The doctrine of union with Christ has been a controversial issue in Reformed circles for several years. On the surface, judging by the older Reformed writers and by the Reformed confessions, it is difficult to see exactly why the doctrine of union should be so controversial. After all, the classical writers tended to take very similar approaches to the doctrine. They didn’t seem to regard as an overly difficult doctrine. Some, e.g., Jerome Zanchi emphasized it heavily and others wrote very little on it. The Three Forms of Unity (the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Canons of Dort) and the Westminster Standards teach the same doctrine. At bottom, the doctrine of mystical union with Christ is not that difficult.
Nevertheless, the doctrine has become a matter of controversy. If the controversy isn’t a matter of history and if it’s not a matter of confession, then perhaps the root of the problem is really sociological? Enter our resident analyst of American Presbyterianism: Darryl Hart, Visiting Professor of History at Hillsdale College and Adjunct Professor of Church History at Westminster Seminary California.
Darryl is a prolific author. His most recent book is Calvinism: A History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013).
Here is the episode:
Thanks for listening.