“Basically, if there is no action, then there really is no faith.” (Joe)
Then the equation should logically be:
Faith + Works/Actions = Salvation
Faith = Salvation
Because in your premise you are stating one without the other leaves either meaningless (for the believer and for the atheist).
Here is what you say about the atheist: “By definition of being an atheist, one cannot have faith and therefore cannot have been created in Christ and therefore, by God’s standard, can do no “good works“”.
Your answer, as well done as it all was (thanks), answers nothing in the end.
For the believer that has faith you require they go on to ‘good works’ to ‘prove’ they are Christian…meaning they need good works dude (it’s not an option).
For the atheist you say since they cannot have ‘faith’ their good works are meaningless. In this scenario everything hinges on their having ‘faith’ regardless of works. Faith is the end all be all according to this scenario.
In essence you play faith down for the believer and up-play works – whereas for the atheist you up-play faith and downplay works.
This system is unjust and weighs on the basis of what one claims to be – and changes the weight of each focus in each scenario. In fact, it is illogical.
I think you have come up with some interesting math but it doesn’t add up.
Faith + good works = saved
Faith – good works = not saved
No Faith + good works = not saved
No Faith – no good works = not saved
4 scenarios – but faith alone is not equal to salvation…how can one make that claim since faith alone proves nothing. If this was so – the equations below have to both be correct:
Faith + good works = salvation
Faith – good works = salvation
I am yet to meet the sane person that lives the second one out. It seems to me once we remove good works from the equation – there isn’t much anchoring faith anymore.
Thus faith has to be termed ‘faithfulness to something’ – linked to a set of ideals to make any lick of sense. Then we can say ‘someone is not a hypocrite’ based on such and such set of ideal. The exact thing I see Jesus doing in Matthew 6.
*Comment was originally aired in Stand to Reason ‘God is Narrow Minded’