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Join us today as week seek to understand why Paul and James seem to be at odds concerning justification.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    6 replies to "First Things Blogcast #5: Catholics vs. Evangelicals on Justification"

    • CMWoodall


      I hear you saying that ‘faith alone’ relieves us of the burden to properly respond to God. Don’t you think the OT burden was anticipatory, and the burden after Calvary is commemorative? Should this burden be removed?

      Using the analogy of the scale, to remove the burden is to create imbalance. for balance, the burden must be equally distributed on a scale. the burden of properly responding to the law is still there.

    • C Michael Patton

      Chris, not sure what you mean by “anticipatory.” I think that they OT burden was real. Notice here:

      Acts 15:10 10 “Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?

      It was preparatory is how I would put it. The revelation of the fullness of the Gospel was a relief. This is not to say that people were in any way saved by faith + works in the OT, but, the way I see it, they did not know that Salvation was by faith alone.

      I believe the burden of the Law produced in people, as a school master, the ability to appreciate the Gospel of grace in a way they would not have been able to otherwise. The Law is good in that is shows us our need. For thousands of years before Christ, the Bible demonstrates our need for mercy and our utter sinfulness. God may have allowed it for so long so that no one could say, “We could have done it without grace.” The long history of human failure says that this is not true.

    • CMWoodall

      So…what was the yoke?

      Have you entertained N.T. Wright’s view about this?

      What were the works of the law?

      Do try not to include the words “danger” and “NT Wright” in the same sentence (big laugh!)

    • C Michael Patton

      Well, to some degree, but I think Paul defines the Law for us in Romans 7. I don’t think he had a different law in mind there and in chapter three. Therefore, the burden comes back to the good and the bad of the Law. It is good in that it reveals our sins. It is bad in that it offers no solutions. It is misunderstood when people try to ad to it in order to protect it. It does not seem that you can say that Paul had one or the other in mind. It was the whole package for him.

      Therefore, the legalism he fought against was not an either/or, but a both and. To the Jew, you could not have one without the other. Therefore, N.T.’s argument does not fair well in my theology. Don’t get me wrong, N.T. is the man, but he just needs to stick to the historical Jesus 🙂 . Kinda like Geisler needs to stick to apologetics!

    • CMWoodall

      “N.T.’s argument does not fair well in my theology”


      in perfectly good fun!

    • CMWoodall

      No fair!
      Your com-box filters latin slurs…

      probably for the best

      let’s try a complement

      nemo nisi per amicitiam cognoscitur

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