Many Protestants think Catholics don’t care about the Bible. Now, unfortunately many of us Catholics give them good reason to think this(!), but nonetheless the actual teaching of the Catholic Church holds the sacred Scriptures up to a lofty pedestal.
Chris Ricketts, the Warrior Catholic, interviewed me on the topic of the Bible and it will be run this evening during his radio show. Our talk covered the Bible, Tradition, differences between Catholicism and Protestantism, Dei Verbum, Vatican II, and many other topics!
Tune in to his show tonight for my one-hour interview and then listen in to his second hour as well. You can also hear my interview below:
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Emphasis mine of course. Notice that “believes” is contrasted with “does not obey”–but how are those opposites? Why didn’t Jesus (or John) say “whoever does not believe in the Son shall not see life”? Those seem like the clear opposites.
I found the Ignatius Study Bible’s note on this verse helpful (and intriguing):
Faith is exercised when we trust in God and entrust ourselves to God. Because it involves both the assent of the mind and the consent of the will, it can never be a purely intellectual decision that exists independently of one’s behavior (James 2:14-26).
It is because faith and faithfulness are two sides of the same coin that the opposite of faith is not just unbelief, but disobedience (CCC 161).
Whoa. First I find it fascinating that faith involves “assent of the mind” and “consent of the will”–two different but complementary things. I had never heard of it described in such a precise way. I’d like to know more about what exactly each of those actions entails.
Secondly, the combination of faith with faithfulness makes sense of the verse, since disobedience contrasts nicely with faithfulness.
Might this also shine light on the many verses where the inspired authors of the New Testament (and Jesus Himself) speak of us being justified or judged by our obedience? Faith must be informed by love and so take concrete shape in our actions. This harmonizes with what Paul said in Galatians 5:6, that it is “faith working in love” that matters.
In any event, I find it fascinating that just this one verse of the Bible has such complexity of meaning underlying it. Thanks be to God for guiding His Church to understanding His divine meaning in the Bible!