Monday, February 9, 2015

OB on justification, a response

They don't like me commenting over there, and I don't want to seem like a bully.  I will interact with a recent article.  

OB writes,

 Justification is accomplished at baptism and maintained through a life of obedience to God and confession of sins.

I disagree, but it is interesting that this is precisely Trent's view--baptism is the instrumental cause of justification.  He then glosses sanctification, adoption, and glorification.  I don't have any real material objections, so moving on. 

Per "works" he notes,

(Paul) the “works of the Torah” such as circumcision, kosher regulations, and the myriad of other ordinances of the Law of Moses

Here is the problem with that statement.  When Paul mentions works of Torah in Galatians 3:10 he references Deuteronomy 27.26.  When we go read Dt 27.26 Moses mentions all kinds of sins, mainly "moral" ones and not so much ceremonial ones.

Per theosis he notes,

 attaining to the fulness of the divine nature and conformity to the image of Christ

But I can prove that when you get them to really qualify this statement, they don't mean that.  Surely they don't mean a 1:1 identity with the divine nature?

As to the claim that justification is accomplished at baptism, we have no proof.  Further, what we don't see in this post is any understanding that Scripture uses justification in "law-court" language.

Dt 25:1. Judge pronounces a judgment. He does not effect a character change. Condemnation is the opposite of justify. A sentence of condemnation does not effect an evil character change. Thus, if sentence of condemnation is judicial act, so is justification 


  1. I suppose one could entertain that God's Creative Word not only declares, but that declaration begins about a new reality, a new 'just' living, being now 'in Christ'. But per Trent (and EO), they knock the bottom out and create the possibility of justified, but not saved, or sanctified, or glorified.

    It'd be interesting to do a comparison on major voices on interpreting the role of faith and the parable of the sower.

  2. That would be interesting. First thing that came to mind was the ACCS commentary series. They are now releasing a Reformation version.