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How do Protestants deal with James on faith and works?


It makes sense what you are saying, I suppose I am getting hung up on the other aspects of “assent”. I think we will all agree that saving faith is a faith that works, no matter what our doctrinal distinctives may be.

Intellectual assent does not need to have anything to do with belief, really. I assent to a number of scientific and mathematical facts and postulants that are not at all related to belief systems. Does intellectual assent mean agreement or acknowledgment? That seems to be more cognitive in origin. Then there is the matter of the will. When it comes to faith, as you say, it is a “verb” in that I choose to place my faith in Christ by an act of the will. This is why it seems so similar to “believe”. Jesus calls us to “believe” in Him, does He not?

However, I do agree that the CC does shy away from “faith alone”, maybe not so much because of how these terms are used, but because of all the additional trappings that are attached to the “solas”. It may be one area of doctrine that we share more than we realize.


What is “complete belief”?

What is ‘saving faith’?

Christian faith is faith. Demonic faith is faith. However, the former works through love while the latter doesn’t work at all. A Christian faith without works is still faith in of itself, however, it is dead, a faith of demons thus becoming a nominal ‘Christian’ faith.


Correct…that is why Jesus talked about as if a Jewish leader should know about it.


Correct, but being born again, regenerated , born of God has always been around, before John the baptist.


The manifestation of a saving faith will always result in good works, yes. Our communions would agree here.

Acknowledgement might be a way of putting it, although even that is a bit lacking. The demons might know the Truth awaits them, though they refuse to acknowledge it.

Actually, in this particular passage, James calls faith a noun, something we possess, when referencing our faith. He refers to belief as a verb when referring to what the demons do. So it would seem that even the demons are capable of doing something, but without the correct something else behind it, it does nothing.

There’s definitely truth to that too.



Yes but after they excommunicated Luther. That is the church rejected Luther, before she rejected any items he pointed out as abusive. This counters partly her point that Luther first rejected the church.

yes, quite Protestant of them…lol…yes agreed…quite “Universal”.

Thank you for at least that admittance. Understand the perfect guidance of our head, Jesus and His sending of the Holy Ghost, but the Church is not like an autotron…the Incarnation suggests that the Perfect is aligned with flesh/man, and man’s union with Spirit is conditional, as it was for Jesus, who prayed and fasted to be in the Spirit…so some say the church is willing to throw an individual under the bus,admitting their error as long as the church is protected, unscathed…infallible…not in error…this is not an example of incarnation. This is not the example we have in OT and other covenants, where God also promised His holy infallible guidance. Indeed Israel failed from time to time, yet God was able to eventually reclaim honor and truth.

yes thank you…very telling of a church that must be right, has vested interests protected by claims infallibility…kind of puts them in a corner, making them very “dangerous” during Luther’s time…but…no better I suppose than 30,000 denominations.



Ok, just shouldn’t consider dung as prevenient grace, or baby steps of a spiritual walk…flesh is flesh and
spirit is spirit.

not with any real good results, but hop some do, as Jesus mentions.

lol…back to the beginning of our dialogue…Nicodemus was “baptized” (circumcised…and barmitzvahed/“confirmed”) and raised in the faith also, but was not born again.

or…or he obeyed his conscience rather than men (tradition, and institutional status quo is very, very powerful…more than one father succumbed to some of her forced points, in my opinion…points still being contended today…nothing like not nipping something in the bud,…the church has its Ishmael’s).

Not sure he considered his authority more, but he did value his God given conscience on the matter more. There is a fine balance for the church at large to have it’s citizens having strong consciences before God yet a strong sense of submissiveness one to another as is each to Christ also , the head. The Church is strong in unity , but can be really be weak if her teachers/leaders go along to get along.

A time for everything…a time to be like Peter, who had strong opinion, conscience, revelation from the Father, and gave his answer to Jesus, as to who Jesus was…and did not submit to God given authorities of Israel, who happened to be wrong in their answer to same question.


Pretty interesting take on it. Hebrews says this clearly.

So do not throw away your confidence; it holds a great reward. You need to persevere, so that after you have done God’s will, you will receive what He has promised. For,“In just a very while little, He who is coming will come and will not delay. But My righteous one will live by faith; and if he shrinks back, I will take no pleasure in him.
Letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews 10:35-38


Excommunication, contrary to popular belief, is not “kicking someone out of the Church”. Rather, it is a disciplinary measure intended to call the member to repentance.

No, the Church did not “reject Luther”. The Church rejected Luther’s behavior and doctrines. I agree that it took time to sift through all his complaints, until they were all addressed at Trent.

The difference between reformers and rebels is that reformers are obedient, even if they disagree. Luther was a rebel, and refused to submit to the authority of the Church, because he did not agree.

Luther never intended to create a schism or separation. He wanted to address what he saw as aggregious abuses. The Church eventually agreed that many of his points were valid.

Luther rejected the authority, and that is what created the schism. He was asked to renounce all his works, and he couldn’t do it, because he knew that the bulk of them were NOT contrary to the teaching of the Church.

It was a sad collision of hubris, arrogance, and entitlement between Leo X and Luther.

I am not sure what this means, but it seems to reject Jesus’ promise that the Holy Spirit will guide the Church into “all Truth”.

This statement seems to be saying that you believe it was possible for Jesus to break His unity with the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps not, but it is an example of the infallibility of the Church. Despite the fallibility of her human members, she is preserved from error by her divine elements.


Perhaps, but there is a qualitative difference. The HS was with the Church in a way that the HS was never with Israel. He was with them, but He moved within them. This is why it was a New Covenant.

No, honor and Truth was always the possession of God. There were many persons who were not able to walk within the honor and Truth He ordained for Israel, but that did not create a failure of Him to be with them. Those who were saved have always been saved by grace, through faith.

I am not sure what you think it is “telling”. The Church has never taught or believed that individuals could not err. The gift of infallibility is not equivalent to impeccability.

Jesus promised to lead the Church into “all Truth”, so if you do not believe this, then it is He with whom you have a dispute, not “claims” made by any human.

Persons who are corrupt and acting in the flesh are dangerous in every era. Simon Mangus was one early person, who is mentioned in the Gospels. The NT makes multiple references of the dangerous actions of those who opposed the Apostles and made a shipwreck of their faith. St. John mourns the havoc caused by persons claiming authority, by it disrupting the Church, and rejecting the Apostles.

What it boils down to is whether we can trust God to bring balance and correction to His Own Body, or if, like Luther, we must take it upon ourselves. Reform does not include creating new doctrines, and rejecting the authority appointed by Christ.


“And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household’.” - Acts 16:31

“And he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace’.” - Luke 7:50

Belief and faith can be used interchangeably. You are really going on an equivocation run here to try to alter what Saint James is stating in his epistle.

Also, do you care to answer my question regarding what a ‘complete faith’ is? How is faith alone a complete faith?


Why do I have to post a concept multiple times before it sinks in? Of course they can be used interchangeably in everyday speech. That’s the point. That’s why your church shies away from the ‘Faith Alone’ formula, even when it would apply! But the Bible isn’t everyday speech. It had much richer meanings. Accordingly, we should not use them interchangeably in this context — English translators uniformly make the differentiation between mere belief and true faith. I explained this earlier to Guano. I’m getting tired of repeating myself to you.

I did! ‘Complete faith’ was part of the definition in itself, not the thing to be defined. I used the phrase to help you understand that what James calls “faith” is more than just “belief” — i.e. it is ‘complete,’ ‘whole,’ ‘total,’ ‘true,’ …

Goodness. Read what is written to you.


You mean, complete as in completed by works ‘complete’?

“You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works

Because I am quite certain that sola fide means sola fide, and not ‘completed by works’.


In a sense, yes. Does that surprise you? And I can say that while duly affirm the truth of Faith Alone.

You claim to have been raised Lutheran, yet you do not seem remotely aware of actual Lutheran teachings. Per usual.


You don’t. Just link back to your previous post. Or if that is cumbersome, save your text in a file and cut and paste it. :smile:

Rejoice that you have a share in the sufferings of Christ.

Matthew 17:17 “And Jesus answered, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?”

It appears you are in good company with Jesus!


Thank you for the laugh, friend. You have brought Christ to me tonight. I’m off to bed.


Thank you for your persistence in dialogue. May God bless you richly as you rest in Him, and renew the fruit of the Spirit in you (esp. patience!).:smile:


Sleep well, @steido01.


Do you mean ‘in a sense’ like works complete our faith, not for justification, but only for sanctification?

No, that does not surprise me. Confessional Lutherans do not confess to believe that works play any role in their justification before God, none! So, in that ‘sense’, no, the way the Lutheran Confessions define ‘complete faith’, in terms of justification, is a mere, intellectual ‘confidence’ of Christ’s righteousness being imputed to the ‘believer’.


"If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, let him be anathema.

If anyone says that men are justified either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and remains in them, or also that the grace by which we are justified is only the good will of God, let him be anathema."

I want to ensure you, that I have no idea what your faith entails. For all I know, you have a greater faith than me.

And, every time you regurgitate this claim, you do not attempt to correct my seeming unawareness of ‘actual Lutheran teachings’. Perhaps, because I do know and am aware, and when I expose these teachings, you simply retort with the same sentiments instead of displaying exactly where I am unaware and correcting that seeming unawareness.


Yes, absolutely…incarnation…not autotronation…fully man…like you and I…able to be tempted…due to free will…had to submit…meaning full spiritual unity was conditional…like us

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