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.
Update: 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.