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Through a discussion of Biblical texts, this book presents four perspectives on the role of works at the final judgment including:
- Robert N. Wilkin: Works will determine rewards but not salvation: At the Judgment Seat of Christ each believer will be judged by Christ to determine his eternal rewards, but he remains eternally secure even if the judgment reveals he failed to persevere in good works (or in faith).
- Thomas R. Schreiner: Works will provide evidence that one actually has been saved: At the final judgment works provide the necessary condition, though not the ground for final salvation, in that they provide evidence as to whether one has actually trusted in Jesus Christ.
- James D. G. Dunn: Works will provide the criterion by which Christ will determine eternal destiny of his people: Since Paul, Jesus, and the New Testament writers hold together "justification by faith and not by works" with "judgment according to works", we should not fall into the trap of playing one off against the other or blend them in a way that diminishes the force of each.
- Michael P. Barber: Works will merit eternal life: At the final judgment, good works will be rewarded with eternal salvation. However, these good works will be meritorious not apart from Christ but precisely because of the union of the believer with him.
About the Authors
Robert Wilkin (Ph.D., Dallas Theological Seminary) was born and raised in Southern California. After graduating from college he joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ, serving two years each at Arkansas State University and North Carolina State University. During his seminary studies Bob served in a variety of ministries including a year each in college and high school ministry, a year as a hospital chaplain, and three years as a pastor. After receiving his doctorate, Bob taught at Woodcrest College in Lindale, Texas and then at Multnomah Bible College in Portland, Oregon.
Feeling that there was a great need for an educational and networking organization for Christians who believe in the freeness of the Gospel, Bob started Grace Evangelical Society in June of 1986. In July of 1987 he left his teaching position to devote full time to heading up this ministry. Since its inception, readership of the bimonthly newsletter, Grace In Focus, has grown from 30 to over 9,500 in 54 countries.
Dr. Wilkin has written three books, Confident in Christ, The Road to Reward, and Secure and Sure, as well as two booklets, and hundreds of newsletter and journal articles. Bob and his wife Sharon live in Lewisville, Texas.
Thomas R. Schreiner (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament and associate dean of Scripture and interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. The author of numerous books, he is the preaching pastor of Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.
James Dunn (Ph.D., Cambridge) was for many years the Lightfoot Professor of Divinity in the Department of Theology at the University of Durham. Since his retirement he has been made Emeritus Lightfoot Professor. He is a leading British New Testament scholar, broadly in the Protestant tradition. Dunn is especially associated with the New Perspective on Paul, a phrase which he is credited with coining during his 1982 Manson Memorial Lecture.
His books include Did the First Christians Worship Jesus? (2010), The New Perspective On Paul (2007), A New Perspective On Jesus: What The Quest For The Historical Jesus Missed (2005),The Theology of Paul the Apostle (1998), The Acts of the Apostles (1996), and The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon (1996). In 2005, a festschrift dedicated to Dunn was published, entitled The Holy Spirit and Christian origins: essays in honor of James D. G. Dunn, comprising articles by 27 New Testament scholars, examining early Christian communities and their beliefs about the Holy Spirit.
Michael Barber (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) is Professor of Theology, Scripture and Catholic Thought at John Paul the Great Catholic University in San Diego, California. His dissertation was on the Historical Jesus and Sacramental Eschatology under the world famous scholar, Colin Brown. He has an MA in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and received his BA in Theology and Philosophy from Azusa Pacific University. He is the author of several books, including, Coming Soon: Unlocking the Book of Revelation and Applying Its Lessons Today (Emmaus Road, 2006) and most recently, Genesis to Jesus: Studying Scripture from the Heart of the Church (Servant, 2007), a Bible study co-authored with Kimberly Hahn. He is a Research Fellow for the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, founded by Dr. Scott Hahn. His weekly podcast of 'The Sacred Page with Michael Barber' is carried on many Catholic radio stations. He lives in San Diego with his wife Kim and two young boys, Michael Patrick (Jr.) and Matthew Stephen.