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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sola Fide or What?

A blogging buddy is doing a discussion on Sola Fide over at his blog. I'd put his address here, but I am honestly concerned about inadvertantly directing a bunch of Lutheran and protestant shi'ites over to bury him in comments. It is not my intention to flood him with rabid Reformationistas. He is a good friend and sound thinker. And he is making a good and good-natured foray into apologetics.

But, I did write a little something and figured why write two posts in one day. So I've included a slimmed down version here. Tell me what you think. And if you are nice and WINSOME (as another good blogging budy would say), I'll allow others to read your comments.

What is meant by "faith?" Is faith simply declaring that one believes in God. No, even the devil believes in God and shudders. Is faith merely believing that Jesus is the Son of God who died for the sins of the world. No, again, the devil understands this much. The Lutheran Confessions state that faith is how we "lay hold upon, accept, and apply, and appropriate them (the treasures of Christ) to ourselves."

Faith - by definition - includes contrition and repentance. And this kind of faith, alone, justifies the sinner in the eyes of God. But such faith is never truly alone.

The Lutheran Confessions also state that it is just as impossible to separate true living faith from a life of good works as it is to separate heat from light in fire. No one can have faith who does not have repentance.

The important distinction, in my view, is that btwn justification and sanctification. I say "distinction" not "division." Am I righteous in the eyes of God on account of Christ only or on account of both Christ and my own merits?

My understanding is that we are counted righteous on account of what Christ alone has done. And believing, laying hold, accepting, applying and appropriating that to myself is what I mean by "sola fide."

Sanctification refers to the inner renewal, transformation and life of good works that necessarily follows justification (not temporally but logically).

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree totally. Also, I recall a description by Dr. Korby: something to the effect of "faith is conviction (of course!) but it is also trusting in Christ." And, of course, such faith grows (or wanes, as the case my be) depending upon one's connection to Word and sacrament.

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