Justification by Faith Alone

Justification by Faith Alone

Reformation Heritage Books

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The texts in this volume begin and end with this same point. Composed under different circumstances by giants of the Reformed tradition—Theodore Beza (1519–1605), Amandus Polanus (1561–1610), and Francis Turretin (1623–87)—they represent genres of classical treatments of the same doctrine. Beza’s Defense of Justification by Faith Alone is polemical and in response to ecclesiastical controversy. Polanus’ Free Justification of Man the Sinner before God is systematic and the fruit of logical argumentation based on Scripture. Turretin’s Harmony of Paul and James on the Article of Justification is exegetical and in the form of an academic disputation. Each text explores aspects of justification from a different angle. Together they touch on a host of important theological concerns: the nature of faith, good works, sanctification, union with Christ, the Holy Spirit, hermeneutics, the unity of Scripture, and more. They are offered here in English translation for the first time.

Table of Contents: 

Theodore Beza, A Defense of Justification by Faith Alone (1592)

Amandus Polanus, The Free Justification of Man the Sinner before God (1615)

Francis Turretin, The Harmony of Paul and James on the Article of Justification (1687)


“Five centuries after the Reformation, the doctrine of justification through faith alone still stands. Yet the material principle faces new challenges due to an array of contemporary revisionists. To answer those challenges, we need the tools ressourcement has to offer. Who better than the Reformed orthodox? Now English readers can look over the shoulders of Beza, Polanus, and Turretin to glean their exegetical and dogmatic wisdom. Thanks to Scott Clark and Casey Carmichael, we can now recover the orthodoxy of our Reformed fathers for the sake of renewing sola fide in the church today.”

—Matthew Barrett, professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, director of the Center for Classical Theology, editor in chief of Credo Magazine

“Classics help us transcend the contemporary, connecting us with the profound learning and exemplary piety of great Reformed theologians of the past. These three superb studies on justification provide careful exposition of the Scriptures, constructive theology, interaction with ancient church fathers, and vindication of Protestant orthodoxy against false teaching.  In the process they clarify much contemporary confusion. Here is theology at its most helpful.”

—W. Robert Godfrey, president emeritus, Westminster Seminary California

About the Authors

Theodore Beza (1519–1605) was an influential French Protestant pastor and apologist for the Reformation. He succeeded John Calvin at the Geneva Academy.

Amandus Polanus (1561–1610) was a professor and dean of the university in Basel whose major work, Syntagma Theologiae Christianae, is an early exemplar of the use of Ramism.

Francis Turretin (1623–1687) wrote Institutio Theologiae Elencticae, an example of Reformed scholasticism increasingly read since its translation into English, and is, according to John Gerstner, “the most precise theologian in the Calvinistic tradition.”

Casey Carmichael (MA Classics, Kentucky, DTh, University of Geneva) is an independent scholar and author in Belleville, Illinois, specializing in the history of Christianity.

Zachary Purvis (DPhil, Oxon) is an award-winning author and Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Göttingen, Germany.

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