Justification by Faith (but Not by Faith Alone) at ETS
Steven Matthews, author of Imagining a Vain Thing: The Decline and Fall of Knox Seminary, which exposed the Warren Gage controversy, has posted the following at his blog site Lux Lucet about The 62nd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society which meets in Atlanta on November 17-19, 2010:
I happened to glance at the program for the upcoming 62nd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and noticed something interesting. The theme for this year’s meeting is Justification by Faith. Not, mind you, Justification by Faith Alone as you would expect from an evangelical organization, but simply Justification by Faith.
According to the letter from the Program Chairman and President-Elect of ETS, Clinton E. Arnold,
This year’s meeting provides us with the opportunity to give renewed consideration to the meaning and significance of the doctrine of Justification by Faith. Thirty years have now elapsed since “The New Perspective on Paul” emerged and challenged the Lutheran and Reformed understandings of justification and a host of related doctrines. Some have argued that the newer views have compromised the integrity of the gospel. Advocates of the New Perspective, however, claim that their views more accurately reflect the teaching of the Bible and, specifically, Paul’s teaching on justification. The rich variety of papers devoted to this year’s theme will no doubt help us all to better understand the issues and help us think through the richness of this important doctrine.
This is a disgrace. The Apostle Paul refused “to yield submission even for an hour” to false brethren who taught a false gospel of faith and works. He hurled anathemas at them. He said of them they, “want to pervert the gospel of Christ.” But the folks at ETS are too gentlemanly for such language. No, instead they invite wolf, false brother and perverter of the gospel N. T. Wright (he’s one of the plenary speakers at the conference) to spread his heresy at the ETS annual conference, and all this without a hint of rebuke. Even the title of the conference “Justification by Faith” is a concession to Wright’s false teaching. The Reformation was all about justification by faith ALONE, but ETS can’t seem to bring itself to say the word. It seems to me that since the Roman Catholics also believe in justification by faith – it’s the “alone” part they choke on – ETS may as well extend a conference invite to Benedict XVI as well. I’m sure he’d feel right at home.