Saturday, November 16, 2013

Calvin and Justification

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Alister McGrath summarizes the Reformation’s understanding of justification as follows: Justification is a forensic declaration of righteousness involving a sinner’s status rather than his nature; Justification is distinct from regeneration or sanctification; and justifying righteousness is an alien righteousness, completely external from man and imputed to him.[1] It is within this paradigm that John Calvin lived, moved and had his existence, yet he did add his own unique flavor. His contributions that I would like to highlight is his emphasis on the forensic aspect of justification, which can be seen most readily in his controversy with Osiander, his cementing of the distinctions between regeneration and justification, and his answer to the familiar charge of antinomianism and the role of works in salvation.