Still Protesting: the Donum Superadditum

In addition to losing original holiness, Roman Catholicism holds that Adam lost the ‘donum superadditum’ or the super added gift.

The Protestant believes that the Bible teaches something far different. The Bible does not teach that in Christ we have an opportunity to redo what Adam failed to do.  We believe that Christ did what Adam failed to do and he even took the penalty for Adam’s failure. He obeyed God and was justified on the basis of His obedience.


“Why can’t you get past the objections of Luther and his progeny?” That was the question that came plaintively from the man who sat opposite the pastor in the coffee house. The Pastor, whose name was Peter, looked at him as if to say, “Haven’t I already explained?” I could see his frustration as I sat across from them. Peter was a Protestant minister and a regular in the brewing establishment.  The other man spied him reading a telltale book that marked him as religious and that was the start of the assault. The aggressor, Joe, was a Roman Catholic who wasn’t by nature combative but seemed to move in that direction when talking to Protestants about their need to return to what he called Mother Church.

Peter decided to take another route. He said, “Joe, it’s not one thing that separates us. It’s not simply faith alone that divides us – though it most certainly does.  But it’s the web of other doctrines that make agreement impossible unless one side is willing to abandon their entire position. Since Protestants are committed to the Bible and the Roman Catholic Church is committed to the Magisterium it is unlikely that anything will change.” Peter knew that last statement was true but probably not charitable.

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