Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Afflictions of Christ: Part 5

Here is Part 5 in my debate with "daveski" on the meaning of Col 1:24. If I could do it all over again, I would be more thorough in my response, but the part about me denying the sufficiency of Christ bugged me so bad that I fixated on it and I didn't respond to his other points. This is the last post in the debate so far, but I don't think it's over yet, so I could still bring some things up at a later time if I think it will be helpful.

Also see Parts 1 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4.

Pax Christi,
- - - - - - - - - -
in regard to your questions, i have answered the first two questions which also provides an answer for the third. considering the 4th & 5th questions, these are irrelevant as the situation we are talking about is justification.
in my past dealings with catholics, this has been and will always be a point of contention.
i've read your catechisms before, specifically in regard to justification, which is why i made reference to that in my first reply to u. u alluded to the thought that Christ's death on the cross somehow lacked actual salvation and something else needed to be added, namely our suffering. your misunderstanding of the sufficiency of Christ's death and resurrection and justification has caused u to err in your understanding of Col. 1:24. so that's why i made the suggestion to abandon the verse and instead discuss our understandings of justification.
once you understand what the Scriptures teach about justification, then u can properly understand verses like Col. 1:24.
however, since our doctrines are so different we are "talking past each other", as u said.
so if u would not care to discuss justification, there really is no point to continue this conversation. i'm not trying to write u off by any means, but if you're not willing to discuss the main issue, and i certainly won't force u, then we can dead it!

It is b/c you say things like this that I am convinced that you have not understood much of what I've been saying in this debate.

Why do you think that I deny the sufficiency of Christ's death? Because I say that something is lacking in Christ's afflictions? Those are Paul's words (cf. Col 1:24)!

Is it b/c I say that God rewards good works with grace? These too are Paul's words (cf. Rom 2:6-10,13; 2 Cor 5:10; 9:6; Gal 6:7-9; Eph 6:8; 1 Tim 6:18-19).

Is it b/c I say that we receive grace when we suffer? Paul is everywhere saying that we receive grace and glory (both in this life and in the next) when we suffer (cf. Rom 5:3-5; 8:18; 2 Cor 1:4-5; 4:17; 7:4; 12:9-10; Phil 3:8-11; 2 Tim 2:3,10-12; Heb 12:10-11).

Is it b/c I say that the grace from one man's work benefits the whole Body? The very image of the "Body" comes from Paul, and he tells us that b/c of the grace of the Cross, we are not only individually united to Christ but also to one another (cf. Rom 12:4-5; 1 Cor 12:13,26; Eph 1:9-10; 4:25; Col 2:18-19).

Is it b/c of my distinction between the objective redemption and the subjective redemption? Is there any other way to avoid universalism? Is faith the only way to receive the grace from the Cross?

Please answer these questions for me, so that I can understand why you would still say that I am denying the sufficiency of Christ's work. My whole goal here has always been to try and understand Col 1:24 while still upholding that sufficiency, and I have always stuck closely to Pauline theology.

Pax Christi,

ps: It may also help you to know that I am not defending "salvation by works" in this thread, nor do I believe that every grace we receive is the kind that saves a person. There is also a grace that strengthens you to do God's Will and to avoid evil. All grace comes from the Cross, but it doesn't all serve the same purpose.

I also have another question: When Christ said, "It is finished," was he referring to the objective redemption or the subjective redemption?

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