Thursday, July 15, 2010

John Robbins: The doctrine of Christ's perfect, extrinsic, objective, imputed righteousness--forensic justification--ended 1,000 years of stagnation

For a thousand years, because of the church's doctrine of justification as an internal grace rather than the objective, external, legal declaration of a sinner's innocence by God, men had looked inside themselves for the grace that merited salvation. The more devout retreated to monasteries and convents to find their salvation in their interior lives. Some sat on poles, some beat their bodies bloody, and some made pilgrimages to "holy" places. The church had lost the message of the Gospel, that men are saved by a righteousness wholly outside of themselves—the righteousness of Christ. By his perfect life, innocent and substitutionary death, and bodily resurrection, Christ had fulfilled the demands of God's law on behalf of all who believed in him. It is to Christ that one must look for salvation, said Luther, not inside oneself. Once the religious subjectivism of the medieval church was eliminated in Protestant countries, the energy consumed by desperately seeking and earning salvation was turned outward, and a thousand years of intellectual, political, social, economic, and religious stagnation ended.

No comments:

Post a Comment