Four Vital Choices

ewfattyWhen I returned from a weekend trip I found this  gracEmail from Edward Fudge ( I quote it here and solicit your comments.

For Christians other than Lutherans and Calvinists, the four gospel slogans: “grace alone, Christ alone, faith alone, Scripture alone,” might sound less than obvious. The third expression (“faith alone”) sometimes even provokes a vigorous denial. But properly understood, the four Reformation motto’s well summarize biblical teaching about our salvation. How would you complete each of the following sentences?

* * *

1. God saves us as a matter of: (a) grace alone (wholly a gift)? (b) grace partially (somewhat a gift; somewhat merited)? or (c) grace not at all (wholly merited)? We affirm that God saves us as a matter of grace alone (wholly a gift). Luke 17:10; Romans 5:8-10.

2. God is gracious to us because of the pleasing activity of: (a) Christ alone, as our representative (entirely his obedience)? (b) Christ partially (partly Christ’s obedience; partly our obedience)? or (c) Christ not at all (entirely our obedience)? We affirm that God is gracious to us because of the obedience of Christ alone as our representative (entirely his obedience). 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Colossians 1:19-22; Titus 3:4-7; Hebrews 10:5-10, 14.

3. We receive, experience and enjoy God’s gracious favor and salvation through: (a) faith alone (wholly relying on God for it)? (b) faith partially (somewhat relying on God for it; somewhat relying on something else)? or (c) faith not at all (wholly relying on something/someone other than God)? We affirm that we receive, experience and enjoy God’s gracious favor and salvation through faith alone (wholly relying on God for it.). Romans 3:21-27; Romans 4:1-5, 23-25.

4. These principles are true because they rest on the authority of: (a) Scripture alone (our only appeal is to the Bible)? (b) Scripture partially (we appeal to the Bible in part; to other authorities in part)? or (c) Scripture not at all (our only appeal is to authorities besides the Bible)? We affirm that these principles are true because they rest on the authority of Scripture alone (our only appeal is to the Bible.). 2 Timothy 3:14-15; 2 Peter 1:16-21.


Copyright 2009 by Edward Fudge. Permission hereby given to forward, copy and distribute in any quantity, so long as no changes are made, this paragraph is included, and no financial profit is involved.

I’m curious, how do you respond to these four statements and the questions Edward Fudge asks?

Some church of Christ people will balk at the word “Reformed” and dismiss the whole because of that one word. Do I believe what I believe because I have found it in Scripture or because someone said it’s true? I fear that far too many fall into the latter category.

Your thoughts?


6 comments on “Four Vital Choices

  1. #1 — AMEN and AMEN and AMEN

    I disagree with the formulation of question #2. God is gracious to us because it is His nature to be gracious.

    I agree with #3 with the caveat that we must understand ‘pistis’ within the first-century context, and not the ‘mental assent alone’ definition which it carries in modern times.

    I disagree with the answer to #4 because Creation itself witnesses to God’s glory, power, and grace — and the Spirit witnesses as well. Scripture ALONE is not a Scriptural doctrine.

    in HIS love,

  2. It is impossible for our God to lie. Therefore his inspired word is the only source for the truth. The scriptures mentioned by Mr. Fudge are affirmation that Grace, Faith, Christ, and scripture alone are the correct teaching for everyones salvation. The reformation mottos still stand strong today.

    I agree! It was nice to see you and your wife again last night.


  3. Nick,

    I think that you might have missed the context of these 4 questions. The question at hand is not God’s revelation or how gracious he is to the population at large. The question is much more narrow, concerning how God saves sinners.

    As to your answer on number 4 it seems that you are talking about revelation not salvation. (1 Peter 1:23)

    “Faith” in Christ is never only giving mental assent to a set of facts. It is always a dependent trust resulting in obedience.


  4. Royce, as I read Edward Fudge’s questions. I answered the way I felt, and I answered the way he did on all four. Praise be to GOD. Love, Bill

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