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Not of Works: Norman Shepherd and His…

Not of Works: Norman Shepherd and His Critics

by Ralph F Boersema

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0911802983, Paperback)

The teachings of the Reformed theologian, Norman Shepherd, have been considered of great concern by many of his colleagues. In this book Boersema demonstrates that their concern is frequently based on misreadings. Shepherd's critics are often profoundly mistaken about what he teaches. Their criticisms are largely directed to views that are alien to him . Christ's Church will be blessed if misunderstandings are removed and thoughtful theological reflection is given to the positions Shepherd really defends, doctrines that can be aptly summarized in quotations of the 16th century Reformer, John Calvin. Indeed, we confess with Paul that no other faith justifies 'but faith working through love' [Gal. 5:6]. But it does not take its power to justify from that working of love. Indeed, it justifies in no other way but in that it leads us into fellowship with the righteousness of Christ. (Calvin, Institutes, III, 11, 20.). Man is not justified by faith alone, that is, by a bare and empty knowledge of God; he is justified by works, that is, his righteousness is known and proved by its fruits.". . . We, indeed, allow that good works are required for righteousness: we only take away from them the power of conferring righteousness, because they cannot stand before the tribunal of God (Calvin, in his Commentary on James). Those whom the Lord has destined by his mercy for the inheritance of eternal life he leads into possession of it, according to his ordinary dispensation, by means of good works" (Institutes III, 14, 21). Let us now consider the truth of what was said in the definition, viz., that justification by faith is reconciliation with God, and that this consists solely in the remission of sins. . . . It is evident therefore, that the only way in which those whom God embraces are made righteous, is by having their pollutions wiped away by the remission of sins, so that this justification may be termed in one word the remission of sins (Institutes, 3.11.21).

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 05 Sep 2016 15:27:31 -0400)

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