Law, Gospel, and Conversion (Ursinus)

In Reformed theology, the law and gospel are distinguished, yet God uses both in his sovereign way.  Zacharius Ursinus, the primary author of the Heidelberg Catechism, understood this well.  After talking about how the Holy Spirit is the primary agent in a sinner's conversion, he talks about the instrumental causes of conversion (that is, the… Continue reading Law, Gospel, and Conversion (Ursinus)

Christian Duty

“Duty” is a word that has been used throughout history in the positive sense of the term.  From soldiers to civil servants to police officers to doctors to common laborers, many people have done their tasks because they believed it was their duty to do so.  This sense of duty is usually a good thing.… Continue reading Christian Duty

Systematic Theology For Children

One of the blessings of the Reformed/Presbyterian tradition is the emphasis and practice of training covenant children in the way of the Lord.  Early on in the Reformation, the Reformers wrote and preached not just for adults, but for children as well.  In fact, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Westminster Shorter Catechism were written to… Continue reading Systematic Theology For Children

Good Works in the Christian Life

Since I’ve been studying and writing on the law, justification, and sanctification, I wanted to use Zacharius Ursinus’ Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism to explain how Reformed theology talks about good works in the Christian life.  On this topic, Ursinus has a helpful exposition of Q/A 86 of the Heidelberg Catechism.  The question is this:… Continue reading Good Works in the Christian Life

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