“I am aware of no recognized Calvinist or Reformed theologian who says that faith is obedience or that faith is perseverance.”
So claimed Wayne Grudem in his “Free Grace” Theology: 5 Ways It Diminishes the Gospel (p. 74).
But Grudem adds the caveat, “They will say that saving faith results in obedience and that faith results in perseverance, but that is something far different from what Wilkin claims” (p. 74).
Is that really “far different”? I’m not convinced.
In any case, I’m in the midst of writing a short response to Grudem’s book, and that particular quote made me laugh out loud.
I laughed because Grudem recently endorsed John M. Frame’s Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief, saying,
“This is a remarkable volume—a wonderfully clear, refreshingly insightful, profoundly biblical treatment of systematic theology. While reading this book, I felt as though I once again had the privilege of being a student in John Frame’s theology classes, the classes that so deeply influenced my thinking as a Westminster Seminary student forty years ago.”
Well, it just so happens that in his Systematic Theology, Frame says the third component of faith is trust, which he defines this way:
“The second element of trust is subjection to Christ as Lord, a willingness to obey. As James 2:14-26 says, faith must be living faith, obedient faith, faith that works, or else it is dead” (Frame, Systematic Theology, p. 953).
So there you have it, one example of a recognized Reformed theologian— one of Grudem’s own professors, who admittedly influenced Grudem’s thinking, and whose book Grudem endorsed—who literally says that obedience is an element of trust, which is a component of genuine faith.