Theology

A Southern Baptist writes:

I am a Southern  Baptist who has a lot of respect for the Catholic faith. The Immaculate Conception is a hard concept for me. Does it also include the belief that Mary never sinned? How does that pass muster with Rom. 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God?” It seems like Paul would have noted the one exception here in Mary if that were the case.

 From my limited studies, I think Catholics have a very good argument for their position regarding the Eucharist. But wasn’t it several centuries before this concept of Mary arose in the Church?

 Dear Friend: yours is a good question. From the early centuries, Mary was considered the All Holy One and considered as without sin. Rom 3:23 is a general statement but does not mention exceptions to the rule. For example, Jesus was a man without sin, therefore an exception.

 The New Adam (Jesus) is without sin. From the 1st century Mary has been viewed as the New Eve. It would be appropriate, actually proper, that the New Eve be without sin also.

Those who die before the age of reason, or who are mentally deficient are also exceptions. Job could even be called an exception if you take God’s report of him literally (Job 1:8).

Romans is also discussing that it is not only the Gentiles that have sinned but also the Jews. All can be a collective of peoples. “You Jews think you are righteous because you are of Abraham? You think only the Gentiles are in sin. No, all have sinned, Gentile and Jew alike”

This is born out in Psalm 14 from where Rom 3:9 (parallel passage to Rom 3:23) is quoted. Here is says, Psalm 14:2–3 “The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely, that seek after God. They have all gone astray, they are all alike corrupt; there is none that does good, no, not one.”

Yet immediately following we find that God has his righteous. Psalm 14:5–6 “There they shall be in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous. You would confound the plans of the poor, but the Lord is his refuge.”

As a Baptist I used to use the Bible often for proof-texts and sound bites. Scripture is much more subtle than that. It is our tradition, whether Baptist, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, etc., that guides us in our approach to Scripture. The real question is, which tradition will you allow to direct your interpretation and study? I chose the tradition that was practiced from the first century until today – which is Catholic.

Wish I had more time. I warn you (tongue in cheek) that if you want to stay Baptist you are asking dangerous questions and dancing very close to the fire :-)

You will find helpful writings on this matter here, especially the short explanation on the radio of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption.

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The Dark Side of Luther – by Steve Wood

by Steve Ray on November 22, 2017

The Dark Side of Luther  (View online version at Steve Woods site here)

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This is the last of my newsletters responding to the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. I’m sending you some of the overlooked statements of Luther revealing his thoughts on Catholics, his claim to infallibility, and his hatred of the Jews.

All quotations are from Luther’s Own Statements Concerning His Teaching and Its Results by Henry O’Connor, Benzinger, 1884. Google Books offers a free digital copy. A copy is also available by clicking here.

What Luther Said about Catholics
“The Pope, the Cardinals, and the whole Romish Court and mob, are nothing else but a stable full of big, coarse, stupid, disgraceful donkeys.”

“The Pope, the Cardinals…ought to be taken and (as they are blasphemers) their tongue ought to be torn out through the back of their neck and nailed to the gallows…”

[Bishops under the Pope are] “Wolves, tyrants, murderers of souls, and the Apostles of the Antichrist…”

“…why do we not still more attack with every kind of weapon these teachers of perdition, these Cardinals, these Popes, and that whole abomination of the Romish Sodom, which, without ceasing, corrupts the Church of God, and why do we not wash our hands in their blood?”

“It is clear enough that they (the Papists) are the Christians of the Devil.”

Luther’s Claim to Infallibility
“I am certain that I have my teaching from heaven.”

“Whoever teaches differently from what I have taught herein, or condemns me for it, he condemns God, and must be a child of Hell.”

“…so that whoever does not accept my teaching, cannot be saved…Therefore, my judgment is at the same time God’s and not mine.”

Why Luther Inserted the Word “Alone” in Romans 3:28
“You tell me what great fuss the Papists make, because the word Sola (“alone”) is not in the text of Paul.”

“…If your Papist makes much unnecessary fuss about the word (Sola, alone), say straight out to him, Doctor Martinus Luther will have it so, and says, Papists and donkeys are one and the same thing…(thus I will have it, thus I order it, my will is reason enough). For we will not be the scholars or the disciples of the Papists, but their masters and judges. We must once in a way act a little haughtily and noisily with these jack-asses.”

“…and as to their unnecessary noise about the word Sola, I beg of you not to give those donkeys any other further answer, but simply this much: D. Luther will have it so, and he is a Doctor above all Doctors in the whole of popery.”

“…I knew very well that here, Rom. III, the word (Sola) is not in the Latin and Greek text, and it was not necessary for the Papists to teach me that. It is true, these four letters, S.O.L.A. are not in it, which letter the jack-asses look at as a cow looks at a new gate; but they do not see that nevertheless, it expresses the meaning of the text, and if our German translation is to be clear and powerful; it ought to be put in…”

Editor’s note: To their credit, not a single Protestant English translation of Romans 3:28 inserts the word “alone” as Luther did. This includes the KJV, RSV, NIV, NASB, ESV and several others.

Luther’s Hatred towards the Jews
Luther writes, “Now what are we Christians to do with this rejected, damned people of the Jews? … I will give my honest advice.”

“First, their synagogues or schools are to be set on fire, and whatever will not burn, is to be covered and heaped over with earth, so that never again shall one find stone or cinder of them left. And this is to be done in order to honor the Lord and Christianity, so that God may see that we are Christians…”

“Secondly, their houses are likewise to be broken down and destroyed…”

Editor’s note: No wonder Hitler in “Mein Kampf” names Luther as one of history’s greatest reformers. A copy of Luther’s “On the Jews and Their Lies” was prominently displayed during the Nazi’s Nuremberg rallies.

Family Life Team
In Advent Family Life Team members receive information about a new resource I’ve produced that explains key events preceding the Second Coming. To request this free no-obligation special letter, send an email to team@dads.org.

Radio & Podcasts
Listen to Luke21 Radio, biblical prophecy in the tradition of St. Augustine, on your local Catholic station and on Podbean.com (search “Luke21 Radio,” or search “steve wood”).

Faith & Family Radio is also heard on your local station and on Podbean.com (search “Faith & Family Radio,” or search “steve wood”).

Personal
The Vatican announced on October 31st that they are issuing a stamp honoring Martin Luther and his collaborator Philipp Melanchthon. I don’t plan on buying any of the stamps.

Yours in His Majesty’s Service,

Steve Wood

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All Souls, Purgatory and Dirty China

by Steve Ray on November 2, 2017

Gus Llyod’s Reflection on Purgatory

Today we celebrate the Feast of All Souls. It is the day we remember all the souls in Purgatory. Purgatory can be a controversial topic, and hard to explain. So, I would like to help you with that. Following is one of the chapters of A Minute in the Church on Purgatory. I hope this helps.

A family was having Thanksgiving dinner. So they took out their finest china, their most prized possession, for the feast. After a long and delicious meal, their fine china was full of gunk. Rather than put the china directly into the china hutch, the most beautiful place imaginable where it would stay forever, they put it into the sink and lovingly washed off the gunk.

This little parable may be a good way for us to understand Purgatory. You see, you are that fine china, God’s most precious possession. The table represents our lives on earth, where we accumulate a lot of gunk. And the beautiful china hutch represents heaven, where we will live forever.

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In 1 Cor. 3:13-15, St. Paul speaks about the person who is being saved, in other words on their way to heaven, but who is being purified as through fire. The word purgatory simply means “to be purified.” Now the Book of Revelation 21:27 says that nothing unclean will enter heaven. So think of Purgatory as the sink, where God lovingly washes us clean, so that we can take our place with all those who have gone in faith before us.

Father, we pray for all the souls in Purgatory, that they may be released and behold your face in heavenly glory. Amen.

STEVE RAY’S ARTICLE ON PURGATORY

Are You Prepared to Die?

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Are You Born Again?

November 1, 2017

Since we are all renewing our Baptismal Vows at the Jordan River today, thought this post from a year ago might be appropriate :-) It seems that God is kind of predictable in a way :-) since He always starts new things in the same way — with “water and the Spirit“. Consider the following: 1) The […]

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Evangelicals Guide To Catholic View of Justification

October 14, 2017

Steve Wood was a Protestant pastor before converting to Catholicism and starting Dads.org. He has just published an excellent book “Grace & Justification: An Evangelicals Guide to Catholics Beliefs.” Steve latest newsletter summarizes some of his book and gives good insights — especially in this 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Revolt. Here is his newsletter […]

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Nine Truths about Purgatory: What Catholics Need to Know about Heaven’s Ante-room

September 10, 2017

Nine Truths about Purgatory: What Catholics need to know about the ‘anteroom of heaven’ By Emily Stimpson – OSV Newsweekly, 9/29/2013 (Steve Ray’s article on Purgatory HERE) Some fear it. Others hope for it. Some see it as proof of God’s mercy; others as testimony to God’s wrath. Many don’t know anything about it, while many […]

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Cardinal Burke Outlines Formal Correction of Pope Francis’ Teaching

August 17, 2017

Posted by Edward Pentin on Thursday Aug 17th, 2017 at 7:56 AM The former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura explains in a new interview how a correction on parts of the Holy Father’s magisterium would be enacted, pays tribute to the recently deceased Cardinal Meisner, and stresses the importance of true mercy. In a new […]

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The Bible out of Context: “Saved by Faith Alone”?

July 4, 2017

When reading the Bible devoid of its historical and textual context, there is no context except the context which any person might supply for it. or put otherwise, A text without a context is a pretext. I always get frustrated when self-proclaimed Bible students or teachers start pontificating about the meaning of the Bible and […]

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Interesting Explanation of Baptism from Protestant Dictionary – “baptism…in itself is unimportant”

May 25, 2017

I was looking up Greek definitions of the word baptism and found this interesting “definition.” This dictionary is usually very good but I found this summary of biblical passages on baptism very intriguing and disingenuous. Take a look at this definition and think about it for yourself. Analyze it and the verses used. Notice how they […]

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A Quick Reply to Question about Cremation and Scattering the Ashes

May 23, 2017

I was asked a question about Catholics, cremation and the scattering of ash. Here is my brief answer: The whole issue of cremation goes back to the Romans. They denied the bodily resurrection so they often burned the body and if they were rich they put the ashes in urns and put them in the […]

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Purgatory? Doesn’t that Deny the Work of Christ?

May 21, 2017

What’s the Deal with Purgatory? by Steve Ray Isn’t the finished work of Christ sufficient? Didn’t he pay for all my sins? Why the heck do Catholics teach that we have to suffer in Purgatory for our sins? Plus, the Bible never mentions purgatory so it must be an unbiblical doctrine, right. Wow! Sounds like […]

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Yes, Christians Do Have an Assurance—but Not an Absolute Assurance—of Salvation

May 14, 2017

By Dave Armstrong: Many Protestants understand being “saved” as a one-moment-in-time act of repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as one’s “personal Lord and savior” (a phrase that nowhere appears in the Bible, by the way), a life-changing transformation of “lost” sinner who becomes a “saved” child of God. They believe this to be an […]

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When Is the Word “Love” First Used in the Bible?

April 6, 2017

When is the first time the word love is used in the Bible? It is great fun to ask a million questions when you open the Bible. Good questions serve to unlock the treasure chest revealing untold riches. Since the Bible is a book and books are made of words, it is great fun to […]

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Was Abraham Save by Faith Alone?

March 28, 2017

Today I am flying to Franciscan University of Steubenville to be the guest for Franciscan University Presents, the one-hour TV show produced by the University for EWTN. Mike Hernon hosts the program which is a round-table discussion with a guest and panelists from their Theology Department, Dr. Scott Hahn and Dr. Regis Martin.  Our topic will be Abraham, […]

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Did the Pope Change Doctrine with Amoris Laetitia?

February 24, 2017

I AM A LAWYER, NOT A MIND-READER February 23, 2017 By Canon Lawyer Ed Peters, Cardinal Vincent Nichols’ echoing of claims that Amoris laetitia changed no doctrines occasioned a question for me: Am I the only (or among the few) Amoris critics who agrees with Amoris defenders that Pope Francis made no doctrinal changes in […]

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Ironic Twist to a Devastating Story; Why Did God Allow Sin?

February 21, 2017

A while ago I wrote the Study Guide for Catholic Scripture Study — on Genesis. This section I wrote was so exciting and ironic I had to share it, especially since this is Christmas when God became Man. Here is a small section of what I wrote: But why didn’t God prevent Adam and Eve from […]

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