If You Can’t Defeat ’em, Distort ’em

Sometimes scholarship rivals politics for warped renderings of the opponent. Consider this from Etienne Gilson, a Roman Catholic historian of philosophy:

For the first time, with the Reformation, there appeared this conception of a grace that saved a man without changing him, of a justice that redeems corrupted nature without restoring it, of a Christ who pardons the sinner for self-inflicted wounds but does not heal them. (The Spirit of Medieval Philosophy, 421)

How desperately some want to believe that justification by faith is cut off from holiness and is powerless to produce love. Michael Horton counters, “In actual fact, there are no Protestant accounts of this kind, at least of which I am aware” (Covenant and Salvation, 243).

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.