Archive for the ‘Works’ Category

Is Faith a Work? Of course not! But why not?

December 11, 2012

Roy Ingle (Arminian) says, “no.” And that’s fine. Properly considered, faith is not a work. But what is missing from his explanation is any cogent explanation of why obedient response to the command to “Believe,” that is proclaimed in the Gospel is not properly a work.

For example, Ingle does not argue from the fact that faith is not a work because faith is a gift of God. As it is written:

Ephesians 2:4-10
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

You see, we are his workmanship, and we are made for good works. We are not our own makers who made ourselves by our works. All of salvation, even faith, is a gift of God. And from that faith come many good works. When we were dead in sins, he regenerated us unto good works.
Mr. Ingle makes the claim: “The idea that a person believes the gospel because they were first regenerated to do so has no biblical basis.” What a remarkable claim! He quotes Ephesians 2:1-3 – if only he had read on to the following paragraph!
Mr. Ingle asserts: “The Arminian position is that all can be saved through faith in Jesus.” I suppose that they all could be, if God gave all of them faith. But God does not, and without faith it is impossible to please God. As it is written: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
While it is great that Mr. Ingle inconsistently affirms that faith is not a work (and we agree with him that properly understood, it is not a work), it is disappointing to see that this truth is held inconsistently with other views which tend to suggest that faith is a work.
What does Mr. Ingle have that he did not receive? Will he say faith? What makes Mr. Ingle any different from the reprobate? Will he say faith? And if he does, will he attribute this to his own running or willing? If he says, “faith,” but confesses that this is from God, he preserves consistency. If he says, “faith,” but attributes faith to the will or power of man, then he has effectively converted faith into a work, and holds a position that is internally inconsistent.


Is Charity a Means to Salvation?

February 10, 2012

Does the Pope teach works salvation?  The Vatican Information Service capsulized one of his recent talks under the heading, “POPE’S LENTEN MESSAGE: CHARITY AS A MEANS TO SALVATION,” but perhaps more significantly consider his own words, as provided by VIS:

All of us have received spiritual or material riches meant to be used for the fulfilment of God’s plan, for the good of the Church and for our personal salvation.

(Benedict XVI via Vatican Information Service, 7 February 2012)

By contrast, we believe that salvation is entirely of the Lord.  We teach that it is all of God.  God is both the author and finisher of our salvation. 

Hebrews 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Philippians 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Christ is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and end:

Revelation 1:8  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Don’t get me wrong. Good works are important, as the pope quoted, the Scriptures say:

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

Yet it is not by those works that we are saved. As it is written:

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Amen, and praise the Lord for his mercy and grace, which endure forever.


Aquinas Opera Omnia – Fretté & Maré – Index Page

August 25, 2009

The collection of all of Thomas Aquinas’ works was undertaken by editors Paul Maré and Stanislai Eduardi Fretté in what is (to my knowledge) the largest collection of Aquinas’ writings. Google Books has digitized many volumes of this collection (in two collections – first collection and second collection, and I’ve provided links to the relevant volumes below. There are other collections of Aquinas’ writings as well, such as the one provided at Corpus Thomisticum (link). I’d love to expand this at some time to identify the contents of each volume (the first few volumes are the Summa Theologica, which is what most folks are interested in).

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3 (Copy 2)
Volume 4
Volume 5
Volume 6
Volume 7
Volume 8
Volume 9
Volume 10
Volume 11
Volume 12
Volume 13
Volume 14
Volume 15 (Copy 2)
Volume 16
Volume 17
Volume 18
Volume 19
Volume 20
Volume 21
Volume 22
Volume 23 (Copy 2)
Volume 24 (Copy 2)
Volume 25 (Copy 2)
Volume 26 (Copy 2)
Volume 27
Volume 28 (Copy 2)
Volume 29 (Copy 2)
Volume 30
Volume 31
Volume 32
Volume 33
Volume 34

Works of Thomas Smythe

February 17, 2009

Thomas Smythe (aka Thomas Smyth and Thomas Smith) was a leading Southern Presbyterian who has unfortunately fallen into a degree of obscurity. Some of his background (and the source of the hot-linked image) can be found at the PCA’s historical web site (link).

I am pleased to report that Smyth’s works are now freely available (in electronic form) to the downloading public via The PCA’s web site had indicated a digitization project with respect to Smyth, but I presume that part of this project will have been superseded through’s efforts in getting the ten volumes of Smythe’s works digitized.

For a table of contents of the works (except volume 8, which apparently the PCA’s digitization team did not have), please click this link.

The following are links to the individual pages for each of the volumes of Smythe’s works:

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5
Volume 6
Volume 7
Volume 8
Volume 9
Volume 10 has also made available two copies of Smyth’s “Ecclesiastical Catechism of the Presbyterian Church” (copy 1)(copy 2), piggybacking on the efforts of Google Books.

The PCA has itself made available some individual articles available:

The Call to the Ministry-Its Nature and Evidence, 2.2 (September 1848) 157-183.
The Necessity and Importance of Controversy, 7.1 (July 1853) 60-74.

Recall also the short selection we previously identified, provided by the Virginia Hugenot (link).



Jonathan Edwards – Birthday and Works

October 5, 2008

Jonathan Edwards was born 305 years ago today. Arguably, he is the greatest genius in American philosophy and theology to date. He was also a very instrumental preacher. Perhaps today he is most well known for his work on Freedom of the Will (in theology and philosophy) and his sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” His works, in 73 volumes, are now available on-line here (link).

Image by Matthew Lankford, (C) 2008, used by permission and with appreciation.


John Gill’s Magnum Opus

February 5, 2008

John Gill was an amazingly prolific writer.

It’s hard to pick between:

A Complete Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity (volume 1) (volume 2) (volume 3) or (abridged)

John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible (link1) (link 2)

I’ll confess to not having read through either of those, even in the abridged form, though I’ve read much of Gill’s exposition as the occasion warranted.


The Works of Francis Turretin

February 5, 2008

The Works of Francis Turretin are now freely available in the original Latin. It will be quite some time before they are fully translated into English. Nevertheless, for those that read Latin, the followings gems have been scanned into the Google Books collection:

Volume 1 (link)

Volume 2 (link)

Volume 3 (link)

Volume 4 (link)

These are, of course, the works of the real Turretin, not this modern blogger. The first three volumes are essentially Turretin’s Magnus Opus (the Institutes of Elenctic Theology), which has been translated into English. The fourth volume is the one containing miscellaneous works, such as Turretin’s work on the necessity of secession from the Roman church.

Praise be to God for the works of his servants, such as the real Turretin,


Works of Thomas Boston

January 20, 2008

The Works of Thomas Boston, which are worth reading, have been scanned by Google Books:

Vol. 1
Vol. 2
Vol. 3
Vol. 4
Vol. 5
Vol. 6
Vol. 7
Vol. 8
Vol. 9
Vol. 10
Vol. 11

Discovered over at the PuritanBoard (link); I haven’t gone through to check that the information is associating correctly to the correct volume. Remember that these are downloadable as pdfs.


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