Justification by Works

Survey: “a majority of people who describe themselves as Christian (52%) accept a ‘works-oriented’ means to God’s acceptance.”

"huge proportions of people associated with churches whose official doctrine says eternal salvation comes only from embracing Jesus Christ as savior believe that a person can qualify for Heaven by being or doing good. That includes close to half of all adults associated with Pentecostal (46%), mainline Protestant (44%), and evangelical (41%) churches. A much larger share of Catholics (70%) embrace that point of view." - AWVI 2020

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Quid Pro Quo

The arrangement we make with God

By Daryl Neipp

In recent American politics, we have been introduced to the concept of quid pro quo, a Latin phrase which refers to an exchange of goods or services that is offered with a contingency or expectation of receiving something in return.

While this concept may seem new to us in the realm of politics, the reality is we operate under this basic set of assumptions all the time. In fact, I would argue it falls under basic human nature for most of life’s interactions. For example, the car dealer isn’t offering you that “free” cup of coffee merely because he thinks you might be thirsty; rather, he has an agenda in mind—that cup of coffee comes with some strings attached. And this sales mentality runs rampant through all our lives. If we are honest, when we run the thread of actions back to their root motivations, we will discover forms of selfishness: I do x because I will get x in return. If that were not bad enough, we import this line of thinking and this way of life right into our approach to religion as well.

Larry Crabb, in The Pressure’s Off, masterfully describes the quid pro quo arrangement we often make with God. Essentially, there is an A + B = C–type relationship: If you live a certain way, you should get what you want. That’s the bargain: I do A; a good, moral God will respond in kind (B); and I will receive the result I desire (C). For Christians, this could play out in a variety of mentalities:

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“...whatever faith is and however you might describe it, it is not a work”

"Twice recently I have heard about those who teach that faith is a work. One variation is simply that: faith is a work, and so we cannot encourage or exhort people to believe. The second variation is: faith is the first work a person does after regeneration." - Matt Postiff (See also Part 2)

1814 reads

In Mexico, Holy Week penitents continue bloody 16th-century traditions of absolution

"The celebration of Holy Week in this colonial town southwest of Mexico City is one of the most dramatic and shocking in the country. During Holy Week, ten processions, each more solemn than the last as the week progresses, are carried out by three religious brotherhoods: Animas, Encruzados and Flagelentes." - RNS

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