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Justified In Christ: God's plan for us in justification (Mentor) [Paperback]

By K. Scott Oliphint (Editor)
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Item description for Justified In Christ: God's plan for us in justification (Mentor) by K. Scott Oliphint...

The orthodoxy on 'justification', a watershed between the Roman and Reformed churches, has recently been much under debate in theological circles as new perspectives are advanced to break down the traditional barriers on this key salvation doctrine. Westminster Theological Seminary holds a respected place in the Reformed world as a trainer of future ministers and influencers in the church. What is their take on the issue? Is it all just an attempt to fit square pegs into round holes or are the holes already square? Members of the faculty here contribute the results of their investigations into the basis of the doctrine by looking at scripture, church history, apologetics and pastoral outworkings. This comprehensive study of the doctrine will enable you to look with clear eyes on the issues at stake in this key discussion for the future of the church. A Bibliography is also provided for further study of the subject. Westminster Theological Seminary was founded in 1929 as a seminary dedicated to education in the Reformed tradition. It grew out of Princeton Seminary with a conviction that the Bible is the only infallible rule of Christian faith and practice. Westminster was created specifically to carry on old Princeton's tradition of heart piety and solid learning. The faculty subscribes to the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Publishers Description
Justification' - how we are made right with a holy and just God - is a watershed between the Roman and Reformed churches. It has recently been much under debate in theological circles, with new perspectives advanced that differ from the traditional understandings of this key salvation doctrine. Westminster Theological Seminary holds a respected place in the Reformed world as a trainer of future ministers and influencers in the church. Members of the faculty here contribute the results of their investigations into the basis of the doctrine by looking at scripture, church history, apologetics and pastoral application. Justified in Christ will enable you to look with clear eyes on the issues at stake in this key discussion, one that will affect the future of the church. Westminster Theological Seminary was founded in 1929 as a seminary dedicated to education in the Reformed tradition. It grew out of Princeton Seminary with a conviction that the Bible is the only infallible rule of Christian faith and practice. Westminster was created specifically to carry on old Princeton's tradition of heart, piety and solid learning. Contributors J. Stafford Carson - how diluting justification endangers the truth of the gospel William Edgar - humanity's need of and substitutes for atonement Richard B. Gaffin - the relationship between justification and eschatology Jeffrey K. Jue - parallel between the "New Perspective on Paul" and 17th century Arminians Peter A. Lillback - the views on justification of various Reformation figures K. Scott Oliphint - what is "faith" and in what sense is it related to justification Lane G. Tipton - the importance of union with Christ Carl R. Trueman - Christ's active and passive obedience and righteousness Also included are the classic "The Imputation of Adam's Sin" by John Murray, Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster from 1930 to 1967, a bibliography for further reading by Alexander S. Finlayson, Librarian at Westminster, and an extensive introduction by Sinclair B. Ferguson.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Mentor
Pages   304
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.87 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2007
Publisher   Christian Focus Publications
Series  Mentor  
ISBN  0012418641  
ISBN13  9781845502461  

Availability  0 units.

More About K. Scott Oliphint

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K. Scott Oliphint (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is professor of apologetics and systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and has written numerous scholarly articles and books, including God With Us. He is also the co-editor of the two-volume Christian Apologetics Past and Present: A Primary Source Reader and Revelation and Reason: New Essays in Reformed Apologetics.

William Edgar (DTheol, University of Geneva) is professor of apologetics and John Boyer Chair of Evangelism and Culture at Westminster Theological Seminary. William lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Barbara. They have two children and three grandchildren.

K. Scott Oliphint has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Apologia
  2. Counterpoints: Bible and Theology

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Reviews - What do customers think about Justified In Christ: God's plan for us in justification?

A Must-Read: a scholarly exploration of the biblical doctrine of justification  Dec 17, 2008
This is a scholarly collection of papers on the Reformed doctrine of
justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, from
scholars who are (or have been) associated in various ways with
Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). The papers are well
written, and the book is nicely typeset, with footnotes at the bottom
of the page, and it comes complete with subject/name and scripture
indexes. There is also a collected bibliography ... something I hope
will catch on in other collections of scholarly papers.

Sinclair B. Ferguson provides a helpful introduction to this
collection, in which he argues for the importance of the subject,
given that evangelicalism is drifting from its historical moorings. He
traces the history of the debate around the doctrine of justification,
especially in recent biblical scholarship, and uses this to situate
the various contributions made by the papers in this book.

The first paper is by Richard B. Gaffin Jr, and is entitled
`Justification and Eschatology'. In it Gaffin takes it as read that
the declaration that a believer is justified is a verdict that
anticipates the final eschatological verdict. Instead he concentrates
on the extent to which justification has an element which is `not yet'
that is, still future. He argues that the final judgement is in some
sense, our future justification, and he shows that this is the
traditional teaching of Reformed orthodoxy. Gaffin then turns to
exegesis an shows that our `union with Christ' involves union with him
in his death and resurrection, and that these aspects have a forensic
as well renovative element to them. Gaffin also looks at our Adoption,
shows that it has a future aspect, and a forensic element. Finally he
also looks at the final judgement directly. Gaffin's argument is that
final acceptance is both certain for the justified believer who has
Christ's righteousness imputed to them, and that the faith that
justifies the believer is never unaccompanied by the fruits of

The second paper is by Lane G. Tipton, and is entitled `Union with
Christ and Justification'. In it Tipton addresses the question of `how
does the imputation of Christ's righteousness relate to our union with
Christ?' He argues that union with Christ is the organising structure
in which the Holy Spirit gives us all our spiritual blessings, and
that imputation of Christ's righteousness is best understood as `the
aspect of the union with Christ that supplies the judicial ground of
justification.' Tipton argues these points exegetically, and then
investigates their historical formulation - interacting with both
Reformed and Lutheran orthodoxy, and with the contemporary scholar,
N.T. Wright. This paper provides both a helpful understanding of
centrality of `Union with Christ' in Pauline and Reformed thought, and
another insight into the weakness of New Perspective teachings.

The third paper is by Peter A. Lillback, and is entitled `Calvin's
Development of the Doctrine of Forensic Justification: Calvin and the
Early Lutherans on the Relationship of Justification and Renewal'. In
it Lillback seeks to show the controversial point that Luther's (and
the early Lutheran) understanding of justification differed slightly
from the Reformed doctrine - in spite of many Lutheran and Reformed
scholars failing to draw attention to the matter. Lillback accepts
that subsequent Orthodox Lutheran teaching on the nature of
justification as only having a forensic character fell in line with
the Reformed teaching that justification is an event not a process. To
my mind, the evidence that Luther held that justification had an
important `renewal' element to it, as well as being forensic, was
convincingly documented. Those who wish to argue that there was no
difference between the Reformers on justification have to reckon with
the material that Lillback collects. However, Lillback's evidence does
not support the position taken by some Federal Vision advocates, who
argue that the traditional Reformed doctrine is too Lutheran, and that
a new - `properly Reformed' doctrine is needed. If anything, it might
support a view amongst Orthodox Lutherans that their doctrine is too
Reformed! My reservation with Lillback's evidence arises from a
failure on my part to really understand Luther's position. Perhaps
there is another way to read Luther's words? In any case, Luther seems
to sound a confused note at times. No wonder Lutherans later abandoned
his position and followed Calvin on this!

The fourth paper is by Carl R. Trueman, and is entitled `John Owen on
Justification.' It is (I believe) a reprint of his introductory essay
to the recent reprint of Owen's 1677 classic on justification by faith
alone. This is a helpful essay with helps situate Owen in his
historical context, and which inspires one to go and read Owen
himself. Trueman helpfully traces Owen's various emphases on
justification, including his understanding of the imputation of
Christ's active righteousness in the context of Covenant theology (and
in particular, in the context of the Covenant of Works and the
Covenant of Redemption). Trueman also highlights the relationship Owen
saw between Christology and justification. Owen's debate with Baxter
concerning `eternal justification' and `antinomianism' is also
covered, and Trueman argues that Owen successfully defended the
orthodox Reformed doctrine from these charges.

The fifth paper is by Jeffrey K. Jue, and is entitled: `The Active
Obedience of Christ and the Theology of the Westminster Standards: A
Historical Investigation'. In it Jue convincingly shows that the
imputation of the active obedience of Christ to believers is an
integral part of the Westminster Confession of Faith, in spite of a
last minute modification in one statement concerning it in the
Confession, which made it less explicit. It would have been nice if
Jue had recognised that subsequent Reformed (but non-Presbyterian)
confessions which built on the Westminster Confession (such as the
Savoy Declaration and the 1689 Particular Baptist Confession) made
this doctrine even more explicit.

The sixth paper is by William Edgar, and is entitled `Justification
and Violence. Reflections on Atonement and Contemporary
Apologetics'. In it Edgar advances the fascinating thesis that people
will seek replacement `atonements' if Christ's atonement is unknown.
I'm not sure if I agree ... it is a new idea to me; but the examples
Edgar collects are worth pondering.

The seventh paper is by K. Scott Oliphint, and is entitled, `Covenant
Faith'. In it Oliphint argues that everyone is in a covenant
relationship with God (either in Adam or in Christ), and that
`covenant faith' consists of two elements, `original faith' and
`saving, justifying faith'. Oliphint provides a philosophically and
theologically aware discussion of `original faith' and then sketches
the traditional Reformed understanding of justifying faith as an
instrumental act of the believer.

The eighth paper is by J. Stafford Carson, and is entitled, `The
Pastoral Implications of the Doctrine of Justification'. In it, Carson
argues that preachers need to do better in presenting the implications
of the doctrine of justification by faith alone to our contemporaries,
as there is widespread evidence that it is not understood. Carson
extremely helpfully explores the relationships that exist between
justification and guilt and pride, and the need for growing
sanctification. He explains how justification should keep us from
antinomianism and legalism. A wonderfully practical essay, which
underlines again just how important the doctrine of justification by
faith alone is to our everyday lives and to the health of our churches.

A final section of the book reprints John Murray's four essays on `The
Imputation of Adam's Sin' which were originally published in the
Westminster Theological Journal in late 1950s. These essays, which are
not included in the Banner of Truth four volume `Collected Works' of
John Murray, are excellent, and show again Murray's incisive mind as
he throws the light of a master systematician and careful exegete on
an important topic which has important parallels with how Christ's
righteousness is imputed to us, as Paul teaches. Thrilling stuff!

I have become increasingly convinced reading this (and other books,
some of which I mention below) that what the church today needs more
than anything else, is preachers who will preach and apply
`justification by faith alone' to the church and to the world. Some
`evangelical' churches are currently ignoring the question of
salvation, and are concentrating instead on other matters. Others
urge certain behaviour to win acceptance with God. In either case,
hearers will end up trusting in their own compliance with the
behavioural norms of those churches. What is needed are churches who
will spell out clearly that acceptance with God is purely through
trusting in Jesus, as in this way (alone!) his righteousness is
counted as ours, and we are declared righteous by God. No lesser
righteousness will do. Any other `gospel' is not the Gospel - but
bondage. This book will help us understand and preach `justification
by faith alone' better. So buy it. Read it. Study it. Preach it. All
to the glory of God alone.

Two recent books which helpfully supplement this one with further
scholarly treatment of the doctrine of justification by faith from a
traditional Reformed perspective are (i) Johnson and Waters (eds), `By
Faith Alone: Answering the Challenges to the Doctrine of
Justification', Crossway Books (Wheaton: Illinois), 2007; and (ii)
R. Scott Clark (ed), Covenant, Justification and Pastoral Ministry:
Essays By the Faculty of Westminster Seminary California, P. and
R. (Phillipsburg: New Jersey), 2007.

Get and read all three. God, through these scholars, is providing a
profound reflection on the heart of his holy Gospel.


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