Westminster & Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness

I hesitate even to talk about this on my blog, since “outsiders” to the micro-debates of the PCA (and, dare I say it, the Reformed tradition) might feel alienated or not be able to connect.

Nevertheless, I do want to comment on an interesting article by Jeffrey K. Jue: “The Active Obedience of Christ and the Westminster Standards.”

Jue apparently thinks that the (Reformed) Church should not allow its ministers to deny the imputation of the active obedience of Christ to the believer. But his article proves just the opposite. By excellently summarizing the debate held on the floor of the Assembly, with plenty of quotations on both sides of the issue, Jue demonstrates that Richard Vines and Thomas Gataker both staunchly denied that the Bible teaches that the active (meritorious) obedience of Christ is imputed to the believer.

In addition, despite the fact that Gataker and Vines were in the minority on this opinion, Jue cannot deny that it was their (and perhaps others’, such as Richard Baxter’s) objection which led to the final, open-to-interpretation wording of the Confession itself, specifically the omission of the word “whole” in describing the obedience of Christ which is imputed to the believer in WCOF 11:1. (See Daniel Kirk’s article, “The Sufficiency of the Cross” in the Scottish Bulletin of Theology.)

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