Legalism: A Complex & Deadly Spiritual Disease

(This is a re-post from August, 2017)Legalism is not a rare thing in Christian circles.  It's not confined to a certain denomination, age, gender, race, or class.  Legalism is not rare because it's the default mode of the sinful human heart.  Thomas Boston said it is "engrained in man's corrupt nature." From one angle, then,… Continue reading Legalism: A Complex & Deadly Spiritual Disease

Faith, Justification, and the Law/Gospel Distinction (Walther)

This morning on my reading list was the "twenty-first evening lecture" by C. F. W. Walther in his book, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel. In this chapter the 19th century Lutheran theologian discussed the following thesis: "The Word of God, the law and the gospel, is not rightly divided, but commingled [mixed], when… Continue reading Faith, Justification, and the Law/Gospel Distinction (Walther)

The Law and All Good Works Must Be Utterly Excluded… (Fisher)

After explaining the differences between the law and the gospel, Edward Fisher (in The Marrow of Modern Divinity) went on to relate these differences to the doctrine of justification. This section struck me again toady; I really appreciate it and wanted to share it. Here's what Fisher wrote: And now, knowing rightly how to distinguish… Continue reading The Law and All Good Works Must Be Utterly Excluded… (Fisher)

A Deadly Brew: Mixing Law and Gospel (Luther)

(This is a re-post from May 2015) In November 1532, some princes of Germany who were sympathetic to the Reformation invited Martin Luther to preach for them in Worlitz.  His text was 1 Timothy 1:5-7.  In the sermon, among other things, Luther explained to the princes the dangerous error of mixing God’s judgment seat and… Continue reading A Deadly Brew: Mixing Law and Gospel (Luther)

The Law/Gospel Distinction in Reformed Theology

This is a re-post from October, 2009. I've posted on this before, but it is something that needs to be said more than a few times: the law/gospel distinction is right there in the fabric of historic Reformed theology.  Though some people don't like it, won't teach it, and think it is Lutheran, it is… Continue reading The Law/Gospel Distinction in Reformed Theology