Monday, November 16, 2009

R. Scott Clark debunks the myth of "final justification"

R. Scott Clark has given an exposition on the ninth point of Synod Schereville, which states:

Therefore Synod rejects the errors of those:


9. who teach that there is a separate and final justification grounded partly upon righteousness or sanctity inherent in the Christian (HC 52; BC 37).

[HC: Heidelberg Catechism; BC: Belgic Confession]

The audio file of this exposition can be found here. The teaching of the existance of "final justification" is indeed error. "Final justification" is a legal fiction which does not exist, contra the heresies of the New Perspective and the Federal Vision, as Scott Clark makes that very plain.

[HT: Heidelblog]


Jonathan Hunt said...

Didn't Jonathan Edwards teach something similar?

Daniel C said...


hmmm, I heard rumors to that effect. Do you have proof that he did?

Evangelical books said...

Hi Daniel,

You may notice that there are others who hold this view.

I am sure many would hold this view privately... there are too many hot zealous reformed Christians who later depart from the faith.

Daniel C said...


I don't get you. "this view" = ? Also, I don't understand your last statement. Please elucidate. Thanks.

Evangelical books said...

Hi Daniel,

"this view" = final justification, the topic of your post.

"I don't understand..."
Exactly what I said in my comment. The justification (eternal, final, or whatever) of an apostate is always a cause of concern.

Please let's not go any further with this. It was only meant to provoke thought.

Daniel C said...


*scratches head*

Sorry, but my thoughts aren't exactly provoked. But thanks for commenting.

Evangelical books said...

Hi Daniel,

This issue (Final Justification) is sometimes treated like an academic exercise. On paper, I would agree with Clark's assessment. However, the reality is quite different.

I don't expect your thoughts to be provoked. Sorry to cut the conversation short.

Nick said...

Final Justification is clearly taught in places like 1 Cor 4:

"3But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.
4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God."

In verse 4 Paul uses the same word for 'justify', here translated as 'acquitted', and in a context speaking not of present but of future judgment.

Daniel C said...


I agree with you (on paper). But as you can see, the theoretical distinction MUST be made first, otherwise our resident RC apologist would immediately pounce on it to promote the synergism of Rome.

Daniel C said...


Hi and welcome back. As you should expect, my answer to you is that you are eisegeting the verse out of context, same as what you did in James 2 the previous time. =)