Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fantastic Tim Keller quote

If you were to rank the four thinkers who most inspire my faith (apart from the men of the Bible), they would probably be (in no particular order):

- St Augustine
- CS Lewis
- NT Wright
- Tim Keller

Yesterday, while listening to a Tim Keller podcast on my way to work, I heard what I believe to be the best definition of the Gospel-and-works I think I've ever heard. (Definitions, as he uses the terms: legalism is believing that works define our relationship with God; antinomianism is the belief that since we are saved, we may sin without worry since God forgives all.)

"The Gospel is neither legalism, nor antinomianism. These are the two errors on both sides of the Gospel. The Gospel is not that you are saved by works. The Gospel is not that once you are saved, it doesn't matter how you live.
The Gospel is:  you're saved by faith alone, but not by faith which is alone. It does not remain alone, but issues forth the holiness of life."

I think that "faith alone, but not by faith which remains alone" is my new favorite catch-phrase. Well done as always, Dr. Keller.


  1. That quote comes from the Council of Trent.

    1. Are you sure? I can't find that anywhere. Even this Catholic site (http://vivacatholic.wordpress.com/2007/07/04/by-faith-alone-but-not-by-faith-that-is-alone/) says that it is R.C. Sproul who said it; meanwhile Wikipedia attributes it to Luther.

      Definitely it appears though that it did not originate with Keller.