By Faith Alone: Answering the Challenges to the Doctrine of Justification
Ed. Gary Johnson & Guy Waters
(Crossway, 2006), pb, 219 pp.
I obtained this book because I wanted to read more particularly about Federal Vision (or Auburn) Theology. The book is presented as a response to both Federal Vision and the New Perspective on Paul. As the introduction states:
In what follows, we want to trace the background and development of two seemingly disparate movements that have surfaced within the evangelical and Reformed church- the New Perspective(s) on Paul and the Federal Vision. (21)
I am fairly familiar with the New Perspective but was not as clear on the claims and concerns of Federal Vision, though I continued to see it arise in both academic and pastoral situations. There is a chapter devoted specifically to Federal Vision and one interacting with N. T. Wright and the New Perspective. The other chapters take up doctrinal issues at stake such as imputation, the active obedience of Christ, and the covenant of works.
Although Al Mohler wrote the afterword this is clearly a book arising out of a Presbyterian setting. This is not a slur, by the way! Justification is the key unifying doctrine of the church (as argued here before), but some of the issues raised here are simply not the issues faced in my churches at the moment and I am not in full agreement with all the nuances. Therefore, this is not a book I am going to read straight through. It served me well in introducing some topics and will be a useful reference for the future.