Author Topic: "... nor faith in one God without explicit faith of a rewarder."  (Read 183 times)

Offline Philip G.

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"... nor faith in one God without explicit faith of a rewarder."
« on: September 20, 2020, 11:13:40 PM »
The title of this thread is directly taken from the index of denzinger under the section "the way of justification".  It references only two papal teachings. They are dz 1172 and 1349b as the source of this catholic doctrine.

1172 - pope innocent xi - "various errors on moral subjects" - "only faith in one God seems necessary by a necessity of means, not, however, the explicit (faith) in a Rewarder."

1349b - Pope Clement xi - "concerning truths which necessarily must be explicitly believed". - "Whether it is possible for a crude and uneducated adult, as it might be with a barbarian, to be baptized, if there were given to him only an understanding of God and some of his attributes, especially his justice in rewarding and in punishing, according to this remark of the apostle: "He that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder". Hebrews 11:6, from which it is inferred that a barbarian adult, in a certain case of urgent necessity, can be baptized although he does not believe explicitly in Jesus Christ.
Response: A missionary should not baptize one who does not believe explicitly in the Lord Jesus Christ, but is bound to instruct him about all those matters which are necessary, by a necessity of means, in accordance with the capacity of the one to be baptized. 

My comments - denzinger is illustrating for us the errors on both ends of this spectrum about explicit faith in God as a rewarder.  This is relevant for two reasons.  We currently have large movements in the church on both sides that characterize these erroneous polar opposites.

On the one hand, you have those in the church who at the very least doubt baptism of desire and baptism of blood.  I have heard these folks say how if they were priests they would be very liberal in the dissemination of the sacrament of baptism.  Considering that these folks don't believe that catechumens who die can go to heaven, it is clear that what they mean by liberal is likely characteristic of what is discouraged/forbidden by 1349b(aka err on the side of poor catechesis as opposed to erring on the side of delaying the sacrament). 

On the other hand, you have those in the church who believe that we can not only grow in the faith/enter heaven without merits(inseparable from the concept of reward), but it is in fact the "true" way to grow/reside in heaven.  (This sounds about as "true" as Constantine waiting until his death bed to receive the sacrament of baptism.)  Read(or better yet don't) louis de montfort's true devotion to the virgin mary.  Meritless Christian existence is basically the essence of his devotion.  For de montfort, the true way of Christian discipleship is to relinquish all of our merits in this life to the virgin mary, and therefore be without cause for reward.  Dz1172 seems to contradict this as a viable option.  Is God a rewarder, or is God not a rewarder?  If you don't have any merits, how is God to reward?  Is Mary, in this life, the reward? 

What happened to martyrdom as the ultimate reward?  You know, that end that we are not advised to pursue in itself according church teaching(I think you can find this taught in the baltimore catechism). Should we blame this on two ends theology?  I would first have to accept two ends theology in order to point the finger, and that I don't. 

When was this greatest reward/martyrdom replaced with marian de montfortian devotion as the greatest reward?  Because, if you follow the logic of meritless de montfortian devotion, it basically means that the virgin mary is the reward, and well, obviously that occurs in this life.  Reward in this life is obviously the reason the vast majority of trads/clergy recommend devotion to Mary as a necessity, and not simply a privilege.  It is recommended because there are tangible benefits in this life.  It is not something solely enjoyed in the next life, as martyrdom seemingly is.  Does anyone want to dispute that and argue that martyrdom is a joy in this life?  How can something be our joy when we are not advised to pursue it?  So much for the theological virtue of hope.

Both of these subjects appear to me to be flip sides of the same erroneous coin.  If we are not to admit those insufficiently catechized into the community of the faithful via baptism, we likewise should not tolerate insufficiency on the opposite end, which is among the initiated/those enjoying the benefits of the true religion.It   If you are in heaven, you have a reward.  If you have a reward, you have merited it.

It is a simple question.  If Mary is the reward, how do we merit her?  Recall the parable of the marriage feast.  Those without a wedding garment are cast out.  "For many are called, but few are chosen."
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 12:39:48 AM by Philip G. »
For the stone shall cry out of the wall; and the timber that is between the joints of the building, shall answer.  Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and prepareth a city by iniquity. - Habacuc 2,11-12