This blog is devoted to discussing the pursuit of eternal life.
Discussion and participation by readers is desired,
but contributions should correlate to the book,
The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology
of Perseverance & Assurance

Thomas R. Schreiner
& Ardel B. Caneday

Friday, November 02, 2007

ACT 3 Forum with Norman Shepherd

Yesterday, I traveled to Chicago to attend the Act 3 Biblical Forum. Norman Shepherd, one time professor of Christian theology at Westminster Theological Seminary (east), is the featured speaker. I was delighted to find several friends and acquaintances attending the conference. It is always good to reconnect with friends.

This is the first time I have had the opportunity to hear Professor Shepherd lecture. He is genuinely humble. He is a sharp and careful thinker. He carefully distinguishes ideas and concepts. Anyone who would charge him with muddled expression simply is not listening attentively enough. Though I personally articulate a few of my theological expressions slightly differently with regard to a few matters (concerning, e.g., justification and sanctification; faith and works, in particular, the matter of basis and instrument), I find that Professor Shepherd and I have far more in common than areas of differences.

It is clear that Professor Shepherd unequivocally affirms that our justification before God is rooted in nothing other than the saving work of Jesus Christ.

I still await an opportunity to view and to read John Piper's
The Future of Justification. I thought that the title of the book was a pun. I thought that it was a play on two things (1) the future aspect of justification that is so crucial to N. T. Wright's addressing Paul's teaching concerning justification and (2) on the future discussion of justification within the Christian church. Perhaps it still is a pun, but not with the positive direction and sense that I anticipated. Yesterday, after speaking with someone who has already read the book, it seems that my positive expectations concerning the book may become disappointed upon reading the book. I will wait to see. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy the ACT 3 Forum with Norman Shepherd.

I had an opportunity to purchase John Piper's The Future of Justification, yesterday at the forum. Given the fact that We were meeting in Carol Stream, adjacent to Wheaton, where Crossway Books is located, John Armstrong arranged to secure books for conference attenders. I made significant headway into the book while at O'Hare Airport and during the flight to Minneapolis. Perhaps I will offer some comments, as time permits.


jgb said...

Dr. Caneday,

I would very much like to hear your thoughts on Piper's book.

Ieremias said...

I also would be interested in hearing your initial impression of Piper's book.

I must confess it has been some time since I have eagerly awaited the arrival of a book. If nothing else, I imagine Piper will spark much discussion, something he at which he is very good.

jgb said...


As far as I can tell the book as stirred up quite a bit of discussion, most of which I believe is a bit misinformed about what Wright actually teaches. I don't agree with everything that Wright (or Piper) says, but it pains me to see Wright misrepresented. A commenter on one blog went so far as to say Wright was a bona fide heretic and that he intentionally confuses people.

As Dr. Caneday has exemplified, we should all strive to represent each other is the most understanding way.

I really hope Dr. Caneday can provide the blogging world with a scrupulously even-handed assessment of the situation.

Mirek said...

if that's true, WHY is then Dr. Robert L. Reymond in his book "What is God"? page 217 claiming otherwise?! "... have abandoned the doctrine of justification ..." kind greetings from Scotland.