Are you justified by faith alone even if you do not believe in such a doctrine?

Jonathan Edwards answers:

How far a wonderful and mysterious agency of God’s Spirit may so influence some men’s hearts, that their practice in this regard may be contrary to their own principles, so that they shall not trust in their own righteousness, though they profess that men are justified by their own righteousness—or how far they may believe the doctrine of justification by men’s own righteousness in general, and yet not believe it in a particular application of it to themselves—or how far that error which they may have been led into by education, or cunning sophistry of others, may yet be indeed contrary to the prevailing disposition of their hearts, and contrary to their practice—or how far some may seem to maintain a doctrine contrary to this gospel-doctrine of justification, that really do not, but only express themselves differently from others; or seem to oppose it through their misunderstanding of our expressions, or we of theirs, when indeed our real sentiments are the same in the main—or may seem to differ more than they do, by using terms that are without a precisely fixed and determinate meaning—or to be wide in their sentiments from this doctrine, for want of a distinct understanding of it; whose hearts, at the same time, entirely agree with it, and if once it was clearly explained to their understandings, would immediately close with it, and embrace it: — how far these things may be, I will not determine; but am fully persuaded that great allowances are to be made on these and such like accounts, in innumerable instances; though it is manifest, from what has been said, that the teaching and propagating [of] contrary doctrines and schemes, is of a pernicious and fatal tendency.

As quoted in John Piper’s The Future of Justification, p.24, n30.


“Living the Dream.” What Does This Mean?

Within the last year, as I’ve casually asked people how they’re doing, they’d respond: “Living the dream.” I guess I’m suppose to know what they’re talking about. Excuse me for being out of the circle of pop culture, but during this short season, I have a life to live that lives mainly on books. This can’t be that dream, can it?

Relatively recently, a guy (fellow seminarian) asked me if I was living the dream. My response: “I don’t know. Life is hard.” Without giving me more time for further explanatory response, he answered, “You just gotta trust in Jesus, man…”

So, especially since that curious conversation cut short, I’ve asked the demanding question only within myself and to my wife: “What does it mean to live the dream?”

Anyone have a cultural clue here, as to what this saying might mean?