Justification by Faith / Works

Vermont Pols Think the New Yorker Is an Authority on Abortion

Operating out of the national spotlight that is focused on late-term abortion legislation around the U.S., Vermont legislators are quietly seeking to enshrine their already exceptionally broad abortion policies into state law. Unrestricted abortion is already permitted for any reason and at any stage of pregnancy in the Green Mountain State, but that hasn’t stopped [...]

Can We Know Who Is Saved?

“Is he a believer?” As a former evangelical, I remember hearing (and asking) this question frequently. Much is at stake in answering it: is the person someone who can be trusted, with whom one can fellowship and pray, or should we pray for his conversion? I used to label people “believer” (or not) with speed [...]

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi

The words of this ancient maxim are akin to the quintessence, the crystalline solid that was thought to move the planets in perfect orbits in pre-modern cosmology: The words are a succinct, nearly perfect encapsulation of the whole of the Catholic (and not only of the Catholic) religion. They name, and tell the relation of, [...]

Why Not Go on a Pilgrimage?

Just as the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, we might say that the first step on the road to sanctity is the realization that we are in exile, strangers and sojourners, knowing somehow, someway, we belong somewhere else. Ever since Adam and Eve got themselves cast out of the Garden, we [...]

Unpracticed Faith is Functional Atheism

In “Is Grace Amazing or Appalling,” some readers felt I was advocating the cheap grace of faith without works. Although I should have been more clear, it was not my intent to suggest that human effort has no role in coming to Grace, and afterward. Rather, my point was that our works do not merit [...]

Is Grace Amazing or Appalling?

The religion professor asked the students, “Why do you think Jesus was persecuted by the religious establishment of his day?” Their answers: “He healed on the Sabbath,” “He dissed the Jewish leaders,” “He hung out with sinners and tax collectors.” Finally, the daughter of a personal friend replied, It was because of grace. The Jews [...]

How Protestants Still Get Justification Wrong

The Protestant Reformation’s 500th anniversary is likely to inspire the usual appraisals of where Protestants and Catholics have lingering disagreements and where there is now common ground. In the former category are the Eucharist, Mary, and the pope, among other areas. In the latter often goes the doctrine of justification. It shouldn’t. The agreement over [...]

MENU