Is Grotius a Grotian?

It’s one of the fun questions of theology: Was Nestorius a Nestorian, Pelagius a Pelagian, Calvin a five-point Calvinist? Etc. Now, was Grotius a Grotian? Not if “Grotian” means “one wno denies penal substitution in favor of a governmental view.” Consider this summary . . . . Continue Reading »

Sociology of atonement

The atonement doesn’t take place “above the heads” of the participants - Jews, disciples, Pilate, Jesus - but in and through their concrete actions and reactions. There can be no sociology of atonement unless the atonement is understood as an inherently social and political event. . . . . Continue Reading »

Vindication Influence Theory

Theories of the atonement are usually categorized as “objectivist” or “subjectivist.” Objective theories claim that the death of Jesus paid for sin and therefore reconciled God and man. Subjective theories claim that the real action of the atonement isn’t in the event . . . . Continue Reading »

Bearing Sin

Fredrik Hagglund ( Isaiah 53 in the Light of Homecoming After Exile (Forschungen Zum Alten Testament) ) argues against the common notion that Isaiah 53 is about the atoning suffering of Yahweh’s Servant. The Servant’s suffering is vicarious (i.e., he suffers for the sins of others) but . . . . Continue Reading »

Reprobation as Christian Doctrine

Stephen Holmes ends God of Grace and God of Glory: An Account of the Theology of Jonathan Edwards with a critique of Reformed theologies of predestination, especially of reprobation. The critique doesn’t entail a denial of reprobation. Holmes instead argues that reprobation hasn’t been . . . . Continue Reading »

Faith, Works, Future

Traditional debates about faith and works might be clarified and illuminated by highlighting eschatology. To wit: God intends to establish perfect justice and peace, reconciling all things by the Spirit in the Son. That is the future of the world. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the . . . . Continue Reading »

Lutheran sanctification

Lutherans aren’t supposed to have a doctrine of sanctification. Nobody told Luther ( Larger Catechism , on the Apostles Creed, 51-53.): “I believe that there is upon earth a little holy group and congregation of pure saints, under one head, even Christ, called together by the Holy Ghost . . . . Continue Reading »

Norman Shepherd

Before the Federal Vision, there was the Norman Shepherd controversy, which shook Westminster Seminary in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Though repeatedly exonerated, Shepherd was ultimately dismissed for the good of the seminary. It was a convoluted and intensely personal and political battle, . . . . Continue Reading »