15 November 2010

No Matter What One Says

Our Lutheran friend Gerhard Forde:
The problem lies in the fact that the Old Being will not and cannot hear gospel no matter what one says. The Old Being will only use whatever is said as part of the protection, solidification in the causa sui project, and translate it into or see it as a ratification of the legal system. That is, the Old Being will turn whatever one says into law.
--Gerharde O. Forde, Justification by Faith: A Matter of Death and Life (Fortress, 1982), 92; emphasis original (causa sui = cause of itself, i.e. self-salvation)


Mike Berttucci said...

Dane, I just read a book called 'Christian Spirituality: 5 views of sanctification', in which Forde presented the Lutheran view. I think he did a fantastic job of pointing to our Christ wrought, already accomplished justification as the fountainhead for true sanctification.

Dane Ortlund said...

Interesting Mike. Do you find yourself aligning more with Ferguson or Forde in that volume?

Mike Berttucci said...

Not completely sure. Both of them said some great stuff. I love Forde's contention that justification and sanctification are by God's grace, and that looking upon the finished work of Christ as our justification is the fuel and source of sanctification. As he says, "sanctification is us getting used to our justification". I also like Ferguson's stress on our union with Christ being the center of our sanctification. From a practical standpoint, Ferguson's section helped me a lot in understanding things like mortification and growth in holiness. It's hard for me to think about those things or pursue them without feeling like I am jumping on the performance treadmill. If we are united to Christ in his life and death, mortification is the natural outworking of this union.