The Instigator
dsjpk5
Con (against)
Winning
1 Points
The Contender
logicinlife
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Does the Bible teach that we are saved by faith ALONE?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
dsjpk5
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/9/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,808 times Debate No: 71416
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (75)
Votes (1)

 

dsjpk5

Con

I would like to thank logicinlife for suggesting this resolution. This should be a fun and interesting debate.

Burden of proof is shared. As Con I will be negating the premise that the Bible teaches salvation by faith alone. My opponent, on the other hand, will be arguing in support of the resolution.

First round is NOT for acceptance. Since my opponent is supporting the resolution, he shall go first. In order to keep the number of rounds fair, my opponent will only type "No round as agreed." in the final round.
logicinlife

Pro

Thank you for this chance to get used to the debating format further on this website. I agree to your terms and will start my round simply by defining terms and understanding that your position aligns with my assumptions and understanding of Roman Catholicism. I look forward to a civilized and interesting debate.

***Two Key Terms***

Saved - My using of the term saved represents being cleansed of sins, and justification/reconciliation to God from our sins. I

Faith - Putting trust into/believing in

***Con's Position***

Con's position according to Roman Catholicism is that salvation/being saved is through BOTH works and faith. Am I correct that this is your view and that you will be arguing that salvation is by works + faith opposed to just faith?

If you agree with the definitions and the position I believe you are taking than feel free to proceed to your turn. All I need is confirmation of these things in this first round.

I look forward to your case. If you feel as if my need to understand your position is a tactic, I assure you it is not and I will proceed to support my position regardless of how you use round two.
Debate Round No. 1
dsjpk5

Con

Thanks Pro!

ARGUMENTS:

James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and NOT by faith
alone. [1]

So there you have it. The one place where the Bible uses the phrase
"faith alone", and what does it say???? It says we are NOT
saved/justified by faith alone.

But let's make sure I not taking James out of context. What else does
he say about the topic?

James 2:14 What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has
faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? [2]

The question at the end of the verse is easy to answer based on the
previous question. Th answer is clearly "No, it cannot save you"'

James 2:17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. [3]

Let me ask you this...can a dead faith save a man?

James 2:26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith
apart from works is dead. [4]

Did you notice the analogy? The body is analogous to faith, and the
spirit is comparaed to works. James says that just like a body is dead
without a spirit, faith by itself is dead. Certainly a dead faith is
not something that saves you.

1 Peter 3:21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you,... [5]

So Peter says there's something we can DO in order to be saved
(baptism). But let's see what Paul says...

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always
obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my
absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,[6]

So Paul says that our salvation is something we need to "work out".
Certainly this means we have to do more than just "have faith".

Romans 2:6-8: 6 For he will render to every man according to his works:
7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and
immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are
factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be
wrath and fury. [7]

So here the Bible specifically says whoever does certain kinds of
"works" will be given "eternal life".

How many times does the Bible need to say something before we accept it
as a biblical teaching? How about if Jesus said it?...

John 6:54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life,
and I will raise them up at the last day. [8]

So Jesus says there's something we can DO to have "eternal life."

Matthew 19:16Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what
good thing must I do to get eternal life?"

17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only
One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments." [9]

So the one time someone asks Jesus what we must.do "to get eternal
life", and how does He respond? Does He say"You only need faith"? No
He says the opposite. He says we must DO something (obey the
commandments).

WHAT WE'RE NOT DEBATING

Both my opponent and I agree that we need faith in order to be saved,
but that's not what we're debating. We're debating if faith is the
ONLY thing we need to be saved. With this in mind, I ask the voters to
look carefully at the verses Pro uses. Ask yourself if the verses say
that faith ALONE is all we never to be saved. I think the BIble is
clear, it's faith AND works that both play a role.

REBUTTALS

My opponent didn't leave much to debate, but I will address a few
issues. If you noticed, my opponent didn't offer a source for his two personal definitions.

His definition of "saved" was fine, but incomplete. The Bible speaks
of salvation being more than just justification. It teaches that
sanctification is the other half of salvation. Sanctification is the
process which we are made holy over a period of time. The Bible says we
must be holy in order to go to Heaven:

Hebrews 12:14
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy;
without holiness no one will see the Lord. [10]

Hebrews 10:14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. [11]

Clearly the Bible says salvation involves a process where we are made holy.

I accept my opponent's definition of "faith".

I wanted to give the voters a couple things to think about before
casting their votes. Both my opponent and I are going to be offering many Bible verses (sometimes maybe the same ones). And both of us will be suggesting ways to interpret these verses. The key, I believe, is which interpretations coincide with what the early Christians believed....

I NEVER SAID YOU STOLE MONEY

To better illustrate this, I am going to share something I heard
Catholic apologist, Patrick Madrid say once:

Let's say you are at a garage sale and you come across a 100 year old
book. It looks interesting, so you buy it. You take it home and begin
to read it, but find it difficult to understand. Now let's say that the
author has passed away, but you still have access to his son, who was
in the room when the book was written? All things being equal, wouldn't you trust him over someone born 80 years later who didn't know anyone even remotely connected to the author? Especially when trying to interpret the following phrase:

I never said you stole money.

Now, at first glance, this may seem easy to understand, but there may
be more than one way to I interpret it. What if the person who wrote
that meant

I never said you stole money... He said it. Or...

I never SAID you stole money... But I sure thought it. Or...

I never said YOU stole money... I said she stole it. Or...

I never said you STOLE money... I said you borrowed it. Or...

I never said you stole MONEY. You stole a car.

Now take that verse, multiply it by 10,000, and you have the Bible. You
have dozens of different books, written by different authors, for
different audiences, for different reasons, in different languages, at
different times. So you tell me whose interpretations you can count on
to be most authentic? Those who knew the authors personally, or someone
doing their best, 2,000 years later?

Development of doctrine.

Now of course, over time, we can understand better some of the
implications of a particular teaching. This is something all Christians
recognize. The doctrine of the Trinity didn't become crystallized until
some 300 years after the death of Christ. The key to determining the
difference between development versus departure is this... Is the
teaching in line with what the original Christians believed? No one
expects an elderly man to look like his baby picture. He's much taller
and has gray or white hair. You expect to see this. What you don't
expect is to see a third eye, or a foot growing from his hip.
Development versus departure.

Back to you, Pro!

Sources:

1. https://www.biblegateway.com...

2. https://www.biblegateway.com...

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. https://www.biblegateway.com...

6. http://biblehub.com...

7. https://www.biblegateway.com...

8. http://biblehub.com...

9. http://biblehub.com...

10.http://biblehub.com...

11. https://www.biblegateway.com...
logicinlife

Pro

Thank you for your post Con.

Although it is an odd way to go about this, I will be begin with my rebuttals since some things need to be cleared up before proceeding:


Con’s Definition of Salvation:

Interestingly enough, Con states in his “development of Doctrine” section that the goal is to understand what the original Christians believe yet his view on salvation is very peculiar and when researching the topic of incomplete salvation I could only find one article on the topic. Sanctification is an important process indeed and after we receive our salvation sanctification begins. We are debating that salvation is by faith alone vs. faith + works. So I will be simply looking at the verses Con uses to defend the idea that salvation is incomplete without making my case so that we can move on.


Con’s Verses:

Hebrews 12:14, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” - In context this verse, in no way, indicate a process in which we are made holy. It is simply telling us to be disciplined. This is talking about human discipline not sanctification.

Hebrews 10:14, “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” – While this verse is interesting to use for Con’s case, it still doesn’t support the claim that salvation is incomplete. In fact, it supports my view more than anything.

By no means do these verses support Con’s claim regarding salvation being incomplete. I would also like the viewers to observe that it appears to be that Con is grasping for straws when supporting this claim, but also he has merely two verses that allegedly backs it up.


Con’s arguments:

I take great pleasure in the fact that Con used the book of James to make his case, because firstly it was expected and secondly it is my favorite book in the bible. While Con here claims that he is looking into the context of James, he fails to mention the Overall context of the book of James. Not only was James written to believers who were ALREADY saved, but also James’s purpose is to teach the works that exemplify justification. "We need to clear up a misconception, namely, that James means the same thing by “justified” in James 2:24 that Paul means in Romans 3:28. Paul is using the word justified to mean “declared righteous by God.” Paul is speaking of God’s legal declaration of us as righteous as Christ’s righteousness is applied to our account. James is using the word justified to mean, “being demonstrated and proven.”’ [1]

Pauline theology, and James’ theology actually work together whenever reading the book of James in context. “The difference between James and Paul is not that of faith versus works, but a difference of relationship. James emphasizes the work of the believer in relation to faith and Paul the work of Christ in relation to faith.” (Ryrie, 2012. p. 140) Paul’s message of Salvation compliment’s James message because Paul, too, emphasizes good works as a CONSEQUENCE of true faith. Gundry (2012) puts it this way, “James writes of justification by works before other human beings who need outward evidence because they cannot see into the heart. He is not contradicting Paul, who writes of justification by faith before God, who does not need outward evidence because he can see into the heart.” (p. 521) To put it simply genuine faith produces works, but only faith receives salvation.

Con uses 1 Peter 3:21. First, as I will demonstrate, I would like to viewers of this debate to take note that Con did not mention the entire verse, in fact he only mentions the first half. Con also fails to mention that the overall context in 1 Peter 3:8-22 is regarding “suffering for doing good.” It seems as if this verse is being pulled blatantly out of context. The complete passage is 1 Peter 3:19-22, which I suggest readers should look up. Con insists that in this verse, “Peter says there's something we can DO in order to be saved (baptism).” I don’t see where this verse says anything about DOING. Looking at the verse the flood symbolized baptism and baptism symbolizes salvation. Believers are saved by what baptism symbolizes – Christ’s death and resurrection.


For the sake of actually presenting my case, I will burn through refuting the remaining verses.

For Philippians 2:12, Con claims, “Paul says that our salvation is something we need to "work out.” Certainly this means we have to do more than just "have faith.” Firstly, Paul does not say we “need” to work out our salvation. He says continue to work out your salvation. If I’m working out my marriage, am I not already married? I must continue to work out my marriage so that it remains healthy. Likewise, Salvation is already obtained in this verse, but we are to continue working it out, which means simply studying the scriptures, learning the will of God and allow the Spirit to sanctify us.

Con also uses Romans 2:6-8, which Con is insisting that it is saying works give us salvation, but salvation is justification/reconciliation before God. The verse says, “receive eternal life”, which is not what we are discussing. Even the Jews of the Old Testament, before Christ, could recieve eternal life, but not salvation.

“John 6:54, ‘whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. And I will raise them up at the last day.' So Jesus says there's something we can DO to have "eternal life." - Con insists yet again that this is proof without considering context. In context Christ speaks that nobody goes to the father except through him. During the last supper Christ says the bread is his body and the wine is his blood, which were broken and shed for you. Christ is again talking about receiving salvation here through Him and His death.

Finally, Con brings up Matthew 19:16-17, and again Con appeals to receiving eternal life, not salvation. Jesus Christ is appealing to the laws, which are still in effect while he is living. It baffles me that Con would use this for his defense when context, basic biblical theology and an understanding historical background of the Old Testament would prevent him from doing so.



Moving on...


My Case – Blatant Biblical Evidence

In these passages, I recommend that you review the context to ensure that I have done so myself.

Romans 5:1-2, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God."

Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Now I want to tag something onto this verse to ensure Con cannot attempt to use this against me. I want the reader to recognize that we are examining what man does for salvation, not what God does.

Rom. 3:28, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

Rom. 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,"

Rom. 5:1, "therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;"

Rom. 10:4, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."

Rom. 11:6, "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace."

Gal. 2:16, "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified."

Gal. 2:21, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.

Gal. 3:24, "Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith."

Phil. 3:9, "and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith."

To this, Con, I turn your words around and ask you the same thing, “How many times does the Bible need to say something before we accept it as a biblical teaching?”

Con also makes these statements, “The key, I believe, is which interpretations coincide with what the early Christians believed....” and “Is the teaching in line with what the original Christians believed?” I agree Con, what did the earliest and most known Christian speak about in the book of Galatians? Zondervan’s Pictorial encyclopedia starts off Galatians as such; “Galatians stands as an eloquent and vigorous apologetic for the essential New Testament truth that people are justified by faith in Jesus Christ – by nothing less and nothing more – and that they are sanctified not by legalistic works but by the obedience that comes from faith in God’s work for them, in them and through them by the grace and power of Christ and the Holy Spirit.” It was the message of Galatians and Romans that brought about the protestant reformation from the Roman Catholic Church.

I encourage the viewers of this debate to view Galatians and determine whether or not the book supports my claims or Cons.


Conclusion:

I have effectively refuted all of Con’s points and provided more biblical evidence. As a bonus I showed the viewers the purpose of Galatians and invited them to review the evidence themselves. Galatians itself refutes Con’s position. I look forward to your turn, Con.


References

[1] http://www.gotquestions.org...

Gundry, R. H. (2012). A survey of the New Testament (5th ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

In Tenney, M. C. (Ed.). (1975). The Zondervan pictorial encyclopedia of the Bible.

Enns, Paul. (2008) The Moody Handbook of Theology. Moody Publishers, IL.

Ryrie, (2012) Biblical theology of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI.

Craig, William. (1989) "No Other Name,” In Faith and Philosophy.

Debate Round No. 2
dsjpk5

Con

Thanks again, Pro!

I don't have a problem with the way Pro started with rebuttals in the
last round. As a matter of fact, I will do the same this round.

REBUTTALS

Last round my opponent said he could only find one article that spoke
of our salvation being a process. I was wondering what article it was.
Did it say that, "however attractive the single, once-for-all view of
justification may be to some, there are serious exegetical
considerations weighing against it. This may be seen by looking at how
the New Testament handles the story of Abraham.

One of the classic Old Testament texts on justification is Genesis
15:6. This verse, which figures prominently in Paul"s discussion of
justification in Romans and Galatians, states that when God gave the
promise to Abraham that his descendants would be as the stars of the
sky (Gen. 15:5, cf. Rom. 4:18-22) Abraham "believed God and it was
reckoned to him as righteousness" (Rom. 4:3). This passage clearly
teaches us that Abraham was justified at the time he believed the
promise concerning the number of his descendants.

Now, if justification is a once-for-all event, rather than a process,
then that means that Abraham could not receive justification either
before or after Genesis 15:6. However, Scripture indicates that he did
both.

First, the book of Hebrews tells us that

"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that
he was to receive as an inheritance, not knowing where he was going."
(Hebrews 11:8)

Every Protestant will passionately agree that the subject of Hebrews 11
is saving faith

But when did he have this faith? The passage tells us: Abraham had it
"when he was called to go out to the place he would afterward receive."
The problem for the once-for-all view of justification is that is that
the call of Abraham to leave Haran is recorded in Genesis 12:1-4 three
chapters before he is justified in 15:6. We therefore know that Abraham
was justified well before (in fact, years before) he was justified in
Gen. 15:6.

But if Abraham had saving faith back in Genesis 12, then he was
justified back in Genesis 12. Yet Paul clearly tells us that he was
also justified in Genesis 15. So justification must be more than just a
once-for-all event.

But just as Abraham received justification before Genesis 15:6, he also
received it afterwards, for the book of James tells us,

"Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his
son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his
works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. Thus the
scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was
reckoned to him as righteousness," and he was called the friend of
God." (James 2:21-23)

James thus tells us "[w]as not our ancestor Abraham justified . . .
when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?" In this instance, the
faith which he had displayed in the initial promise of descendants was
fulfilled in his actions (see also Heb. 11:17-19), thus bringing to
fruition the statement of Genesis 15:6 that he believed God and it was
reckoned to him as righteousness.

Abraham therefore received justification The problem for the
once-for-all view is that the offering of Isaac is recorded in Gen.
22:1-18 seven chapters after Gen. 15:6. Therefore, just as Abraham was
justified before 15:6 when he left Haran for the promised land, so he
was also justified again when he offered Isaac after 15:6.

Therefore, we see that Abraham was justified on at least three
different occasions: he was justified in Genesis 12, when he first left
Haran and went to the promised land; he was justified in Genesis 15,
when he believed the promise concerning his descendants; and he was
justified in Genesis 22, when he offered his first promised descendant
on the altar.

As a result, justification must be seen, not as a once-for-all event,
but as a process which continues throughout the believer"s life. In
fact, it is even a process which extends beyond the believer"s life.
This is shown by passages in Scripture where Paul indicates that there
is a sense in which our justification is still future:

" . . . for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God,
but the doers of the law will be justified;" (Romans 2:13)

"Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His
sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3:20)"? [12]

Hebrews 10 and 12

Pro thought I was grasping at straws, but I think he may have missed
the point concerning the idea that our salvation isn't complete until
our sanctification is finished. Chapter 10 says we are being made
holy. This indicates our holiness is not a one-moment-in-time event.
"being made" indicates a process.

The same can be said for chapter 12. It says you cannot see the Lord
without holiness. The Greek word for "holly" is the same word the
Bible uses for "sanctification". But don't take my word for it. Take
the word of the first source Pro uses... gotquestions.org : "To
summarize, sanctification is the same Greek word as holiness, "hagios,"
meaning a separation. " [13]

An Alternate Possibility to James

My opponent seems to be saying that James and Paul are saying the same
thing, just from different angles. May I suggest an alternative? I
would suggest that James is speaking to a group of people who
misunderstood the writings of Paul. They mistakenly took Paul's
writings that support faith to mean we are saved by faith alone, and
James wanted to correct the misconception. [14]

1Peter 3:21 (baptism now saves you)

My opponent says I didn't quote enough of the passage, but I disagree.
In the interest of character limits, I normally only post what I have
to to prove my point. I also don't see how "suffering for good" somehow
denies anything I've said. My opponent has made a claim without an
argument. As for the analogy Peter makes, he compares baptism to the
flood of Noah. And just like Noah was saved physically by passing
through water, in
baptism we are saved spiritually as we pass through the water. I also
find it strange that Pro
claims baptism isn't something we do. Is he suggesting that we're
baptized against our will?

Philippians 2:12 (work out your salvation)

My opponent compares working on our salvation to working on a marriage.
He asks if someone working on a marriage is already married. In
return, I ask if someone doesn't work on their marriage, are they
guaranteed their marriage will last? Of course not. In the same way,
if we don't work on our salvation, we may never enter Heaven. Clearly,
our salvation process is not complete until we get there. There
are things we have to DO after having faith.

Eternal Life and Salvation Not the Same Thing??????

With all due respect, Pro seems to be getting desperate. He now is
claiming that being given eternal life is not the same thing as
receiving salvation. Well that's news to every Christian who quotes
John 3:16

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that
whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

I have to ask... if believing in Jesus Christ gives us eternal life,
and having faith in Jesus Christ gives us salvation.... what's the
difference? If Pro is not able to answer this question intelligently
I assert all the verses I offered that speak of eternal life are still
valid, and my arguments against faith ALONE still stand.

As for the context of John 6, I have no problem with the concept of
having to go through Jesus to get to the Father. The works we do that
gain salvation are done in Christ. They aren't our works; they're His.
They are done by the grace of God, but we still must cooperate with
His grace. This is an idea that I will develop more in this round of
my arguments. Having said that, John 6:54 still says we can DO
SOMETHING to be saved (eat His flesh and drink His blood).

REMINDER OF WHAT WE'RE NOT DEBATING

As I mentioned in the last round, Pro and I are not debating I'd we
need faith in order to be saved. We're debating if we ONLY need faith.
If anyone doubts that, I would like to point them to Our debate
resolution: "Does the Bible teach that we are saved by faith ALONE?"
With this in mind, I won't be responding to all the verses that Pro
cites saying we need faith... because they're irrelevant. We both
agree we need faith. The question is do we ONLY need faith. So,
specifically, I ask the voters to ignore the following verses Pro
offered:

1. Romans 5:1-2, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we
have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And
we boast in the hope of the glory of God." **

2. Rom. 5:1, "therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace
with
God through our Lord Jesus Christ;" **

**Irrelevant for the reasons I just stated*

Works of the Law

As for all the verses Pro offers denouncing the saving ability of the
works of the Law, I have to agree. But that's not what we're debating.
Te "works of the Law" refer to the ceremonial rituals of the Mosaic
Law. Things like circumcision, the ritualistic washing of cups, and
dietary restrictions. Paul CLEARLY isn't referring to the good works
we do in Christ. He specifically denounces "works of the Law". With
this in mind, all the verses Pro offered that refer to the works of Law
[15]

That just leaves three verses from Pro's arguments:

I have th same response for the first two.

1. Ephesians 2:8-9 " "For it is by grace you have been saved, through
faith"and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" not by
works, so that no one can boast."

2. Rom. 11:6, "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of
works, otherwise grace is no longer grace."

Response:

I agree that none of our works are meritorious if they are not done by
the grace of God. But if God gives you His grace, then your works do
help bring about salvation because they are as Paul says in Galatians
5:6 (faith which worketh by love.) [16]

Now on to Pro's final verse:

Rom. 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who
justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,"

Response:

Although this verse doesn't specifically refer to the works of Law, I suggest it is clearly referring to them:

"Paul made very clear in Romans 2:6-8 that good works are necessary for attaining eternal life, at least for those capable of performing them: "For he will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury."

Paul does not specifically say works of law in Romans 4:5, but if we read from Romans 3:28 to Romans 4:5 and beyond, the context makes it unmistakable: Paul was referring to circumcision in particular and the same "works of law" he was referring to in Romans 3:28. Romans 4:5-10 will suffice to make the point:

And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness . . . Is this blessing pronounced only upon the circumcised, or also upon the uncircumcised? We say that faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it reckoned to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised." [17]

So my "works of the Law" rebuttal refutes this verse as well. It does not teach we are saved by faith alone.

Pro claims the early Christians believed in faith alone, but gave no quotes from any of them. On the other hand, I submit to you they did NOT believe in being saved by faith alone. It's because of this that I feel comfortable saying my interpretations are more accurate than my opponent's. Now on to the quotes:

"Irenaeus

"[Paul], an able wrestler, urges us on in the struggle for immortality, so that we may receive a crown and so that we may regard as a precious crown that which we acquire by our own struggle and which does not grow upon us spontaneously. . . . Those things which come to us spontaneously are not loved as much as those which are obtained by anxious care" (Against Heresies4:37:7 [A.D. 189]).

Tertullian

"Again, we [Christians] affirm that a judgment has been ordained by God according to the merits of every man" (To the Nations 19 [A.D. 195]).

"In former times the Jews enjoyed much of God"s favor, when the fathers of their race were noted for their righteousness and faith. So it was that as a people they flourished greatly, and their kingdom attained to a lofty eminence; and so highly blessed were they, that for their instruction God spoke to them in special revelations, pointing out to them beforehand how they should merit his favor and avoid his displeasure" (Apology 21 [A.D. 197]).

"A good deed has God for its debtor [cf. Prov. 19:17], just as also an evil one; for a judge is the rewarder in every case [cf. Rom. 13:3"4]" (Repentance 2:11 [A.D. 203]).

Hippolytus

"Standing before [Christ"s] judgment, all of them, men, angels, and demons, crying out in one voice, shall say: "Just is your judgment," and the justice of that cry will be apparent in the recompense made to each. To those who have done well, everlasting enjoyment shall be given; while to lovers of evil shall be given eternal punishment" (Against the Greeks 3 [A.D. 212])." [21]

ARGUMENTS

Since my character limit is dwindling, I will only share a few more verses here that supports MY claims:

1Timothy 5:8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. [18]

So there is something must DO, or we have "disowned the faith" and are "worse than an unbeliever". Well you cannot disown what you don't FIRST own. So this verse is referring to Christians. And if unbelievers go to Hell, and the Christians referred to in the verse are WORSE, certainly they're not going to be saved.

John 15
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
[19]

So here we see that we need to DO something (abide in Christ) or we'll be cut off and thrown into the fire. Doesn't sound like those who don't abide should expect to be saved.

Romans 10:9-10 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [20]

So here is a perfect example of needing faith AND works. The passage says if we confess (something we do) and believe... we "will be saved".

Back to you, Pro!

Sources:

12. http://jimmyakin.com...

13. http://www.gotquestions.org...

14. https://m.youtube.com...

15. http://www.ewtn.com...

16.
https://www.biblegateway.com...

17. http://www.catholic.com...

18. https://www.biblegateway.com...

19. https://www.biblegateway.com...

20. https://www.biblegateway.com...

21.http://www.catholic.com...
logicinlife

Pro

Hello Voters,

In Con's response we can observe several disappointing things. Since by the rules of this debate I will not be making a case after this round (Con's rule state that I have no word in the last round), I would like the voters to take note at what ultimately questions Con's credibility on this topic. These points are made in line with the order in which Con produced his "arguments."

1. Con appeals to the idea that my case is wrong because the Bible doesn't say, directly, "salvation is by faith alone." Take note, though voters, that all of Con's arguments begin with the premise that Salvation is incomplete, where there are no bible verses provided by him that say this by the standards Con holds me to. Without Salvation being incomplete, Con ultimately has no argument since Con appeals to this (despite what he claims) very odd and rare belief. I recommend voters read this article: http://www.gotquestions.org... tell me whether or not Con's claims align with this. Ultimately Con's claim is that Christ's work was not sufficient on the cross to receive justifications for our sins. I am quite shocked by Con's claims, here.

2. Con uses a long monologue, with little relevance to speak of Abraham to prove that salvation is incomplete. Con asserts that since Abraham believed God's promises to him and since Abraham acted in accordance to his faith, that work on the cross wasn't complete. Con's argument was that since the Old Testament prophets were required to act with their faith and follow the law, that our justification is likewise, but this is flawed because the premise of the new covenant through Christ was that it was God's gift through Grace and no man could obtain it because God is flawless and Holy, meaning that no man could follow the law completely to be justified. Christ said, I have come to fulfill the law, but not abolish it. This means that he completely fulfilled the law since nobody else could. In Christ's power, which resides in us through the Spirit we go through the process of sanctification where we are made holy in Christ's image. While the power to become holy is through Christ, salvation, which is justification and the purpose of this debate, is through faith first, and that active faith produces works later.

To summarize, Con's theology is broken and his arguments reflect this since he appears to have little understanding of biblical theology, which ultimately means that he cannot properly form systematic theology.

3, Con's contradictions against himself are quite vast. While trying to prove salvation is incomplete, to which Con failed, he pointed out that Abraham was justified by faith. Con declares this FIRST and then goes on to speak about justification through works. This argument is defused whenever you remember where I provided the quote regarding the different meanings of justification, but also this argument goes against Con since he cannot prove that salvation is incomplete and also admitted that faith comes first. Con goes on to prove my main argument, that faith produces works by quoting James where I have already made this point clear. This makes Con argument futile, especially when ignoring that the event on the cross requires the faith like Abraham’s, which then produces works. Ultimately we see Con attempting (key word) to bend scripture to fit his ideas instead of reading scripture for what it says. Not only Does Con hang himself with his arguments, but he becomes redundant, trying to prove his point, where he merely displays that he doesn't understand the concepts he is trying to defend himself. Con says at one point that the works in the Old Testament are required for salvation, which is the opposite in accordance to the new Covenant. Ironically, Con contradicts himself later by saying that the following of the Law is not required. Con's confusions are quite clear.

4.Con goes into Romans chapter 2, where Con is either ignorant or being intellectually dishonest. Con ignores the context of Romans, specifically; Con ignores the intention and style of Paul’s writing in Romans 2-8. Con either fails to see the over all point of the letter, which is one of the keys of biblical theology, or he actively ignores such. This is where we see cookie-cutting-theology, but in Con's defense, this theology is not always intentional. Cookie cutting theology is basically pulling verses or passages out of context to make scripture fit what you wish opposed to reading scripture to find out what it means. The Literary context indicates that Paul is leading up to the news, the good news, that we are justified through faith in Christ. In the comments of this debate is a brief outline of the theme in Romans taken from a paper I had to write for my biblical theology class in 2011, here you, the voters, can trace this theme and therefore find Con's argument crumbling. I had to place it in the comments because of length.

5. I have a suspicion that Con's bias, which is absorbed into the Roman expression of Christianity has failed his eyes. Many of the ideas expressed throughout his response require that the Roman Church is correct in teachings such as the un-biblical and un-supported purgatory. Ultimately, Con allows this false teaching to dictate his belief on salvation, that is, salvation is incomplete. A basic study of the New Testament requiring our gifts we receive in heaven is dependent on how much we allow ourselves to be sanctified. Justification allows us to be sanctified, but sanctification doesn't cause us to be justified. Con also seems to forget that I KNOW sanctification is a process, but that I also know that sanctification is not the process in which we receive salvation. Con ironically, also agrees with my original definition of sanctification, which he had said he didn't agree with before the actual debate. Again, we see Con's foundations shifting in the sand.

6. Con's alleged rebuttals begin with Con suggesting a subjective alternative to the book of James, which isn't supported, by any means, by the historical context of James. Other rebuttals include appealing to doctrines that Con has yet to prove to be true. Even Con's "clever" rebuttal of my analogy regarding marriage fails, miserably. The point of the analogy was that we work out our salvation that we have, as well as working out a marriage. Just because you can lose the marriage doesn’t mean that you didn’t receive it first and work through it. As such, this appeals to a doctrine of incomplete salvation that Con Cannot support or prove, which deems this argument irrelevant as well as found wanting. The rest of the fluffed up rebuttals begin with the sentence: “I ask the voters to ignore the following verses Pro offered:”

7. “As for all the verses Pro offers denouncing the saving ability of the works of the Law, I have to agree.”RED FLAG: In round two Con uses Matthew 19:16 for his case. The commandments ARE the Law, and since Con believes eternal life and justification are the same thing, than he has just hung himself. This is clear evidence that Con cannot even produce a coherent theology for himself. Con insists this verse in Matthew 19:16 is proof that Salvation isn’t by faith alone and by works, yet here Con says that he agrees that the works of the law cannot save. Which is it? Can the law save or not save? Con further displays his ignorance of scripture by saying that that the law applies to only the Mosaic Law. There are over 637 laws in the O.T., which are not all revealed in the Mosaic Law. Also Con is confusing Ceremonial, civil and moral laws. So according to Con, only the laws presented through the Mosaic covenant cannot save so what about the ceremonial laws and civil laws presented in Leviticus?

Con argues it is by works of Christ that we are saved with faith, not the law, but in fact works of Christ appeal to the Mosaic covenant (Moral laws), which were summed up by Christ. Here we merely seeing Con being either ignorant or dishonest since the Mosaic covenant (Moral Law) is found in the 10 commandments, and before rituals and dietary restrictions. Also, Circumcision was introduced during the Covenant with Abraham, and so we see further how little Con can be trusted with understanding Scripture.

Finally, Con, please explain how eternal life and justification are the same things? Con's argument rests on this idea. I would agree with Con that receiving eternal life requires both faith and works, but we are speaking of “salvation through faith.” Salvation again is justification, which means that our sins are wiped clean and we are forgiven from our trespasses against the law. Eternal life is received by the faith in salvation and the works faith produces. Everything is connected, but it is nonsensical to say that justification is the same as eternal life. Lets pretend I do something really bad at work and my boss forgives me of my wrongs, that represents salvation. Keeping my job (gaining eternal life) would require that I abide in his forgiveness and work to keep my job. It is a very simple concept, which is elementary.

Can you trust Con's mixed up theology, contradictory statements and failure to understand basic biblical ideas such as the laws/covenants/eternal life and justificaiton? I would hardly deem Con credible, and I would also urge you to not "ignore the verses" that I provided in round two. Con agreed after round one that this debate was salvation/justification is by faith alone vs. faith plus works and Con changes that in his recent response.

Ultimately it is up to the viewers, and I believe that I have shown all of the issues of Con's theology and now, sadly, in Con's credibility. There are too many inconsistencies, dependencies and poorly understood concepts that Con's arugment rests on.

Since I trust the voters are objective, let them vote.








Debate Round No. 3
dsjpk5

Con

Thanks Pro!

PRO'S CONFUSION

Pro seems to think he cannot further his case this round. This is not
accurate. This is a five round debate. We're only in the fourth
round. Pro should feel free to proceed this round.

LOGICAL FALLACIES

Poisoning the Well

Pro begins this round by telling the voters they shouldn't accept what
I say because he alleges my credibility is in doubt. This is a logical
fallacy known as "poisoning the well". This is done when you try to
win a debate by casting doubt on someone's credibility before you even
attempt to refute their arguments. [22] With this in mind, voters
should reject this line of reasoning.

Personal Attacks/Ad Hominem

In Pro's fourth point, he accuses me of either being ignorant or
dishonest. I hope the voters recognize this for the unprofessional
type of mud slinging that it is. This type of ad hominem attack is yet
another logical fallacy where one tries to win a debate not with
evidence or logic, but through character assassination. [23]

Straw Man Arguments

Pro says that I'm claiming that I'm arguing for "Christ's work was not
sufficient on the cross to receive justifications for our sins." This
is not accurate. I never said that and don't believe that. Pro also
claimed that I believe that we need to follow the Law. I never said
that and don't believe that. Pro says I've changed my definition of
"sanctification". This is not true. I challenge him to show
otherwise. Pro is twisting my words into something I didn't say.
This is another logical fallacy by my opponent. It's used to
mischaracterized an argument in an attempt to refute something that was
never argued. I ask the voters to disregard this argument by Pro as it
is fallacious.[24]

QUESTIONABLE CONDUCT

Each round of this debate has the maximum number of characters allowed
(10,000). And yet, despite this fact, Pro tried to exceed his
character limit by telling the voters to search the comments section of
this debate to find further arguments. This is blatantly unfair and
against the spirit of the rules. I ask the voters to consider this
when voting on conduct.

WARRANTLESS ARGUMENTS

In Pro's point 4, my opponent makes all kinds of claims about me being
wrong, but gives no reason why we should believe him. He says:

1. I'm either ignorant or dishonest.

2. I'm taking something out of context (without giving us what he
thinks is the proper context).

3. Says I ignored the intention of the author (without telling us what
he thinks the true intention is).

4. Berates my theology by calling it "cookie cutter theology" (without
explaining why it's allegedly out of context).

5. He doesn't quote the Bible even once. Our debate, however, is about
what the Bible teaches.

In his point 5, Pro continues his warrantless arguments and swerves
back into poisoning the well:

1. He accuses me of being biased (without offering any examples).

2. Says my arguments are "unbiblical" (without explaining why he thinks
they are). This is also silly because I have quoted the Bible more
than he has.

3. Says my arguments are "false teachings"(without explaining why we
should consider them false).

4. He doesn't quote the Bible even once. Our debate, however, is about
what the Bible teaches.

He continues his warrantless arguments in his point 6:

1. He says I took James out of context(without telling us what he
thinks is the proper context).

2. Insults my arguments by calling them "fluffed up" (without
explaining why we should believe so).

3. He doesn't quote the Bible even once. Our debate, however, is about
what the Bible teaches.

In point 7, Pro engages is mischarachterization of my point. As I
pointed out Paul condemns the "works of the law"'ability to save us.
He doesn't condemn the moral teachings of the law. For example,
ceremonial washing of cups won't save us, but loving God with all our
heart, and our neighbors as ourselves will. We know that the moral
teachings of the law are still required of us because Jesus says in
Matthew 19:17 ""if you want to enter life, keep the commandments" [25]

With this in mind, I ask voters to disregard this entire line of
reasoning.

JUSTIFICATION AND ETERNAL LIFE

Pro asks me to explain why I believe being justified and being given
eternal life is the same thing. I'd be happy to do so. First, let's
remember Pro's incomplete definition of "saved". He defined "saved" as
being "justified". I believe it because the Bible uses the words
interchangeably. We see this in Matthew 19:

16 Someone came to Jesus with this question: "Teacher,[a] what good
deed must I do to have eternal life?"

17 "Why ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One
who is good. But to answer your question"if you want to receive eternal
life, keep[b] the commandments."...

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is very
hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I"ll say it
again"it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than
for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!"

25 The disciples were astounded. "Then who in the world can be saved?"
they asked.

So there you have it. Verse 16 referring to "eternal life", and 25
referring to the same thing as being "saved".

There, I answered Pro's question, but he STILL hasn't answered my
question regarding John 3:16. I will ask it again:

If believing in Jesus will get you "eternal life" (John 3:16), and
having faith in Jesus will cause you to be "saved" what's the
difference between eternal life and being saved? I ask this because as
I have pointed out, the Bible requires more than just faith to receive
eternal life.

Galatians 6:8
Verse Concepts
For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap
corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit
reap eternal life. [26]

VIOLATING DEFINITION OF TERMS

Pro and I never agreed completely on the definition of "saved", but we DID agree on the definition of "faith": "Putting trust into/believing in". This was Pro's definition. He came up with it. But if you notice his comments in his points 2 and 3, Pro is trying to expand the agreed upon definition of "faith". Now, since I've shown the Bible teaches the necessity of BOTH faith and works, Pro is trying to change the agreed upon definition of "faith" as something that "produces works". The underlying argument is that faith includes works. But that's not the definition we agreed upon. If Pro wanted to define "faith" that way, He could have, but he chose not to. He specifically chose to define faith as only "trusting" and "believing". There's no mention of something that "produces works".

I ask the voters to take this into consideration when casting their votes.

DROPPED ARGUMENTS

There were a number of my arguments Pro ignored. This is called a "drop" in debate circles. As a rule, one is required to respond to an argument the first chance they get. If you don't, according to debate.org, the argument is considered true for the remainder of the debate. [27]

Here are the arguments Pro dropped. It's basically the second half of everything I said last round:

"Pro claims the early Christians believed in faith alone, but gave no quotes from any of them. On the other hand, I submit to you they did NOT believe in being saved by faith alone. It's because of this that I feel comfortable saying my interpretations are more accurate than my opponent's. Now on to the quotes:

"Irenaeus

"[Paul], an able wrestler, urges us on in the struggle for immortality, so that we may receive a crown and so that we may regard as a precious crown that which we acquire by our own struggle and which does not grow upon us spontaneously. . . . Those things which come to us spontaneously are not loved as much as those which are obtained by anxious care" (Against Heresies4:37:7 [A.D. 189]).

Tertullian

"Again, we [Christians] affirm that a judgment has been ordained by God according to the merits of every man" (To the Nations 19 [A.D. 195]).

"In former times the Jews enjoyed much of God"s favor, when the fathers of their race were noted for their righteousness and faith. So it was that as a people they flourished greatly, and their kingdom attained to a lofty eminence; and so highly blessed were they, that for their instruction God spoke to them in special revelations, pointing out to them beforehand how they should merit his favor and avoid his displeasure" (Apology 21 [A.D. 197]).

"A good deed has God for its debtor [cf. Prov. 19:17], just as also an evil one; for a judge is the rewarder in every case [cf. Rom. 13:3"4]" (Repentance 2:11 [A.D. 203]).

Hippolytus

"Standing before [Christ"s] judgment, all of them, men, angels, and demons, crying out in one voice, shall say: "Just is your judgment," and the justice of that cry will be apparent in the recompense made to each. To those who have done well, everlasting enjoyment shall be given; while to lovers of evil shall be given eternal punishment" (Against the Greeks 3 [A.D. 212])." [21]

ARGUMENTS

Since my character limit is dwindling, I will only share a few more verses here that supports MY claims:

1Timothy 5:8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. [18]

So there is something must DO, or we have "disowned the faith" and are "worse than an unbeliever". Well you cannot disown what you don't FIRST own. So this verse is referring to Christians. And if unbelievers go to Hell, and the Christians referred to in the verse are WORSE, certainly they're not going to be saved.

John 15
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
[19]

So here we see that we need to DO something (abide in Christ) or we'll be cut off and thrown into the fire. Doesn't sound like those who don't abide should expect to be saved.

Romans 10:9-10 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [20]

So here is a perfect example of needing faith AND works. The passage says if we confess (something we do) and believe... we "will be saved"."

Pro had no response to any of those arguments. Please consider this when considering who had the best arguments. Remember, according to debate.org, it's too late now for my opponent to respond.

Sources:

22. http://www.nizkor.org...

23. http://www.nizkor.org...

24. http://www.nizkor.org...

25. http://biblehub.com...

26. http://bible.knowing-jesus.com...

27. http://www.debate.org...
logicinlife

Pro

logicinlife forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
dsjpk5

Con

Well, this debate is over. My opponent has apparently forfeited. Even IF my opponent posted something this round, he is only allowed to type "No round as agreed."

Remember, James 2:24 says "You see that a man is justified by works and NOT by faith alone." (Emphasis mine)

Clearly the Bible does not teach that we are saved by faith alone.

Please vote Con!
logicinlife

Pro

logicinlife forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
75 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
The verse in James makes no mention of rewards. The verse in Ephesians doesn't say faith alone. I would submit to you that both James and Ephesians are talking about a faith that produces works
Posted by BobCampus 1 year ago
BobCampus
Sorry
Posted by BobCampus 1 year ago
BobCampus
Worry for my bad grammar, I am still in middle school.
Posted by BobCampus 1 year ago
BobCampus
A. Justified means "having, done for, or marked by a good or legitimate reason."
Saved means "keep safe or rescue (someone or something) from harm or danger."
Justified could also mean in this verse how you will be judged. Your rewards in heaven are based on your good works. You are justified by your works, but you are saved by your faith.
B. If I had not found this verse in Ephesians, I would consider your verse in James. But Ephesians 2:8-9 SPELLS IT OUT that you need to be saved by faith, not good works, so that no one may boast.
Posted by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
Justified is the same thing as saved
Posted by BobCampus 1 year ago
BobCampus
Just some thoughts to think about.
Posted by BobCampus 1 year ago
BobCampus
In James it says that you will be "Justified" not "Saved". Also, when James says, "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?", he is questioning his faith, not his actions. If someone claims they have faith, but have no deeds to show for it, what good is that faith? What I think James really means is, If you have no deeds to show for your faith, do you really have any faith at all? Going back to the "Justified not Saved" thing, I can provide the real answer. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith"and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast." "Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV. So the real answer here is not works, but faith.
Posted by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
I would like to thank my opponent for this debate. I was especially impressed with his second round argument. Thanks again!
Posted by really12 1 year ago
really12
You're welcome too because I have just reported your comments and an email has been sent to me affirming that my report has been notified and will result in the removal of your account.
Posted by Search-The-Scriptures 1 year ago
Search-The-Scriptures
@really12

Your welcome :)
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Wylted 1 year ago
Wylted
dsjpk5logicinlifeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: FV