Saved by Faith or Works?


The Apostle, Paul, who played a critical role in spreading the Church to the Gentiles during the first century.

The role of faith vs. works in salvation has been the subject of debate and confusion since the beginning of Christianity.  Paul clearly states in Ephesians that we “are saved by faith…not by works” while James says that “faith without works is dead.”  So which is it?  Are we saved by faith, works, or some combination of the two?

The Case for Faith

The Bible is clear that we are saved “by grace through faith” in Christ.  But what exactly does that mean?  In short, salvation by grace through faith means that we do not earn it through our own actions.  It is an unmerited gift from God (i.e. “grace”) given “through faith” in Christ as our personal savior.   There are many Bible verses one can cite to explain what “faith in Christ” means, but one of the clearest is Romans 10:9 (“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”)  Continue reading

Christianity 101

Antonio Ciseri's depiction of Pontius Pilate presenting a scourged Christ to the people Ecce homo! (Behold the man!). Painted 1871.

Antonio Ciseri’s depiction of Pontius Pilate presenting a scourged Christ to the people: Ecce homo! (Behold the man!). Painted 1871.

Christianity, in its broadest sense, is the world’s largest religion with over two billion followers.  However, because of the many denominations and varying beliefs and traditions, the term can be confusing and often means different things to different people.

So, especially for those who are newly exploring the faith, it’s important to answer the question:  “At its core, what is Christianity all about?” Continue reading

Is Faith Just a Crutch for Weak People?


A common objection to religion in general and Christianity in particular, is that it serves as a type of emotional “crutch.”  Often, those who use this argument think of Christians as weak-minded, self-deluded, and in need of some fairy tale “protector” to help them through life.  They are contrasted to the more intellectual and stronger-willed atheist that can handle the harsh realities of life.  Is this an accurate characterization of Christians or people of faith?  More importantly, is it a legitimate reason to choose atheism? Continue reading