Since I’m preaching through Galatians, one of the topics or themes is justification: how we are in a right relationship with God. It is the main idea of the letter since they had fallen prey to false teachers with hetero-gospels.
I thought it would be a good time to list my recommendations for books on the doctrine of justification.
Great Books I’ve Read:
The Doctrine of Justification by Jame Buchanan. This is THE book any serious student of the doctrine must read. I loved this book, and was challenged by this book. He traces the history of the doctrine, then explains the doctrine. There is plenty of historical data (keeping in mind it was originally published in 1867) that helps us gain some perspective on the current deviations from the biblical doctrine. It is rather lengthy, and this may turn off some people.
Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification by R.C. Sproul. R.C. wrote this, in part, in response to Evangelicals and Catholics Together. He saw that movement as undermining the heart of the gospel. This is typical RC- good stuff written for average people. He has a gift for making theology accessible to laypeople.
Justification By Faith Alone by Charles Hodge. The old Princeton theologian tackles the subject thoroughly in this book.
The Future of Justification & Counted Righteous in Christ by John Piper interact with the current attacks on the historical Protestant understanding of justification by faith alone (but that is not alone). Piper does a good job, and a fair job, but they are polemical theology. He is disputing a matter.
Books I Hope to Read Someday:
The Doctrine of Justification by Faith by John Owen. I’ve got this in my Works of John Owen volumes. I’ll get there. He can be a difficult read, but I find it immensely rewarding. As the subtitle reads, he explains it, confirms it and vindicates it as only he can.
Justification: Understanding the Classic Reformed Doctrine by John Fesko. A bit pricey, it also looks at the classic formulation of the doctrine in light of current challenges to the doctrine.
Justified in Christ: God’s Plan for Us in Justification edited by K. Scot Oliphint. It contains chapters by Westminster professors past and present.
Justification by Francis Turretin. This is edited from his Institutes of Elentcic Theology, which is very good. It presents theology in a question and answer format. He was one of the early Reformed “scholastics”. Sproul highly recommended Turretin when his Eclentic Theology was finally reprinted by P&R.
Jesus’ Blood and Righteousness: Paul’s Theology of Imputation by Brian Vickers. It covers both the imputation of our sin to Jesus, and His righteousness to us.
Christ, Our Righteousness: Paul’s Theology of Justification by Mark Seifrid. This is part of the New Studies in Biblical Theology Series edited by D.A. Carson. A bit academic, but focused on biblical theology.