The Priority of Grace: Diving Further into Justification

According to the Bible, humanity is clearly responsible to exercise Spirit-wrought faith in Jesus. When sinners willing place their faith in Jesus, God responds by justifying the sinner for their good and his glory. However, before we talk about the necessity of man acting in faith, we should first remember that justification is by grace.…

More Thoughts on Justification: What is the Formal Cause?

Perhaps another way to clearly note the differences between the Reformation view and the Roman Catholic view of justification is to pay attention to Aristotelian categories of causation. The rediscovery of Aristotle was important to the development of the Western Christian tradition.[1] In terms of justification, Catholic theology differentiates between at least four causes of…

In the Weeds of Justification by Faith Alone: Some Background and Suggested Resources

Historically, in the Western Christian tradition, the good news of the saving message of Jesus Christ has been linked closely to the doctrine of justification by faith alone.[1] In short, according to the Reformed tradition, upon the exercise of faith, a person is united to Christ by the powerful working of the Spirit. Having been…

Not Every Thing is as Important as the Next Thing: John Calvin on Theological Triage

Our generation is bad at disagreeing. It seems, at least from certain perspectives, that if two people or groups disagree on an issue, they must be enemies. At least we too often act as if this is the case. Sadly, disagreement too often leads to open warfare. This is true whether we are talking about…

New Hearts for God’s New Covenant People

Redemptive history is an amazing thing. You can see God’s goodness and grace run through the pages of Holy Scripture. Goodness and grace are inescapable realities. You’d think God’s people would respond with gratefulness and thankfulness. And yet, God’s people, the very recipients of God’s goodness and grace, are all-too-often ungrateful, unthankful, and down-right rebellious.…