Yet assurance of that salvation is almost entirely subjective. Remember that where we put emphasis on Paul, many Christians put the emphasis on James. The doctrine of sola fide, as I am continually pointing out, is that it is the fact of faith (ie that one actually has faith) not the belief in sola fide (ie that one has all their doctrine on this matter in order) by which we receive salvation and are justified.But we are speaking about justification and how one is made a child of God, how one becomes a member of the kingdom of God and the Bible is clear that the only way in which salvation is received is by faith alone. If a person gets that wrong, they get salvation wrong.
No, just point them back to Paul and let him take care of calling them false teachers.So then, even though we are supposed to be imitators of Christ and Paul, we are not supposed to speak out against false teachers as they did?
Because he does believe in Christ, the same Christ that we follow, and therefore his view is a muddling, it's a confusion. He hasn't started his soteriology with Christ and as a result has ended up in the same sort of moralizing that all Christians are prone to fall into (believe me, I've seen Wright's view practiced in quite a number of churches that professed sola fide and could express it quite well---I've also seen Catholics who practiced sola fide while intellectually denying it).Yes, I agree with this, so then, if it folllows naturally, why would be be civil towards a view that is unnatural like that of NT Wright, which flatly denies the Biblical teaching.
Of course not---we should seek to continue their work by persuading people, Catholics, EO, etc of their error so that they can reform their communions. If you can show me how the rhetoric helps in that goal, then please do so.Should we apologize for the Reformation? So did all of those believers who made a fuss about justification by faith alone in Christ alone and who underwent persecution and anathemas by the RCC do so in vain?
Naturally not. However, if we are to do this, is it not better to persuade people of their error than to dogmatically call them heretics? Might other traditions have Biblical things to say about Christ that we might not have thought of? Or has reformed theology already said everything that can be said? I ask this because I realize that no one was ever saved by good theology, no one was ever saved by dogma, everyone who is saved is saved by the sacrifice of Christ, the grace of God received in and through faith, which is itself a gift of God. We cannot boast in our works, neither can we boast in our theology, for if we have gotten anything right, then that too is by God's grace.Does it do honor to Christ to teach another way of justification other than by grace alone through faith alone?
If, as you admit, the RCC has its Christology right, then they worship the same Christ that we do, even if they do so wrongly. In that case, our job is to lovingly bring them to see that He is the savior and that His grace is indeed received by faith alone: that this is the means of saving grace, not confession, penance, or even Communion and Baptism. These rituals, when done for the sake of justification, show an improper emphasis on the self and a failure to realize the full import of the work of Christ. The doctrine of sola fide is not primarily about how I get grace, but about how Christ's blood covers my sin and that nothing I have done could possibly compare.
Not the labors of my hands,
Can fulfill thy law's demands.
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone,
Thou must save and thou alone
Really, the doctrine at stake here is not sola fide, but solus Christus. This is where Wright's very good theology on the inacrnation is helpful in exposing his bad theology when it comes to Paul's teaching.