In the book, Not By Faith Alone, Mr. Sungenis says that the faith spoken about in Heb 11 was a "saving faith." It was a faith that pleased God. However, there are others types of faith brought up also, from what I can see. Take Isaac: we are told that "by faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau." Is the author here trying to say that this blessing of Isaac's was so faith-filled that it was a saving faith? Hardly! There are other instances in this chapter where the faith mentioned is not necessarily a saving faith, Jacob's and Joseph's for example: was Joseph's "mentioning of the Israelites" and "direction-giving" so packed with faith that it constituted a saving faith? No.
How can it possibly be said that the faith exhibited by Isaac and Jacob and Joseph in the examples given could have been saving faith? Surely the author could have used better examples of times when these patriarchs exhibited saving faith. As far as what I can see, when put into context, Abraham's pre-Genesis 15 faith can be one of two types of faith: either it was like Enoch's faith, or it was like the lesser faith of Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, which was not necessarily saving faith.
My question: is the author trying to say that the likes of Isaac and Jacob and Joseph were saved when they did the particular (not so special) things that the author makes mention of? How could this be?Answer:
Actually, picking a more mundane instance of faith works in the author's favor, because it shows that even in the small things the patriarchs looked to God in faith, not just the big things. The point is that their WHOLE lives were permeated with faith, just like Abraham's.
Catholic Apologetics International
June 7, 2002