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Catholic view of Purgatory ... Is it real?

michael_legna's picture

When do you think this purification occurs?

JStaller said -
Analogies aside, and my reservations as well, I would be pleased to continue our discussion about, specifically, purgatory.

Before we set this analogy aside I would like to point out one more aspect which comes up with regard to your extension of it.

JStaller said -
I would like to point out that, if people tackle a math problem with different methods presented in differing textbooks, and arrive at different answers, inevitably the search for reconciliation becomes a discussion of which textbook is authoritative. In this analogy, any discussion about the method carries beneath the surface an argument for or against one particular source of authority.

If two mathematicians disagree on the answer to a problem they would not do well to fall back on two texts books - at least one of which clearly is in error (since only one of their answers can be correct and thus at most only one the textbooks are reliable). Instead they would sit together and solve the problem, deriving it from scratch checking each step against first principles, checking the intermediate solutions of each step against known and agreed upon results or axioms. They certainly would not appeal to authority of one of the textbooks. I think that is what we will be doing as we investigate the doctrine of purgatory.

JStaller said -
Do I believe that the Bible talks about further purification after initial purification? Absolutely.

Do I believe that this further purification takes place after death? No.

Ok, then I have a few more questions.

Where in scripture do you see support for this further purification?

In that section (or a related one) where (or when) do you think it says this further purification occurs?

If the basis for this idea does not come from 1 Cor 3 how does it relate to that section of scripture if at all, and if not why not?

If the basis is from 1 Cor 3 why do you not see it as occuring after our physical death since it refers to "the day" shall declare it? Is not this "day" the day of judgment?

If we are saved in 1 Cor 3 it is not because of our works, but because we built upon the foundation of Christ. If we are rewarded it is rewards other than salvation (which occur after death at the judgment). It only seems to follow that if we suffer loss it is loss other than damnation (which again occurs after death at the judgment). Both of these testings of works clearly occur after death.

Finally if this further purification does not occur after our physical death then is there no need to further purify those works? If not why not - why are they different from the works that go before them? What decides this arbitrary line of works before and after the further purification?