Sunday, June 27, 2010

Scott Hahn and Sola Fide Part I

Scott Hahn has, with his wife, been a convert to Roman Catholicism since 1986 (source). He is fairly well known amongst most Roman Catholics as a kind of "model convert" and has supposedly won many over to the Roman Catholic Church with his story. Particularly popular is his reasoning against Protestant theology, which does seem to have some affect on people. One convert's story:
An audiotape recording on the conversion of former Protestant minister Scott Hahn clinched it for me. Hahn clearly exposed the errors in the Protestant Reformation’s battle cries of sola fide and sola scriptura. [Lynn Nordhagen, When Only One Converts; pg 190]
The audio recordings of Scott Hahn's conversion are floating about the internet and are widely available, but it was also converted into literary form in his book Rome Sweet Home. Here was what he had to say regarding the doctrine of sola fide:
Saint Paul (whom I had thought of as the first Luther) taught in Romans, Galatians and elsewhere that justification was more than a legal decree; it established us in Christ as God’s children by grace alone. In fact, I discovered that nowhere did Saint Paul ever teach that we were justified by faith alone! Sola fide was unscriptural! [Scott Hahn, Rome Sweet Home, pg. 31]

Luther and Calvin often said that this was the article on which the Church stood or fell. That was why, for them, the Catholic Church fell and Protestantism rose up from the ashes. Sola fide was the material principle of the Reformation, and I was coming to a conviction that Saint Paul never taught it.

In James 2:24, the Bible teaches that “a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” Besides, Saint Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:2, “...if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” This was a traumatic transformation for me to say that on this point I now thought Luther was fundamentally wrong. For seven years, Luther had been my main source of inspiration and powerful proclamation of the Word. And this doctrine had been the rationale behind the whole Protestant Reformation. [ibid, pg 32]
I'd like to respond to this somewhat simplified view on the topic, and respond to it in two parts. I would like to begin first with an examination of the texts which Hahn cited as those which led to his "traumatic transformation."

It would be proper beforehand to properly define what sola fide is. The phrase is a Latin one which means "by faith alone," and is often related to sola gratia ("by grace alone"), just as Paul related faith and grace with: "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God" (Eph 2:8; ESV). However, sola fide does not mean "faith isolated" or "faith by itself," as we see so often in the easy believism of modern day Evangelicalism.
From the perspective of those steeped in the medieval church's instruction, the Reformers' radical reduction of what was needed for justification was shocking. Urging that it came "by faith alone" seemed to undercut any call to holiness of life - the life spent doing good works. The defenders of the Roman church quickly pointed out that the Reformers' teaching would lead to indifference toward godliness.

In 1531 Melanchthon responded to this assertion as made in the Roman Confutation (a reaction to the Augsburg Confession). He observed, "Our opponents slanderously claim that we do not require good works, whereas we not only require them but show how they can be done." According to Melanchthon, while justification is by faith alone, faith is never alone: the faith that justifies cannot be solitary. It cannot exist by itself, in supposedly blissful isolation. What Melanchthon here asserted was the common teaching of all the Protestant Reformers. [James R. Payton, Getting the Reformation Wrong: Correcting Some Misunderstandings; pg 122-123]
The issue between sola fide and works is that it is from our faith that the works stem, and therefore it is not our works which justify us but the faith from which those works come.
Although, as I have said, inwardly, and according to the spirit, a man is amply enough justified by faith having all that he requires to have, except that this very faith and abundance ought to increase from day to day even till the future life...Here then works begin; here he must not take his ease; he must give heed to exercise his body by fastings, watchings, labour, and other regular discipline, so that it may be subdued to the spirit, and obey and conform itself to the inner man and faith, and not rebel against them nor hinder them, as is its nature to do if it is kept under. For the inner man, being conformed to God and created after the image of God through faith, rejoices and delights itself in Christ, in whom such blessing have been conferred on it, and hence has only this task before it: to serve God with joy and for nought in free love. [Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian; source]
Therefore we must remember that sola fide does not mean an isolated faith that amounts to: "I believe in God. The End," but a living faith from where a person believes in God and, from that faith, does the will of God. That will be important as the discussion progresses.

Scott Hahn's Case Reviewed

I'd like to begin with 1 Corinthians 13:2, as that will be the simplest to start with. It would be important to first note that 1 Cor 13:2 has nothing to do with justification, nor does it directly relate to the topic of sola fide. In the previous chapter, Paul had been speaking to the Corinthians about unity within the church despite the existence of various spiritual gifts. Paul then transitions into the topic of love, ending the section with a promise to show "a more excellent way" (1 Cor 12:31; ESV). The faith spoken of in 1 Cor 13:2, however, is not a faith of justification so much as a faith in miracles. This would coincide with the comparison of this faith to the spiritual gifts, as well as Paul's elucidation of "faith, so as to move mountains." Again, 1 Cor 13:2 has nothing to do with the topic of justification, let alone sola fide.

Now we move on to James 2:24, which is perhaps the most common passage cited against sola fide. Let us begin by looking at this section of James 2 in context:
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. [James 2:14-26; ESV]
In the verses preceding this section, James had been speaking heavily about hypocrisy in worship (James 2:1-13). He instructs the believers: "So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty" (2:12). He then moves onto the deeper meaning of this topic.

The apostle asks what good it is "if someone says he has faith but does not have works," asking specifically if "that faith" will save him (2:14). This is a person who believes but has nothing to show for it. James gives an example of such a person with a mini-parable: a supposed Christian meets a poor person, wishes them well, but does nothing to alleviate their pain. To this kind of outward show of faith (or lack thereof), James asks, "What good is that?" (2:16).

Of course, these people might try to defend such a faith. "Show me your faith apart from your works," James asks, "and I will show you my faith by my works" (2:18). Here he is merely reiterating what he said earlier in his epistle, which was "be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" (1:22). He declares he will respond to faith isolated with faith displayed by works - in other words, a faith displayed by works stemming from that faith. It is by the fruits of his faith that James will display such a faith.

Pressing the issue, James makes a grand statement to those who are hearers but not doers: "You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!" (2:19) The demons, being fallen angels, know there exists a one true God, but this did not bring them joy. They hate God, work against His ways, and at the mere utterance of His name feel fear because of His power over them. This is a dead faith. A supposed Christian may know there is a God, and may believe that Christ is Lord, but they do not do as He commands. James stresses here that such a faith is not a true faith.

There would probably still be people arguing the point here, so James transitions into an example of scripture. "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?" he asks (2:21).

Here we should stop momentarily to remind the reader of something: James is not stating that Abraham is justified by works alone, as he has continually associated faith and works together. Most Roman Catholics, including Scott Hahn, are aware of this, but how faith and works are related, especially in regards to sola fide, we will get to momentarily.

In regards to the sacrifice of Isaac, James explains that one can "see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works" (2:22), and "the Scripture was fulfilled that says, 'Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness' - and he was called a friend of God" (2:23). The reference to Genesis 15:6 is the exact same reference that Paul makes in Romans 4:3, which takes place before the sacrifice of Isaac (Gen 22:1-19). This has led some to claim there is a contradiction between the works of Paul and James, but upon closer inspection a greater harmony can be discerned.

The immediate assumption here may be that Abraham was justified because he had faith and he performed works. Let's not, however, forget the full context. James has been attacking empty faith with no outward shows of works, and then takes us to the story of Abraham and Isaac. His reference to Gen 15:6 is spoke of in the past tense, as he says "the scripture was fulfilled" (and there can be no fulfillment unless there was a state that required fulfilling). The Greek word itself (ἐπληρώθη) means "to complete" or "make full." Furthermore, James emphasizes to the reader that Abraham's faith was "active along with his works" and "was completed by his works." Ultimately, Abraham's faith was revealed and confirmed by his works, and showed that he had truly been made righteous by God for his faith.

Now we finally get to the verse in question: "You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone" (2:24). By now, we see the full context: the "works" are those stemming from faith and not apart from faith; "faith alone" does not mean the same context of sola fide. Instead, it relates more to what we might call solo fide, or faith isolated from everything else. The apostle goes on to explain: "For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead" (2:26). The "faith apart from works" refers to an empty faith (the faith of demons in 2:19) and therefore a dead faith. James is, in the context of this entire section, attacking the concept of a dead faith, and promotes instead a living faith from which works are shown as fruits.

It might be good here to turn to the teachings of our Lord in a related manner. Christ instructed His disciples, "So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit" (Matt 7:17; ESV) and likewise, "For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit" (Luke 6:43-44; ESV). People so often forget that a bad tree cannot bear good fruit, and a good tree cannot bear bad fruit. What if the tree bears no fruit, you ask? It is dead. Dead, just as the barren fig tree that bore no fruit (Luke 13:6-9), and dead like the faith of the false Christian in James 2:16.

Therefore, Scott Hahn's citation of James 2:24 does not deny sola fide in any way, shape or form. James is teaching a living faith? So is sola fide. James says that works must be a sign of our faith? So is sola fide. The easy believism of some modern Protestant churches does not deny the true definition of sola fide. Orthodox Protestants have certainly never denied a living faith - in fact, as already established, that is precisely what sola fide is and how it is taught. One example:
Why then does James say that it was fulfilled? Even because he intended to shew what sort of faith that was which justified Abraham; that is, that it was not idle or evanescent, but rendered him obedient to God, as also we find in Hebrews 11:8. The conclusion, which is immediately added, as it depends on this, has no other meaning. Man is not justified by faith alone, that is, by a bare and empty knowledge of God; he is justified by works, that is, his righteousness is known and proved by its fruits. [John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible, regarding James 2:23]
And another:
When Paul says that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law (Rom. 3:28), he plainly speaks of another sort of work than James does, but not of another sort of faith. Paul speaks of works wrought in obedience to the law of Moses, and before men's embracing the faith of the gospel; and he had to deal with those who valued themselves so highly upon those works that they rejected the gospel (as Rom. 10, at the beginning most expressly declares); but James speaks of works done in obedience to the gospel, and as the proper and necessary effects and fruits of sound believing in Christ Jesus. Both are concerned to magnify the faith of the gospel, as that which alone could save us and justify us; but Paul magnifies it by showing the insufficiency of any works of the law before faith, or in opposition to the doctrine of justification by Jesus Christ; James magnifies the same faith, by showing what are the genuine and necessary products and operations of it. [Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, regarding James 2]
And another:
Obedience to God is essentially requisite to maintain faith. Faith lives, under God, by works; and works have their being and excellence from faith. Neither can subsist without the other, and this is the point which St. James labours to prove, in order to convince the Antinomians of his time that their faith was a delusion, and that the hopes built on it must needs perish. [Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible, regarding James 2:24]
And another:
Ye see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only - St. Paul, on the other band, declares, A man is justified by faith, and not by works, Rom 3:28. And yet there is no contradiction between the apostles: because, They do not speak of the same faith: St. Paul speaking of living faith; St. James here, of dead faith. They do not speak of the same works: St. Paul speaking of works antecedent to faith; St. James, of works subsequent to it. [John Wesley’s Commentary on the Bible, regarding James 2:24]
Again, if Scott Hahn wishes to tell us that James 2:24 smashed sola fide for him, then he either did not fully understand sola fide during his Protestant days, or he did not fully study James 2 enough to understand what the apostle was really saying.

Much of what we've discussed touches on the subject of works' relationship to faith and justification. I hope, God willing, to touch on this in the second part, where I will respond to Scott Hahn's assertion by searching the writings of Paul specifically and the New Testament in general.

8 comments:

  1. I think you are being a little naive about Dr. Scott Hahn and the issue of Sola Fide. I saw the samething with your interaction with Perry and Chris. You need to show a little more respect to such people. Scott Hahn knows way more than you about Reformed protestantism.....if not protestantism in general....... He went to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for crying out loud. He also went to Geneva college or another Reformed protestant college in south western pa....I forgot the name of it...the name might come to me later, and I think he debated a professor from Westminster Seminary of Philly.

    Scott Hahn knows the differences of Sola Fide between the Reformed and Lutherans. He also knows some of the differences about the issue among Reformed protestants......he ended up believing the view advocated by Norman Shepperd. A view which is very similar to what I advocate.

    I might show my Roman Catholic friend (Phatcatholic) what you posted here. He went to Saint Franciscan University in Steubenville Ohio.....the place where Scott Hahn teaches. I have alot of autographed books by Scot Hahn and you are cherry picking him big time.

    Did you even read his debate about the issue before posting what you did here?
    http://www.mindspring.com/~jdarcy/files/justify.htm (SCOTT HAHN & ROBERT KNUDSON
    ...THE JUSTIFICATION DEBATE)

    To say what you did is to not know that the Reformed view of Sola Fide is connected to the view of P.O.T.S.(which includes works)

    While the more watered down and antinomian view of of Sola Fide is connected to O.S.A.S.(a view that can lead to easy believism)

    Scot Hahn was of the P.O.T.S. type. But the Lutheran view can lead to antinomianism. The Reformed view doesn't. Also the Reformed view Melanchthon as a semi-pelagian, and a number of them believe that Lutheranism went off the tracks with him.

    Also, in regards to the works that flow from faith. Are those works automatic? Or must the individual put in some effort? I was taught the "let go and let God" theology in where "works flow from faith automatically". Some think that if you try and give an effort to produce those works of faith then you are trying to work for your salvation...and thus works righteousness.

    But this is what happens when you believe that works flow from faith automatically:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ED65V1iiG8 (Truth be told) at the 40 second to 50 second mark.

    To be honest, the protestant doctrine of Sola Fide is not a monolith. There are multiple brands or interpretations. And if we want to include the classical Anabaptists then we will have to say that not all protestants even believed in Sola Fide.

    But regardless, you were cutting Dr. Scott Hahn short, and you were cherry picking.






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  2. When I said the Lutheran view, I meant the Lutheran view of Sola Fide, and not OSAS....which is mostly a Baptist view. Officially Lutherans are suppose to believe that one can loose their salvation if they loose faith.....you know, stop believing. And so they are not suppose to believe in OSAS nor POTS....even if a few token Lutherans do.






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  3. Jnorm888 - I'm not able to see how I disrespected or "cherry picked" Scott Hahn. If anything, I've tried to keep criticism of Mister Hahn to a minimum with my critique more against a common idea than an individual man.

    I quoted a work by Scott Hahn in which he cited 1 Cor 13:2 and James 2:24 as examples against sola fide and then examined each passage to see if that was the case. In the debate you linked to, he again cites James 2:24 as an example against sola fide, but again quotes it in isolation. In my exegesis of James 2 I was hoping to show that there is a lot more here than simply faith and works acting together, and on equal terms, in particularly in the way that the Roman Catholic Church defines justification. If you can show me any instance where Scott Hahn sat down and exegeted this verse to prove his point, I'd love to read it and compare notes (that's not sarcasm or a flame-bait, I'm sincerely curious). If you also know any moment where he exegeted 1 Cor 13:2 to prove his conclusion regarding it, that would be helpful as well. Furthermore, if you believe I have exegeted either passage wrong in any way, feel free to explain how.

    Furthermore, I nowhere denied that works were important to our faith (I even identified such an error as "solo fide" and easy believism). I also specified that Hahn and many other Catholics do not believe in a works alone gospel as so many claim.

    On a final note, I don't think it's quite right to say, "Hahn knows what he's talking about because he went to such-and-such seminaries." Bart Ehrmann went to some distinguished seminaries (his supporters are quick to point this out) yet I doubt I would find you defending his viewpoints because of that.

    I'm going to touch more in my next post on the relationship between faith and works.

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  4. He has alot of audios in where he goes through various books or passages. But the debate I posted is sufficient enough. It's sufficient for it gives alot of context of not only what he means by what he says, but also how an educated protestant understands what he's saying as well.


    You said:
    "I'd like to begin with 1 Corinthians 13:2, as that will be the simplest to start with. It would be important to first note that 1 Cor 13:2 has nothing to do with justification, nor does it directly relate to the topic of sola fide."


    If the faith in 1 Corinthians 13:2 is the same as the one mentioned in verse 13 then you can't just limit it to "faith in miracles only". Instead it would have to be seen as "great faith in general in where doubt is not present". Also the word Justification doesn't have to be in the passage itself in order for the passage to be related to the subject.

    If there is nothing outside of Justification and Sanctification (protestant language) then 1 Corinth 13:2 is related. There is no way for it not to be.

    Roman Catholics don't make a sharp distinction between Justification and Sanctification, and so if there is nothing outside of Justification (Roman Catholic language) then Corinth 13:2 is related.

    The point he is getting at is no different than what Paul said elsewhere in Galations:

    Galatians 5:6
    "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."


    You said:
    "Furthermore, James emphasizes to the reader that Abraham's faith was "active along with his works" and "was completed by his works." Ultimately, Abraham's faith was revealed and confirmed by his works, and showed that he had truly been made righteous by God for his faith."



    That's not what James said in his Epistle. This is what he said:
    "You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone."

    You were doing well until you tried to undermine/ downplay / waterdown what James was saying.

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  5. You said:
    "James is, in the context of this entire section, attacking the concept of a dead faith, and promotes instead a living faith from which works are shown as fruits."



    He is doing more than that. He is using terms like righteous and justified for not only what you call the stem of faith, but also for it's fruit. This is what James is doing in the Epistle.

    What Scott Hahn is saying is that the protestant distinction of Justification and Sanctification in conjuction with the protestant view of it being merely a declared forensic action with absolutely no moral change whatsoever automatically makes sola fide isolated when one compares it to the Roman Catholic system.

    The protestant idea that the faith that saves is never alone because works flow from it can't be strictly seen in the category of Justification alone for the minute you start talking about a moral change or works then you must switch from the category of Justification to that of Sanctification.

    Scott Hahn is saying no, the strict distinction is artificial and so "works" also belong in the area of Justification.

    To use your words both the stem of faith as well as it's fruit both belong in the area of Justification for sometimes the scriptural terms of justification and sanctification are inter-changeable.

    This is why he is saying what he is saying.

    Another way of saying this is(I'm gonna use physics now), is Light(justification) simultaneously both a particle(faith) and a wave(works) .... The Roman Catholic position. or is it just a particle alone(faith alone) that is never alone because it has waves(works) following it.....the Lutheran and Reformed protestant positions.

    This is what it really comes down to.


    You said:
    "On a final note, I don't think it's quite right to say, "Hahn knows what he's talking about because he went to such-and-such seminaries." Bart Ehrmann went to some distinguished seminaries (his supporters are quick to point this out) yet I doubt I would find you defending his viewpoints because of that."



    The situation is different because I only expect Bart Ehrmann to know something about the specific protestant fundamentalist group that he was raised in. I don't expect him to know much if anything at all when it comes to the hundreds to thousands of other christian groups.

    The same with Scott Hahn. I expect him to know about Reformed protestantism because that is what he once was, and so it's naive to assume that he never knew the Lutheran and Reformed protestant belief that justification is by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone"

    The one he debated in the link I gave said that very cliche and so to assume that he didn't know was to cut him short.




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  6. If the faith in 1 Corinthians 13:2 is the same as the one mentioned in verse 13 then you can't just limit it to "faith in miracles only". Instead it would have to be seen as "great faith in general in where doubt is not present". Also the word Justification doesn't have to be in the passage itself in order for the passage to be related to the subject.

    That's assuming that when you find a word used in the Bible that it must mean the same context any where. It's much like how some believe the term "world" means the same, even though it is often used in wildly different contexts (as found in John's gospel and epistles). The fact is, in the context of the flow of thought from 1 Cor 12 to 1 Cor 13:2, it is not the same faith as in sections such as Romans 4. Furthermore, while the word "justification" is not used, Paul also clarifies what kind of faith it is, as I pointed out in my post: "faith, so as to remove mountains," and places it alongside the gifts of the spirit.

    That's not what James said in his Epistle. This is what he said:
    "You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone."

    You were doing well until you tried to undermine/ downplay / waterdown what James was saying.


    That's not what James said? I didn't make up those words, I quoted them from James 2:22. That's not undermining undermining, downplaying, or watering down what James says, that's looking at what he said in the fullest context. Believe me, I'm fully aware of what James said in 2:24 - my question was what led up to that comment.

    Again, is there anywhere that Scott Hahn sat down and fully exegeted James 2?

    He is doing more than that. He is using terms like righteous and justified for not only what you call the stem of faith, but also for it's fruit. This is what James is doing in the Epistle.

    Actually, he is showing that faith is confirmed and our justification assured by our works. Hence his terminology, "I will show you my faith by my works" (2:18). Again, he spends much of the beginning of James 2 talking about false faith, refers to Gen 15:2 as a past action and says that it was fulfilled in the sacrifice of Isaac, therefore referring to the two incidents as separate though related.

    One thing I might ask, in regards to trees and fruits: is it the tree that bears the fruit, or the fruit that bears the tree?

    The situation is different because I only expect Bart Ehrmann to know something about the specific protestant fundamentalist group that he was raised in. I don't expect him to know much if anything at all when it comes to the hundreds to thousands of other christian groups.

    Again, saying "Well, this guy went to a seminary," or "This guy used to belong to a specific group," does not make their opinion infallible or even of merit. Bart Ehrmann may have come from a "fundamentalist" group, but it's been clear in his statements and responses to Christian apologetics that he does not know what they really believe or say about issues in scripture. To use another example, it would be like saying Ergun Caner know what he's talking about in Islam because he used to be Muslim (even though by now the real knowledge he had of the topic has been greatly questioned). So to say, "Well this guy used to belong to X group, and went to Y and Z seminaries, so he must know what he's talking about," is misguided argumentation. I went to an art college and knew plenty of people there who graduated who I can promise you did not have an art future. :)

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  7. If the hope in verse 13 is talking about hope in general, and the same with the word love, then you have to say the same for the word "faith". It would be inconsistent not to. I'm still gonna stand by what I said earlier.


    I'm also gonna stand by what I said in regards to his credentials.

    In regards to his commentaries, you will have to buy the study bible he has been working on for years.

    "Ignatius Catholic Study Bible series"






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  8. It may not be inconsistent, but it would be irrational, again, to jump 13 verses and take the use of a word used in a different context than a word compared to something else. That would be like taking the use of the term "world" in John 3:16 and saying it has the same context in John 14:17.

    I will, however, humor you on this one point. Let us suppose that Paul really does mean faith in the same context that James is speaking...what would Paul and James both be speaking about here? Empty faith. Dead faith. Faith which James compares to the faith of the demons (2:19). It is a faith which brings about nothing. That is not the faith of sola fide, and therefore the argument still does not work.

    As for his credentials...well, I do not deny Scott Hahn is an intelligent man, and he seems like a very nice man who would take time out to speak to you or give you the time of day. I'm not attacking him as a man. However, the mere fact of going to a specific university or belonging to a group doesn't make you an expert on a particular subject. Again, I cite Bart Erhman as an example, as well as plenty of examples I could point to at the college I went to (and the college I attended, SCAD, is considered a pretty prestigious art school). It's also a problem with the convert syndrome: "I/He used to be part of that group, so I/he knows what I'm/he's talking about!" It reminds me of Muslims who point to Yusuf Estes and say, "He used to be a Christian pastor and came from a pastoral family! Therefore he knows what he's talking about!"

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