Richard Hooker's "Learned Discource on Justification" responses

clnewman's picture

One exegetical mistake I noticed in this work was the phrase "in holiness" as his private translation of the Rm 6:22 phrase "unto holiness (KJV)" (Gk, εἰς ἁγιασμόν). You can search for "in holiness" even in a .pdf reader, since most allow that.

Another fruitful pursuit through the discourse is to take notice of what he considers "necessary," and the mingling of the two senses of necessary, that of obligation, and that of "sine qua non," without which, nothing. He tries to set up a dichotomy that if good works are not required for salvation, then they cannot be necessary in the moral sense, but since they are, they must be required. He does this in the first paragraph of the section "Faith Does Not Exclude Works."

Looking at a further paragraph, the fifth in that same section, Hooker spills the beans on his view in this sentence: "As for works, they are a thing subordinate, no otherwise necessary than because our sanctification cannot be accomplished without them." He tries to justify this by saying he doesn't mean they merit anything. But the biblical support for our sanctification in Christ entails a contradiction to this statement, as if our good works are necessary for the accomplishment of which Christ's work cannot accomplish Himself. But that which supposedly accomplishes what Christ's work cannot accomplish, must be worth something! That is a good retort.

Good Works by jonpauldv

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