Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JOTGES 12:1 (Spring 99) p. 111
“Workless Faith is Worthless Faith,” William Krewson, Israel My Glory 57 (April/May 1999), 17–19.
In the middle of an otherwise helpful series of articles on the teachings of the book of James in the April/May 1999 volume of Israel My Glory, it was both disheartening and disconcerting to read William Krewson’s comments on Jas 2:14–26. While the other articles reflected an understanding of James’ audience being Christians, and interpreted their passages as applying to practical Christian living in the face of trials and persecution, Krewson assumes that James suddenly addresses unbelievers in 2:14–26. Worse yet, he suggests that these are people who think they believe, but have their unbelief exposed by their lack of works! Besides being historically doubtful, such a position is destructive to the doctrine of salvation by faith alone. Syncretistic theology has made much hay using Jas 2:14–26, and sadly, it once again appeared in this article. To wit:
1) Krewson identifies the audience of James’ epistle as “dispersed Jewish believers who lived throughout the Roman empire” who had a “newfound liberty in Jesus.” Clearly, James envisions his audience as being those who may have faith, but not have works. Does Krewson believe that these Christians can lose their salvation, or is his position that they discover that they aren’t really believers because they don’t do good works? Is either of these positions that of Friends Of Israel (FOI)?
2) Krewson writes that the false teachers were teaching that “salvation without works of the law meant salvation without any works at all.” If this is false teaching, tell Paul. He wrote, “Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him
JOTGES 12:1 (Spring 99) p. 112
who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” (Rom 4:4–5). Numerous other unambiguous verses echo this clear message (Eph 2:8–9; Titus 3:5; Gal 2:16; etc.).
3) Krewson reflects an inexcusable lack of knowledge concerning the text on which he is writing. He begins by correctly quoting Jas 2:14 (“Can faith save him?”), only to misquote it at the end of the same paragraph: “Can that kind of faith save him?” (italics added). Is Krewson unaware t...
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