Category Archives: Shepherd Controversy

Trinity Talk Interview with Andrew Sandlin on the Life and Theology of Norman Shepherd


icon for podpress  Norman Shepherd: The Man and His Theology

Andrew Sandlin is the president for the Center of Cultural Leadership and editor of Obedient Faith: A Festschrift for Norman Shepherd (Mount Hermon, California: Kerygma Press, 2012).

You can find more information about the book here.

Grace Sovereignly Bestowed

Shepherd argues for grace sovereignly bestowed in the first part of the covenant and for the necessity of faith and repentance in the second part of the covenant when he writes:

Election does not mean that we can live by sight. Election does not mean that we have insight into the decree of God so that we can relax. Rather, election calls upon us–election summons us–to live by faith in Christ, to walk in the Spirit, to be in fact the people of the covenant. Election establishes covenant; that’s the point. The gifts are all ours by grace, and they are enjoyed in the way of faith (2 Peter 1:3,5).

John Murray–Shepherd’s predecessor–writes similarly:

The fear of the Lord, the keeping of his covenant, and obedience to his commandments are the means through which and the conditions upon which those who have received the pledge of God’s faithfulness may entertain the assurance and comfort of His faithfulness.

Machen and Shepherd on James and Paul

Among the supporters of Shepherd’s view of Paul and James was one who had died in the 30’s. The honorable Presbyterian J. Gresham Machen did not distinguish between two different senses of “justify,” assigning one to James and the other to Paul. Machen writes:

The solution of the whole problem is provided by Paul himself in a single phrase. In Gal. 5:6, he says, ‘For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith working through love (italics mine).’ 

If Shepherd is to be condemned for seeing Paul and James speaking of the same justification, then Machen should not have escaped the wrath of Westminster Seminary.

{See Ian Hewitson, pg. 118}