Tyson Reply to the Prosecution Testimony

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REPLY TO PROSECUTION TESTIMONY

PRESENTED BY REV. KUSCHKE AND MR. WILKENING

EARLIER IN THIS TRIAL

 

Rev. Kuschke:

 

1. Rev. Kuschke said :

 

It is charged in the documents specified, Elder Kinnaird teaches "a doctrine of justification by faith and works." He does not use the phrase "justification by faith and works." He says that believers are justified by faith at their conversion. He also says, "it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous" at the Day of Judgment, "according to what they have done in the body." To be "declared righteous" is, precisely, to be justified. Thus he affirms justification by faith, and also justification by obedience to the law.

-- Transcript, Doctrinal Statement by Arthur Kuschke, Nov. 23, p. 1

 

Mr. Kuschke admits that Elder Kinnaird does not use the phrase, "justification by faith and works." That is correct. He admits that Elder Kinnaird says that believers are justified by faith at their conversion. That is also correct. On what basis, then, does he draw the conclusion that Elder Kinnaird "affirms justification by faith, and also justification by obedience to the law"? He draws this conclusion on this basis:

 

He [Elder Kinnaird] also says, "it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous" at the Day of Judgment, "according to what they have done in the body."

 

Yes, Elder Kinnaird says those things, virtual quotations from Romans 2:6,13 and Rev. 22:12, as reflected in WCF XXXIII:1 and LC Q.&A. 87-90. And it is not correct to conclude that because he says those things, he "affirms justification by faith, and also justification by obedience to the law." Furthermore, if such were correct, then the teaching of our Confession and Catechism as cited would of necessity lead to the same conclusion. But it is not correct to draw such a conclusion. Elder Kinnaird affirms the Scriptural and our Confessional teaching that: (1) justification at the moment of conversion is by the sole instrumentality of faith and on the sole basis of the imputed righteous active and passive obedience of Christ, and (2) acquittal at the Day of Judgment is merely declarative, in accord with what the Christian has done in the body as a result of his or her union with Christ. Is that "justification by obedience to the law?" No--neither at conversion nor at the Day of Judgment! Such is unthinkable, and would be a denial of the gospel. Justification at conversion is by faith, as the God-ordained active instrument, and it is never in accord with faith. Acquittal at the Day of Judgment is in accord with works, as the God-ordained, inevitable fruit of faith, and it is never by works. Elder Kinnaird categorically denies any "justification by obedience to the law," and it is mischievous to impute such a concept to him.

 

2. Rev. Kuschke said:

 


[Elder Kinnaird] says that the imputed righteousness of Christ, which all Christians receive at conversion, "cannot suffice" to bring us into full conformity to the image of Christ in true and personal holinessY. Obedience to the law, in this life, is therefore still necessary for eternal life. The justification at conversion, by the "imputed righteousness of Christ," "cannot suffice" to supply this need; there must still be a justification at the Judgment according to our obedience to the law. This is a doctrine of Justification by faith and works.

-- Transcript, Doctrinal Statement by Arthur Kuchke, Nov. 23, p. 1

 

Mr. Kuschke here alleges that Elder Kinnaird teaches that the justification which the believer receives at conversion, by the imputed righteousness of Christ, cannot suffice to supply what is needed for eternal life; for that, a further justification which the believer receives at the Judgment, by his obedience to the law, is required.

But the truth of the matter is that absolutely neither Elder Kinnaird nor the Westminster Standards say any such thing. Mr. Kuschke is putting words in Mr. Kinnaird's mouth by a false inference, not by good and necessary consequence. What Mr. Kinnaird and the Standards say is that the effect of regeneration coupled with the gifts of a new heart and of the Holy Spirit (in fulfillment of the promises of Jeremiah and Ezekiel), though never separated from the believer's union with Christ, is not to impute the righteousness of Christ (which already took place upon conversion and provided the ground for justification), but to produce a sanctification, "really and personally, Y [unto] the practice of true holiness", in this life in this church age, (Jeremiah 31:31-33, Ezekiel 36:26-27 and 37:24, WCF XIII:1, SC Q.&A. 35 and LC, Q.&A. 75). That sanctification (which is completed in glorification) is indeed needed for eternal life because God has so ordered it (cf.. Eph. 2:10), but it does not constitute a justification by works. It is a production of works, by the grace, Spirit and Word of God, in union with Christ, and wholly to His glory. When Mr. Kuschke alleges, as he does here, that Mr. Kinnaird said something which Mr. Kinnaird did not say, and he makes this allegation in a court of God's church, he commits a serious error.

 

3. Mr Kuschke said:

 

The first [reason Elder Kinnaird has suggested why the imputed righteousness of Christ "cannot suffice"] is that sanctification is also given us, and that the obedience wrought by sanctification does provide the real and personal righteousness and holiness required; we reply, that even our best sanctification and obedience in this life cannot suffice for this purposeY

-- Transcript, Doctrinal Statement by Arthur Kuchke, Nov. 23, p. 1

 

Absolutely never do Elder Kinnaird nor the Westminster Standards say anything of the kind. Rather, they say that sanctification is never complete in this life, but only at glorification (Rom. 8:30; WCF XIII:1,2). Further, Mr. Kinnaird does not say nor suggest that "the obedience wrought by sanctification does provide the real and personal righteousness and holiness required." We judge that such erroneous statements as this by Mr. Kuschke, made in a court of God's church, are highly offensive.

 

4. Rev. Kuschke said:

 

[Elder Kinnaird] says that Christ's righteousness is the righteousness of another, and therefore cannot be truly and personally our own. He says that real and personal righteousness must be "our own, our very own, not just that of another credited to us"Y This is startling. Elder Kinnaird wants us to find something in our own righteousness, something more than we do now receive in the imputed righteousness of Christ.

-- Transcript, Doctrinal Statement by Arthur Kuchke, Nov. 23, p. 1

 


But the truth is, Elder Kinnaird never said that the imputed righteousness of Christ, received at conversion, is not truly and personally our own. It is. But the "real and personal holiness" of which the Westminster Confession speaks (WCF XIII:1), effected in sanctification and completed in glorification, is not the imputed righteousness of another, but holiness wrought in our basic nature by the gracious working of the Holy Spirit. And all, by virtue of the believer's union with Christ.

Further, Elder Kinnaird never said what would admittedly be quite startling, if it were true, namely that there is something lacking in the imputed righteousness of Christ that is supplied by our own righteousness. He rather denies such a pernicious doctrine. And he has said nowhere that he "wants us to find something in our own righteousness." Again, it is very wrong to make these sort of false accusations.

 

5. Rev. Kuschke said:

 

Elder Kinnaird appeals to sanctification, in support of his distinctive teaching on justification. ButYsanctification, imperfect in this life, cannot be relied upon to provide a real and personal righteousness which is in full conformity to the image of Christ.

-- Transcript, Doctrinal Statement by Arthur Kuchke, Nov. 23, p. 2

 

However, as Elder Kinnaird shows in his teaching, according to Scripture and Confession, sanctification and glorification can and do provide such. Mr. Kuschke may believe that they cannot, but Mr. Kinnaird believes that regeneration and sanctification (though imperfect in this life), with glorification (cf. Rom. 8:30), can and do so provide. He believes this because Scripture says so, and our Standards confirm that Mr. Kinnaird rightly understands Scripture.

 

6. Rev. Kuschke said:

 

It appears that Elder Kinnaird does not take into account the completeness of justification, nor the sinfulness of that pervasive sin which still dwells within us until our glorification.

-- Transcript, Doctrinal Statement by Arthur Kuchke, Nov. 23, p. 3

 

Such appears to be the case, according to Rev. Kuschke. But where does Elder Kinnaird deny or question "the completeness of justification"? Such is not identified. Where does Elder Kinnaird depreciate or diminish "the sinfulness of that pervasive sin which still dwells within us until our glorification"? Such is not identified. These bold accusations can only be characterized as wild and groundless.

 

7. Rev. Kuschke said:

 

[Implying that Elder Kinnaird teaches what is alleged to be wrong:] Nevertheless we can never go so far as to count on our own "good works" done in this life for that obedience in accord with which we might be declared righteous at the Judgment.

-- Transcript, Doctrinal Statement by Arthur Kuchke, Nov. 23, p. 3

 

If Mr. Kuschke, however, wants to level this criticism upon Elder Kinnaird, he will find himself in conflict with the words of our Westminster Standards: "At the day of judgment, the righteous shall beYthere openly acknowledged and acquitted" (LC Q.&A. 90); "In which dayYall personsYshall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds; and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil" (WCF XXXIII:1).

 

 


8. Rev. Kuschke said:

 

He [Elder Kinnaird} has tried to combine both faith, and the works of the law, for justification.

-- Transcript, Doctrinal Statement by Arthur Kuchke, Nov. 23, p. 5

 

Once more, where is the documentation for this amazing allegation? Rev. Kuschke no doubt believes his accusation is implied by Elder Kinnaird's statements. But Elder Kinnaird is not on trial for his views that Rev. Kuschke may believe are implied by Elder Kinnaird's writings or statements. He is on trial for "teaching a doctrine of justification by faith and works, contrary to the Word of God and the Westminster Standards." Elder Kinnaird has categorically denied holding any view that would posit works as either instrument or ground for justification, forensically pronounced by God upon conversion. Now, the only role that anything could play, that might be construed as be "for justification," would be as either instrument or ground. Elder Kinnaird teaches with Romans 3:28, that "one is justified by faith apart from works of the law"--thus, for justification, faith plays an instrumental role. He teaches that not even faith is the ground for justification, but (with WCF XI:1,2) that it is the "alone instrument of justification." As far as works are concerned, he teaches that they are neither ground nor instrument for justification, but (with WCF XVI:2) that "good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith."

 

 

 

Mr. Wilkening

 

Specification # 1

 

1. Mr. Wilkening said:

 

The first statement Elder Kinnaird makes is, "The charge--that is, specification [sic] by faith and works--has nothing to do neither with declaring what is God's plan for the ages, nor with the events on Judgment Day. The charge has to do with how one becomes justified before God"

-- Transcript, Wilkening, Specification #1, p. 1

[sic added by transcriptionist]

 

 

The document to which Mr. Wilkening refers is a submission Elder Kinnaird made to the Bethany Session, when it was considering admission of the Charge. It is well to observe what he said, in context:

 


The charge, on the other hand, has nothing to do either with declaring what is God's Plan for the Ages, nor with events on the Day of Judgment. The charge has to do with how one becomes justified before God. Christians are effectually called and regenerated on day one of their Christian pilgrimage. They are justified by grace through faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ on that very first day of their new life. At that time the merits of the life and death of Jesus Christ are imputed to them. Then their journey through life begins. In that journey that are sanctified by the work of the Holy Spirit (Christ in them, the hope of Glory) and at death they are glorified (crowned with the crown of life, the crown of righteousness, and the crown of glory--incorruptible and immortal). That journey culminates in and on the Day of Judgment. None of those good works, that are the product of the journey of sanctification, are the cause of the justification that came far back at the beginning of the journey--nor could they be. That which comes after cannot be said to be the cause of that which comes first. That would be nonsense.

 

But, notwithstanding this full and understandable statement by Elder Kinnaird, Mr. Wilkening amazingly concluded:

 

For this reason, we most strenuously disagree with Elder Kinnaird when he says that the doctrine of justification does not relate to God's plan for the ages, nor with events on the day of judgment.

-- Transcript, Wilkening, Specification #1, p. 2

 

But, may we respectfully request the Court to observe that Elder Kinnaird said nothing of the kind. He did not say "that the doctrine of justification doe not relate to God's plan for the ages, nor with events on the day of judgment." Simple reading reveals that he was speaking about Mr. Wilkening's Charge and the fact that the charge has nothing to do with declaring two other doctrines or how the doctrine of justification relates to something else. His whole statement, of which Mr. Wilkening gave you but a part, clearly shows that Mr. Kinnaird sees the relationship between God's Plan for the Ages, Justification, and the Last Judgement. It is not good for Mr. Wilkening to misrepresent what Mr. Kinnaird said. He did not say, "Ythe doctrine of justification does not relate to God's plan for the ages." He said, "the charge has nothing to do with declaring what is God's plan for the ages."

 

2. Mr. Wilkening said:

 

We would understand the words "according to" to be the same as "by"

-- Transcript, Wilkening, Specification #1, p. 2

 

We find this a curious statement, in view of the wording of the Charge: "with teaching a doctrine of justification by faith and works." Apparently, then, Mr. Wilkening would have no objection to saying that we are justified "according to" faith, since "by" and "according to" are synonymous. But that can't be true, since the word "by" in the phrase "justified by faith" is clearly an active operative word that speaks of instrumentality. The phrase "according to" as used when speaking of the Last Judgment in, for instance, Rev. 20:12, is clearly passive, implying "in agreement with" or "in consonance with." While "by" can, in other circumstances mean, "according to," it can never have that meaning, and vice versa, with reference to justification. Elder Kinnaird affirms that justification by faith on the day of conversion can never be "in accord with faith," and acquittal according to works on the Day of Judgment can never be "by" works because he believes (with the Scriptures and the Standards) a doctrine of acquittal "according to" works.

 

3. Mr. Wilkening said:

 

 

We must also look carefully at how Elder Kinnaird uses the word >merit= and >non-meritorious= when he talks about obedience and good works. Elder Kinnaird states in his paper:


When Scripture says that the judgement will be Ain accord with@ what they have done, it is saying that the judgment will be consistent with what they have done. The Scriptures ascribe no merit to the works of Christians, nor do I. The Scriptures do not lie when they declare that God=s righteous judgments will be revealed.@

In this statement, Elder Kinnaird definitely does rule out a virtue, or merit, which strictly earns pardon. However, this is not the only form of merit. There is also a type called congruent merit, which is not a direct reward, but a gracious one. When he teaches that the final judgment will be Ain accord with what we have done,@ he teaches that in judgment God will put some sort of Afitting@ or Aappropriate@ esteem to a quality within man that will allow God to justly and fairly declare someone righteous, thereby acquitting them. So even with the denial of a direct earning, there still is in Elder Kinnaird=s teaching this congruent merit.

-- Transcript, Wilkening, Specification #1, p. 5

 

Here Mr. Wilkening crosses the line of demarcation when it comes to fair and equitable attribution, something forbidden to all who would testify in a Court of God's Church. He rushes to accuse Elder Kinnaird of holding a doctrine of congruent merit even after quoting his statement that neither the Scriptures nor he ascribes any merit to our works! Why does he not hesitate before saying that Elder Kinnaird has said the very opposite of what he actually said? The mind boggles! No merit means no merit.

 

[Note added to this transcript of the original document - Please note the following statement by Rev. Tyson later in this document when writing on his statement number 2 on Specification 2. Mr. Tyson writes : AWhat he@ [Mr. Kinnaird] Asaid was that the works would be taken into account. He did not say that they would constitute the basis of entrance. He said that the entrance decision would be made in accord with them. A

 

It seems to me that Mr. Tyson and I are concluding the same thing. Mr. Kinnaird is not teaching direct merit, and in fact, very much denies that. However, how Mr. Tyson can write as he does here and yet denounce me as misrepresenting Mr. Kinnaird? It seems to me that he proves my earlier point. - AW]

 

 

 

Specification # 2

 

1. Mr. Wilkening said:

 

However, what answer does Elder Kinnaird draw regarding the robes and the right to enter the city? AThus we rightly conclude that those inside the city are those who have kept the law of God and those only. So, a pretty simple answer to our last two questions. Inside the city are those who do righteousness and outside are those who do evil.@ Even though he had just read the verse referring to the washing of the robes in the blood of Christ, he makes no reference to its significance in regard to entering the city. Instead he focuses on the righteous deeds as the reason for entry which he explains to be obedience to the law. How the law comes to be equated with the righteous acts of the saints in this passage, he does not yet explain. However, it is clear that one=s own doing of righteousness is posited as the basis for entering.

-- Transcript, Wilkening, Specification #2, p. 2

 


However, contrary to Mr. Wilkening's imaginative inferences (drawn as they are in part from what Elder Kinnaird has not said), a doctrine of justification by faith and works is simply not found here. There is no affirmation, either in the quoted segments or elsewhere in the sermon, that those in side the city have been justified by works. What Elder Kinnaird preached, in full accord with his announced text, was only and exactly this: those who enter the city have done righteousness and have thus kept God's law. Who would quarrel with him, in view of John's statement in Rev. 19:8 that "the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints"? What he never said was that "one's own doing of righteousness is posited as the basis for entering." For Mr. Wilkening to allege such a wrong is in the extreme.

 

2. Mr. Wilkening said:

 

[quoting from Elder Kinnaird's sermon on Revelation 22:] Now by this we know the decision, the judgment as to who enters the city and who stays outside for eternity will be made on that great day of judgment in accordance with what you have done in this life. In fact, our Scripture lesson says the very same thing at verse 12. ABehold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done."

 

At this point in the sermon, the congregation has been led to wonder how is it possible that God can declare a person righteous on the basis of what they have done.

-- Transcript, Wilkening, Specification #2, p. 2

 

No, the congregation has not been so led. Not unless they had been day-dreaming and subsequently conjured up their wonderment our of thin air! If they had been listening they would not have wondered how God could declare a person righteous on the basis of his or her works, because the preacher said nothing of the kind. What he said was that the works would be taken into account. He did not say that they would constitute the basis of entrance. He said that the entrance decision would be made in accord with them. The Bible verse says as much. And it is simply wrong for Mr. Wilkening to say, in court, that Elder Kinnaird inferred that God would declare a person righteous on the basis of works.

 

3. Mr. Wilkening said:

 

Please note that the promised righteousness, the requirement for entrance into the city is not found in Christ, but in the believer=s resulting walk before the Lord. When Elder Kinnaird quotes Romans 2, he is not using it as a declaration of the law that all have broken and are therefore in need of a savior. No, this passage is the promise of Aa righteousness to live by and be judged by@ as he states in his justification lecture from the Bethany Bible Institute.

-- Transcript, Wilkening, Specification #2, p. 3

 

The court must discount this testimony, based as it is upon new evidence that is not eligible for admission since it was about three years old at the time the Charge was filed and much older on the date of the trial.

But even if it were admitted, it constitutes a misrepresentation of Elder Kinnaird's views. He never, anywhere, said that the "promised righteousnessYis not found in Christ." He holds that it is found in Christ. It is Christ's active and passive obedience that earned Him the Holy Spirit and the right to bestow the Holy Spirit on His people. Merely quoting a full paragraph from that Justification Lecture places the clause, "a righteousness to live by and be judged by," in context and thus avoids the unfortunate "spin" placed upon it by Mr. Wilkening:

 


Compare this with Romans1:5,6 and 16-17 and you begin to see that the "power of the Gospel" of which Paul is not ashamed is a power that leads Gentiles (as well as some few Jews) to an obedient life because in the Gospel power they become possessed with a righteousness that is from first to last, a righteousness to live by and to be judged by. Possession of this righteousness is a required condition if you would enter the Kingdom of God. It is conditional; but it is not meritorious. But it is a righteousness without which no man shall see the Lord.

--Bethany Bible Institute 1997-8, "Justification," John, Kinnaird, p. 5

 

Once more, you simply cannot find Elder Kinnaird teaching here anything contrary to either the Bible or our Standards. Rather, he avows, in accordance with Scripture (Ro. 2:6-13) and the Westminster Confession of Faith (XXX:1), a doctrine of acquittal on the Day of Judgment according to works as the fruit of faith. Mr. Wilkening was not placed under oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But that does not give him license to misrepresent Mr. Kinnaird's teaching.

 

4. Mr. Wilkening said:

 

The sermon, AThough the Waters Roar and the Mountains Quake,@ teaches that we will be righteous enough to enter the eternal city because of what we have done in obedience to the law in this life. Faith, as the sole instrument of justification is noticeably absent. The congregation is taught to look inward to a righteousness wrought within them rather than to the alien righteousness of Christ imputed to them.

Therefore, we maintain that this substantiates the charge that Elder Kinnaid teaches a justification by faith and works.

-- Transcript, Wilkening, Specification #2, p. 5

 

This allegation can only be characterized as monstrous! It accuses Elder Kinnaird of holding to another religion entirely than Christianity. Observe its alleged features.

(1) People righteous enough for heaven because of their works.

(2) People righteous enough for heaven because of their works.

(3) People practicing sufficient obedience to the law in this life to warrant heaven.

(4) No concept of faith as the sole instrument of justification (because not stated).

(5) Congregation taught to look within themselves for their salvation's basis.

(6) The imputed righteousness of Christ not their salvation's basis.

 

The paragraph is helpful only to the extent that it makes clear the far-reaching nature of the distortions rampant in Mr. Wilkening's descriptions of Elder Kinnaird's alleged heresy of teaching "a justification by faith and works." This Charge does not point out some minor impediment; it imagines a total repudiation of the Christian gospel. That is heavy in the extreme, and demands indisputable evidence. Is this Court satisfied that such has been provided, in the Specifications offered? It should not be!

 

 

Specification # 3

1. Mr. Wilkening said:

 


Elder Kinnaird=s interpretation of Romans 2:13b, that on the Day of Judgment, Athose who obey the law who will be declared righteous,@ quoted in Specifications 1 and 3 does not fit the context of this section of Romans. Verse 12 reads , AAll who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.@ Paul defines the two categories of people who will be at the Judgment: those Awho sin apart from the law@ and those Awho sin under the law.@ First of all, please notice both groups are sinners. There will be no individuals who are law-keepers (as defined by James 2:10) at the Last Judgement. Secondly, the statement AIt is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous@ refers in context to the group Paul defines as Athose under the law.@

-- Transcript, Wilkening, Specification # 3, p. 1

 

These sentences represent truly an amazing exegesis of Romans 2:13b! Mr. Wilkening allows but two groups present at the Judgment, both law breakers, one Jew and one Gentile, both of whom will be condemned. But, since verse 11, verse 12, verse 13, and verse 14 all begin with the word, "for," it might be somewhat helpful to pay attention to the context to discover just exactly what people are slated to appear before God's Final Tribunal! And, when we do that, we find v. 7, for instance, saying: "to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;" v. 10, for its part, promising "glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek;" and v. 13 announcing that "it isYthe doers of the law who will be justified." Putting just those three verses together seems pretty clearly to yield Christians at the scene, and the verdict to be pronounced nothing less than acquittal unto eternal life, and not something less.

 

2. Mr. Wilkening said:

 

A further proof of our charge is the following answer Elder Kinnaird gave to an individual who raised these very same questions with him on the OPC list. Elder Kinnaird writes,

On the Day of Judgement, I will hear God declare me to be righteous. As to the reason for that, it is not because of the works, even though it will be in accord with the works. The reason will be: first, because it will be true, because God will have changed me so that I am really and personally righteous. After all, we will be crowned with righteousness. This is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit in my sanctification in this life.

Even the accused's counsel earlier agreed that sanctification must proceed past this life due to its imperfection. However, Elder Kinnaird apparently disagrees. This statement though, as it stands, is self-incriminating. Here Elder Kinnaird states he will hear God declare him righteous because he is sanctified, not because he was purchased by the blood of Christ.

-- Transcript, Wilkening, Specification # 3, p. 2

 

However, what Elder Kinnaird actually wrote was different. What he wrote agrees with what Mr. Wilkening says Elder Kinnaird's counsel agreed to, and flatly contradicts what Mr. Wilkening says Elder Kinnaird said. Mr. Wilkening made Elder Kinnaird's words say what Mr. Wilkening wanted them to say by deliberately deleting some of the words from Elder Kinnaird's statement. But don't take my word for it. Compare Mr. Wilkening's version, which I just read, with these words that Elder Kinnaird actually wrote: (See bottom of page 2 and the top of page 3 of Yahoo message 8036 as provided to the court by Mr. Wilkening and from which he was reading.)

 

On the Day of Judgement I will hear God declare me to be righteous. As to the reason for that, it is not because of the works, even though it will be in accord with the works. The reason will be:, first, because it will be true because God will have changed me so that I am really and personally righteous. After all, we will be crowned with righteousness. This is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit in my sanctification in this life. See WSC 35. And it culminates in and at glorification [Italics mine, TET].

 


Elder Kinnaird made crystal clear that he does not believe that sanctification is complete and perfect in this life. Rather, it yet needs to be completed and perfected at glorification. He affirmed that it had to be, when he said, "it culminates in and at glorification." But Mr. Wilkening knowingly ignored and deleted those words, and then went on to allege that Elder Kinnaird disagrees with his counsel "that sanctification must proceed past this life due to its imperfection." Is not such behavior reprehensible, especially in a Court of Christ's Church?

 

[Note added to this transcript of the original document - Part of Mr. Tyson=s remarks here are accurate. I will explain. This portion of the quotation from the transcript is not in the paper presented to the trial judicatory: AEven the accused's counsel earlier agreed that sanctification must proceed past this life due to its imperfection. However, Elder Kinnaird apparently disagrees.@ I added this during the day on November 23, and should not have as I realize now that I had not sufficiently researched the matter. The quotation of Mr. Kinnaird stopped where it did for this reason: The main argument we were presenting in the trial was that Mr. Kinnaird posited that the personal transformation of the believer is in some way considered at the Judgment. This, in contrast to the imputed righteousness of Christ being the only ground or reason for the believer being accepted by God at the Judgment. In preparing the presentation to the Judicatory I only quoted through the section that I did as Mr. Kinnaird=s point on glorification really did not substantively change that argument. I then used the incomplete quotation to make a point that was not materially important to the trial. I want to set the record straight that I accept blame for attributing to Mr. Kinnaird a view he was not advocating. However, I stand by my original conclusion that Mr. Kinnaird is not correct when he maintains that God will declare him righteous as a result of his sanctification in this life, even with glorification taking place prior to the Judgment. - AW]

 

 

3. Mr. Wilkening said:

 

Therefore, if we follow his logic, what we see him teaching is that we need both the imputation of Christ=s righteousness and our own personal righteousness, which comes from our good works, in order to hear God declare us righteous.

-- Transcript, Wilkening, Specification # 3, p. 4

 

But Elder Kinnaird has never said that my personal righteousness comes from good works. That is a conclusion Mr. Wilkening believes he can deduce from some other things that Elder Kinnaird has said. But he will not find any words in Elder Kinnaird's writings that affirm "my personal righteousness comes from my good works." Not even words to that effect. Nor is it possible to reach Mr. Wilkening's inference by good and necessary consequence. Mr. Wilkening's conclusion is patently a gross misrepresentation.

 

 

 

4. Finally, let us take a careful look at the three quotations alleged in Specification # 3 to support the Charge of "teaching a doctrine of justification by faith and works":

 

(1) "These good works are a required condition if we would stand in the Day of Judgment and they are supplied by God to all his people."

 


Here is no teaching of justification by works. What is affirmed, consonant with Scripture and the Westminster Standards, is that all God's people, justified by faith on the basis of the imputed active and passive obedience of Jesus Christ and who will stand on the Day of Judgment, will of necessity show the good works that have been supplied by God working in them.

 

(2) "Every description of the Judgement events speak [sic.] of these good works. Without them, no one will see God. Our God is not unjust. His judgements are always righteous and in accordance with the facts of the case. On the past two Lord=s Days I shared over 25 texts and passages of Scripture with my Sunday school class on just these two concepts. They were about evenly divided between the concept that our God=s judgements are always righteous and in accord with the facts of the case and the concept that the final judgement will be in accord with what we have done in this life.@

 


Again, there is no teaching here of justification by works. What is affirmed is justification in accord with works. "In accord" does not mean that if A is in accord with B, A is grounded upon B, but that A is consonant with or invariably accompanied by B.

(3) AWho are these people who thus benefit ‑ who stand on the Day of Judgement? They are those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.@

Yet once more, these words do not yield the teaching that anyone will ever, in this life or at the Day of Judgment, be justified by works. Rather, what they affirm is that those who are in the class of justified ones are also in the class of law-obeyers.

Clearly, Elder Kinnaird's words themselves simply will not evidence the allegation that they communicate "a doctrine of justification by faith and works." Yet that is exactly what the Specifications are supposed to provide. In the absence of that provision, the Charge falls as groundless.

Thomas E. Tyson, Counsel for the Defense


January 25, 2003