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bible is not clear: faith = justification + works... OR faith + works = justification

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/19/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 320 times Debate No: 55001
Debate Rounds (3)
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i tried to make the debate clearer than previous debates.

the bible is not clear one way or the other: faith = justification + works... OR if it's faith + works = justification. to be sure, works are required in both scenarios, they just play a different role. again, the bible isn't clear what role that is.

to lay the best examples of the ambiguity, we have two apparently conflicting versions of the story of abraham and his justification.

james 2
20You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is uselessd ? 21Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,"e and he was called God"s friend. 24You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

then we have romans 4 on the other hand
'What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about"but not before God. 3What does Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."a 4Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
'We have been saying that Abraham"s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.

you can find more quotes to argue both ways. these are just great examples using the same story and seemingly different outcomes. it's not contradictory, though, just a matter of how you reconcile everything.

to be sure, the only place where 'faith alone' is used in the bible is when James says we are not justified by faith alone. but it's too much to take everything from just that one quote. taking everying together, it's ambiguous which formula is correct.


OK well first off I would like to thank you for openly debating with me, however, I believe both of your points are wrong. Justification is not the sum nor addend of faith and works. Faith and works are two separate entities, that when tied together, can help anyone achieve eternal salvation. We cant just be faithful and expect that be enough for us. We need to prove our faith, hence the works. Nothing is done for justification. Doing things for justification completely disregards your faith because we should not feel the need to be in the ok by society, rather that what we are doing is establishing a personal relationship with god. There is no area here for justification. Your argument is invalid.
Debate Round No. 1


con simply ignores bible content. this is a debate about bible content, so it is necessary that he delve into it, which he hasnt. the bible indeed talks about faith and works being required for justification, as cited earlier, it is just unclear how justifrication is achieved. con merely argues we shouldnt feel compelled to do anything for it... and in a way the best faith and action is done naturally and without motive. but we aren't questioning or speculating about motives... just wether or not the faith or works cause justification. a person can be without motive and have faith and works and justificaTION, or they can be motivated that way. either way, justitifaction comes for a reason, and motive isn't one of them.
also con talks about the need to do right for society's sake, when no one has mentioned anything about it. it's just a tangent that has no meaning.


I don't think you understand, there is no "justification". Also, works don't "exist" without faith. The scripture is "faith without works is dead" meaning faith is nothing unless you are willing to act, prove, and grow your faith. When you say justifications do you mean within the self or from God because justification from is ungodly... We shouldn't seek to feel justified by peers and others because that leads to other sins. We need to establish our own relationship with God and not allow others to influence that...
Debate Round No. 2


con says there is no justification, yet the very verses i cite say otherwise.

con says works don't exist without faith, but i've never said otherwise.

con has typos and the 'do you mean within the self' etc part so i dont know what he's saying.

again con is talking about that we shouldn't seek justification from peers, but no one has said anything about getting jusitified from peers etc, and it doesn't have anything to do with this debate.


Alright first off, don't say I have typos when you can't capitalize one word or use any sort of punctuation correctly. Trying to fight that you are superior to me in that area shows you know nothing about this debate. I only say peers because you use the silly word choice of justification. You aren't understanding the allegorical presence in this scripture. Once you're ready to understand that justification is not part of it please come debate. Also don't say you always thought works without faith isn't a thing. You said in the original question is it works plus faith or works plus justification. You are just belittling me from the start and automatically assume anything I say is silly. Not a man of works... And please, stop referring to me as con...
Debate Round No. 3
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