The two meta-questions that framed all my other questions about the “vexing verses” were: what is actually “the gospel,” and what is actually “biblical”? I was haunted by these questions for more than a decade before I read a single word by a Catholic. But my love of the Bible, my burning desire to understand it, my inability to make sense of so much of it within a protestant framework, alongside the appeals made to it as the authority behind wildly divergent and contradictory theologies, compelled me to dig deeper.Read More
Ever since I’ve been a Christian, these examples always caused me great consternation—they do so still. I cannot get around Jesus’ words: my deeds are inextricably linked with the Day of Judgment, upon whose outcome I will enter eternal paradise, or eternal damnation. Either Jesus is right, or “faith alone” is wrong. He could not be clearer—first century peasants could not have been in doubt as to what He was saying, nor can we.
And we’re not even done with Matthew.Read More