Saturday, May 30, 2009

What is the formula for faith?

John Hendryx shares a helpful conversation held between him and a Roman Catholic regarding Sola Fide (Salvation by Faith Alone) ...

I was recently in an online discussion with a Roman Catholic who made the following assertions:

Ultimately, it makes no difference whether you hold that

faith + works = justification


faith = justification + works

In either case there is no justification apart from good works. According to the reformed view, if you don't have good works, then you don't have the right kind of faith. In other words, according to reformed theology, the equation would be

true faith = faith + works.

Well, there you have it. How does this not end up exactly in Rome? This is also the reason why Rome in 1998 agreed to the doctrine of justification by faith alone. For if "true faith" is really "faith plus works", well then embracing Sola Fide is really faith plus works, and Rome doesn't have to make a move. However, the reformed don't seem to realize that the phrase "faith alone" is utterly meaningless and empty words. Do you really assent to this: true faith = faith + works?

my response:

You asked, "Do you really assent to this: true faith = faith + works ?"

Thanks for your question. If you mean does salvation = faith + works the answer is yes, but not my faith and works. It is the faith and works of Christ that saves. My faith and my works have no redeeming value whatsoever.
Read the entire article here. His response was very helpful!

In addition, please check out the new June Gospel e-Letter at Just for Catholics.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So there is the thesis. There are fundamentally only two ways of thinking about how people can be right with God: by what they do or by what Christ does for them. It matters not if in the former case, as would have been true for these judaizers, the works that were required for justification were combined with faith in Christ. It is all or nothing. Any works at all, makes it justification by works. It is works of any kind, to any degree, or Christ alone. That is the alternative. That is what makes Christianity so radical a message and a philosophy of life. It sets itself against not only every other religious idea, but the natural tendency of every human heart, to hold salvation -- at least to some degree -- in one's own hands.

Robert Rayburn
HT -

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