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Posts Tagged ‘Dennis Johnson’

I’ve been reading from the book Covenant, Justification, and Pastoral Ministry. One of the chapters written by Dennis Johnson is entitled Simul iustus et peccator: The Role of Justification in Pastoral Counseling. I think these insights are crucial:

Pastoral counseling is, as the older shepherds called it, “the cure of souls,” healing the heart of its deep and complex maladies through the wise application of God’s infection-exposing law and his conscience-cleansing gospel. (p. 399)

Although the assurance that biblical justification imparts may seem, both to legalists and to antinomians, to work at cross-purposes to Scripture’s summons to strenuously pursue holiness, in fact only this assurance can produce a holiness that springs from love for God rather than an exploitation of God for our own ends.  In other words, only when our obedience flows from a justification-secured assurance of the Father’s approval of us for his Son’s sake is our obedience an expression of love for God above all, rather than an attempt to obligate through our efforts. (p. 402)

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