Saturday, August 2, 2014

Catholicism and Evangelicalism - Scott Hahn vs. Kenneth Samples - YouTube



Dr. Hahn does a stellar job explaining justification through grace in faith and matured and nurtured through love of God and neighbor.  Dr. Hahn's explanation of the true nature of "works," too, is clear.  Most protestants agree that salvation comes first through faith in God's grace but must be lived out through love, although some would argue a hard-line view of imputed grace (see John Piper).  

When Dr. Hahn, however, says the only church is found in Catholicism, Ken's loving response shines brightly.  The exclusivism of Catholicism, professing they are the only church goes against the gospel (Luke 9: 49-50).  It is clear throughout Scripture, that all who believe in the grace of Jesus and strive to live holy lives bearing good fruit in accordance with God's will are the church. 

The discussion of sacramentals, namely the brown scapular of Mount Carmel, is quick and somewhat avoided, probably a result of running out of time on the show.  Sacramentals, however, are encouraged by both lay and ecclesial traditional Catholics and are sometimes used as a legalistic means of earning grace in the Catholic church.  As a result, many people get carried away with these and rely on the method and physicality of the sacramental to give grace (Luke 11:39-52).  Sacramentals are meant to be physical reminders that lead us to holy living in Christ, nothing else. 

This is an excellent discussion, but I am a little put off by Dr. Hahn's reluctance to step out of the orthodox stance, which is a typical stumbling block for traditionalist Catholics.  Ken is more realistic in seeing Catholicism as a holy way to worship and be part of Christ's church, not "the only" way that Dr. Hahn implies.