Sunday, May 02, 2010

Jensen on Hodge re: ordo salutis

One of the dangers in Reformed evangelicalism is the notion that the gospel is the ordo salutis of Protestant Scholasticism. In particular, the attempts to separate justification from union with Christ are indicative of a trend and represents anabandonment of Calvin's conception of all the benefits being apprehended in Christ. To this end, Michael Jensen points out the extreme federalism of Charles Hodge.

6 comments:

Rachel said...

Douglas masquerading as Rachel again...

I think these dogmatic discussions and frameworks are very important for our on-the-ground exegesis in Paul; they're in play whether we acknowledge them or not, so we really need to get to grips with them. Moreover, they're in an obvious conversation with church history and its dominant figures, esp. Calvin, which is not simple. In many respects they give clearer accounts of matters in basic theological terms than many modern accounts. Nevertheless they tend to be insensitive in my experience to the concerns of the NPJ--while the latter often link up with much older critical concerns from, e.g., the Religionsgeschichtliche Schule. All of which contributes to a pretty complicated interpretative situation. (Could one be excused for writing an intolerably large book then....?)

Is a fundamental issue here though not the separation of Justification from Sanctification as a separate prefatory system, which is arguably hard to sustain in Paul? Are these different aspects to salvation, which is to say, different metaphors for the same thing, or fundamentally different models?

Is not another fundamental issue the apparent tendency of Justification to think forward, and Sanctification to think backward? That is, are two systems operating in these ways epistemologically compatible? The former looks irreducibly Arian to me and the latter Athanasian--which means that critical issues are indeed at stake!

Luke said...

A highly formalized Ordo Salutis doesn't seem to have much biblical warrant. But to m,e a looser Ordo Salutis seems like a great way to hold all the doctrines of grace together in a meta-format.

Rachel said...

Well, that would depend on the actual Ordo in question wouldn't it?!

Luke said...

As in Lutheran or Reformed? I was thinking of Bruce Demarest's (The Cross and Salvation ) reconstruction.

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Bruce J. Russell, Sr. said...

Ordo Salutis...reducing theology to bullet points and missing the target.