By Rachel Miller - Posted at A Daughter of the Reformation:
As we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this year, some may wonder if the Reformation still matters today. We don’t face the same problems today in the church that they did back then, right? No one is selling indulgences. No one in in the evangelical world is teaching salvation by works and certainly not in the Reformed world! Right?
Last week, Desiring God ran an article by John Piper on sola fide, Does God Really Save Us by Faith Alone? The article is a rerun of older material by Piper. It makes the rounds every couple of years and receives a wide range of responses. The point of the article seems to be to encourage believers to have an active faith as described in James 2. This is a worthy aim. There are many today, even in Reformed circles, who speak and act as though believers should not be expected to live godly lives and to struggle against their sins.
The problem in many responses to such antinomianism is a trend towards moralism, pietism, or legalism. Such a reaction to antinomianism is not surprising, but it is equally dangerous. And this is the ditch Piper’s article falls into.
- Rachel Miller Contra Mundum? The 5 Solas and John Piper, Part 1 (Heart and Mouth)
- Five Solas (Theopedia)
- Salvation (The Heidelblog)
- Chapter 11 - Of Justification (Westminster Confession of Faith - Reformed.org)
- Chapter XIV - Of Saving Faith (Westminster Confession of Faith - Reformed.org)
- Chapter 11 - Of Justification (The Baptist Confession of Faith 1689 - Reformed.org)
- Chapter 14 - Of Saving Faith (The Baptist Confession of Faith 1689 - Reformed.org)
- Muddying The Distinction Between Justification And Salvation (Dr. R. Scott Clark)
- “…Let’s just pipe down and let the experts handle this.” (My Only Comfort)
- Piper: Salvation by faith alone and just a little bit more? (The World's Ruined)
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: (Philippians 3: 7-9 - KJV)
Editor's Note: Friends, Just a brief comment - this is not "nit picking" or an attack on Mr. Piper, but a fundamental truth that needs to be properly understood. I would think Mr. Piper would be blessed to know others are offering a correction to his work. Perhaps he just needs to clarify his position? Anyway, I have come across this misunderstanding of salvation/works with other pastors (at least one on Sermon Audio) which greatly concerned me, especially for those not familiar with reformed teaching or historic standards such as the Westminster Standards and 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. - AW
Rev. Brian Schwertley - Gospel preaching.