Friday, June 09, 2006

What's Wrong with this Definition?

"Through His suffering, death and resurrection Jesus Christ, merited grace for mankind. Grace is a power or virtue or quality, which is infused by God, or poured by God, into the human being. This grace which is a quality or power from God and is a pouring into the human heart of faith, hope and charity, gives humans the ability to please God with their good works and thus merit His favor. Thus, justification takes place within the human being."


justin said...

Rob, you've got to tell us where you got this from and who wrote it.

There are several things wrong with this paragraph. However, the most serious is the last line. Justification does not happen within a human. Justification is not an act performed on our nature. It is an act performed on our position or standing before God. In justification, God "declares" us to be righteous in His sight based on the finished work of Christ.

Rob Tombrella said...

Excellent Justin!

This is the official Catholic definition of justification straight from the Vatican.

What other things are wrong with this?

Do you think the average person in your church would see anything wrong with this definition?

Rob Tombrella said...

More specifically....

Could grace not be described as a "power" that helps us please God?

Don't evangelicals describe grace in this way--that God "puts" or "pours" into us?

I was surprised to see that "faith" is included as one of the "graces" that God "infuses" into a believer--though not saving.

Here "favor" is defined by "justification" that is slowly merited by the continual grace that God pours into the Christian. God is pleased "with their good works and thus merit His favor" i.e. His slow-moving justification.

justin said...

You hit most of the other problems. No, most church members would not be able to discern the error in this (sadly).

I always get uncomfortable when I see or hear the word "infused."

Did you ever read the Whitney chapter in Give Praise to God?