Faith and Works


Faith – belief in God / relationship with God / acceptance of religious teachings

Works – good deeds, sacraments, rituals

Grace – free gift, not a reward

Salvation – eternal union with God (heaven)

Views of works

Works can be counter-productive

Works can be nice

Works are essential to salvation

Views of salvation

Catholicism: Faith and works are inseparable on the road to salvation

Luther: The choice to respond to God’s call to faith leads to salvation

Calvin: God saves whomever God chooses, humans have no say in the matter

21st century (?): Works are most important, religion may or may not be helpful

Salvation outside the church?

Is Gandhi in heaven?

No – dominant view until 20th century, many still

Maybe – 20th century Catholicism

Yes – popular view in 21st century America

Different concepts of hell

Punishment for bad deeds

Absence of God