Over the past few years my interest in the Bible and for knowing God’s word has grown by leaps and bounds. I reached a point in my life where I was no longer content with just a surface level knowledge of the Bible stories. God’s grace began to lead me to hunger for the core of the gospel. Dr. James R. White’s book, The God Who Justifies, is a comprehensive study of one of the most central doctrines of all Christendom: The doctrine of justification. Dr. White is the director of Alpha and Omega ministries, an elder at Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church, an accomplished debater, and one of my personal favorite Bible scholars. He is also the author of dozens of books on topics ranging from the Trinity, the King James only controversy, Roman Catholicism, among many others, including this book on the doctrine of justification.
The great reformer Martin Luther once said of justification, that it is the article on which the church stands or falls. Luther was implying that a firm understanding of this doctrine leads us to a deeper love for Christ, whereas a distorted view of justification can lead us into a fundamental misunderstanding of the gospel. Dr. White does a phenomenal job of presenting solid evidence for this doctrine on the basis of scripture. His careful presentation of such a wealth of knowledge and natural ability to communicate the truths of scripture are unmatched in the field of apologetics.
Dr. White is one of the most thorough authors you will ever read. In The God who Justifies, Dr. White patiently opens the book with a strong defense of the total depravity of man. Without a firm understanding of the condition of man being dead in trespasses and enslaved to his sinful nature, it is hard to really come to an understanding of the miraculous act of justification in which God declares that we are righteous on the merit of Christ alone. Dr. White could be adequately described as a “scripture junkie.” The entire second half of his book is essentially a commentary on many of the passages of scripture that deal with justification. His fluency in the original Greek and Hebrew languages offer additional insight into scripture without becoming intimidating.
The God Who Justifies is not a book that you can speed through and finish in a week. Each page and each chapter should be meditated on and carefully digested. To race through would be to overlook an array of wisdom and insight from such a brilliant mind. If you want to make the most out of this read, Dr. White’s careful exegesis of scripture should be matched with your careful attention to his work.
Dr. James White’s book is not merely about the doctrine of justification; it is about the God who justifies. You see, we are a part of his-story, he (God) is the justifier through Christ. We (Christians) are simply the objects of his mercy. Dr. White is always so careful to remind us of the fact that God is at the center of theology, not mankind. If you are hungry to grow closer to God by understanding more deeply the means by which he has justified us, I highly recommend this book!