More on the Pope and Justification

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Well, how did I miss that? Scott Clark already had an excellent post on the subject. Here.

At any rate, astute ref21 readers will have already correctly put their finger on the Pope's crucial ambiguity. What does he mean when he speaks of love as integral to justification? If he means that justification is always accompanied by sanctification, and thus faith by love, then he's a Protestant! If he means that justification is on the basis of, or indistinguishable from, sanctification, or enabled by a moral renovation that entails, and is expressed in, our love - then he's with Trent.

If our love grounds or is a basis of God's acceptance and forgiveness of us in any way - then Luther would definitely oppose faith alone to that role of love in justification.

By the way, the Pope is always very precise in what he says on these issues. He is probably the only Pope in the last hundred years who has read Turretin. He knows what he's about. Peter Jones met with him once (with a larger group of Reformed Protestants, back when he was Pope John Paul II's Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith --a successor to the, ahem, Inquisition!--). Peter was duly impressed with his knowledge of Reformed Theology and the Protestant Scholastics.

 

Posted December 11, 2008 @ 9:10 PM by Ligon Duncan
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