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05/27/2010

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Sam Waldron

Thanks, Lee, for your irenic post. I think I will extend to you the courtesy you extended to me in waiting till I was finished before responding. There may be more I have to say. I did read the section of your paper in which you affirm future judgment by works. I thought you implied that it was inappropriate to use in any sense the word justification for this. I am happy to know that I had drawn a wrong deduction from your statements.

Lee Irons

Thanks, Dr. Waldron.

As long as we put the necessary qualifications on it, I have no problem using the word "justification" in reference to good works as the evidence and public vindication of the genuineness of our faith. As you point out, it is used this way in Matt 12:37 and James 2:21-25. The temporal focus in the James passage is a justification or vindication of the reality of one's profession of faith in this life, although the horizon of the day of judgment may be implicit. It is more explicit in Matt 12:37.

Part of the reason you may have gotten the impression you did is that my paper, "Romans 2:13: Is Paul Coherent?" was directed less toward someone who takes your position and more toward those in the New Perspective camp, especially James Dunn and N. T. Wright, who speak of "future justification" in such a way that it undermines the definitive, forensic character of the believer's justified status. Because of your careful qualifications, I don't entertain the same worries about your view.

Anyway, thanks for the constructive, irenic interaction. I have maybe two, at most three, more posts up my sleeve - including something on Murray. It's too bad we agree on the theological issue, so maybe we can get a real food fight going over Murray. Just kidding!

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