The usual Roman Catholic claim regarding the interpretation of Ephesians 2:8-10 was recently repeated, that the works by which we are not saved are works of human invention and/or are works of the now-obsolete Old Testament law. I'd like to devote a post to dealing with this by itself. This is mostly, ISTM, an exegetical question.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Now, let's be clear - our RC friends are saying that justification is at least PARTLY due to works, ie, justification is not by faith alone.On November 2, 2009 he asks me:
As for this passage, let us note how the ***same*** good works that God has prepared for us to do are the same works that are *NOT* the cause of our salvation. So if the 1st "works" are works of human invention or of the OT Law, then why isn't the 2nd "works" the same?
How can this be (pardon the pun) justified in the RC view?
Scott wrote: (...the only times) I would have to be concerned about "private interpretation" is if I am interpreting something contrary to an already defined teaching
This leads me to two questions, if you would be so kind.
1) When I cite Eph 2:8-10 as evidence that Roman soteriology is contrary to biblical teaching, do you consider "That's just your private interpretation" a valid argument against my contention?
2) When we cite ECF or papal statements that teach contrary to modern Roman dogma on certain topics, do you consider "He was only speaking as a private theologian on that point" a valid argument against the Reformed contention?
These are both related to this issue of personal interpretation.
My response then is:
I am responding here rather than on the Beggars All Blog since in the comments section I cannot include all the formatting you have used (above).
Let's begin with responding to the 2007 posting:How can this be justified in the RC view? Simple, the context will show that this is in regard to "works of the Law" - as is the case virtually everytime St. Paul contrasts works and grace. Simply look to the very next verse, verse 11 speaks of a work of the Law, circumcision:
18 But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."
St. James, the Apostle, makes it quite clear that sola fide is a lie - it is a "different gospel" not heard of for some 1500+ years after Jesus Christ and the Apostles formed the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
1) Based on our other conversations, I would suggest you use "Catholic soteriology" or "Roman Catholic soteriology" as opposed to "Roman soteriology." We are not Romans. We are Catholics in communion with the Bishop of Rome. "Roman" alone implies citizenry in a Roman government. If you are uncomfortable with "Catholic" alone (which you should not be, since as a proper noun it implies someone or something related to the Catholic Church or Roman Catholic Church) then I suggest you use "Roman Catholic." I found it a bit interesting that you respectfully used "Roman Catholic" back in 2007, but now in 2009 you're being less respectful and using the derogative term of "Roman" (alone).
2) I have not nor do I plan to respond to you with "that's just your private interpretation." Your claim is based on an out of context reading of St. Paul and without any consideration of St. James - and is validly dismissed as just that, an out of context statement which has no bearing upon your conclusion. Context specifically denies your conclusion.
3) Regarding your question about Early Church Fathers (ECFs) or papal statements which are allegedly contrary to (Catholic) dogma (you don't need "modern" or "Roman" in there) then I would have to say "I need specifics." I'm not going to issue a definitive statement based upon an ambiguous hypothetical argument.
PS - Alan, if you will provide your real first and last name, I will include it in the "Categories/Labels" section, making when I have responded to you here searchable by your name. I'll not be linking just your first name or a nickname like "Rhology."