Morton Smith: Shepherd Teaches Justification Through Faith And Works

As one who has been trained in, and has taught the classic systematic theology with the biblical theological basis of Professor John Murray’s approach, I find Mr. Shepherd’s original paper, and also his later statements, quite confusing and disturbing. For example, he uses the word justify in three different ways, and yet, does not always make it clear [in] which of the different ways he is using it.

I feel…that Mr. Shepherd has not changed the content of what he first set forth, that he is actually intending to say that justification is by faith and works. All this would cause me to come out on the side of the so-called “Kuschke Group,” seriously questioning whether Mr. Shepherd’s position is not a deviation from the historic Reformed position.

—Morton H. Smith, quoted in O. Palmer Robertson and Paul G. Settle, “Report of the Board of Trustees of Westminster Theological Seminary by the Special Board-Faculty Committee on Justification: Minority Report” (May 13. 1980), 10.

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One comment

  1. I had come to the same conclusion back in 1981 while a student in college and while attending an OPC church whose pastor had drunk deeply from the poisoned well of Shepherd’s heretical teachings. I said so and reaped the repercussions.

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