Sects and ‘the City’

James Swan writes, “Consider what Luther pointed out many years ago of the Roman church of his day”: There is no other place in the world where there are so many sects, schisms, and errors as in the papal church. For the papacy, because it builds the church upon a city and person, has become …

Trueman: “Reading Luther Well” part 1

Carl Trueman has posted a helpful article on Reading Luther Not Wisely But Well: Part One at Reformation21: Martin Luther is perhaps the single most important thinker for Protestants. Not that he is the greatest theologian, exegete or even role model. There are other, more qualified candidates for each of those titles. He is, however, …

How do we really know what God wants from us?

In response to a comment asking “how do we know?” I wrote: Who wants their faith to be formed around a legend? I certainly don’t. But that is the legacy of hundreds of years-worth of papal “history”. This the right question to ask. We all want to rest our faith on something certain, that’s not …

What I Love about the Lutherans – the distinction that makes ALL the difference

Herman Utics.  A Dutch theologian?  Oh, wait.  I mean “hermeneutics.”  Seminary debt justifies the use of such words.  Hermeneutics is the discipline of biblical interpretation – how to properly understand God’s Word.  A right understanding of God’s Word is essential for the right understanding of the Gospel.  The Reformation is a result of hermeneutics. Confessional …

What I Love about the Lutherans – “JBFA, All the Way!”

Justification by faith alone.  Sola Fide.  The hinge of the Reformation.  The doctrine of the standing or falling church.  Luther was willing to die for it.  So was Calvin.  But today, we can hardly be bothered to get all worked up about it.  Sure, medieval Catholicism was a mess and all of that.  But have …

Sin

Just how serious is it? And who has the correct understanding of its seriousness? Rome’s view of sin is based on an allegorical interpretation of Luke 10:30, as I describe below, as well as a view of reality provided by the neoplatonist imposter Pseudo-Dionysius. The Reformers had a much more honestly biblical view of sin, …

Bonhoeffer on Luther and Costly Grace, part 2

Justification by God’s costly grace involves the justification of the sinner, not the justification of the sin. Following up on the first part of Bonhoeffer’s treatment of Luther and Costly Grace, I want to point out that it’s Roman Catholics who want to “justify sin”. Consider this explication from the not too distant past: What’s …

“Depraved or not depraved, that is the question”

And the answer is, “I trust that these exchanges can help bring fuller clarity and precision about these things.” We have an opportunity today that is unprecedented in the history of the Christian church. It’s an opportunity to discuss and resolve problems that would have (and did) cause major, long-term schisms in the past. And …

Martin Luther’s Understanding of Baptism

Since most of our readers are Reformed, and since the Lutheran concept of baptism has been brought up, I thought it would be helpful to share what Bernhard Lohse, a Lutheran Professor of Church History and Historical Theology, has written about Luther’s view of the sacraments in general and of baptism in particular: Formation of …

Theology of the Cross and Justification

I’ve written a couple of posts on Martin Luther’s theology of the Cross, and my hope is to write more. I’ve come upon this topic for several reasons, not the least of which is my wife’s illness. But as I delve into it more, I’m finding that for Martin Luther, his “discovery” of the theologia …