Seal of righteousness

Paul calls circumcision a “seal of righteousness” in Romans 4:11, and that same phrase has historically been applied to baptism.But what does it mean to be a “seal of righteousness”? A seal (Greek sphragis) is an identifying mark. The word is used to describe brands on . . . . Continue Reading »

Alchemical Eucharist

The Sacrificial Body And the Day of Doom: Alchemy And Apocalyptic Discourse in the Protestant Reformationby Urszula Szulakowska links together early modern alchemy with Reformation sacramental theology, art, and interpretations of Revelation. At the center she places Stefan Michelspacher’s . . . . Continue Reading »

First Annual Nevin Lectures

Trinity House Institute is delighted to announce our first annual series of Nevin Lectures. Timothy George, Dean and Professor of Church History at Beeson Divinity School, will deliver four lectures on Sacramental Theology from a Baptist Perspective on February 7-8, 2014 at Trinity Presbyterian . . . . Continue Reading »

Doxological knowing

According to Nicholas of Cusa, doxology is the highest form of science. This is so because a response of praise is a response to the inherent goodness of a thing. As Johannes Hoff explains (The Analogical Turn: Rethinking Modernity with Nicholas of Cusa, 19), “if our praise is genuine, and not . . . . Continue Reading »

For Short Sermons

Francis gives sound advice on preaching: The homily “is a distinctive genre, since it is preaching situated within the framework of a liturgical celebration; hence it should be brief and avoid taking on the semblance of a speech or a lecture. A preacher may be able to hold the attention of . . . . Continue Reading »

Washed, Sanctified, Baptized

Jason Bintz writesto offer a gloss on my discussion of 1 Corinthians 6:11 as a baptismal passage . The rest of this post is from Jason: “I do see in this text a baptismal formula. In particular, I believe this is a baptismal formula based on Jesus’s baptism by John. The ordo in 1 Cor . . . . Continue Reading »

Baptism and Objectivity

Can “an over-concentration on the ‘objectivity’ of baptism . . . lead to a . . . casual or careless approach to actual Christian obligations”? Wright says so ( Paul and the Faithfulness of God , 963). But that assumes that what baptism “objectively” says and does . . . . Continue Reading »

Not Objective Enough

It’s typical for Protestants to criticize Catholics for “objectifying” the sacraments and making them purely mechanical channels of grace, where faith is irrelevant. That’s a caricature of genuine Catholic teaching, but put that to the side. There’s a case to be made . . . . Continue Reading »

Social Eucharist

The intimate link between the eucharistic and ecclesial body of Christ was a commonplace of medieval theology, and continued into the early Reformation. Thomas Davis writes that “before the Protestant conflicts over the presence of Christ’s true body in the Eucharist came about, it was . . . . Continue Reading »