We have already learned to value the orderly, logical approach of the President of Mid-America Reformed Seminary in books such as The Promise of the Future. This new work is a really helpful rebuttal of the 'new perspective' on Paul, but it goes much further. (The 'new perspective' is the idea that Paul does not attack the Jews for trusting in works, but for their exclusivity, and that he does not teach salvation only by grace.) Starting by showing the embarrassment that biblical justification is to ecumenism, Dr Venema proceeds to define justification by faith alone, its 'judicial' nature, its necessity, its need of imputed righteousness, the elements and character of justifying faith, and its accompanying, authenticating works (James 2). All this is done beautifully, calmly and comprehensively, and should be valued by teachers of doctrine and Bible classes as an object lesson in presentation.
The author goes on to trace most interestingly the forerunners of the 'new perspective'. We are taken swiftly through Montefiore, Schweitzer, Sanders, Dunn and lastly and chiefly N. T. Wright. There follows an exceptional review of the biblical and Reformational arguments for the 'traditional' doctrine of justification. A very fine treatment, strongly recommended.