In this review of the theology of Charles Finney, the author focuses on his doctrine of justification. He takes note of Finney’s strange teaching that justification is a governmental pardon and not a judiciary acquittal. There are also multiple conditions for justification, according to Finney, and not simply faith as the Protestants claim. His view of atonement undermines the centrality of the cross of Christ as the one single act of God in atoning for sin.
According to Bird, the central issue in current discussions with regard to the doctrine of justification is the topic of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ. Bird wants to, in dialogue with the main protagonists, seek a solution that corresponds with the biblical evidence. He first offers a short history of the doctrine of imputed righteousness since the Reformation.