Has the doctrine of justification always been held by the church, or was it a product of the Reformation? Was it clearly recognized prior to the Reformation? James Buchanan's landmark work on justification brings the full scope of church history to bear on the subject.
as the doctrine of justification always been held by the church, or was it a product of the Reformation? Was it clearly recognized prior to the Reformation? In the pages of our current title, James Buchanan answers:
"The question, therefore is not, - Whether all the Fathers taught the doctrine of justification in its original purity, nor even whether any one of the Fathers was entirely exempt from the corruptions which were gradually growing up in the Church; but simply, whether the doctrine of justification by grace, through faith in the merits of Christ, may not be traced in the writings of some witnesses for the truth, along the whole line of the Church's history; and whether some true believers were not nourished and refreshed by it, even in the most degenerate times? We answer this question in the affirmative, by adducing testimonies from the Fathers of every succeeding age; and in doing so, we refer to them, not as authorities in matters of faith, but simply as witnesses to a matter of fact."
In his clear and rational way, Buchanan provides a work on justification that is essential to the study thereof.
This work has a clear evangelical emphasis. It is thoroughly grounded in the Scriptures, and stresses the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to the believer.
James Buchanan was born in Scotland in 1804. By the age of twenty-three, he was ordained into the Church of Scotland—building a reputation as an earnest, eloquent, evangelical preacher. By 1845, he was appointed to the Chair of Apologetics at New College, Edinburgh, and by 1847 was Professor of Systematic Theology. His first published work, Comfort in Affliction, sold nearly 30,000 copies. Of his writings, his two most valuable works, which we now make available are, The Office and Work of the Holy Spirit, and The Doctrine of Justification.