A Response To Thomas R. Schreiner’s Objection To My Presentation In “Four Views On The Role Of Works At The Final Judgment” -- By: Robert N. Wilkin

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 27:52 (Spring 2014)
Article: A Response To Thomas R. Schreiner’s Objection To My Presentation In “Four Views On The Role Of Works At The Final Judgment”
Author: Robert N. Wilkin


A Response To
Thomas R. Schreiner’s Objection To My Presentation In “Four Views On The Role Of Works At The Final Judgment”

Robert N. Wilkin

Executive Director
Grace
Evangelical Society

I. Introduction

In July of 2013, Zondervan released Four Views on the Role of Works at the Final Judgment.1 I had been invited to defend the view that there is no final judgment for believers, only a presentation at the Judgment Seat of Christ to determine eternal rewards. The three other contributors argued that believers will face a final judgment where their works will determine their final destiny in some way. Each of us wrote 10,000 words defending our view. Only after submitting our own chapters did we see what the others wrote. We were then allowed a 2,000 word response to the other essays.

I appreciate the gracious responses to my chapter by the other contributors. While they had major differences with my understanding of Scripture, their remarks were generally kind. In the interests of continuing the debate, this article analyzes Thomas R. Schreiner’s response to my presentation.

II. Who Is Thomas R. Schreiner?

Tom Schreiner is one of the leading American NT scholars. Indeed, as Alan P. Stanley points out, he is “one of the world’s leading New Testament Pauline scholars” (p. 24, italics added). He teaches NT at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. He has published over a dozen books, including commentaries on Romans, Galatians, 1-2 Peter, and Jude.

JOTGES readers might find it interesting that Tom was mentored by Earl Radmacher at Western Seminary. For a time, Tom’s thinking was in line with Earl’s and mine. Further education led him down a different path.

III. The Nature Of Schreiner’s Criticisms Of My Article

Schreiner’s criticisms of my views are primarily philosophical, not exegetical. Rarely does he actually explain why my interpretation of a passage is off base. He does say, “his (Wilkin’s) exegetical support for his thesis is singularly unconvincing.” But then, before discussing my exegetical support, he mentions some areas of agreement (p. 51).

After two paragraphs of agreements, he then begins with areas of disagreement. Surprisingly for me, he does not discuss exegetical disagreements, but instead theological disagreements. I say this is surprising since he said my exegetical support is singularly unconvincing. Thus I expected him to explain, for example, why You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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