Although a number of issues arising from Philip Ryken’s article Justification and Union with Christ. could be addressed in detail, I will confine my remarks to the following.
It must be clarified from the outset that this response to Piper’s book represents a kind of “mediating” position. Not that the purpose is to bridge a gap simply for the sake of being a “peacemaker,” but rather that the baby is not to be thrown out with the bath water. That is to say, the intention of the doctrine of imputation is not to be disputed: our righteousness comes from Christ and is for that reason an “alien righteousness.” However, it is a question of modality…. It is the contention of this paper that the free gift of righteousness comes our way by virtue of union with Christ, not imputation as classically defined (pp. 45-46).
In the latter, I wrote:
In closing, it must be placed beyond all doubt that imputation as a concept is hardly objectionable: what evangelical could, at least with any degree of consistency, protest the notion that Christ has become our righteousness in the gospel? But as pertains to a strict doctrine of imputation, exegesis of texts must be the deciding factor. It has been the contention of this paper that exegesis will steer us away from imputation to union with Christ (p. 101).