Does the Bible matter?

Here’s a post to a reformed discussion forum regarding Norm Shepherd:

I have had three friends convert to Rome thanks to talk like this and thanks to Scott Hahn. Not that that seems to bother anyone(I dont mean the RCUS guys here or Ted). One friend spoke this way about justification and works. It is very alarming and it is clear why Turretin said works are not part of justification. As for the Shepherd folks-you all are doing a great job. The pope should be very happy about this kind of talk. Make sure you all CC the Vatican so they can see that the counter Reformation is still working!

The author assumes, I suppose, these people are leaving for Rome because they hate God’s grace and want to earn them some of that there salvation. Perhaps. But is it not possible that they leave because the reformed folks they wish to talk to about issues of substance go ballistic whenever they catch a whiff of someone interacting with the countless passages of scripture that mention works in some relationship to salvation?

6 Comments

  1. Manlius
    Apr 30, 2002

    You’re right, Jay. It’s shallow thinking as exhibited on the post you quoted that drives thoughtful people to Rome. I’ll bet Shepherd has actually convinced more people that one doesn’t need to convert to Rome in order to do justice to the biblical emphasis on works in the Christian life.

  2. garver
    May 4, 2002

    I just went and read through a dozen or so post on that RCUS list. Oh dear. Aren’t any of them the least embarassed by the level of conversation?

  3. Jay
    May 5, 2002

    They seem to be too enthralled defending the faith to notice…

  4. Anonymous Coward
    May 7, 2002

    Maybe the coversation down at the RCUS would be better if Nevin and Schaff had not helped wreck the joint many decades ago. Would you be happier if they were whistling past that graveyard known as the United Church of Christ?

    I have plenty of respect for the Shep-man, but these comments above are uncharitable and unfair. The cited message is on a mailing list, not a refereed journal.

  5. Jay
    May 7, 2002

    Anonymous, my comments were directed toward the statements themselves, not the RCUS. I think you are perhaps reading a bit too much into what I said.

  6. C. W. Powell
    Aug 26, 2003

    As one who has posted frequently to the RCUS forum, I deem the remarks on this forum to be undiscerning and shallow. We deal with substance and exegesis. It is an open forum so anyone can post and not all comments are thoughtful. Ideas do matter, and if people only came to Christ because of the character of every Christian and the level of his conversation, noone would be saved. I think the hostility of the writers to the RCUS forum is the result of a pro-New Perspectives bias. Why is it unreasonable to suppose that those who take Rome’s side on the Reformation debate on justification, might be disposed to think that the whole thing was a mistake and decide to return to Rome? If they do so because of the level of the debate on this side of the question, that would also seem to be unreasonable, given recent scandals in the Roman Church.

    C. W. Powell
    http://www.basketoffigs.org