Purgatory: Holy Fire, Scott Hahn
The following is the transcripts of Scott Hahn’s audio and videotape presentation, “Purgatory: Holy Fire” as it appears in the”Catholic Adult Education on Video Program” with Scott and KimberlyHahn. Other transcripts are available for download as well. For moreinformation on this program, download (OVERVIEW.TXT) from the St.Joseph Communications file library. This program is also available forpurchase either as a whole (20 Video tapes with study guides) orindividual programs (1 Video tape with accompanying study guide) fromthe St. Joseph Communications Marketplace. Other tapes and books areavailable as well.
Program 15 Transcripts
This program deals with the Catholic doctrine of purgatory and how itis necessary in understanding the application of Christ’s redemptivework in salvation. Using Scripture, Scott explains the Hebrew conceptof sheol or the netherworld. He also cites passages such as Sirach7:33, “Withhold not your kindness, O Lord, from the dead,” to show howthe ancient Hebrew had an intimation that the mercy of God extendedeven to the dead.
A Closer Look at Christ’s Church: Answering Common Objections
This, our second installment in the series of Answering CommonObjections, is going to focus upon the doctrine of purgatory. We’regoing to try to understand purgatory as Holy Fire, just like we triedto understand the Pope in terms of him being our Holy Father, thefather figure who symbolizes the unity of the family of God here onearth under the ultimate fatherhood of Almighty God.
Before I begin with the technical definitions and then theBiblical-historical defense and evidences and so on, I would like tojust briefly just share my own personal experience. The Pope was adoctrine that was very difficult for me and so was Mary. Both of thosewere dealt with in terms of historical evidence and Biblical evidenceand basically, I was done. Purgatory was different. I came to aconclusion that sufficient evidence exists for an intermediate statebetween heaven and hell on the basis of the Bible and ancient Jewishpractices of praying for the dead and evidences in the early ChristianChurch that I will review this morning. But there was still a very bigemotional block. Very big. It’s hard to describe. I’ve tried and I’vereally failed every time to put it into words because – well, for tworeasons.
On the one hand, as an Evangelical Protestant, I had firmconvictions about the finished work of Jesus Christ; that Heaccomplished our redemption on the cross. Those convictions I stillhold fast to. Every Christian, every Catholic must. The work of ourredemption is accomplished. It is finished. But the application ofthat redemptive work of Christ by the Holy Spirit is another matter,one that I did not really come to grips with because it involvessuffering which nobody wants to come to grips with – either sufferingin this life or suffering afterwards to expiate or to repay or toprovide restitution for the effects of sin.
But that distinction is going to be crucial from the beginning ofour time today until the end — that Christ has accomplished ourredemption. It’s over and done with. He has finished it. But then Hesends the Holy Spirit to apply it, and the application of redemptionis just as essential. We don’t have a binary deity, the Father and theSon We have a trinitery deity, a family — a Father, a Son and a HolySpirit. Jesus said, “I come to baptize with fire and spirit.” And so,when the Spirit comes at Pentecost, tongues of fire appear, andwhenever the Holy Spirit appears, there is Holy Fire. When we aretaken up into the Spirit, there we are consumed with a passionate,burning love, the furnace of Christ’s heart, the reality of the HolySpirit, the fiery love of God.
That is not because Christ’s work is not enough. It’s rather theapplication of the work of Jesus Christ. Now that block, that obstaclewas one of the biggest. It was the biggest for me as far as thedoctrine of purgatory was concerned, and I would suggest that for manynon-Protestants, for many Catholics, it’s an obstacle, too, because Ifind in discussions that many Catholics as well as Protestants sharethis misunderstanding.