Friday, September 28, 2007

Faith, Works, and the Blades of the Scissors

I'm reading James 2:14-26, which starts with this provocative statement--which frankly challenges my Reformation conviction that we are saved by "faith alone": "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you?"

As is often the case, I turn to C.S. Lewis, the 20th century Christian writer, who offered a winning analogy: He replies that it’s like asking which blades of a pair of scissors is more necessary. Or, to quote another great Christian writer, Martin Luther, who struggled mightily with the theology, saving faith always includes good works: "O it is a living, busy active mighty thing, this faith. It is impossible for it not to be doing good things incessantly. It does not ask whether good works are to be done, but before the question is asked, it has already done this, and is constantly doing them. Whoever does not do such works, however, is an unbeliever. He gropes and looks around for faith and good works, but knows neither what faith is nor what good works are. Yet he talks and talks, with many good words, about faith and good works."

1 comment:

John said...

wow, that passage from luther almost reads like scripture.

i think faith and works validate one another.