Friday, September 25, 2009

Discussing Norman Shepherd

For those interested in the on-going debate over justification," Darryl Hart's post "Easy Believism" provoked me to speak out in defense of Norman Shepherd in the comment section. Over the last few weeks, I have been carefully reading and listening to what Shepherd has to say. Consequently, I was able to present a fairly coherent picture of how Shepherd is able to remain true to Luther's insight of sola fide and the broad Reformed Tradition while expanding our understanding of faith and justification in light of biblical eschatology.

Look for a post in the upcoming days based on these comments.

While not following Shepherd in every respect, I believe he is as important as N.T. Wright as an insightful expositor of Scripture. I need to study more on the subject, but it presently appears that Shepherd has been even more successful in maintaining both realities of individual and corporate election/ justification.

In Shepherd's hands, the classical Protestant formulation of justification has been expanded in light of the fifth point of Calvinism, the Perseverance of the Saints, to read:

"Justification is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, in the way of righteousness alone."

This is a monumental achievement and every bit as significant as Martin Luther's achievement 450 years ago. Perhaps Norman Shepherd is the forerunner of a new Reformation on the horizon. May God grant it!

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