The doctrine of justification stands at the center of our systematic reflection on the meaning of salvation as well as our piety, mission, and life together. In his two-volume work on the doctrine of justification, Michael Horton seeks not simply to repeat noble doctrinal formulas and traditional proof texts, but to encounter the remarkable biblical justification texts in conversation with the provocative proposals that, despite a wide range of differences, have reignited the contemporary debates around justification.
Building on his historical-theological exploration of justification in volume 1, in this second volume Horton embarks upon a constructive task of investigating the biblical doctrine of justification in light of contemporary exegesis. Here he takes up the topic of justification from biblical-theological, exegetical, and systematic-theological vantage points, engaging significantly with contemporary debates in biblical, especially Pauline, scholarship. Horton shows that the doctrine of justification finds its most ecumenically-significant starting point and proper habitat in union with Christ, where the greatest consensus, past and present, is to be found among Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant theologies. At the same time, he proposes that the union with Christ motif achieves its clearest and most consistent articulation in forensic justification. The final chapter locates justification within the broader framework of union with Christ.