Michael Barber has just kicked off a series on the Catholic Understanding of Saints in response to some questions asked by Jim West. This should be interesting. The first post doesn’t really tackle the saints issue but rather focuses on the caricature of Catholic theology that says Catholics believe in salvation by works. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series, which should be addressing these questions:
- What biblical or theological justification is there to pray for the dead?
- What biblical or theological justification is there for believing that the dead pray for us?
- How is ‘praying to a saint’ different from idolatry?
- Isn’t it idolatrous to place your faith in any for salvation other than Christ?
- Isn’t the entire notion of the invocation of the saints idolatrous and blasphemous?
If I can find some time this weekend I’d like to take a crack at answering some or all of these questions from a non-Catholic perspective. We’ll see what happens.