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I remember seeing a review of Seifrid's book on justification (NSBT) where Gaffin criticized him, saying something to the effect of, "Not once is 'alien' used with reference to righteousness by Seifrid." Seifrid is working on a comm for 2 Cor in PNTC. We'll see more of his thought on this in 5:14 - 6:2.


Yes, I recall Gaffin's review of *Christ, Our Righteousness* (NSBT) by Seifrid. It was a good review. Seifrid's view is hard to figure out. On the one hand he affirms that "Paul does know of a distinction between 'declaratory' and 'effective' (or 'transformatory') righteousness" (p. 172). On the other hand, he can say, "Paul never speaks of Christ's righteousness as imputed to believers as became standard in Protestantism" and that the standard Protestant view "treats the justifying verdict of God as an immediate isolated gift" (p. 174) (that sounds like a caricature to me), and "In reducing 'justification' to a present possession of 'Christ's imputed righteousness', Protestant divines inadvertantly bruised the nerve which runs between justification and obedience" (p. 175).

Ben Dunson


I am reading up on Luther's view of imputation myself, and thought you might be interested in the following quotes re: "an immediate isolated gift":

LW 31:298 ("Two Kinds of Righteousness"): “Christ’s righteousness becomes our righteousness and all that he has becomes ours; rather he himself becomes ours.”

LW 34:178 ("Disputation on Justification"): “Righteousness is our possession, to be sure, since it was given to us out of mercy.”

Luther seems to me to be stating quite clearly that (1) that righteousness becomes our possession, but also (2) that this righteousness only becomes our possession insofar as we are united to Christ by faith. Seifrid drives a wedge between these two things, whereas they are held together without any sense of tension in Luther (and in Paul IMO).



Ben, thanks for the Luther quotes. If you find any more, please add them in the comments.

John Thomson


I'm not sure S Clark has rightly understood Luther in this article. See comment section of this post.


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