Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Faith vs works is a false dichotomy

Blogger De Maria said...

I'm not John, but I find your comment intriguing. You said:

1-on the faith v. works angle: it seems to me that the 'versus' thing is is a false dichotomy,

I agree. But I can't quite get a handle on your explanation.

If I may, I believe "faith alone" is a works theology because faith is itself a work. There's no way around it. Faith is something we do and is therefore a work.

So, faith vs works is a false dichotomy.

However, we can't get away from the fact that Sts. Paul and James both adhere to this dichotomy. So there is something special about the work of faith which makes it stand out and apart from works.

as if what we think is one part of our being and what we do is an entirely different severable part.

Well, it is. Remember when God said in Scripture:
Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

So, there is a difference between what we think and what we actually do.

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

This thinking is akin to dividing up the trinity into 3 Gods. The easiest resolution of this for me is to believe that faith is something you DO. Intellectual assent isn't faith, it is only the awareness that the demons have. 

That is true. But St. James equates it with faith, but makes it clear that it is a weak and superficial faith which does not avail to salvation.

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

2-on the ordinary condition for Christians is persecution: a wise observation.

To me, persecution and suffering are two different things. Suffering, I think, is the ordinary condition. Whereas, we may or may not experience persecution in this life.

Like all others I tend to wonder why God doesn't 'do something'. Yet he calls us into a mysterious fellowship of death instead, having his 'doing' take place within our souls. It's a very helpful observation that suffering and death will accompany us anyway, regardless of our discipleship or lack thereof.

Suffering is a key to salvation. That is why, it is an ordinary or common condition in this life. We will not escape this life without suffering. If we do, wellll, Scripture says it best:

Hebrews 12:8  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

If we want to be glorified with Christ, we must first, suffer with Him.

Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

De Maria

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