Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pope Benedict, Bible, Faith.

I don't have to be a Catholic to really appreciate this Pope. God Bless this Pope and may his reign last many years for the good of the world.
Luther would have been amazed at the efforts of the Vatican today to put the Bible back into the heart of the Roman Catholic Church. . .

Last week, briefly passing through Rome, my wife and I stood in an empty St Peter's Square, where the chairs were still laid out for the 20,000 who had attended the pope's weekly public audience on the Wednesday before. On our return to Holland, we read in the newspaper what the faithful had been told that day. The headline read: Pope quotes Luther: Sola Fide. Luther, the pope had told his audience, had been right to insist in sola fide, that a believer was justified by faith alone!

Disagreement over this doctrine had been at the heart of the Reformation in the 16th century, splitting Christianity in western Europe. Yet, said the pope, it was indeed biblical to say, as did Luther, that it was the faith of a Christian, not his works, that saved him. Such faith however could not be separated from love for God and for neighbour, he qualified. Paul wrote about this balance in his letters, especially the letter to the Philippians, he added.

Full Article Here. Must Read.
This is lock-step with the basic Christian belief that being "good" does not merit salvation. The reality is, as hard as it is to swallow, there are no "good" people, in the sense that there are no "innocent" people. And "goodness" is a very nebulous standard. Who is good? And, what should be considered "good"? Ghandi? His works? Mother Teresa? Her charity? The Salvation Army volunteer? Are you for helping some lady across the street? Is Richard Dawkins for his promotion of science? Don't laugh, science is a good thing in and of itself.

How would we ever know? We couldn't.

Knowing that we could not attain salvation on the basis of our own works as a result of the Fall, God sent his Son down to us. So while we could not reach up to Him, he solved the problem by reaching down to us.

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