Seeking to move beyond current heated debates on justification, this accessible introduction offers a fresh, alternative approach to a central theological topic. Michael Allen locates justification within the wider context of the gospel, allowing for more thoughtful engagement with the Bible, historical theology, and the life of the church.
Allen considers some of the liveliest recent debates as well as some overlooked connections within the wider orbit of Christian theology. He provides a historically informed, ecumenically minded defense of orthodox theology, analyzing what must be maintained and what should be reconfigured from the vantage point of systematic theology. The book exemplifies the practice of theological interpretation of Scripture and demonstrates justification’s relevance for ongoing issues of faith and practice.
“Justification and the Gospel is theology at its best: disciplined by the instruction of Scripture, attentive to the traditions of Christian thought and practice, filled with discriminating judgments, and eager to explain and commend the gospel of justification.” – John Webster, University of St. Andrews
“Michael Allen provides here a first-rate study of the doctrine of justification construed in the context of Christian theology as a whole. His review of contemporary debates and his awareness of biblical and historical sources are alike impressive. This is a book that challenges and provokes as well as informs.” – Timothy George, Beeson Divinity School
“In this extremely learned book, Michael Allen performs a dual service for Christian theology. First, by applying the lens of dogmatic analysis to a topic largely dominated by exegetical and ecumenical concern in recent decades, he exposes the shortsightedness of many contemporary approaches and debates and enables us to perceive a more capacious domain of possibilities. Second, by means of compelling argument and well-chosen examples, he demonstrates that historic Protestant teaching regarding God’s gracious justification of the ungodly retains its status as a hinge upon which many doctrines turn and a wellspring of theological and spiritual vitality.” – Scott Swain, Reformed Theological Seminary
“When dealing with the explosive topic of justification, fair-minded communication and understanding between theologians, biblical scholars, historians, and practitioners are often hard to find. How rare it can be to find a theologian who not only appreciates the vital significance of justification but also carefully avoids falling into the trap of reducing everything to justification. Allen’s study is logically sound, biblically informed, theologically nuanced, and relevant for the life of the church. Amid ongoing debates, we need this book.” – Kelly M. Kapic, Covenant College
R. Michael Allen (PhD, Wheaton College) is Kennedy Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and dean of the faculty at Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is the author of several books, including Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics: An Introduction and Reader, Reformed Theology, and The Christ’s Faith: A Dogmatic Account. He also serves as book review editor for the International Journal of Systematic Theology and is ordained in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
For more information on Justification and the Gospel, click here.