Theology

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:

Satan.jpgBut why didn’t God prevent Adam and Eve from sinning? Didn’t this disobedience ruin everything? Didn’t Satan win a great victory over God? Yes and no. It marred the creation of God for the immediate moment, but God always uses evil to bring about a greater good—remember, he is God!

The Catechism asks the same question: “But why did God not prevent the first man from sinning? St. Leo the Great responds, ‘Christ’s inexpressible grace gave us blessings better than those the demon’s envy had taken away.’ And St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, ‘There is nothing to prevent human nature’s being raised up to something greater, even after sin; God permits evil in order to draw forth some greater good. Thus St. Paul says, “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more”; and the [Easter] Exsultet sings, “O happy fault [of Adam],. . . which gained for us so great a Redeemer!”’” (CCC 412).

Saints1.jpgBecause of the fall God would now become Man, the Ultimate Man who would crush the serpent’s head. And because God became Man, he could now raise Man up to truly be like God! (cf. CCC 460). Peter reminds us that we could now be partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Satan had lied, but because of God’s greatness, he actually fulfilled the empty lie of Satan in a more spectacular manner than could have been imagined. I suspect Satan is more furious than ever — his grand scheme backfired and man actually became what he had promised in his lie.

 Satan had tempted the first humans with the promise of being like God; now God, because of the fall and his infinite love has dramatically “upped the ante” and actually made it possible for us to really be like God!

What an ironic twist to a seemingly sad, but now magnificent story! Could any science fiction writer tell a more remarkable story—truth is stranger than fiction, and in this case much more cosmic, profound, and eternally real!

Meditate on THAT and have a blessed day!

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A while ago I gave a talk in Ann Arbor entitled “The Foundations of our Faith: Scripture, Tradition & Magisterium.” (Watch the video below.) As I love to do, I tied the Old and New Testaments together and showed the continuity that lays the foundation for who and what we are as Catholics today.

But my second purpose was to show how I do my research these days. I have given away about 1/2 of my books because I rarely use my 20,000 volume library any more because I have Verbum Catholic and Bible Software. The future of Bible and Catholic study is here. There is nothing like Verbum.

The talk was video-taped and you can see me (kind of dark to the right) but you can easily see the screen where my friend and Verbum associate demonstrated how powerful it is and how it puts whole libraries at your fingertips.

To learn more about Verbum visit my Verbum page and if you use STEVERAY10 in the Promo Code you get a 10% discount.

I began using Logos over 20 years ago when it was still a Protestant and when Logos was solely Protestant. I urged them over the years and worked with them to develop a Catholic package. I even gave talks at their corporate offices in Washington State.

Three years ago they DID IT and the result is stupendous. There is nothing else like it. Study Scripture, the Tradition, the Catechism, the Lectionary with reading and saints and more. Delve into the Hebrew and Greek without even knowing the original languages. Use Bible dictionaries, read the Fathers of the Church….

…visit www.Verbum.com/steve

Vi

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Salvation by Faith Alone?

by Steve Ray on February 15, 2017

Since the days of Martin Luther it has been popular to reduce salvation to a sound bite. Salvation is not by works but by “faith alone.”

However, the Bible seems to have another idea. In my book CROSSING THE TIBER I mention a few passages from Scripture to give a more biblical perspective.

Here is a section from page 100 in my book:

“One last comment, even though it will be discussed in more detail later: there is no attempt here to pit baptism against faith, or belief against baptism.  Things are rarely that simple.  Faith and baptism are two sides of the same coin.  Are we saved by faith or by baptism?  Are we saved by believing or by the Spirit?  These are false dichotomies that should have no place in our thinking.

screen-capture“How does one receive salvation, justification, new birth and eternal life?

By believing in Christ (Jn 3:16; Acts 16:31)?
By repentance (Acts 2:38; 2 Pet 3:9)?
By baptism (Jn 3:5; 1 Pet 3:21; Titus 3:5)?
By the work of the Spirit (Jn 3:5; 2 Cor 3:6)?
By declaring with our mouths (Lu 12:8; Rom 10:9)?
By coming to a knowledge of the Truth (1 Tim 2:4; Heb 10:26)?

By maintaining the faith (Col 1:22-23; Mt 24:13)?
By works (John 5:28-29; Rom 2:6, 7; James 2:24)?
By grace (Acts 15:11; Eph 2:8)?
By his blood (Rom 5:9; Heb 9:22)?
By His righteousness (Rom 5:17; 2 Pet 1:1)?
By His cross (Eph 2:16; Col 2:14)?

“Can we cut any one of these out of the list and proclaim it alone as the means of salvation?  Can we be saved without faith? without God?s grace? without repentance? without baptism? without the Spirit?  These are all involved and necessary; not one of them can be dismissed as a means of obtaining eternal life. 

Neither can one be emphasized to the exclusion of another.  They are all involved in salvation and entry into the Church.  The Catholic Church does not divide these various elements of salvation up, overemphasizing some while ignoring others; rather she holds them all in their fullness.”

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Marriage in Heaven? Will We Know and Love Our Spouses in Heaven?

February 14, 2017

Happy St. Valentine’s Day. This is for my mom. My dad died almost six years ago. Mom misses Dad and was discouraged about Mark 12:25 which her paraphrased Living Bible improperly rendered “will not be married” in heaven. I wrote the following to comfort my Mom… Mom, I know it is important to you since […]

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Follow up by Dr. Ed Peter’s: “The Maltese directive makes answering the ‘dubia’ urgent

January 1, 2017

The Maltese Disaster, by Canon Lawyer Dr. Edward Peters as I reported yesterday. Here is his follow up related to the dubia and the Pope. January 15, 2017 When highly placed Italian prelates declare that “only a blind man cannot see” that confusion is the ecclesiastical order of the day, and that such confusion has as its […]

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A Baptist Friend Asks: The Bible Says “All have sinned” so how can Mary be Immaculate?

December 8, 2016

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 […]

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Petition to the Holy Father for Clarification. I Signed Today with over 800,000 other Catholics

December 4, 2016

I received and signed this petition today… On the eve of the Ordinary Synod on the Family held in Rome in October 2015, we delivered to the Holy See a “Filial Petition to His Holiness on the Future of the Family” signed by 879,451 persons, including eight cardinals and 203 archbishops and bishops, asking for […]

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Crap, Castration & Two Creations – Colorful New Testament Wording

November 2, 2016

Since we are in Philippi Greece today, I thought I would post this colorful blog :-) We miss a lot when reading the English Bible. We’re at a great disadvantage. The early Christians read the writings of the apostles in the original language – they understood the words and expressions must better than we do. […]

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Why Did God Allow Man to Sin? “O Happy Fault of Adam”

October 31, 2016

This is a question that has puzzled people from the beginning. If God is good and all powerful why didn’t he stop Adam and Eve from sinning? Fair question. Of course we all know that he took the risk of giving us free will so that we could choose to love him. I don’t want […]

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Is the Mass really a Sacrifice? A Primer on the Mass

October 14, 2016

In 1 Corinthians 10 Paul compares three sacrifices, that of Israel, that of the pagans and the sacrifice of Christians. He speaks of the Table of the Lord which the Old Testament prophets explained as an altar of sacrifice (Malachi 1:7-12). Look at the chart below and see if Paul didn’t clearly view the Eucharist […]

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Sola Scriptura and the Canon of Scripture

October 12, 2016

Sola Scriptura and the Canon When non-Catholics are asked to provide biblical support or their belief that the Bible Alone is the sole rule of faith for the believer, they usually cite 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which states that “all scripture is God-breathed and is useful”. However, they somehow miss the fact that the two verses […]

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Church’s Name: Sad or Humorous?

October 9, 2016

I was driving down the road the other day and had to turn around and get a picture of this sign (click on the picture for a larger image). I had to chuckle when i thought how silly such denominationalism is — and the series of infighting and splits that must have brought this name […]

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What Do We Mean by “Unanimous Consent of the Fathers”

September 28, 2016

Unanimous Consent of the Fathers By Steve Ray The Unanimous Consent of the Fathers (unanimem consensum Patrum) refers to the morally unanimous teaching of the Church Fathers on certain doctrines as revealed by God and interpretations of Scripture as received by the universal Church. The individual Fathers are not personally infallible, and a discrepancy by […]

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How Big Was Jesus in Mary’s Womb at the Visitation – and what could he do?

July 19, 2016

“How big was baby Jesus in Mary’s womb when Mary visited Elizabeth?” That is the question I asked myself while visiting the Church of the Visitation in Israel. What I learned was quite revolutionary and amazing. This is one of the best pro-life arguments from Scripture and one I’ve not heard discussed before. It also […]

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

June 23, 2016

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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Multiplication of Loaves a Miracle or Just a Lesson in Sharing?

June 12, 2016

I will be on Catholic Answers Live Monday at 6:00 PM Eastern. We will discuss the Miracles of Jesus with an emphasis on the Multiplication of Loaves and Fish. When confronted with this at Mass a while ago I wrote a letter to the priest which became an article in Catholic Answers Magazine. Article HERE.  In […]

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