Book review: The Doctrine On Which The Church Stands Or Falls: Justification in Biblical, Theological, Historical, and Pastoral Perspective
Note: The publisher provided me with a complimentary review copy in kindle format.
At 1,384 pages, including numerous footnotes, this volume is not for the fainthearted! Nonetheless, it is well-written and lucidly argued, and will reward the diligent reader. It argues that justification is a vital doctrine that is always under attack. This is an ensemble work with essays written by many leading Bible teachers from a variety of academic and church backgrounds, such as Gerald Bray, Jason Meyer, J. V. Fesko, Stephen Wellum, David VanDrunen and Andrew David Naselli. Like the doctrinal positions of other Crossway Publications, it comes from a Reformed perspective.
While I do not share their five-point-Calvinism and their covenant theology, I do appreciate their defense of biblical salvation by faith alone in Christ. I found the discussion of Patristic adherence to this biblical doctrine, as well as multiple chapters taking issue with the so-called “New Perspective On Paul” (NPP), which is expounded by E. P. Sanders, James D. G. Dunn, and most popularly, N. T. Wright. The book addresses justification from a variety of angles.
I would only criticize their usage of overly-technical jargon – especially Latin terms. Bible college and seminary students may be familiar with this verbiage, but it could be counterproductive and daunting for many interested readers. On balance, I would say it is a worthy addition to one’s library, being wary of its Reformed and non-Dispensational presuppositions.