Letting The Law In The Back Door of Justification

When it comes to religion, humans are wired with law.  Since Adam broke the covenant of works in the garden, people have always attempted to please God (or god/gods) by doing something for him.  The law that says ‘do this and live’ is part of human DNA.  This is why it is so hard for… Continue reading Letting The Law In The Back Door of Justification

Clouding the Gospel, Confusing God’s People

  There’s a reason why historic Reformed/Presbyterian churches respond so quickly, strongly, and ecclesiastically (i.e. in a churchly manner) to preaching that clouds the gospel by mixing law/works and gospel/grace.  When we hear things like “works are instrumental in justification” or “final justification at the last day” or “the lawful gospel” or “I’m not sure… Continue reading Clouding the Gospel, Confusing God’s People

The Federal Vision and Union With Christ

[Update note: see Lane @ Green Baggins' helpful "sharpening" of my article below.  Thanks Lane!] One area in which the Federal Vision is at odds with historic Reformed theology is the meaning of union with Christ.  This is obviously a huge topic; it’s impossible to discuss it all in a single post.  So for now… Continue reading The Federal Vision and Union With Christ

Baptism is Not Faith

This is a repost from February 2010. One of the major ways in which the Federal Vision departs from the historic Reformed/Presbyterian confessions is in their view of baptism.  They view baptism as effective instrument which unites a person to Christ.  Here are a few FV quotes to show this significant departure. "By baptism one is joined to Christ's body, united to… Continue reading Baptism is Not Faith

The Formula of Concord on Justification Sola Fide

 For me, one of the most debilitating aspects of moralistic theology is the way works sneak in the back door of justification.  One can see this open "back door" in the New Perspectives on Paul, the Federal Vision, and some Arminian evangelicalism. In sharp contrast to this moralistic theology, I love this reformation statement on justification sola fide from… Continue reading The Formula of Concord on Justification Sola Fide