Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spiders and Stitches and Stuff

Will's doing well. Thanks once again for your prayers. His finger seems to be healing properly, but he blanches at the sight of blood now - a picked scab will send him out of the room with his good hand over his eyes. I suppose time will take care of that scar. Will has a checkup Thursday morning, but everything seems fine. We had to change his bandage while he was sleeping on Sunday (the blood had adhered the gauze to his finger - so we had to dampen it to remove it) because the thought of removing his bandage sent him into some hysterics. He now has some cleverly placed Band-Aids covering his finger and will probably have to have those changed today. Thankfully, he's a sound sleeper - during a nap, I could probably roll him around the house without him waking.

Saturday I removed a dead bush from the yard. While digging out the roots, lo and behold, a black widow spider crawled out. I don't know where the nest of this wee beastie was, but it was a little unsettling finding the country's most venomous arachnid in my side yard. With some regret, I killed it. Understand, while I would prefer to let be natural things in nature, I had two little ones with me at the time and their safety took precedence. (Plus, spiders scare the bejabbers out of me.) There are, of course, probably others in the yard, but I will not be engaging in a witch hunt to discover and eradicate them.

I was reading a critique of a book I had, at one time, loved, when the critic began to compare the bad theology of the book to Rome's theology of justification - infused righteousness (bad) rather than imputed (good). Invariably, as a reader, you come across these things. It initially got my heart racing out of frustration, and then it made me rather sad. Rome does not see infusion and imputation as an either-or issue. But books have been written on this subject, so I won't. Nevertheless, it often strikes me that the misunderstanding that many in my family (and others) have with Rome's view of justification largely happens because Rome does not distinguish between justification and sanctification as Protestants do. Eternal life is purchased by Christ's work alone - there is no argument from Rome here. But when Rome speaks of justification, it is speaking, by and large, to the faithful and to the obligation of the faithful to love. And love works. Therefore, in speaking to the faithful, she gives direction on how the faithful should live. She presumes salvation (justification by faith in baptism) for the faithful and then tells them how they should therefore live. Often, and stereotypically, these same people, such as the critic, are preoccupied with salvation - with getting someone saved. Stereotypically, most Catholic theology is preoccupied with what to do with people after they're saved. In other words, again stereotypically, Protestant talk of justification is about saving, whereas Catholic talk of justification is most often about keeping. And while it is more complicated, because people are complicated, it seems to me, somedays, just so simple. Perhaps, then, the biggest difference concerning justification that ought to remain between the two groups, at least for some Evangelicals, is the Catholic belief that one can lose one's salvation. (I hope all of that is clear; I'm being rushed by the lunch-lady heavy in my head.)

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