Nothing Could Possibly Go Wrong

Not only is the magisterium’s teaching infallible, but a Roman Catholic’s salvation is never in doubt:

neither the Catholic or Orthodox speakers accepted the term ‘nominal Christian’. People from a Catholic or Orthodox background do not think about people in this category; it is a very Protestant way of thinking. Because of their sacramental theology, when you are baptized as a Catholic you are Christian from that point on, no matter what. You can be a naughty Catholic or a lapsed Catholic but you are still truly Catholic. Meanwhile, most Protestants believe that you are saved by faith alone and not through a sacramental process, so it is possible for Protestants to call themselves Christian and be baptized—but to have never trusted Jesus as their Lord and therefore be Christian in name alone.

Then why would Jesus explain the parable of the sower this way:

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case va hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” (Matt 13)

In other words, the seed’s effectiveness is not automatic. Mark Gilbert might claim that baptism is different from preaching and that sacraments always trump the word. If so, that’s odd because — well — Paul:

10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?3 And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, w“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

If Roman Catholics want to maintain the view of baptism that Gilbert maintains, it sure would help them if Paul wasn’t so logocentric.

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6 thoughts on “Nothing Could Possibly Go Wrong

  1. Hi Dr. Hart,

    I normally wouldn’t comment, but do you know that the article you’re engaging with here is from an evangelical protestant (mostly Anglicans based in Sydney) website, written by a guy seeking to evangelise Roman Catholics? He’s talking about conversations had around the table at a recent Lausanne gathering, not articulating a defence of this RC position.

    Makes a bit of a difference in how we read it I think.

    Cheers,

    Hamish

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  2. All those who say one is saved by faith alone have us wonder why so many preachers of their denomination than still teach about an eternal place called hell where people would be tortured for ever?

    Jesus has preached enough about the way people can loose the entrance to the Kingdom of God so we should better give heed.

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  3. BB: I’m not following your argument. Faith alone=true. Preachers still teaching that Hell is real, also true. Where’s the disconnect? Also, it’s torment, not torture.

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  4. Mr. Sneddon, thanks for the correction. I saw this linked favorably (I think) at an RC website. In which case, RC’s were using it to defend the RC position.

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  5. Thanks Dr. Hart, that’s interesting; I suppose it shows that he was both accurate and gracious in articulating what they were saying, strikingly so! Whether they themselves got his full point would be interesting to know too. Thanks very much.

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