Thursday, November 26, 2009

LCMS Statement on Declared Righteousness

> Scott,
>
> Thanks for sharing your former Lutheran background
> in that you were born LCMS moved to WELS and now
> with the Church of Rome.
>
> May I have a question?

sw: Certainly.


> When you were a Lutheran, did you believe in
> what is called universal objective justification,
> the teaching of both synods that God has
> declared already the whole world to be righteous
> already, by the fact of the resurrection?
>
> Specifically this is summarized in LCMS-1932 Statement
> Article 17. Namely...
17. Holy Scripture sums up all its teachings regarding the love of God to the world of sinners, regarding the salvation wrought by Christ, and regarding faith in Christ as the only way to obtain salvation, in the article of justification. Scripture teaches that God has already declared the whole world to be righteous in Christ, Rom. 5:19; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Rom. 4:25; that therefore not for the sake of their good works, but without the works of the Law, by grace, for Christ's sake, He justifies, accounts as righteous, all those who that is, believe, accept, and rely on, the fact that for Christ's sake their sins are forgiven. Thus the Holy Ghost testifies through St. Paul: "There is no difference; for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," Rom. 3:23, 24. And again: "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the Law," Rom. 3:28.
> LP continues:
> I have bolded the words of concern. Did you believe
> this? Do you believe this now?
>
> It is understandable if you do not, but a surprise if you still do.
>
> Thank you for your answers in advance.
>
> LPC

LP,
To be quite honest with you, I had not heard of this precept while I was a Lutheran nor until you just brought it to my attention.  Did I believe that way as a Lutheran?  No.  Do I believe that way now as a Catholic?  No.   Without reading more context it sounds a lot like universal salvation - which is something I have never adhered to.  That being said, I do believe that Jesus Christ redeemed the whole world through His Sacrifice on the Cross - but there's a difference in redeeming and declaring righteous.
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
(Romans 5:19 KJV)
This verse says "many" shall be made righteous, not the whole world. 

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
(2 Corinthians 5:18-21 KJV)
Here again, the prayer is that we be reconciled to God that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.   The previous verse also indicates the limit to whom this righteousness is given - it is "if any man be in Christ..." obviously then, the context is telling us that those NOT in Christ are not included in this statement.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
(2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV)
The next verse referenced also does not imply the whole world:

Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
(Romans 4:25 KJV)

This is especially true again when we look at the context, and you need go no further than the immediately preceding verse:

But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
(Romans 4:24 KJV)

Note, it is "to whom it shall be imputed, IF we believe on Him..." 

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: ...Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
(Romans 3:23-24; 28 KJV)

Well, a verse skipped in this reference betrays the "whole world" concept:

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
(Romans 3:25 KJV)

Note, it says, "through faith in His blood..." so it is not just given to all, but to all who have faith.

So, every verse cited by LCMS-1932 Statement, Article 17, when read in context does not say this declaration of righteousness is given to the whole world.  Each passage has explicit limitations set upon them.  Unless there is more to this LCMS Statement, it appears to be imputing something to the text which is not there.

In JMJ,
Scott<<<

22 comments:

  1. Scott,


    Thanks for the answer. I am surprised you have not heard that.

    However the way you expounded on the verses looks like you have not left the Lutheran church, unless you believe that justification is not through faith alone.

    A few folk I know who claim to have left the Lutheran church and went to Mother Church are still functioning Lutheran, they are just in denial.

    But that is cool with Mother Church. She will let you be a closet ____ (whatever) so long as you do not buck the Pope.

    Well, what can you expect from an ex-RC, my cynicism should not be a surprise.

    Thanks for the answers. It has helped in my research.

    LPC

    ReplyDelete
  2. LP,
    I do not accept the Protestant definition of faith alone (sola fide) and have written several articles on the matter.

    Sola Fide - Is Faith Really Alone?

    I assure you, I am not a functional Lutheran. I reject the validity of the Lutheran belief in the Eucharist. Yes, they claim to believe in the Real Presence in a similar fashion to Catholicism, but they have no faculties to consecrate the Eucharist - thus regardless of what they profess, there is no Real Presence.

    Do you still feel I may be a closet Lutheran? I am curious as to why you would think that way.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<


    Be Ye Doers of the Word

    Is Catholicism Biblical? (a response to John MacArthur) (this is partly on sola fide).

    Comparing My Response to Jimmy Akin on Sola Fide (we agree).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Scott.

    I read your article on sola fide.

    Clearly you have missed the import of James 2. If St. Paul and St. James were speaking of the same faith, implicit trust in the work of Christ, you may have a case, St. James was talking about the faith of the devil, in rebuking those who claim to have faith.

    Those denials very well may prove you are not Lutheran, but perhaps you have been a functioning RC while in the Lutheran church.

    LPC

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh btw,

    since you believe justification = faith + works, can you name the works you must do so that along with faith, you might be justified?

    Your article is vague on this point.

    LPC

    ReplyDelete
  5. L P said...

    > Scott.
    > I read your article on sola fide.
    >
    > Clearly you have missed the
    > import of James 2. If St. Paul
    > and St. James were speaking of
    > the same faith, implicit trust
    > in the work of Christ, you may
    > have a case, St. James was
    > talking about the faith of the
    > devil, in rebuking those who
    > claim to have faith.

    sw: Sorry LP, but James contrasts BOTH types of faith! James 2 mentions how Abraham's faith was
    justified by his works - was that the faith of the Devil working? No - you're simply trying to
    brush off the Truth of James 2 because it betrays the false faith you've been embracing. You must
    realize that I must consider what you embrace to be a false faith for if it were the True Faith, I would have to embrace it myself - as I once did. Abraham was given the gift of Faith and he USED it, his faith was not a "dead faith." Now, if he had NOT done as God asked (not worked) then we would judge his faith as a "dead faith" for he did not work with it. Faith MUST have works for
    it to be "saving faith." In reality, there is only ONE "faith" - it's either "alive" or "saving"
    or it is "dead" and "cannot save." What's the difference between saving faith and dead faith? Works! Faith + works is "saving faith."

    > LP: Those denials very well may
    > prove you are not Lutheran, but
    > perhaps you have been a
    > functioning RC while in the
    > Lutheran church.

    sw: Why always the psychoanalysis? I knew very
    little of Catholicism throughout the first 22 years of my life. From age 22 through 29 I vigorously debated (offline) - only joining the online community of apologetics shortly before my conversion. At that point I was still quite on the side that Catholicism was wrong. When I
    actually converted the change was quite sudden, it was not a gradual metamorphosis to Catholicism.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  6. L P said...
    > Oh btw,
    > since you believe justification
    > = faith + works, can you name
    > the works you must do so that
    > along with faith, you might be
    > justified?

    sw: There is no set number or group of works which must be done. My article is just as
    clear as Scripture is on this point - for it relies upon Scripture for this point! If faith
    has works then it is a living/saving faith; if faith has not works, then it is a dead faith
    which cannot save.

    sw: It seems like many non-Catholic challengers attempt to use that line of attack. They seem to think that if they can come up with an impossible to answer question that somehow they
    are right and we are wrong. The logic is a logical fallacy - a non sequitor. The fact is there is no set list of works we must do to be
    justified. Abraham was justified because he did not withhold his son Isaac from God. Does this mean we're all to offer our sons upon an altar? No, that's silly. More broadly, we are to OBEY as Abraham did and not withold
    anything from God that He asks of us. In short, you will get nowhere with that line of attack here.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  7. Scott,

    The issue is not the living faith, the issue is the dead faith in James 2, and the rebuke, is on the dead faith where the justification is not by faith alone but works is mentioned. That is the point It is the faith of the devil,the one that simply is a mental assent but not a heart trust in the Gospel, that is where the rebuke applies.

    re: psychoanalysis of me saying you might have been a functioning RC, is the fact the synod where you belonged were influenced by C F W Walter who taught what was called by them as the universal objective justification which to your admission you have never heard, which is rather unusual for a former Lutheran apologist. I can almost bet with you that if you take an LCMS or WELS pastor out there he would know of this.

    Further I cast aspersion on your experience because I have sat with life long Lutherans who when asked how a man goes to heaven, they answer - by being a good person! In fact they believe they will go to heaven, not on account of Christ's work but on account of their work in the church.

    sw: It seems like many non-Catholic challengers attempt to use that line of attack. They seem to think that if they can come up with an impossible to answer question that somehow they
    are right and we are wrong. The logic is a logical fallacy - a non sequitor. The fact is there is no set list of works we must do to be
    justified. Abraham was justified because he did not withhold his son Isaac from God. Does this mean we're all to offer our sons upon an altar? No, that's silly. More broadly, we are to OBEY as Abraham did and not withold
    anything from God that He asks of us.



    It is a matter of labeling. You call my question a non-sequitor, I call it a fair question. It is a reasonable question for it is of utmost importance if one wishes to be justified by work as well, he might as well know what these works are so he might be justified, yet you are teaching this but you are not helping. That is vital for it spells eternal disaster to the one who misses these works. You are a bit unlike St James here. In fact you are being a bit non-RC here because an RC would know what the answer to my question should be. An RC would be bold enough and identify for me what these works are. They would answer for me - the RCC Sacraments and fulfilling of the Moral Law.

    In short, you will get nowhere with that line of attack here.

    Attack, or a challenge?

    I thought apologists have a lot of tolerance to people like me, but I seemed to have gotten you ticked off.

    I will get no where only because you evade and happy to do some hand waving of mu questions.

    LPC

    ReplyDelete
  8. LP said: The issue is not the living faith, the issue is the dead faith in James 2, and the rebuke, is on the dead faith where the justification is not by faith alone but works is mentioned.

    To the contrary, LP, James 2 contrasts living faith to dead faith, BOTH forms of faith are the issue.

    LP said: It is a matter of labeling. You call my question a non-sequitor, I call it a fair question. It is a reasonable question for it is of utmost importance if one wishes to be justified by work as well, he might as well know what these works are so he might be justified, yet you are teaching this but you are not helping. That is vital for it spells eternal disaster to the one who misses these works.

    It is a non sequitor because you know full well there is no set group of works one must achieve to accomplish justification. You seem to think you trump the Catholic position because we don't have such a list. That whole line of argumentation, if you pardon my bluntness, it is stupid - or assumes Catholics are too stupid to answer you. There is no set list, like I told you the first time. Why do you persist upon that which does not exist? The matter is not quantity, rather it is a lifestyle. A person who is given the gift of faith and does nothing with it has been given the same gift as one who lives their faith. That living faith is what it is all about. Living a life which is pleasing to God - and when we fail, we seek reconciliation through the means He provided (which is also not available through the Lutheran Church, regardless of synod).

    Now before you think I'm diverting the discussion - know that I am not. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is part of what is necessary in a living faith for those who fail to maintain a sinless life. Since we're ALL sinners, the sacrament is quite necessary - unless, of course, one converts to the True Faith and then before he/she commits a mortal sin, dies suddenly (hit by a car, heart attack, etc.). In such a case the "work" done was the acceptance and profession of the Catholic Faith.

    Scott said: In short, you will get nowhere with that line of attack here.

    LP responds: Attack, or a challenge?

    I thought apologists have a lot of tolerance to people like me, but I seemed to have gotten you ticked off.


    sw: No LP, you have not ticked me off. One would think that folks like you would not think apologists like me that your challenges are not perceived as attacks. You oppose the Catholic Faith and you boldly "challenge" the same. Similarly, when I "challenge" Lutheran faith and practices - it is an "attack" on the faith of Lutherans. If a Lutheran cannot defend against such attacks, then they should cease to call themselves Lutheran and seek the Truth with an open/objective point of view.

    LP concludes: I will get no where only because you evade and happy to do some hand waving of mu (sic) questions.

    sw: And which question(s) do you accuse me of evading? I reject that charge wholeheartedly. I have taken the time to answer you fully and have pointed you to other resources I've written on the matter (4 of them, and you've only acknowledged looking at 1 of them). Please be precise as to what you accuse me of here.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  9. Scott,

    You are in the affirmative, your thesis is that per St. James 2, it is faith plus works.

    I am in the negative, all I have to do is cast doubts on the reasonableness of your affirmative position.

    You said speaking about these works...
    Why do you persist upon that which does not exist?

    Who is persisting?

    Who is the one saying that we are saved by works also? It is you.

    It is you who affirms we are saved by works as well as by faith, I am merely asking what are these works - because St James named it for Abraham and named it for Rahab.

    You said...
    You oppose the Catholic Faith and you boldly "challenge" the same. Similarly, when I "challenge" Lutheran faith and practices - it is an "attack" on the faith of Lutherans. If a Lutheran cannot defend against such attacks, then they should cease to call themselves Lutheran and seek the Truth with an open/objective point of view.

    Me defend? I have not begun, I have just started to ask questions and you are already complaining. You sound upset already.

    Another point, since you yourself do not know what these works are such that you may be justified by them (note I gave you that answer about Sacraments), then a practical question is, are you not bothered by such lack of information considering your eternal destiny is hinging on it? If I were a genuine inquirer, willing to believe you, you would have no way to direct me, as if a blind man then is leading the blind.


    Or maybe you are like me, who is hanging on to the mercy of God alone for the sake of Christ,in the final analysis? Perhaps not, perhaps what you would front God is the fact you belong to the ONE TRUE CHURCH and that is your ticket to get in to God's heaven.


    You call my point - non sequitor.

    I call yours, ex falso quodlibet.



    It is not without reason that the Lutheran Confessions used the word "sophistry" to describe your position...

    When they add that works are of no profit to God, but are not without profit to us. See how the puerile study of sophistry delights the adversaries, and although these absurdities do not deserve a refutation, nevertheless we will reply to them in a few words. The antistrophe is defective. 216] For, in the first place, the adversaries are deceived in regard to the term faith; because, if it would signify that knowledge of the history which is also in the wicked and in devils, the adversaries would be correct in arguing that faith is unprofitable when they say: "When we have believed all things, say, We are unprofitable servants." But we are speaking, not of the knowledge of the history, but of confidence in the promise and mercy of God. And this confidence in the promise confesses that we are unprofitable servants; yea, this confession that our works are unworthy is the very voice of faith, as appears in this example of Daniel 9:18, which we cited a little above: We do not present Our supplications before Thee for our righteousnesses, etc. 217]



    LPC

    ReplyDelete
  10. > LP: You are in the affirmative,
    > your thesis is that per St.
    > James 2, it is faith plus works.

    sw: Don't leave out parts, it is faith + works which leads to justification.

    > LP: I am in the negative, all I
    > have to do is cast doubts on the
    > reasonableness of your
    > affirmative position.

    sw: Well, since St. James, the Apostle, says "faith without works is dead" and concludes that such a faith (without works) cannot save you - AND he goes on to use the examples of two Old Testament figures wherein they were justified NOT by faith alone, but by the WORKS they did - I'd say my case is pretty rock solid. What "doubts" have you cast upon my thesis? Are you implying that
    St. James is wrong - that we are NOT justified by works?

    sw: If you are content that you do not need to "prove" your case, then you have already lost.

    > LP: You said speaking about
    > these works...
    >
    >> sw: Why do you persist upon
    >> that which does not exist?
    >
    > LP: Who is persisting?
    >
    > Who is the one saying that we are
    > saved by works also? It is you.

    sw: Let's remain precise in the terminology here. I said, in full agreement with the Apostle, St. James, that we are justified by faith with works and that faith alone is DEAD. Justification leads to salvation but it is not to be equivocated to salvation.

    sw: I also said that in regard to the non-existent list of works you're persisting in asking for. I explained that quite well already. If you have any trouble with the explanation I gave, please be more specific. I cannot answer your objections if you're
    being aloof.

    > LP: It is you who affirms we are
    > saved by works as well as by
    > faith, I am merely asking what
    > are these works - because St
    > James named it for Abraham and
    > named it for Rahab.

    sw: Again, let us be precise - I say we are justified by works with faith, not faith alone. Salvation is the "end game" - while justification is the "means to the end."

    >> sw: You oppose the Catholic
    >> Faith and you boldly challenge"
    >> the same. Similarly,
    >> when I "challenge" Lutheran
    >> faith and practices - it is an
    >> "attack" on the faith of
    >> Lutherans. If a Lutheran
    >> cannot defend against such
    >> attacks, then they should cease
    >> to call themselves Lutheran and
    >> seek the Truth with an
    >> open/objective point of view.
    >
    > LP: Me defend? I have not begun,

    sw: I did not say you were in the position of having to defend Lutheranism, I compared what YOU are doing HERE to what *I* would be doing if I were challenging Lutheranism. IF I were "challenging" Lutheranism (which I am not specifically doing at this time) then a Lutheran MAY see that as an "attack" on his faith. I was simply defending my use of the
    word "attack" - and explaining that I am not offended nor upset by your "attacks."

    > LP: I have just started to ask
    > questions and you are already
    > complaining. You sound upset
    > already.

    sw: I am not the one who is acting upset. I'm just saying - your "challenges" or "attacks" however you would like to phrase them, do not "tick me off" - and that you, as one who is engaging in online apologetics, should know that when you "challenge" someone else's faith, that IS an "attack" upon their faith for which they must be willing to "defend" themselves.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  11. > LP: Another point, since you
    > yourself do not know what these
    > works are such that you may be
    > justified by them (note I gave
    > you that answer about Sacraments),
    > then a practical question is, are
    > you not bothered by such lack of
    > information considering your
    > eternal destiny is hinging on it?

    sw: All that's "hinging" here is that if one has been given the gift of faith, then they must DO SOMETHING with that gift! Jesus spoke on this too! Matthew 25:14-28 wherein the master gives three servants some money (talents) and two of them DO SOMETHING with the talents and return to their master more than what he gave them - the third did NOTHING, and gave back exactly what was initially given him. The master took the talents from him, gave them to one of the other servants - called this one "wicked" and "lazy" and cast him out to "where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth!" Similarly, in verses 1-13 of the same chapter is the parable of the Ten Virgins - the "wise virgins" DID SOMETHING EXTRA! They brought EXTRA OIL with them - where the "foolish virgins" only brought what their lamps would hold. When the Bridegroom came, the foolish ones were not there to be received into the Wedding Banquet.

    > LP: If I were a genuine inquirer,
    > willing to believe you, you would
    > have no way to direct me, as if a
    > blind man then is leading the blind.

    sw: A littel Freudian slip there, eh LP? You're NOT a "genuine inquirer?" I lead you with the examples of St. James the Apostle (Abraham and Rahab), and the parables of Jesus Christ Himself (the Ten Virgins and the Servants Given Talents). The point is not in specific "DO THIS" - but in "DO SOMETHING!" Do not have a "dead faith." You need to LIVE your faith, DO SOMETHING (works) WITH IT! Faith alone is a "dead faith."

    > LP: Or maybe you are like me,
    > who is hanging on to the mercy
    > of God alone for the sake of
    > Christ,in the final analysis?

    sw: Well yes, LP, it is ultimately all in the hands of God alone. He alone will judge if you've followed Him in His Church - or you've been deceived by those who would fool, even the elect to prevent them from entering Heaven. Did you honestly seek the Truth when given the opportunity, or did you entrench in false and different gospels which were invented some 1500 years after Christ and the Apostles walked this Earth?

    > LP: Perhaps not, perhaps what
    > you would front God is the
    > fact you belong to the ONE
    > TRUE CHURCH and that is your
    > ticket to get in to God's
    > heaven.

    sw: No sir. Simply being a member of the Catholic Church is not a ticket to Heaven! Being given the gift of such membership and doing nothing with it would be like the servant who buried his portion of the Master's talents and did nothing with them. One such person would possess the "dead faith" which St. James refers to. If a Catholic is not truly LIVING their faith, and merely "doing the Sunday Obligation" (if that) then they may find themselves "cast out to where there is weeping an gnashing of teeth."

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  12. >> LP: If I were a genuine inquirer,
    >> willing to believe you, you would
    >> have no way to direct me, as if a
    >> blind man then is leading the
    >> blind.
    >
    > sw: A littel Freudian slip there,
    > eh LP? You're NOT a "genuine
    > inquirer?"

    sw: Just a clarification, since this is a written only medium - the above comment is intended to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I did not include a "smiley" :-) or other means of indicating you should not take that comment too seriously - unless of course you truly are not a genuine inquirer.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  13. Scott,

    Let me be direct.

    Firstly, your introducing freudian slip or what not - is red herring, you did not answer my question.

    Further...

    I am saying, you misinterpreted St.James when you say that he is teaching faith + works = justification.

    Also, justification = salvation, you are making a category mistake, that is the way the Bible puts it. Rom 3:21-26.

    So your thesis is DO SOMETHING.
    A bit vague don't you think?

    You mean anything? and that would be acceptable to God? If that is acceptable to God, then what was Jesus doing on the cross, since you can do something, and that would be alright?

    You cannot be more specific can you? The truth,I suggest to you, is that you do not know what those good works are such that in your equation faith+works = justification. So you are not able to help an inquirer.


    So it stands to reason that since you do not know what those works are you do not know how to satisfy your equation.


    I put it to you that you effectively are saying you do not know how a person may be justified. hint: look at your equation, you do not know what these works are.

    The point: St James is not using justification and faith the way you are using them.

    The above absurdity is my proof to you that you thought you knew what St James was teaching and you missed the proper interpretation.

    At least I could say you are not familiar with the Lutheran Confessions for Melanchton, addressed this passage in the Apology of Augsburg V:125-31


    LPC

    ReplyDelete
  14. > LP: Let me be direct.

    sw: Please do, I appreciate it.

    > LP: Firstly, your introducing
    > freudian slip or what not - is
    > red herring, you did not answer
    > my question.

    First off, I DID answer your question! You may not like the answer, but you were answered. You lose integrity when you falsely state I did not answer when everyone can see I did. If you cannot see it then we have more fundamental problems here.

    Second, the "Freudian slip" comment, as I indicated above, was intended to be humorous. Lighten up.

    > LP: I am saying, you
    > misinterpreted St.James when you
    > say that he is teaching faith +
    > works = justification.

    sw: You can "say" that, but I have essentially repeated what St. James said. Let's put it in HIS words, shall we?

    Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. (James 2:17,20-24 KJV)

    Now LP, read the above and tell us how faith is made perfect.

    > LP: Also, justification =
    > salvation, you are making a
    > category mistake, that is the
    > way the Bible puts it. Rom
    > 3:21-26.

    sw: It is not I who is making the "category mistake" here. Justification is a process, salvation is the END of the process but only IF one perseveres. THAT is the teaching of St. Paul IN CONTEXT. Sola fide adherents lose sight of the fact that St. Paul ALSO teaches one must persevere. If we cut out all passages about perseverance, THEN you may have a case - but we must not read Scripture in a vacuum which excludes other parts of it, especially other parts from the SAME WRITER! That being said, Romans 3:21-26 does not equivocate justification to salvation. There IS a relationship, but they are not the same concept/category.

    (breaking here)

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  15. (Continuing from previous)

    > LP: So your thesis is DO
    > SOMETHING. A bit vague don't
    > you think?

    sw: Call it what you will, but the fact remains there is no set number of works nor specified list of works. When you try to put God into a cookie cutter, um, well, that just doesn't work. Trust God and DO GOOD WORKS WITH FAITH and you will be justified. Persevere in that and you will be saved.

    > LP: You mean anything? and that
    > would be acceptable to God?

    sw: No, not "anything" - "walking" is a work too - but not one which leads to justification (unless you're walking a mile in another's shoes).

    > LP: If that is acceptable to
    > God, then what was Jesus doing
    > on the cross, since you can do
    > something, and that would be
    > alright?

    sw: Ah, the old black/white fallacy. Such simplistic tactics don't work around here LP. FAITH comes FIRST, LP, then in order for that FAITH to be LIVING FAITH it must have WORKS. What FAITH are we talking about here, LP? It is FAITH in God that He sent His only begotten Son to die on that cross for us and that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

    > LP: You cannot be more specific
    > can you? The truth,I suggest to
    > you, is that you do not know
    > what those good works are such
    > that in your equation
    > faith+works = justification. So
    > you are not able to help an
    > inquirer.

    sw: I can be specific, but to what end? A "good work" can be taking food to the hungry, clothing to the naked, etc. But you don't have to do those specific good works, ANY good works which accompany faith may justify. Again, there is no cookie cutter or script or checklist of works one must complete before dying - just have faith and WORK WITH IT. If you have faith but no works, then your faith is dead, and that faith cannot save you.

    For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26 KJV)

    > LP: The point: St James is not
    > using justification and faith
    > the way you are using them.

    sw: Yet I am the one QUOTING St. James and demonstrating my case FROM SCRIPTURE. You are just sitting there saying "nope, you're wrong" and providing NO substance to your cause.

    > LP: At least I could say you are
    > not familiar with the Lutheran
    > Confessions for Melanchton,
    > addressed this passage in the
    > Apology of Augsburg V:125-31

    sw: Why is it that so often *I* have to provide links to things my challengers think I'm unfamiliar with? I am not familiar with that numbering, but perhaps you could look here and quote or cite the passage you're referring to?

    http://bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php

    Or, if you have a link to a source which uses the numbering you cited, please post it.

    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  16. Scott,

    You said...
    LP, then in order for that FAITH to be LIVING FAITH it must have WORKS. What FAITH are we talking about here, LP? It is FAITH in God that He sent His only begotten Son to die on that cross for us and that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Notice how in your reply you immediately get alarmed by dropping a red herring - suggesting I am doing a black/white fallacy. Just answer the question.

    You do a lot of hand waving.

    BTW, the above is the Lutheran view. So I do not know where you are differing or if you represented your former affiliations well in your head. You are agreeing with them on this score because they are saying the same thing.

    Yet I am the one QUOTING St. James and demonstrating my case FROM SCRIPTURE. You are just sitting there saying "nope, you're wrong" and providing NO substance to your cause.

    Quoting Scripture is not enough, it is the responsible handling of it is the matter, for the devil quoted scripture to Jesus as well.

    I showed you absurdity in your position which means you mishandled the Scripture badly.

    It is called reductio ad absurdum. Taking your assumptions and proving a contradiction, when a contradiction succeeds, deduce your assumptions are wrong.

    The fallacy you are in is that you are latching into James 2:24 as if James was saying that faith (any faith) alone does not justify (declares righteous) but works is needed for justification. So your conclusion is faith + works = justification. As if James did not say it in context.

    Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only

    Faith in the above verse is not the living faith that James was speaking about, it is the dead faith. Justification above is not the justification you think St Paul or the Lutherans are speaking about, justification here is translatable to "proven righteous". The context of v.23 bears this.

    So it may be translated as, "you see then that by works a man is proven righteous and not by belief alone". This links back to v.23 and as a result of the (AO)works, faith was perfected

    This is consistent with Matthew 7:21.

    Hence the saying by Lutherans: by faith alone we are saved, but the faith we are saved is never alone.

    You continue to be in your ex falso quodlibet mode.

    I am skeptical if this conversation will move forward.

    LPC

    ReplyDelete
  17. >> [Adding the part you left out:
    >> sw: Ah, the old black/white
    >> fallacy. Such simplistic tactics
    >> don't work around here LP.
    >> FAITH comes FIRST,
    ]
    >> LP, then in order for that FAITH
    >> to be LIVING FAITH it must
    >> have WORKS. What FAITH are we
    >> talking about here, LP? It is FAITH
    >> in God that He sent His only
    >> begotten Son to die on that cross
    >> for us and that whosoever
    >> believes in Him shall not perish,
    >> but have everlasting life.
    >
    > LP: Notice how in your reply you
    > immediately get alarmed by
    > dropping a red herring - suggesting
    > I am doing a black/white fallacy.
    > Just answer the question.
    > You do a lot of hand waving.

    sw: First off, you did use the black/white fallacy! Here are your words again:
    >>> LP: If that is acceptable to
    >>> God, then what was Jesus doing
    >>> on the cross, since you can do
    >>> something, and that would be
    >>> alright?

    sw: Your statement is black/white because according to what you're saying, if works with faith are acceptable to God (for justification) then you surmise that Jesus' death on the cross was meaningless. The point was (which DID answer your question) is that FAITH COMES FIRST and that FAITH is IN THE CROSS OF CHRIST! If you have not faith in the cross, then no
    amount of works justifies. THEN comes the "dead faith" which St. James speaks - for even the demons have faith that Jesus died on the cross - but what they lack is GOOD WORKS! In summary, IF you have faith in the cross AND do good works with that faith, then you have living faith which does justify. Doing works without faith will not avail you anything. Pagans and other non-believers do "good" things all the time, but such without faith is nothing in the eyes of God, according to Scripture. Faith then must PRECEDE and ACCOMPANY good works. So without the cross, the works are meaningless. So you HAVE been answered, TWICE now - and sola fide is proven (again) to be a lie.

    > LP: BTW, the above is the Lutheran
    > view. So I do not know where you are
    > differing or if you represented your
    > former affiliations well in your head.
    > You are agreeing with them on this
    > score because they are saying the
    > same thing.

    sw: Lutherans will not say "sola fide is a lie." I, however, do not have a problem agreeing with Lutherans when they are right about things. I am aware of the double-speak often used, I respond to this double-speak in another article I wrote a while back. In a nutshell, the often used argument is "it is by faith alone, but not a faith which is alone" (which you also use toward the end of your response to me).

    (breaking here)

    ReplyDelete
  18. (Continued from previous)

    >> sw: Yet I am the one QUOTING St.
    >> James and demonstrating my case
    >> FROM SCRIPTURE. You are just sitting
    >> there saying "nope, you're wrong"
    >> and providing NO substance to your
    >> cause.
    >
    > LP: Quoting Scripture is not enough, it
    > is the responsible handling of it is the
    > matter, for the devil quoted scripture
    > to Jesus as well.

    sw: I did not say I merely quoted Scripture - I said I quoted Scripture and demonstrated my case from Scripture.

    > LP: I showed you absurdity in your
    > position which means you mishandled
    > the Scripture badly.

    sw: Knock off the patronization, I know what "absurdity" means - and I disagree that you were able to show any such thing.

    > LP: It is called reductio ad absurdum.
    > Taking your assumptions and proving a
    > contradiction, when a contradiction
    > succeeds, deduce your assumptions
    > are wrong.

    sw: That would be fine and dandy if I were proving a contradiction! St. James tells us that faith without works is dead, and I agreed with St. James - so where's the contradiction? St. James uses two illustrations of faith and works, Abraham and Rahab and how their faith was perfected by their works - and by those works righteousness was imputed to them. Not by the faith alone, for even the demons have faith - but faith with works.

    > LP: The fallacy you are in is that you
    > are latching into James 2:24

    sw: No LP, I did not latch on to that one verse. I quoted from throughout the reference and I demonstrated how a "working faith" is also what St. Paul is talking about when he talks about persevering.

    > LP: as if James was saying that faith
    > (any faith)

    sw: No, not just any faith, I clarified that too. I stated that it was faith in our Lord Jesus Christ that His Sacrifice on the cross redeemed sins of the world. I have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, but that's not the faith St. James is talking about - and we both know that.

    > LP continues: ...alone does not justify
    > (declares righteous) but works is (sic)
    > needed for justification.

    sw: That is precisely what St. James said.

    > LP: So your conclusion is faith + works
    > = justification. As if James did not say it
    > in context.

    sw: Certainly he said it in context, and I quoted from the context as well! Are you even paying attention, or do you merely approach this debate with the presupposition that "Scott is wrong" so nothing I say even matters?

    (breaking here)

    ReplyDelete
  19. (Continuing from previous)

    >> sw: Ye see then how that by works a
    >> man is justified, and not by faith only
    >
    > LP: Faith in the above verse is not the
    > living faith that James was speaking
    > about, it is the dead faith.

    sw: Sorry LP, but you're simply wrong here. The faith being spoken of is the same throughout James 2 - the difference between living faith and dead faith is the works. The demons have faith that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world too - but they do not have good works along with that faith. It makes absolutely no sense that he would be confusing the issue with two different faiths, one with works and one without - and it's the faith itself which is different. No LP, it is faith which works which justifies.

    > LP: Justification above is not the
    > justification you think St Paul or the
    > Lutherans are speaking about,
    > justification here is translatable to
    > "proven righteous". The context of
    > v.23 bears this. So it may be
    > translated as, "you see then that
    > by works a man is proven righteous
    > and not by belief alone". This links
    > back to v.23 and as a result of the
    > (AO)works, faith was perfected


    sw: Again, justification is a process - it is a process which leads to salvation (the end). James already does the translation for you - in verse 23 he says "and it (the subject, "it" is the "works" referred to in verse 22) was reckoned to him as righteousness (NASB). The KJV says "it was imputed unto him for righteousness" - it does not say "proven righteous" - rather he was "made righteous." You misinterpret the word here. The word used is "logizomai" which means: to take an inventory, that is, estimate (literally or figuratively): - conclude, (ac-) count (of), + despise, esteem, impute, lay, number, reason, reckon, suppose, think (on). (G3049). There is no "proven" in this definition.

    > LP: This is consistent with Matthew 7:21.

    Let's look at that:
    Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. (NASB)

    sw: I see that as confirming what I have been saying! St. Matthew is saying we must DO something - that's "works."

    > LP: Hence the saying by Lutherans:
    > by faith alone we are saved, but the
    > faith we are saved is never alone.

    sw: Which is precisely the double-speak I mentioned earlier! Just think objectively for a moment, it is by faith alone, but faith is never alone - and you accuse ME of trying to prove a contradiction?!

    > LP: You continue to be in your ex
    > falso quodlibet mode.

    sw: No LP, the principle of explosion does not apply to me. The Latin literally translates to "from falsehood/contradiction (follows) anything". It is you (and Lutherans and RC Sproul, etc.) who use the contradictory double-speak of "it is by faith alone, but not a faith which is alone" argument. My statement remains: "We are justified by works and not by faith alone." Hmmm, that sounds vaguely familiar - oh yes, James 2:24!

    > LP: I am skeptical if this conversation
    > will move forward.

    sw: Perhaps not. The objective reader here can surely see who is speaking from contradiction and who is simply referring to Scripture.

    sw: One more thing, which I've asked before - but I haven't asked of you yet, have you ever asked yourself why the absolutely ONLY PLACE in Scripture where the words "faith" and "alone" are used together is in NEGATION of sola fide? Either way, what is your answer to this?

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  20. Scott,

    Hopefully someone notices that flooding comments is not enough to deliver the proof of the point.

    You said..
    That would be fine and dandy if I were proving a contradiction! ... Not by the faith alone, for even the demons have faith - but faith with works.


    Some of your exposition is fine but you make a category mistake in saying that James was referring to both types of faith in Jas 2:24. I am asserting though some of your expositions are fine, the conclusion you make that faith + works = justification is wrong, you are the one making a non siquitor.

    Your latching on Jas 2:24 and thinking there - Lutherans are wrong, at first blush might convince, but words have meaning and they find their meaning in context.

    Sorry LP, but you're simply wrong here. The faith being spoken of is the same throughout James 2 -
    ... No LP, it is faith which works which justifies.


    Notice your double talk?

    You are correct, in the bolded line, hence, faith which does not work does not justify which is what Jas 2:24 is saying. My point is that you made a category mistake in lumping all of faith (simply because you saw the word - faith, alone etc) in that faith described in Jas 2:24. Because if you are correct, then James is also rebuking the one who has a living faith, a textual absurdity.

    To the RC, when faith is seen they think it is assent of historical facts. Though one place you took faith as trust, yet you - equivocate and misuse it in Jas 2:24.

    Equivocation is sophistry and is ex falso quodlibet.

    Your reasoning provse too much and that is no virtue but is vile.

    My second point. You would have heard the Lutheran principle - Scripture interprets Scripture.

    In you equation faith + works = justification, I asked you what these works are - you do not know what they are. You demure on this one and are Nike - JUST DO IT (SOMETHING). But you do not know what IT is, to say the least.

    Your equation , faith + works = justification, is an RC doctrinal equation an not necessarily the equation St James is making You contradict St. Paul and make St James contradict St Paul who said.. Here is proof:


    Here is the ESV
    8For(Q) by grace you have been saved(R) through faith. And this is(S) not your own doing;(T) it is the gift of God, 9(U) not a result of works,(V) so that no one may boast. 10For(W) we are his workmanship,(X) created in Christ Jesus(Y) for good works,(Z) which God prepared beforehand,(AA) that we should walk in them.


    In the above salvation is not a result of works In your equation , faith + works = justification , makes works a cause of salvation.

    I suggest to you that you got your conclusion wrong, here is the right equation if you may...

    faith = justification + works.

    Faith (not assent, or mere belief) in Christ, results in justification, results also in works - Eph 2:10.

    Hence, in this equation, we do not need to know works because it will automatically happen. It is not a factor and no one can boast, but in your equation since in it works is the cause of justification along with faith, boasting is possible, because you can say - I HAVE DONE SOMETHING.

    This is the reason that Abraham did not even know that by offering Isaac, he was proven to be righteous.


    In my equation, you cannot ask me the question what are these good works so that one might be saved. It is not a factor, it happens but it is not a cause of my salvation.

    Hence, my question to you - which you evade, if Jesus died on the Cross what was he doing there if you are to supply something so that you may be saved. You called this black white fallacy. But you wave your hand at this by simply labelling my point without offering any reason why my question is invalid and not reasonable to ask. Rather I believe my question is very reasonable.

    Well I have much more to say, I am not deluded to thinking you are convinced. Since this is your blog obviously you have the last word.

    LPC

    ReplyDelete
  21. Since this is getting rather long, and buried behind other current posts on the front page of the blog, I have responded in a new blog entry and will continue here:

    http://cathapol.blogspot.com/2009/12/sola-fide-for-lp.html

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  22. Just in case you've turned on email notification, I am replying again here. I provided an answer to you here:

    http://cathapol.blogspot.com/2009/12/sola-fide-for-lp.html for which there has been no reply forthcoming yet.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete

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