Go read! Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen

APTOPIX Italy Pope Epiphany - Huffington Post - RETRANSMISSION OF OSS102 TO PROVIDE DIFFERENT CROP - In this photo provided by the Vatican paper L'Osservatore Romano Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, Pope Francis is placed a lamb around his neck as he visits a living nativity scene staged at the St. Alfonso Maria de' Liguori parish church, in the outskirts of Rome, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. The Epiphany day, is a joyous day for Catholics in which they recall the journey of the Three Kings, or Magi, to pay homage to Baby Jesus. (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, ho)

Pope Francis during a visit to a living nativity scene at St. Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori parish church, in the outskirts of Rome, Jan. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano).

Protestants Turning Catholic: Over Half of Protestants Affirm Justification by Faith and Works

“According to a recent Pew Research study, however, it appears that the Roman Catholic counter-reformation has made massive inroads into the Protestant faith. . .”


5 thoughts on “Go read! Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen

  1. Maria, it’s sad but not surprising that 52% of all “Protestants” believe in salvation by “faith” and works because folks from the dead liberal mainline denominations are included. What is really eye-opening from the same poll is that 33% of people who consider themselves to be “evangelicals” also believe in works salvation.

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    • Tom, for many years I worked for an institutional researcher at a state university and learned that results depend in part upon how questions are stated/formulated. This comes into play here probably, plus as you noticed, lumping groups together, mainline Protestants and Evangelicals.

      We can learn a lot from experience. It took me a very long time to grasp that works are a fruit of salvation, not its root, and that this is how we are to answer Catholics on James. As evangelicals we aren’t taught these things anymore and need solid teaching and to hear expositional preaching. Things are on a “downgrade” and from history and an understanding of Rome I believe we have to credit the stll active Counter-Reformation plus our own failure.

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      • Maria, there certainly may have been some confusion on the part of some genuine believers regarding the survey question, “Is faith alone in God needed or are both good deeds and faith in God needed for eternal life,” according to the faith-works relationship as spelled out in Eph. 2:8-10. As you say, the church is becoming less and less helpful on this, especially by embracing groups that openly propagate works (mixed with “faith”) salvation. I’m puzzled by people who claim salvation is both by “faith” and works. Faith in what? If obeying the Ten Commandments successfully (impossible!) is a requirement of salvation, then where does “faith” fit in? As I understand the Catholic system, they are referring to “faith” that God will help them obey the Ten Commandments so they might remain in an imaginary sinless “state of grace.”

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        • Tom, you’ve thought about these things so much. Yes, it is puzzling how anyone who knows his own weakness and sin can believe in merit of any kind that can actually result in salvation. But God’s Word explains.They think faith alone is wrong and unreasonable, that is, “foolishness”. We know what the Scriptures say about us and have been shown the truth of it and that the Cross is the wisdom of God. One is human thinking, the other is God’s truth.

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          • Thanks, Maria. I certainly also was one of those who believed salvation was attained by a mixture of “faith” and works right up into my late twenties when I accepted Christ, but that was so long ago it was difficult for me to remember how I actually defined “faith” in my thinking back then in context with works. But by going over this with you, I was able to remember that “faith” for me prior to accepting Christ was faith/trust in the Catholic church’s sacramental system to help me live a good life so I could successfully merit Heaven. It was difficult to really remember, to put myself back in that mindset, how I defined/rationalized the concept of “faith” to myself before trusting in Christ because it’s been so long. Thanks, sister! Good “counseling” session!

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