ATTN: Puzzled

Puzzled, I realized that what I was posting on "Tom et al. Paul's conversion" would somewhat fly in the face of "Free Will" but really my point can and is made without it as you have aptly recognized.

But in response to your other comment I say this; I have, just recently, turned a corner in my systematic development of a Biblical worldview. Much of it started with realizing that the Reformers were often wrong and at times substantially wrong at that. They have done the Church (universal) an inestimable good in four of the five solas. The one that frustrates me is Faith Alone. James was right; works do "save us". Faith *is* a work, repentance *is* a work, baptism *is* a work. Apart from these *works* no man is rightly called saved. In fact the Bible says apart from a form of Godliness no man will see Heaven (no time to get a ref. but its there trust me). So how can one say Faith Alone saves? It does not! No man is saved by works; even faith!

The Reformers did, in some sense anyway, understand this deficiency for they invariably added after saying "faith alone" with "but not a faith that is alone" and by this they put faith in a class of works with repentance and baptism and communion. This does alleviate some of the problem but it is still unfortunate, for this sola is a fertile ground for all sorts of misunderstandings. In fact much of what you reject as "frozen chosen" in the "Sound Doctrines" of modern Calvinism comes as a result of an immature reading of this sola. For the modern Calvinist has not even grasped the aforementioned adjustment to that sola.

My struggle, specifically, with this sola is that it is unnecessary in that the other four cover the point of this oft misunderstood sola. (In fact I have argued vociferously that the only one that is necessary is the first; Sola Scriptura! From that start all the others flow. But I digress...)

My point is this: Sola Gratia is said to mean "Salvation is by the grace of God alone" and Solo Christo is said to mean "Salvation is by Christ alone". This is complete. What need is there to add to the confusion by bringing in a work in Sola Fide: "Salvation is by faith alone." The Reformers meant to combat the view that works save by mentioning a work?! No, I say, combat it with what has all ready been said! Salvation is by the grace of God alone in the saving cross of Christ alone! This already leaves no room for works! None!

Faith does not justify you. Christ justifies you. Faith is only the result of that work wrought externally from you by Christ at a puncticular point in time upon the cross. That moment, of Christ having dealt with the debt of your sin, and God accepting the perfect life of His Son in your stead, is what saves, nothing else. Now faith is uncompromisingly necessary in that it is the proof that that event applies to you, yes. But that makes this statement true; "Faith is by Salvation alone" and not the other.

The problem that you rightly accuse Calvinists of comes because "Salvation by faith alone" excludes all of the class of works of which faith is one, and it is taught as a mere nodding of the head to add insult to injury. No wonder they are frozen! Faith is where it ends for them! But faith is just the start! And if that is the end than I assert that James is right: That kind of "faith" cannot be proof of ones having been saved! It is a worthless faith even if it is "Doctrinally Sound".

Belief is knowledge with assent. Saving belief is a knowledge and assent to the propositions of the Gospel. If you do really know and assent to the truth of the Gospel you cannot remain unaffected and cold!

-Tom Bombadil


Not to hijack, but the verse you were referring to Tom, I believe is:

In fact the Bible says apart from a form of Godliness no man will see Heaven (no time to get a ref. but its there trust me).

Hbr 12:14 Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Dude? Bro? That's some powerful stuff. Mind if I email that to some of my reformed/re-reformed buddies?

You hit the nail on the head. People misunderstand "faith." And because they start off wrong, the rest is doomed. Soo many today believe that faith, biblical... true faith is nothing more than an acknowledging of God. They fail to see the assenting to His Lordship and the Gospel as part of faith.


Email away. Do not even bother using it as a quote. If you own it, it is just as if you said it. Besides who's this cat Tom anyway? If anything we say is true it is by definition plagiarism for only God possess all truth!

-Tom Bombadil

rooster, yes that is the verse that I meant! Thanks! I was wondering where I put that one.

-Tom Bombadil