An Eye Must Be Alive in Order to See

“When I say that faith is alive, I am saying nothing more than that faith is really faith. When I say that faith is obedient, I am saying nothing more than that faith is true faith. If it were not alive, not not obedient, you would not have the same basic thing, only with some of the paint chipped off. You wouldn’t have faith at all. And if you don’t have faith at all, then you don’t have justifying faith, or faith that lays hold of Christ. Put another way, faith must be faith to be the instrument of justification.”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles Vol. 2, p. 694

An Aorist Scream

“Now if you have a law/gospel hermeneutic, you have decided going into your exegesis what that exegesis can and cannot reveal to you. So if I produced a verse that said, ‘Thou shalt exercise justifying faith as your evangelical obedience,’ this would not even be a minor challenge to a law/gospel hermeneutic. A law/gospel hermeneutic would chase the verb around the room, until the aorist imperative ran out of the door screaming, turning the verse into gospel, remarkably enough.”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles Vol. 2, p. 692

Good and Necessary

“Here is a good place for some good and necessary consequence. A command can only be disobeyed or obeyed. Ignoring it is disobedience. Pretending not to hear is disobedience Given the authority and legitimacy of the command, there are no other options. If someone wants to maintain a third possibility, I am open to hearing what it might possibly be. Now, does God command men to believe the gospel?”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles Vol. 2, p. 689.

What We Were Told

“Now when God through His preachers tells us that Christ died and rose again, and commands us to repent of our sins and believe this message, is it possible to obey Him by repenting of our sins and believing the message? Of course. When we do as we are told, we are obeying. If we are told to respond to the goodness of God by faith alone, and we do so, are we disobeying? Of course not—we are obeying. If we try to shoehorn in some of our own autonomous works so that we might get some of the credit for our own salvation, are we obeying? No—in the name of works and obedience, we are disobeying. The motion of believing does not therefore displace the motion of obeying if believing is what we were commanded to do. The action of works-righteousness fails, not because it is obedience and obedience is bad, but rather because it is disobedience and disobedience is bad” ().

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles Vol. 2, pp. 687-688

The Grace of Obedience

[Responding to 2 These. 1:5-8; Rom. 6:17; Rom. 1:5; Heb. 5:9; 1 Pet. 4:17]
“Because of a superstitious avoidance of certain words (obedience reminds some of merit-mongering) we not only find ourselves trifling with the sacred text, but also neglecting the simplest solution in the world, one that should fill every Protestant heart with gladness. ‘Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent’ (John 6:29).”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles Vol. 2, pp. 686-687

No Dead Faith

“If Adam had stood the test, it would have been through the instrumentality of faith-animated obedience, graciously given by God. We, however, are fallen, and God does not justify us on the basis of raw, autonomous works, and He does not justify us on the basis of Spirit-animated obedience. He justifies us through the instrumentality of Spirit-animated faith, a faith which continues, after the initial moment of justification, to be animated in obedience.”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles Vol. 2, p. 676

Breech of the Ninth Commandment

“If you have been in controversy like this one for five years, as I have, and have written hundreds of thousands of words about it, as I have, it is impossible to read through those Westminster quotations above and say, ‘Yep. I sure did all of that right.’ Specifically, I can say (and do say) that my purpose and intent was not to accuse any of the named individuals in this controversy with the sin of purposefully lying. But because I did not make this qualification carefully at that time, I believe that it would be quite reasonable for a reader not to see this, and that problem was my responsibility. I was not making a blanket accusation (for example) of flat-out lying against the men at Mid-America or Westminster West. I don’t believe that accusation to be true, but since my words could reasonably be construed that way, I need to seek the forgiveness of any FV critics affected by it. In short, any of the named Christian leaders, critics of the FV, who believed I was calling them liars simpliciter, please forgive me for my breech of the ninth commandment in this” ().

TheAuburn Avenue Chronicles Vol. 2, p. 671

Yet Another Disconnect

“How is it possible to disagree politely with giants in the faith on doctrine x, but when doctrine x appears in modern garb, denounce it as heresy? . . . We can’t claim to be Reformed and in the next breath reject half our fathers in the faith as heretics and scoundrels. And so we don’t reject them outright—we keep their names carved in marble in places of honor, and we keep their books on our shelves, and we reprint these commemorative editions to keep them in honorific libraries (without intending to actually read them). One of the central points that I made at the infamous Auburn Avenue conference was something I had learned from my Banner of Truth edition of John Murray’s works, which set had been given to me as a gift of gratitude by certain saints who now view me as a heretic—for having read and believed what they gave me as a present. Ah, well.”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles Vol. 2, pp. 664-665