Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Salvation For a Genius and a Town Fool

The universality of Catholicism never ceases to amaze me. It is a faith that inspired St. Thomas Aquinas to fill countless volumes of books with his expositions and exegesis. Yet, the very same faith that a town fool with intellectual disabilities could completely imbibe and gain salvation for his soul.
     A recent comboxer said:  "Your other notes of refutation on what Calvinists hold are typical misunderstandings of the position confessed." I hear this same tired argument from calvinists when I attempt to refute the tenets of Calvinism.
My conclusion is this:   If a faith system is so complex that relatively intelligent folks can't understand it, perhaps it is not a good faith system, (or one that is exclusively for a small group of intellectual elites.) The way of salvation that Christ brought to the world was fairly simple. It had to be if Christ was willing  "that no man should perish but all come to repentance." Sacramental and simple. "Unless you eat my body and drink my blood, you have no life in you."  Many walked away from Him that day, but for 2000 years He offers Himself to us in under the appearance of simple wheat bread and wine. All it takes is a heart of faith. Not a lot of intellect is involved. Not too hard to understand.

Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail,
Lo! o'er ancient forms departing
Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith for all defects supplying,
Where the feeble senses fail.
Thomas Aquinas


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband's PCA pastor once said from the pulpit that the Reformed faith seems to attract a lot of engineer types. To my mind, this is evidence that the Reformed faith isn't the gospel in its fullness, because God didn't try to save only those smart enough to understand a complex system.

October 28, 2010 11:18 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Yes. My wife always says that a complex religious system cannot possibly be the true faith because it immediately precludes anyone with a learning disability from salvation based on that system.
This implies that the person who can't understand calvinism is not elect. Did that ever come up in your reformed church?

October 29, 2010 8:40 AM  
Blogger kkollwitz said...

"If a faith system is so complex that relatively intelligent folks can't understand it, perhaps it is not a good faith system"

Yeah...what ever happened to perspecuity?

October 29, 2010 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Mrk said...

I think that Calvinism is apologetics of another form. I would probably argue that Catholicism is equally if not more complex. I don't have to understand Calvinism to be saved, but it helps answer tough questions that play out both in the Bible and in real life. Just because Jesus had a desire to see all saved, doesn't mean that's what will happen. He also had a desire to gather Jerusalem as a hen draws her chicks. Also didn't happen. These are examples of Jesus' humanity--just as he wept at Lazarus' tomb.

October 29, 2010 12:02 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

MRK said;
"I don't have to understand Calvinism to be saved"
I beg to differ with you on that. Maybe you are different than most.
I have had many calvinists tell me over the years that my inability to "correctly understand the doctrines of grace" proves I am not elect and therefore not saved.

You claim Catholicism is complex yet double predestination, penal substitutionary atonement, total depravity and limited atonement are easy concepts to grasp and just jump off the pages of scripture? That's quite a stretch if you ask me. If they were so obvious and easily accessible, why did they take 1500 years to be unearthed. And Don't tell me Augustine was a calvinist, I don't buy it.

Does one have to understand baptismal regeneration or transubstantiation in order to be saved as a Catholic? No. God knows that humans are made of flesh and used his flesh to save us. In the same way, this incarnational principle applies to the sacraments. God uses the stuff of earth to give us grace. A handicapped child need only believe in Jesus and trust in his mercy and receive his love and grace through the sacraments to live a holy life and go to heaven. The "town fool" will never understand penal substitutionary atonement but can accept and believe that Jesus comes to him in the Eucharist.

"Just because Jesus had a desire to see all saved, doesn't mean that's what will happen. "
I never said it will. He desires all men to be saved but by their free choosing some will walk away from the gift of life offered .
Catholics do not ascribe to universal salvation.

October 29, 2010 7:09 PM  

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