When worlds collide

No, this post has nothing to do with Velikovsky (whether it should is a separate question).

My topic is summed up in Sirach 33:14:

Opposite evil stands good,
Opposite death, life;
So, too, opposite the devout man stands the sinner. (JB)

I have written quite a few posts on the subject of the Reformed doctrine of “total depravity,” according to which no non-sinners exist among men. Here is another passage from the Bible which demonstrates their mistaken understanding of the Bible on this subject. The first two couplets in the verse lay the foundation for the final one. Evil is contrasted with good and death is contrasted with life. These are mutually exclusive categories, and each member of both pairs exists in the world today. So when we come to the third couplet it will not do to say that there is not a single devout man on the earth (in contrast with the sinner). In short, it will not do to make the claim which the Reformed do about the presence of devout men in the world (viz., that there are none). Their hermeneutic has no room for Sirach 33:14.

On the other hand the Catholic hermeneutic has plenty of room for Sirach. The Catholic Church denies both that man inescapably sins mortally all the time, just as it denies that all sins merit infinite punishment. On the contrary the Church affirms that indeed we can avoid mortal sin, and that there are some sins that do not merit the penalty of damnation. So the Catholic hermeneutic makes better sense of what the Bible actually teaches.

Protestants will immediately object that they do not accept the canonicity of Sirach. But that is a subject for other posts.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Apologetics, Sin

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