Norman Shepherd

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Not to be confused with Norman Shepard.

Norman Shepherd (born 1933) is an American theologian. He served as associate professor of systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary from 1963 to 1981.

Shepherd had a number of views that were criticized as being contrary to the Westminster Standards, and this led him to be dismissed from his post at Westminster.[1] Firstly, Shepherd argued that evangelism should be carried out with covenant in mind rather than election, which will lead the evangelist to say to people, "Christ died to save you." This was criticized as being a denial of limited atonement.[2] Secondly, Shepherd spoke of Christians being justified by "obedient faith," a phrase that was criticized as denying justification by faith alone.[3] Jelle Faber, Principal of the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary, compared Shepherd's dismissal to that of Klaas Schilder, and noted that Shepherd was in agreement with Francis Turretin.[4] Faber also wrote at the time that Westminster had "lost an eminent Reformed dogmatician."[5]

Shepherd's views were also controversial in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, the denomination in which he was a minister. Shepherd left the OPC and became a minister in the Christian Reformed Church in North America.[6]

In 2012, a Festschrift was published in his honor. Obedient Faith: A Festschrift for Norman Shepherd included contributions from James B. Jordan, Peter Leithart, Andrew Sandlin, and Rich Lusk.


  1. ^ Guy Prentiss Waters, "The Theology of Norman Shepherd: A Study in Development, 1963-2006," in The Hope Fulfilled: Essays in Honor of O. Palmer Robertson, pp. 225-226.
  2. ^ Waters, "Theology of Norman Shepherd," p. 218.
  3. ^ Waters, "Theology of Norman Shepherd," p. 222.
  4. ^ Jelle Faber, Shepherd's Concept of the Covenant.
  5. ^ Jelle Faber, Shepherd's Dismissal from Westminster Seminary.
  6. ^ David VanDrunen, Justification by Faith In the Theology of Norman Shepherd.