32. THE QUESTION WAS: Protestant apologist Dr. Norman Geisler wrote: Between the time of the Apostle Paul and the Reformation, scarcely anyone taught _______________.
a. imputed righteousness
b. forensic justification
THE ANSWER IS ..A and B are correct.
Dr. Norman Geisler, in his book Roman Catholics and Evangelicals, wrote:
Between the time of the Apostle Paul and the Reformation, scarcely anyone taught imputed righteousness, or forensic justification. (1995, p. 502)
Of course, Catholics would add that St. Paul didnt teach it either.
If an individuals personal reading of the Bible leads one to believe in imputed righteousness and to reject the idea of infused grace, one might want to change ones mind about this after realizing this interpretation is at odds with the Biblical interpretation held by the theologians who learned straight from the apostles .is at odds with bishops who were direct successors of apostles .and is at odds with the whole early Church. One might question whether he or she has an assurance that his or her own interpretation is superior to that of these holy men and women.
That said, if one really examines and absorbs what both the Catholic and evangelical camps say about what happens to a person after justification and sanctification, it is so completely similar, it seems silly to argue about this in the first place.
Commenting on Dr. Geislers comment above, Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong, a former evangelical Protestant, said in a TV interview:
that's a remarkable statement, in that it pretty much undermines the entire notion of the so-called "Reformation." Because it's supposed to be going back to early Church doctrine and bringing it back again (the very word reform). But he flat-out admits that it's never been there since the Apostle Paul [and Catholics would vigorously dispute that as well!]. So that is a corruption, not a development.
Dr. Geisler has a bachelors degree from Wheaton College and a Ph.D. from Loyola University, Chicago.
Full interview at http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ21.HTM
http://www.canapologetics.net/html/sproul3.html (Imputation or Infusion)
http://www.canapologetics.net/html/sproul2.html (Justification & Faith)
http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/colossians.html (Paul, Faith, Works, Righteousness)
http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/salvation.html (The Salvation Page)
http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ429.HTM (History of the Doctrine of Justification)
http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/a59.htm (Justification debate)
http://www.chnetwork.org/journals/justification/justify_7.htm (Did Paul teach Justification by faith ALONE?)
http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/page8.html (Romans 4:48)
http://www.mindspring.com/~jdarcy/files/saved93.html (Three points)
Again, the idea that justification is ONLY a legal pronouncement (known as forensic justification or imputed righteousness) was never taught in the history of Christianity until it was thought up by the Reformers in the 16th century.
Justification is more than a legal pronouncement. God is so loving and powerful, He actually changes us from within, making us holy. In fact, we "become partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet 1:4)
The Bible tells us we arent just given the legal name of children of God .we ARE children of God
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" John 1:12-13
"I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." Romans 8:14-17
God really cleans and purifies us, he washes us, he makes us new creations. He doesnt just cover up a pile of dung he destroys our sin, rather than just covering it up, and makes us internally clean. See Is 55:11, 1 Jn 1:7; 1 Cor 6:11; 2 Pet 1:9; 2 Pet 1:4 2 Cor 5. 17; Gal 6. 15, 2 Cor 4. 6)
Also, see: http://www.catholicculture.org/docs/most/getchap.cfm?WorkNum=8&ChapNum=4
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