Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why Imputation Is Not a Legal Fiction

There are a variety of responses, but the best one, it seems to me, resides in the metaphor of marriage union. We will also add a few things afterwards that will help us understand.

In most marriages, property entails joint ownership. Now, if a woman comes into the marriage with a debt (like a college debt), the husband assumes that debt. It becomes their debt (it can also be described as his debt), even though the husband did not incur that debt. Similarly, whatever money the husband brought into the marriage doesn’t belong just to him anymore, it also belongs to her, even though she did not earn it. So, by virtue of the marriage union between husband and wife, the debts and the assets are transferred.

In a very similar way, when the believer becomes united to Christ by faith, a new legal situation results with transfers happening.

Read the whole article here.


  1. Yeah but, in that analogy the wife REALLY gets access to those assets. She lives in the husband's house, and she can write cheques from the husband's account. But in the Protestant imputation scenario, the righteousness is transferred in God's sight independently of the issue of whether the Christian is actually a better person.

    1. Speaking of something being "transferred", it's not an ontological transfer, it's an ethical one. It is an "accounting". That's one of the things that I don't see being brought up in these discussions. There is more discussion on this at Green Baggins.