Friday, February 11, 2011

Theological Term of the Day: Union with Christ

I have long believed that "union with Christ" is often short-changed as a Biblical theological concept. There are far fewer books written about it, far less to-do made over it, than things like justification and sanctification, and yet these things, and indeed the whole Christian life, cannot be properly understood without it. That's why I really appreciate Justin Taylor's recent post, Union with Christ: A Crash Course.

Taylor quotes many sources, but in particular Sinclair Ferguson:
[Union with Christ] is rooted, not in humanity and their achievement of holiness or sanctification, but in what God has done in Christ, and for us in union with him. Rather than view Christians first and foremost in the microcosmic context of their own progress, the Reformed doctrine first of all sets them in the macrocosm of God’s activity in redemptive history. It is seeing oneself in this context that enables the individual Christian to grow in true holiness.
The "reformed" view is in contrast to the general run of modern evangelicalism, where the "microcosm" of the self can seem the measure of all things. That's a worldview shift that American Christianity badly needs.

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