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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Biblical Overview of Union with Christ - ReformedForum.org

This series of lectures I post not by way of recommendation but for your critical review. The Trinity Foundation has raised red flags against both Richard Gaffin and Lane Tipton, whom the Clarkians identify as defenders of the proponents of the Federal Vision. On Gaffin see: Gaffin Defends Dennis Kinnaird and OPC Acquits Kinnaird, Indicts Itself

Unfortunately, Lane Tipton is no better than Gaffin since he insists that justification by faith alone is not the sine qua non of the Protestant Reformation of or the Reformed tradition. He wants to paradoxically unite justification with sanctification in the subjective/existential and mystical union with Christ. This is essentially to commit the error of Osiander, whom Calvin condemned. While Tipton does repudiate the New Perspectives on Paul view that union with Christ replaces justification by faith alone as a forensic and declarative righteousness, Tipton's view confuses justification and sanctification by raising union with Christ above the forensic nature of justification and making justification by faith alone a side issue. Although Tipton acknowledges imputed righteousness is the basis for sanctification, his change in emphasis amounts to heresy since to emphasize one doctrine out of place is to obscure the greater truth and what is most important. The Protestant Reformation was not fought over union with Christ. The straw that broke the camel's back was the issue of justification by faith alone. When Luther said, "Here I stand. I can do nothing else," it sparked the fire that led to the Reformation. Without Luther there would be no Calvin or any of the other Reformers. In fact, Tipton's assertion that there was disagreement on this issue between Lutherans and Calvinists during the Reformation period is flat out wrong.

You can see Tipton's remarks here: http://zomobo.net/play.php?id=B4Vicmwwo9M




Click here to hear the lectures by Gaffin and Tipton: A Biblical Overview of Union with Christ - ReformedForum.org

Addendum:   Oddly enough the Westminister Standards do not elevate union with Christ to the level that Gaffin and Tipton give it.  Union with Christ is only mentioned three times that I can find while an entire chapter is dedicated to the doctrine of justification by faith alone:

65. What special benefits do the members of the invisible church enjoy by Christ?
Answer: The members of the invisible church by Christ enjoy union and communion with him in grace and glory.1
See also: WCF 26.1

1 John 17:21; Eph. 2:5,6; John 17:24

66. What is that union which the elect have with Christ?
Answer: The union which the elect have with Christ is the work of God's grace,1 whereby they are spiritually and mystically, yet really and inseparably, joined to Christ as their head and husband;2 which is done in their effectual calling.3
See also: WCF 26.1

1 Eph. 1:22; Eph. 2:6-8
2 1 Cor. 6:17; John 10:28; Eph. 5:23,30
3 1 Pet. 5:10; 1 Cor. 1:9

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Chapter 26: Of the Communion of Saints

1. All saints, that are united to Jesus Christ their Head, by His Spirit, and by faith, have fellowship with Him in His graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory:1 and, being united to one another in love, they have communion in each other's gifts and graces,2 and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man.3
See also: WLC 65-66

1 1 John 1:3; Eph. 3:16-19; John 1:6; Eph. 2:5,6; Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:5,6; 2 Tim. 2:12
2 Eph. 4:15,16; 1 Cor. 12:7; 1 Cor. 3:21-23; Col. 2:19
3 1 Thess. 5:11,14; Rom. 1:11,12,14; 1 John 3:16-18; Gal. 6:10



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