hermeneutics human salvation scripture study

What Is Faith (According to The Bible)?

What is faith? I’ve seen answers that range from another religion (for example “one of many faiths”) down through some sort of fairy-tale opinion that stands opposed to science.

In the Bible, we’ll see all sorts of usage on “faith” and “belief”—sometimes even referring to when someone adheres to the doctrines that make up Christianity. One of the best usages of faith is the one that is tied to the concept of justification.

Faith is just an archaic word for trust. What I love about seeing faith, or trust, tied to justification in texts like Romans 4 (see more of the Romans study), that it explains the nature of the concept even while using, basically, case-law. No more fuzzy lessons grounded in someone’s personal trust issues, but rather taking the structure of Hebrews 11:1 where it says “faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen” and garnishing it with doctrinal meat.

rey's a point

Teaching Kids Your Beliefs: Belief Spheres

With summer winding down, I’ve had time to think about some of the kid-focused teaching ministries we’ve had in my area. I guess it’s because as my kids get to that Age I wind up becoming more aware of the teaching they receive resulting in an area of concern for me. Or maybe there’s a curmudgeon to age ratio that I’m evidencing in my interactions: who knows.

Anyway, when I think about teaching and my kids—and other people’s kids—Bart Ehrman comes to mind.

Give me a sec to explain.

apologetics history religion salvation

Selective Quoting of Bavinck

I’ve been noticing this Bavinck quote come up on the internet and it’s really annoying since people seem to be using it to support the old argument that at least Catholic works-righteousness is productive whereas the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith falls short. The quote already had me wondering how honest it was since it starts off mid sentence. Turns out, Bavinck is arguing against the position that posters have been using the quote online.

Anyway, here’s the quote that’s appearing on the internet (here are a few places I’ve seen it); after the jump I’ll post the context (Bavinck, The Certainty of Faith-PDF):

‘[W]e must remind ourselves that the Catholic righteousness by good works is vastly preferable to a protestant righteousness by good doctrine. At least righteousness by good works benefits one’s neighbor, whereas righteousness by good doctrine only produces lovelessness and pride. Furthermore, we must not blind ourselves to the tremendous faith, genuine repentance, complete surrender and the fervent love for God and neighbor evident in the lives and work of many Catholic Christians. The Christian life is so rich that it develops its full glory not just in a single form or within the walls of one church.’

But now, for what Bavinck was really saying and then what he continues saying even about paganism.