Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pope Francis: Atheists Redeemed by Good Works?:

 Knowing that theology and translation from another language are both tricky..and especially sticky together..

I am not sure the pope is really preaching


2)salvation by good works least as most would interpret these concepts.

Take a careful look at video and articles (the first two have quite misleading headlines)

Pope Francis defends atheists


Later edit:

Since this post above was published, two posts  have appeared,  which include some crucial context. 

1) A fantastic bit by Bram Cools   Do check it out:

Pope Francis as a universalist?

Pope Francis, the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church worldwide, has already proven to be a controversial person from time to time in his career of only a few months. And luckily it has been in a surprisingly Christlike way, not in the way most modern liberal people expect popes to conservative and oldfashionedly irrelevant: The pope who denied the papal palace, shuns wealth, calls the church to focus on the poor,  washed the foot of women and Muslims instead of Catholic priests and criticised capitalism now stated that atheists are redeemed too and can do good works.

2 articles have been going round on facebook since yesterday, first one from the Vatican Radio and then one from the American Huffington post, which tried to interpret the words of the pope from an American perspective, but to me they seemed to miss the point and tried to make him answer questions he wasn’t addressing…
But let’s have a look at what our papal friend is saying:
“The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation”:
“The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can. He must. Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.”

“Instead,” the Pope continued, “the Lord has created us in His image and likeness, and has given us this commandment in the depths of our heart: do good and do not do evil”:
“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”
(bold parts from the Vatican radio website)
Some people, like Paul from disoriented, reoriented, actually do think Francis’ words point to Christian universalism (the idea that through the saving work of Christ all will be saved in the end), and point to CONTINUED HERE




2)This by  Morgan Guyton:

Is Pope Francis a universalist heretic?This is a genius blueprint for effective evangelism. Instead of trying to argue people on the sidewalk into admitting they’ve violated one of the Ten Commandments and deserve to be tortured eternally (like sidewalk evangelism guru Ray Comfort), what Francis proposes is that we work together with atheists and other non-Christians for the common good in order to make the space for a “culture of encounter.” This is the space in which the witness of Christ is made manifest.
Francis isn’t saying that “doing good” earns your way into heaven. I would say that people who think the purpose of life is to earn your way into heaven whatever prayer or formula they have settled upon, however Biblical and orthodox it appears, are still very far from tasting the living water of Jesus Christ that wells up into eternal life. Such a shallow, self-preservationist understanding of salvation is the salvation of the third servant in the parable of  LINK

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