Andrew Perriman on justification by faith

Reformed theology regards justification by faith as a central soteriological principle that determines the final destiny of the individual. It stands in absolute antithesis to the supposedly universal but futile endeavour of humanity to justify itself by its ethical and religious works. It assumes a forensic or judicial framework: at the final assize no one will be be justified—and therefore escape condemnation to hell—by anything that he or she has done; only those who have faith in the atoning death of Christ, etc., will be justified. It is essentially a metaphysical notion. Narrative has nothing to do with it.

My pragmatic-eschatological interpretation is that justification by faith presupposes the call of God to pursue a hazardous and uncertain course or to stand firm under threatening conditions. The right response to such a call is belief, trust, faith, faithfulness. Habakkuk 2:4 is seminal: when the wrath of God comes upon Israel, the righteous will live by their faithfulness (cf. Rom. 1:17). At some point in the future those who take that difficult and narrow path will find that they were right to do so—they will find that they were justified all along, despite the incredulity and antagonism of those around them.

— Andrew Perriman

The Question That Never Goes Away by Philip Yancey

This is a slim book, roughly 176 pages, and Yancey spends time discussing both his past and the events surrounding these tragedies and his role in their aftermath. So if you are expecting an in-depth theological exploration of the problem of evil or theodicy this is not it. Rather it is a meditation on, and exploration of, these events and Yancey’ thinking as it has evolved and developed over the years.

Continue reading