A Response to Darrin Patrick on the Indicatives and the ImperativesDec 20th, 2010 | By Bryan Cross | Category: Blog Posts
Recently I was asked to explain how a Catholic would respond to the indicative-imperative theology explained briefly in the following video by Darrin Patrick, lead pastor of The Journey, an emergent church with four campuses in the St. Louis area.
Here’s a transcript:
Matt: For those that are watching, and maybe those that are church-planting or they’re pastors and they are watching the broadcast, touch on this indicative vs. imperative, and needing the imperatives to flow out of the indicatives. You talk about that in the book; just elaborate on that, since you just mentioned it.
Darrin: The idea is that the imperative is what we do, and the indicative is what is true about God, and about how He relates to us. So in the Scripture, you can always take God’s commands back to who God is (the foundation of who God is), and how He relates to us. And so, for instance, in the Ten Commandments, as an example: Exodus 20. God gives Israel His commandments, but in Exodus 20:2 He says, “I’m the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” So, all the commands that He gives are based out of this indicative that “I’m the Lord; I’ve rescued you, so obey me, not in order to be saved, but I saved you, now you can obey me.” And I think that that’s probably a really good example of how this works. And so, you can do this with all of Scripture. You can trace back all the imperatives back to, if it is not in the context of the chapter or the book, its in the bigger picture that God says, “I will be your God; you will be my people, I will put my Spirit within you, I will cause you to obey.” All those kind of things come back to who God is and the reality that He is the one who motivates us, through His Spirit, to obey. And so it absolutely empowers us to do the right thing, and it causes us to rest in the gospel, and I love what Bunyan said, this is the charge against Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress. They said to Bunyan, Ok Bunyan, if you keep telling people that they are loved and accepted apart from their spiritual performance, they’re going to do whatever they want to do. And Bunyan replied, If I keep assuring them of God’s love for them in Christ apart from their performance, they’re going to do whatever He wants them to do. And I think that’s where this indicative/imperative thing comes in. So its not that we are, cheap grace, easy, it is, no, I go back to the reality that God has rescued me, that I was enslaved, that the bad news was really bad for me. He rescued me, now I get to obey Him. And I think that’s what that does to the human heart when you get this indicative/imperative.
There is a point of common ground here with Catholic doctrine. We agree that “We love because He first love us.” (1 John 4:19) That is, the agape that has been poured out into our hearts (Rom 5:5) by the Holy Spirit is itself a gift from God, who loved us first, and gave Himself for us. (Gal 2:20) It is not as though God first hates us, and we must do many things in order to get God to love us. Rather, God loved us so much, that He gave His only begotten Son for us. (John 3:16) And while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8) While the devil roams the earth like a lion, seeking those whom he may devour (1 Pet 5:8, Job 1:7), Christ is the Good Shepherd who has come to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), not wishing that any perish (2 Pet 3:9), but desiring all men to be saved (1 Tim 2:4). So it is true that because of the greatness of the gift God has given to us in sending His Son as an atonement for our sins, our response of obedience is motivated by gratitude and love.
But the indicative-imperative hermeneutical paradigm (IIHP) Darrin refers to above is fundamentally flawed, because of the theological assumptions it brings to the text of Scripture. It presupposes that in God’s redemptive plan, He left no room for us to participate in His salvific work. That is, intrinsic to the IIHP is the presupposition of a complete separation of the indicative and the imperative, such that because everything God has done falls under the indicative, therefore everything we do must fall under the imperative, and none of what we do falls under the indicative. But in truth, in God’s gracious plan, we are called to participate in Christ’s work of redemption, and thus participate in the indicative, not merely express gratitude at the level of imperatives, for what God has already fully accomplished. I will give examples below of six areas where the IIHP leads to error, but I should first point out that the depth of the error caused by the IIHP depends on how consistently a person applies it. The more a person insists on forcing everything into the IIHP, the more he errs in these six areas. Fortunately, many proponents of the IIHP are not consistent in their application of the IIHP. But they variously avoid the errors I discuss below only by arbitrarily failing to apply the IIHP, or by failing to realize the scope of its implications when applied consistently. As I will show below, because the IIHP has to fit everything into either the indicative or imperative categories, it has to place the application of Christ’s work to our lives in the indicative category, as though the application of Christ’s work to our lives is something Christ has already done, and in which we cannot participate or cooperate.
As Christians our suffering is meaningful in this life because it is a participation in Christ’s sufferings, and therefore an opportunity for loving sacrifice for God, and growing in our union with God. But the IIHP makes all our suffering pointless; it makes persecution and martyrdom meaningless, because given the IIHP, Christ has already done everything required for our salvation, and therefore there is no need for us to suffer in sickness or in persecution or martyrdom. In this way the IIHP makes God into a moral monster who subjects His children to needless horrendous sufferings, even though everything necessary for their salvation has already been accomplished. See “A Catholic Reflection on the Meaning of Suffering.”
Because the IIHP does not allow any truth to be in both the indicative and the imperative categories, therefore, nothing in the imperative category has any indicative soteriological consequence. Our obligation to bring the gospel of Christ to the world, and our activity toward the fulfillment of that obligation, is therefore of no soteriological consequence, either for ourselves or for others. According to the IIHP, the imperative only flows from the indicative; the imperative can have no effect upon the indicative. Given the IIHP, God has already decreed, without any foresight of future faith or sin, to save some and pass over others. Whether we evangelize or not, the number and identity of the elect has been fixed and cannot be either increased or decreased. Given the IIHP, then whether one spends one’s whole life evangelizing the world, or never evangelizes a single person throughout one’s whole life, the number and identity of the elect remains the same. And this evacuates all urgency from the task of evangelism, precisely because it evacuates all soteriological meaningfulness from evangelistic activity. Just as in an atheistic worldview the implication that our present choices make no ultimate difference makes those choices meaningless, so in the IIHP paradigm, the implication that our present evangelistic choices make no ultimate difference makes these choices likewise meaningless.
Regarding our genuine participation in God’s salvific work, St. Thomas Aquinas writes:
“In this way God is helped by us; inasmuch as we execute His orders, according to 1 Corinthians 3:9: “We are God’s co-adjutors.” Nor is this on account of any defect in the power of God, but because He employs intermediary causes, in order that the beauty of order may be preserved in the universe; and also that He may communicate to creatures the dignity of causality [ut etiam creaturis dignitatem causalitatis communicet].” (Summa Theologica I Q.23 a.8 ad 2.)(my emphasis)
St. Thomas quotes St. Paul’s statement that [the Apostles] are God’s “co-adjutors.” In the Greek this reads: θεοῦ γάρ ἐσμεν συνεργοί. “For we are God’s co-workers.” St. Paul is speaking about the work of preaching the gospel and building up the Church through prayer, preaching, administering the sacraments, teaching and service. God entrusts this to men not because of any limitation on His part, but because in His goodness He wishes to bestow upon us the unfathomable dignity of being genuine causal agents not only in the order of nature, but also in the supernatural order, i.e. in the order of grace. For St. Thomas and the whole Catholic tradition, God graciously extends to creatures not only the gift of salvation, but also the gift of being genuine causal agents in the salvation of others, thereby freely and truly participating in Christ’s work of redeeming the world. St. Paul speaks of this when he says, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the Church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.” (Col 1:24)
Because the IIHP places the application of Christ’s redemptive work under the indicative category, the IIHP makes the sacraments unnecessary. If baptism were regenerative, as the Church Fathers taught, it would not fit exclusively into the indicative or the imperative category. Therefore, given the IIHP, baptism cannot be regenerative. If the Eucharist were a means by which we receive the fruit of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross,1 then it would not be something we do only out of gratitude; our salvation would in some sense depend upon it, and thus it would not fit into only the indicative category. Thus given the IIHP, the sacraments are “means of grace” only in the sense that they are means by which we gain knowledge of what Christ has already done for us.
But in truth, the sacraments are the divinely established means by which we receive not primarily knowledge, but the grace Christ merited for us on the cross — a true participation in the divine nature (2 Pet 1:4).2 And therefore the sacraments, rightly understood, do not fit into the IIHP, because synergism of any sort does not fit into the IIHP. In the reception of the sacraments both God and man are acting: God by conferring grace through the sacrament, and man by administering, approaching and receiving the sacrament. The synergistic aspect of sacraments as means of grace (where grace is not just knowledge of what Christ has already done, but a participation in the divine life offered to us through Christ’s sacrifice) makes them incompatible with the IIHP. Hence in the IIHP, the sacraments are watered down to mere divine reminders of what God has already done. And given that notion of the sacraments, if one already knows what God has done, there is no reason to receive the Lord’s Supper weekly. One might do it quarterly, but even then one does it only because Christ has commanded it. There is no other reason to do it regularly, given the IIHP.
What the IIHP does to the sacraments, it does to sanctification in general. There is no room for synergism in the IIHP; nothing soteriological hangs on what we choose to do or not do. Everything we do is in the imperative category, and therefore nothing we do or don’t do has any implications for the indicative category. So in the IIHP, sacraments, prayer and works done out of agape are not means of grace, by which we grow in sanctification. Sanctification is something God is monergistically doing in us, automatically. Insofar as we do anything in sanctification, it is only God working out in us the application of what Christ already did on the cross. We do not have to concern ourselves about doing anything to grow in sanctification. If we choose to do anything, such as pray, or do good works out of agape, we should do so only out gratitude for what Christ has already done for us, not as though our doing so plays any role [in the indicative category] toward our salvation. And so the IIHP reduces all imperatives to brute imperatives, by removing any soteriological reason for them, and thus reducing them to arbitrary divine stipulations. For any remaining imperatives regarding sanctification, the IIHP moves them over to the indicative category by claiming that we do not need to concern ourselves about them, since if we need to do something, God will cause us to do it. And that is how the IIHP construes verses that admonish believers to “work out [our] salvation in fear and trembling.” (Phil 2:12)
Jesus says, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15) “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” (John 14:21) If we love Jesus, we will keep His commandments, and in return God the Father will love us more, and Christ will love us more, and disclose Himself to us. That is, the more we conform to Christ, the more we are loved by God. Two chapters later Jesus says, “for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.” (John 16:27) Jesus is teaching that our degree of loving obedience to His commandments makes us an object of greater (or lesser) love by the Father. The IIHP tries to make sense of that by turning the order around, claiming that if God loves us more, then He will make us (freely) love Him more. In this way, the greater love we will enjoy from the Father based on our obedience, is what will bring about that obedience in the first place. And therefore, we don’t need to strive to keep His commandments, because nothing soteriological hangs on our striving. If we are going to love Him more, and then be loved more by Him, this will be only because He will make us do this. Ultimately, nothing on the imperative side can cross over to the indicative side. Wherever it may seem in Scripture that the imperative side affects the indicative side, the indicative side has already decreed and determined the imperative side. So therefore there is ultimately nothing on the imperative side that can change the indicative side. This is why within the IIHP it ultimately does not matter how grateful one is, or how much one is (or is not) motivated by gratitude to live a holy life. On the indicative side, Christ has already accomplished one’s salvation, and whatever remaining sanctification needs to be done will be instantaneously and painlessly accomplished by Christ at the moment of one’s death. So in the IIHP there is ultimately no need to strive for holiness now.
The IIHP entails that what Christ has done has already fully determined what will happen to us on Judgment Day. The application of Christ’s completed work was fully applied to us at the moment we were monergistically regenerated, such that all our past, present, and future sins are all already forgiven.3 Nothing we can do can ‘unforgive’ any sin we might ever commit. In addition, Christ’s perfect obedience was irreversibly imputed to us at that moment. Hence, at the Judgment, according to the IIHP, God will not judge us according to our works, but according to Christ’s perfect obedience, which has been imputed to us. The justification God declares at the moment we are regenerated when we first come to faith, is a proleptic announcement of God’s verdict on the Day of Judgment. According to the IIHP, to be regenerated now, is already to have heard the verdict on Judgment Day. Thus according to the IIHP, our observance (or failure thereof) of the imperatives has no bearing on what will happen to us on the Day of Judgment, because the imperative cannot affect the indicative.
But this is not what the Scripture teaches. Jesus said, “And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment.” (Matt. 12:36) Later in Matthew He says, “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds.” (Matthew 16:27) In Matthew chapter 25 Jesus separates the sheep from the goats on the basis of their works toward the needy. In Romans 2:6-8 St. Paul says that on the day of final judgment, God “will render to every man according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life. But to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.” Later in Romans he writes, “For we shall stand before the judgment seat of God…. So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:10,12) In his first letter to the Corinthians St. Paul writes, “Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.” (1 Cor 3:8) In the next chapter he writes, “Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.” (1 Cor 4:5) We will be judged not on the basis of an extra nos imputation, but on the basis of our works and our hidden motives. In his second letter to the Corinthians St. Paul writes, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10) In his letter to the Galatians, St. Paul writes:
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” (Gal 6:7-10)
St. Paul’s imperative is not based on Christ having already done everything, such that our obedience has no soteriological consequence; it is based in part on the coming Judgment. Hence he says:
“With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.” (Eph 6:8-9)
St. Peter teaches the same message: “And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth.” (1 Peter 1:17) The IIHP has no room for “fear” for Christians, because the imperatives have no affect on the indicatives, i.e. have no soteriological consequence. But the Apostle John, along with Jesus, St. Paul, and St. Peter, likewise teaches: “By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17) The more perfect our love for God (in imitation of Christ), the more confidence we may have on the day of Judgment. But in the IIHP, our confidence regarding the Day of Judgment is based entirely on what Christ has done for us, not on what we do in gratitude.
In the book of Revelation we find the same teaching regarding Judgment. Jesus, speaking to the Church at Thyatira, says, “And I will kill her children with pestilence; and all the Churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” (Rev 2:23) Later John writes, “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.” (Rev 20:12-13) The Bible ends with this same message, a message fitting for Advent:
“[L]et the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and let the one who is holy, still keep himself holy. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” (Rev 22:11-12)
Christ does not say that He comes to render to each man according to what He (i.e. Christ) has done, but according to what each man has done. In the Church Fathers, the “obedience of faith” (Rom 1:5, 16:26) brought about by the gospel of Jesus Christ is a love (i.e. agape) that has been infused into our heart by the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5) and that fulfills the law (Rom 13:8,10, Gal 5:14, Jam 2:8). ( See “St. Augustine on Law and Grace.”)
Because the IIHP entails that everything we do is on the imperative side, and therefore nothing we do or don’t do has any implications on the indicative side, therefore, according to the IIHP, we can never lose our salvation. But for fifteen hundred years (and to this day) the Catholic Church believed (and still believes) that justification can be lost. The Orthodox also have always believed that justification can be lost. There are many places in the Fathers where we see that justification can be lost. Here is one example from St. Augustine:
If, however, being already regenerate and justified, he relapses of his own will into an evil life, assuredly he cannot say, ‘I have not received [grace],’ because of his own free choice he has lost the grace of God, that he had received.” (On Rebuke and Grace, chpt. 6:9)
But we can find the same teaching in the New Testament. Jesus tells us, “Anyone who does not remain in Me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.” (John 15:6). And St. Paul says, “On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud, and that your brethren. Or do you not know that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) In this context, he is talking to believers about their wronging each other, even to the point of taking each other to court. His statement would make no sense if it had no applicability to the Corinthian believers’ wrongdoing to each other. His exhortation to them to stop wronging each other, by reminding them of the destiny of those who commit [mortal] sin, presupposes that they too could, by their wrongdoing, lose their possession of the kingdom of God. That is, they could genuinely fail to enter into heaven.
A few chapters later he says, “But I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” (1 Cor 9:27) The disqualification he speaks of that of failing to receive the “imperishable” prize of eternal life, i.e. salvation. (verse 25) He then goes on in chapter 10 to talk about the Israelites who were ‘baptized’ in the cloud, but then disobeyed God in the desert, and perished under God’s displeasure. They were idolaters, which as St. Paul showed in 1 Corinthians 6, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. They were immoral and God killed 23,000 of them in one day. Then he says, “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Cor 10:12) The fall that he is talking about is falling from grace. The very warning would make no sense unless St. Paul believed it is truly possible to fall, just as did those Israelites. If we could not lose our salvation, then instead of warning them about taking heed lest they fall, St. Paul would be enjoining them not to worry, since they could not possibly fall.
In his letter to the Galatians he says, “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” (Gal 5:4) That verse makes no sense if it is impossible to be severed from Christ and to fall from grace. Later in that same chapter he writes, “Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal 5:18-21). He is speaking to Christians. If Christians cannot lose their salvation, then there could be no warning about not inheriting the kingdom of God; it would make no sense. The warning is an actual warning, because it is truly possible, through committing the mortal sins he lists there, to lose one’s salvation, to be cut off from Christ, and to not inherit the kingdom of God. He gives these lists of mortal sins frequently: (Rom 1:28-32; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Eph 5:3-5; Col 3:5-8; 1 Tim 1:9-10; 2 Tim 3:2-5).
In the book of Hebrews we find the same doctrine about the real possibility of losing one’s salvation. “For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt.” (Heb 6:4-6) These enlightened persons have tasted the heavenly gift and become partakers of the Holy Spirit (through baptism, which was early in the Fathers called the sacrament of illumination/enlightenment), and then rejected Christ. But it would be impossible for them to fall away if they were never regenerated (and hence justified) in the first place. And yet they do fall away — the warning is not merely hypothetical. Such persons cannot be restored to repentance by baptism, because in baptism we are crucified with Christ (Rom 6), and Christ died only once. They can be restored only by the sacrament of penance.
Later in Hebrews the author writes about the apostasy of Christians, “For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. A man who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb 10:26-31) The writer speaking as a Christian to Christians, says that if “we” sin deliberately [he’s speaking of mortal sin] after receiving the knowledge of the truth, we face the fearful prospect of judgment and a fury of fire. How do we know he is talking about justified people? Because he explicitly says that a man who “was sanctified” by “the blood of the covenant,” who then profanes this blood and outrages the Spirit of grace, will deserve much worse punishment than those (Israelites) who violated the law of Moses and died without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses. Then he says that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Under what condition is it fearful? Under this condition: when we who are sanctified by the blood of Christ, then sin deliberately [i.e. commit mortal sin]. Such a person forfeits all the benefits of the grace of the New Covenant, and, if he dies in that condition, is punished in the eternal fires of hell. Yes, that is something to fear. The Christian is not told not to fear this possibility because he can never lose his salvation. That would not make sense. Rather, the warning (about falling into the “fury of fire” [i.e. hell]) is precisely to Christians. The warning implies the real possibility of Christians losing their salvation.
These passages about apostasy do not fit into the IIHP, and those in the IIHP struggle to make sense of them. They try to preserve the IIHP by claiming that if a person falls away, he was never saved in the first place. In other words, in such cases the imperative side did not affect the indicative side, because there was never anything on the indicative side for such persons in the first place. Of course this implies for anyone else in the IIHP, that it might turn out that there is not anything on the indicative side for him as well. But in the IIHP, you’re not supposed to let that possibility concern you, because there is nothing you can do about it anyway, since the imperative cannot affect the indicative.
To be clear, I am not suggesting that Darrin falls into these six errors. I don’t know Darrin’s particular theology; here I am merely presenting the implications of the IIHP. Many IIHP advocates do not fall into all of these errors, but only because they do not consistently follow the IIHP. Insofar as they arbitrarily apply the IIHP to some areas, and arbitrarily do not apply it in others, their position is ad hoc. But when the IIHP is applied consistently, it leads to the theological errors described above. Because the IIHP presupposes monergism, it eliminates the meaningfulness from all our choices and actions after coming to faith, and thus entails temporal nihilism. This arises from conceiving of redemption not as restoring us to a period of probation during this earthly life, as God had given to Adam and Eve, but as a replacement plan in which God scraps His original plan, and decides to do it all for us, leaving us with nothing to do but to be grateful while waiting to die.4 But the consistent teaching of Scripture, the Church and the Church Fathers has been that Christ calls us to share in His sufferings (Rom 8:17), to become co-workers with Him, both in evangelism and in working out our salvation in fear and trembling, by means of the grace He merited for us now infused into our hearts through the sacraments, such that we love Him by keeping His commandments, and thus inheriting eternal life on the Day of Judgment. The gospel is one of participation in Christ’s death and resurrection, through baptism (Rom 6) and the Eucharist (John 6). When Jesus was asked what should be done to inherit eternal life, He asked the inquirer what the Law said, and the man stated the two great commandments. Then Jesus said, “You have answered correctly: Do this, and you will live.” (Luke 10:28) That is, keep those two greatest commandments, and you will inherit eternal life. The IIHP has no room for any of this, because no “do this” can have any effect on the indicative. But that does not mean we should toss out Jesus’ words and the teaching of the Church Fathers in order to hold on to the IIHP; it means rather that the IIHP is a flawed and misleading paradigm.
- See “Eve, the Eucharist and the Bride of Christ.” [↩]
- See comment #3 in the “Pelagian Westminster?” thread, where I explain the difference between the Protestant and Catholic conceptions of grace. [↩]
- See Reformed Imputation and the Lord’s Prayer. [↩]
- See comment #2 in the “Pelagian Westminster?” thread. [↩]