Martin Luther contended that the church stands or falls on the doctrine of justification. With challenges to the Reformer’s view coming from several directions today, R. C. Sproul finds the appearance of Francis Turretin’s Justification “a welcome relief.”
Is the ground of our justification “the righteousness of Christ in us or the righteousness of Christ for us?” In the introduction, Sproul finds Turretin (1623–1687) to be “at his best” when addressing this key issue. Justification addresses ten questions, beginning with “Is the word justification always used in a forensic sense in this argument; or is it also used in a moral and physical sense?”
“Perhaps Turretin’s greatest strength was his acute intellect,” writes Sproul. “He was the master of those fine distinctions that make for precision.” Turretin’s contemporaries celebrated not only his erudition, but also his eloquence and his ministries of mercy. His pastor’s heart made him an evangelist who pled with sinners to be reconciled with God.
“If we hold sacred the notion that God has created us with minds for the purpose of seeking understanding,” Sproul writes, “then we will delight in the clarity and precision of thought Turretin’s work presents to us.”