One of the most fundamental tenants the christian faith is the doctrine of salvation by faith alone. That remains to be one of the sweetest promise and doctrine that God has offered to the world. As such, it should deservedly be proclaimed and defended with zeal and vigour. That is exactly what Thomas R. Schreiner has done in this book.
Initially I was skeptical whether a book solely on faith alone would be something worth reading. I have been steeped in the reformed tradition and having read ‘Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace’ by James Montgomery Boice (an excellent introduction to the 5 solas), I was not sure if it was a topic that had warranted a book for it. Having read this book, I have to say that this book certainly deserves wide reading.
Schreiner starts by giving a brief introduction to the doctrine of justification by faith alone and some objections that have been raised against this doctrine. Next, Schreiner tackles the first objection against the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Schreiner shows convincingly that justification by faith alone is not a 16th century discovery, rather it is doctrine that has known since the earliest church has exist. Schreiner then skilfully trace this doctrine through history and highlights several nuances of a few key christian leaders.
Next, Schreiner shows readers how the bible teaches us justification is by faith alone. Within this section Schreiner goes to the original languages and highlights and explains key words. Schreiber demonstrates that a faithful reading of scripture will no doubt lead readers to the justification of faith.
Lastly, Schreiner brings the readers up to date on contemporary arguments against justification by faith. Crucially Schreiner gives brief answers against N. T. Wright’s New Perspective on Paul. Pastors who are new to the topic can have a quick overview on this issue through reading this book, but they will be wise to consult other book length responses written by the same author.
All in all, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. He has accomplished what a good theological book should do, give readers a biblical and historical understanding of the topic and engages the readers with contemporary issues. Schreiner has set a very high standard for this series and I certainly look forward to the other 4 books in this series.
Rating: 5 / 5
Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review