Archive for November 3rd, 2008

One thing that I’ve always found ironic is that those who claim to adhere most strictly to the Five Solas often seem to have a hard time letting their practice line up with their rhetoric.  The one that seems to be the most abused and ignored is Sola Fide, or justification through faith alone.  Now I’m sure they would deny it, but it seems to me they deny this doctrine by setting themselves as the arbiter of whom actually has faith and who doesn’t.

The latest victim of this arbitrary faith-check is none other than great Christian author and apologist, C.S. Lewis.  In this article linked here, with the sad title Did C.S. Lewis Go to Heaven (which is steeped in gnosticism, by the way, but we won’t go there now), for reasons unknown, the author goes out of his way to throw accusations around that Lewis didn’t believe Scripture was inerrant (a loaded and debatable term anyway) and that he was a univeralist (a read of his little book The Great Divorce would show he wasn’t).  Perhaps the most telling portion of this article is the following paragraph taken from Mere Christianity, in which the author is clearly claiming Lewis said something he didn’t say:

“Christians have often disputed as to whether what leads the Christian home is good actions, or Faith in Christ. I have no right really to speak on such a difficult question, but it does seem to me like asking which blade in a pair of scissors is most necessary. A serious moral effort is the only thing that will bring you to the point where you throw up the sponge. Faith in Christ is the only thing to save you from despair at that point: and out of that Faith in Him ood actions must inevitably come.”

To which the author says this:

According to Lewis, both faith in Christ and “good actions” are necessary to lead a Christian “home.” The Apostle Paul says that this is not Christianity.

What?!  Did the author read the actual paragraph he quoted?  It doesn’t appear so.  Obviously, Lewis is stating that anyone who tries to reach God through good works will fail and eventually come to the conclusion that faith is his only chance.

So perhaps the ironic thing is this.  Those who claim to hold to Sola Fide, often throw all kinds of requirements on top faith.  So let’s not just make “through faith alone” a slogan.  Let’s live like we mean it.  Let’s not add our own litmus tests on top of it for people to prove they have faith.  In the end it’s not us who makes the call anyway.

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