Science in Christian Perspective
FAITH AND WORKS
Joseph M. Gettys
It is much easier to assume that orthodoxy of faith, which is so necessary, is enough. It is hard to put an orthodox faith to work where religion becomes vital and Christ-like, which is just as necessary. At least that is the repeated teaching of Jesus and the apostles. Who are we to change their emphasis to something we have decided is more important? It usually takes much more of God's grace to put faith to work than it does to feel proud of one's orthodoxy. But in the long run the results speak for themselves.
What we are trying to say is that it is not enough for us to, defend the faith. Our primary task is to demonstrate to the world the fact that our faith will produce godliness of character like that revealed in Jesus Christ. Such a faith does not have to be defended at every turn in the road. To argue that Army at West Point has a good football team when it is running up a string of victories is to argue the obvious. If Army loses a string of games, all the argument in the world will not convince many non-Army football fans that Army has a good team. When the Christian Church is marching as the army of the Lord, witnessing to its faith, putting its faith to work in every area of personal and social life, it will not require constant defense. But let it go dead on its feet and drift backwards, failing to accomplish its divinely appointed mission, and it will have to be defended on all sides. The trouble is that until it begins to march again, all the defenses of the faithful will not be very convincing to an unbelieving world. We are not decrying orthodoxy any more than Paul was, but we are trying to give a larger and deeper view of Christian orthodoxy in faith and conduct than some earnest and sincere Christians seem to hold.-Joseph M. Gettys (Prof. of Bible, Presbyterian College, Clinton, S. C.), How to Teach I Corinthians (Richmond, Va.: John Knox Press 1951), pp. 50-51, italics added. Reprinted by permission.