28 Oct 2020

BMS ep 158: A Geometric Analogy to Reconcile Paul and James on Faith vs Works

Bob Murphy Show, Religious 6 Comments

Audio here.

6 Responses to “BMS ep 158: A Geometric Analogy to Reconcile Paul and James on Faith vs Works”

  1. Harold says:

    Paul says you are saved by faith alone and not by your works.
    Peter says faith without works is dead.

    I think in the analogy, the square is salvation. It is defined by faith. Works are the rectangle – if you have faith you must necessarily do good works, as a square is a rectangle by definition.

    It does answer the hypothetical question can you be saved by works alone? No, because you need to be a square, not only a rectangle. But I don’t think that question was really open anyway.

    I think your explanation of Peter, citing the sources you do at the end, is that if you have faith you will also necessarily do good works. Faith which does not show that it is living faith is not faith at all. I am sure you see a Scotsman hiding in there.

    With geometry, by being a square, it is necessarily also a rectangle by definition. By analogy, by having faith, you will necessarily do good works. I am not sure that is true. It probably is a tendency, but not universal.

    After all, nobody can actually live up to Gods wishes, which is why we are all necessarily sinners and need faith. We all fail in works, so how far do we need to go to succeed? The question seems to be arbitrary, unresolved and is up to the individual to decide. Very few people give their possessions away to the poor, but many feel they are living a good Christian life. I see no reason why some would not do what most consider to be bad acts, but also believe they were living a good Christian life and still have the same faith. people have a great capacity for justifying themselves. Since we all fail in works anyway, there seems no reasonable way to draw a line for yourself.

    In summary, I think I see what you are getting at, but I don’t think it resolves the issue because it relies on an unsubstantiated assumption that faith inevitably leads to good works.

    Slight aside on Peter, he expands with show me your faith apart from your works and I will show you my faith by my works. Why should anyone show Peter anything? It is only God you need to show, and He knows already. If we see someone without good works, we would conclude that person is not saved. Again, it does not matter what we conclude, only God, and He knows about their faith. There is no need at all to demonstrate to other people to be saved.

  2. Harold says:

    Yes, I meant James. Peter and Paul go together in my head.

  3. Craw says:

    Josiah, a one time regular here, got banned from Twitter for accurately stating what someone else said.

    America is like Bob’s wet dream now: private laws and law enforcement, banning and shunning, memes in place of arguments.

    • Tel says:

      Twitter, Facebook, et al, do not follow their own terms and conditions. They claim that “community standards” are at work, but they are unable to ever explain how those standards are measured.

      For example, when Ron Paul got banned from YouTube he requested information as to what the ban was about. They gave him the vague “community standards” line and he kept bothering them until they admitted that right now it happens to be against the rules to in any way disagree with the World Health Organization … thus they outright lied the first time.

      There’s no private organization that can get away with making a clear agreement and then arbitrarily breaking that agreement when it suits them. In this case, there’s no one to enforce those rules, but the reputation of these companies is getting trashed. If I remember rightly, “Josiah” was fairly much middle of the road in terms of left vs right. Once they have kicked out all the regular people, the remainder will be all a hard left echo chamber … pretty soon the bad reputation will ensure hardly anyone goes back there.

      I think many Libertarians would accept an argument that government should enforce contracts, and punish deceptive business practice … but even without that, the market will (eventually) punish it also.

      • Harold says:

        It is not all one-sided. For example, Thunderfoot had some videos removed debunking “masks are dangerous”. He failed to elicit a reasonable response as to why. Thunderfoot did have some suspect anti-feminist stuff a long while ago, but recently he has been concentrating more on science stuff which is well within the broad ideals that You tube is suspected of deliberately promoting through censorship.

        The algorithm is pernicious.

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