Faith Is No Longer a Virtue in America

… is the title of Salena Zito’s1)One of my favorite columnists who I discovered during the Trump campaign – when I was not a Trump supporter. She came to my attention with one of the most insightful bits of snark I’ve ever seen, to wit: “The press takes (Donald Trump) literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.” latest article in the New York Post.

But faith rightly understood, has never been an explicit Christian virtue. A Christian (or Jewish) virtue is a specific behavior2)Most Christian traditions define seven specific virtues of which there are 4 cardinal and 3 theological virtues – see here. sometimes referred to as a habit. More specifically, this habit expresses or gives evidence of an interior faith. Let’s summarize the implications in view here:

  • The Virtuous Christian: one who believes in Jesus Christ as LORD and Saviour and who lives according to the precepts of the Christian faith.
  • The Non-virtuous Christian: one who believes in Jesus Christ as LORD and Saviour but does not practice the principles of the Christian faith

So, do you see the problem? If Christians are saved by faith alone, then virtue has no place in the Christian understanding of salvation. Does this make sense to you?┬áIt didn’t make sense to James either (James 2:14-17).

To understand this business of faith and its relevance to salvation, you might want to read this article about faith and faithfulness.

References   [ + ]

1. One of my favorite columnists who I discovered during the Trump campaign – when I was not a Trump supporter. She came to my attention with one of the most insightful bits of snark I’ve ever seen, to wit: “The press takes (Donald Trump) literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”
2. Most Christian traditions define seven specific virtues of which there are 4 cardinal and 3 theological virtues – see here.
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