Saturday, January 28, 2006

Words of Wisdom

I remember reading a quote by John Brown, who, in a letter of paternalcounsels to one of his pupils newly ordained over a small congregation,wrote, "I know the vanity of your heart, and that you will feel mortifiedthat your congregation is very small, in comparison with those of yourbrethren around you; but assure yourself on the word of an old man,that when you come to give an account of them to the Lord Christ, athis judgment-seat, you will think you have had enough."

-Mark Dever,,PTID314526CHID598014CIID2157874,00.html

Faustian bargain basement

In both highbrow and lowbrow adaptations of the Faust legend, the protagonist strikes a hard bargain with the devil. In exchange for his immortal soul, he gets his three wishes. These constitute the stereotypical temptations to which men are wont: fame, fortune, adulation, power, the hand of the world’s most beautiful woman, and so on.

Not terribly imaginative, to be sure. But what it lacks in originality, it makes up for in logicality.

Indeed, it’s logicality is a dramatic necessity. After all, fiction, being fiction, has to be plausible to compel the willing suspension of disbelief. We know it isn’t true, so we only pretend it’s true if doesn’t overtax our credulity. Indeed, fiction must bend over backwards to be realistic at a psychological level.

Reality doesn’t have to be plausible. Reality needn’t be realistic. Reality need only be. It already is. Plausible or not, it’s true. So all plausible fiction must make sense in a way that real life need not and, often as not, does not.

It stands to reason that if you were going to sell your soul to the devil, you’d demand something pretty yummy as compensation for a fiery immortality—maybe a cross between the lifestyle of Hugh Hefner and the Vanderbilts, or something on that order. Before you signed your name in blood, there would be some tough negotiations in a seller’s market.

And yet, in real life, men and women, every day and every year, sell their immortal soul to the devil for cut-rate prices. It’s a buyer’s market. He gets them on the cheap.

Yesterday a phone call brought news that one of my older cousins had died. I remember, years go, visiting the hospital when she underwent quadruple bypass surgery. She developed heart disease from hard drinking and chain smoking.

I, and other family, formed a pre-op prayer circle. Her surgery was a great success—after which she promptly resumed her life of hard drinking and chain smoking.

When her dad lay on his deathbed, she and her husband went down to hold vigil. Not at the hospital, though. Not by his beside.

No, they camped out at the local Tavern, night after night, until he died a week later. They told the bartender to charge it to dad’s account since he was dying, and the estate would cover the tab.

One night, around three or four in the morning, when the bartender told my cousin that they had overstayed closing hours, my cousin unfurled a vocabulary that would do a Marine sergeant proud. I wasn’t there, mind you, but I have it on good authority.

As it turns out, her dad died practically penniless. He was pushing eighty while pasturing a shoestring church in Elma, WA—a small working class town halfway between nowhere in general and nowhere in particular. So much for the estate.

My cousin was a daughter of the manse who turned her back on the church with a vengeance. She was bedridden in her final years. And she died the death of the unrighteous.

If Mann or Marlow or Goethe had made my cousin the lead character, his work would be accounted an artistic failure. No one would strike a pact with the devil to be bitter and miserable in this life—much less the next. That strains credulity beyond the breaking point.

That’s why, in fiction, sin is always aglitter with the gilded sheen of a lustrous temptation. However unpardonable, at least it’s understandable.

Many men find the Bible unbelievable. Surely things like that can’t happen.

Speaking for myself, it’s not the Bible I find unbelievable, but reality.

For many men, the Bible defies reason. For me, reality defies reason.

What is too incredible for fiction, what any decent editor would leave on the cutting room floor, that’s the stuff of a fallen life in a fallen world. Only the word of God can make sense of a senseless world.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The dangers of popularized syncretism

Paul-the-papistical-syncretistic-mariolatrous-schismatic-Owen (hereafter Paul P.S.M.S. Owen for short) is at it again.

“I have become more aware over the years of the dangers of popularized Calvinism.”

To say nothing of the dangers of Paul P.S.M.S. Owen’s popularized papistical syncretistic Mariolatry.

“Popularized Calvinism oversimplifies biblical theology.”

Notice, throughout his hit piece, that Paul P.S. M.S. Owen never says who-all he’s talking about.

Which Reformed popularizers oversimplify biblical theology? How do they oversimplify biblical theology?

We’re waiting for Paul P.S.M.S. Owen to back up his allegations with names and direct quotes.

“It encourages people to think that the reason others reject Calvinism is because they do not want to accept what the Bible says.”

As a matter of fact, critics of Calvinism quite typically reject it simply because they don’t like it. We think that’s the reason because that’s the reason they so often give.

“If you just read a selected list of prooftexts with an open mind, you will be irresistibly drawn to Calvinism.”

Again, we’re waiting for Paul P.S. M.S. Owen to back up his allegations with names and direct quotes.

The reason that Paul P. S. M. S. Owen plays it safe with blanket allegations is because he lives on a diet of chicken livers. If he got specific, he’d expose his accusations to falsification.

“I have come to see that the issues are from from being that simple. Calvinism may be right (and I happen to think it is), but it is far from the plain and obvious teaching of Scripture that I used to suppose it to be.”

The fact that Paul P. S. M. S. Owen used to labor under a simple-minded grasp of Calvinism says a lot about him, and nothing at all about the rest of us.

“Popularized Calvinism encourages spiritual pride. For some reason, those who buy into the above mentality inevitably look down upon Christians of other traditions.”

Names? Quotes?

“Lutherans may be saved, but only if they do not really believe what they say they believe about baptism.”

It is clear from this statement alone that Paul P. S. M. S. Owen is incapable of serious religious dialogue. Lutherans regard Calvinists as guilty of grave error in matters of Christology and soteriology.

Should we accuse them of spiritual pride? Are they looking down on Calvinists?

Debate is a two-way street. If Lutherans regard these issues as serious issues, why shouldn’t we reciprocate their earnest evaluation?

“Arminians may be saved, but only if they do not really believe what their theology of election and the possibility of apostasy implies.”

Again, names? Quotes? Who says this?

To be saved you must be elect, not believe in election.

“Roman Catholics may be saved, but only if they reject what their official theology tells them about justification. “

And the problem with that is what, exactly? Is Paul P. S. M. S. Owen a universalist? Maybe so.

He believes that Mormons can be saved, and apparently that Muslims can be saved as well, and so on and so forth.

Given his nonexistent standards for what constitutes saving faith, it comes as no surprise that he takes umbrage at our denial that Catholicism affords a credible profession of faith.

At the same time, he takes no offense at the Tridentine anathemas. This is all too typical of Paul P. S. M. S. Owen’s Janus-faced theology: infinitely tolerant of heresy, idolatry, or false prophecy, but highly intolerant of Reformed orthodoxy.

Paul P.S.M.S. Owen is okay with Muhammad or Brigham Young, the Pope or the Dalai Lama. But if you’re a Reformed Baptist, that’s beyond the pale!

“It would seem that the only people who can consistently believe what their theology maintains, and still be saved, are the Calvinists.”

Lutherans say Calvinists are saved by a blessed inconsistency.

“ I have come to see how incredibly foolish that kind of thinking is.”

For once we agree with him. For it comes as no revelation that Paul P. S. M. S. Owen has an insatiable appetite for believing incredibly foolish things. We heartily commend his momentary lapse into candor.

“Popular Calvinism generally operates with incredible philosophical naivety.”

Such as what? Note the absence of specifics.

“ The fact of the matter is that the issues which divide Calvinism and other traditions often involve some rather subtle philosophical nuances, which lie far outside the overt categories of the biblical writers.”

Notice the implicit repudiation of sola scriptura.

“Calvinists love to quote the Bible, as if they are simply basing their views on the biblical text, when in fact, in order to arrive at truly Calvinistic conclusions, they are sometimes having to presuppose all sorts of data which comes from the realm of philosophy and the behavioral sciences. The idea that you can prove compatibilism for instance, and its theory of the actions of the will, from a direct reading of the biblical text is simply laughable.”

No, what is simply laughable is Paul P. S. M. S. Owen’s own ineptitude. Reformed apologists are not extracting compatibilism from Scripture.

Rather, they are using compatibilism to defend Calvinism when it comes under philosophical attack.

“But popular Calvinists are generally too ignorant of philosophy to even recognize what they are assuming.”

This is from a man who accuses Calvinists of spiritual pride. Of looking down on others.

But no one is more puffed up with pride and condescension than Paul P. S. M. S. Owen. He would make a peacock look humble by comparison.

And that is, of course, the reason he’s so sympathetic to theological deviations like Islam, Mormonism, Catholicism, and Anglo-Catholicism, where the merit of man remains an essential ingredient in his own salvation.

“Popular Calvinism encourages people to attack straw men.”

It’s funny to read a man so blind to his own faults, so incapable of self-criticism.

The fact that he intones the mantra of “popular Calvinism” as a substitute for naming and quoting his opponents is, of itself, a textbook illustration of a straw man argument.

Anonymity and innuendo are the weapons of choice for the demagogue. Paul P. S. M. S. Owen is the Ray Cohn of bloggers.

“For some reason, whenever Arminian and Roman Catholic views are critiqued in popular Calvinism, their folly looks painfully obvious. The reason that they appear to be so obviously erroneous though, is because the depth of their viewpoint is rarely reflected in the Calvinist critiques. How often do you see the subtle arguments of Aquinas and John Miley dealt with in any detail by popular Calvinists?”

Well, for one thing, popular Calvinism knows how to listen. We listen to the arguments offered by real live Catholics and Arminians, then we respond to what they say.

“Not very often, because frankly, popular Calvinists are rarely capable of even understanding them.”

Once again, Paul P. S. M. S. Owen positively reeks with the rancid odor of spiritual pride. Scratch his skin and a Mormon will crawl out.

“Popular Calvinism distorts the message of the Bible. Have you ever noticed that in some circles, the gospel seems to be all about the 5 points?”

Have you ever noticed that Paul P. S. M. S. Owen never documents his sweeping charges? As we say, Paul P. S. M. S. Owen is the Ray Cohn of bloggers.

“All these people want to talk about is what makes them different from their poor, ignorant, Arminian cousins.”

Waiving the hyperbole, when Arminians raise objections to Calvinism, our replies peg their objections. That’s called “responding” to your critics. Evidently a foreign concept to Paul P. S. M. S. Owen.

“Yet in the Bible, the distinctives of Calvinism arise only tangentially, usually in connection with some other more fundamental theological or practical consideration.”

Ah, so original sin (the “T” of TULIP) and salvation by grace alone (the “ULIP” of TULIP) are only “tangential” to the teaching of Scripture.

“I now view Calvinism’s distinctive teachings, not as the heart of the gospel, but as a fence around the Law.”

What a shock to learn that a papistical syncretistic Mariolater like Paul P. S. M. S. Owen no longer sees the doctrines of grace as lying at the heart of the gospel.

“They preserve the fundamental teachings of the Bible regarding grace and the human condition which are in fact accepted by all Christian traditions (including Arminian and Roman Catholic), though one might argue with less of a happy consistency.”

Accepted with their fingers firmly crossed behind their back.

“The distinctives of the 5 points have very little to do with the real emphases of Reformed theology… In fact, they are far from being the center of this tradition.”

Ah, yes, the canons of Dordt are “far from the center” of Reformed theology.

“Reformed theology is a tradition which historically has placed great emphasis upon the Supremacy of God over human imagination and folly in worship.”

True. So by his own yardstick, an Anglo-Catholic like Paul P. S. M. S. Owen can’t be a real Calvinist.

“No Comments”

“No comments yet.”

“Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.”

Like a little dog that yaps ferociously behind the security of its chain-link fence.

Saving Faith in Light of the Chain of Redemption

After having presented my exegesis of James 2:14ff and having shown that Antonio’s interpretation of the passage makes no sense out of the example of Abraham, I would now like to once again present the Reformed perspective concerning the nature of saving faith, but I would like to do so here using different terms. I would also like to clarify the Reformed position on perseverance and preservation in light of the nature of saving faith. Reformed theology agrees with James that faith that does not produce deeds is dead faith and cannot save. It is useless, as James tells us. We also affirm that faith which can be verified in deeds is living faith, and can indeed save.

Salvation is a “package,” if you will. It begins with God’s elective choice to save whom he foreknew. It ends with his glorification of those whom he foreknew. When we use the word “salvation” (while it can sometimes simply refer to regeneration or justification) this is what we are meaning. Justification refers to God’s forensic declaration of righteousness for those who possess faith. Sanctification refers to the process by which those who have been justified pursue good deeds by the power of the Holy Spirit in order to be continually changed into the likeness of Christ. This is the chain of redemption:

Rom 8:29 “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

There is no such thing as someone who is predestined who isn’t justified, or someone who is justified but isn’t sanctified, or someone who is justified and sanctified but does not reach glorification. The passage simply does not allow for that. Salvation begins with God’s choice, and it is his sovereign decree and efficacious graces that brings it to completion.

What does this have to do with James 2 and the nature of saving faith? James tells us that there is no such thing as faith that saves but doesn’t lead to good deeds. He tells us that any “faith” which cannot be demonstrated in deeds is dead faith and does not possess the ability to save. Abraham possessed genuine, saving faith. We know this because he was shown to be righteous by his good deeds. If faith cannot be shown to be righteous, it isn’t faith. If it does not lead to deeds, it isn’t faith. If it cannot be verified by fruit, it cannot save. This is the plain message of Scripture.

In Romans 8:29-30, we see something similar being portrayed. Justification always leads to sanctification, and sanctification always leads to glorification. There is no such thing as someone who is justified but not sanctified and glorified. If it doesn’t lead to sanctification and ultimately glorification, it isn’t justification. Thus, the Reformed view of faith and perseverance and preservation in light of that faith are affirmed in this passage. If you don’t reach glorification, you weren’t justified to begin with. If you aren’t being sanctified, you weren’t justified. In the same sense that saving faith will always lead to good deeds (and necessarily so), justification will necessarily always lead to sanctification and glorification. Justification without glorification isn’t justification. The passage does not allow for it.

Evan May.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The sound of ice cracking underfoot

Molly Ivins has announced her refusal to vote for Hillary in ‘08. Hmm. If Hillary can even count on the vote of her fellow feminists…


I will not support Hillary Clinton for president
January 20, 2006

AUSTIN, Texas --- I'd like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.

Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.

The recent death of Gene McCarthy reminded me of a lesson I spent a long, long time unlearning, so now I have to re-learn it. It's about political courage and heroes, and when a country is desperate for leadership. There are times when regular politics will not do, and this is one of those times. There are times a country is so tired of bull that only the truth can provide relief.

If no one in conventional-wisdom politics has the courage to speak up and say what needs to be said, then you go out and find some obscure junior senator from Minnesota with the guts to do it. In 1968, Gene McCarthy was the little boy who said out loud, "Look, the emperor isn't wearing any clothes." Bobby Kennedy -- rough, tough Bobby Kennedy -- didn't do it. Just this quiet man trained by Benedictines who liked to quote poetry.

Do not sit there cowering and pretending the only way to win is as Republican-lite. If the Washington-based party can't get up and fight, we'll find someone who can.


The democratic republic of Hamas

It looks like Bush may be racking up some potential big wins. Alito is poised to sail through. Evidence is mounting that Saddam had the goods after all. Evidence is also mounting that the Iraq insurgency may be long its last legs.

But on another front, Bush appears to have hit a boulder in the road. Bush’s foreign policy has been predicated on the nostrum of liberation as the remedy for terrorism. He naively sees the source and solution in political rather than religious terms.

And now the democratic process has elected Hamas. This was predicable.

However, even this may be for the good in the long run. Strengthening the hand of Israel’s mortal enemies also serves to strengthen the hand of hawks like Netanyahu, who makes Sharon look like a pussycat.

At the same time there is increasing public support for Bush to take out Iran’s WMD program. Perhaps the question is who gets there first—Israel or us.

It is likely that Bush will get one or more additional chances to reshape the Supreme Court before his second term comes to an end. The confirmation of Roberts, followed by Alito, is a promising omen. And if other things go his way as well, Bush will have even more political capital to parlay into judicial nominees.

For now, a lot is hanging on the mid-term Congressional elections.

Saddam's secret stash

Iraq's WMD Secreted in Syria, Sada Says

By IRA STOLL - Staff Reporter of the Sun
January 26, 2006

The man who served as the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein's air force says Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war by loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed.

The Iraqi general, Georges Sada, makes the charges in a new book, "Saddam's Secrets," released this week. He detailed the transfers in an interview yesterday with The New York Sun.

"There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands," Mr. Sada said. "I am confident they were taken over."

Mr. Sada's comments come just more than a month after Israel's top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moshe Yaalon, told the Sun that Saddam "transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria."

Democrats have made the absence of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq a theme in their criticism of the Bush administration's decision to go to war in 2003. And President Bush himself has conceded much of the point; in a televised prime-time address to Americans last month, he said, "It is true that many nations believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. But much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong."

The discovery of the weapons in Syria could alter the American political debate on the Iraq war. And even the accusations that they are there could step up international pressure on the government in Damascus. That government, led by Bashar Assad, is already facing a U.N. investigation over its alleged role in the assassination of a former prime minister of Lebanon. The Bush administration has criticized Syria for its support of terrorism and its failure to cooperate with the U.N. investigation.

Mr. Sada, 65, told the Sun that the pilots of the two airliners that transported the weapons of mass destruction to Syria from Iraq approached him in the middle of 2004, after Saddam was captured by American troops.

"I know them very well. They are very good friends of mine. We trust each other. We are friends as pilots," Mr. Sada said of the two pilots. He declined to disclose their names, saying they are concerned for their safety. But he said they are now employed by other airlines outside Iraq.

The pilots told Mr. Sada that two Iraqi Airways Boeings were converted to cargo planes by removing the seats, Mr. Sada said. Then Special Republican Guard brigades loaded materials onto the planes, he said, including "yellow barrels with skull and crossbones on each barrel." The pilots said there was also a ground convoy of trucks.

The flights - 56 in total, Mr. Sada said - attracted little notice because they were thought to be civilian flights providing relief from Iraq to Syria, which had suffered a flood after a dam collapse in June of 2002.

Sadam realized, this time, the Americans are coming," Mr. Sada said. "They handed over the weapons of mass destruction to the Syrians."

Mr. Sada said that the Iraqi official responsible for transferring the weapons was a cousin of Saddam Hussein named Ali Hussein al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali." The Syrian official responsible for receiving them was a cousin of Bashar Assad who is known variously as General Abu Ali, Abu Himma, or Zulhimawe.

Short of discovering the weapons in Syria, those seeking to validate Mr. Sada's claim independently will face difficulty. His book contains a foreword by a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, David Eberly, who was a prisoner of war in Iraq during the first Gulf War and who vouches for Mr. Sada, who once held him captive, as "an honest and honorable man."

Mr. Sada acknowledged that the disclosures about transfers of weapons of mass destruction are "a very delicate issue." He said he was afraid for his family. "I am sure the terrorists will not like it. The Saddamists will not like it," he said.

He thanked the American troops. "They liberated the country and the nation. It is a liberation force. They did a great job," he said. "We have been freed."

He said he had not shared his story until now with any American officials. "I kept everything secret in my heart," he said. But he is scheduled to meet next week in Washington with Senators Sessions and Inhofe, Republicans of, respectively, Alabama and Oklahoma. Both are members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The book also says that on the eve of the first Gulf War, Saddam was planning to use his air force to launch a chemical weapons attack on Israel.

When, during an interview with the Sun in April 2004, Vice President Cheney was asked whether he thought that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction had been moved to Syria, Mr. Cheney replied only that he had seen such reports.

An article in the Fall 2005 Middle East Quarterly reports that in an appearance on Israel's Channel 2 on December 23, 2002, Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon, stated, "Chemical and biological weapons which Saddam is endeavoring to conceal have been moved from Iraq to Syria." The allegation was denied by the Syrian government at the time as "completely untrue," and it attracted scant American press attention, coming as it did on the eve of the Christmas holiday.

The Syrian ruling party and Saddam Hussein had in common the ideology of Baathism, a mixture of Nazism and Marxism.

Syria is one of only eight countries that has not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, a treaty that obligates nations not to stockpile or use chemical weapons. Syria's chemical warfare program, apart from any weapons that may have been received from Iraq, has long been the source of concern to America, Israel, and Lebanon. In March 2004, the director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, saying, "Damascus has an active CW development and testing program that relies on foreign suppliers for key controlled chemicals suitable for producing CW."

The CIA's Iraq Survey Group acknowledged in its September 30, 2004, "Comprehensive Report," "we cannot express a firm view on the possibility that WMD elements were relocated out of Iraq prior to the war. Reports of such actions exist, but we have not yet been able to investigate this possibility thoroughly."

Mr. Sada is an unusual figure for an Iraqi general as he is a Christian and was not a member of the Baath Party. He now directs the Iraq operations of the Christian humanitarian organization, World Compassion.


General sees rift in Iraq enemy
By Rick Jervis, USA TODAY
BAGHDAD — A deepening rift between radical foreign-led fighters and native Iraqi insurgents has turned violent, the top U.S. intelligence officer in Iraq says. That creates an opportunity for American forces to try to persuade local guerrillas to put down their weapons and join the political process, he says.

"Now you actually have a wedge, or a split, between the Sunni population and al-Qaeda in Iraq," said Maj. Gen. Richard Zahner, deputy chief of staff for intelligence for multinational forces in Iraq. "It poses a significant crossroads for these groups as they look at where they head."

The U.S. military cited incidents of insurgent infighting in a rare public description of a split:

• At least six ranking members of al-Qaeda in Iraq have been assassinated by Sunni insurgents or tribal gunmen in separate incidents since September, Zahner said. The killings are usually in retaliation for al-Qaeda's role in violence, such as the execution of local police officers, he said.

• In Ramadi, in western Iraq, he said, armed clashes have erupted between local Iraqi insurgents and al-Qaeda operatives in recent months. At least one high-ranking al-Qaeda member, Abu Khatab, was recently run out of Ramadi by insurgents loyal to the local tribe.

• Near the Syrian border, members of the Albu Mahal tribe, which attacked U.S. positions as recently as March, have lately been pointing U.S. troops to al-Qaeda hideouts, Zahner said.

Iraq's national security adviser, Mouwafak al-Rubaie, also said there is a rift in the insurgency, calling it a "a major step forward in our fight against terrorism."

Several trends have accompanied the split:

• The constitutional referendum in October and parliamentary elections in December attracted more Sunni voters than in the past. Voter turnout in the largely Sunni province of Anbar, for example, climbed from 2% in elections Jan. 30, 2005, to 55% in the vote last month. Al-Qaeda insurgents, however, have continued to attack voters and people involved in politics.

• Iraq's complex network of tribes and family relations means some families have members on both sides of the conflict. The foreign fighters' killing of police and government officials is beginning to trigger a response from local insurgents who are more loyal to tribe and family than to ideology, Zahner said.

• Al-Qaeda's aim of turning Iraq into a strict Islamic caliphate has turned some Iraqi fighters against the group, Zahner said.

Yes, Virginia, there really were WMD

Saddam's Secrets: How an Iraqi General Defied And Survived Saddam Hussein (Hardcover)
by Georges Sada, Jim Nelson Black

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
Former Iraqi General Sada delivers a riveting inside account of Saddam Hussein's tyranny, including confirmation of the existence and hiding of weapons of mass destruction. Despite being a Christian and refusing to join the Baath Party, Sada was promoted to Saddam's inner circle for his honest advice. Sada criticizes most countries and the United Nations (whose workers he accuses of accepting bribes) for their complicity in propagating Saddam's regime. But he strongly praises Operation Iraqi Freedom, pointing out that no other country would take the first step. The book has an unexpectedly religious angle, being slightly Christian-centric and paranoid over Muslim population growth in the West. Regardless, Sada blames Saddam for destroying Iraq, but remains hopeful the nation will have a chance to become a modern society, fulfilling its great historical legacy.

From the uttermost to the guttermost

I believe it was Gen. Booth who coined this slogan. And it was exemplified in the ministry of Christ.

The End of the Spear, following on the heels of Brokeback Mountain, has ignited a debate within the Evangelical community on how it should position itself in relation to the homosexual community. I don’t plan to comment on every facet of that debate, but a few comments are in order.

In some circles it is viewed as prideful or judgmental to say that some sins are worse than others. Yet there’s a solid biblical basis for ranking sins—up to a point.

Mind you, any sin which is unwashed by the blood of Christ is a damnable sin.

Some sins are also more dangerous than others—to the sinner himself, to his fellow sinners, and to the church.

The homosexual community and its allies confront the church with a two-pronged challenge. On the one hand, there is a concerted effort to criminalize Christian expression. And this effort has met with some success.

It is incumbent upon the church to combat this attack on the gospel at every turn.

On the other hand, Christianity is all about redemption and restoration. Although the remission of sin is contingent on repentance and amendment of life, there is no type of sinner either above the need of the gospel or beneath the reach of the gospel. A church which ceases to uphold this vision ceases to be a church.

So the church must endeavor to do two things at once: it must combat the homosexual agenda, but it must also do with the homosexual community what it is commissioned and commanded to do with every other lost soul and unreached corner of the world.

Klaatu barada nikto!

According to Jim Still, “There is a unique theological conundrum here for Christians that Jews and Muslims escape: of what value is the incarnation if there are thousands (perhaps millions) of other worlds in the universe with intelligent life? Perhaps there were multiple incarnations—a million deaths on a million crosses—in a sort of macabre cosmological Groundhog Day.”

It’s hard to see how this is supposed to pose any sort of theological conundrum for Christianity. Either the human race would be the only fallen species, or else there would be other fallen species that God did not redeem.

In fact, we have a partial parallel in Scripture between elect angels who never fell, and fallen angels who were never redeemed.

Mr. Still follows this up with a superficial critique of penal substitution. But in so doing he has changed the subject from a theological conundrum allegedly generated by the hypothetical existence of ETs to the inner logic of the atonement. That’s a separate issue entirely.

The tradition of the elders

In response to my statement that "on the sacraments, I take them to be symbolic," a “random reader of my blog” asked me the following question:

“All the early church fathers believed in regenerative baptism, though. How does a Calvinist explain that?”

In answer:

1.One doesn’t need to be a Calvinist to deny baptismal regeneration.

2.Since I’m not a patrologist, I will neither affirm nor deny what all the early church fathers believed about baptism.

3.I’m not interested in counting opinions, but weighing arguments. Did they offer an argument for their position? How good was their argument?

4.As Bishop Ryle once remarked, “dead teachers have always more authority than living ones!”

The church fathers are not entitled to any more or any less respect that any other Christian theologian or commentator from any other era in church history.

5.As a Protestant, my rule of faith is revelation, not tradition.

6.The Bible is a Jewish document, but the church fathers had a Classical education. As such, it is highly possible for the church fathers to unwittingly impose an alien conceptual scheme onto Scripture.

The Nature of Saving Faith: James 2:14ff Pt. 2

The format of this will be to first answer questions concerning the last post, then to present the text, and then to refute Antonio da Rosa’s handling of this passage.

From Antonio’s comment:

I didn’t quite see how anything I said in my post was proven false by you in this post of yours. You beg the question and apply circular logic. You used your translation of the article in 2:14 as a proof that the translation is correct. You appealed to popularity rather than demonstrating by the grammar and syntax that your translation was correct. And you imported your theology into the text so as to warrant your translation.

1. I don’t quite see how anything I said in my post was proven false by you in this comment of yours.

2. How do you know that your translation is correct apart from your own translation? You commit the very act of which you accuse me.

3. I appealed to authority, not popularity. When that many translation committees render a text contrary to your personal translation, odds are you’re not close. You may be willing to take your little blog and set it up against centuries of scholars and scores of translational committees, but that is simply foolish.

4. “You imported your theology into the text so as to warrant your translation” simply begs the question. It assumes the conclusion. Isn’t that the very thing that we are trying to figure out in these dialogues?

You did not answer the fact that the article shows up with “faith” many times after in the same passage and the same context where it is not natural to translate it as an adjective or a far demonstrative pronoun. Nor answer to the fact that the article in that culture and language was a extremely common and much used occurrence in front of abstract nouns, nor answer to the fact that James indeed knew the Greek words for “that”, “such”, “that kind”, yet chose not to employ them. The original readers of the epistle would not assume nor react to the article the way you dogmatically have.

I had written, “Antonio brushes off the definite article based upon how it is handled in the other verses. It may very well be true that the article with πιστις is anaphoric in these verses. However, the antecedent must be examined based upon its own immediate context.”

1. How are you actually replying to me here? None of these questions say anything by way of reply to me.

2. I stated that the further we go into the passage, the more our translation concerning v. 14 will be affirmed. Slow down there, cowboy. It will be shown why the definite article, in its own context, should be translated the way it is in v. 14.

3. The reader should note that Antonio’s rejection of the definite article is a dogmatic one. He may appeal to its usage elsewhere in the text, but he gives no exegetical support for why it should be left untranslated here in v. 14.

Coming from Todd’s comment:

This faith schematic you present seems to bring up all sorts of problematic questions in my mind with what I’ve come to know about our Holy Spirit. Is He in and out of you all day long as you may hastily or carelessly act outside of His prescriptions? I don’t see how your proposition could work any differently than just that, that is, that the Holy Spirit is coming and going almost continuously with these “works of faith” that the Reformed have put forward. Not tenable in their entirety to me.

Such a paragraph demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of the Reformed position. Where have Reformed writers stated that the Holy Spirit is “in and out” of the believer? It was the Reformers, rather, who affirmed that the faith of the elect does not fade. This statement also disregards everything I stated in my last post concerning the nature of faith. Faith, and the Holy Spirit for that matter, do not come and go based upon works. Works simply demonstrate faith. Steve Hays has written about the nature of saving faith here.

We will now look back at the text of James 2:14ff.

James 2 14What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

We see that James repeats “what good is that?” in v. 16, showing that this is one unit. Verses 15-16 illustrate James’ statement in v. 14. In the described situation, the statement alone is not “good enough.” We could say, “Go and peace, be warmed and filled,” but that has no profit unless we actually give the warmth and food to the brother in need. Compare these two:

What gain is it if someone claims to have faith but does not have works?

What gain is it if someone offers help in words but does not act upon it?

Verses 15-16 offer a direct parallel of v. 14. We know very well that Antonio does not like the word “claims” (even though “says to have faith” hardly makes sense in the English language). This is because Antonio’s take on this passage is that this is not merely an issue of the confession (i.e., declaration) of faith, but faith itself. Verses 15-16, however, have us reject Antonio’s interpretation, and affirm our original statement that this concerns profession rather than possession. This also begins to further affirm our translation of v. 14 because v.14 compares a faith in words alone with a faith that is demonstrated in deeds, just as v. 15 compares a help in words alone with a help that is demonstrated in deeds. The terms “Be warmed!” and “Be filled!” are ones that require action in order to be meaningful. Without the actions, they are meaningless words, dead words.

Verse 17 states with “So also” that just as the words “Be warmed” and “Be filled” are meaningless if they do not possess the required action, faith that is not demonstrated in deeds is equally dead. In fact, the NEB translates this as “So with faith; if it does not lead to action, it is in itself a lifeless thing.” The reverse of this is that faith, if it is demonstrated in action, is indeed a living thing and can indeed save. The distinction, once again, is not between faith and works, but between dead faith and living faith. The original question was, “Can such faith save him?” Dead faith cannot save. Living faith can save. Deedless faith is dead faith. Faith that can be demonstrated in deeds is living faith. Since the answer to the rhetorical question is “no,” we know that James is talking about dead faith. Dead faith cannot save. This, once again, affirms our translation of “such faith” or “that faith.” The text as a whole continues to compare faith in words with faith demonstrated in action, faith that is living with faith that is dead. The “faith” that does not have deeds to demonstrate it in v. 14 is dead faith. This is why James asks, “Can that faith save him?” This is what we call having an exegetical basis for an interpretation. Antonio’s assertions concerning v. 14 are not exegetical assertions, but dogmatic ones.

Jam 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

There are different opinions regarding the translation of this verse in light of punctuation (i.e., how much should be included in the quotation, if this is a question or an objection, etc.). I do not believe that it would be necessary to get into that here. What we must note from this verse, however, is the phrase “Show me.” Show me involves a demonstration. This is in the realm of human knowledge, because it is a human who is asking the question. In other words, one cannot demonstrate their faith by internal means. Rather, the demonstration involves external, observable effects. Unlike the Sandemanian theory of faith, this demonstration does not merely involve the claim of the existence of the internal reality of faith. The demonstration necessitates external evidence. How can I know that an apple tree is an apple tree apart from the fact that it produces apples? I certainly cannot see its root that is underground. In the same sense, faith is an issue of “Show me,” which is demonstrated in external, observable effects. If Antonio’s attempt at exegesis ignores this challenge to demonstrate outwardly what exists inwardly, his interpretation of the entire passage will fail.

Jam 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe–and shudder!

This person is orthodox! He isn’t pagan. He, unlike the popular polytheism of the day, affirms that there is one God. This is “well and good.” The person’s faith is not condemned because it affirms some type of heresy. Rather, this faith is condemned for its abnormality in lacking the deeds to demonstrate it. So you can speak the right words, but if your faith is not demonstrated in deeds, it is dead faith. The contrast, again, is between a faith in words alone and a faith that can be demonstrated in deeds. A faith that is not demonstrated in deeds is no more salvific than an orthodox recognition of truth, something even the demons possess. The exegetical evidence is stacking high against Antonio’s position.

Before we go any further in the text, I’d like us to look at Antonio’s claims concerning the word “save” in v. 14, for therein lies the majority of his argument:

It is the knee-jerk reaction of 21st century readers of the Bible to import into the word “salvation” (Greek = “soteria”) and its cognates the meaning “salvation from hell” each time he reads it in the New Testament. Yet the word merely means “deliverance”. It is up to the context to decide what kind of deliverance is being referred to.

…What does this say about the Greek reader of the New Testament? That he obviously would not consider the meaning “salvation from hell” for the Greek words “soteria” and “sozo” (salvation and save, respecively) as the first, knee-jerk option when he read it. In the New Testament, there is an obvious emphasis on the spiritual and eternal salvation, yet in all of the occurences of the words sozo and soteria, only around 50% of the time do the contexts indicate that they have a meaning of “salvation from hell”.

…Did anyone have any trouble seeing the parallels?

The intimation I gave should be apparent to all:

Sin causes physical death


Righteous action saves the life, extends the life, preserves the life

Following the commands of God, being a doer of the Word (can I say yet: adding works to your faith?) will save a person from the deadly consequences of sin. James is talking about saving the life by obedience!

For the sake of length, I only quoted pieces of his articles. I simply wanted the reader to be aware of what is being stated. For further reading, you can check out the context of these quotes here and here.

Besides in 2:14, James uses σωσαι (sōzō G4982) 4 times:

1:21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

4:12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

5:15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

5:20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

The only one of these that even hints at referring to the type of salvation that Antonio is asserting is 5:15, but this is later clarified in v. 20. The first instance (1:21) refers to the Word, which is able to save your souls. Obviously, a soul cannot die a physical death and does not need physical salvation. It needs spiritual salvation from the condemnation of its sin. The second (4:12) refers to God as the “lawgiver and judge” who is able to save and destroy. This is in the context of judging the law vs. doing the law, hardly an issue of being saved from physical death. The third occurrence (5:15) is shady if it is taken out of context. This is referring to the “prayer of the righteous man,” which is involved in saving a soul from death in v. 20. So from the beginning, Antonio’s argument looks as if it is about to crumble.

Keeping Antonio’s argument in mind, let’s turn back to the text. Let’s not forget that the subject matter of the text is the nature of faith, not what is involved in being saved from physical death. As far as I could tell, Antonio, in his series on James, has not gone past v. 14 (he may still be working on it, because the last post was Dec. 14th). It is very easy to assert things concerning the definite article or the use of the word “save,” but these are simply assertions if they do not play out into the rest of the text. I have shown that my interpretation of v. 14 makes sense out of v.15-26, and will continue to do so.

James 2 20Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”– and he was called a friend of God. 24You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

James starts off with a play-on-words, more literally, “Do you want evidence that faith without works does not work?” Then James asks the rhetorical question, “Was not Abraham our father shown to be righteous when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?” Again, the context of this passage is the demonstration of faith, the “Show me.” James follows this up with “You see that…” Abraham’s faith can be seen. His righteousness is displayed in his deeds. Is Abraham’s faith the same faith as that faith which is “dead”? The faith that lacks the component of deeds that gives it vitality and life? No! Abraham’s faith is a different kind of faith. It is saving faith. Thus our interpretation of v. 14 is once again affirmed. Abraham’s deeds made his faith complete (v. 22). Apart from deeds, faith is incomplete faith.

It is here in the text where Antonio’s eisegetical assertions concerning the word “save” in v. 14 crumble. How will Antonio fit these verses into his interpretation? James is quoting the same text that Paul does in Romans 4: Abraham believed God, and because of this belief, the righteousness of Christ was credited to him as his very own righteousness. Immediately following this, he says that faith without works is dead and that a man is justified by works and not by faith. That’s the crux of the passage. This is what explains James’ concern in 2:14. The example of Abraham is not an example of a Christian enduring trial and persecution, as is the backdrop of Antonio’s argument concerning his definition of “save.” It is an example of a person believing God, and later obeying God and being declared righteous by God. Abraham’s obedience demonstrated what had already been forensically declared of him. The faith that Abraham possessed in Genesis 15:6 was saving faith, saving him from the eternal condemnation of his sin. This is James’ point in chapter 2. He tells us that the nature of saving faith looks like Abraham: it can be demonstrated in deeds. What is so unclear about this for Antonio? Why is this objectionable? Why is it reprehensible to Antonio that saving faith, according to James, is alive because it is verifiable in works?

Antonio may again and again assert what he believes James’ pastoral concern is in these passages, but what does that tell us about the text and about Abraham? It makes no sense of it.

Evan May.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A brief parable

As you’ve been window-shopping at the marketplace of ideas, you’ve also been listening to the organ grinders that you have passed by. Occasionally -- perhaps even at random -- you have been handing quarters out to the monkeys, all of whom have tried to bite you. It's annoying, but the monkeys are cute at first glance.

Suddenly, you stop at one organ-grinder because you thought you heard him say "to every tribe" and thought he had shibbolethed. But when you bend down to give his monkey a quarter, the monkey bites you.

You go home, but begin to feel very ill. You dial 911. You are diagnosed with Ebola. You almost die. You infect your family. It becomes an epidemic, and then a pandemic.

Oh, the OUTRAGE! To show how mad you are, after you’re discharged from the ER you walk up to the organ grinder and tell him, "Signore, your monkey bit me even though I know you’re a Christian."

To which the organ-grinder replies, "Looky here, Gringo! He's a monkey; you think I baptized him or something? And you are somehow appalled that an organ-grinder is using a monkey? We’re all organ-grinders. We’re all using monkeys. To get mad at me and boycott me when you’ve boycotted none of the rest for using monkeys is, in fact, arbitrary.”

Too which you reply, “No, it’s not arbitrary. All the other monkeys may bite, but your monkey has Ebola. It's contagious. It ought to be quarantined! And you ought to be run out of town!”

Dead faith

Although Evan is quite capable of fielding objections to his own position, I’ll throw my own two cents into the kitty.


I also see that you skipped over my post that deals with the intended audience of James, that the audience he writes for is regenerate, as this is an extremely important consideration as well.

The whole epistle has the context of the trials and tribulations of regenerate people. Men in such circumstances will not be saved from their circumstances by faith alone, they will not be saved from the deadly consequences of sin by faith alone.

You import into this text a concern of James that is most definitly not his concern. His concern is for regenerate people being saved from both the consequences of their trials and sins. How they are to do that is to add works to their faith.

Gee whiz! The whole passage deals with James' exhortation to his readership to do works so that they can be saved! They are to add works to their faith.

And it is interesting that he provides no remedy to the poor man who has a "false faith" unless he is to be told that he is to work for his justification (which is indeed what the passage says).

In your estimation, James is confronting an error that he doesn't choose to address to remedy! he doesn't say "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved". He is saying to do works for faith alone IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE is useless, like the exhortation to be warmed and filled to a naked and hungry person.

Wow, that you can't see these things is boggling. James' pastoral interest in his readership is that they are profitable in their Christian lives, it is not so that they can prove that they have eternal life! He had already AFFIRMED that they had eternal life in 1:18!!!


So this is Antonio’s central objection to Evan’s interpretation. Very well then.

There is no such thing as a regenerate “audience.” Regeneration is not a corporate category. Regeneration is an attribute of individuals.

James is addressing a letter to a church, a church comprised of professing believers. Does James happen to know the heart of everyone who heard or read his letter? Obviously not! The nature of mass communication is that you speak in generalities.

Of course, given Antonio’s Sandemanian theory of faith, the bar for regeneration is set low to the ground. For him, faith is prior to regeneration, and a one-time believer may become a full-time infidel, yet still be saved.

So, given his very loose and indiscriminate view of things, you might have a regenerate audience. But to interpret James 2:14ff. by that yardstick would “beg the question and apply circular logic,” since it would assume and impose his antinomian and Sandemanian theology onto the text rather than exegeting it from the text. So, then, Antonio is tacitly presuming the very thing he needs to prove. What he needs to do is to establish his presupposition, and not take it for granted as a prism through which to reinterpret the text.


How many works of saving faith (saving works)are necessary for it to consumate in salvation? What would the "sin to works ratio" be…Where does the word "genuinely" you use come from in James text? What is the difference between a genuinely good work and one that is not? Are they black and white? Or can we extract a useable definition at all in the bible? I don't think we can. Where exactly are you getting it that word "genuinely" from?


Once again, Evan can speak for himself, but Todd misses the point. The distinction is qualitative, not quantitative. Go back to the relation between regeneration and first fruits in 1:19, or Christian virtues and the implanted word in 1:21. The new birth, mediated by the word of truth, is the root, while good works are the fruit.

“Genuine” faith is regenerate faith. Saving faith is regenerate faith. Dead faith is unregenerate faith. Fruitless faith is unregenerate faith.

What is saving faith?

It says something about the state of evangelicalism today that we’re even having to define and debate something as elementary and essential as the nature of saving faith. However, let’s seize the opportunity. And let’s begin with a classic definition of saving faith as our frame of reference:


I. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word, by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened.

II. By this faith, a Christian believes to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God Himself speaking therein; and acts differently upon that which each particular passage thereof contains; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come. But the principal acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.

III. This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong; may often and many ways assailed, and weakened, but gets the victory: growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance, through Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our faith.

WCF 14:1-3


Let’s now isolate and emphasize some of the key ingredients in this definition:

Among other things, §1 distinguishes the source of saving faith in regeneration.

It is possible for the unregenerate to believe many things. Due, however, to the fall, it is not possible for the natural man to believe the Gospel.

There are three or four lines of evidence for this proposition:

i) Direct evidence from the sovereign and subjective grace of God, which is necessary to bring a sinner to saving faith in Christ.

ii) Indirect evidence from the noetic effects of sin.

Not surprisingly, these two lines of evidence are often intertwined in the witness of Scripture, viz. Jn 3:3-8; 6:44-45,65; Rom 8:7; 1 Cor 2:14; 2 Cor 4:4-6; Eph 2:1-10; 4:18; Tit 3:3-5.

iii) Indirect evidence from apostasy, where we have the phenomenon of non-saving faith, viz. 1 Jn 2:18-29; Heb 6:4ff.

The apostasy of the Exodus generation is a paradigm example. At one level it was psychologically impossible for the Exodus generation not to believe in the true God. After all, they were witnesses to his miraculous deeds of deliverance and providence.

Yet this bare belief did not rise to the level of saving faith (cf. Heb 3-4).

iv) By implication, apostates are a subset of nominal believers. All nominal believers are potential apostates, but absent a triggering event, they may never commit apostasy. They believe by default, in the absence of a triggering event.

Church history abounds in examples, such as the Downgrade Controversy and its historic parallel in the Church of England.

Many Victorian intellectuals lost their Christian faith due to Darwinism, higher criticism, the New Geology, and so on. Had they been born a century earlier, they would have remained nominal believers.

§2 distinguishes the object of saving faith.

§3 makes allowance for the person-variable character of saving faith in its intensity or constancy. A Christian can suffer from doubts, or even backslide for a time.

The fatal error of the Sandemanian lies in his reductionistic definition of faith, which restricts saving faith to the object of faith to the exclusion of its supernatural origin.

This, in turn, allows him to say that a one-time believer can become a full-time unbeliever and still be saved.

The Calvinist, by contrast, denies this hiatus since saving faith is, itself, the result of a state of grace precipitated the new birth. And just as the Holy Spirit is responsible for making a believer a believer in the first place, he preserves the believer from the moment of spiritual birth until his death in Christ. God is not a God who lays the cornerstone, but not the keystone (Phil 1:6).

Regeneration does much more than originate a superficial faith in Christ. Rather, it initiates a moral likeness between the begetter and the begotten (Jn 3:6; 1 Jn 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1,4,18). The begotten shares the same spiritual priorities as the begetter, for like begets like.

Der Fuersprecher on der faith

I’m going to lift this out of the combox because it makes an excellent stand-alone contribution to the current debate.


To begin with - the formulation "evidence in the form of deeds [as] a constituent part of saving faith" is your own construction - it is not how I would describe my own position, nor do I think James White would use that precise wording either.

Unless you can point me to something in print that frames the traditional Protestant perspective in that way you may need to revise your understanding of an opposing view point once again.

In any event - the difference between the traditional Protestant understanding of faith and works and the Catholic understanding is this:

Protestant Christians (of the non-Sandemanian variety - which is the vast majority of Protestant Christendom I might add) see works as a necessary evidence of genuine faith, something that follows conversion and subsequently vindicates one as a true believer as opposed to a mere confessor of the faith.

Works function then, much like the fruit of a tree does, they reveal the underlying nature/root. Just as apples on a tree don't make a tree an apple tree (rather they reveal it to be truly an apple tree) so too works (according to traditional Protestant theology) reveal whether one is truly born again or merely one who professes to know God while still unregenerate (cf. Titus 2:15-16).

In other words, according to traditional Protestant soteriology, works follow genuine conversion/justification and they do not precede or cause/contribute to it.

In contrast, Catholics have traditionally understood works as something that contributes together with faith (in an a priori fashion) toward one's standing/justification with God (Catholics also see justification more as a process rather than a one time declarative act as Protestants do).

Works are not to be understood merely as the result of God's salvific action in justifying a sinner through faith alone according to Catholic soteriology - rather works contribute together with faith (all enabled by God's grace allegedly) in establishing the righteous life that God demands for eternal life.

This essential difference between the two perspectives was emphasized repeatedly during the soteriological debates of the reform era.

A grasp of historical theology would immediately make it evident how different of an understanding of sola fide the Protestant Christians of the reformation era had from contemporary Sandemanians/ineffective grace proponents.

# posted by Der Fuersprecher : 1/25/2006 3:02 PM


The Nature of Saving Faith: James 2:14ff

Terms such as “false faith,” “genuine faith,” “spurious faith,” “temporal faith,” and “saving faith” may very well be confusing. Are we talking about different kinds of faith? Different classes and types of faith? Is saving faith merely a “special kind of faith” as opposed to some other type of faith that does not save? This confusion is perhaps one of the fundamental misunderstandings of the Reformed position by the “Free Grace” Movement. However, a clarification of our terminology is in order. The Reformed position does not affirm that there are different “types” of faith. There is only saving faith. Anything else is not faith. When we use words such as “temporal faith” or “false faith,” we are not alluding to a different type of faith, but to that which is utterly non-faith. You may ask, “Then why use the confusing terminology?” My answer is that we are simply placing the discussion in Biblical terms.

James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

James asks, “Can that faith save him?” James is here alluding to a faith that does not produce works, a faith that is not saving faith. However, he is not writing about some other type of faith. The “faith” he is alluding to is not faith at all. In the Reformed position, perseverance, assurance, salvation–it is all achived through faith. However, the question is “What does faith look like?” Or, rather, “What is the nature of saving faith?”

Before we can answer such questions, peer into the text of James, or respond to Free Grace proponents, we must first make a very important clarification. When discussing such things, it is important to make sure that we are carefully distinguishing between what is being spoken prescriptively and what is being spoken descriptively. Below I will show that saving faith produces genuine works. But this is a description of saving faith, not a prescription. It is meant to describe saving faith, not qualify it. In other words, works are not a prerequisite for saving faith, but they are the necessary byproduct of saving faith. It is as the Reformers have always stated, “Faith alone saves, but faith that saves is never alone.” A Free Grace propenent might continue to say that the “logical conclusion” of the Reformed position is to deny sola fide. But this requires simple ignorance what has been stated here.

Antonio asked me, “What makes saving faith saving?” He assumed that I would answer, “Saving faith is saving because of the works it produces.” But that would be false, and it was not how I answered. Yes, saving faith, by definition, produces works. But the reason it saves (or rather, is the conduit for the salvation that Christ has given us) is because it has been imparted to us by the sovereign author of the plan of redemption. It is God who gives us faith in the perfect Savior Jesus Christ, and it is for this reason that it is the channel for our salvation. We can rephrase this by asking two questions, “What is the prescription for saving faith?” and “What is the description of saving faith?” The prescription for saving faith is that it 1) is given to the elect by God, and 2) has its object in the person of Jesus Christ. However, the description of saving faith is that it will necessarily produce genuinely good works. The same must be emphasized when it comes to perseverance. In light of perseverance, what is the prescription for saving faith, and what is the description of saving faith? The prescription for saving faith in regards to assurance is God’s decision to securely preserve his elect in faith. On the other hand, the description of saving faith in regards to assurance is that saving faith will persevere to the end. The prescriptive/descriptive distinction is one that must be emphatically affirmed over and over again because it, more than any other Reformed distinctive, is continually misrepresented by the Free Grace Movement. The Reformed position is accused of adding works and perseverance to faith. It is accused of denying sola fide. I hope I have made this distinction quite clear, but I will without a doubt need to restate it in the future. Concerning this prescriptive/descriptive distinction, Jodie Sawyer comments:

But surely you would admit, Evan, that historically Calvinists and especially their flocks have failed to enjoy the distinction between the descriptive and prescriptive, however valid that distinction maybe.

Well, to be honest, there weren’t people going around claiming that the very Reformers who coined the phrase sola fide were somehow denying sola fide! Their enemy was a works-based, Roman Catholic position, not some “Free Grace” one. In any case, as Sawyer notes, this does not invalidate the argument. Simply because the distinction may or may not have been made in the past has nothing to do with its truth in this relevant situation. Nevertheless, while the Reformed writers may not have used the words “prescriptive” and “descriptive,” the concept is evident in their theology and in statements such as the oft-repeated “Faith alone saves, but faith that saves is never alone.”

Concerning what has been presented above, Antonio has asked a few questions in the comments section of my last post:

Where does the Bible speak of “false faith”? If false faith is not faith at all, what is it? Please both describe and define “false faith”.

To answer the first question, “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead” (James 2:26). For the second question, “false faith” refers to a confession (that is, declaration) of faith by someone who does not actually possess faith. Makes sense, huh?

Moving back to the text of James, let’s begin our exposition at 2:14. We will go no further than this verse in this post. Rather, we will establish the meaning of v. 14 as well as respond to Antonio da Rosa’s handling of v. 14.

James White states correctly, “The entire purpose of James 2:14-26 can be summarized by the words ’show me.’” I believe that Antonio and I are in agreement over the fact that James (the Biblical author, that is) was not intending to present how one is saved. He presents no ordo salutis, no “Ephesians 2:1-9,” so to speak. It is not a soteriological passage. But what I affirm, and Antonio may or may not agree, is that James, though not presenting the core of the gospel itself, is portraying what it looks like when the gospel is applied to the life of the believer, how what has been worked within is displayed outwardly. This is shown by the preceding context (2:1-13), where James describes how you must act “as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory” (v. 1).

Antonio starts off with some necessary notes concerning translation:

James 2:14
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims [lego] to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? (NIV)

What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? (RSV)

What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? (NAS)

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? (NKJV)

Thus begins our consideration of James 2:14ff. Noted here are four common yet differing versions of our text. Excluding the so-called “dynamic equivalence” of the NIV, where it takes obvious liberty translating “lege” (from “lego”) as “claim” (1343 occurrences in the Greek text, all but a handful being translated with “say” and its cognates, the others translated as “named”; never translated “claim” in NKJV, NASB, ASV, and RSV), the first question is fundamentally the same in the given instances.

Actually, “claim” (translated by the NET as well) conveys quite accurately what is being stated in this passage. Yes, literally the text reads “says” (λεγη) rather than “claims,” but what is most clarifying is the literal infinitival form “to have” that we see retained in versions such as the NET (”says to have faith” is hardly a smooth and modern way of translating the text, and “claims” conveys the meaning that is set in “to have”). In other words, regardless of “claims” or “says,” the emphasis is on the confession of the faith, not actual faith itself. “What is the gain, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith but does not have deeds?”

The following verses show that this is indeed what James is conveying. His emphasis, as is expanded upon throughout this section, is on the mere claim to have faith. This is a “faith” that exists only in the realm of words, only in the confession, but it isn’t true faith that has been imparted to a genuine believer. We will show that “claims” fits the argument of the passage as a whole, carrying the idea of an empty profession.

Antonio states that the NIV takes “obvious liberty” in translating λεγη as “claims.” In a sense, he is right, in that this isn’t the most literal translation possible. However, it does not confuse the meaning of the text. Rather, as is shown above and as we will see in light of the passage as a whole, it portrays accurately the thinking of James in his emphasis in profession rather than in possession. Why does this matter? Because if James is merely referring to an empty profession of faith, then this completely destroys Antonio’s position on the text. From the beginning we can see that Antonio is on sinking ground.

One last thing that we should note concerning this first question in verse 14 is the translation of ἔργα (erga) as “deeds.” While “works” certainly portrays James’ meaning in this passage, “deeds” separates James’ usage of the word from Paul’s usage of “works” in the negative sense. We should note that Paul’s normative use of ἔργα matches James’ use in v. 14. In several places, Paul speaks of deeds done in righteousness, these flowing from a heart that has been changed by the Holy Spirit. Similarly, he teaches us that we are saved unto good works that we might walk in them (Eph. 2:8-10). Why does this matter? Because Antonio will, without a doubt, launch his canard-ish assault upon the Reformed position, claiming that its interpretation of this passage somehow denies sola gratia or sola fide. With “deeds” we note that we are not talking about works in the context of justification, but good deeds that flow from justification in the context of sanctification.

Yet in the second question we find different and important variations that weigh heavily upon its interpretation. In the above examples we are met with three modifiers to “faith” and one with no modifier at all. Respectively we have “such faith”, “his faith”, “that faith”, and merely “faith”.

That commentators have painted this someone’s faith as merely professed and spurious should be surprising to no one. This has been the overwhelming tradition (with a few notable exceptions). It is unfortunate that the theology of the pundits (and the translators) have colored their interpretation. They bolster their claims here by the insertion of the modifiers “such” or “that” to “faith”. Is this a legitamate understanding and translation? The introduction of words like “that” or “such” as qualifiers for “faith” is really an evasion of the text. The Greek does not support this sort of translation. There really is no corresponding Greek word for either or these.

Nevertheless, support for the renderings “such faith” or “that faith” is usually said to be found in the presence of the Greek definite article with the word “faith”. But in this very passage, the definite article also occurs with “faith” in verses 17, 18, 20, 22, and 26 (in verse 22 the reference is to Abraham’s faith!). In none of these places are the words “such” or “that” proposed as natural translations. As is well known, the Greek language, like Spanish and French, often employed the definite article with abstract nouns (like faith, hope, love, etc.) where English cannot do so. In such cases we leave the Greek article untranslated. The attempt to single out 2:14 for specialized treatment carries its own refutation on its face. It must be classed as a truly desperate effort to support an insupportable interpretation.

1. The phrase begins with μὴ, indicating that the answer to this rhetorical question is negative: “No, that kind of faith cannot save.” Would the answer, “No, faith cannot save” make any sense in the Free Grace position? (Antonio forces it to make sense by redefining “save,” as we will see in future posts).

2. So “that faith” (NASB), “that faith” (ESV), “such faith” (NIV), “the faith” (LITV) “this kind of faith” (NET), “that faith” (ASV), “that kind of faith” (NLT), “such faith” (ALT) “such faith” (AMP), “that kind of faith” (CEV), “that kind of faith” (NLV) etc. are all mistranslations? As far as I know, it is only the KJV and the NKJV that simply render it “Can faith save him,” and these are translated from the Textus Recptus which also contains the definite article. Antonio brushes off the definite article based upon how it is handled in the other verses. It may very well be true that the article with πιστις is anaphoric in these verses. However, the antecedent must be examined based upon its own immediate context. The Biblical scholars involved in the translation of the versions above knew very well what James was conveying in v. 14 in light of the entire passage. The distinction is between a faith that is demonstrated in deeds, and one that is demonstrated in words alone. It is between a faith that is alive, saving faith, and a faith that is “dead” (v. 26). Every discovery that we will make in this text from this point forward will absolutely affirm what the translators knew that James was conveying in v. 14.

3. The distinction made in this section is not between faith and works, but between dead faith and alive faith. Faith without deeds is dead faith. Dead faith cannot save. The answer to the rhetorical question in v.14, therefore, is “No, that kind of faith (dead faith, faith without deeds) cannot save.”

4. Antonio’s theological bias is undeniably evident. While he may claim that we “add to the text by including modifiers to ‘faith’ that both the context and Greek language do not support” (a claim that, at face value, sounds convincing, but once we look at the actual text, amounts to nothing), but he is the one that is twisting the meaning of the text. The translation “such faith” (the type of translation that is found in all versions other than the KJV and the NKJV) ruins Antonio’s claims on the passage, and, therefore, he must reject it. While he may sound convincing, in reality, this is nonsense coming from someone who, frankly, does not know what he is talking about.

Why must the Lordship Salvation advocates so intensly defend their position that the faith in view here must be spurious? For two reasons: 1) to evade the text and 2) in order to propagate their view that eternal salvation is not by faith alone apart from works. They dodge the text here. LS has desired this passage to be talking about eternal salvation (salvation from hell) so that they can promulgate their heresy of faith works (a faith that is not apart from works) being necessary for final salvation. Yet, is this passage truly talking about it?

Allow me to paraphrase 2:14: “Suppose that someone admits to faith yet he cannot point to acts of obedience (the kind that James has been discussing in 1:26-2:13), what then? Can he expect salvation (of the kind in which James is talking about) to come through his faith if he is not a ‘doer of work’ (1:21)?” In other words, as per the Greek text (and the NKJV), “Can faith save him?” Notice James’ stark, clear, and poignant question! Can faith alone save the man?

Actually the question in Greek implies its own answer and might be better translated, “Faith can’t save him, can it?” The expected response is, “No, it can’t!” But, of course, faith can and does save when we are speaking of eternal salvation (e.g. Ephesians 2:8, 9). But here -as James makes plain- faith cannot save under the conditions he has in mind.

Thus in James 2, the writer plainly makes works a condition for the salvation he here is describing. The failure to admit this is the chief source of the problems supposedly arising from this passage for most evangelicals. We ought to start by admitting it. And we ought then to admit that James cannot be discussing salvation BY GRACE! But instead of admitting these points, most interpreters dodge them, as we have shown.

…James is manifestly speaking of a “salvation” that is not by faith alone (”Can faith save him?” implied and intended answer in Greek, as per construction, is “NO!”). James’ statements cannot be willed away. As clearly as language can express it, faith by itself does not “save,” acording to James. But save from what?

We can begin to see where Antonio is going with this passage. He is going to remove “save” from an eternally salvific context. I must say that this did not surprise me when I saw it. Antonio’s warrantless rejection of “that faith” or “such faith” would make the text confusing. Is James saying that faith cannot save? Next post will look further in this passage, as well as consider Antonio’s interpretation of “save.”

Antonio’s mishandling of the text is becoming quite evident. Unfortunately, this particular post was necessarily long because he brought his mishandling to the translational level. We can see how far he must go to propagate his theology. While Antonio may continually accuse the Reformed position of having a theological agenda that is imposed upon the text, it is again and again evident that he is the one who must make a mess out of the text. As we continue to look at this passage, everything that will be established in the future will affirm what we have established here.

Book Recommendation: The God Who Justifies by James R. White. (BHP)

Evan May.

Rivers of life


I never said the distinction in the passage was between linnear and punctilliar faith in the passage, it is between physical water that must be continually drawn and the living water that need only be drinken of to at once appropriate eternal life. The implication is the difference between continuous drawing and drinking only once, obviously.

Yet, please don't put words into my mouth. Yes the implication to punctilliar faith is there, you can't get around it.


# posted by Antonio : 1/23/2006 2:27 PM


Antonio’s difficulty is that he has a problem remembering the words he put into his own mouth. This is what he originally said:


Acording to Reformed theology, salvation is contingent on linear faith. Jesus' offer to the Samaratan women (John 4) at the well thus turns from "whoever drinks of the water that I shall give them shall never thirst again" into "whoever CONTINUES to drink of the water I give them shall never thirst again"…This is how you must interpret this, for to "drink of" is not enough in your theology. You must CONTINUALLY drink.


He’s the one who decided to frame the interpretation of Jn 4 in terms of an exegetical choice between linear and punctiliar faith, not me.

And, in so doing, he was also presuming to put words in the mouth of Reformed theology.

BTW, if Antonio is going to keep using words like “linear” and “punctiliar,” it wouldn’t hurt him to consult a dictionary.


And, there is no speaking of linnear faith here anyway, only of a punctilliar action of appropriation spoken of in terms of the one who merely "drinks of" (appropriates by a mere act of punctilliar faith)and doing so shall never thirst again.


Notice how Antonio’s misinterpretation does violence to the governing imagery. In standard usage, “living” water was a synonym for spring water or running water—water which was regularly replenished by a natural source—unlike stagnant water.

And this usage is reinforced by the detailed imagery: “will become a spring of water” (4:14); “will flow rivers of living water” (7:38).

So the force of the imagery is not that you will never thirst because a single drink will forever quench your thirst; rather, the force of the imagery is that you will never thirst because you will have, within you, a continuous supply of water to assuage your thirst before you ever get to that point.

You don’t have to keep going back to the well, traveling some distance in the heat of the day, like the woman of Samaria, to sooth your dry mouth and parched lips. Instead, you, as a Christian, have this inner aquifer or subterranean stream that keeps you continuously hydrated.

Far from being punctiliar, the action is pervasively linear. What sustains eternal life is the relation between the Christian drinker and the immediate, inexhaustible stream. Dropping the metaphor, the Holy Spirit preserves the spiritual life of the believer.

The Christian will never thirst again, not because he will never drink again, but, to the contrary, because he has a constant source of spiritual hydration.


Your answer to me is the usual tiptoeing and evading of my arguments. You do not answer my argument, you only refer us to your Calvinistic doctrines of man, to your man-made theology, in order to refute my textual argument.

So thus you use theology to argue against exposition of Scripture. This is quite telling.

It reminds me of this rebuke from Jesus to the Pharisees:


Once again, Antonio suffers from a memory lapse. This is what he originally said:


Acording to Reformed theology, salvation is contingent on linear faith…
This is how you must interpret this, for to "drink of" is not enough in your theology. You must CONTINUALLY drink.


Antonio was the one who chose to cast the interpretation of Jn 4 in light of how Reformed theology supposedly interprets or appeals to Jn 4. Antonio was the one who imputed a certain view to Reformed theology, as well as a particular interpretation of Jn 4.

The reason I brought up Reformed theology is because he brought up Reformed theology. The reason I discuss Reformed theology in this context is because Antonio began by mischaracterizing Reformed theology through his superficial representations. Hence, it is necessary to correct his shallow mischaracterization of the opposing view.

When I respond to someone, my replies peg his original objections. It’s a pity that Antonio can’t keep track of his own argument.

I have indeed, answered his argument. But he’s forgotten what his argument was, even when I quote it back to him. Perhaps he needs to wear a string around his finger.

As to evading or tiptoeing around his “arguments” (“assertions” would be a better word), the record will show that I, as well as Evan, have offered direct and detailed replies to Antonio’s position, while Antonio has consistently failed to respond in kind.


It is sad when theology becomes the argument against clear exposition of Scripture.


I couldn’t agree more. Nothing is sadder than when antinomian and Sandemanian heresies become the argument against the clear exposition of Scripture. It reminds me of what Jesus said to the Pharisees (Mt 15:6-9).

Indeed, Antonio’s arid faith and stagnant piety stand in drastic contrast to true conversion of heart and mind, issuing from the headwaters the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"Desecration of the Host"


By: Joseph Jacobs & Max Schloessinger

Defiling the host or sacred wafer of the mass. In the Middle Ages the Jews were frequently accused of desecrating the host, an accusation equal in gravity to that of desecrating relics and images of Jesus and the saints. This accusation has brought thousands of Jews to the stake. The Jews were alleged to steal the host or to acquire it by purchase or bribery, to break it or seethe it, and to stick needles into it or transfix it, whereupon it began to bleed. Even when such an accusation was supported only by the testimony of a thief, a disreputable woman, a recent convert, or some one having a grudge against the accused Jews, the alleged perpetrators were put on trial, and, on evidence that was often preposterous, or after a confession exacted by torture, were condemned and burned, sometimes with all the other Jews of the place. The question, Why did not the Jews destroy the pierced host, the corpus delicti? The chronicles answer by the following statement: The Jews, frightened on seeing the blood, endeavored to hide the host, but while doing so miracles happened which aroused the attention of the Christian population and led to the discovery of the crime. The story is told, for instance, that once when the Jews were burying pieces of a pierced host in a meadow, these pieces were changed into butterflies, which began to heal cripples and blind persons. Another time, when some Jews were burning such pieces in a stove, angels and doves flew out. Again, the pieces fluttered out of a swamp, and a herd of grazing oxen, on seeing them, bowed down before them. The blood from the host was said to have splashed the foreheads of the Jews, leaving an indelible mark that betrayed them. It was also said that the pierced host had once whimpered and cried like an infant; this story is perhaps the earliest. As a rule, the later the chronicles the more stories of this nature they contain.

First Accusations.

The accusation of the desecration of the host arose after Pope Innocent III. had recognized (1215) the doctrine of transubstantiation, which resulted in the public and general worship of the consecrated host. Hence the first authentic accusation does not occur before the middle of the thirteenth century. This was made in 1243 at Belitz, near Berlin, and in consequence of it all the Jews of Belitz were burned on the spot subsequently called "Judenberg." Similar accusations, resulting in more or less extensive persecutions of the Jews, were brought forward in 1290, at Paris; 1294, at Laa, in Austria; 1298, at Röttingen, near Würzburg, and at Korneuburg, near Vienna; 1299, at Ratisbon; 1306, at Saint-Pälten; 1325, at Cracow; 1330, at Güstrow; 1337, at Deggendorf; 1338, at Pulka; 1370, at Enghien; 1388, at Prague; 1399, at Posen; 1401, at Glogau; 1410, at Segovia; 1420, at Ems; 1453, at Breslau; 1478, at Passau; 1492, at Sternberg, in Mecklenburg-Schwerin; 1510, at Berlin; 1514, at Mittelberg, in Alsace; 1558, at Sochaczew, in Poland. The last Jew burned for stealing a host died in 1631, according to Basnage, quoting from Manasseh b. Israel. Casimir IV. of Poland (1447), Martin Luther (1523), and Sigismund August of Poland (1558) were among those who repudiated the accusation, the repetition of which gradually ceased after the Reformation. The accusation of desecration of the host was based on the hypothesis that the Jews, like the Christians, identify the host with the true body of Jesus; that by crucifying the host they imagine they are crucifying Jesus anew; and that they use the blood supposed to have flowed from the host in order to get rid of the "fœtor Judaicus," or to color their cheeks to give them a fresh and rosy appearance. In a lecture delivered before the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences in 1848 Ehrenberg explained the phenomenon of the bloody host, which had caused such excitement in the Middle Ages. He showed that red microscopical infusoria, exactly resembling blood, and which he called "purpurmonade" (Monas prodigiosa, later termed Micrococcus prodigiosus by Cohn), settle on bread and other food, especially on wafers, kept in the dark for any length of time. He furthermore showed that this growth had been observed in former times, and a superstitious interpretation given to it.

Jews of Sternberg Represented as Transfixing Hosts.(From a woodcut issued by M. Brandls, Lübeck, 1492.)

Host-Tragedies and Jubilees.

HOST DESECRATION AT PASSAU, 1477. (From a contemporary wood-cut)

"Host-tragedies," or miracle-plays, were occasionally given in memory of these desecrations. The story of the desecration at Deggendorf in 1337 was represented as late as 1800 at Regen. A host-tragedy was produced at Constance in 1334. Centenaries or jubilees were held in commemoration of such events, as, for instance, the quadricentennial jubilee in 1799 in commemoration of the desecration of the host in Posen. As late as 1820 a great jubilee was celebrated at Brabant in commemoration of the desecration of the host at Enghien in 1370. This festival lasted eight days, during which sixteen hosts studded with diamonds were borne in solemn procession through the streets. Fifty years later (1870), while a committee and the clergy of Brussels were making preparations for this ancient festival, an article appeared in the "Revue Belgique," entitled "Le Jubilé d'un Faux Miracle," etc., which proved by the original sources that, although three Jews had been burned in 1370 on the charge of having stolen a host, "pro sacramentis punice et furtive captis," the original document had been changed sixty-five years later to read "pro sacramento puncto et furtive accepto," in order to fabricate an accusation of desecration of the host. Other falsifications being discovered in the document, Pope Pius IX. felt obliged to stop the festival. In the Church of Sainte-Gudule, Brussels, are several Gobelin tapestries containing representations of the supposed desecration of the host in 1370. See Brussels.

Bibliography: Basnage, Histoire des Juifs, ix., ch. 13; xxv. 397 et seq.;
Depping, Les Juifs dans le Moyen Age, p. 125;
Zunz, Literaturgesch. pp. 19, 38, 47, 49;
Aretin, Gesch. der Juden in Baiern, pp. 38 et seq.;
Monatsschrift, viii. 49 et seq.;
Ehrenberg, Verhandlungen der Königlichen Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, 1848, p. 349; 1849, p. 101;
Stobbe, Die Juden in Deutschland, pp. 187, 292;
Grätz, Gesch. vii. 231, 326; viii. 50, 95, 132, 197, 201, 228, 272; ix. 94, 445;
Chwolson, Die Blutanklage, pp. 268 et seq.;
Aronius, Regesten, p. 232;
Scherer, Die Rechtsverhältnisse der Juden in den Deutsch-Oesterreichischen Ländern, pp. 348 et seq., Leipsic, 1901.J. M. Sc.

The following appear to be the chief cases in which this particular accusation was brought against the Jews.

1260. Flanders (Usque, "Consolação," p. 15; Loeb, "Joseph ha-Kohen," p. 40).

1266. Santarem (Kayserling, "Portugal," p. 5, note).

1292. Laa, Austria; several slain, the remainder fled (Pertz, "Mon. Germ." ix. 658; Sch. p. 350).

1297. Meissen (Csl. p. 80).

1298. Röttingen (Sch. p. 349); 100,000 Jews said to have been killed (Sch. p. 351).

1302. Austria (Csl. p. 80). [?Korneuburg, 1298-1305; happened in 1298, tried in 1305; Sch. pp. 349, 351-352.]

1306. St.-Pölten (Sch. p. 349).

1310. Styria (St. p. 283).

1312. Fürstenfeld, Styria (Sch. p. 467); riots in Grätz and Judenburg; expulsion from Styria and Carinthia (Jost, "Gesch. der Israeliten," x. 322; Csl. p. 80; Wertheimer, "Jahrbuch," 1859, p. 4).

1330. Güstrow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin (Zunz, "S. P." p. 38); Wildenkatze (Csl. p. 80).

1331. Ueberlingen (Zunz, "S.P." p.38). [Blood accusation according to Csl. p. 79.]

1334. Constance (Lowenstein, "Bodensee," p. 25).

1337 (Sept. 30). Deggendorf, Straubing, and other Bavarian and Austrian towns (Aretin, "Juden in Baiern," pp. 21 et seq.; Zz. p. 38; Sch. p. 363).

1338. Pulka (Csl. p. 80); Linzand and Wernatodorf (Sch. p. 349); Retz, Znaim, Horn, Eggenburg, Neuburg, Zwettl, etc. (Sch. p. 364); Wolfsburg (Pertz, l.c. ix. 683; Jost, l.c. x. 322).

1361. Coimbra, Portugal (A. R. ii. 276-277, note).

1388. Prague (Csl. p. 80).

1401. Glogau (Zunz, "S. P." p. 47; Csl. p. 80; St. p. 289; Worbs, "Schles. Prov. Blätter," cxvii. 377).

1404 (July 10). Mühlen; all Jews of Salzburg and Hallein burned (Wolf, in "Monatsschrift," 1876, p. 284; Sch. p. 554).

1420. Ems (Jost, l.c. x. 222; Sch. p. 411); Jews expelled from Austria, Franconia, Saxony, Westphalia, the Rhine provinces (Zunz, "S. P." p. 48 [MaHaRiL's fast, 3 days]).

1422. Mayence (Csl. p. 80).

1432. Segovia (Grätz, "Gesch." viii. 95), note; Loeb, "Joseph ha-Kohen").

1474. Bavaria (Csl. p. 80).

1478. Passau (Aretin, l.c. p. 38; Csl. p. 80).

1484. Passau (Pertz, l.c. xi. 521; St. p. 292).

1510. Berlin; 26 burned, 2 beheaded (Csl. p. 80; Zunz, "S. P." p. 54; St. p. 292).

1559. Sochaczew (Zunz, "S. P." p. 336).

1836. Bislad, Rumania (Loeb, "Israelites," p. 143).