B. B. Warfield on the Finneyite doctrine of justification

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
It is instructive to observe what [Charles G.] Finney asseverates that he “holds, and expressly teaches,” that the grounds of justification are not, set as they are in contrast with the one thing, the love of God, which he declares that the ground of justification is. The ground of justification he asseverates is not (1) the obedience of Christ for us; (2) our own obedience either to the law or to the gospel; (3) the atonement of Christ; (4) anything in the mediatorial work of Christ; (5) the work of the Holy Spirit in us. It is not anything that either Christ or we have done; and it is not anything that we have done or have become under the operations of the Spirit. It is solely the divine benevolence.

The Atonement, from the point of view of the Rectoral theory, which Finney teaches, naturally has no adaptation to serve immediately as the ground of any act of God. Its only immediate effect is to bring men to repentance and faith; and thus the entire work of Christ is reduced to inducing men to repent and believe. It is not so clear, however, that the repentance and faith to which men are thus brought, together with their resultant obedience, do not constitute the proper ground of their justification in this scheme. ...

For more, see B. B. Warfield on the Finneyite doctrine of justification.