Monday, July 20, 2009

Lane Tipton and Calvin, Union with Christ, & Justification

There is a great little clip by Lane Tipton of WTS-Philly on Calvin and Justification. Tipton asserts that some modern exponents have over emphasized the forensic aspect of justification at the expense of the rest of the benefits of Christ. In fact, Tipton seems to make the scandalous inference that justification is based on union (gasp!). Do watch it!


Andrew Cowan said...

Dr. Bird,

I was wondering about a certain way of stating the relationship between justification and union with Christ. Would you be comfortable saying that justification is an aspect of union with Christ (namely, union with the verdict he received in his resurrection) rather than simply affirming that justification is based on union with Christ?

Bruce J. Russell, Sr. said...

Nice way to pick up Romans 4:25...
Romans 4:25

NET © He was given over because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification.

CJW said...

Gorman's latest picks up the same theme. Gotta say, I like it. And Marshall has an IJST article that looks at the same in (the Finnish?) Luther. Kinda makes you wonder how one aspect displaced so much else within justification.

MrErr said...

I am wondering if there is some history revisionism going on among some scholars to make Calvin and Luther more palatable to contemporary audiences. Not having read Calvin or Luther myself but having read a good number of Reformed and Lutheran scholars, the concept of Union with Christ as a part of justification has been pretty much absent.

Andrew Cowan said...


I haven't read as much Luther, but in Calvin, union with Christ really is unmistakably central to justification. A perusal of the relevant sections of the Institutes could clarify this pretty easily.

Anonymous said...

Justification based on union? Whoa!

Since justification an an act of God's free grace wherein he pardons all our sins and accepts us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ, imputed to us and received by faith alone (WSC), I'd have thought it better to say that justification is based on God's work in Christ.

Farley said...

Union with Christ is always the first step to: Worship of God,
Love, Joy and Peace, even our first to becoming a Christian...Jesus (to me) made all that and more clear
When He told Nicodemus: "Verily, Verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born again, he cannot see ( experience )
The kingdom of God.