Because Christ Was Born, We Can “Put on Christ” and Become “Firstborn Sons”
’Tis the season to reflect upon the majesty and mystery of the incarnation of Christ. But why not also reflect upon another aspect of his person and work: the imputation of his righteousness to sinners?
Although the Lenten season is still a few months away, Christmas still affords us the opportunity to consider his gift of righteousness through his death on the cross—given that Christ’s birth is an obvious prelude to his vicarious substitution, which paved the way for our justification and the “great exchange.”
Michael Horton opens his new two-volume theological project, Justification (Volume 1 and Volume 2) with this motif from the ancient church—a work in which he helps readers encounter the remarkable biblical texts on justification and places them in conversation with provocative proposals…
Does Union with Christ Make the Imputation of His Righteousness Redundant? Con Campbell Gives an Answer
If you've been following along here the past few weeks you know we've been showcasing a few interviews with Constantine Campbell on his new book Paul and Union with Christ. We've heard about the key influences that impacted his research. We've also had Campbell engage and answer the question "Does Paul have an ordo salutis?".
In this final video interview we let Campbell engage and answer another crucial question regarding union with Christ: "Does union with Christ make the imputation of Christ's righteousness redundant?"
This question is a tricky one because it gets at the heart of how it is that believers are declared righteous. Is it through imputation or through union with Christ?
You're probably aware of the recent debates between Reformed theologians and scholars in the so-called New Perspective Paul regarding this very issue. The discussion regards this question: "How do we receive righteousness in Christ?" On the one hand the Reformed tradition emphasizes imputation, that Christ's righteousness is taken from him and put on us. On the other side is the idea that because of union with Christ we share in his righteousness and are justified by that union, thus imputation is unnecessary.
But are the two views mutually exclusive? Or is there a way to cut through the false dichotomy into a more biblically, theologically rounded understanding of our question? Campbell thinks so.