Justification

A lthough the antinomian-neonomian controversy of the 1690’s (see part 1 ) involved godly ministers who were all part of the same but broad Reformed family—most of them had even formally united together on the basis of Reformed confessions—they did not treat one another very well during their...
The Protestant Reformers, following Scripture's lead, roundly rejected the notion that believers might be justified in part or in whole by their own good works. Sinners, they maintained, are justified wholly on the basis of Christ's perfect righteousness imputed to them, a righteousness...
E ver since I studied the Antinomian-Neonomian controversy that took place among the English Dissenters in London during the final decade of the seventeenth century, I have wanted to write on the debate itself. Part of the impetus for this was that during my studies the Federal Vision controversy...
In 2016, every two months ( February , April , June , August, October, December) we will be producing a Meet the Puritans Resource, which you will be able to find linked under Our Resources . These will be classic texts with introductions, footnotes, and modernized language. The purpose is to...
Every born again child of God who places true faith in Jesus Christ will struggle with assurance in various degrees over the course of their lives. It's in this context that what we call "the signs of grace" are so helpful to the soul. These sign are means by which we may know whether we are in a...
One of the most striking and comforting expressions in the Scriptures is that God justifies the ungodly (Rom. 4:5). Nonetheless, this statement creates a theological conundrum of sorts and has led in part some Reformed theologians, including puritans, to at least suggest if not advocate a subtle...
I have been calling attention to the Puritans’ high view of good works in a number of past posts. If I could read my readers’ minds, quite a tale could be told. Undoubtedly, reactions would range from disbelief to delight to disgust. Then I got to thinkin’ that it might be helpful to know the...
In my last article I discussed that the puritans believed that good works are more than the fruit of faith, justification and salvation in that they are the way to eternal life and an antecedent condition of glorification. The minority of puritans labelled as "antinomians" not only rejected this...
While denying the Roman Catholic doctrine that love is the life and soul of justifying faith, John Ball (1585-1640) strenuously affirmed that justifying faith cannot be without love. Faith and love are distinct graces which are “infused together” by the Holy Spirt at regeneration and “the exercise...
"One thing," Martin Luther writes in the Freedom of a Christian (1520), "and only one thing, is necessary for Christian life, righteousness, and freedom. That one thing is _______." Knowing Luther to be the author, we're quick to assume that "faith" belongs in the blank. And not without reason...