Thursday, October 26, 2017

Piper on sola fide

1. Last month John Piper did a post which some self-identified Calvinists view as an attack on sola fide:

However, it's the critics who seem to be confused about Reformed theology. 

2. In Calvinism, sin has two basic dimensions:

i) An objective dimension, viz. guilt, culpability. 

That's the forensic dimension of sin.

ii) A subjective dimension: moral corruption. A predisposition to commit sin. Sinful attitudes. Sinful inclinations.

That's the psychological dimension of sin.

3. It follows that in Calvinism, salvation has two basic, corresponding dimensions:

i) An objective dimension, viz. justification, imputation.

That's the forensic dimension of salvation. That's concerns our legal or spiritual status or standing before God. Something God does for (elect) sinners. 

ii) A subjective dimension, viz. regeneration, sanctification.

That concerns our moral and spiritual transformation. Our subjective state or psychological condition, as rational, moral agents. That's something God does in (elect) sinners.

4. In addition, Reformed soteriology has a Trinitarian division of labor. The work of Christ rectifies the objective dimension of sin. His death on the cross redeems (elect) sinners.

Likewise, the work of the Spirit rectifies the subjective dimension of sin. Spiritual renewal. 

5. Reformed theology says we are justified by faith alone, not that we are saved by faith alone. There's more to salvation than justification. There's no salvation without sanctification. The work of Christ alone doesn't save you. The Spirit's work is necessary, too. 

Critics of Piper's statement are eerily reminiscent of antinomians and Sandemanians like Charles Ryrie, Zane Hodges, Charles Stanley, and R. T. Kendall.

No comments:

Post a Comment