Luther & Salvation: A Catholic Response, Part IV
Formally, the key issue of the Reformation was the issue of authority. Materially, it was the issue of salvation. How is one saved? What does it mean to be justified in the sight of God? Is salvation something that can be had and then lost? Luther and most Protestants since have taken the position that we are justified in the sight of God by "faith alone." Justification is viewed as that act by which God legally credits the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ to the one who simply believes. From that moment the believer is looked upon as being as righteous as Jesus himself -- and therefore assured of eternal life. In this series of four talks I tell the story of how I, an Evangelical Protestant for twenty years and Protestant minister for eleven, came to reject this teaching as contrary to that of Scripture, as well as historic Christianity, and to embrace the Catholic view which is that we are saved by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ and the grace of God, but through faith and obedience and continual recourse to the mercy of God throughout the course of our lives. He who perseveres to the end will be saved.