Justification is a scary word for many Christians. They simply digest the word with no thought, purposely so, as to what it means. Many have, seemingly, gone so far as to soften the language of the Cross, so as to not have to discuss what this word means. Perhaps that is because over the course of the last few years, this theological tenant has become embroiled in more than a few controversies with participants being some rather well known figures in Christian thought. It’s also the fact that many simply do not want to think about Christ dying on the Cross. It’s not modern, not pleasing to the ear.
One of the things which I try to be is objective. Facts matter, after all, especially when severe disagreements exist. That’s what I have found so appealing about the first two chapters of this book. In barely seventy pages worth of writing, Paul Rhodes Eddy, James K. Beilby, and Steven E. Enderlein have presented an objective history of the Justification debate in such a way as to introduce the topic, the divergent view points, and even the weaknesses of those viewpoints without spoiling the rest of the book. The first chapter deals with the historic debate, filled with Protestants, Catholics, and even our sisters and brothers in the Orthodox Church. The second chapter moves into the scholarly realm in which we hear Sanders, Wright, and Dunn, as well as their debate partners as new exegetical concerns are brought to light as well as an examination of ancient prejudices. Over all, these first two chapters have a great amount of depth to them which will allow the reader, who may be unfamiliar that (1) Justification exists as a doctrine, (2) that it is rather important in most Christian theological circles, and (3) that there is more than one way to view it.
If you haven’t gotten the book, get it.
Also, a fellow contributor on the blog may be posting thoughts as well… they may be radically different than mine, which would be fine.
Thanks for reading!