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"[Abraham]'s faith and his actions worked together;his faith was made perfect through his actions." This is what saved Abraham, and this is what Catholics really believe. Sungenis shows that a person can't work his way to heaven-we aren't employees of the Jesus Christ Corporation. He also notes that the only time in the Bible that the words "faith" and "alone" are only put together in James 2:24. This is when James writes that we are not saved by faith alone. It would be good to read James 2:14-24 about this. But more importantly, Sungenis shows that being saved is a process. Even when we accept Christ in our lives, that doesn't mean good works spontaneously flow out of us. Earlier in Ch. 2, James sets of a poor and a rich man attending the same Christian meeting. The temptation is to adore the rich and ignore the poor. And this often happens. Instead, we must stand guard, even with our faith, to resist doing evil.
Robert Sungenis does an outstanding job of presenting the biblical truth about the doctrine of justification, his case is simply irrefutable. Having held to the belief in justification by faith alone for most of my life, it took a great amount of effort on my part to maintain my objectivity as I examined what the bible really teaches about how a person is saved. To maintain the "faith alone" position after reading this book would be to ignore Scripture.
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"How Can I Get To Heaven" is a shorter, simplified version of "Not By Faith Alone" by the same author. This books omits the references to the Greek texts and the appendices which are in the "Not By" book. But it is still an excellent book, outlined in pretty much the same format as the much larger "Not By" book (300 pages as opposed to 700). It covers in simple, readable language the teachings of Paul, James, and Christ on the subject of justification. It shows how all of their teachings are in perfect harmony with no need to deflate, dismiss, or outright ignore the texts which shoot "sola fide" in the heart. It covers how justification is NOT a one-time event, how one's salvation CAN be lost, how Christ's righteousness is actually infused into us, not merely imputed to us, how justification is a familial restoration and not merely a courtroom decree. It also touches on predestination, free will, final justification, "certain knowledge" of one's own salvation, and purgatory. This book is sufficient to arm Catholics who wants to stand up to those who try to teach them "justification by faith alone." It would also be a good book for a protestant who wants to learn what the Catholic Church REALLY teaches - not necessarily what your parents and pastors TOLD you it teaches. If you are a serious protestant who would not mind putting "sola fide" to the proof, yes, read this book. Five stars!!! If one wants a work of heavy scholarship on this subject, see also "Not By Faith Alone" by the same author.
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