Archive for September 2014

Two Non-Confessional Narratives Which Make Faith the Righteousness

September 16, 2014

Does faith also depend on “union”? Or does “union” depend on faith”? Has “union” changed between the old covenant economies and the incarnation of Christ?

1, Is faith the righteousness, or is the obedience of Christ even to death (outside us) the righteousness?
2, Are we the imputers, or is God the imputer?

Two non-confessional views of justification are held by many “Reformed” people. The first (compatible with Osiander) view is that faith really pleases God so that God forgets the believer’s sins. The curse for sin is not a judge passing a death sentence or an offended king showing his wrath, but a father letting his wayward son learn the hard lesson, so that the son will finally give up on himself, remember the father’s goodness, and come home. The acts of salvation in history are therefore God’s means of reminding men his mercy, of which the death of Christ is the supreme revelation. In this view, the one and only sin becomes unbelief of the “offer” of the gospel.

The second non-confessional view is that faith “appropriates” the presence of Christ and that results in the death of Christ covering believers from God’s judgment. In the Passover: the elect themselves applied the blood of the lamb to their houses and escaped the plague of death. In this view, “Christ is dead for you”, and the death of Christ is sufficient enough to make an offer but not enough to cover any sin, unless one first appropriates by faith “union with Christ” to themselves.

I am not saying that either of these views deny the fact that God’s election decided for whom Christ would die. I am saying that the atonement does not have decisive priority in these two false narratives. In both views, faith becomes the condition of “union” and “union” the condition of imputation. Since we are the ones who believe ( I agree with human agency in faith), these views make us the one who impute the righteousness to ourselves. And for all practical purposes, this makes faith our saving righteousness. In the case of Gaffin and Jones, this makes future works of faith our saving righteousness—I am united to the risen Christ and the same gracious power which enabled him to obey will also enable me to obey.

What’s the difference between “nomist” and “neonomian”? What’s new (not flat) and changed about now? Is it that we have a new ability to obey? is it that we in the new covenant are “united to Christ” and they were not back before the resurrection? I am still looking for an answer to that question from the “unionists”