This is meant as interaction and discussion:
Andrew has given us several great links, but frankly, while I am more sympathetic to Rome, after understanding the starting point, I still must take issue with a few things. One of them being that Paul prayed for the dead. The basis for such a doctrine, sure in part, comes from Paul’s 2nd letter to Timothy:
May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiph’orus, for he often refreshed me; he was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me eagerly and found me — may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day — and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus. 2 Timothy 1:16-18
The author of the above blog concerning this subject gives excellent quotes from several well respected Anglicans (with a Scottish Presbyterian, an Evangelical, and Reformed to boot!). To be honest, it is difficult to overcome the plain sense of the passage in that Onesiphorus is absent from his family, but what do we make of the absence? Is it death, imprisonment, or travel for the Cross?
If Onesiphorus was dead, and if this was Paul’s attempt to pray for the man’s judgment, then would not Paul then become a mediator between God and (the) man? If we have one Advocate, then where does this place Paul?
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Heb 7:25 NKJ)
If Christ alone is our Mediator, our Intercessor, why then would we need for others to pray for us after we had breathed our last?
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. (2Ti 1:12 NKJ)
If Paul needed no prayers after he had passed, because of the things he had committed to God, then would Onesiphorus?
What say you?