Author Topic: Epistle of James  (Read 124 times)

Offline Traditionallyruralmom

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Epistle of James
« on: March 14, 2019, 10:17:37 PM »
How do protestants get around this epistle regarding faith without works?  I know the whole Luther "gospel of straw" argument....but in reality, how do they explain this away?
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Offline Davis Blank - EG

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Re: Epistle of James
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2019, 10:55:15 PM »
They dance around it by saying that faith brings about good works.  Then they throw 10 other verses at you.

It was never about reason, its an emotional decision.
 
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Offline Davis Blank - EG

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Re: Epistle of James
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2019, 08:04:13 AM »
To elaborate a bit more, they will say that faith brings about good works, like how a good tree brings forth good fruits.  Its the faith that saves, the works are just its good fruits.  If you then ask if a man with the faith can commit horrific sins they will either say no, such a man never had the faith, or they will say "all sins are equal" and leave it at that and then throw irrelevant verses at you to shift the topic.  But let's leave the latter person behind, for those conversations never go anywhere.  If you ask the former interlocutor if such a person with the true faith can commit murder they will either waffle or say no.  If you ask if God thus controls them like a robot in some deterministic fashion they waffle.  I've never gotten beyond this point with any sola fide believer.

On the other side, but really the same thing, if you ask if you can get to Heaven without good works this person will say no, you must have good works but they are just the fruit of the good tree which is faith.  Its the faith that saves.  If you then press further and ask if a person with the true faith can choose to never do anything good, they'll say no.  This is the same thing of course as the horrific sin.  If you ask if God thus controls these people forcing them to do things against their will, they waffle.  Again, I've never once gotten beyond this point in any of my many conversations with sola fide believers.

The more thinking ones become Calvinists.  Unfortunately the Calvinists do not see that the god they believe in is a monster and not the true God.

It's sad because the ones who recognize that works and abstaining from sin are necessary get the obvious reality of that, but they are locked in this ridiculous sola fide belief which James specifically and vociferously refutes.
 
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Offline Gardener

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Re: Epistle of James
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2019, 09:03:00 AM »
They get around it the same way they get around tons of other verses which condemn their theological views: explain away unsatisfactorily (by any accepted standard of argument), ignore, or simply admit they don't understand it and trust the Holy Spirit to clarify all at some point in the future.

There's tons of verses which are difficult for Protestants. The Church has solid scholarship and answers on typical Protestant "gotcha!" verses.

http://www.drbo.org/difficult.htm

https://www.amazon.com/Catholic-Verses-Passages-Confound-Protestants/dp/1928832733/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?crid=345IW8212V7CM&keywords=the+catholic+verses+95+bible+passages+that+confound+protestants&qid=1552827730&s=gateway&sprefix=the+catholic+verses+%2Caps%2C197&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

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Offline abc123

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Re: Epistle of James
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2019, 02:02:44 PM »
There is no need to "explain it away" since there is no conflict between St. James and St. Paul in Romans. Let's read the passage in context:

You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. James 2:24

Typical RC exegesis of this text usually begins and ends with simply quoting the above verse feeling that ends all debate.

So first let's define what we mean by faith. Contrary to popular mischaracterization what is meant by this word among Protestants is not a simple intellectual ascent to a set of theological propositions. We know this is not saving faith since James tells us:

19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! James 2:19

So essentially a faith which only acknowledges the truths of who Christ is without living that understanding only qualifies one to be a demon. What kind of "faith" does James tell us doesn't save?

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? James 2:14

So the faith that doesn't save is one that does not produce the fruits of saving faith. Saving Faith is an active Faith which produces fruit and has Christ as the Lord of one's life.

 

Offline Gardener

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Re: Epistle of James
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2019, 02:09:14 PM »
There is no need to "explain it away" since there is no conflict between St. James and St. Paul in Romans. Let's read the passage in context:

You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. James 2:24

Typical RC exegesis of this text usually begins and ends with simply quoting the above verse feeling that ends all debate.

So first let's define what we mean by faith. Contrary to popular mischaracterization what is meant by this word among Protestants is not a simple intellectual ascent to a set of theological propositions. We know this is not saving faith since James tells us:

19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! James 2:19

So essentially a faith which only acknowledges the truths of who Christ is without living that understanding only qualifies one to be a demon. What kind of "faith" does James tell us doesn't save?

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? James 2:14

So the faith that doesn't save is one that does not produce the fruits of saving faith. Saving Faith is an active Faith which produces fruit and has Christ as the Lord of one's life.

Well and good, but not the typical Protestant argument.
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Offline Heinrich

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Re: Epistle of James
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2019, 04:04:16 PM »
I'll let Gardener, Xavier, Gerard, etc. take it from here since my apologetic capacities are exceeded:

https://www.str.org/articles/faith-and-works-paul-vs.-james#.XI6nEJNKjBI
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Offline Davis Blank - EG

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Re: Epistle of James
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2019, 04:04:01 AM »
So the faith that doesn't save is one that does not produce the fruits of saving faith. Saving Faith is an active Faith which produces fruit and has Christ as the Lord of one's life.

This is where the more thoughtful Protestants are (but most are not thoughtful, but then again most modern Catholics are not either).  It is close to the Catholic belief.  But given that the Faith comes from Christ it then suggests that He gives two types of Faith, one that is Saving and one that is not.  It makes God a monster.  Instead the Catholic belief is that there is one Faith, it is salvific, if the man lives by the Faith (which is obedience to God - to abstain from sins and do good works out of love).  If he chooses to not live by the Faith given to him, then he loses it, and is not saved.

The Calvinistic approach is hyper focused on God's sovereignty and thus has to create two types of Faiths in order to remove the good works entirely from man's choice.  It also makes God evil by having Him give fake Faiths to some people.
 
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Offline aquinas138

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Re: Epistle of James
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2019, 08:17:00 AM »
So the faith that doesn't save is one that does not produce the fruits of saving faith. Saving Faith is an active Faith which produces fruit and has Christ as the Lord of one's life.

This is where the more thoughtful Protestants are (but most are not thoughtful, but then again most modern Catholics are not either).  It is close to the Catholic belief.  But given that the Faith comes from Christ it then suggests that He gives two types of Faith, one that is Saving and one that is not.  It makes God a monster.  Instead the Catholic belief is that there is one Faith, it is salvific, if the man lives by the Faith (which is obedience to God - to abstain from sins and do good works out of love).  If he chooses to not live by the Faith given to him, then he loses it, and is not saved.

The Calvinistic approach is hyper focused on God's sovereignty and thus has to create two types of Faiths in order to remove the good works entirely from man's choice.  It also makes God evil by having Him give fake Faiths to some people.

The Calvinist God is not terribly different from the Islamic Allah. Neither could really be described as lovable.
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