Daniel Fuller

Daniel Fuller used to have a bunch of stuff online that I thought was helpful.

I ran into his book Gospel and Law: Contrast or Continuum and had found it really satisfying as an explanation for the nature of saving faith and the dynamic of sanctification.  I felt like he was too rough on John Calvin who, I believed and still believe, had led in the same general direction.

Like anyone else I didn’t agree with everything he said.  He held to a very traditional view of what Paul was condemning in “the works of the law,” taking that phrase as a general attempt to earn rewards from God.  I think Paul had something else in mind and that everyone knew in theory (i.e. both Paul and his enemies) that one could not earn or merit favor from God.

He also argued for women’s ordination and against creation in six days.  So reader beware.

After discovering him, I found that back in 1973 (? if I recall correctly) he had been attacked in a journal by Meredith Kline and others.  I was amazed because one rebuttal came from the King James Version’s mistranslation of John 1.17–something I had recently had to deal with in my Greek class.

I also ran into many people who would (pretty vociferously, I thought) attack Daniel Fuller for denying things on the evidence that he didn’t write about them.  I suppose if Fuller was going to be my pastor I might have felt I should inquire more, but reading him as a help in certain areas didn’t lead me to worry about unproven allegations about other areas.  I had no doubts and about the imputation of Christ’s righteousness and I had never read one word in Fuller to question the doctrine–let alone lead me to have any doubts.

To this day I have no idea why he causes such rage in some quarters.

I used to have links to Fuller but the links don’t lead anywhere anymore so I have removed the blog post (I had more in earlier blogging that has gotten lost with changes in servers, I think; archive.org might turn something up).

Fuller’s basic point was that one was supposed to trust in God’s love and salvation in Jesus and thus, the same faith that justified you would also sanctify you.

Hebrews 11 would be the best place to go to see how this works.  Moses, for example, trusting in God, saw that the treasures of Egypt were not worth keeping, and left them for the greater reward that God promised.  Faith would not be faith if he stayed in Egypt to enjoy “the passing pleasures of sin.”  We don’t obey God to earn anything, we obey God the way we follow a doctor’s regimen if acknowledge we are sick and trust him to heal us.

I notice that John Piper still praises Daniel Fuller as his great teacher.  See also Piper’s list of “books that have influenced me most.”

PS For further reading: “Law and Gospel in Presbyterianism”

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