Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Mortal and Venial Sins?
03/04/2010 - James WhitePastor David King, co-author of the three-volume set titled Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of our Faith, has been spending a great deal of time in the years since the publication of that work continuing his work of cataloging patristic citations that are relevant to Rome's claims and dogmas. He just posted the following in our chat channel:
Basil of Caesarea (AD. 329-379): How are we to deal with those who avoid greater sins but commit small sins regarding them as venial sins? First of all we must know that in the New Testament it is impossible to observe this distinction. For one sentence is passed against all sins, that of the Lord Who said: Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin.
----W. K. L. Clarke, The Ascetic Works of Saint Basil, Translations of Christian Literature Series I, Greek Texts (London: S.P.C.K., 1925), The Shorter Rules, Question & Answer #293 (CCXCIII), pp. 342-343.
The question immediately rises, how could Basil have held to the Roman concept of purgatory if this was his view of sin, a view quite contrary to that expressed by Tim Staples in our recent on-air debate on purgatory.
I hope our readers will note that there have been some excellent discussions of claims made by leading Roman Catholic apologists of late on this blog (and those of our contributors). And I need to point out that the other side has been deafeningly silent in response. The "big names" simply ignore counter-documentation, seemingly leaving that effort, if it takes place at all, to their "smaller brothers." The post refuting Steve Ray's statements on purgatory, for example, is devastatingly full. Do you think you will hear a single word from Ray in counter-argumentation? If you do, it will be filled with bluster and ad-hominem, not documentation. It is a fair and honest statement that when it comes to these topics, the Roman side seems downright defenseless. You will not hear that from their media outlets and the like, but the public persona they seek to create is truly a shallow facade.
I might add to my observation that I have twice asked Tim Staples whether Catholic Answers will be making the recording of our debate on purgatory available to their listeners and supporters. Both e-mails have been ignored. No response at all. If you listen to CA Live, you know they heavily promoted his exchange with Steve Gregg, and they continue to promote the Bible Answer Man show (which they continue to call a "debate") with Jimmy Akin as well. But, so far, no one has said a word about hearing any advertising about the purgatory debate with Tim Staples. We can continue to hope, but at the moment, it is not looking very good.