Monday, September 03, 2007

Reversing Sola Fide

I heard this at White Horse Inn today...

A respondent to what faith is said "faith is knowing that Jesus died for us to give us a chance for salvation".

That is a scary statement.

We are saved by grace through faith -- thus says Eph 2:8-9.

However, this is not understood that way by evangelicalism, rather it is the reverse. That mean, they understand it to say -- we are saved by faith through grace. Notice the subtle shift in understanding. I think this confusion happens because they think being creed-less and confession-less is a wise thing to be. This understanding does not make faith a gift but it makes faith as a form of works. Sure they will affirm that we are not saved by works, but when they affirm we are saved by faith, faith is the element we throw in and thus are saved.

Sola Fide is always grounded on Sola Gratia. When this grounding is considered, I think it becomes clear how the Sacraments of Baptism and the Supper does not nullify Sola Fide but rather it demonstrates it because it is Sola Gratia really, the ground of Sola Fide. Deeper in to the heart of this is Jesus with His Cross, is the sole originator of our salvation and is the Grace of God, and, also the Author of our Faith. Everything revolves around Him.

Well now, what is the off shoot of this? Well, if you are saved by faith through grace and not the other way around, then certainty becomes a problem. It may not be a problem at the moment, but when crisis happens, your confidence in the finished grace of God can come under attack. You will standing on sand, and not on the done deal of Jesus.

Here is an excellent discussion found at brother Matthews' pod cast production on Unconditional Grace -- Lutheran Difference.

Finally, going back to what I heard and notice I emphasized the quote there, the person tacking on "to give as a chance for salvation" should cause us to be nervous. This means that Jesus did not do a complete job, all he did was give us a chance to be saved, but not actually to save us for sure, so the rest is up to you. If you do not take the chance, then bad luck for you.

No, the Bible says Jesus died for sinners, period (pun intended). It means paid in full.


Steve Newell said...

Many "evangelical" Christians believe that man has the capacity to make a decision for Christ. They reject both original sin and the total depravity of man. This can be seen in how they view infant baptism. They reject infant baptism in that the infant had no ability to make a decision. This is the point. None of us have the ability to make any decision since we are all dead in our sin (Eph 2:1). We are made alive, not by what we decide for God but by what God decides for us. This is true grace. God does not have to save any of us, by he does due his love and grace.

L P Cruz said...


Well put "God does not have to save any of us" but he does! Amen. And he does this by proclaiming to us the Gospel promise that Jesus has finished it.

God does not come and zap you to salvation, but he works by bringing us the Gospel where faith is created, faith does come by hearing.

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Brethren,

I'm afraid we might be witnessing a subtle "downgrading" of glorious Reformation doctrinal distinctiveness in White Horse Inn, perhaps motivated by a broader cultural concern, rather than precise theological polemics.

It is a kind of a "back door" undermining situation where the presuppositions responsible for the erosion of confessional fidelity and integrity is hidden in the background but like little leaven working in a lump of dough, it slowly and gradually extends its influence ...

I listened to Horton's interview with Ann Rice who reverted to Romanism and it wasn't about challenging her faith but giving her air-time to explain why she went back to her childhood faith.

Also, I don't understand how is it a respondent can give an Arminian answer when White Horse Inn is supposed to be promoting the doctrines of grace year in and year out?

Matthew said...


Thank you for the link to the show. The part where we talk about the switch up of "by grace through faith" to "by faith through grace" came totally at random, mainly because I hadn't realized the connection before. When Troy mentioned that it can be worse for pastors with the ubiquitous "giant screen" it was really spine tingling for me.

I would have Anne Rice on our show if she'd come on... I'm thinking at she's more exposed to reformational distinctives she'll come around ;)

L P Cruz said...

Bro. Jason,

I did wonder about Anne Rice interview as well.

Now the WHI program I listened to pertains to people being interviewed to the question : What is faith, it was for the past Sunday. Many of the evangelical answers if not all were of Arminian understanding of faith - things like "just believe" and the object of faith were not even mentioned by the respondents.

There is so much work needed for evangelia to be cleaned up, it is quite a mess right now.

Be there for the clean up, my thoughts are with you. Peace be with you bro....


Nice program and much needed correction, the reason we are saved through faith is because we have been saved by grace. The paradigm really is reversed in evangelia and I did come under that mistaken teaching, that makes faith a good work.

In the end, it robs you of the security of the done deal of Jesus.

I am sure we have our notes to compare since both of us are refugees to Augsburg.

What is next on the broadcast?