Saturday, October 9, 2010

Justification by Faith Alone Debate - Cross Examination Questions by Nick to Jeff

Justification by Faith Alone Debate
Cross Examination Questions to Jeff
asked by Nick

1) What are the top 3 passages which you believe most strongly teach the notion of Christ’s Active Obedience (i.e. that He kept the law in our place and this obedience was counted as if we had done it)?

2) As mentioned in the Opening Essay, the term translated into English as impute/reckon/credit/account is the single Greek word logizomai. What are a few instances in the NT where logizomai is used in Scripture to mean something along the lines of “transfer” (as in “faith is logizomai as righteousness” is taken to mean “faith transfers [Christ’s] righteousness”) such as to support the Protestant understanding of the term?

3) Given that Psalm 106:30-31 uses the phrase “reckoned as righteousness” (identical in Greek/Hebrew as Genesis 15:6), please explain (a) what it means in Psalm 106:31f, (b) whether is possible for an identical phrase to hold the same meaning despite being used in two different places, and (c) why it cannot mean the same thing in the case of these two passages?

4) Reformed apologists like James White and others insist Abraham was justified in Genesis 15, as Romans 4 (esp 4:10) indicates. If you believe this is so, how was Abraham pleasing God through acts of obedience and faith as early as Genesis 12 (directly referenced in Hebrews 11:8 and Galatians 3:8) without having been justified? If you don’t believe it is so, and instead believe that Abraham was (once and for all) justified as early as Genesis 12, then how can Genesis 15:1-6 be referring to a specific historical point in time chronologically after Genesis 12 without a contradiction in your theology? (If Abraham was justified in Genesis 12, then all future acts would be acts of sanctification, not justification, according to classical Protestant theology.)

5) Virtually all of the Final Judgment texts speak explicitly on how the believer is judged worthy of entering Heaven based on how they lived (i.e. their works). Taking the famous text of Matthew 25:31-46, especially the sections which read:
“'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'”
how do you explain this since the very basis from which the believer is to enter Heaven is on what Christ did?
In other words, the Judge speaking in full legal capacity cannot say “enter into Heaven because Christ kept the law for you” and “enter into Heaven because you did these works as a Christian.”