I’ve written in the past about some of Piper’s erroneous statements regarding justification. Justin Taylor recently posted a Foreword Piper wrote to Thomas Schreiner’s new book on Sola Fide. Piper says:
As Tom Schreiner says, the book “tackles one of the fundamental questions of our human condition: how can a person be right with God?”
The stunning Christian answer is: sola fide—faith alone. But be sure you hear this carefully and precisely: He says right with God by faith alone, not attain heaven by faith alone. There are other conditions for attaining heaven, but no others for entering a right relationship to God…
Such faith always “works by love” and produces the “obedience of faith.” And that obedience— imperfect as it is till the day we die—is not the “basis of justification, but . . . a necessary evidence and fruit of justification.” In this sense, love and obedience—inherent righteousness—is “required of believers, but not for justification”—that is, required for heaven, not for entering a right-standing with God…
Thus Schreiner closes his book with a joyful testimony—and I rejoice to join him in it: ”My confidence on the last day . . . will not rest on my transformation. I have too far to go to put any confidence in what I have accomplished. Instead, I rest on Jesus Christ. He is my righteousness. He is the guarantor of my salvation. I am justified by faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.”
A few logical implications follow:
- Being righteous before (“right with”/justified) God is insufficient to attain heaven.
- Christ’s righteousness is insufficient to attain heaven.
- Justification is not “the divine verdict of the Eschaton being brought forward into the present time and rendered here and now concerning the believing sinner.” (Reymond, p. 743)
- There is not therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
- Justification is meaningless.
- I cannot rest in Christ alone on the last day, but must hope in my transformation.
See follow-up posts: