The Blurring of Time Distinctions in Roman Catholicism

This article by Leonardo De Chirico critiques the way in which the Roman Catholic understanding of time has resulted in its distinctive doctrines of the incarnation of Christ, the Eucharist, and divine revelation.

A consideration of the question of time offers a useful perspective from which to view the contours of the Christian faith. In a recent book, John Stott put forward the idea that the message of the gospel can be summed up adequately by two biblical adverbs which are linked to time: hapax (once and for all) and mallon (for evermore). It is around these two adverbs that both the uniqueness and definitive character of the incarnation is asserted and the dynamic, progressive nature of the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit articulated. The two adverbs refer to two aspects of the work of the trinitarian God in the world, the one circumscribed by time and definitive in regards to the completion of the work of salvation, the other proceeding through time and developing the outworking of that salvation in history. The gospel is a message that is based on what God has done, hapax, and on what he is doing, mallon; it refers to unique facts and also to on-going developments. On the one hand, there is a series of finished events and, on the other, a continuing process which flows on through time…Download the full article’s pdf here.