Is Gaffin Orthodox?


Various opinions exist on the positions of Dr. Richard Gaffin, Professor of Systematic and Biblical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), especially regarding his stance on the theology of N.T. Wright, Norman Shepherd, and the Federal Vision. The opinion of
some of the members of the Puritan Board (though by no means all, and maybe not the majority but the minority), as well as the opinion of John Robbins (just type in “Gaffin” in the search box here) is that Gaffin is a heretic, probably because he put an endorsement on the back of Norman Shepherd’s book The Call of Grace. There are several considerations that need to contextualize Gaffin’s theology in order for people to see Gaffin correctly. Firstly, Dr. Gaffin is a polite scholar. It is not really his cup of tea to blast his opponents with Luther-like thunderbolts from great theological heights. Don’t get me wrong: I am by no means opposed to such thunderbolts. They are quite necessary for the well-being of the church. However, not everyone’s temperament matches Luther’s. Gaffin’s does not. Secondly, Norman Shepherd was a personal friend of Gaffin’s. Friends do tend to stick together, even if one does not agree theologically (and I have it from Gaffin’s own very careful lips that he does not agree with Shepherd’s theology). Thirdly, Gaffin’s latest book sets the record straight. Gaffin distances himself from all these aberrant theologies. Read the book, and learn from a master.

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