"Unfortunately for Jesse, he doesn't realize that Protestant doctrine logically leads to Calvinist thinking. Calvin did not come up with these things in a vaccuum. The groundwork was already laid down by Luther."
But I am neither Calvinist nor Lutheran. I am non-denominational. So I do not see how De Maria could rightly associate me with such theological ideologies. As for the Reformers, they did some good things and some bad things. They made errors, like we all do. My intention here is not to defend these people.
If faith is a work, then why did the inspired writers of the New Testament repeatedly distinguish between faith and works? See these articles for further details:
Now, De Maria may run to the text of John 6:28-29 and say something to the effect of, "See! I told you that faith is a work." But this would only be pitting Scripture against Scripture, since it clearly tells us that justification is an unmerited gift of God. Jesus was not affirming faith to be a work, but rather instructing performance-oriented Jews that they need to believe on Him in order to receive eternal salvation.
Justification is either obtained by grace or by works (Romans 11:6). It cannot be both, which automatically disqualifies the Catholic position. There is nothing meritorious about salvation being obtained by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
De Maria said the following in response to my brief comments on his usage of Romans 2 as supporting justification by faith and works:
"They were justified BY GOD because they did good deeds. Look at the previous 12 verses...Exactly! God looks at our works in judgment in order to determine if they are meritorious."
On Judgement Day, every man shall be rewarded according to his deeds. God looks at our works in judgement because they are the evidence of what is in our hearts. They are not prescribed as criterion for salvation, but rather offer descriptions of who was faithful or unfaithful to God. Works are the evidence, not the cause, of justification. It is not as though God has provided a specific list of things we need to do in order to be saved.
The context which addresses how one is made right with God is Romans chapters three through five, and it says not by works of righteousness which we have done. Additionally, it is strange how De Maria acts like we have never debated the subject before, but he knows better. See our last exchange on Sola Fide:
See also one of our exchanges on Sola Scriptura: