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Justification: Five Views (Spectrum Multiview Books)

ISBN: 9780830869503

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“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). When Paul wrote these words he seemed confident he had made himself clear. But for centuries the Pauline doctrine of justification has been a classic point of interpretation and debate in Christian exegesis and theology. And while in recent decades there have been moments of hopeful convergence among the various traditions of the Western church, the fine print often reveals more facets and distinctions than ever before.

This volume focuses on five views of justification and calls on representative proponents to set forth their case and then respond to each other. The five views are:

  • Traditional Reformed (Michael S. Horton)
  • Progressive Reformed (Michael F. Bird)
  • New Perspective (James D. G. Dunn)
  • Deification, or Theosis (Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen)
  • Roman Catholic (Gerald O’Collins and Oliver Rafferty)

In addition, editors James Beilby, Paul R. Eddy, and Steven E. Enderlein provide an extensive introduction to the issues informing this important debate. This distinguished forum of biblical interpreters and theologians offers a lively and informative engagement with the biblical, historical and contemporary understandings of justification. Justification: Five Views is not only a fascinating probe into Paul’s meaning, it’s also a case book in theological method.

Logos Bible Software dramatically improves the value of Justification: Five Views by enabling you to find what you’re looking for with unparalleled speed and precision. The Logos edition is fully searchable and easily accessible. Scripture passages link directly to your preferred English translation and to the original language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of resources in your digital library.

Resource Experts
  • Contributes to the Spectrum series of multiview books
  • Offers a broad range of contemporary views on justification
  • Stages a critical theological debate for students and other readers

Top Highlights

“What does seem clear is that when the pre-Augustinian fathers wrote of the gracious, works-free nature of salvation/justification, many of them indexed this to initial justification, which itself was connected to conversion and/or baptism.16 Once initial justification had taken place, believers were expected to be caught up in a transformative process of growth in grace, virtue and good works.” (Page 17)

“the goal of the doctrine is to bring us to doxology, giving all praise to God with nothing left for ourselves” (Page 111)

“Among the various ways of expressing justification on the eve of the Reformation, the broad common ground held that justification was a process, one that began at baptism and continued on, and one that involved actual intrinsic righteousness, made possible by God’s initiating grace and subsequent human cooperation with that grace.” (Page 23)

“Reflecting the thought of Augustine, the standard view of the medieval Catholic Church is that ‘justification refers not merely to the beginning of the Christian life, but also to its continuation and ultimate perfection, in which Christians are made righteous in the sight of God and of humanity through a fundamental change in their nature, and not merely in their status.’” (Page 21)

“Similar to traditional Lutherans, many Reformed evangelicals today view the doctrine of justification by faith as ‘the heart of the Gospel,’ as ‘the article by which the church stands or falls.’” (Page 14)

A wonderfully useful book. After a superb historical survey of the issues to be debated, five influential approaches to the doctrine of justification by faith are presented and defended by credible and engaging representatives. I can think of no better introduction to these important debates than this outstanding volume.

Alister E. McGrath, professor of theology, ministry, and education, King’s College, London

No single volume could possibly cover all Christian views of the doctrine of justification. Justification: Five Views courageously selects five contemporary views and helpfully presents and critiques them. Each view is expounded and defended by a leading proponent and then critiqued by other contributors. Anyone interested in the current discussion about this crucial Christian doctrine must read this book. It sheds more light than heat in an area of theology almost burned over by heated polemics. Of all the ‘views’ books out there, this is one of the best.

Roger E. Olson, professor of theology, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University

Beilby and Eddy have raised the bar with regard to this multiple views genre, this time bringing together world-renowned scholars and theologians to engage a very hot topic. Reading Justification: Five Views is like being treated to five books by five masters of their craft, each going deep into the details at times but yet also stepping back to cover the forest ably enough for the less initiated to appreciate what is at stake. A must-read for those interested in the ecumenical implications of the doctrine of justification.

Amos Yong, J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology, Regent University School of Divinity

Of all the multiple views books, this one was needed most. It is also perhaps the best yet: getting Horton, Dunn, Bird, Kärkkäinen, O’Collins, and Rafferty all at the table at the same time under the same roof is both a tour de force and a brilliant example of how their interaction can teach each of us. One word is needed most for the justification debate at work among (mostly) evangelicals, the word listen, and if you listen to the pages of this book you will see examples of not listening and listening. The challenge remains for all of us: will we listen again to the Scriptures to hear what it says about justification? Or will we impose our systems of thought on the Bible?

Scot McKnight, professor of religious studies, North Park University

  • Title: Justification: Five Views
  • Authors: Paul Rhodes Eddy, James K. Beilby
  • Series: Spectrum Multiview Books
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Print Publication Date: 2011
  • Logos Release Date: 2013
  • Pages: 320
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subject: Justification (Christian theology) › History of doctrines
  • ISBNs: 9780830869503, 0830869506
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T00:59:43Z

James K. Beilby (PhD, Marquette University) is professor of systematic and philosophical theology at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Paul R. Eddy (PhD, Marquette University) is professor of theology at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Steven E. Enderlein is associate professor of biblical studies at Bethel University.


9 ratings

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  1. Zac Owens

    Zac Owens


  2. Brian Ortmann

    Brian Ortmann


  3. darksweet102



  4. Brother Mark

    Brother Mark


  5. Justin Daley

    Justin Daley


    What about the views of the Eastern Church? We are so narrow in our theology. Westernized, Americanized. Dangerous.
  6. Richard C. Hammond, Jr.
  7. Brian Lilly

    Brian Lilly


  8. Quintin Betteridge
  9. Everett Headley
  10. Bill Shewmaker


Print list price: $28.00
Save $9.01 (32%)