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Letter: Your statement is quite misleading

Published on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

I am afraid that your statement 'the phrase “faith without works is dead” has been used by Protestants to dispute the validity of the epistle as official canon' is quite misleading.

The epistle of James is very much a part of the official canon of Protestants (which should be evident from the fact that you have quoted from the KJV) who do not consider that there is any contradiction since it merely conveys that faith is not mere intellectual assent but, if it is real, must be evidenced by works, and not that works are required for salvation.

While it is correct that its inclusion was controversial at various times in church history; this controversy was not confined to Martin Luther and his followers as you imply. It was disputed by some church leaders in the 2nd century AD, as well as by eminent Roman Catholic theologians, e.g. Cardinal Cajetan, together with scholars such as Erasmus in the 16th century AD.

Olivaire Watler

Editor’s note: Mr Watler is doubtless correct but it was not our intention to deal exhaustively with the scriptural issues, let alone provoke any kind of religious controversy. We merely tried to apply the phrase and its underlying concept to a modern day situation resulting from the economic recession.
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