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The Doctrine of Justification: An Outline of Its History in the Church and of Its Exposition from Scripture (Buchanan)

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Table of Contents:

1. History of the Doctrine in the Old Testament
2. History of the Doctrine in the Apostolic Age
3. History of the Doctrine in the Times of the Fathers and Scholastic Divines
4. History of the Doctrine at the Era of the Reformation
5. History of the Doctrine in the Romish Church after the Reformation
6. History of the Doctrine as a subject of Controversy among Protestants
7. History of the Doctrine in the Church of England

8. The Scriptural Meaning of the Term
9. The Proper Nature of the Blessing
10. Its Relation to the Law and Justice of God
11. Its Relation to the Mediatorial work of Christ
12. Its Immediate and only Ground, the Imputed Righteousness of Christ
13. Its Relation to Grace and Works
14. The Nature and Reason of its Connection with Faith
15. Its Relation to the work of the Holy Spirit


"The doctrine of justification by faith is like Atlas: it bears a world on its shoulders, the entire evangelical knowledge of saving grace ... This is still the best text book on the subject, from the standpoint of the classic covenant theology." - J. I. Packer

"James Buchanan’s The Doctrine of Justification is “the” classic work on this cardinal doctrine. Buchanan lucidly covers the historical development of the doctrine through the Old Testament, the apostolic age, the scholastic divines, the Reformation and Counter Reformation, and in the Church of England. He expounds the doctrine itself by covering the scriptural meaning of the term, its relation to the law and justice of God, its relation to the mediatorial work of Christ, its relation to grace and works, and more. Throughout, Buchanan systematizes the doctrine of justification in an orthodox Reformed manner that is fully reliable, consistent with all the doctrines of grace, and still relevant to the burning issues of our day, such as the New Perspective. An introduction by Dr. Gerald Bilkes on the New Perspective is also a great help. If you can only afford to read one book on justification, read this definitive work." - Joel R. Beeke.


James Buchanan (1804-1870) was born in Scotland in 1804 and ordained in 1827 in the Church of Scotland. In 1828 he commenced a very successful ministry at North Leith where he gained a great reputation as an earnest, eloquent, evangelical preacher. In 1845 he was appointed to the Chair of Apologetics at New College, Edinburgh, and in 1847 he succeeded Thomas Chalmers as Professor of Systematic Theology. He retired in 1868 and died two years later. Buchanan was a prolific and popular writer: his first book, Comfort in Affliction (1837), sold nearly 30,000 copies. His two most valuable works were The Office and Work of the Holy Spirit (1842), an exposition which still merits study, and The Doctrine of Justification, the Cunningham Lectures for 1866, reprinted here.