the weblog of Alan Knox

Two-Thirds Christian

Posted by on Jan 3, 2010 in blog links, church history, discipleship | 5 comments

One of the latest observations from Dave Black (Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 8:12 am):

In this connection, perhaps I could remind everyone what Balthasar Hübmaier said about the Reformers. He complained that they had learned only two of the three critically important doctrines of the Christian faith. The first doctrine was salvation by faith (“der gloub macht uns selig“). The second was that the Christian cannot do anything good by himself or herself (“wir mugen ausz uns selbs nichts guts thon“). He went on to say that the Protestants had completely overlooked the third lesson, namely that faith without works in dead. He wrote, “Under cover of these two half-truths all evil, unfaithfulness and unrighteousness have gained the upperhand, completely … so that the old saying is fulfilled ‘Ye alter ye böser.'” We cannot have a two-thirds faith, he said: “das volckh nit mer denn zway stuck geleernet hat.”

Good advice, that. Don’t be a two-thirds Christian!

Are you a two-thirds Christian?

Of course, we can teach and lead as a two-thirds Christian as well, when our teaching or leading do not include serving by example.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 1-4-2010

    Hi Alan,
    Great post, I’m glad you quoted it here. 2/3 Christian indeed! All too often people focus on Ephesians 2:8-9 and forget that Christians are called to believe in and FOLLOW Jesus, not just believe in him… Following means doing good works in his name, and bearing your cross when necessary.

    In addition to the three things Dave mentions, bearing your cross could be a fourth, though it could be argued that goes along with works. It’s just that Christians today are so concerned with looking like everything’s perfect, and that nothing can get them down, when the world knows that we’re human, and we aren’t always happy, peppy people. We’re judged from the outside for that, and it turns people off to Christianity.

    Can I syndicate your blog feed on a Christian blog syndication site? The site is, and I’d love to include your feed there. Each syndicated post would have a link back to your blog. Let me know!

  2. 1-4-2010


    There’s a great correction to the “Ephesians 2:8-9” focus… just include verse 10. 🙂

    Yes, you can add my blog to your syndication site.


  3. 1-4-2010

    Heh, agreed. Unfortunately, people often forget verse 10, because they don’t want to have to work for it.

    I’ve added your blog. Thanks!

  4. 1-4-2010

    “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

    We are created for good works but not all for the same good works. Some of us serve others in unique ways that others cannot. Each of us should be led by the spirit and not by the mimicking of other Christians who are serving in their own unique way. God had a plan for us beforehand that we should walk in that way. He gave each of us different sensitivities and talents to accomplish His will.

    Too often we think of Christian works as the things non-Christians call “the universal ought-tos”. I don’t think those are the works that set us apart. I think for Christians it must be more than that. If we are “kind and generous and helpful” to one another as we should be, how is that different from non-Christians? The most kind, generous, loving and helpful people I know do not believe in Christ. What are the works that set us apart? Perhaps it is “sacrificial” service? It seems to me that early NT Christians had a better grasp of that than we do today. Why?

    I am curious to know what people really think “bearing your cross” really means, since it is obviously not to be taken literally.

  5. 1-5-2010


    I agree that all are not created for the same good works. And, that our “good works” should include much more than being “kind and generous and helpful” people. But, our “good works” should never be less than that.

    As for “bearing your cross”, I think it means dying to yourself daily – your desires, your dreams, your wishes, your wants, your expectations – and living completely for God in Jesus Christ.