Media Gratiae (Means of Grace)

In Reformed theology we talk about the ordinary means of grace.  How would we define "means of grace?"  Richard Muller answers this well: media gratia: means of grace; i.e., Word and sacraments as the means by which the grace of God is operative in the church.  The term is used by both Lutheran and Reformed… Continue reading Media Gratiae (Means of Grace)

Definite Atonement and The Free Offer of the Gospel

Sometimes people wrongly think that the doctrine of limited/definite atonement means we can’t preach the gospel to all people because we don’t know if Christ died for them or not.  In hyper-calvinistic circles this might show up from time to time.  However, in solid Reformed theology, we don’t focus on God’s hidden decree and will,… Continue reading Definite Atonement and The Free Offer of the Gospel

For Those He Came To Save

Most of our readers know of Louis Berkhof’s excellent Systematic Theology.  But Berkhof also has some other gems out there, including Vicarious Atonement Through Christ.  In just under 200 pages, Berkhof discusses the doctrine of Christ’s satisfaction, including the necessity of the atonement, the objective and vicarious nature of the atonement, the subjective effects of… Continue reading For Those He Came To Save

The Active Obedience of Christ

Jesus both obeyed the law and paid the penalty for sin in the place of his people, as their substitute.  This is a summary of the gospel, of the satisfaction (or atonement) that Christ has made for us as Priest and Sacrifice.  Louis Berkhof says it well in his discussion of the nature of the… Continue reading The Active Obedience of Christ

Thomas Boston on Sanctification

Thomas Boston (d. 1732), a Scottish Presbyterian pastor, wrote numerous books and treatises as well as a commentary on the Westminster Shorter Catechism (called “An Illustration of the Doctrines of the Christian Religion”).  Below is a helpful excerpt from his section on sanctification (which I’ve edited to keep it brief). First: Sanctification of a soul… Continue reading Thomas Boston on Sanctification