1736 Slices
Medium 9781442229280

Aquinas and Calvin on Merit, Part II: Condignity and Participation

Pro Ecclesia Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Aquinas and Calvin on Merit, Part II: Condignity and Participation 1

Charles Raith II

Few claims likely pain the Protestant ear more than hearing that believers receive eternal life as a due in justice on account of the worth of their works, that they obtain eternal life “by right [ex iure]” because of merit.2 Yet this is precisely Aquinas’s claim.3 As I explored elsewhere,4 Calvin’s extensive polemics against his opponents’ teaching on merit include many elements that are in harmony with Aquinas’s teaching, such as the unmerited reception of justification and the noncompetitive causal relationship between divine and human willing in meriting.5 At the same time, Calvin insists, and in genuine contrast to Aquinas, that the works of believers do not have a worth corresponding to the reward given from God. Calvin argues that believers receive eternal life on account of God’s grace and our participation in Christ rather than because our works have a worth that renders eternal life a “due.”6 God’s grace is demonstrated in that he “accepts” our works even though they are not deserving of the reward; he “considers” them pleasing and returns reward.7 Calvin states, “Good works . . . receive by way of reward [remunerationis] the most ample benefits of God, not because they so deserve them but because God’s kindness has of itself set this value on them.”8 For Calvin, Scripture is clear that no one can obtain something from God as their “right [iure]”; one must be “called away” from considering their own “dignity” and instead look to the grace of God and the work of Christ for obtaining eternal life.9

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COMMENTARY

Pro Ecclesia Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Mihail Neamtu



A recent series of public lectures on Eastern Christianity, generously hosted by the Metropolitan University of Manchester, was presented to the public under the heading of “multicultural studies.”

Instinctively, many Orthodox Christians will bristle on hearing of this characterization. Perhaps unintentionally, it suggests a sort of patronizing relativism that views the Eastern Church as an interesting and noteworthy piece of exotica, but not as the bearer of universal value or truth. Indeed the word “multiculturalism” can sometimes refer to a relativist philosophy that rejects any possibility of universal truths or moral precepts. Partly for that reason, many Orthodox Christians might react by saying that any public presentation of their faith should focus on its theological message, rather than its cultural packaging. First and foremost, some would say, such presentations ought to deal with the spiritual contents of Orthodoxy, or its claim to be the “right faith,” or literally the right way to glorify God among the various Christian confessions.

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Medium 9780890515372

Conclusion: The Biggest Question of All

Ken Ham Master Books ePub

Conclusion

The Biggest Question of All

Dr. David R. Crandall

Hopelessness Abroad

My body trembled as I watched a young student from the University of Rome take a suicide plunge from the top of the Roman Coliseum. I was only 19 years old and visiting my first foreign country. I witnessed firsthand the hopelessness of a world without the Lord Jesus Christ. That young man had asked the question "Is life worth living?" Obviously, his answer was no.

That experience changed my life. I stood on Via Cavour in Rome, Italy, and promised God that I would spend my life telling others the truth about the loving Creator God so that people all over the world could have hope. For the last 40 years I have ministered on every habitable continent and have preached in 86 countries. But to this day, the image of the student in Rome still motivates me to be involved in spreading the good news of the gospel that gives people a reason for living and a plan for life and eternity.

The Biggest Question of All

Late in His life and ministry, Jesus wanted His disciples to articulate in His presence their beliefs about Him. So He asked them the biggest question of all time: "Who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15).

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8 - Early Rescue in Rome, September and October 1943

Zuccotti, Susan Indiana University Press ePub

SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER 1943

ON OR ABOUT SEPTEMBER 13, 1943, PÈRE MARIE-BENOÎT, OR Padre Maria Benedetto as he was now known in Italy, met his friend Lionello Alatri, an important figure in the Jewish community of Rome. Whether the meeting was by chance or by appointment is not known. Alatri informed the priest that a train carrying well over one hundred Jewish refugees, formerly in supervised residence in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains in Italian-occupied France, had just arrived in the Eternal City. The passengers were destitute, famished, and without secure documents or shelter. Padre Benedetto had arrived in Rome from Marseille only three months earlier. Did he perhaps know some of the refugees?

After the war Padre Benedetto remembered his response to Alatri's question: “I went to see [the foreign Jews] at the Jewish orphanage where they were temporarily housed and I recognized a good number of those I had previously assisted in Marseille and Nice.” Among those he knew were Esther and Rachel Fallmann and their mother, Ida. Padre Benedetto was hooked. “It was impossible for me not to resume the duties of my assistance work,” he recorded. “I then made the acquaintance of Delasem, with which I worked for nine months [until liberation], taking part in all its activities.”1 Delasem was a national Jewish refugee assistance committee based in Genoa but with regional offices in Rome. Its local director, Settimio Sorani, became one of Padre Benedetto's close friends and associates in Jewish rescue.

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4. By What Authority? Listening and Leading

Stephen Gottschalk Indiana University Press ePub

Looking back at the Christian Scientists’ role at the WORLD’S Parliament of Religions, Eddy wrote to a student: “I warned them not to go to the World’s Fair. Mrs. Stetson carried it over me in the minds of my students, I yielded, they went and exposed the power and numbers we had.”1 If Eddy had, by her own estimate, been less than decisive in her exercise of leadership on this matter, it was not a mistake she would be likely to repeat. Indeed, the net effect of the incident may well have been pivotal in establishing her own trust in her capacities as a leader and the need to follow through on her intuitions—regardless of opposition from well-meaning associates who believed they knew better.

To her, these intuitions were not merely personal responses to situations, but the result of spiritual listening, of moment-by-moment waiting for God’s guidance. This conviction was well-expressed in her best-known poem, “Feed My Sheep.” Published in 1887, the poem was a prayer for guidance in the midst of a decade of turmoil, with a deluge of demands pouring in on her from all sides. Its first stanza, in final form, reads:

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