4 Major Themes in First Peter and the Story of God
Martin Luther called the letter “one of the grandest of the New Testament.” Early church fathers Clement of Rome and Polycarp of Smyrna were inspired by the letter’s consoling, hopeful words. More recently, Karen Jobes said the five-chapter General Epistle is “significant for the church,” especially the Majority World church.
I’m referring to the first letter of Peter, which has a new guide today to help its readers navigate its major themes: Dennis Edwards’ 1 Peter (The Story of God Bible Commentary series). Of this letter Edwards writes:
First Peter will assist us by affirming our Christian identity, guiding us in our relationships within and without the Christian…
Free Grace? – An Excerpt from Faith Alone
Many have a hard time reconciling the words of Paul with the words of James on faith and works. Does “faith without deeds is useless” discount “faith alone”? In this excerpt from Faith Alone, Thomas Schreiner explores both, bringing the two into tension. Consider this excerpt from the first book in the “5 Solas Series.”
When some hear the Reformation cry of sola fide — “Faith alone!” — they assume that it means that good works are an optional part of the Christian life or that they play no role at all in our final justification or salvation. Such a perspective radically misunderstands the NT witness, while also distorting the historical and biblical meaning of sola fide. The NT clearly teaches that bare faith cannot save, and…
Robert Wilkin and Thomas Schreiner on “The Role of Works at the Final Judgment”
A new "4 Views" book, The Role of Works at the Final Judgment, is hoping to help Christian practitioners in all forms navigate one of the most contentious questions in church history: What role do works play at final judgment for believers? Last week I introduced us to this new book by outlining Alan P. Stanley's (volume editor) introduction to it.
While it's a topic that's been discussed hard in journals and conferences, it's also a crucial conversation for the pew. Stanley quotes a former student-turned-pastor to stress this point: "This is not just a scholarly debate…to get this wrong is serious."
In order to help us engage this question, I want to engage the four contributors by letting them make their case. We'll engage Robert Wilkin and Thomas Schreiner this week, leaving James Dunn and Michael Barber to next.
So how do they answer the question, "What role do works play at final judgment for believers?"