Sunday, May 27, 2007

Article in Trinity Journal

In the introduction to the Spring issue of Trinity Journal, editor Robert Yarbrough writes about my article,
The last two articles take up matters of daily and growing dispute in various quarters of the church today. . . .Given the centrality of missions to many Trinity Journal readers, [Hamilton’s essay should] be digested carefully. The same holds for Gerald Hiestand’s close reading of a selection of Augustine’s texts. Should we de-emphasize the cross in favor of the resurrection as Hiestand concludes? Many are already following that path.
I found Dr. Yarbrough's comment unfortunate. The intent of my essay was not to “de-emphasize the cross” but rather to show—using Augustine as a case study—how one’s doctrine of culpability guides and directs one’s doctrine of justification. Ontological culpability necessitates ontological justification. That was the real aim and heart of the essay.

And while I indeed concluded that Calvin’s doctrine of justification has eventually led to an evangelical marginalization of the resurrection, my solution in the article was not to de-emphasize the cross, but to give the resurrection its proper place. The child who loves his mother more than his father does not resolve the inequity by loving his mother less. I suspect that my essay was unnecessarily lumped into the camp of those who would like to see evangelicalism move away from substitutionary atonement. This was—and is—not my desire at all. But the cross without the resurrection is only a piece of wood. My beef with Calvin (and much of confessional Lutheranism) is not its doctrine of substitutionary atonement--which I affirm--but its failure to address ontology as a matter of justice within the rubric of justification.


Canadian said...

Is the article available online yet?

Gerald said...


I don't think they make their articles available on-line. I'll email you a copy.

Gerald said...

If you send me your email address, that is.

Canadian said...

Thanks. I sent my request for the article to your Harvest email, I prefer not to leave my email in public.

Evangelical books said...

Hi Gerald,

I am preparing a talk about the history of Justification by faith and I was wondering if you could forward me a copy of your article in Trinity Journal. I intend to buy your thesis off lulu as well for my own reading.

My email address is on my profile.

Thank you in advance!