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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Tiptoeing through Reformed theology

Before my recent reversion to the Catholic Church, I spent several years in fellowship with many faithful God-loving brothers and sisters in Christ in two Evangelical Presbyterian churches. As I discuss my faith walk with various friends, I've found that Catholic and Reformed theology are each frequently misunderstood by adherents of the other.

Here's a link to a very readable essay by Jimmy Akin which discusses the foundation of Reformed Calvinist principles in light of what Catholics believe. Two things are especially worth noting:

** Each set of beliefs is sometimes discussed using a shorthand terminology (e.g. "Total Depravity", Mary as "Mediatrix") that can foster serious misunderstanding unless the fullness of the concept is understood as it is intended. This presents opportunities for charity, assumptions of good will, and willingness to learn on everyone's part.

** I was startled at how much actual overlap there is between the underpinnings of Catholic and Reformed beliefs. Check it out and see if you agree.

As an extra added bonus, here's Mark Shea on Is Sacramental Grace Magic?

3 comments:

Therese Z said...

I agree that we sling each other's words around without seeing how much commonality we have. If you thought there was a great deal of overlap, what made you come back to the Catholic Church?

Rosalind said...

Ah, the $64,000 question.

Lots of reasons, but most boil down to how Incarnational the Catholic Church is. Not only did God love me and give himself so I could be in full relationship with Him, but every day I can receive the real Jesus in the sacrament of the Eucharist. There are so many ways that God Made Man are presented to me in front of my face. It's not just what God created to demonstrate His own glory, it's that He uses that creation as a vehicle to pursue a relationship with me. And the more I know about Him and the contrast with me, the more preposterous and astounding that pursuit is.

What's not to love about that?

Therese Z said...

Sounds like real happiness to me!

 

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