On the Meaning of “Grace”

One of the issues currently being debated in the Reformed churches is the meaning of “grace.” Some have argued that the word should be restricted to specifically redemptive gifts and favors, which means that the word properly describes only God’s saving favor and gifts toward . . . . Continue Reading »

Acquainted with Death

This article is reprinted from Tabletalk 25.4 (April 2001): 9-10, 54. Thanks to John Barach for typing it up for use here. Many today boast of near-death experiences. I do not. I have never had a near-death experience. But I am not intimidated by those who have, because I can boast, too. I have . . . . Continue Reading »

Gaffin on Ordo and Historia Salutis

Richard Gaffin?s work always makes for challenging and edifying reading, and his inaugural lecture as Charles Krahe Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Westminster Seminary, published in the Fall 2003 issue of the Westminster Theological Journal is no exception. Three points were . . . . Continue Reading »

Atonement in Narrative Context

If we understand the cross and resurrection as the climactic events of the gospel narratives, what do they mean? In asking this question, I am not at all casting doubt on traditional satisfaction theories of the atonement, which are amply justified in both OT and NT. The atonement is . . . . Continue Reading »

Analytic Justification in Luther

David Brondos has an important article on Luther’s notion of justification in the Winter 2004 issue of Pro Ecclesia . Brondos distinguishes between analytic conceptions of justification (that justification is the work of Christ by which one becomes righteous) from synthetic views (that . . . . Continue Reading »

Auburn Avenue

Here are a few thoughts on the Auburn Avenue controversy, snipped from an intervention I made on a discussion list. The specific issue in question is Steve Wilkins’s claim that all who are baptized receive “every spiritual blessing in Christ.” First, an exegetical point: Who is . . . . Continue Reading »

Soteriology and Creation

Any idea of cooperation with grace rests on a nature/grace dualism. To say that I cooperate with grace implies that I have some sort of independent power of action that is not always already the product of grace. That is, it depends on the assumption that there is some independent realm of . . . . Continue Reading »

Forgiveness and Glorification

Jim Jordan suggests that justification as forgiveness of sins always also includes glorification. The “robe” that covers us (imputed righteousness) is likewise a garment of glory and beauty, so that we are invested for office at the same time we are glorified. He wants also to relate . . . . Continue Reading »

Strange Doings

There are strange doings in the Reformed world these days. One of the strangest I’ve come across recently are comments from one Reformed elder who complained that NT Wright’s views on justification were introducing a new Romanism. According to this writer, it is no defense of Wright to . . . . Continue Reading »