The aim of the paper is to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the theological views of Grider (a Wesleyan scholar) and Murray (a Calvinist scholar) on the subject of justification/atonement. The objective of the research is to deepen our understanding of the implications of both theories and to formulate a judgment about which of them would be more consistent with our personal interpretation of the Scriptural teachings. Comparisons shall be made to determine principles commonly held by the two schools of thought, as well as divergences in their teachings and the reasons thereof. Necessarily, the scriptural bases for the teachings shall be examined, as well as where the interpretations of these readings differ. There is a slight limitation to this study. Justification and atonement theories have developed through the years, from the Augustinian teachings to Martin Luther and subsequently to Wesley and Calvin. In order to focus the discussion, this historical development was not specifically addressed, except where the construction of text or comprehension of the tenets involves an inquiry into past developments or comparison of theological positions. The assumption is made that the readers are informed about the history and development of justification and atonement theology. Chapter II: J. Kenneth Grider and Wesleyan Justification Theology This chapter shall discuss the Wesleyan theology and Grider’s teachings on justification theology pursuant to Wesleyanism. Justification theology finds its relevance within the body of doctrines that comprise the Wesleyan theology, therefore and understanding of these doctrines should be established prior to understanding justification. Wesleyan Theology Wesleyanism is a movement founded on the teachings and doctrines of evangelical reformers, brothers John and Charles Wesley, and their contemporary coadjutors including John William Fletcher. The teachings are centered on the life of Christian holiness, which is to love God with all one’s heart, mind soul and strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. Other important doctrines of Wesleyanism include Prevenient Grace, Governmental Atonement, and Imparted Righteousness, which contribute to the Wesleyan justification theology. The Doctrine of Prevenient Grace finds its roots in Augustinian theology. Prevenient grace refers to the divine grade that precedes and exists separate from anything that humans have done.5 Humans are born with prevenient grace, and when they fall to temptation and sin, it is prevenient grace which enables people to use their free will as given by God, in order to either accept or reject the salvation offered by God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Doctrine of Governmental Atonement teaches that the suffering and death of Jesus Christ was done for humanity, so the God could forgive them and simultaneously maintain divine justice.6 Christ’s sufferings and death were necessary to substitute the punishment that must be due the sinner; they atone for the sinner, so that in this manner it is possible for God to be just (that is, the deserved payment for humanity’
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