Thursday, November 04, 2004
Since when has 'Auburn Avenue Theology' — not that there really is such a thing — been identified with 'covenantal nomism'?? Should you desire to read the rest of this appalling declaration, you can do so here.
We denounce the new perspective on covenant and salvation variously styled “Federal Vision,” “covenantal nomism,” “Neolegalism,” and the “Auburn Avenue Theology.” This theology, based on the false doctrine of Norman Shepherd and others, contradicts the doctrine of justification as enunciated by Scripture and the Reformed confessions. Instead of doing the honorable thing, that is, leaving their communions, many Ministers and Elders in Reformed communions are perverting the Gospel and causing division within their communions with their false teaching that the Christian’s justification is not by faith alone in the all-sufficient work of Jesus Christ, but is rather the eschatological result of the believer’s lifelong faithfulness to Christ as seen in his imperfect works of obedience.
These teachers have rejected the clear Biblical teaching that justification is an act of God’s free grace alone in which, forgiving believers of all their sins, He irrevocably imputes to them the perfect righteousness of his Son Jesus Christ as the ground of their justification. In no way do the imperfect works of the regenerate effect, augment, or change their justification before God. Justification is an act of God whereby He declares those for whom Christ died legally righteous forever the moment they place their faith in Christ. (See John 15:4-6, Acts 13:38-39; Galatians 2:16; Romans 1:16-17; 3:21-22, 28; 4:4-15; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Peter 2:4-5.)
These teachers, either minimizing or denying the imputation of Christ’s active obedience to believers, teach that justification is not a purely forensic declaration but a transforming activity in which the believer’s obedience also plays a significant role. This false doctrine of justification includes within it the lie of Satan that Christ’s righteousness is not sufficient for salvation and that an earned righteousness on the part of the believer is necessary for his justification before God.