Sunday, May 13, 2007

Masters of Imputation

We Protestants love our doctrine of imputation. Our sins are imputed to Christ and His righteousness is imputed to us. But doctrine without "practice" - or practical application to the real world - is meaningless. So we become masters at imputation.

What I mean by this is that we take the formal, official doctrines of a given church - no matter how minute or how old or outdated - and impute them, all of them, to every one who attends that church. We don't like what the medieval Roman church had to say about justification by faith, or what they said about those who hold to the Protestant view (Trent)? Well, then, every Roman Catholic living in 2007 implicitly believes the same thing, and none of them can be saved as a result. Read some comments here about Francis Beckwith's "conversion" to Catholicism. We drive by a playground full of Catholic schoolgirls in their plaid skirts playing teatherball and say, "Yup. There's the Council of Trent in action right there, you betcha."

If we applied some of these ways of thinking consistently, then we should conclude that Martin Luther, who didn't want to leave Rome, but simply reform some things, didn't become saved until he was excommunicated. We should also impute the hellish religious doctrine of the scribes and Pharisees to Jesus and His band of followers. Some of his closest followers (the bible calls them apostles) continued to attend synagogue on Saturdays, even with the same rulers in charge, well after Jesus was crucified.

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