Auburn Ave. Theology

Auburn Avenue Theology
A Biblical Analysis
by Rev. Brian Schwertley


There is a battle going on for issues at the very heart of the Christian faith. And that is the battle for the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Rev. Schwertley's latest book, Auburn Avenue Theology, a Biblical Analysis, is one of the latest salvos in that war. It is a powerful one and may make this book one of the the most compelling and the most popular one written in defense of the historic Christian faith on this issue. With  clear documentation o f his opponents views, well supported by quotes and footnotes, he sets forth the details of these errors, and with  incisive analysis and Biblical argumentation he systematically deconstructs the fallacies and heresies contained in these novel views. This is a book that will clear away all the confusion and mystification of the issues that false teachers love to operate in and will draw the battle lines accurately and decisively. If you only read one book on this issue this should be the one.

The book deals with the most serious current heresy plaguing Reformed and Presbyterian churches. It deals with the current spate of alternative theologies seeking to replace the traditional understanding of justification by faith alone as set forth in Reformed confessions and as held since the time of the Great Protestant Reformation. Whatever it winds up being called, the Federal Vision, the objectivity of the covenant, the Auburn Avenue Theology, or just plain Shepherdism, it is all the same. It is an attempt to undo the Reformation and substitute a Romish, medieval soteriology in its place. Proclaiming a doctrine of salvation by faith plus works, by defining faith as including the works of faith, and stating that faith really means faithful obedience, etc., it states that our works are necessary for our justification. Adding to that view other elements of medieval theology, such as a sacramentalism that declares that it is baptism that makes people Christians, so that Roman Catholics are Christians, although perhaps poor ones as far as their covenant faithfulness is concerned, these views seek to completely overturn the faith of the Reformation. All these errors, their radically unscriptural nature, and the logical fruit they will bear all set forth for the reader in stark simplicity. The author does not spare us the realty of what is at stake in this controversy.

One of the reasons that such unthinkable errors as a redefinition of the doctrine that is at the very heart of the gospel can gain any traction is that people are doctrinally illiterate. Many Christians, even in Reformed and Presbyterian communions, simply have an inadequate understanding of what the gospel is, and cannot explain the Biblical doctrine of justification by faith. To correct that the book has an extensive and Biblically sound exposition of these doctrines. Particularly, it has an entire chapter on the active obedience of Christ. Most Christians are aware of the doctrine of the Christ's obedience in going to the cross as our penal substitute and paying the penalty of divine justice due to our sins. Less recognized is the doctrine that Christ lived a perfect sinless life and that perfect righteousness is imputed to us by faith so that clothed with his righteousness we are accepted in the sight of a holy God of purer eyes than to behold evil. The former delivers us from hell; the latter makes us fit for heaven. For those who lack a comprehensive doctrinal understanding of the historic gospel this chapter will prove very valuable.

Finally the book includes a chapter on false teachers. Although the Bible contains many warnings about false teachers (22 of the 27 books of the New Testament contain such warnings) most Christians operate as if no such threat exists. Yet it is the ministry of false teachers that is subverting the faith from within before our very eyes. Rev. Schwertley deals with this threat and documents the warnings about, the techniques of, and how to resist the onslaught of these false teachers. That chapter alone is worth the price of the book.

This book is a must read for the faithful and a book that we pray will be greatly used of the Lord to defend the faith once delivered unto the saints.

Click here to view the Table of Contents.

Click here to view a Sample Chapter.

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