James 2:17 declares that “faith without works is dead,” and many use this verse to question the salvation of anyone who confesses faith in Jesus Christ, but does not have sufficient “good works.” This video presents the study of the words “to die,” “death” and “dead” in the Old and New Testaments, and demonstrates that “dead faith” is not false, fake or counterfeit, but true faith…which has died.
An increasing number of theologians and pastors are vehemently insisting that “dead faith” is not living faith which has died, but a false or counterfeit faith which was never true faith at all, in spite of there being no biblical support for such a definition of “dead.” Instead, this is an example of when a theological perspective demands that the text be interpreted in keeping with its theology, rather than theology being shaped by Scripture.
James 2:14: “What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?” Instead of adopting an Augustinian mindset which almost always interprets “salvation” as “saved from hell” (and hence the Roman Catholic image), let’s let the context inform us of the answer to the question, “saved from what?”
What follows was written in response to a dear friend who wrote me about fasting as a Christian discipline.
Thank you for your questions about fasting. It is an honor to be asked, and a privilege to answer your questions. Continue reading “Christian Fasting? Not So Fast!”