Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Simeon Zahl comment:

(excerpt taken from comment thread on Pontifications blog: Click Me to Read the full post and thread!)

"For me anyway, the thing I really disagree with about the ontological change model is that it assumes that the ontological change alters the individual’s relationship, pastorally, to the Law. That is why I am very nearly as unhappy with Calvin as with the RCC! Lex semper accusat. I have never met anyone who really experienced it otherwise, at least for any length of time, though I’m sure you will say your experience has been different in this regard than mine. If you can describe ontological transformation in such a way that a devolving of pastoral care into a course on the 3rd use of the Law is avoided, I might be able to subscribe to it, but I’m pretty sure that’s not possible.

"For the meantime, I will stick the simultaneous model which provides both hope and change, and a great deal of compassion, but also has proper wariness about the so-called 3rd Use. A former Christian recently referred to the 3rd Use as Christianity’s “bait and switch” tactic in terms of grace: they say it’s all grace, and then as soon as you’re “in” they turn it all around and it’s all about law again. I feel very strongly that this “bait and switch” is not the gospel, and that a justification that feels like that is not justification at all.

"I already responded to you at length a few months ago on John Camp, as you know, why, scripturally as well as pastorally, I cannot accept the infusion/ ontological change model. My position now is the same that it was then. I posted today simply to show support for Nathan, because I had noticed recently precisely the same (what I felt was a) misunderstanding on the part of many Catholics about the Lutheran conception of justification that he was lamenting. I don’t really expect to change your mind, Al! But I think it is significant that two people who agree with Luther but who don’t know each other seem to find the common RC characterization of the Lutheran view of justification wanting in precisely the same way. I think my previous response to you about infusion/ imputation covers the territory of why precisely it is wanting pretty well, or at least as well as I know how ( Click Me! )."


Ethanasius said...

A helpful thought regarding the Third Use.

Rod Rosenbladt has some helpful things to say about the Third Use, suggesting that it should only act as the Second Use for Christians.

Namely, when the Apostle Paul commands something that I am not doing, I fall at the cross and beg for God's mercy, not pull myself up and strive for greater holiness. Thus even the commands in the NT function for us as the Second Use of the Law. We never outgrow the need for its accusation...there's a lot of peccator left!

I suppose I side with Luther rather than Calvin on this point, not because I think Calvin was a crypto-Catholic, but because Luther's emphasis on the primacy of the Second Use is more true to human nature (even "converted" human nature).

Tim Galebach said...

My fist will ontologically change you Simeon Zahl!

Anonymous said...

john zahl, its been a while. its matt cerick, we should chat, i hear your gettin married, my congrats to you guys. my email address is mcerick@tulane.edu so if you could email me so that i could get yours too that would be cool.