The folks at the Classical Theism podcast recently interviewed Robert C. Koons, author of A Lutheran’s Case for Roman Catholicism: Finding a Lost Path Home. Topics covered include:
- Why is this called a “Lutheran’s case” when you’re a Catholic?
- How do you structure the book?
- What do you say about the “burden of proof” in the opening chapter?
- What were important considerations regarding sola scriptura and authority when it came to your own story?
- How does the Lutheran view of justification compare with the Catholic view?
- Does Romans 3 fit better with a Lutheran view?
- Does Romans 4 fit better with a Lutheran view?
- What other scripture passages are important in the discussion of justification?
- What else do you emphasize in your book and where can listeners go to find more about your work?
Listen to the interview here.
About the book
After thirty years of study and reflection, Lutheran philosopher Robert Koons joined the Catholic Church in 2007. This book articulates his reasons for abandoning the church of his ancestors for the Roman communion, reasons that centered on a deep and systematic re-thinking of the central issue of the Reformation: the Lutheran doctrine of justification by faith alone. Koons draws on a broad knowledge of the Scriptures, the Church Fathers, and the most prominent theologians of the Lutheran movement from the time of the Reformation until the present, including Luther, Melanchthon, Chemnitz, and Robert Preus. Since Jesus clearly intended for the church to remain visibly united, the burden of proof on any theological innovation is heavy, and Koons demonstrates that the Lutheran doctrine was innovative, and he argues, relying on the best New Testament scholarship, that the Bible passages cited by the Reformers do not support the innovative features of the Lutheran doctrine. Koons seeks to eliminate widespread misunderstandings of the Catholic doctrine of justification on the part of many Protestants, emphasizing the christocentric character of that teaching. Koons argues that, in contrast, the Lutheran doctrine is inconsistent. He also points out serious logical problems with the principle of sola scriptura.
Robert C. Koons is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. He is author and editor of seven books, including most recently The Atlas of Reality (with Timothy Pickavance), and Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science (with William Simpson and Nicholas Teh).