Saturday, December 31, 2011


The Doctrine on Which the Church Stands or Falls

Presbyter has been working on a web site entitled "Justification by Faith:  Its Meaning and Importance".  Here he attempts to offer a succinct explanation of why this doctrine is not a "mere theological quibble", but rather "the doctrine on which the church stands or falls." 

In my experience, it's fair to say that a surprisingly small number of professing Christians have any kind of appreciation for this.  Most know at some level that they've been saved "by grace ... through faith ... not as a result of works ..."  This is central, of course, but understanding of the issue tends to run out quickly after that.  This leaves the Christian unable to discern the edge of the slippery slope, vulnerable to a paralyzing insecurity on one hand, and susceptibility to heresy and even cults on the other.

There is a natural tension between unity in the Body of Christ and the rejection of serious error.  As I have written before, widespread biblical illiteracy means we are likely to find ourselves among professing believers "who know shockingly little about the beliefs they profess."  Whereas most would probably say they believe in the doctrine of justification by faith, upon careful examination you may find their understanding of it runs out rapidly.

Presbyter's site remains a work in progress, and he values your thoughtful input.  I invite you to post your comments here.


  1. Thanks for this post, Jailer. I'll echo the statement that thoughtful input would be very welcome!

  2. I'll expand on the request for input: Jailer noticed that the objective to which the site is best suited is to serve as an aide - perhaps even a study guide - for a Christian who wants to explain what Justification by Faith is all about to another believer, especially to one who may be contemplating worshipping with a congregation which doesn't preach it. Is the site well-adapted to that end? How might it be improved toward it?

  3. I'll toss in a related request: I'm a web-design tyro and it may be that some will find that the site doesn't view well. It's been tested in all sorts of late-model browsers, but some of you may not have those. Many IT departments make a practice of freezing software at a certain level, and so the browser being used can be ancient. Even some individuals may do this. (I attend meetings once a month where web developers present topics and where their point of view is apparent. If you are one who clings to old software, especially an old browser, you don't want to know what they think of you! But I'm willing to forgive and make changes if you're that sort.)


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