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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

Monday, May 24, 2010

Downplaying Justification by Faith Alone?

"We must counter the dismissal--or at least downplaying--of justification by faith among many so-called evangelicals with a clear preaching of a reformational understanding of such doctrines as sin, justification, imputation, and sanctification."
 
 
In a review of Carl Trueman's bookJohn Owen: Reformed Catholic, Renaissance Man, Great Theologian (Aldershot, Hampshire, England, and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007), Nathan A. Finn said:
 

Also like other Reformed Orthodox theologians Owen strongly defended the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Against Roman Catholics, Socinians, Arminians, and even some Amyraldians like Richard Baxter, Owen contended for the importance of Christ's active and passive obedience to God's law and the imputation of His righteousness to all those who are in union with Christ. Against the emerging High Calvinism of thinkers like Tobias Crisp, Owen argued against eternal justification by claiming that Christ's atonement for the elect is federal (representative) and covenantal, actualized at the moment of justification rather than at the time of Christ's death.

There is much contemporary evangelicals can learn from Owen's theology. Like Owen, in our doctrinal articulations we must cling tightly to sola scriptura and reformational hermeneutics without discounting the (fallible) insights of tradition, particularly the great creeds of the church. In our own preaching and polemics we must guard against modern versions of the same errors with which Owen contended. We must reject the crypto-Unitarianism of so many evangelicals and articulate a robust Trinitarian theology. We must repudiate the anthropocentric understandings of salvation associated with Arminianism, or more often, semi-Pelagianism masquerading as Arminianism or revivalism, and defend God's sovereign prerogatives in the salvation of sinners. We must counter the dismissal--or at least downplaying--of justification by faith among many so-called evangelicals with a clear preaching of a reformational understanding of such doctrines as sin, justification, imputation, and sanctification.

 
 
 
 Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.
 
 

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