New Perspective on Paul: Basic Tenets, History, and Presuppositions 191
John Calvin, “The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans and to the Thessalonians,”
, trans. Ross Mackenzie, eds. David W. Torrance and Thomas F. Torrance (Grand Rapids:Eerdmans, 1960) 8:69-70 (emphases in the original).
Klaas Runia, “Justification and Roman Catholicism,” in
Right with God
, ed. D. A. Carson (London: published on behalf of the World Evangelical Fellowship by Paternoster and Baker, 1992) 197. AlthoughLuther himself did not use this precise expression, he used similar ones. For further information, see H.George Anderson, T. Austin Murphy, and Joseph A. Burgess, eds.
, Justification By Faith, Lutherans and Catholics in Dialogue VII
(Minneapolis: Augburg, 1985) 25, 320 n. 51.
The Smalcald Articles, A Reprint from the “Concordia Triglotta.” inCommemoration of the Four-Hundredth Anniversary of the Presentation of This Confession of the Lutheran Church at Schmalkalden, Germany, in 1537
(St. Louis: Concordia, 1937) 4 (emphases in theoriginal).
J. I. Packer, “Justification in Protestant Theology,” in
Here We Stand
, eds. J. I. Packer et al.(London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1986) 86.
this confidence he does not confine himself to ceremonies, nor does he specificallydiscuss their value, but he includes the whole law. . . . We contend, however, not withoutreason, that Paul is here speaking of the whole law. . . . It is a . . . memorable truth of thefirst importance that no one can obtain righteousness by the keeping of the law.
Second, the doctrine of
sine qua non
of the Reformation,which sought to return to the true intent of Paul’s letters. Runia strikes at the heartof its importance: “For the Reformers, and those who stood in their tradition thedoctrine of the justification of the sinner by faith alone (
) was always of theutmost importance. In the Lutheran Reformation it was called “the article uponwhich the church stands or falls (
articulus ecclesia stantis et cadentis ecclesiae
Luther warned in his
,Of this article nothing can be yielded or surrendered [nor can anything be grantedor permitted contrary to the same], even though heaven and earth, and whatever will notabide, should sink to ruin.
For there is none other name under heaven given among menwhereby we must be saved
, says Peter, Acts 4, 12.
And with His stripes we are healed
,Is. 53, 5. And upon this article all things depend which we teach and practice inopposition to the Pope, the devil, and the [whole] world. Therefore, we must be sureconcerning this doctrine, and not doubt; for otherwise all is lost, and the Pope and deviland all things gain victory and suit over us.
He foresaw that a day would come after the Reformation’s restoration of Paul’s doctrine of salvation through faith alone
that some theologians would attemptto bring back the efficacy of works in justification. At one time, Packer observed,Luther anticipated that after his death the truth of justification would come under freshattack and theology would develop in a way tending to submerge it once more in error and incomprehension; and throughout the century following Luther’s death Reformedtheologians, with Socinian and other rationalists in their eye, were constantly stressinghow radically opposed to each other are the “Gospel mystery” of justification and thereligion of the natural man.”