Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Justification, Regeneration, Perseverance

I just listened to Dr. James White's debate with Mitchell Pacwa, SJ, on Justification. Very informative and clear contrast between two systems of thought. More and more I'm seeing the systematic corruption of the Roman Catholic doctrine of justification. Thanks, Dr. White.

Then I listened to Dr. James White's debate with Dr. Robert Wilkins, on Regeneration and Perseverance and Lordship Salvation. Dr. White did a fine job of presenting his positive case, with some amount of addressing and dismantling the other side. In contrast, all Dr. Wilkins did was parasitically attack Dr. White, and made no case of his own, other than what he could say in the process of trying to tear down Dr. White. He didn't understand Dr. White's position, and gave some bizarre arguments against it (like, how could Cornelius be drawn by the Holy Spirit before he was regerated?  Huh?).  I was disappointed.

I agree that those who are saved with show forth fruits, and that faith is not just mere intellectual assent. Faith is saying 'Amen', i.e., the settled inner witness of the biblical heart, which includes the mind but also the affections. My only problems with Lordship Salvation is that it can tend to say that coming to the Lord in justifying faith means you have to commit to change your ways, and it can tend to harp on people too much to produce [a certain culturally acceptable kind of ] fruit. No, justifying faith runs to the Lord, saying with all the heart, "I am undone, I have offended a holy God, please save me from my sins." Of course there must be a change of attitude about sin. But there's nothing in the text about making commitments, changing your ways, and I think Lordship Salvation advocates can tend to say you do have to change your ways to get in the door.

Having said all this, when you respond with true faith, your ways will change (some instantly, and some progressively). God gives his elect ones new desires and they work these out with fear and trembling (Greek colloquialism for awe and respect). I agree with Dr. White when he says there's no such thing as salvation without discipleship, justfication without sanctification.

No comments: