Dumbrell and Wright

Status
Not open for further replies.

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
Found these articles interesting...
http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/churchman/109-02_102.pdf
by Gerald Bray
http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/churchman/112-01_017.pdf Dumbrell responding to Bray
and I am not sure what to make that Dumbrell sides with Wright on the notion of justification as a declaration one is already in the right (i.e. in the covenant) as if to further reformed covenant theology:
Dumbrell V: Imputation and Justification | Heralds and Peregrines
“Imputation”, i.e. the ascribing to the believer of what is really God’s righteousness as the understanding of our covenant acceptance, has been a customary approach to Paul’s notion of righteousness.

However, this is a misunderstanding of what Paul means. “Imputation” is based upon the concept of “righteousness” as a property, something given by God as belonging to Himself. However, the correct biblical understanding of “righteousness” is relational. We do not merely have an “imputed” righteousness, but we are by God’s verdict, right with God. If the meaning of justification is forensic, then the understanding of justification is basically “acquittal”. To be justified is thus to be the recipient of God’s favorable verdict in regard to our final state. Justification, whose basis is forgiveness, is not itself forgiveness (with which it is popularly identified), but the declaration that forgiveness, which confirms our new relationship with God, has been granted. The judge has pronounced in our favor! True, by our acquittal we have been forgiven, but justification is the recognition that forgiveness has occurred, not forgiveness in itself. Forgiveness is the gift, justification its recognition. Justification says that, as a result of forgiveness, we are now in right relationship with God.

Justification by grace through faith announces that we have moved from under the wrath of God to new life in Christ. This basic movement has occurred through the work of the Spirit in regeneration and it is this movement which justification recognizes. That is to say, God brings into a new relationship those who previously have had no relationship with Him. In other words, He admits the, in biblical terms, into covenant with Him. Justification is the declaration of our change of status from sinner to membership of the New People of God.
What say you with regard to Dumbrell's defense of the notion justification is the declaration one is in the covenant and therefore forgiven? He uses regeneration as a basis to use against Bray.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
What he calls a "customary approach" has been customarily opposed by the Reformed tradition. Osiander spoke of righteousness as a property or attribute of God, and was refuted.

The Reformed faith teaches there is a twofold grace of God -- relative and real. Prof. Dumbrell commences with the correct idea that justification is a "relational" term, but then he reconstructs this to mean that justification is a recognition of the "real" benefit of regeneration. This destroys the nature of justification as "relational." It is now dependent on something which has taken place IN the person rather than something which was done FOR the person. He ends up siding with Osiander and the "customary approach." Justification ultimately becomes a property or attribute.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
Thanks!
One more question. Since justification is a declaration as well where do the imputation of Christ's righteousnes (being 'made' righteous so to speak) and this declaration intersect?
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
"Declaration" would need to be defined. Traditionally, when justification by faith has been defined as "declaration" it is merely to demonstrate the forensic nature of the act of pardon and acceptance, which is the immediate object of justification. At the same time, "declaration" has also been used to describe the teaching of James with respect to works being a fruit and evidence of genuine saving faith. James Buchanan, for example, distinguishes actual and declarative justification as a means of understanding the different uses of justification in Paul and James.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top