FALLACY OF EQUIVOCATION: IS ACCEPTING SALVATION A ‘WORK’?


Here’s a syllogism to consider: A) The Bible says ‘you are saved by faith, not works, lest any man should boast’. B) If you think that you chose to accept God’s offer of salvation, that is a work. C) B is clearly unBiblical since it contradicts A. D) Therefore, salvation is entirely God’s doing with no human contribution at all – God unilaterally, unconditionally, irrestibly, deterministically makes you believe the Gospel. Did you catch the mistake or sleight of hand? The Biblical-soteriological meaning of ‘work = earning salvation by your own effort and merit’ has been imposed onto and mixed up with the common usage definition of ‘work = any action or activity’. This is the Fallacy of Equivocation – a word given one meaning in one portion of the argument, and then a different meaning in another portion of the argument. Look again at the syllogism, carefully this time: The definition and meaning of ‘work’ in premises A and B are not the same. Premise A is the Biblical-soteriology usage. Premise B is the common usage (any action). “So you chose to accept God’s grace? Choosing and accepting are actions, actions are works, therefore you believe in salvation by works. You are saving yourself. All glory to you! Are you a semi-Pelagian as well?” Of course a Christian (especially a Protestant) wouldn’t want to affirm these accusations. So the only alternative in this False Dilemma (another logical fallacy) is to affirm Calvinism. However, the whole thrust of the Paul is to contrast ‘faith’ against ‘work’. So whatever you want to term it, acceptance by faith is NOT a Biblical-soteriological ‘work’. See Mike Winger on this and disproving it from the Bible at 3:38 onwards, and from 14:16 by many citations of Calvinists making the fallacious equivocation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxakEl8BYBE See also William Lane Craig similarly disproving this from Paul at 07:47 onwards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zntQbMLnubQ&t=467s

One Response to “FALLACY OF EQUIVOCATION: IS ACCEPTING SALVATION A ‘WORK’?”

  1. br.d Says:

    Well said!
    Thank you :-]

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