Posted On March 25, 2015

Strive for…the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. ~ Hebrews 12:14

This list has been published in a few blogs, notably by Kevin DeYoung at The Gospel Coalition. But it is worth another publishing. Mark Jones brought the list to our attention with his important book Antinomianism: Reformed Theology’s Unwelcome Guest. Below is a set of propositions that the New England Synod of Elders (1637), responding to the Antinomian controversy, considered “unsafe.”

1. To say we are justified by faith is an unsafe speech; we must say we are justified by Christ.

2. To evidence justification by sanctification or graces savours of Rome.

3. If I be holy, I am never the better accepted by God; if I be unholy, I am never the worse.

4. If Christ will let me sin, let him look to it; upon his honour be it.

5. Here is a great stir about graces and looking to hearts; but give me Christ; I seek not for graces, but for Christ. . . .I seek not for sanctification, but for Christ; tell me not of meditation and duties, but tell me of Christ.

6. I may know I am Christ’s, not because I do crucify the lusts of the flesh, but because I do not crucify them, but believe in Christ that crucified my lusts for me.

7. If Christ be my sanctification, what need I look to anything in myself, to evidence my justification.

“These statements,” according to Mark Jones, “get to the heart of the issues involved in the antinomian debates during the 1630s in New England—and indeed in England.”[1]

If you believe any of these, you might be an Antinomian.

I submit that antinomianism is rife in today’s Reformed Christianity. Barbara Duguid has written what is perhaps the most explicit expression of modern antinomianism. Her popular book Extravagant Grace has recommendations from Tullian Tchividjian, Elyse Fitzpatrick, Michael Horton, and, surprisingly, Carl R. Trueman.

Tchividjian said the following concerning the book:

Thank you, thank you for writing such a great book! The way many Christians think about sanctification is, well, not very sanctified. In fact, it’s downright narcissistic. We think way too much about how we’re doing, if we’re growing, whether we’re doing it right or not. We spend too much time brooding over our failures and reflecting on our successes. What I’ve discovered is that the more I focus on my need to get better, the worse I actually get. I become self-absorbed which is the exact opposite of how the Bible describes what it means to be sanctified. This is why I was shouting ‘yes, yes’ again and again as I read Barbara’s excellent book. Mining the treasures of John Newton’s letters, Barbara writes, ‘God thinks that you will actually come to know and love him better as a desperate and weak sinner in continual need of grace than you would as a triumphant Christian warrior who wins each and every battle against sin.’ Amen! Over and over again Barbara reminds us that spiritual growth is realizing how utterly dependent we are on Christ’s cross and mercy. It’s not arriving at some point where we need Jesus less and less because we’re getting better and better. I cannot commend this book enough. We need more and more books like this which remind us that the focus of the Christian faith is not the life of the Christian, but Christ.

Continue Reading

Related Posts

Pastor, Are You Prepared to Shepherd Your Flock through Dementia?

Pastor, Are You Prepared to Shepherd Your Flock through Dementia?

A Common Challenge The tragedy of dementia is common and will become more so in the future. It is estimated that over 30% of the average church congregation will die with some form of dementia. That represents an enormous challenge in pastoral ministry. I would...

Impacting change in Delhi

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent ac nibh vestibulum, laoreet ipsum quis, vestibulum nisi. Curabitur non mi et turpis pharetra vulputate.

Pride Goes Before a Fall

Pride Goes Before a Fall

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov. 16:18) The word “pride” has been bantered around quite a bit of late, specifically in relation to the recent SCOTUS decision on gay marriage. Social media has been awash with “support pride”...

The Sovereignty of God in the Midst of the Chaos of Our World

The Sovereignty of God in the Midst of the Chaos of Our World

Whether it’s on social media, the radio, or on TV, events like police officers being shot, Black Lives Matter, and terrorist attacks seemingly dominate our daily news. Every person is created by God in His image and likeness and worthy of dignity and respect. As...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reddit
Share
Email
Buffer
Tweet