Apologetics for the Masses - Issue #156

Bible Christian Society

General Comments

I want to say “thank you” to all of the men who were at the Rio Grande Catholic Men’s Conference in McAllen, Texas, for their turnout and for the kind reception I received when I spoke there a couple of weeks ago. It was a great experience!


For all of those who are relatively new to this newsletter, I do different things from time-to-time. Sometimes I simply have a question or two and then provide answers to those questions, as in last week’s newsletter.

Other times I have back and forth dialogues with Protestant ministers or lay persons – Baptist, Evangelical, Church of God, Reformed, Presbyterian, and so on. I answer their questions and/or attacks on the Catholic Faith and ask them questions of my own regarding their faiths. Questions that you can use as is, or with minor adaptations, for your discussions with non-Catholics.

Other times, I simply take an article or articles about the Catholic Faith off of an anti-Catholic website and point out it’s logical, historical, and/or scriptural deficiencies.

All of this is for the expressed purpose of educating Catholics in how to better explain and defend their Faith, while also educating non-Catholics (and we have quite a few non-Catholics reading these newsletters) as to what Catholics actually believe and why we believe it – using Scripture, logic, common sense, and, on occasion, history and tradition, to do so.

This week, I am going to answer a question that someone sent to me regarding my YouTube series: “Questions Protestants Can’t Answer.” The question, from Jeanne in Johannesburg, South Africa, was this:

I would be very interested in your responses to your questions in “Questions Protestants can’t answer”. I think I could answer some but don’t believe I would achieve 70%. I want to be 100% sure. How can I get the answers?

So, below I will put the questions I have posted so far, with the links so you can see the video yourself, and explain why they are, “Questions Protestants Can’t Answer,” and give the “correct” answers – answers that Catholics have no problems giving.


1) Is a dead body really a body? 


The Catholic answer is…yes.  A dead body is indeed a dead body.

Now, why is this a question Protestants can’t answer?  Well, because there are a number of Protestants who will tell you that faith without works really isn’t faith.  They say that because, when a Catholic confronts them with all of the verses from chapter two of the Letter of James that say works play an important role in our salvation, which is contrary to the majority Protestant belief in salvation by faith alone (Sola Fide), they often respond by saying, "Well, faith without works isn’t really faith."

So, when you point out to a Sola Fide Protestant verses such as: 1) James 2:17, "So faith, by itself, if it has no works, is dead," or 2) James 2:20, "Do you want to be shown, you foolish fellow, that faith apart from works is barren," verses that are very clearly saying works are necessary along with faith for salvation, they respond by saying, "Well, what those verses are really saying is that faith that does not produce works is not really faith." 

But, the problem for them is, the Bible does not support their position that faith without works really isn’t faith.  This is seen no more clearly than in James 2:26: "For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead."  There is an analogy here: faith = body; works = spirit.  So, a body without a spirit is, as everyone knows, a dead body.  It is really a body, but it’s a dead body.  So, if faith is analogous to the body, as Scripture says, then faith without works, is really faith, it’s just dead faith.  Thus the question: Is a dead body really a body?  If they say, "Yes, a dead body is really a body," then they cannot afterwards claim that faith without works is not really faith as that would contradict the analogy we find in James 2:26.  If they say a dead body is not really a body, then they have just stated something that is truly idiotic and you need to drive them down to the morgue and ask them what those "things" are in there.  So their choice is to answer in a way that contradicts one of their beliefs, or to answer in a way that is patently absurd.

Body and spirit are both necessary for life, according to the Bible.  So, for the analogy to hold, faith and works are both necessary for life.  Body and spirit for physical life, faith and works for spiritual life.  Body + spirit = life; Faith + works = Life.  Sola corpus (body without spirit) = dead body.  Sola Fide (faith without works) = dead faith.  So, again, the core belief of much of Protestantism – Sola Fide – is an absurdity since Sola Fide = dead faith and dead faith saves no one.

2) If a man says he has faith, and has no works, can his faith save him? 


This is a question straight out of James 2:14, "What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works?  Can his faith save him?"

The Catholic answer is…no.  Faith without works is dead.

Now, why is this a question Protestants can’t answer?  Because most Protestants believe in the dogma of Sola Fide – salvation by faith alone.  So, if they say, "Yes, a man can be saved by his faith without works," which is what their belief in Sola Fide teaches them, they are in opposition to the Bible which answers the question in James 2:17, "So faith, by itself, if it has no works, is dead."  And, if they say, "No, a man’s faith without works cannot save him," then they have contradicted their belief in Sola Fide.

3) How are we justified…is it by faith alone?   


The Catholic answer is…no.  As mentioned in the previous two videos, faith and works are both necessary for salvation (all by the grace of God).

Now, why is this a question Protestants can’t answer?  Because if the Protestant says, "Yes, we are justified by faith alone," then they are directly contradicting James 2:24, "You see that a man is justified by works and NOT BY faith alone."  But, if they say, "No, we are not justified by faith alone," then they are contradicting their belief in Sola Fide. 

4) Can an incomplete faith save us?  


The Catholic answer is…no.  How can an incomplete faith save anyone? 

Now, why is this a question Protestants can’t answer?  Because, if the Protestant says, "No, an incomplete faith cannot save you," then they have a problem because Scripture tells us that faith is completed by works.  James 2:22, "You see that his faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works."  Works complete faith.  So, works are necessary in order to have a complete faith.  And, if works are necessary in order to have a complete faith, a saving faith, then how can anyone say we are saved by faith alone (Sola Fide)?  But, if the Protestant says, "Yes, an incomplete faith can save you," then they have uttered an absurdity, not to mention having no place in Scripture to which to appeal to show that an incomplete faith saves you.  So, again, the Protestant’s choice is to either contradict Scripture, or contradict their belief in salvation by faith alone.

5) Can someone, through well doing (good works), receive eternal life?  


The Catholic answer is…yes.  Although, it should be mentioned that we do not believe that good works "alone" gets one eternal life. 

Now, why is this a question Protestants can’t answer?  Because, one more time, most Protestants believe in Sola Fide.  So, the standard answer from Protestants is, "No, one does not receive eternal life because they do good works."  But, the Bible says, in Romans 2:6-7, "For He will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing [good works] seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life."  So, if the Protestant says, "No," he contradicts the Bible.  If he says, "Yes," then he contradicts his belief in Sola Fide.

6) Do I have to do somethng in order to be saved? 


Brand new video available…check it out…need lots of hits.  I’ll talk about it more in a future newsletter….

In Conclusion

Lots more videos to come on YouTube. Please click on them as often as possible to build up the number of hits and please let the folks on your email lists know about them. The more hits a video gets the more attention it draws from folks, which means the more other people beyond this list might view one or more of them and possibly have a seed planted. And that’s what it’s all about…planting seeds.

Hope all of you have a great week!

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Apologetics for the Masses