Monday, July 21, 2008

Infuriating Factoids

Assertion:
It would be TREMENDOUSLY significant (for your side) if ANYONE previous to Luther had EVER translated the Bible and PUBLISHED IT AS a Bible with that word ["alone" in Romans 3:28] added, obviously inferring that they didn’t think that Paul and the Holy Spirit had done a “good enough job”. THAT Is the real point.


Infuriating Factoid:

Catholic translations prior to Luther spoke of faith alone at Romans 3:28. Hence, the Nuremberg Bible of 1483 had "allein durch den glauben," while the Italian Bibles of Geneva in 1476 and even 1538 had "per sola fede."

60 comments:

David Waltz said...

>>Catholic translations prior to Luther spoke of faith alone at Romans 3:28. Hence, the Nuremberg Bible of 1483 had "allein durch den glauben," while the Italian Bibles of Geneva in 1476 and even 1538 had "per sola fede.">>

And by extension, why do soooooo many Prots accuse Catholics of teaching salvation by “works”? Trent says nothing more than what is clearly stated in the epistle of James, and Catholic theologians both pre and post Trent affirm a sense of “faith alone”…

Sincerely hope that this thread is not heading towards yet one more example of a double-standard.


Grace and peace,

David

BillyHW said...

Wait a minute, since when did the Catholic Church let the people read the Bible for themselves in their own language?!

Augustinian Successor said...

Since when did Beggars All accuse Romanists of practicing salvation by works??? Roman Catholics can affirm faith alone, or grace alone. But the biblical meaning would not allow the word faith to be interpreted other than belief which is a mental act of being assured, though this act in itself is not natural but solely a gift, not so much given but created by the Holy Spirit. This is why James seems to posit the "antithesis" between faith and works. But of course he was not contradicting St. Paul who spoke of righteous in the sight of God by faith. Protestants believe that they are righteous in the sight of the Father for the sake of Jesus Christ Who is the end of the Law to all who believe, apart from the deeds of the Law (coram Deo). James was emphatically speaking of in the sight of men (coram homnibus), of this world (the left-hand kingdom).

James Swan said...

Sincerely hope that this thread is not heading towards yet one more example of a double-standard.


I can't speak as an infallible authority for "soooooo many Prots", and I personally don't recall ever accusing "Catholics of teaching salvation by “works" and not including the fact that they link some form of grace along with the works they perform in a state of grace.

I recall the psychic "Ms. Cleo" was pulled off the TV a few years ago- perhaps David, your psychic powers are headed in the same direction?

James Swan said...

Wait a minute, since when did the Catholic Church let the people read the Bible for themselves in their own language?!

Actually during Luther's lifetime, Catholic apologists plagarized portions of Luther's Bible in attempts to publish a Catholic German translation. Previous to Luther's German Bible, Catholic versions did exist as well.

Turretinfan said...

Amazing! Thanks for pointing this out, James!

Rhology said...

Since when did Beggars All accuse Romanists of practicing salvation by works???

Actually, no less an authority than Tim Staples explicitly said that Rome teaches salvation by faith + works.

As have other Romanists. What authority does anyone at Beggars All have to pronounce what Rome teaches? It's far easier to let her speak for herself.

Rhology said...

So did a whole bunch of Romanists in the combox on this post.

Apologist said...

Catholics that I know and have talked to, 95% believe that it is by "works" that one is saved. Although the bible talks of faith alone, that is kinda crazy that Luther changed it. I always go to translations closest to the greek manuscripts, since they are the closest to original copies we have.

Romans 10:10 -10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

When we believe, we are justified (which means we are seen as 'righteous' and being seen as righteous means we are innocent in God's eyes). When we confess with our mouths, we are saved (meaning we are no longer hell-bound, but using Jesus to get to heaven).

David Waltz said...

Hello James,

Thanks for responding to my musings. You wrote:

>>I can't speak as an infallible authority for "soooooo many Prots", and I personally don't recall ever accusing "Catholics of teaching salvation by “works" and not including the fact that they link some form of grace along with the works they perform in a state of grace.>>

Me: So, are you saying that salvation by faith accompanied by works of grace is not a form of salvation by works?


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hello Rhology and Apologist,

I would like to pose a similar question to the one I asked of James: Do you believe that Aquinas, Trent, and the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, et al. teach a form of salvation by works?


Grace and peace,

David

Rhology said...

The CCC does, certainly:

1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.60 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.61 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.62 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit."


At any rate, I wouldn't say "salvation by works". I say "justification by faith + works".

David Waltz said...

Hello again Rhology,

Thanks for responding. You posted:

>> At any rate, I wouldn't say "salvation by works". I say "justification by faith + works".>>

Me: So, would you then say that "justification by faith + works" is not a form of "salvation by works"?

BTW, the CCC is merely echoing what Augustine taught on this issue. (And, as you probably know, Lutherans teach baptismal regeneration.)


Off for a run on the beach. Will check back in later…


Grace and peace,

David

Rhology said...

Just for the sake of argument, let's say the CCC, Aquinas, and Trent DON'T teach any form of salvation by faith + works.

I'm curious - are you saying that salvation is thus by grace alone thru faith alone?

What of the men such as James Akin and Tim Staples to whom I posted links?

David Waltz said...

Hey Rhology,

You posted:

>>I'm curious - are you saying that salvation is thus by grace alone thru faith alone?>>

Me: I affirm what is stated so clearly in the ANNEX of the “Official Common Statement
by the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church”, from which we read:

>>Justification takes place "by grace alone" (JD 15 and 16), by faith alone, the person is justified "apart from works" (Rom 3:28, cf. JD 25). "Grace creates faith not only when faith begins in a person but as long as faith lasts" (Thomas Aquinas, S. Th II/II 4, 4 ad 3). The working of God's grace does not exclude human action: God effects everything, the willing and the achievement, therefore, we are called to strive (cf. Phil 2:12 ff.). "As soon as the Holy Spirit has initiated his work of regeneration and renewal in us through the Word and the holy sacraments, it is certain that we can and must cooperate by the power of the Holy Spirit..." (The Formula of Concord, FC SD II, 64f; BSLK 897, 37ff).>>

As for the teachings of ‘popular’ apologists, I quite honestly don’t pay much attention to them, and neither should you (IMHO).

Grace and peace,

David

Edward Reiss said...

Not to un-hijack this hijacked thread, but will the RCs posting here admit that the accusations made by RC apologists that Luther added "alone" for the first time ever in Church history at least admit the accusation is simply--wrong?

Further, will they admit that salvation by faith alone is hence, not something Luther cooked up in the 16th century?

Rhology said...

So, David W, what of Purgatory and venial sins? The treasury of merit?
What does Trent mean?
CANON 9: "If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema."


CANON 12: "If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ's sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified ... let him be accursed"

Canon 14: "If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema."

Canon 24: "If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema."

Canon 30: "If any one saith, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened (to him); let him be anathema."

Canon 33: "If any one saith, that, by the Catholic doctrine touching Justification, by this holy Synod inset forth in this present decree, the glory of God, or the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ are in any way derogated from, and not rather that the truth of our faith, and the glory in fine of God and of Jesus Christ are rendered (more) illustrious; let him be anathema.

Help me out here.

The Dude said...

Edward,
Do you believe the distinction between sanctification and justification (which I would venture is the key ingredient to the Reformed/Lutheran understanding of sola fide in contrast to other formulations that Catholics might have been making at that time) emerged only in the 16th century?

Edward Reiss said...

Dude,

Will you answer my first question? Then I will answer yours.

Here is it again:

"will the RCs posting here admit that the accusations made by RC apologists that Luther added "alone" for the first time ever in Church history at least admit the accusation is simply--wrong?"

I would like an answer even if you are not RC.

The Dude said...

Rhology,
Not to interrupt your convo with David, but just curious as to what you make of the catechism quoting Therese of Lisieux - "In the evening of this life, I shall appear before you with empty hands, for I do not ask you, Lord, to count my works. All our justice is blemished in your eyes. I wish, then, to be clothed in your own justice and to receive from your love the eternal possession of yourself". Do you think other points of RC theology butcher this?

The Dude said...

Edward,
Sure, James did a good service, as usual, in showing RC misuse of Luther. Looks like others did use alone before that. But I'm not sure they meant it in the same way he did (just like when ECFs and Aquinas of all people are quoted using the phrase sola fide), which was part of the reason I asked my question in response to yours, as you used "hence", thus seemingly implying that if one concedes the first point, they should concede the second.

David Waltz said...

Hello Edward,

You posted:

>> Not to un-hijack this hijacked thread, but will the RCs posting here admit that the accusations made by RC apologists that Luther added "alone" for the first time ever in Church history at least admit the accusation is simply--wrong?>>

Me: Absolutely! (BTW, I was well aware of this long before James’ post; the Catholic Biblical scholar Joseph Fitzmyer touches on this in his commentary on Romans, pp. 360-362.)

>>Further, will they admit that salvation by faith alone is hence, not something Luther cooked up in the 16th century?>>

Me: Yes, and many Catholics have already gone on record and said so (see the LC and ECT documents). However, Luther did introduce a theological novem that is directly associated with his view of sola fide:justification by imputation alone. (Though Luther was not always consistent with Luther on this issue.)

For an excellent essay concerning many of these issues see Heckel’s: JETS essay.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Rhology,

You posted:

>> So, David W, what of Purgatory and venial sins? The treasury of merit?>>

Me: The above has nothing to do with eternal life and/or eternal punishment, but rather with temporal punishment for those who have been “saved” (i.e. in a state of saving grace).

As for Trent, I would like to suggest that you first read Heckel’s JETS essay, for it provides much of the necessary background for a cogent discussion. In the meantime, I shall just say that I personally deal with certain statements in Trent when compared with the JD and Annex, the same way I deal with certain statements in Paul when compared with James and John.

Hope this helps,

David

Alexander Greco said...

"Not to un-hijack this hijacked thread, but will the RCs posting here admit that the accusations made by RC apologists that Luther added "alone" for the first time ever in Church history at least admit the accusation is simply--wrong?

"Further, will they admit that salvation by faith alone is hence, not something Luther cooked up in the 16th century?"

Me: How about you, or anyone here for that matter, stop dodging the challenge of supplying evidence for any council of the Church throughout history which had taught anything similar to the "Reformed" position. You can't because it is a novel theological fantasy.

Carrie said...

How about you, or anyone here for that matter, stop dodging the challenge of supplying evidence for any council of the Church throughout history which had taught anything similar to the "Reformed" position. You can't because it is a novel theological fantasy.

The Nicene Council.

The Reformed position is taught in scripture, that is why it is correct. Church councils and ancient beliefs are not the measure. That doesn't mean you cannot find ECFs and teachings which are in agreement with Reformed position, but it is the wrong question to ask.

Read through the Epistles and see how much time was spent on correcting the errors that were already creeping into the church. What was written down for teaching and correcting is what can be trusted - the errors already present during the Apoostolic time could easily fold into "Tradition" and you would have a difficult time flushing it out.

Councils don't trump scripture, sorry.

Edward Reiss said...

Dude,

"Looks like others did use alone before that."

Thank you. The reason I was so insistent is the the very first post looked like an attempt to change the topic so to speak. I think if we get rid of all this dross some real discussion can occur. But it won't happen if the first thing a RC/EO apologist says is "Luther mistranslated the Bible/Luther removed books from the Bible/Luther was a drunk" etc.

Now, to your question. We are justified because we believe the promises of Christ. An example is Baptism. A Christian has recourse to his Baptism throughout his life, in that when he sins, he still knows he is a child of God and his sins are forgiven.

I think the distinction between sanctification and justification has a pretty good pedigree pre Luther. I have a pretty good example in St. Clement.

St. Clement of Rome wrote in his epistle to the Corinthians Chapter 32 "And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

Now, one could include that if we are justified by faith, the sanctification is separate. But he also wrote in chapter 33 "We see,then, how all righteous men have been adorned with good works, and how the Lord Himself, adorning Himself with His works, rejoiced. Having therefore such an example, let us without delay accede to His will, and let us work the work of righteousness with our whole strength."

The righteous from chapter 32 are now adorned by good works. The works are distinct in St. Clement, and they plainly do not make one just. Hence it seems to me that the idea is not something Luther cooked up in his head.

David,

Thank you too.

I think we need to be careful if we want to make Luther too much of a systematician.

Alexander, St. Clement disagrees with you, and Church councils are not the only source of doctrine even in the RCC. The Scriptures are too. There is also the council of Orange, recognized by the RCC as an ecumenical council.

"CANON 21. Concerning nature and grace. As the Apostle most truly says to those who would be justified by the law and have fallen from grace, "If justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose" (Gal. 2:21), so it is most truly declared to those who imagine that grace, which faith in Christ advocates and lays hold of, is nature: "If justification were through nature, then Christ died to no purpose." Now there was indeed the law, but it did not justify, and there was indeed nature, but it did not justify. Not in vain did Christ therefore die, so that the law might be fulfilled by him who said, "I have come not to abolish them (the law and prophets) but to fulfil them" (Matt. 5:17), and that the nature which had been destroyed by Adam might be restored by him who said that he had come "to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10)."

From http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/orange.txt

It does not come out and say JBFA, but it is similar enough to fulfil your "anything like it" requirement

GeneMBridges said...

Me: So, would you then say that "justification by faith + works" is not a form of "salvation by works"?

No, because "salvation" and "justification" are not convertible. That's a popular mistake. The Reformed view Sola Fide is a species of Sola Gratia. Saved by the instrument of grace, justified by the instrument of faith as a consequence.

What makes your view "salvation by works" in a loose sense is the denial of the sufficiency of grace. For you, as for the Arminians, it is necessary but insufficient to justify. The difference between you and the Arminians is that while they only implicitly make faith a "work," due to their commitment to LFW, you all explicitly do so. You conflate justification and sanctification. This is no great secret.


As for the teachings of ‘popular’ apologists, I quite honestly don’t pay much attention to them, and neither should you (IMHO).


Gee, David, that's a real timesaver. We'll remember this the next time you post here. We just shouldn't pay attention to you.

The Reformed position is taught in scripture, that is why it is correct. Church councils and ancient beliefs are not the measure. That doesn't mean you cannot find ECFs and teachings which are in agreement with Reformed position, but it is the wrong question to ask.

And the reason for this is...

1. At any given council there are winners and losers. One man's winner is another man's loser.
2. So, what we have is the collective opinion and decision of the winners - at the expense of the losers.
3. So, what the objection is affirming is that the council represents a "majority" at the time, and is binding thereafter. This is what you get when you begin with an idea of what the Church should be like instead of consulting Scripture first. Calvinism has a doctrine of the remnant. Why? Because the Bible has one. Why does the Bible have one? Because in the course of redemptive history, the majority were often wrong and the minority was often correct.
4. The Catholic and Orthodox presumption is that a council understands "Apostolic Tradition." But how does one know this? According to JNORM888 who has been advancing this view on Tblog of late, we're not sure, because he gives us a multiple choice set of arguments.

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2008/07/heretical-apostolic-succession.html

Now, to your question. We are justified because we believe the promises of Christ. An example is Baptism. A Christian has recourse to his Baptism throughout his life, in that when he sins, he still knows he is a child of God and his sins are forgiven.

Edward, I understand you're Lutheran, but since most folks don't understand how baptism functions for you, I'll clarify for readers here, if I may...

In Catholicism, baptism is effacious regardless of the presence of the receptor's actual faith.

In Lutheranism, the infant's faith, according to Luther, is his own. So, that's why he can look on his baptism. It's considered believers' baptism. Most nonLutherans don't know that.

In most Presby circles, a person can only rely on the promises vouchsafed by his believing parent/s if he later believes.

In the Baptist view, our view is Lutheran insofar as we affirm the person's faith is his own. We differ insofar as we affirm confessor baptism.

Cornelius said...

Is there a source online we could point someone to if we gave this information to someone and they wanted to look at the original?

David Waltz said...

Hello again Edward,

Could not sleep so I thought I would check the blogs and mbs…you posted:

>>I think we need to be careful if we want to make Luther too much of a systematician.>>

Me: Exactly.

>>Alexander, St. Clement disagrees with you, and Church councils are not the only source of doctrine even in the RCC. The Scriptures are too. There is also the council of Orange, recognized by the RCC as an ecumenical council.>>

Me: Disagrees with me on what? I affirm a sense of sola fide…

What I have grave concerns about is Luther’s theological novem—justification by imputation alone.

Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hello Gene,

You posted:

Gene:>>Me: So, would you then say that "justification by faith + works" is not a form of "salvation by works"?

No, because "salvation" and "justification" are not convertible. That's a popular mistake. The Reformed view Sola Fide is a species of Sola Gratia. Saved by the instrument of grace, justified by the instrument of faith as a consequence.>>

Me: No argument here, I would merely add “justified by the instrument of faith working in love.”

Gene:>>What makes your view "salvation by works" in a loose sense is the denial of the sufficiency of grace.>>

Me: Wrong Gene, you make the same mistake that James White has; you equate “sufficiency” with “efficacy”. I have already dealt with this issue on my blog: HERE and HERE.


Gene:>>As for the teachings of ‘popular’ apologists, I quite honestly don’t pay much attention to them, and neither should you (IMHO).

Gee, David, that's a real timesaver. We'll remember this the next time you post here. We just shouldn't pay attention to you.>>

Me: I am not a “popular apologist”, not even close.

Gene:>>The Reformed position is taught in scripture, that is why it is correct>>

Me: Wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard someone say that their particular theology/sect/view is “taught in scripture”.

The Evangelical scholar Anthony Lane cogently sums up my thoughts on this:

>>The Reformers unequivocally rejected the teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church. This left open the question of who should interpret Scripture. The Reformation was not a struggle for the right of private judgement. The Reformers feared private judgement almost as much as did the Catholics and were not slow to attack it in its Anabaptist manifestation. The Reformation principle was not private judgement but the perspicuity of the Scriptures. Scripture was ‘sui ipsius interpres’ and the simple principle of interpreting individual passages by the whole was to lead to unanimity in understanding. This came close to creating anew the infallible church…It was this belief in the clarity of Scripture that made the early disputes between Protestants so fierce. This theory seemed plausible while the majority of Protestants held to Luthern or Calvinist orthodoxy but the seventeenth century saw the beginning of the erosion of these monopolies. But even in 1530 Casper Schwenckfeld could cynically note that ‘the Papists damn the Lutherans; the Lutherans damn the Zwinglians; the Zwinglians damn the Anabaptists and the Anabaptists damn all others.’ By the end of seventeenth century many others saw that it was not possible on the basis of Scripture alone to build up a detailed orthodoxy commanding general assent. (A.N.S. Lane, “Scripture, Tradition and Church: An Historical Survey”, Vox Evangelica, Volume IX – 1975, pp. 44, 45 – bold emphasis mine.)>>


Grace and peace,

David

Augustinian Successor said...

"The Evangelical scholar Anthony Lane cogently sums up my thoughts on this:

>>The Reformers unequivocally rejected the teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church. This left open the question of who should interpret Scripture. The Reformation was not a struggle for the right of private judgement. The Reformers feared private judgement almost as much as did the Catholics and were not slow to attack it in its Anabaptist manifestation."

Well, Lane's thesis is refuted by McGrath in "Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution, a history from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first".

Lane is mistaken here. The RIGHT to private judgment was one of the principles of Reformation. The issue relates to USE of private judgment: is it based on sola Scriptura? If so, how is sola Scriptura understood?

Sola Scriptura does not mean abandonment of Tradition but re-defining its use to ensure and maintain continuity. Sola Scriptura does not mean ecclesial and liturgical arrangements for the sake of good order (not by divine institution, unlike Romanism in reference to e.g. the papacy - therein lies the difference) can be opposed with impunity.

Private judgment was demonstrated by Luther himself at the Diet of Worms, and it precisely means this:

"Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason — I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other — my conscience is captive to the word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe." Here, I stand. I can do nothing else. God help me. Amen."

THIS IS PRIVATE JUDGMENT.

Augustinian Successor said...

"Calvinism has a doctrine of the remnant. Why? Because the Bible has one. Why does the Bible have one? Because in the course of redemptive history, the majority were often wrong and the minority was often correct."

That's a good one, Brother. In the Bible, it is the minority or "remnant" which holds the CATHOLIC position, something for the ecumenists out there to ponder.

David Waltz said...

Hi AS,

You wrote:

>>Lane is mistaken here. The RIGHT to private judgment was one of the principles of Reformation. The issue relates to USE of private judgment: is it based on sola Scriptura? If so, how is sola Scriptura understood?>>

Me: Hmmm…I don’t think so; Lane’s assessment accords with history. For some of Calvin’s reflections see this THREAD.

Grace and peace,

David

Augustinian Successor said...

David,

Of course Lane was mistaken. He confused the RIGHT to private judgment with the USE of private judgment. The ABUSE of private judgment could be seen in Luther's confrontation with the Schwaermer (Enthusiasts).

The LIMITS to private jugdment is set out in e.g. Article XXXIV - Of the TRADITIONS of the CHURCH:

"It is not necessary that Traditions and Ceremonies be in all places one, and utterly like; for at all times they have been divers, and may be changed according to the diversities of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's Word. Whosoever through his private judgement, willingly and purposely, doth openly break the traditions and ceremonies of the Church, which be not repugnant to the Word of God, and be ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly, (that others may fear to do the like,) as he that offendeth against the common order of the Church, and hurteth the authority of the Magistrate, and woundeth the consciences of the weak brethren.

Every particular or national Church hath authority to ordain, change, and abolish, ceremonies or rites of the Church ordained only by man's authority, so that all things be done to edifying."

The 39 Articles of Religion also incorporates the RIGHT and NECESSITY of private judgment in Article VI - Of the Sufficiency of the holy SCRIPTURES for SALVATION:

"Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the holy Scripture, we do understand those Canonical books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church."

So, the right and proper use of private judgment is clearly defined in the 39 Articles of Religion as a Protestant confession.

Since you are a avid book reader, why not get McGrath's book?

Edward Reiss said...

David,

"What I have grave concerns about is Luther’s theological novem—justification by imputation alone."

Well, I don't know what you mean by that. I understand the words, but I have a feeling they have a deeper meaning for you than the words themselves. In any case, that is not really a phrase Lutherans use, and I bet Luther never used it either--though I may be wrong. If it is something Luther is said to have believed by a third party, it may be technically correct but miss significant nuances.

David Waltz said...

Hello Jason (AS),

Thanks for responding. You posted:

>>Of course Lane was mistaken. He confused the RIGHT to private judgment with the USE of private judgment. The ABUSE of private judgment could be seen in Luther's confrontation with the Schwaermer (Enthusiasts).>>

Me: Lane is not saying that Luther, Calvin, Knox, et al. denied “the RIGHT to private judgment” IN A CERTAIN SENSE. As a Catholic, I too have “the RIGHT to private judgment” within a set of historically defined parameters (e.g. Ecumenical Councils and ex cathedra promulgations). What Lane IS saying is that in PRACTICE, there was little difference between Calvin’s “Church” and Sadolet’s “Church”. Though Calvin denied infallibility to creeds, confessions, catechisms et al., they in day-to-day church polity functioned as such.

Hope you had a chance to read the quotes from Calvin that I provided in the thread that I linked to. Here is a bit more from Calvin’s pen:


"I grant that doctrines ought to be tested by God’s word; but except the Spirit of wisdom be present, to have God’s word in our hands will avail little or nothing, for its meaning will not appear to us; as, for instance, gold is tried by the or touchstone, but it. can only be done by those who understand the art; for neither the touchstone nor the fire can be of any use to theunskillful. That we may then be fit judges, we must necessarily be endowed with and directed by the Spirit of discernment. But as the Apostle would have commanded this in vain, were there no power of judging supplied, we may with certainty conclude, that the godly shall never be left destitute of the Spirit of wisdom as to what is necessary, provided they ask for him of the Lord. But the Spirit will only thus guide us to a right discrimination, when we render all our thoughts subject to God’s word; for it is, as it has been said, like the touchstone, yea, it ought to be deemed most necessary to us; for that alone is true doctrine which is drawn from it.

But here a difficult question arises: If every one has the right and the liberty to judge, nothing can be settled as certain, but on the contrary the whole of religion will be uncertain. To this I answer, that there is a twofold trial of doctrine, private and public. The private trial is that by which every one settles his own faith, when he wholly acquiesces in that doctrine which he knows has come from God; for consciences will never find a safe and tranquil port otherwise than in God. Public trial refers to the common consent and polity of the Church; for as there is danger lest fanatics should rise up, who may presumptuously boast that they are endued with the Spirit of God, it is a necessary remedy, that the faithful meet together and seek a way by which they may agree in a holy and godly manner. But as the old proverb is too true, “So many heads, so many opinions,” it is doubtless a singular work of God, when he subdues our perverseness and makes us to think the same thing, and to agree in a holy unity of faith.

But what Papists under this pretense hold, that whatever has been decreed in councils is to be deemed as certain oracles, because the Church has once proved them to be from God, is extremely frivolous. For though it be the ordinary way of seeking consent, to gather a godly and holy council, when controversies may be determined according to God’s word; yet God has never bound himself to the decrees of any council. Nor does it necessarily follow, that as soon as a hundred bishops or more meet together in any place, they have duly called on God and inquired at his mouth what is true; nay, nothing is more clear that they have often departed from the pure word of God. Then in this case also the trial which the Apostle prescribes ought to take place, so that the spirits may be proved." (Calvin’s Commentaries – Volume XXII, Baker Book House 1979 reprint, pp. 230 – 231.)


Me: Now ask yourself, what has been the “fruit” of Calvin’s “twofold trial of doctrine”? Has his presuppositions brought about “a holy unity of faith”?

As a student of history, I cannot help but concur with Lane’s assessment…


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hello Edward,

You posted:

>>"What I have grave concerns about is Luther’s theological novem—justification by imputation alone."

Well, I don't know what you mean by that. I understand the words, but I have a feeling they have a deeper meaning for you than the words themselves. In any case, that is not really a phrase Lutherans use, and I bet Luther never used it either--though I may be wrong. If it is something Luther is said to have believed by a third party, it may be technically correct but miss significant nuances.>>

Me: Once again, Heckel’s masterful ESSAY addresses some of your concerns. (See also THIS THREAD.)

You are partially correct about the phrase “justification by imputation alone”, Luther and the early Lutherans did not use it, but modern Evangelical Lutherans do. However, the equivalent of the phrase was used by Luther and the early Lutherans, namely: iustitia Christia aliena. It was Luther’s insistence on this theological novem which separated him from all previous conceptions of justification. When Evangelicals speak of the articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae, they are referring to justification by faith alone, by imputation of Christ’s righteousness alone. Dr. Sproul sums this up nicely:

"The conflict over justification by faith alone boils down to this: Is the ground of our justification the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, or the righteousness of Christ working within us? For the Reformers the doctrine of justification by faith alone meant justification by Christ and his [imputed] righteousness alone." (R.C. Sproul, Faith Alone, p. 73.)

Grace and peace,

David

Edward Reiss said...

David,

Is this really a theological novum by Luther? I don't think so. From the article you pointed me to:

"By contrast, Luther located justification in faith alone excluding the works of the law."

OK, what about St. Clement as I cited earlier:

"And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

Not--Justified--by--works. Where is the "intrinsic justice" in that?

Even Better. St. Paul:

"For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law."

Now, if we are not justified by works, how is our righteousness not extrinsic?

The article also seems to mix justification--a unilateral act of God, with sanctification--man's cooperation with the Spirit in a Christian life. It is true that some fathers mixed the two, but they did not have to deal with the Roman novelties such as the Via Moderna.

Regarding Romans 2 (cited in the article to show we will be rewarded for our works with eternal life), the Book of Concord states our works have merit for a reward, but not for justification as we read in the Solid Declaration 9 "Therefore, of works that are truly good and well-pleasing to God, which God will reward in this world and in the world to come, faith must be the mother and source; and on this account they are called by St. Paul true fruits of faith, as also of the Spirit." The problem is that the RCC confuses this with justification as taught by St. Paul and St. Clement.

The article is pretty good, BTW. I don't find it as masterful as you do though. It seems to me that Matthew Heckel uses terms like "sovereign grace", as he is arguing against a Reformed teacher, R.C. Sproul. For lack of a better statement: Reformed and Lutheran Sola Fide have a lot of overlap, but they are not identical, so sometimes the article conflates the two theologies. Please see http://tinyurl.com/2p98mx (PDF Warning) I think part of the problem is some theologians seeing Luther and Calvin as some sort of analogue to the RC Majesterium, which they are not. This is a recurring theme on the Web.

I was struck by this:

"Sproul claims that the Reformers declared imputation to be "the very essence of the gospel," but Luther, at least, conceded that Augustine "did not clearly explain everything concerning imputation," while also maintaining that Augustine did teach "the righteousness of God, by which we are justified." Despite the fact that Augustine did not give a full account of imputation, did Luther recognize justifying righteousness in Augustine's doctrine, at least in the sense of righteousness as gift? This could mean that Luther recognized the concept of "righteousness as gift" as containing the idea of extra nos even without a clear notion of imputation. Thus, while forensic imputation was important to Luther, it may not have corresponded exactly to extra nos in his thought."

I don't think the picture that emerges is as helpful to your case as you believe it is. I will read the article again at a future time--it is a good article after all.

Mike Burgess said...

Edward,

If I might interject, a word or two about your citation of St. Clement's First Epistle to the Church at Corinth:

You seem to have taken chapters 32 and 33 out of their context. Please read Chapters 8-13.

The ministers of the grace of God have, by the Holy Spirit, spoken of repentance; and the Lord of all things has himself declared with an oath regarding it, "As I live, says the Lord, I desire not the death of the sinner, but rather his repentance;" adding, moreover, this gracious declaration: "Repent O house of Israel, of your iniquity. Say to the children of My people, Though your sins reach from earth to heaven, and though they be redder than scarlet, and blacker than sackcloth, if you turn to Me with your whole heart, and say, Father! I will listen to you, as to a holy people." And in another place He says: "Wash, and become clean; put away the wickedness of your souls from before my eyes; cease from your evil ways, and learn to do well; seek out judgment, deliver the oppressed, judge the fatherless, and see that justice is done to the widow; and come, and let us reason together. He declares, "Though your sins be like crimson, I will make them white as snow; though they be like scarlet, I will whiten them like wool. And if you are willing and obey Me, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse, and will not listen to Me, the sword shall devour you, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken these things." Desiring, therefore, that all His beloved should be partakers of repentance, He has, by His almighty will, established [these declarations].

CHAPTER 9: So let us yield obedience to His excellent and glorious will; and imploring His mercy and loving-kindness, while we forsake all fruitless labours, and strife, and envy, which leads to death, let us turn and have recourse to His compassions. Let us steadfastly contemplate those who have perfectly ministered to His excellent glory. Let us take (for instance) Enoch, who, being found righteous in obedience, was translated, and death was never known to happen to him? Noah, being found faithful, preached regeneration to the world through his ministry; and the Lord saved by him the animals which, with one accord, entered into the ark.

CHAPTER 10: Abraham, called "the friend," was found faithful, inasmuch as he obeyed the words of God. He, in the exercise of obedience, went out from his own country, and from his kindred, and from his father's house, in order that, by forsaking a small territory, and a weak family, and an insignificant house, he might inherit the promises of God. For God said to him, "Leave your country, and your kindred, and your father's house, and go into the land which I shall show you. And I will make you a great nation, and will bless you, and make your name great, and you shall be blessed. And I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you; and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed." And again, on his departing from Lot, God said to him. "Lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you now are, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see, to you will I give it, and to your seed for ever. And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth, [so that] if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall your seed also be numbered." And again [the Scripture] says, "God brought forth Abram, and said to him, Look up now to heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them; so shall your seed be. And Abram believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness." On account of his faith and hospitality, a son was given him in his old age; and in the exercise of obedience, he offered him as a sacrifice to God on one of the mountains which He showed him.

CHAPTER 11: On account of his hospitality and godliness, Lot was saved out of Sodom when all the country around him was punished by means of fire and brimstone, the Lord thus making it manifest that He does not forsake those who hope in Him, but gives up those who depart from Him to punishment and torture. For Lot's wife, who went forth with him, being of a different mind from himself and not continuing in agreement with him [as to the command which had been given them], was made an example of, so as to be a pillar of salt to this day. This was done that all might know that those who are of a double mind, and who distrust the power of God, bring down judgment on themselves, and become a sign to all succeeding generations.

CHAPTER 12: On account of her faith and hospitality, Rahab the harlot was saved. For when spies were sent by Joshua, the son of Nun, to Jericho, the king of the country ascertained that they had come to spy out their land, and sent men to seize them, in order that, when taken, they might be put to death. But the hospitable Rahab received them, and hid them on the roof of her house under some stalks of flax. And when the men sent by the king arrived and said "There came men to you who are to spy out our land; bring them forth, for so the king commands," she answered them, "The two men whom you seek came to me, but quickly departed again and are gone," thus not discovering the spies to them. Then she said to the men, "I know assuredly that the Lord your God has given you this city, for the fear and dread of you have fallen on its inhabitants. When therefore you shall have taken it, keep me and the house of my father in safety." And they said to her, "It shall be as you have spoken to us. As soon, therefore, as you know that we are at hand, you shall gather all your family under your roof, and they shall be preserved, but anyone found outside of your dwelling shall perish." Moreover, they gave her a sign to this effect, that she should hang forth from her house a scarlet thread. And thus they made it manifest that redemption should flow through the blood of the Lord to all those who believe and hope in God. You see, beloved, that there was not only faith, but prophecy, in this woman.

CHAPTER 13: Let us therefore, brethren, be of humble mind, laying aside all haughtiness, and pride, and foolishness, and angry feelings; and let us act according to that which is written (for the Holy Spirit says, "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, neither let the rich man Story in his riches; but let him that glories glory in the Lord, in diligently seeking Him, and doing judgment and righteousness" ), being especially mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus which He spoke, teaching us meekness and long-suffering. For thus He spoke: "Be merciful, that you may obtain mercy; forgive, that it may be forgiven to you; as you do, so shall it be done to you; as you judge, so shall you be judged; as you are kind, so shall kindness be shown to you; with what measure you measure, with the same it shall be measured to you." By this precept and by these rules let us establish ourselves, that we walk with all humility in obedience to His holy words. For the holy word says, "On whom shall I look, but on him that is meek and peaceable, and who trembles at My words?"


It is clear that St. Clement makes the faith which justifies a working faith. The Grace which God provides gives rise to faith and works, but not to works "wrought in holiness of heart" before we have received grace, since noone prior to grace can lay claim to "holiness of heart." Neither are we justified by the works qua works. We are saved (as distinct from justified), for example, by "faith and hospitality," as in Rahab's case, or by "obedience" in faith, as in the case of Abraham. St. Clement couldn't be clearer on these matters. It is only when the prefatory remarks guide our reading that we can properly understand the latter remarks you cited.

This is why many Catholics say we can affirm sola gratia, and some say we can affirm "by faith," but not by faith alone, since, obviously, saving faith is never alone. But there is no contradiction when other Catholics say that we are "saved" by works, since by that they mean (if they are faithful to actual teaching of the Church) that salvation, when considered as the reward God promises to those who are faithful and keep His commandments, is the gratuitous gift and the work of His hands because our works done in faith are His works wrought in us and not of our own devising.

Augustinian Successor said...

"The Reformers feared private judgement almost as much as did the Catholics and were not slow to attack it in its Anabaptist manifestation."

David, as the above quotation shows you've thoroughly misread Lane, and Lane was mistaken (as he tried to equate the Reformers' fear of private judgment with the Roman), and you're absolutely wrong. Let me spell this out to you, AGAIN, since you're not listening to me.

The right to private judgment is one of the principles of the Reformation. It is grounded in the priesthood of all believers. The Roman Church denies the latter theological premise and hence private judgment. Private judgment is a dirty word in the Magisterium, remember?

Calvin's conception of the Church is markedly different from the Roman. Don't confuse the two. Just because Calvin added discipline as a third mark of the Church does not mean that that is the highest authority in the Church APART from the proclamation of the Gospel in Word and Sacraments, which is why the Lutherans have no compunction subsuming the third mark under the first and second (just like some Lutherans do regarding the tertius usus of the Law).

Again, the Reformers did not fear private judgment, they feared a subjectivism which paralled the MASSIVE subjectivism of your Roman Church, i.e. an appeal to something other Scripture alone. Luther confronted the Enthusiasts of his day.

Again, Protestantism is not sectarian. Private judgment is not meant to endorse multiple interpretations of Scripture, but recognising that as Scripture is its own Interpreter, it is not the Church which interprets Scripture, but Scripture which interprets the Church. So, the Church does not sit in judgment over Scripture as in your Roman Church, but Scripture sits in judgment over the Church.

Article VI - Of the Sufficiency of the holy SCRIPTURES for SALVATION:

"Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation."

Only Scripture binds the conscience, not papal infallibility.

THIS IS PRIVATE JUDGMENT.

The Dude said...

Edward,
A few things on Clement just to followup to Mike's post.

Ch.31
"For what reason was our father Abraham blessed? was it not because he wrought righteousness and truth through faith?"

And in ch.32 the sentence immediately preceding the one concerning works "wrought in holiness of heart"
"All these, therefore, were highly honoured, and made great, not for their own sake, or for their *own* works, or for the *righteousness which they wrought*, but through the operation of His will. And, we *too*,...are not justified....."

The difference between the sentences from 31 and 32 is the element of faith.

ch.35
"Let us therefore earnestly strive to be found in the number of those who wait for Him, in order that we may share in His promised gifts [now, perhaps you think the gifts here are completely separate from salvation and are only heavenly rewards]. But how, beloved, shall this be done? If our understanding be fixed by faith rewards God [understanding fixed by faith, as opposed to the understanding mentioned in ch.32]; if we earnestly seek the things which are pleasing and acceptable to Him; if we do the things which are in harmony with His blameless will [works again, but faith accompanying them]; and if we follow the way of truth, casting away from us all unrighteousness and iniquity, along with all covetousness, strife, evil practices, deceit, whispering, and evil-speaking, all hatred of God, pride and haughtiness, vainglory and ambition."

ch 50
"Blessed are we, beloved, if we keep the commandments of God in the harmony of love; that so through love our sins may be forgiven us"

Perhaps that last statement is perfectly harmonious with your perspective, not sure.

Now I did not want to get into some ecf proof-text over every father from Buchanan's work, but rather to flesh out a bit more specifics. Do you think the law/gospel hermeneutic central to Lutheranism (and expounded by the greats such as Walther and Forde) is also vital to a proper understanding of sola fide? I actually think it is the most reasonable way to support sola fide - if you read Scripture with that hermeneutic, sola fide certainly does pop out. So my question was also a bit more along the lines of whether anyone before Luther held to such a hermeneutic - i.e. I wonder if anyone exegeted the Sermon on the Mount or the Rich Young Ruler or such in that way, or viewed the commandments as impossible to keep and no mortal/venial sin distinction and so on. Augustine certainly did not, but I seriously have no idea if anyone before the 16th century did or not and so would be interested. However, you may not think holding to such a perspective is necessary to hold to sola fide in the same way as Luther, in which case this discussion on Clement is still useful of course.

Edward Reiss said...

Mike,

No, I didn't take him put of context. Like Dude's remark about his article, I don't want to get into a "proof-text" battle, so here are my thoughts. Lutherans do not say that works are unnecessary, just that they do not justify us, though they can be rewarded. Hence, when St. Clement talks about repentance, obedience etc. it does not cause the slightest wrinkle, especially given his blatant statement that we are not justified by works but by faith.

Dude, Clement states e.g. Abraham wrought righteousness through faith. As above, this does not cause a wrinkle in Lutheran theology. As I said to Mike, St. Clement blatantly says we are not justified by works, so any passages of his epistle should be seen in the light of the blatant statements he made.

Regarding your wider question, please see the following link:

http://tinyurl.com/833pj

Here is a quote:

"What need was there, then, that a law be proclaimed, if it was not going to be of help? We already had the natural law; each person was a law for himself and had the book of the law written in his heart [cf. Rom. 2:14-15]. We did not keep it; why was the other [i.e. the proclaimed law] added to it, when the flesh could not have gained justification in the works of that other [i.e. the natural law]? A bond was acquired, not a release; there was added the recognition of sin, but not the forgiveness of it. We all sinned; [with only the natural law] we were able to present an excuse by way of ignorance – [with the addition of the proclaimed law] everyone’s mouth has been blocked up [cf. Ps. 63:11, Rom. 3:19].
Nevertheless, the law was of help to me. I began to confess what I used to deny, I began to know my sin and not to cover over my injustice. I began to proclaim my injustice to the Lord against myself, and You forgave the impieties of my heart [cf. Ps. 32:5]. But this too is of help to me, that we are not justified by the works of the law [cf. Rom. 3:20; Gal. 2:16]. Thus I do not have the wherewithal to enable me to glory in my own works, I do not have the wherewithal to boast of myself, and so I will glory in Christ [cf. Phil. 3:3]. I will not glory because I have been redeemed. I will not glory because I am free of sins, but because sins have been forgiven me. I will not glory because I am profitable or because anyone is profitable to me, but because Christ is an advocate in my behalf with the Father [cf. 1 John 2:1], because the blood of Christ has been poured out in my behalf. My guilt became for me the price of redemption, through which Christ came to me. On account of me, Christ tasted death. Guilt is more fruitful than innocence; innocence had made me proud, guilt rendered me subject. And so you see in what respects the giving of the law was of help to you. (“Jacob and the Happy Life,” I:20-22, pp. 132-33)"

Mike Burgess said...

Edward,
Thanks for the response. I don't want to sidetrack your discussion, but I wanted to follow up by mentioning the inevitable - the inconvertibility of terms we are using. Second, I want to point out the parallels between St. Clement's first epistle and Romans, particularly chapter 2 at this point, vv 5-16 (also ff, for this chapter seems to be the hermeneutical key to the whole epistle, to me anyway).

By your stubbornness and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself for the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God,
who will repay everyone according to his works:
eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works,
but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness.
Yes, affliction and distress will come upon every human being who does evil, Jew first and then Greek.
But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does good, Jew first and then Greek.
There is no partiality with God.
All who sin outside the law will also perish without reference to it, and all who sin under the law will be judged in accordance with it.
For it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; rather, those who observe the law will be justified.
For when the Gentiles who do not have the law by nature observe the prescriptions of the law, they are a law for themselves even though they do not have the law.
They show that the demands of the law are written in their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even defend them
on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge people's hidden works through Christ Jesus.


As with 1 Clement (see ch. 4), St. Paul's purpose here is to address envy (although by taking an alternate tack). The subsequent exhortation after examining envy as the root of sins of various kinds (particularly dissension and schism) is to summon up the pursuit of charity -- the works of love.

The Dude said...

Edward,
"Lutherans do not say that works are unnecessary, just that they do not justify us, though they can be rewarded."
Fully aware of this and wasn't trying to imply otherwise.

"St. Clement blatantly says we are not justified by works"
Yes, and as I (and Mike it seems) was trying to point out, it seems to me he is referring to works of our own natural power. Trent makes the same statement, that we are not justified by works, but obviously (as one reads the rest of Trent) that doesn't mean Trent is making the Protestant distinction between justification and sanctification.

Thanks for the Ambrose link, will have to check it out. Totally forgot about Chemnitz - will have to read his Examination someday to see what patristic support he marshalls for the Lutheran view of Law. Just curious, on that citation you provided, do you think that contradicts RC theology?

David Waltz said...

Hello Jason,

I have some important comments concerning the issue of “private judgment” that we have been discussing, but given the fact that this thread has taken on such varied tangents, I did not want my response to get ‘lost’, so I have responded in a new thread at Articuli Fidei.

Hope to see you there…


Grace and peace,

David

Edward Reiss said...

Dude,

"Thanks for the Ambrose link, will have to check it out. Totally forgot about Chemnitz - will have to read his Examination someday to see what patristic support he marshalls for the Lutheran view of Law. Just curious, on that citation you provided, do you think that contradicts RC theology?"

You are welcome.

Believe it or not, in many ways Chemnitz is more important to Lutheran theology than Luther himself.

Regarding the Fathers contradicting RC theology. I am not a patristics scholar, but in the past couple of years I have come to see that the Fathers say a lot of things which are incompatible with the RCC, the EOC, the Lutheran church, the Reformed churches etc. They also say things compatible with the above. They are by no means a monolith, and some held views which were later held to be heretical, including Christological views!

Recently, one thing which struck me was that St. Irenaeus stated the Scriptures are the pillar and ground of the truth, and most of his work "Against all Heresies" consists of scriptural arguments. Why it struck is that he is often cited as teaching Apostolic Succession--but that was a side argument for him--at least as I read him. So, to your question, I don't think he was a proto-Lutheran, but neither is he as much help to the RCC or EOC as is often assumed because he says things which members of those communions would find uncomfortable--such as it is the heretics who say we need tradition to understand the Scriptures. He does not refute a lot of RC, Lutheran dogma etc. because a lot of the issues during the Reformation simply did not exist at his time. This does not mean that particular fathers do not refute this or that teaching of any particular church, just that it is rarely a slam dunk.

Rhology said...

David W and anyone else who had asked me a question - I am just today getting over the stomach virus that KO'd me on Tuesday, and that just 3 days after I moved into my newly-purchased house. Thus I've had no time to come back here. My apologies; it was not intentional.

Mike Burgess said...

Rhology,
Prayers for a speedy recovery and for God's blessing on your new home.

Apologist said...

I would like to comment on "baptism necessary for salvation." From my studies, I have no found that baptism is at all necessary for salvation.

Let me give you Romans 10:10 to show an example:

10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

When someone believes, their are seen as righteous by God ( "righteous" means that a person is seen as "innocent" in God's eyes). When a person confesses with their mouth it results in salvation (with that confession comes the repentance and a person being saved).

Now it says nothing there about "baptism" as a NECESSARY. If baptism was that important to those Paul was speaking to, he would have made it clear that baptism was indeed needed just as much as believing and confessing.

I know there are many verses one may use to defend baptism is necessary for salvation. I can also comment on those if asked.

Grace,
Jeremy

Apologist said...

Also, I want to comment on "Saved by works" and "justification."

Catholic Theology, I am not sure where to even start with how they could believe this to be the case, salvation by works. I know some of their misinterpretations, such as Mary being Holy, are because they use the Latin translations of the Bible for that section, not the original greek. Only the Latin had the translation that could be read as Mary being "holy."

James was examining two kinds of faith: one that leads to godly works and one that does not. One is true, and the other is false. One is dead, the other alive; hence, "Faith without works is dead," (James 2:20).
This is why in the middle of his section on faith and works, he says in verse 19, "You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder." James says this because the demons believe in God, that is, they have faith, but the faith they have is useless. It does not result in appropriate works. Their faith is only a mental acknowledgment of God's existence.

This is why CONTEXT is the most important concept when studying the bible and a certain subject. Looking at who wrote that section, who is was addressed to, the culture, and what it is describing.

Tim MD said...

Hi James,

I would like to know why you portray (for example), the Nuremburg Bible as being supportive of Luther's addition of the word "allein", when you know for a fact that Luther's concept of "Salvation by Belief Alone", was not what the Nuremburg Bible was referring to because "Belief Alone" was never proposed by anybody in history before Christ (as several Protestant theologians will admit.)

God Bless You James, Tim MD

Tim MD said...

Sorry,

How Protestant of me. I meant before Luther of course.

Tim MD

Apologist said...

Dear Tim md,

Of course no one proposed "faith alone" before Christ. Before Christ, the only way of making yourself right with God was by sacrifices. Everyone was a sinner in the old testament and each had to make their sacrifices to God for forgiveness.

When Jesus came born of a virgin and living perfectly and never once did he sin, for this reason: his death on the cross was sufficient to account for forgiveness of anyone's sin who believed and had faith that he was their savior.

It's not a complicated answer to why "faith alone" before Christ wasn't proposed.

Rhology said...

Well, except for Habakkuk.

Hab 2:4 - Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.

Or Moses.

Gen 15:6 - Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Tim MD said...

Hi Alolo,

Did you see my second post where I corrected the word "Christ"?

God Bless You, Tim

Apologist said...

Sorry for the mistake Tim. Yes Rhology, there are those verses.... Moses was a chosen man of God that was to reveal things for Him. I don't know much about the book of Habakkuk, but I'll look into that.

All I am saying, is that faith alone did not occur the way it does in the New Testament, as Christ gave us a way through faith alone in Him as our savior.

These blogs are quite interesting

Augustinian Successor said...

"All I am saying, is that faith alone did not occur the way it does in the New Testament, as Christ gave us a way through faith alone in Him as our savior."

Really? How about Galatians 2:16 then? ...

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."

Or Ephesians 2:8

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God ..."

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Apologist,

You're a Protestant, right? I'm sorry for initially thinking that you're a Romanist.

Keep up the good Brother!

Apologist said...

I was talking about the Old Testament. Yes I know the New Testament acknowledges faith alone, and so does the old testament: such as cases for Abraham and Moses.

I think you may have misread what I was trying to say.

Apologist said...

I wanted to comment on the beginning of this post again.

Faith with works is dead is stated by James.

What he meant was there are two kinds of faith: one that leads to godly works and one that does not. One is true, and the other is false. One is dead, the other alive; hence, "Faith without works is dead," (James 2:20).

Such as he later states, demons have belief in God, do they have faith. Their faith is useless, which is why it says Faith without works is dead.

J