15 (which speaks not of Abraham’s works but of his faith, just as Paul makes plain in Romans 4) to Abraham’s works. This defect proves that the epistle is not of Apostolic provenance.”