Experimental Theology: Justification and Works Based Righteousness

June 27, 2012

new testament / paul / richard-beck / spirituality

I think this is the deep issue the Apostle Paul was speaking to in his letters. We tend to think of works based righteousness in moral terms. That we could be “good enough” to earn our way into heaven. No doubt moral performance can be a part of this. But few of us feel that we are saints enough to make such a claim. Despite what the “faith alone” preachers say, moral forms of works based righteousness aren’t all that common, if they exist at all. I’ve never encountered a soul who felt they were good enough to merit heaven.
But we do name drop. We do attach ourselves to titles and positions. And in each of these cases we are trying to justify our existence, to prove that we matter, to give evidence that we are significant. This is the sickness I think Paul was really after.