Thanks for joining me today as we continue our series examining and responding to Catholic apologist and philosopher, Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018).
Claim #27: I am a Catholic because Catholics still do metaphysics
Kreeft begins this chapter by defining metaphysics as the “division of philosophy that deals with being – all being, being as such. A popular name for it is ‘worldview.’ It means simply thinking about what is, and the real, essential nature of what is” (p. 91). Catholic metaphysics includes the belief that God confers grace through nature. Examples presented by Kreeft include 1) the alleged transubstantiation of bread wafers and wine into the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ at the mass, 2) the assertion that God’s grace is conferred ex opere operato (Latin: “from the work performed”) via the Catholic sacraments, and 3) the Catholic doctrine of justification, which propagates the belief in the intrinsic, subjective, progressive sanctification of a Catholic unto holiness and righteousness as opposed to the Protestant doctrine of forensic righteousness – the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to the believer at the moment they accept Him as Savior by faith alone.
The two foundational constructs of Roman Catholicism are 1) the Christ-Church Interconnection, whereby the Catholic church presents itself as the prolongation of the incarnation of Christ, and 2) the Nature-Grace Interdependence, whereby the RCC claims the actual conference of divine grace through nature, e.g., priests, water (baptism), oil (confirmation, last rites), laying of hands (ordination), bread (Jesus wafer), pilgrimage sites (healing), etc. In this chapter, Kreeft propagates and defends the latter construct.
Although Kreeft claims Catholic metaphysics, the reliance on the natural/physical/material, is the Biblical view, the New Testament teaches the opposite.
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” – John 6:63
“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:23-24
The physical/material plays no part in salvation and genuine spirituality.
Catholics put all of their trust in their institutional church with its priests, traditions, and sacraments (natural/physical/material) and are blind to true spirituality and the genuine Good News! Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.
Kreeft derides evangelical Protestantism and the genuine Gospel of grace again and again in this chapter. Why then are evangelicals so deferential when it comes to Roman Catholicism and its false gospel? Kreeft boasts about Catholicism’s Nature-Grace Interdependence construct and chides Protestants for their tactile-less religion, when the RCC’s construct actually marks it as an apostate church.
For more on the Catholic church’s Nature-Grace Interdependence, see my reviews of evangelical theologian Gregg Allison’s two excellent books, “Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment” and “40 Questions About Roman Catholicism.”
Next week: Claim #28: I am a Catholic because the Catholic Church alone in the world today is hard with courage in a world grown soft with self-indulgence, consumerist and sexual.