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Trust and Obey (Norman Shepherd and the Justification Controversy at Westminister Seminary) Paperback – January 1, 2011


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Paperback, January 1, 2011
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: NextStep Resources; 1ST edition (2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0911802835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0911802832
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,509,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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35 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Chris Van Allsburg on March 25, 2011
Hewitson, Ian. Trust and Obey: Norman Shepherd and the Justification Controversy at Westminster Theological Seminary. Minneapolis MN, NextStep Resources, 2011, Pp. 277. $25.00

Do you know how faith and works fit together? If we are saved from our sins by faith, then why all the commands to do good works? Why does Paul say we are justified by faith, but James says, "you see that a man is not justified by faith alone, but by his works (2:24)? How can we express the doctrine of justification by faith alone, and yet find any congruence with what James says?

In the late 1970's and early 1980's, the doctrine of justification by "faith alone" came under scrutiny at Westminster Theological Seminary. One of the reasons that precipitated a long, drawn-out, and painful controversy there is because the Rev. Norman Shepherd sought to do faithful exegesis of the text of Scripture in comparing the so-called contradictory pronouncements on justification between Paul and James. He did so while staying faithful to his Reformed tradition as expressed in the Westminster Standards (Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms). While Shepherd came to question Luther's statement of "justification by faith alone," he wondered why exegetical theology could not express itself in terms of the simpler, and more biblical, "justification by faith." It was, after all, Martin Luther who added the gloss "alone" (glauben allein) into the text of Romans 3:28, which is not in the Greek text.

Ian Hewitson, Ph.D. University of Aberdeen, reveals in his clear, erudite dissertation, that at the crux of the debate over Shepherd's teachings was the Lutheran-Calvinist distinction in what constitutes justifying faith. For Luther, the faith that justifies is "alone.
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