Dave Armstrong Makes a Fair Assessment
When I read the title and the opening letter to this piece, I expected a different reaction from Dave Armstrong:
I am coming to believe that this [good works are the inevitable result of saving grace] is one of the most dangerous teachings within the Reformed tradition, because it makes sin to be of little significance. After all, if all your sins have been forgiven – Past – Present – and Future, and nothing can change that – then where is the fear of God within such a teaching? Can one fear to sin because it displeases a Holy and Righteous God if one thinks that no sin can separate them from God? Can’t this kind of belief cause one to treat God as a doormat? . . . This attitude of “its all been done for you by Christ on Calvary” and there’s nothing expected from the Christian, nothing that he can or should do to grow in righteousness and holiness, makes our lives as believers in Christ, our witness to the world as lights shining in the darkness of no consequence. If I think nothing is required of me to continue in the grace of God, I will live haphazardly and not care a hoot about living a godly, faithful life unto Christ my Lord.
I expected him to immediately agree with the writer and denounce Protestantism. However, Dave is full of surprises, as it turns out. In this case, he actually lauds Protestantism for getting something right. He makes a stronger case for the organic whole formed by good works with God’s grace than I ever could, and he makes it from Calvin’s writings. Read the entire piece here.