A summary review PART 9
The Second Phase of Justification Theory: The Generous Contract
If the First Phase is faulty, then the solution offered by this Second Phase will likely also be faulty. It also will determine, given its dynamic, the nature of this Second Phase, which will now be understood in contractual and individualistic terms, even if that contract be generous.
This Phase involves two components. First, in response to the central axiom of God’s justice, there will be a central place for the satisfaction of that justice in the death of Christ (and often positively an imputation of Christ’s righteousness). This is crucial, as the demands of justice are central - this cannot be compromised. So ‘the model’s opening calculus ... remains essential’ (25). The demands of a certain understanding of justice (which he will later explain is forensic retributive) frame the nature of this model’s solution.
Second, given that this model’s premises are contractual, a criterion will need to be fulfilled to appropriate the benefits of this satisfaction of justice. Given the claims of Phase One, this new criterion will need to be manageable, and at this point ‘faith’ makes sense (and ‘the claim that faith alone
saves is cradled by the logic of the first phase’ ). Also to note is that this faith is understood in a voluntarist framework, as ‘if the saving criterion were coerced, then the preceding progress of the rational individual would be pointless ... If it were lacking, then we would not really be dealing with this model at all’ (26).
Above I stated that this contract is 'generous'; I deliberately avoided calling it gracious. The reason for this is that while God’s saving activity in the death of Christ, in this Second Phase, is certainly generous, it is not unconditional (so DC must ask whether even the good news of JT is really gracious).
The next instalment finishes of our overview of DC's Justification Theory, before we turn to see how he reviews it.
Labels: Review of Deliverance of God