Monday, March 28, 2011

Active Obedience Imputation Is Not Biblical - Part 1: "The Parrots"

The Parrots Of Active Obedience Imputation

Not much amazes me any more in the thoughts and attitudes in the Church. I've seen too much for too many years to really be amazed.

But I am amazed at one thing.

I am amazed at the inability of otherwise sharp and biblical men and women to engage biblically on the subject of the "active obedience" of Christ being imputed to us believers.

I have discussed this at length, and read all the "top" books, and, I kid you not, I have never heard an exegetical biblical explanation for the doctrine. In fact, it is almost assured that a person of this persuasion will blow more smoke skirting the issue, than on almost any other subject I've seen.

Parrots parroting parrots, with a little [faulty] logic occasionally thrown in, based mostly on Jesus "fulfilling all righteousness" by being baptized (not only irrelevant, but wrongly defined as somehow "earning" righteousness, as if the Son of God was ever not righteous).

Not only are these parrots parroting other parrots, but they do so with what appears to be an almost idolatrous attitude toward both men and confessions (I say "appears", not wanting to judge anyone's heart). They say things like, "If you disagree with me, you are out of step with 500 years of great giants of the faith, not to mention the Westminster Confession, the 1689 London Baptist Confession, and [God forbid!] John Owen and R.C. Sproul."

Giants, shmiants. Give me the Scriptures.

The issue is not as complicated as the blown smoke would indicate. The Son of God is and always was righteous as both God and Man, eternally, internally, intrinsically, and inherently. It's that righteousness which was imputed to us through the "one act" of His death, followed by His burial and resurrection.

It's not some "earned" or "achieved" righteousness that was imputed.

One Parrot may whine, "Then was His life of obedience to the Law just a waste of time?" What this Parrot can't hear, for some reason, is this simple truth:

Of course a righteous God-Man will ACT righteously! He's righteous! His actions demonstrate His righteousness.

Having said all that, I'm still very open, and I mean that, to any exegetical biblical explanation for why our Savior would need to "achieve" righteousness.

But I have no confidence such an explanation will come.

The parrots are not just parroting. They are wrong.

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5


John Thomson said...


Totally with you on this. Have posted a fair bit on it too.

Terry Rayburn said...

Thanks John. I enjoy your blog.

Cheryl Kaster said...

When we were in one reformed church if they couldn't support something by the Bible, they was ascribe the support as "theological inference." Fancy shmancy words for saying they thought it was a nice thing to believe, or something like that.

Terry Rayburn said...


You're right. Very common. Thanks.