Sunday, February 18, 2007

John Owen and Future Justification?

I was reading some John Owen and came across this intriguing reference to future justification, where he seems to distinguish between present and future justification. Given some of the current controversies about future justification, it caught my eye. The context is Owen interacting with Baxter concerning the intention of Christ's death. Owen is arguing that one should distinguish between the right of justification purchased by Christ's death, though justification is not possessed except by faith. Baxter apparently wants to say that the right to justification and its possession are one and the same thing. In the midst of this argumentation Owen seems to bring up the idea of future justification by way of analogy, to bolster his point in distinguishing between right and possession. Here is the quote:
If he shall say, that a right to a future justification at the day of judgment is the same with the possession of present actual justification, it is neither true nor any thing to the business in hand. [from Of the Death of Christ in Works, Vol. 10, p.476]

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