Calling Dr Eryl Davies of The Evangelical Theological College of Wales - will he answer?
Calling Dr Eryl Davies of The Evangelical Theological College of Wales - will he answer?
DAVIES A QUESTIONABLE SCHOLAR OF A QUESTIONABLE BOOK

DAVIES LOSES THE PLOT AND IS BECOME HOPELESSLY LOST!

DAVIES FAILS THE READING TEST AND IGNORES THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS' ARTICLES OF FAITH

  

DAVIES IGNORES GOD'S WORD AND CHOOSES SATAN'S WORD INSTEAD

ERYL DAVIES - YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER!

  

SHAME ON YOU

Apart from Davies' 1990 publication, 'Truth Under Attack,' having statistics that were hopelessly out of date long before his book rolled out of the Evangelical Press, he essays to attack every expression of  Christianity that is not his, and even takes on some religious movements that were close to extinction when I was a lad.  His reasons for including - for example - Theosophy, Yoga, Unitarianism, Moral Rearmament, and others that it would not be unkind to describe as obsolescent - he does not disclose, but are probably added for mere padding. 

What he does disclose is that if he does not believe it he deems it opposed to and attacking 'Christianity à la Davies.'

The cover of his book is a Royal Air Force WW II Spitfire in attacking mode.  Perhaps Davies is unaware that the RAF was actually fighting against evil and not attacking it.  Yet his unfortunate choice of illustration is consonant with the spirit and content of his shabby and inconsequential book.  It is disquieting to learn that he has already published a further volume and apparently has a third one on the stocks.  

My interest in his work is a chapter in which he turns his armoury against Mormons.  As a Mormon of many years standing I welcome scholarly interest in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Yet Eryl Davies' interest can not be regarded as scholarly in the slightest degree, since it is 100% pejorative and, with one exception [noted below] a series of falsehoods that he stole from other anti-Mormon publications.

The whole tenor of his 334 page book is pitifully hypocritical and permeated with untruths.  No Christians could have produced such a work and no scholar would wish his name to be associated with it for fear that some of his more rigorous and ethical colleagues religionists would read it and hold him in derision.  

Initially, I did not intend to devote much time or space to "Truth Under Attack" but Davies crams so much false and malignant information into his nine page "Attack on Truth" that, like Topsy, it just 'growed.'  The principle reason is that if Dr Eryl Davies has the academic qualifications claimed, then this book was not written by him but by the enemy of all truth, Satan himself.  The enormity of that charge is neither accidental nor is it mere posturing: no scholar - Christian or not - could have written this book unless he has complete and utter disregard for the truth and is too bone idle and callous to care whether his aischrolatreia is likely to affect anything other than his lust for pecuniary advantage.

  

Davies writes [1990] " ... the world-wide membership is estimated at over four million." 

  

ZAP!   The truth is that in 1990 the membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stood at almost eight million.  These statistics are readily available to anyone, even those that are hostile to the Latter-day Saints.  I mention this first because it establishes Davies' slovenly approach to chapter 11, 'Mormons.'  His failure to research produces the results that blatant  non-scholarship can be expected to deliver.  What is unforgiveable is that he claims:

  

"The contents of this book have been carefully researched over a period of sixteen years ... "

  

Eryl Davies must have his own definition of what constitutes 'rigorous and honest academic research' that is at variance with the standard academic definition, for it is evident that what he considers 'research' is nothing more than 'plagiarism' prepared for the gullible that will not check Davies' claims, but accept the word of so great a learned, trusted, and powerful 'authority' as Doctor Davies.

The gullible will swallow it as eagerly and readily as does Davies, while the non-gullible can smell Davies pot-boiler for what it is, just another rehashing of old and ridiculous attacks on Mormonism that have been cogently and robustly demolished many times by scholars that, unlike Davies, have integrity and do not prostitute their vaunted but tainted Christian faith nor sell their souls to Satan to promote their collections of lies and intentional distortions for thirty pieces of silver.  

Of further interest is his failure to provide one bibliographical reference for his 'Mormon' chapter. Are we to believe that he wrote this chapter from personal research without one single reference to any primary source?   He might believe it and his fawning sycophants might take his word for it, but there is a price to pay for moral and ethical honesty that Davies has flatly refused to pay. 

It is highly probable that the references to the mendacious statements Davies represents as representing Mormonism were mislaid somewhere between the second or third and perhaps the five-hundredth time they were excreted from one anti-Mormon tome and spewed onto the pages of another without touching the minds of either provider or plagiarist, bypassing the controls of ethical and academic rigour that such a treatment demands.  

 Doctor Eryl Davies MUST explain his perfidy, and I openly challenge him to do so.

  

Davies' Appendix II - Useful addresses and contacts for further reading and research - reveals the cess-pool in which he has dipped his pen to serve up his Anti-Mormon fare.  

He cites eleven agencies as 'useful' for reading and research, but has not bothered to check these agencies to discover whether they are reputable and reliable sources of accurate information.  I have had personal correspondence with several of these hostile ministries and am forced to conclude that they neither love or care for Mormons, and do not hesitate to write and publish false and misleading information while asseverating that what they write is the truth.  It never is!

Nothing is more conducive to being poisoned than drinking at a poisoned well, and Davies does exactly that.  A short list of some of the Senior Tutor's more glaring faux pas will demonstrate how disappointed real scholars will be with Davies' odious scribbling.

  

1.   Joseph Smith was "confused by the numerous versions of the Christian church to be found in his home area of Sharon. Vermont."  

ZAP!   Smith was born at Sharon, Vt, but he and his family moved to New York when he was eleven and were living at Palmyra, near Manchester, New York when the revivals that caused him confusion took place. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_life_of_Joseph_Smith,_Jr.

  

2.   Smith  claimed that "God the Father and the Son appeared" to him.

KUDOS!   That is correct.

  

  

3.   "Three years later [Smith] claimed an even more impressive vision in which he said an angel named Moroni ... "

ZAP!   Smith did not describe the appearance of Moroni as 'even more impressive than that of God the Father and God the Son.   Davies said that.  I do not know of anyone in or out of Mormonism that would consider any visitation to be 'even more impressive' that the open vision of God the father and His only begotten Son.  An extraordinary statement even by Evangelical standards.  

  

4.   Davies writes that Smith said that the Nephite record [the Book of Mormon] was written in "Egyptian hieroglyphics."

ZAP!   Hieroglyphics are the form of Egyptian writing used by the priests to inscribe the pyramid and coffin texts.  In time this form gave way to altered forms and Smith described the characters with which to plates were engraved as reformed Egyptian.  Reformed Egyptian is not a language but a character set. 

During military service in the Middle East I kept my journal in the English language using Greek characters.  Smith never refers to 'reformed Egyptian language' but calls the script reformed - ie, altered, Egyptian.  Most western alphabets are descended from Egyptian in whole or part and, therefore, may properly be said to be reformed Egyptian

A scholarly paper on this subject can be read and printed at: 

http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/jbms/?vol=5&num=2&id=128 

  

5.   Scholars deny the existence of this ancient language ... 

ZAP!   Smith did not claim Reformed Egyptian was a proper language.  Nephi in the Book of Mormon says,

"I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favoured of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.   Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians." [1 Nephi1:1-2] 

Nephi write in the Hebrew language - 'the language of my father' - using the character set of one of the reformed Egyptian alphabets. 

Further and better information may be obtained at the Reputed Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago - http://oi.uchicago.edu/research/pubs/catalog/cdd/   - whose Introductions states:

  

  "The Demotic Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (CDD)  is a lexicographic tool for reading texts written in a late stage of the ancient Egyptian language and in a highly cursive script known as Demotic. In use from ca. 650 B.C. until the middle of the fifth century A.D., Demotic served as the medium for a wide variety of text types. These include “documentary” texts, such as business and legal documents, private letters and administrative inscriptions, and “literary” texts, including not only works of literature per se, for example, narrative texts and pieces of wisdom literature, but also religious and magical texts and scientific texts dealing with topics such as astronomy, mathematics, and medicine. Demotic texts thus not only provide important witnesses for the development of ancient Egyptian linguistic and paleographical traditions but also constitute an indispensable source for reconstructing the social, political, and cultural life of ancient Egypt during a fascinating period of its history.

 

6.   Davies insists that the Spaulding Manuscript is the original source of the Book of Mormon. [p.101]

ZAP!   The Spaulding - or Spalding - theory was born when Philastus Hurlburt turned against his Mormon faith and wrote an exposé called 'Mormonism Unvailed,' in which he not only raises the spectre of Spaulding's Manuscript, but actually obtained the document from Spaulding's widow, Mrs Matilda Davidson.  Besides claiming that he had in his hands the original of the Book of Mormon and could thereby prove it fraudulent he did nothing but keep the Manuscript out of sight.  His book was published and Mormons refuted its claims, but without the MS argument and pleadings were futile.  It was even claimed that to prevent exposure of the imposture Mormons had stolen the story and burned it. 

That story was believed until the last part of the nineteenth century when the document was discovered in the possession of Dr Fairchild of the Oberlin Institute.  Its discovery put a Spaulding origin for the Book of Mormon beyond dispute - except for a certain class of ingenue the mark of which is the failure to effect the most simple piece of research!  On this cue Dr Eryl Davies, Senior Tutor of the Evangelical College of Wales, steps forward and solemn-faced proffers it as his explanation as if he knew something about it.

  Oberlin College knows about it.  Oberlin College demands a higher standard of evidence from its tutors and students alike.  One hesitates to guess what standards pass as acceptable in Davies school, but they cannot be even of reasonable standard.  Had they been, Davies would not have dared offer his shoddy and shabby book for publication.

This is what Oberlin College says about the Spaulding manuscript:

  

Origins of the Spaulding Manuscript

THE SPAULDING MANUSCRIPT

in the Oberlin College Library

  

This library possesses a manuscript which apparently is in the handwriting of Solomon Spaulding, since it seems to agree with fragments of account books which I have seen, and. its genuineness is certified by a number of people who apparently examined it about the year 1839. It is not, however, the manuscript that was said by witnesses to resemble the Book of Mormon, since that manuscript was always spoken of as having been written in the style of the sacred scriptures, whereas this is a plain narrative containing accounts of the wars between the Kentucks and the Sciotos—Indian tribes ascribed to this country.

    

(From a letter written by Professor A. S. Root, May 12, 1927)

  

The full document can be read at:  http://www.oberlin.edu/archive/faq/spaulding_origins.html

  

Having read the Book of Mormon and Spaulding's romance I can testify that anyone that even imagines a literary dependency exists between the two works has read neither.  No one that has read both volumes is left in any doubt that the Book of Mormon was hatched from Spaulding's Manuscript any more than a sensible reader will confuse Gibbons' "The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire" with Jules Verne's "Journey to the Centre of the Earth." 

Prior to preparing this page I wrote to Eryl Davies for information on his sources for his miserable eleventh chapter - Mormons - but have not received the courtesy of a reply.  If Dr Davies wishes me to correct anything I have said in response to his work I will gladly do so on receipt of verifiable evidence that I have misrepresented his atrocious work and negligible integrity.  

  

7.   Mormons believe that God is Adam.  

ZAP!   That is not true.  Latter-day Saints believe that God the Father is the creator of Adam and Eve, and that while our first mortal parent, Adam,  stands at the head of the human family he is not our God, does not act as God, and does not replace God.  Mr Davies is again dipping into the poisoned well of historic anti-Mormonism for his 'facts.'   Someone should explain to this Senior Tutor at the Evangelical Theological College of Wales that:

  
a.  his methods do not constitute research
b.  quoting others without acknowledging them is plagiarism, and 
c.  he is blatantly dishonest.

  

8.   What the Bible teaches about God - "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" [1 Timothy2:5].

ZAP!   That is what Latter-day Saints believe about God and Jesus.  So why does Davies offer this as controverting evidence to the Mormon position about God?  If we do not engage in Trinitarianistic double-talk and consider what Paul wrote in this verse we can add together the characters he identifies:  

  

'one God' = one character; then, 'one mediator' = another character.  When we add together 'one God' 'and' 'one mediator' we find two characters. 

It cannot be otherwise than two individual characters that are physically distinct from each other if Paul is right about the mediatory role of Christ Jesus because a mediator stands between parties to effect reconciliation, and that is how Jesus is our mediator with the Father.  The Father cannot mediate between Himself and humanity because that leaves the role of intercessor vacant.  If that position is not vacant, then it is taken by Christ Jesus according to the scripture.

  In 1 John 2:1 it is written,

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:" 

  

Advocate, mediator, and intercessor have similar definitions centred on one that seeks to apply mercy to the judged.  An advocate, mediator, or intercessor must be independent of the magnum juris or the ends of Divine Justice cannot be served.    According to the Evangelical PB Ministries website,

"Christ is now interceding in heaven for his people; he is gone to heaven, entered there, and is set down at the right hand of God; where he ever lives to make intercession"[Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25]

 Eryl Davies could have found much more to say about the Mormon concept of God than the two sentences he has culled from an unacknowledged, unquoted, and unreliable source.   Bad boy, Mr Davies!  You do not speak the truth!

  

9.   The Bible - "[Mormons] misuse Ezekiel 37 suggesting that 'the two sticks' referred to here are the Bible and the Book of Mormon" ... "verses 18 - 22 explain clearly that the sticks represent the tribes of Israel and Judah who together form one people."

ZAP! See my detailed treatment of Ezekiel's 'sticks' here.

  

10.  [Mormons] neglect the Bible in preference for Smith's writings.

ZAP!  That is a mighty strong claim.  No doubt such a fundamental and extensive claims will be backed up by cogent supporting evidence.  But, NO!  Davies provides not one single word in support of his extravagant statement, nary one example.  Why not?  Could it be because Davies' opinion is vagrant, without visible means of support?  Anyone can make a claim and then not back it up, but of what value is it other than to lay a snare for the unwary? 

Will Mr Davies explain why he beats his children and grandchildren with a rod thicker than his thumb for no reason at all and then considers his actions 'keeping the sabbath Day holy"?

  

11.  The Person of Christ - [Mormons] claim that Christ ... was the brother of the devil and the son of Adam.  ... They regard Christ as a polygamist who married both Mary and Martha at Cana of Galilee. ... 

ZAP!   Clearly the man is unhinged!  Latter-day Saints believe that God the Father is the Father of the spirits of all and the Creator of all.  Jesus is the Firstborn according to the Bible where Paul writing about God's

" ... dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: [Colossians 1:13b - 15].

If the Bible is true then we learn from Hebrews 12:9 that God is the Father of Spirits, and that makes us 'the offspring of God'   This conclusion is confirmed by Paul,

Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. [Acts 17:29 ]

If God is the Father of all spirits, even that of His Firstborn - mark the difference between 'Firstborn' and 'Mine Only Begotten' - then in regards to our eternal spirits all creatures are the offspring of Divine Parentage and thereby are siblings.  

  Whether Jesus was married or not the Church has never held any position.  What one man, Orson Pratt, speculated upon as a scholarly exercise does not turn what he thought into Mormon Doctrine.  If Eryl Davies wants to claim otherwise then he is open to anyone taking anything that any Christian has ever written, thought, or said and claiming that it as Traditional Orthodox doctrine that has always and everywhere been taught and believed. 

Even an Evangelical would hardly fall for that nonsense, and, I dare say, Davies would be the first and loudest to object.  This is a prime example of anti-Mormons having one law for themselves and another for those they deem their enemies.

  

12.  The Holy Spirit - [Mormons] reject the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in believers.

ZAP!  Once again, Davies makes statements not supported by evidence. The Fourth Article of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is:

  

"We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."

  

13.  [Mormons misuse] the words of Satan to Eve, 'You will be like God,' [to] promise the faithful that they will be gods ... "

ZAP!   I have never heard any Mormon appeal to Satan for any blessing.  Mormons will use the words of God Almighty Himself who said,

"And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:" [Genesis 3:22a].  But Davies is far astray if he believes that Christian deification is based on one sentence in the whole of the Holy Bible.  Deification was taught as a standard doctrine in the New Testament Church and for centuries afterwards. 

Although the doctrine of theosis or deification came to be neglected in the Western Church, it was clearly taught in the Roman Catholic tradition as late as the 13th century by Thomas Aquinas, who taught that "full participation in divinity which is humankind's true beatitude and the destiny of human life" (Summa Theologiae 3.1.2). 

In addition to the doctrine of theosis being readily evident in early and even contemporary Catholic theology, it is a common theme within Anglicanism, for example, in Lancelot Andrewes, John and Charles Wesley's hymns, the work of  Edward B. Pusey, and is plainly evident in the works of Allchin and Charles Miller.   Finnish Lutheran Tuomo Mannermaa insists that Martin Luther's doctrine of justification actually means deification.

Deification is becoming a more discussed issue among Evangelicals who are waking up to the fact that they have missed something vital in the New testament.

  

14.  [Mormons] reject the biblical doctrine of justification by faith ... 

ZAP!   Mormons reject the unbiblical doctrine of 'justification by faith alone,' known as  sola fide.  It is rejected because it is unbiblical and contradicts the direct teachings of Jesus Christ.

  

Sola fide [faith alone] is the doctrine that confessing Jesus to be Lord and King whisks you into heaven and plants on your brow a crown of eternal glory.  As appealling as that may be it does not take into account certain specific things that Jesus taught about who will and who will not enter the kingdom of his Father.   If a declaration of faith in Jesus as Lord was sufficient to save then Jesus was ignorant of that fact.  Jesus states in as direct a manner as possible that belief alone will not save, thus it is Jesus that deals the death blow to the unbiblical doctrine of sola fide.  Doctor Davies sets out seven references to six prooftexts to support his belief in sola fide.  They are: Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:24,  4:5; Titus 3:5; John 6:29; and Acts 16:31.  It is incredible that a scholar with five earned degrees from Dip Theol to PhD cannot set out a simple argument from his texts to show why Jesus was wrong when he said:

  

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. [Emphasis added].  

  

Mark it well:  Mormons do not teach that any man is saved by his own efforts or as a reward for his obedience to the will of God.  But when Jesus says that unless a man  doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven ... [he shall not ] ... shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, then it seems wise to take Jesus at his word.

  

The brother of the Lord Jesus Christ, James the Apostle, addresses this very matter in his epistle: 

James  2:14-20

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?  

If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?   

  

NOW HEAR THIS  - Mormons do not believe they are saved BY their WORKS and to argue otherwise is to attack what might be for Dr Davies and his pejorative Evangelical perspective  an unpleasant truth.  Yet it is true, and cannot be turned into its opposite without willfully and maliciously misrepresenting the fundamental beliefs of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

In other words, to posit or argue that Mormons believe they are saved by their own efforts is to tell a direct and robustly-refuted LIE.  

Mormons believe that where God calls for any action on the part of a believer, then the believer's response must be to obey God.

Two other discourse by Jesus indicate that true believer's are known by their fruits and that the fruits brought forth from true active faith in God and Jesus are the tokens of 'costly discipleship' in contradistinction to the 'do nothing, only believe' idle minimalism of modern evangelical fundamentalists that will not so much as lift a finger to perform the most basic research.  Little wonder that Davies' contribution to 'Mormons' is such a moronic wasteland.  He ought to be ashamed of his perfidy, and contemplate whether 'only believing' allows him to ride roughshod over the mitzvah, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour."

  

Let us do what Eryl has failed to do.  We will consider whether the Pauline and Jamesian views are as far apart as Davies believe them to be.  Doctor Davies considers them to be mutually exclusive and opts for what he 'believes' is the Pauline position at the expense of the Jamesian position.  He will find few reputable bible theologians that will approve his extremism.  

For example, both James and Paul quote Genesis 15:6 with respect to Abraham and draw what appear to be different conclusions. Paul avers that justification is not upon the principle of works but upon that of faith (Romans 3:28).  However, James, with equal cogency declares that "by works a man is justified and not only by faith" (James 2:24).  Are their separate conclusions irreconcilable?  Must a Christian choose between one or the other but not embrace both? Is there a harmony of ideas to be found that allow us to hold to both positions and not be thrust down into the pit by Heretic Hunters?  

GC Berkower suggests that the letters of Paul and James treat of different problems that when properly understood remove all shadow of a suggestion that the two inspired writers are contending with one another. He insists that their statements are are rooted in the same assumptions and are in no way incompatible. [G.C. Berkower, Faith and Justification (Grand Rapids: Win. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1954), p. 131].

It is essential to understand that James and Paul were writing for different purposes.  Paul's was to define how the gospel works through the process of justification through Jesus Christ.  Paul lays this out in Romans but also sets his theology of justification out in his letter to the Galatians.  In effect, Paul is weaning the Saints from their former dependence on the Works of the Mosaic Law to satisfy God’s justice.

However, James is reprimanding indolent saints that appeared to believe that their faith in Christ as Saviour was sufficient by itself to ensure their eternal salvation regardless of whether they complied with any other gospel requirement.  He announces to them in plain words that a faith that allows them to do nothing more than believe is a dead faith. 

Therefore we have Saint Paul disseminating an important truth about the gospel of Jesus Christ in which justification comes from faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour rather than by maintaining the often rigorous ritual demands of the Mosaic Code, and we have James dealing with the nature of that saving faith and the fruits required of it in order that it is not adjudged ‘dead.’

Ultimately, Paul does not deny the essential requirement for believers to ‘do the will of [the] father in heaven,’ as Jesus said, by way of good works.  That Paul clearly understood the place of Christian works in contradistinction to the Works of the Law of Moses relative to the judgement of God, is clearly evident from his statement that God " … will render to every man according to his work's"  [Rom. 2:6]. 

Throughout his letters Paul positively delineates the essential relation between works, faith, and the judgement that Berkower does not diminish:  "It is not to be denied that for Paul, too, the works and affairs of man play a role in the final drama of God's judgement." [Op Cit p. 105] 

What Paul does do, and Latter-day Saints agree with him, is to set works over against faith as the basis of justification.  Faith is the basis of justification, obedience to the will of God is the evidence of costly - saving - discipleship, and no Mormon thinks otherwise.  It would be surprising if any sensible evangelical would believe differently, for, wrote Paul, "By grace have ye been saved... created in Christ Jesus for good works" (Eph. 2:8-10). 

McGarvey, in his "Justification by Faith," Lard's Quarterly (January, 1866) p. 114-115, 119-129  brings the seeming dilemma to a sensible conclusion by summarising James as having written, "Justified by faith, not without works" in contradistinction to Paul's "justified by faith, without works of [the Mosaic] law." McGarvey opines that the lies in discrete definitions of "works" employed by the writers.

In his excellent book,  Martin Luther, What Luther Says - an Anthology, compiled Ewald M. Plaas (Saint Louis: Concordia Pub. House, 1959), s.v. "Faith," 1472, 1475,  Luther is quoted as saying, "Fruits do not make the tree, but the tree is known by its fruits... so faith is a piece of hypocrisy if it does not produce works .... He (St. James) wants faith to justify its genuineness by works; not that man is justified before God by works, but that the faith which justifies before is recognized by the witness of its works."

Luther demonstrated that it was a perversion of Sola Fide to teach that Christians were exempt from having to obey God's commandments.

Robin A. Leaver, in his Luther on Justification (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1975), pp. 42-46. explains in "Ex Operatum" what were Luther's views concerning good works and how faith and works are related, and points out that Luther accepted the main teaching of James - "Faith without works is dead." 

Therefore, Mormons are not alone in believing that obedience to the will of God is a direct requirement out of the mouth of Jesus for those that would be saved.  Hence, while James does not negate the importance of faith, nor denies that justification is by faith, he emphatically and apostolically preaches that there is much more to faith than mere oral profession of belief that Jesus is the Son of the Most High God and our Saviour, for the devils believe that and are unsaved because they do not do the will of God [see Matthew chapter 7]. 

When seen in its proper light the claim that Mormons believe otherwise is vacuous and unworthy of one claiming to be a Christian, a Christian minister, and a Christian theological scholar trusted with tutoring minds that doubtless deserve an honest mentor.  

  + + +

  

ERYL DAVIES YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER!

Why should Eryl Davies know better than to publish the scurrilous concatenation of untruths about Mormons?  Simply because if his academic qualifications are honestly come by he has been subjected to the discipline of research and scholarly writing that considers anything approaching the low standard of work in 'Truth Under Attack' to be disreputable and unscholarly.  It is to be hoped that he does not tutor his students to follow his base example nor permit them to get away with shabby or non-existent research. but rather spew out the hodge-podge of anti-Mormon garbage that has been circulating amongst the ignoranti for the thick end of two hundred years.  

  

The following paean appears in the current website of the Evangelical Theological College he is credited with founding. It is the opinion of this writer that it were better that this life sketch was a tissue of lies than that one with such outstanding qualifications should stoop to retrieve information to be used in a Christian publication from the festering sewer of that is the Devil's Dominion.

---

  

Eryl Davies, Head of Research
DipTheol, United Theological College, Aberystwyth / University of Wales;
BA (Hons) University College of Wales, Aberystwyth;
BD, MA, University of London;
PhD, University of Wales, Cardiff
  
A North Walian and ordained into the ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Wales, Eryl was appointed to a pastorate in the historical Llynfi Valley, Maesteg, South Wales (16 years). He was then called as the first pastor of a bilingual, independent evangelical church plant in Bangor, North Wales.
During his 10-year ministry there, he served as a part-time chaplain in the University College, Bangor and led in establishing at least two other Welsh-language churches in the area.

  

From 1979-1998, he served as editor of the theological journal Foundations.
For 21 years, as principal and lecturer, he taught systematic and contemporary theology in Wales Evangelical School of Theology [WEST], renamed from Evangelical Theological College of Wales [ETCW]and has successfully supervised many research students for MPhil / PhD degrees.
  
Married with a son (married) and daughter, Welsh is their first language as a family. Eryl enjoys current affairs, reading (Welsh and English) including biographies and intelligence history . He has an interest in football / rugby and cricket (occasionally playing the latter as a close-in-fielder and middle order batsman!).
  
Modules taught:
M98 Dissertation (DMin)
M99 Dissertation (MA and MTh)
  
Research Interests
Historical / Systematic Theology: 19th and 20th centuries
Theology and History of Revival
Pastoral Theology, including Spirituality
Evangelicalism in Wales: 1950-2007
New Religious Movements
  
Select Publications
Christianity and Education in mid-nineteenth-century Wales (Bryntirion Press, 1978)
An Angry God? Wrath, Final Judgement and Hell ( Bryntirion Press, 1991)
Ultimate Rescue: The Saving Work of Christ (Evangelical Press,1995)
Heaven is a Far Better Place (Evangelical Press,1999)
Human Cloning (Evangelical Press, 2003)
The Beddgelert Revival: 1817-1821 (Bryntirion Press, 2004)
Truth Under Attack: Volume 1: Deviations from Biblical Christianity in Trinitarian Churches / Movements (Evangelical Press, 2004)
Volume 2: Cults and Sects (2005)
Volume 3: Paganism and the New Spiritualities (forthcoming)
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DOCTOR DAVIES SHOULD KNOW BETTER - THEN WHY DOESN'T HE?

  

Eryl,

"Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?" [Galatians 4:16]

I await your answer

Ronnie Bray

  

.... and still I wait in the silence ... 

... and I still wait on your responses - May 2014

... And I am still waiting - January 2015

  

  

  

  

DAVIES IS A STRANGER TO RESEARCH BUT EMPLOYS THE LIE DIRECT TO FOOL HIS GULLIBLE READERS

DAVIES FAILS TO PROVIDE A SINGLE REFERENCE!

DAVIES ONLY USES SOURCES HOSTILE TO  MORMONISM

DAVIES FAILS THE MORMON HISTORY TEST & FALLS AT THE FIRST FENCE

DAVIES FAILS THE COM-
PREHENSION TEST

DAVIES FAILS THE

'I HAVE READ THE BOOK OF MORMON'  

TEST

DAVIES GETS ONE RIGHT! 

ENJOY IT IT IS HIS ONLY BULL'S EYE

DAVIES THINKS GOD AND JESUS ARE A POOR SHOW COMPARED WITH AN ANGELIC APPEARANCE

DESPERATE DAVIES FALLS THROUGH THE TRAPDOOR INTO THE SPAULDING PIT

DAVIES GETS REALLY SILLY AND ADAM-GODISH!

MOREOVER, DAVIES GETS BADLY STUCK WITH EZEKIEL'S STICKS

DAVIES GOES 'OUTSIDE' THE BIBLE FOR HIS BELIEF IN SOLA FIDE

JESUS TELLS IT DIFFERENTLY

DAVIES FAILS THE MORMON CHRISTOLOGY TEST!

DAVIES MAKES ANOTHER UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIM