In the introductory chapter in John Owen's "Doctrine of Justification by Faith", an interesting footnote appears:
Posted to my blog:

Andrew Osiander...was among the first of the Protestant divines that broached heretical views. He denied the forensic character of justification, confounded it with sanctification, and held that man is justified not by the imputation of Christ's righteousness in satisfying and obeying the moral law, but by our participation, through faith, in the essential righteousness of Christ as God...
It is interesting to see a view, which resembles in some aspects the view of some Federal Vision proponents, being spoken against by Owen in 1677. It seems as though the question is indeed that old - and the more things change, the more they stay the same. This is the 17th century Norman Shepherd, I suppose. Owen will have much to say on the nature of the righteousness imputed to believers - and as I work my way through this important volume I'll post some reflections here, the Lord willing.