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Friday, August 22, 2008

Faith and Works

I am reading Far from Rome, Near to God, edited by Richard Bennett and Martin Buckingham. It chronicles the testimonies of fifty converted Catholic priests. This is the most enlightening piece of literature that I have read so far on the subject of the deception of the Catholic church. The priests "tell all" about their lives in the seminary and priesthood. Every priest's lament is the same: there is no peace or hope in ritual and Catholic doctrine. Peace was found only through Christ Jesus.

One priest receives an explanation to the faith (Eph 2:8-9) vs. works (James 2:24) debate:

"There can be no contradictions in the Bible, for the Holy Spirit is its only author, and the Spirit cannot contradict Himself. Now, when Paul says that Salvation is by faith alone, he speaks from the point of view of God, who reads our minds and sees our hearts. So far as God is concerned, we are saved the moment that we believe. But this belief is a faith of trust and not just a mental assent to a few doctrinal statements. On the other hand, when James states that salvation is by works also, he speaks from the point of view of men who, being unable to read out minds or see our hearts, must have somethings visible and tangible by which to judge whether or not we are saved. As far as men are concerned, we are saved when we produce good works, but good works are not the root; they are the result of salvation" (181).

This has given me a greater understanding of the Scriptures on this matter. I feel better equipped to explain how works do not save us, not just why works do not save us. To God be the glory.

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