Why justification by faith is “not quite Protestant”

In a comments thread over on iMonk, Fr Al Kimel recommended a lecture by Phillip Cary (PDF) on the difference between Luther and Calvin in their understanding of “sola fide”.

Having now read this lecture, I’m deeply grateful to Fr Kimel for the recommendation. It is a belter, especially the section in which Cary compares the standard Protestant understanding of sola fide with the more sacramental and catholic understanding of Luther.

Cary, himself an Anglican, begins by pointing out that, while Luther and Calvin both taught that we are justified by faith alone (“sola fide”), there are fundamental differences in their understanding:

[W]hen the rubber hits the road and it’s a question of how we stand before God, Luther typically thinks of a different set of Scriptural promises than Calvin does, a set of distinctively sacramental promises, which have a different logic from the kind of promises Calvin and most other Protestants think about when they speak of the promises of the Gospel.

Cary summarises the usual Protestant approach to the promises of the gospel with what he terms “the Standard Protestant Syllogism”:

The Standard Protestant Syllogism
Major Premise: Whoever believes in Christ is saved.
Minor Premise: I believe in Christ.
Conclusion: I am saved.

What this leads to is a requirement for “reflective faith”. This syllogism requires us not only to believe, but to know we believe. The conditionality of the major premise means that “I am in no position to say the Gospel promise is about me until I can say, ‘I believe'”. Hence for most Protestants, being able to profess conscious belief is “a really big deal”.

Luther’s syllogism, as identified by Cary, is strikingly different:

Luther’s Syllogism
Major premise: Christ told me, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
Minor premise: Christ never lies but only tells the truth.
Conclusion: I am baptized (i.e., I have new life in Christ).

The major premise is not only a word of Scripture, but is also “a sacramental word”, spoken to each of us personally by Christ, through the pastor, at our baptism. Hence it is not only a word of Christ in general, but “the word of Christ spoken to me in particular”, as an external word spoken at a particular time and in a particular place.

Crucially, and in stark contrast to the standard Protestant syllogism, the major premise in Luther’s syllogism is unconditional:

The promise applies to me because it says so: Christ says “you” and he means me. So the promise of the Gospel, on Luther’s reckoning, is inherently, unconditionally, for me.

Faith does not make it so but merely recognizes that it is so, a recognition that happens because we dare not call Christ a liar when he tells us, on that one momentous occasion, “I baptize you…” That is why the minor premise is not about my faith but about the truth of Christ.

Cary argues that this is where he thinks “Luther’s got it fundamentally right”:

What faith says, fundamentally, is “God speaks the truth.” Only secondarily, and not fundamentally, faith may also say, “I believe.” But faith may also say, “My faith is weak” or “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief” or “I have sinned in my unbelief and denied my Lord, like Peter the apostle.”

Faith may confess its own unbelief. What it cannot do, if it is to remain faith at all, is stop clinging to the truth of God’s Word. For faith does not rely on faith, but on the Word of God.

This has important pastoral consequences, particularly in relation to those who suffer doubt and despair about their faith (what Luther called Anfechtung):

If you want to build people up in faith, you have to direct their attention to the Word of God, not to their faith. But don’t direct them to some general principle – direct them to their baptism, and remind them that when they were baptized it was Christ himself who, through the mouth of the minister, said “I baptize you” and he meant you in particular.

As Cary continues:

[It is] much easier to confess, “Christ is no liar” than to profess, “I believe” – especially if what that is supposed to mean is: “I have true faith in my heart, I truly, really trust in God,” etc. For this reflective faith, faith relying on itself, is how faith becomes a work, something we must do and accomplish in order to be saved.

Like our works, our faith will never be “good enough” in itself. It will never be entirely strong, sincere and unreserved. However, this is no cause for despair:

My faith is not good enough, but the one I have faith in is.
 

Cary concludes this section of his lecture as follows:

If you have to make a choice between the standard Protestant agony of conscience, where you must come somehow to the conclusion that you have true saving faith, and Luther’s agony of conscience, where the only question that really matters is whether God is telling you the truth – well, take Luther’s agony of conscience. It’s the right agony to have.

And in one form or another, it is the agony you’ll inevitably struggle with if you start with Luther’s premises about the nature of the Gospel. Honestly, in the end the only question that really matters is whether Christ is telling the truth. And there are indeed many, many times we find that hard to believe. Every time we sin, in fact.

This is why Article 5 of the Augsburg Confession (see previous post) is so important: because it enshrines this understanding that justification by faith must involve faith in an external, objective, trustworthy word of God, rather than an inward, individualistic focus on the state of my own heart. “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” (Romans 3:4).

(Incidentally, if anyone has a copy of Cary’s 2005 Pro Ecclesia article, ”Why Luther is Not Quite Protestant”, and would be willing to provide me with a copy, please let me know in the comments.)

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32 Responses to Why justification by faith is “not quite Protestant”

  1. Andrew says:

    Great stuff, thanks for posting this.

  2. Chad says:

    I’m coming at this with an open mind, and trying to understand. But the other hand of this arguments seems to b raise the question for me of how this works. Are baptized infants then always saved? Regardless of later denials of Christ? If simply being baptized is enough, can the priest just sprinkle random people on the street and save them from hell?

    I know it sounds like a ridiculous argument, but if I was a lutheran pastor who felt that my baptizing people saved them regardless of their own faith or lack of it, I would be tempted to load a Super Soaker up with holy water and “baptize” the whole city…..

    There is a history of forced “baptism or die” missionaries in the Middle Ages. Would that mean that that is a valid option?

  3. Chad says:

    ok, well I’m still working my way through the last part which seems to be answering some of thequestion, but is adding repentance instead of faith…..

    “The alternative to a once-in-a-lifetime conversion is a repeated, indeed daily return to
    baptism, which is of course a penitent turning away from sin and self and toward the gracious
    word of Christ. We need to see that conversion happens many times in life, I think, if we are to
    understand exactly what Luther means by justification. As he puts it in the famous 1519 sermon
    on the two kinds of righteousness, the alien righteousness by which we are justified before God
    “is given to men in baptism and whenever they are truly repentant.”

    “So justification occurs many times, as often as you repent.”

  4. David Castor says:

    Fascinating post, John.

    I don’t know if you’ve already read it or not, but the analysis and self-reflection I’ve done on John Donne’s “A Hymn to God the Father”
    here seems to involve the same kind of rejection of reflective faith.

  5. John H says:

    Chad: Thanks for your comments. To respond very briefly:

    Are baptized infants then always saved? Regardless of later denials of Christ?

    No. The promises of the gospel are not conditional on faith, but they are received by faith. If we reject those promises and call God a liar, then we will face him on the basis of the law rather than the gospel.

    However, those who later deny Christ are still validly baptised. As Luther says, “If you did not believe before this, then believe now and confess, ‘My Baptism was indeed a right Baptism, but, sad to say, I did not receive it rightly.'” (full quote here)

    If simply being baptized is enough, can the priest just sprinkle random people on the street and save them from hell?

    No, because in the absence of further Christian nurture people will not have, or retain, the faith by which we receive the promises of the gospel. Indeed, chances are they would be hardened against the gospel by the pastorally irresponsible and sacrilegious behaviour of that pastor, who would then have to answer for their blood (Ezekiel 33, Acts 20:26).

    In practice, I expect that if any of those individuals did come to faith later, the church would probably take the view they had not been validly baptised and would proceed to baptise them.

    Forced baptism, likewise, is a terrible thing, but it doesn’t invalidate the promise made in that baptism, any more than the gospel message itself would be invalidated if you were to force someone to listen to it under torture.

    …adding repentance instead of faith…

    This isn’t adding repentance as a condition. What Luther has in view here is the Roman Catholic Church’s claim that justification after baptism is only possible through participation in the penitential rites of the church. On the contrary, argues Luther: all that is needed is for the individual to repent; that is, to stop calling God a liar and believe instead that he speaks the truth, both about our sin and about the promises of the gospel. But this is about how we receive the promises of the gospel, not about conditions that must be fulfilled before we can say that those promises apply to us.

  6. Thomas says:

    To build on what John just said, let me add that the confessions assert that even repentance as described is the act of the Holy Spirit, working through the preaching of the law and gospel. You are, root and branch, in the hands of God. There is no option, no ‘plan b’ where you get to wonder what *you* have to do in order to make it possible for you to repent so that maybe, just maybe, you can get right with God. The declared word of God hacks away at all such nonsense, whether it be the Rube Goldberg machinery of the Roman Catholic penitential system, some sort of ‘baptism by the Holy Spirit’ following hard upon ‘asking Christ into your heart’, or throwing some chicken bones across the floor and hoping they fall into the right pattern.

    In short, God has made peace with us all, and through us the whole of creation, through the blood of Jesus Christ crucified. It’s a done deal, no questions asked – I don’t think anyone, of whatever communal stripe, should find that controversial. Now, the hard part – what do you do to be saved? Well, with you it’s impossible, but hear the good news…

    You get the idea, I hope, that there is a fact most offensive to us with all our pretenses to power and intellectual certitude at the heart of all this. A few words – ‘I baptize you’, ‘I forgive you’, ‘This is my body for you’ – with some bread, wine, water, constitute the life of the Christian. Your whole world rests on such seemingly meager and mundane things. There is no complex plan, no scheme of works you can invent, no clean hand to be found, no last second hat-trick, other than this sovereign weakness of God himself in saving us in spite of ourselves.

    Here endeth the too-long comment…

    Peace out.

  7. Thomas says:

    I know, my comment runneth over, but something came to me just now.

    It seems to me anyway that there’s nothing particularly ‘Lutheran’ about what I just wrote, that is, if you look at any of the current political parties that masquerade as ‘Lutheran’ in the US. It also occurs to me that what I wrote places ‘sacrament’ at the center of action – that is, especially, baptism and the eucharist. You can no more ‘do anything’ to make the bread body and the wine blood than you can move the moon from its orbit simply by thinking it. Maybe, just maybe, the eucharist is the center of it all…just rambling now, so I’ll stop. Those who’ve read my stuff know that such thoughts are not really new to me, but the connections have been dulled in my recollection by time and distraction…

    Peace out.

  8. Adam Morton says:

    A professor directed me to the Pro Ecclesia article last year. Good stuff (except I think there was something not quite right in the last few paragraphs, but more of an afterthought than a main point). If I can figure out in the next few days how to get an article scanned into .pdf form (I think there’s a media lab on campus where I can do that), I’ll send it on.

  9. Rick Ritchie says:

    I was almost wrecked by “reflective faith” at age eight. I thought I would never know if I believed enough to be saved. I made a decision to put the whole question of God on the back burner till I was old. But for my ninth birthday, a friend’s mother bought four of the Chronicles of Narnia for me. When I found out that C.S. Lewis was a Christian author, I almost decided not to read the books. But that back cover was too tempting. I read. I decided that if God was really like Aslan, I didn’t have to worry. I didn’t know exactly why.

    Reflective faith was often a problem later. But you don’t have to be old or sophisticated to get caught in the gears. And I think children suffer through this stuff alone, in part because adults assume that they all have perfect assurance coming from nowhere. “Yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so,” is good until you’ve read your first warning passage, or heard the Sermon on the Mount delivered in one of the Jesus movies.

  10. Phil Walker says:

    Luther’s certainly got it right on the nature of faith. Rick’s allusion to “Jesus loves me” sets me wondering whether the references to the sacraments are necessary to make the point about faith?

    What I mean is this. While you and I disagree on a good many aspects of the sacraments, we’d agree that God says “I forgive you” not only through Scripture but also through the Supper and through baptism. Now, if I ran Luther’s sacramental syllogism past my Baptist brethren, I’d likely as not get hounded out of the building with no small number of fleas in my ear; but when I tell the children (as indeed I have done, on a few occasions) that through the Bible, we know that Jesus loves us and promises to save us, and tell them that he is trustworthy, the reaction is markedly different. That’s Baptists for you. 🙂

  11. Gary says:

    Thank you, John, for this great post. When I read it, I said to myself: “Yes! This is what I’ve been trying to say exactly!”

    In one of our podcasts the subject was, “How Do I Know if I’m Really a Christian?” and it was as a result of helping Christians come to a more Gospel-oriented way of reframing this question that our discussion went down (essentially) this same path.

    Another way of considering it is: Which is it that’s actually instrumental in justification, faith in Christ or your self-awareness of having faith in Christ? For the Lutheran, this question is simple, but I’m not so sure it would be for most bapticostals and evangelicals. I mean, they would probably say the right answer, but (based on the necessity of the “minor premise” Carey has identified) I don’t imagine they can meaningfully decouple saving faith and self-awareness.

  12. Rick Ritchie says:

    I may have missed your point, Phil, but it reminds me I may need to clarify my own.

    My “Jesus Loves Me” point was really not about the preached (or remembered) Gospel versus the Sacraments. It was about the fact that the line “The Bible tells me so,” will only be believed until someone has an experience with the Bible where it appears to say something very different.

    I think there is another syllogism that stands somewhere between the two mentioned in the post.

    God so loved the world.
    I’m part of the world.
    God loves me.

    This could be stated in terms related to the cross. For most purposes that would be better, only I think the Aslan parallel, as it hit me when I was younger, would be lost.

    While this is open to being questioned from a “reflective faith” standpoint, I think that it is still good on its own. If someone reaches the conclusion, that is faith. The reflective faith arguments could be imported in to spoil anything if people are insistent enough. People do this with the sacraments, too.

    Cary’s point that the sacraments are spoken personally is a sound one. It does bring something my syllogism does not. But my syllogism also brings something that the Protestant one does not. All three have their place, but some are useful in more dire circumstances than others.

  13. Phil Walker says:

    My point, such as it was, was that as a non-Baptist among Baptists, I know how they think. I can’t start off with, “In baptism, God promised to forgive you,” because they don’t believe that (I do). I can’t say, “In the Supper, Christ tells you that he died for you,” because they don’t hear that (I do). And I’m not about to run that gauntlet. So I was wondering (because I find myself in the position of being able to from time to time) how to explain among them what faith is.

    Well, I can say, “In the Bible, God declares that he loves the whole world, and he demonstrates his love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Therefore he died for all of us, and therefore he died for you. To believe that he died for you is faith, which justifies.”

    So I was wondering whether, in John’s opinion, the placing of the sacraments in Luther’s syllogism was intrinsically necessary to the argument, or whether it would work, not equivalently but similarly, with Scripture. Looked at another way, are the sacraments more “for me” than Scripture?

  14. John H says:

    So I was wondering whether, in John’s opinion, the placing of the sacraments in Luther’s syllogism was intrinsically necessary to the argument, or whether it would work, not equivalently but similarly, with Scripture. Looked at another way, are the sacraments more “for me” than Scripture?

    I’d say the appropriate comparison is with the preaching of the gospel (taking into account Rick’s warning earlier in the thread about the filters some Christians will apply to that phrase). So you could say, “When the promises of the gospel are declared from the pulpit, it is Christ himself who is making those promises to you through the preacher”.

    The Scripture-based syllogism is OK, except it throws us back on individualism and introspection (just me ‘n’ my Bible) unless we remember that Scripture is intended principally for the church, i.e. Christians gathered together corporately, rather than to be read by individuals.

    Plus the words of Scripture do not address us directly in the same way that preaching and the sacraments do. The John 3:16 syllogism still requires the listener to make a logical deduction and apply the promise to him/herself, rather than being the direct statement of a promise that can simply be believed “as is”.

    So in that sense the sacraments (and preaching, and absolution) are indeed more “for me” than Scripture – not because they are “more” God’s Word than Scripture, but because they are addressed directly to me in a way that Scripture is not. I can’t remember who it was who said something along the lines of “the word written has greater authority, but the word preached has greater efficiency”.

  15. L P Cruz says:

    Ah yes fides reflexiva, to some, you have faith if you are able to poke and prick at it, so what happens when you are asleep, do you still have faith? A bapticostal friend of mine could not answer this when I pointed this out. Perhaps someone here can, but the answer should be yes, yet it can not reflect on itself.

    The sacraments are necessary because faith is never created from nothing, it is always created through the means of grace and Lutherans are well know for this – they are said to be the meanies of grace. The sacraments declare the Gospel in visible form so that it carries with it the payload within its promise the capacity to create faith in the hearer – faith comes by hearing the word of Christ – either by preaching or by sacraments.

    So a Lutheran should find it odd when someone testifies that he got saved looking at a beautiful sunset.

    Thus also, if we are now anxious (as I have been by experience) if we have faith, we do what Luther advised, we stop like Mary Magdalene and stop being frantic, sit down at the foot of Jesus an listen, hear the Gospel again announced to you.

    LPC

  16. John H says:

    Lito: I half-agree with you. I think the sacraments are generally necessary for salvation, in that few people are saved entirely without them. However, it is the gospel that is truly necessary: the sacraments are one of the main ways in which we receive the gospel, but they are not the only way (the thief on the cross being the best-known example of people coming to faith without the sacraments).

    So a Lutheran should find it odd when someone testifies that he got saved looking at a beautiful sunset.

    I think people often misinterpret their own experiences, normally because they have been misdirected as to what they should be looking for in that experience. I have no doubt that some people come to reflective faith while looking at beautiful sunsets, but they will have heard the gospel prior to that (and may well have believed it, without fully realising it at the time).

    Concrete example: for some years after my own return to faith, I placed the moment of conversion at a point after I had left the church service I’d just attended, when I prayed to God for conversion (with something not a million miles from the “agnostic’s prayer”: “O God, if there is a God, save my soul, if I’ve got one” ;-)). But now I think the key point was in the service itself, when I heard a sermon on the Emmaus encounter (it was the first Sunday after Easter) and believed what I was hearing was true.

    So I had a “conversion experience” and came to reflective faith at one point, but that was only because I had already come to faith without realising it, at some point prior to that (whether minutes, days or weeks before that, I do not know).

    (Incidentally, I wasn’t looking at a beautiful sunset. I was stood outside a newsagents in Oxford, having just bought a Sunday newspaper and a packet of cigarettes. But hey, it’s all good. :-))

  17. L P Cruz says:

    John,

    faith comes by hearing the word of Christ – either by preaching or by sacraments.

    I did include preaching, I mean here the Word and not just the sacraments. Paul on the road to Damascus would be an example of a conversion which came from a direct encounter from CHrist, but eventually still got directed to the sacraments.

    Also in my stating something odd, I did not mean to imply that it is not valid, as you said, articulating precisely an experience is not an exact science. I just meant, it would be a cause of wonderment.

    But given that yes, God can do anything, even Jesus coming down and preach the Gospel to you, there seems to me no other means, God wants us to rely on in propagating the faith – Word and Sacrament i.e. a cause for confidence that God’s word will do the thing they were set out to do, bring people to faith. It is the lack of confidence in these means that may cause us to look to some other technique and it becomes a technique search from there on.

    Blessings,

    LPC

  18. John H says:

    Yes: it’s the distinction between the question “By what means can God save us?” (answer: any he chooses) and the question, “By what means has God promised to save us?” (answer: the proclamation of the gospel, and the sacraments).

  19. Phil Walker says:

    The sacraments declare the Gospel in visible form so that it carries with it the payload within its promise the capacity to create faith in the hearer – faith comes by hearing the word of Christ – either by preaching or by sacraments.

    Were you including the Lord’s Supper in that? I think there are dangers in loading the the Lord’s Supper too heavily with the weight of “creating faith”. I’m not sure the Bible ever goes quite that far. There is within Scripture a distinction drawn between creating faith and sustaining faith, even weak, faltering, almost snuffed-out faith. Scripture and our respective standards teach that the ungodly who take the Supper do so to their own damnation, not to their own salvation.

    Using the language of the debates from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, to say the Supper is a “converting ordinance” has historically led to arguing that we ought knowingly to admit the unconverted to the Table (see Solomon Stoddard, and also Wesleyanism; Jonathan Edwards wrote cogently agin). I’m not convinced Lutheranism is quite ready for that. 😉

  20. John H says:

    Phil: remember that for Lutherans, faith is not something that’s created as a once-for-all event, but something that is continually fed and nurtured by the gospel. So the Lord’s Supper is not intended as the means by which God creates faith in us for the first time, but as a means by which that faith is nourished and refreshed in us.

    I’d take issue with LP’s phraseology in one respect: I don’t particularly like talking about the sacraments carrying the gospel as their “payload”, as that sounds a bit too impersonal. I prefer the Augsburg Confession’s language about the sacraments (and the proclamation of the gospel) being instruments used by the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who creates faith in our hearts by means of the word and sacraments, and any talk of the word and sacraments doing this in and of themselves is only a shorthand for that.

  21. Kevin says:

    I’m a late-commer to the discussion, but I have trouble seeing the distinction that you set up in “[It is] much easier to confess, “Christ is no liar” than to profess, “I believe”.

    Someone who says “Christ is no liar” is implicitly saying “(I believe that) Christ is no liar.” So the distinction you’ve set up vanishes. Both people are saying the same thing.

    What am I missing?

  22. John H says:

    The difference is that one statement is looking outward, speaking about something “out there” (namely Christ), while the other is looking inward, speaking about my own psychological/spiritual state or personal convictions (depending on how you define “faith”).

    So yes, someone who says “Christ is no liar” is implicitly saying “(I believe that) Christ is no liar”, but then that’s true of every similar statement: “(I believe that) London is the capital of the UK”, “(I believe that) I married my wife in 1996”, and so on. If we say that those statements are no different from saying “I believe” then we collapse into solipsism.

    To put it another way, the statement “I believe”, in this context, is equivalent to “(I believe that) I believe”.

  23. Phil Walker says:

    Oooh, a thought just occurred to me. And it’s ill-digested, but here goes anyway. What does all this make of Karl Rahner’s “anonymous Christians”? Clearly, believing is what matters, not believing that you believe; consequently, it is (at least in the abstract) plausible that someone may believe without realising it. Or is it just that people rarely survive in that state for long?

    (I understand and, in my Reformed way, agree with your analysis of the Supper [actually, both sacraments, but maybe that’s different for Lutherans] as feeding, strengthening and affirming, rather than creating [HC 65, 67]. I suspect I was reading more into Lito than he meant.)

  24. Gary says:

    The difference is that one statement is looking outward, speaking about something “out there” (namely Christ), while the other is looking inward, speaking about my own psychological/spiritual state or personal convictions (depending on how you define “faith”).

    I see the point Kevin had made, that logically there’s a way one could look at the statement “Christ is no liar” and the statement “I believe [in what Christ says]” and say that either one should necessarily imply the other. However humans aren’t consistently logical, nor is this area (faith) fully described in terms of logic.

    Here’s how a person could be inconsistent: I approach a professing Christian, who is at the moment struggling with his faith, to ask him a question which will confirm or cast doubt on his true status as a believer. Depending on the question I ask him, I may get back an answer grounded in true, saving faith, or I may get answer reflecting his self-doubt and struggle.

    If asked, “Is Christ a liar?” the Christian will (likely) answer, “Of course not!” Or my preferred question would be, “Who will you give all the credit to when you’re in heaven someday?” to which a believer would be expected to answer “Jesus”. Or the even simpler question would be, “Is Jesus the Son of God?” “Absolutely!”

    But if instead he is asked, “Do you believe in Jesus?” now the problem is he’s all too likely to let the conflict between his pietism and his guilty conscience under the Law undermine his faith. Does he believe? Instead of answering “Yes,” he goes into a soul-searching mode: “If I really believed, if I’ve really given my heart to Jesus, if I’ve truly been born again, wouldn’t I know it? And wouldn’t I be more on fire for my Lord? And would I have to confess and repent of the same sin again if I really have made Jesus the Lord of my life? If only I knew for sure that I believed!”

    C. S. Lewis, once when confronted with a person who indicated he wanted to believe, tried to help him see that the fact of his wanting to believe in Jesus was a pretty good sign he did in fact believe already. The man couldn’t see the logical implications that Kevin has mentioned above.

  25. Ed Reiss says:

    I was involved in a discussion of this very thing on Theologyweb. You can find the thread here:

    http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?t=95591

    Interestingly, one Lutheran there stated that to deny the promises of Christ is to deny reality, which I thought was interesting.

    I also like the rhetorical questions, e.g. “Is Christ a liar?” A good way to put these ideas into practical use!

  26. Jason Loh says:

    Luther’s understanding of faith and justification is the TRUE Protestant understanding. The Real McCoy. Puritan aberration cannot be strictly said to belong to CLASSICAL Protestantism. And Al Kimel made a horrible mistake the yoke of the Roman Obedience. Aas Lutherans, we emphatically do NOT rejoice over such conversions. We grief that an articulate and knowledgeable priest who once immersed himself in Lutheranism should have abandoned Anglicanism for Rome when he should have reverted to the Lutheranism.

    To be a Catholic is to be a Protestant, and to be Protestant is to be a Catholic. Apart from that is false Protestantism and false Catholicism.

  27. peter dible says:

    I am a little confused. Wasn’t there a difference between Calvin’s view of the sacraments and that of Zwingli. I was under the impression that Calvin had a more “spiritual” view of the sacraments, a little closer to Luther than Zwingli who saw them merely as “remembrances” and thus the second syllogism would apply more closely to him. Has Zwingli’s view prevailed among Protestants today?,

  28. Bob says:

    “Incidentally, if anyone has a copy of Cary’s 2005 Pro Ecclesia article, ”Why Luther is Not Quite Protestant”, and would be willing to provide me with a copy, please let me know in the comments.”

    I have a scanned image PDF of the article I can email to you. Let me know.

  29. John H says:

    Bob, thanks, that would be great. Please email me at johnhalton [AT] gmail [DOT] com.

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