"Regardless of his theocratic aspirations, Vermeule’s constitutional philosophy itself is nonsensical, given that it openly advocates the dissolution of the very constraints that characterize a constitutional order. Vermeule, it seems, would have us all become living constitutionalists of a sort, faithful to our partisan preferences above any objective understanding of the Constitution." - TAC
"[Vermeule argues that] the Constitution’s most abstract language should be interpreted as affording the government almost entirely unconstrained power over its citizens, a sort of blank check for the exercise of political authority as the sovereign sees fit. But can that practice of interpretation be justified on theological grounds?" - John Ehrett
"A Vatican tribunal that deals with matters of conscience, including confession, called the Apostolic Penitentiary, issued a notice Friday, stating that though absolution of sin is the usual means through which sins are forgiven by a priest, in times of 'grave necessity,' such as now with the ongoing spread of the virus, other solutions are needed... Confession is considered a sacrament in the Catholic Church." - CPost
"Every week, thousands of Catholics from all walks of life swarm into St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican to participate in Mass with Pope Francis, who has put concern for the poor at the center of his papacy. But now, a few lucky people may have the opportunity to attend a private Mass with the pontiff. All they have to do is own a Rolls-Royce. And shell out at least $155,000." - RNS
"One year after Pope Francis called for a summit of Catholic bishops at the Vatican, abuse survivors flocked to the Eternal City on Thursday (Feb. 20) to report a lack of progress and accountability in the fight against clergy sex abuse." - RNS
"In the case of Bufallo’s Bishop Malone, none of the visitation’s findings have been shared publicly. In his official statement, Malone defended his handling of clergy abuses before explaining that 'prayer and discernment' had led him to resign." - The Conversation
From Faith Pulpit, Summer 2012. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
How is a person justified before God? That was the question that ignited the Reformation. Beyond that foundational question, theologians have debated additional questions, such as “What is the importance of justification in relation to the other benefits of salvation?” and “Where does justification fit logically in relation to saving faith?” In this article Dr. Myron Houghton, senior professor and chair of the Systematic Theology Department at Faith Baptist Theological Seminary, guides us in an in-depth consideration of these significant questions.
To answer these questions about justification, we must first explore the exact nature of justification. Theologians have held two main positions: infusion and imputation.
At the time of the Reformation, Catholics and Protestants differed greatly in their understanding of justification and grace. The Catholic position defined justification to include all of the benefits of salvation, making it a process. Grace was understood as a God-given ability to do good works which was infused into the person. This Catholic view is sometimes described by the words, “Christ IN us.”
The Council of Trent, the Catholic council that dealt with Reformation issues, stated in its canons on justification: