Join Tim and Carlos on this weeks episode of Semper Reformanda Radio as they talk about the article published last week on the SRR blog titled The Gospel According to Piper written by Tim Shaughnessy and Tim Kauffman.  Tim and Carlos also take on some of the criticism we have received for the article. The team at SRR is ready to take a firm stand on this issue and considers this a gospel issue of utmost importance. In light of this controversy over the doctrine of justification by faith alone, we want to recommend to our listeners and readers the following blogs.

The Justification Controversy: A Guide for the Perplexed

The Current Justification Controversy

Pied Piper

Why Heretics Win Battles 

Background On The Current Salvation Controversy



Rachel Miller Contra Mundum? The 5 Solas and John Piper, Part 1

Rachel Miller Contra Mundum? The 5 Solas and John Piper, Part 2: “Salvation”

Rachel Contra Mundum? The 5 Solas and John Piper: Part 3, Beginning at the End: The Marrow Men

Piper: Salvation by faith alone and just a little bit more?

Believers Are Saved And Sealed

In By Grace, Stay In By Faithfulness?

“…Let’s just pipe down and let the experts handle this.”

We Attain Heaven Through Faith Alone

On The Necessity And Efficacy Of Good Works In Salvation



  1. Dan 4 years ago

    Oct 3, 2017 John Piper posted podcasts of the Five Solas; his discussion on “Through Faith Alone” touched on James 2 regarding faith without works is dead in which he did not indicate works is required for final justification. He stressed that we are justified in Christ by faith alone and not of works. He did not however, as you correctly state, describe the difference between Romans 3:28 and James 2:24 simply as justification before God vs justification before men, which more clearly explains the difference. I’m not sure why he would have confused any aspect of works as part of being justified before God, final or otherwise.
    Link for his talk

  2. Angela Werner 5 years ago

    If works contribute to our salvation, Christ is only a partial saviour. Works are evidence that our faith is real. They justify our claim to believe before men, not before God who knows them that are His! Works are a necessary part of salvation but they have no part in saving us. Think of a fire, the flickering light is evidence that there is a fire but the light does not burn. If we in any way look to our works to save us, we have abandoned salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone.

  3. Tanner Davis 5 years ago

    If works play no role in our salvation, but are only fruit of the faith which alone is the grounds to all of salvation, then how would Galatians 5:6 be dealt with, where the actual working, not just the possession of genuine faith, counts for something? What does this working count for? I agree that justification is by faith alone, for Abraham was accredited righteousness on account of him believing God, (I’m working mainly with Romans 4) but the way James appeals to Abraham as being ‘justified by works’, and also Paul in Galatians 5:6 and 2 Thessalonians 2:13, where he says that we are saved “through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (notice, we are “saved” by more than just belief here) seems to show that the fruits of our faith do play some role. I’m not sure exactly what this role is, but isn’t it important to at least deal with those verses before accusing John Piper of heresy, even though he does affirm that justification is by faith alone? Or in another place, Romans 8:13, the putting to death the deeds of the body, by the Spirit, is necessary for the one seeking to “live” in the eternal sense. It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that Piper’s insistence on works is mainly to protect against a kind of ‘easy-believism’ that wouldn’t affirm that it is necessary for things such as “working out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

    • Angela Werner 3 years ago

      James does not contradict Paul. Our works justify our claim to faith before men, not before God who knows them that are His and there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ. There is no final justification based on works, as Piper insists.

  4. […] and social media, here is a good list of articles on the subject that provide a some of the debate trajectories.  Frankly, and regardless of what you might think of John Piper, this ongoing debate is a good […]

  5. Jonna 5 years ago

    Love your podcast. As someone who works in a medical field, just want to mention that palpable is not the same as pallettable

  6. Ernie van Boven 5 years ago

    Hi Tim Shaughnessy. I appreciate you guys explaining Pipers heresy. I have seen him on a downhill slide for years and it just gets clearer that many of his teachings are heresy. Might as well call it what it is. I am in agreement that “faith alone” is the big issue of the day, and if we don’t address it, we are not “contending for the faith”. This leads me to another big problem I have been facing since getting to know Clark and his teachings. The problem of how faith is explained with the Latin terms, notitia, assensus and fiducia, and all the varying stupid explanations that go with them. There doesn’t seem to be any exegetical reason to get these three latin terms out of the greek pistis or any of it’s forms. I preached on “faith alone” last Sunday and used Sproul as an example of how many reformed teach on faith and how it is confusing at best, using eisegesis in the book of James, esp 2:19 instead of exegesis. We have to get back to the Bible and simple explanation of faith alone. I know you are busy, but is this something we can look at? I mean while your kicking the cat with Piper, his friends (our friends, like Sproul, Macarthur, White, Peters) are teaching this misleading 3 fold latin explanation that only causes confusiion and lack of assurance. Kind of like Rome does… I don’t know. I think it is worth the fight for the simple gospel. It is a gospel issue in my opinion. Been studying hundreds of hours in prep for teaching the solas. Faith alone should be easy, but it’s not. And the reason is not for lack of clarity in the confessions, i.e. Westminster, Heidelberg, etc, but for lack of clarity, even confusion in the pulpits and books of “good’ teachers today. Thanks for your consideration. If you are interested in critiquing my sermon on this from Sunday, I would welcome it.

    I am giving you a link to it below,

    —as well as a troubling article from Sproul where he says, Knowing and believing the content of the Christian faith is not enough, for even demons can do that (James 2:19). ”

    And a second where he says, “Finally, even knowing the facts and believing them to be true are not enough in themselves to make us Christians. Demons affirm the truth of what God has said, but they do not trust Him (James 2:19)” He is equating the affirmation of truth by demons with “believing” truth. That’s not right. This is obfuscation at least.

    And a third in which he says, “According to James, even if I am aware of the work of Jesus—convinced intellectually that Jesus is the Son of God, that he died on the cross for my sins, and that he rose from the dead—I would at that point qualify to be a demon.” That one is only from a year ago.

    Thanks for your hard work and for considering this concern of mine for the clarity of the gospel. Love from your brother, Ernie van Boven.

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