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Daily Archives: March 3, 2018
Placuit Deo is a “beautiful expression of the Gospel,” regarding two “current problems,” says Dr Michael Sirilla, Director of Graduate Theology and Professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville….
Dr Sirilla explains that Placuit Deo provides a response and meaning to two problems that Pope Francis has brought up several times in his pontificate, especially in Evangelii Gaudium and Lumen Fidei. He explains that the document correctly clarifies that these two problems, Neo-Pelagianism and Neo-Gnosticism, are not identical to their classical counterparts, but that there are “points of contact.” Dr Sirilla says that the document also interprets and communicates well Pope Francis’ teaching in this area.
Dr Sirilla defines neo-pelagianism as the “end result of the modern project. We can save ourselves” perhaps imitating Christ but not through his power at work in us. “We ourselves attain salvation by our own efforts.” Neo-Gnosticism is the “view that the flesh and the created order are meaningless and purposeless.” Salvation is interior and subjective. “We need to be liberated from the flesh and the created order and from its absurdity.”
The response to these problems, provided in Placuit Deo is that “we cannot save ourselves and the created order does have meaning.” The Letter addresses Neo-Pelagianism by affirming what the Declaration Dominus Iesus already declared, that “salvation for all humans is found only in Jesus Christ.” How Jesus saves us is a response to Neo-Gnosticism—he does so “precisely in His flesh which He sacrificed on the cross.” We receive this salvation sacramentally through the Church that Christ established. We receive divine life “by means of the visible, tangible Jesus Christ in His mystical body, the Church. And the sacraments…communicate grace visibly to us.”
Roman Catholicism’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith releases Placuit Deo, a Letter To the Bishops On Certain Aspects of Christian Salvation
1. “In His goodness and wisdom God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will (cf. Eph 1:9) by which through Christ, the Word made flesh, man might in the Holy Spirit have access to the Father and come to share in the divine nature (cf. Eph 2:18; 2 Pt 1:4). The deepest truth about God and the salvation of man shines out for our sake in Christ, who is both the mediator and the fullness of all revelation”. The teaching on salvation in Christ must always be deepened. Holding fast to the gaze of the Lord Jesus, the Church turns toward all persons with a maternal love, to announce to them the plan of the Covenant of the Father, mediated by the Holy Spirit, “to sum up all things in Christ, the one head” (Eph 1:10). The present Letter is intended, in light of the greater tradition of the faith and with particular reference to the teachings of Pope Francis, to demonstrate certain aspects of Christian salvation that can be difficult to understand today because of recent cultural changes.
II. The effect of current cultural changes on the meaning of Christian salvation
2. The contemporary world perceives not without difficulty the confession of the Christian faith, which proclaims Jesus as the only Savior of the whole human person and of all humanity (cf. Acts 4:12; Rom 3:23-24; 1 Tm 2:4-5; Tit 2:11-15). On one hand, individualism centered on the autonomous subject tends to see the human person as a being whose sole fulfilment depends only on his or her own strength. In this vision, the figure of Christ appears as a model that inspires generous actions with his words and his gestures, rather than as He who transforms the human condition by incorporating us into a new existence, reconciling us with the Father and dwelling among us in the Spirit (cf. 2 Cor 5:19; Eph 2:18). On the other hand, a merely interior vision of salvation is becoming common, a vision which, marked by a strong personal conviction or feeling of being united to God, does not take into account the need to accept, heal and renew our relationships with others and with the created world. In this perspective, it becomes difficult to understand the meaning of the Incarnation of the Word, by which He was made a member of the human family, assuming our flesh and our history, for us and for our salvation.
3. Pope Francis, in his ordinary magisterium, often has made reference to the two tendencies described above, that resemble certain aspects of two ancient heresies, Pelagianism and Gnosticism. A new form of Pelagianism is spreading in our days, one in which the individual, understood to be radically autonomous, presumes to save oneself, without recognizing that, at the deepest level of being, he or she derives from God and from others. According to this way of thinking, salvation depends on the strength of the individual or on purely human structures, which are incapable of welcoming the newness of the Spirit of God. On the other hand, a new form of Gnosticism puts forward a model of salvation that is merely interior, closed off in its own subjectivism. In this model, salvation consists of improving oneself, of being “intellectually capable of rising above the flesh of Jesus towards the mysteries of the unknown divinity.” It presumes to liberate the human person from the body and from the material universe, in which traces of the provident hand of the Creator are no longer found, but only a reality deprived of meaning, foreign to the fundamental identity of the person, and easily manipulated by the interests of man. Clearly, the comparison with the Pelagian and Gnostic heresies intends only to recall general common features, without entering into judgments on the exact nature of the ancient errors. There is a great difference between modern, secularized society and the social context of early Christianity, in which these two heresies were born. However, insofar as Gnosticism and Pelagianism represent perennial dangers for misunderstanding Biblical faith, it is possible to find similarities between the ancient heresies and the modern tendencies just described.
Read it all (emphasis [except for he heading] is mine).
Make financial education compulsory in primary schools, says Archbishop of Canterbury’s Just Finance Foundation
Primary school pupils should receive compulsory lessons on how to manage money as part of the response to growing levels of financial insecurity and problem debt in the UK, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Just Finance Foundation says today.
Learning where money comes from, when to spend and how to save is vital to children’s ability to navigate adult life and should be a mandatory part of personal, social, health, and economic education (PSHE) in primary schools, the Foundation says in a document published today.
In a written submission to a Department for Education consultation, the Foundation highlights figures that show 40% of UK adults have less than £100 in savings and that struggling to manage money is becoming a mainstream issue.
(RNS) John Stackhouse–Beware the beltway Bubble, Billy Graham was NOT ‘the last nonpartisan evangelical’
Yes, Falwell Jr., Liberty University’s president, is happily in the pocket of the president. But evangelicalism’s most prestigious institution of higher learning, Wheaton College in suburban Chicago, is led by the Oxford-doctorate-holding Philip Ryken. Partisan? Not in the slightest.
Nor are the presidents of similar leading institutions: Calvin College in Michigan, Gordon College in Massachusetts, Westmont College in California and so on. Baylor University, the Baptist school aiming to rival Notre Dame, is led by a president who has her hands full defusing various ethical scandals and guiding Baylor into a brighter future. She has no time for political partisanship.
Yes, Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, speaks out loudly and frequently on behalf of conservative values, yet even he is often circumspect about outright political partisanship. All the more politically reticent are the presidents of the other top 10 seminaries, all of them evangelical.
Ned Graham, the youngest of the five Graham children, said that his father was “faithful, available and teachable.”
“I want all of you to be that way,” he said.
Mr. Graham was buried in the prayer garden at his library next to his wife, Ruth Bell Graham, who died in 2007. They had met as students at Wheaton College and were married for 64 years. His wife’s grave marker is inscribed, at her instruction, with words she once saw on a road sign: “End of Construction. Thank you for your patience.”
The inscription on Mr. Graham’s grave describes him as “Preacher of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
— HolyTrinity Stirling (@HTStirling) March 3, 2017
Lord God, who didst inspire thy servants John and Charles Wesley with burning zeal for the sanctification of souls, and didst endow them with eloquence in speech and song: Kindle in thy Church, we beseech thee, such fervor, that those whose faith has cooled may be warmed, and those who have not known thy Christ may turn to him and be saved; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Most great and glorious Lord God, accept my imperfect repentance, and send Thy Spirit of adoption into my heart, that I may again be owned by Thee, call Thee Father, and share in the blessings of Thy children.
–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)
A #Prayer 4 the Day from #JohnWesley 'Most great and glorious Lord God, accept my imperfect repentance, and send Thy Spirit of adoption into my heart, that I may again be owned by Thee, call Thee Father, and share in the blessings of Thy children.' https://t.co/nqF86l7s5t #lent pic.twitter.com/mKy49zz9qw
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) March 3, 2018
The herdsmen fled, and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. And they came to Jesus, and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine. And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their neighborhood.