Pactum Salutis

Barth (CD, 4.1) offers this challenging evaluation of the Protestant Orthodox notion of a Trinitarian covenant: “For God to be gracious to sinful man, was there any need of a special decree to establish the unity of righteousness and mercy of God in relation to man, of a special . . . . Continue Reading »

Turretin and Pure Nature

Thanks to Joel Garver for pointing me to a couple of passages in Turretin’s Institutes where he explicitly discusses and rejects the idea of “pure nature.” A brief summary follows of Turretin’s discussion from the Fifth Topic, Question 9 follows: 1) Turretin offers several . . . . Continue Reading »

Echoes and Christology

Modern-day Arians have answers to the standard NT texts on the deity of Christ. They aren’t good answers, but they have answers. What they don’t have are answers to the many texts that demonstrate the deity of Christ through intertextual echoes. Paul says in Philippians 2 that Christ . . . . Continue Reading »

Baptismal meditation

Jesus said, Go therefore and disciple all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I’ve commanded. One of the great sins of Manasseh was an assault on the “Name” of Yahweh. Back in the days of . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, Sixth Sunday of Easter

Easter is about faith and hope. Easter is also about love. The Old Covenant was a covenant of separations. Yahweh separated Himself from His people, enclosed behind a series of veils in inapproachable splendor. Yahweh called Abraham and separated him from the other nations of the earth, and gave . . . . Continue Reading »

Innocent blood

Manasseh filled Jerusalem with the blood of the innocent; in context, the blood appears to be the blood of prophets (2 Ki 21:10-16). This is one of the continuing charges against Manasseh after Josiah’s reign is over (24:3-4). The blood of the prophets (or, at least, of the innocent) calls up . . . . Continue Reading »


“Manasseh” is derived from a causative form of the verb “forget” - hence, cause to forget. Manasseh causes Judah to forget by liturgical change - rebuilding high places, erecting altars and Asherahs, and so on. Memory is nourished by liturgy; forgetfulness by liturgical . . . . Continue Reading »

Charnock on Supernatural Salvation

Stephen Charnock argues that salvation must be supernatural because nature is insufficient for the task: “A change from acts of sin to moral duties may be done by a natural strength and the power of natural conscience: for the very same motives which led to sin, as education, interest, . . . . Continue Reading »