Modern self

Paul Vitz describes the modern self this way: “The modern self is characterized by such things as freedom and autonomy, by a strong will, and by the presumption that the self is self-created by the will, operating freely in its construction. The self is assumed to be strong, capable, and . . . . Continue Reading »


Many Christians find Lyotard’s claim that postmodernity is incredulity toward metanarratives directly contrary to Christian faith, but James KA Smith offers an interpretation of Lyotard’s that is not hostile to Christianity. For Lyotard, he argues, the issue is not so much the scope of . . . . Continue Reading »


David Burrell writes, “Modernity was fairly constituted by a quite specific opposition to medieval thought, as we have noted, so could be called ‘post’ or even ‘antimedieval’ . . . this mode of thinking proceeded by avoiding, if not aggressively removing, any reference . . . . Continue Reading »

Cosmic mediation

Philo’s views on the mediation of the logos are summarized in the TDNT article on mediator: “Stretching from the middle of the world to the ends, and back from the extreme edges to the middle . . . [the logos] holds together all the parts of the world . . . . He it is who prevents the . . . . Continue Reading »

Preparation for justification

The medieval arguments in favor of the notion of preparation for justification through created grace are founded on anthropological and cosmological claims. McGrath summarizes the Summa Fratris Alexandri , which he calls “the first systematic discussion of the nature of created grace,” . . . . Continue Reading »

Active and Passive

Here is a hypothesis or suspicion, not a conclusion, much less a conviction: The notion that God rewards what we do with what we have, and the notion that we are purely passive in salvation are not, as they appear, extreme opposites, but are two positions within the same framework. From one end: . . . . Continue Reading »

Hodge and the deliverdict

Charles Hodge doesn’t quite get to justification as deliverdict here, but he comes close: “[Paul] had just said that the believer cannot continue to serve sin. He here [in 6:7] gives the reason: for he who has died (with Christ) is justified, and therefore free from sin, free from its . . . . Continue Reading »

Aquinas and merit

Strict justice, Aquinas argued, is only possible between equals, and since God and man are not equals there is never strict justice in God’s dealings with us. Further, God being God, He is never put in debt to His creatures, never obligated to give anything, unless by His own prior . . . . Continue Reading »

Did Christ Merit Salvation?

According to Calvin, only in a qualified sense. McGrath says, “The later Franciscan school, the via moderna and the schola Augustiniana moderna regarded the ratio meriti as lying in the divine good pleasure; nothing was meritorious unless God chose to accept it as such. This teaching was . . . . Continue Reading »