There were some helpful Bible and Confessions quotes in this section, describing the all-sufficiency of the work of Christ. The reader can evaluate Section 3 for himself.
Before we get to Section 4, let me try to summarize some of the extreme ends of the spectrum that have revealed themselves so far in our discussion of this important doctrine:
- UOJ extreme: “Justification must always be spoken of as ‘objective’ and 'subjective.' Those who do not conceive of it this way teach that the work of Christ is incomplete. They are false teachers - either Calvinists who teach a limited atonement, or Arminians who turn faith into a work of man. Period.”
Anti-UOJ extreme: “There is no sense in which justification can be spoken of as ‘objective.’ Those who say there is are false teachers and Universalists. Period.”
UOJ extreme: “God has no more wrath for anyone. All sins were forgiven 2000 years ago. People aren’t actually ‘forgiven’ through the Means of Grace. The Means of Grace merely inform people of what happened before they were ever born.”
Anti-UOJ extreme: “God’s wrath against sinners is not appeased until someone comes to faith. Faith satisfies God’s wrath and so He’ll forgive a believer’s sins.”
UOJ extreme: “All people are forgiven, whether they believe it or not.”
Anti-UOJ extreme: "There is no forgiveness for anyone prior to faith."
UOJ extreme: “The only way to be sure of my salvation is if all people are already saved.”
Anti-UOJ extreme: “The only way to be sure of my salvation is to look to my faith.”
UOJ extreme: “Because of Christ’s Atonement, God has already saved all people.”
Anti-UOJ extreme: “Christ’s Atonement made salvation a possibility for all people.”
The fact is that all of these statements are either inaccurate, insufficient or simply wrong. It's hard to know how prevalent these extreme positions are in our synod, but there appears to be a disturbing lack of unity regarding how to talk about justification. One of our subscribers told us that he once asked his three pastors (separately) to explain the doctrine of objective/subjective justification to him, and he got three different (and conflicting) answers.
The next post (look for it on Monday!) will address some famously extreme statements written some 30 years ago, and will hopefully help readers to identify the absolutely wrong way to teach and understand objective justification. Section 4: Part 1 – Just say “no” to Kokomo.