Justification by faith alone is a significant doctrine and arguably the main reason why the Protestant Reformation happened. Yet, this doctrine is minimized in some quarters, obscured in others, and rejected or drastically modified in still others. Perhaps the clearest opponent to this doctrine remains the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church (hereafter RCC).… Read More Is Justification by Faith alone Wrong? An inquiry in conversation with a Roman Catholic and a New Testament scholar
In his book Grace in Auschwitz, Jean-Pierre Fortin provides an account of Auschwitz by summarizing the stories of the survivors of Auschwitz. Here, we see an event reaching the heights of insanity and the depths of horror and tragedy. The cruelty, the evil of Auschwitz, which epitomizes that of the Holocaust as a whole, is… Read More Christ and the Horror of the Holocaust
The way of faith in Jesus is nothing if not paradoxical. Jesus does not avoid the paradoxical nature of our faith when he states, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25). Jesus is making plain a theme that is found throughout Scripture, namely, that before… Read More To Serve the Lord means First to Live in Him: A Theology of Christian Service
In this monograph by Smythe, we are offered a fascinating tour of Barth’s theological exegesis of Paul, with a special focus on the letter to the Romans. The author laments over the denial or minimization of what she calls ‘forensicism’ in Paul coming from such quarters as (1) recent interpreters of Paul (i.e., the so-called… Read More A Book Review of Forensic Apocalyptic Theology: Karl Barth and the Doctrine of Justification. By Shannon Nicole Smythe. Emerging Scholars. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2016. Viii + 253pp.
In recent times, morality is a question spinning around in everyone’s heads. Not that this is a question that hasn’t been spinning around in prior times, but it has reached fever pitch. Why? Because morality shapes culture which in turn informs legislation. Morality gives rise to, in many cases, laws. In this case, a law… Read More Abortion In Light of Christ
Liston, in his exposition of a Third Article ecclesiology (The Anointed Church), rejects the filioque, arguing instead for a ‘reconceived’ Trinitarianism. Liston’s overriding concern, if we are reading him correctly, is that the filioque, by asserting the procession of the Spirit from both the Father and the Son, subtly subordinates the Spirit to the Son… Read More Does the Spirit proceed from the Father and the Son? Some thoughts on the filioque in conversation with Greg Liston
This is my third installment of a blog series on the notion of a Trinitarian and Christologically determined doctrine of the church (or, ecclesiology). The topic which I will be discussing here is sanctification. The Westminster Shorter Catechism provides a good, brief definition of sanctification. It reads, “Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace,… Read More A Trinitarian and Christologically-Determined Ecclesiology: Sanctification