|date||May 5, 2009|
|author||Voddie Baucham||topics & issues||Discipleship, Ecclesiology, Theology|
A dear friend of mine sent me a link to an amazing website called pugio fidei. In the article to which he linked, the authors offered some astonishing advice to Catholics defending their faith against Protestants (and Calvinists in particular). Among the more eye-opening admissions in their post is a reference to eternal security. They write:
17. Never ask, if a Protestant believes his salvation is eternally secure, what motivation he has to do good and avoid evil. The answer is obvious (and embarrassing to the Catholic who asked the question): the love of God. The love of God is sufficient motivation to pursue holiness with all vigor, absent any considerations of self interest. The most that a Catholic can argue in this respect is that Catholic theology, which furnishes men with both the baser motive of self interest and the loftier motive of the love of God, is superior in the practical order. For, in many cases, the baser motive will effectually turn a man from evil to good whereas the loftier motive, even though it should have, did not.
Anyone who has regular contact with Roman Catholics needs to read this post. These guys display an intellectual honesty that is both helpful and refreshing. Moreover, they take away virtually every argument I have ever heard from a Roman Catholic. They also tackle some arguments I’ve dealt with from Arminians:
13. If you wish to cite Acts 7:51 against the Calvinist doctrine of irresistible grace, be forewarned that there exists a cogent rebuttal. St. Stephen tells the Sanhedrin, "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always oppose [Gk., antipiptete] the Holy Spirit." Literally, they fall against, meaning they fight against or oppose, the work of the Holy Spirit. Those who quote this passage against the doctrine of irresistible grace assume that this means they are resisting and hence rendering ineffectual that which the Holy Spirit is trying to work in their own souls. I.e., the Holy Spirit is working on converting them, but they are resisting Him. However, in context this passage more probably means simply that they are fighting against and opposing the work which the Holy Spirit is accomplishing in others, by killing the prophets in attempts to silence the word which God is speaking through them and persecuting the saints who hear it. "Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute?" (Acts 7:52) The devil resists the Holy Spirit in the same sense.
Nicely done. And there’s much, much more.