William Lane Craig's Explanation of Catholic View of Justification


William Lane Craig breaks down the Catholic view of Justification and the Reformers. This all seems to go back to when is one justified. I believe Catholics believe it is when we are Baptised, and it is for Evangelicals with the Believer’s Baptism. It also seems that Justification and Sanctification is one and the same for Catholics and is two different things for the Evangelical.

…to the Roman Catholic view, Luther’s view is that justification is a legal transaction that affects our status before God, but it is not a moral transformation. It is not a transformed character. Justification doesn’t make me into a morally good person. It simply declares that I am righteous before God. God puts us into a new relationship with himself. So, at Trent it is declared that the righteousness is intrinsic to me. It is not extrinsic; it is intrinsic to me. God makes me righteous. It is my righteousness that I possess. By contrast, on the Reformers’ view, righteousness is extrinsic, not intrinsic. It is the righteousness of Christ that is imputed to you. It is not your own righteousness that God produces. It is extrinsic in contrast to Trent which treats it as intrinsic…

…On the Roman Catholic view justification is thus both an event and a process. It begins with the first impartation of righteousness and then God imparts more and more righteousness. You become more and more justified before him as you increase in righteousness by receiving God’s grace through the sacraments provided by the church. By contrast, on the Reformers’ view justification is not a process. It is something that is declared by God and is complete and done with when a person turns to Christ in faith. He is declared righteous and his sins are forgiven. It is not a process that transpires over time.

The Q & A has some good “Catholic view is wrong” talk too.



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