A Visual Image And Some Closing Thoughts

By John Pacheco

Empty Cup: Soul before baptism, lack of sanctifying grace
Water: Sanctifying Grace
Act of pouring water into cup: Infusion of sanctifying grace through the act of baptizing
Commission of Venial Sin: Water in cup becomes dirty
Commission of Mortal Sin: Water is poured out of cup
Act of True Repentance via Sacrament of Reconciliation: Pure Water is poured back into cup
Purgatory: Water is poured through filter and cleansed
Purpose in life: Ensure you have water in the cup: no water in cup; no salvation.

Within Protestantism, the label 'Bible Christian' is a necessary one given the liberal tendency in many of the mainline Protestant denominations to regard the Bible as possibly uninspired or errant.

This label, however, is somewhat of a misnomer when a Catholic and an Evangelical discuss the Christian faith because a Catholic must believe in the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible. The real issue is, therefore, whose understanding of the Bible is the correct one, and who should we believe?

The doctrines on original sin and baptism are essential to any dialogue that occur on any other doctrinal question between Evangelicals and Catholics. In fact, there is really no point in discussing other doctrines until these particular questions are settled first. But there are even other questions that should be addressed before even these questions. Questions like: Who has the authority to interpret Holy Scripture? Why do we consider the Bible to be inspired in the first place? Is the Word of God restricted to paper only? How can there be such a concept as religious truth without an infallible person or group to teach the truth?

Indeed, these are the questions which should be addressed first before engaging in a dialogue about the more common doctrinal questions like baptism, the role of Mary, purgatory or other points of disagreement. Stay tuned … I intend to address these and other similar questions in future articles. Until then … John

Before the Fall: Why We Need Baptism.
Infusion vs. Imputation: Two views of justification .
Water in the Old Testament: A sign of God's presence .
Baptism in the New Testament: Baptism now saves you! .
Answering the Evangelicals: A biblical response to objections.
Infant Baptism: A family affair.
Return to main Apologetics of Baptism page.

Return to Sacraments and Sacramentals Page.