Norman Shepherd and John 15

Near to the heart of the Shepherd controversy at Westminster (discussed in Ian Hewitson’s work Trust and Obey) is John 15:1-8. Opponents of Shepherd viewed this passage only from a decretal perspective. Thus, they understood Shepherd to be teaching conditioned grace: abiding in the vine is grounded in something in man. However, Hewitson rightly points to a paragraph where Shepherd is quoted as saying “the branches have their vitality at every point from the vine (179).” For Shepherd, the necessity of obedience is not the language of conditioned grace, rather John 15 was an “exhortation to covenant faithfulness enveloped in the overflowing grace of Christ (179).”


About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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