“Me”Centered Spiritual-Mindedness

Here is a thought provoking quote and prophetic commentary on today’s Christianity…

Cardinal Newman critiqued Luther’s views on faith and assurance when he was still an Anglican:

A system of doctrine has risen up during the last three centuries, in which faith or spiritual-mindedness is contemplated and rested on as the end of religion instead of Christ . . . And in this way religion is made to consist in contemplating ourselves instead of Christ; not simply in looking to Christ, but in ascertaining that we look to Christ, not in His Divinity and Atonement, but in our conversion and our faith in those truths . . . What! is this the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and wherein we stand, the home of our own thoughts, the prison of our own sensations, the province of self? . . . No wonder that where the thought of self obscures the thought of God, prayer and praise languish, and only preaching flourishes . . . To look at Christ is to be justified by faith; to think of being justified by faith is to look from Christ and to fall from grace . . . [Luther] found Christians in bondage to their works and observances; he released them by his doctrine of faith; and he left them in bondage to their feelings . . . Whereas he preached against reliance on self, he introduced it in a more subtle shape; whereas he professed to make the written word all in all, he sacrificed it in its length and breadth to the doctrine which he had wrested from a few texts.

~Newman, John Henry, Lectures on Justification, 1838, (Newman’s Works, London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1881), 323-8,330,336-7,339-41.

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About Rob Brock

A Catholic convert with a fire for discipleship, catechesis, and formation that leads to transformed lives in Christ. View all posts by Rob Brock

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