The Uses of the Law

When the Reformed and Lutheran scholastics talked about God's moral law (lex moralis), they taught that there are three basic uses of the law (usus legis).  They are: 1) The civil use (usus politicus sive civilis).  That is, the law serves the commonwealth or body politic as a force to restrain sin.  This falls under… Continue reading The Uses of the Law

The Reformers, Scholastics, and Hosea 6.7: Exegesis and Covenant

Richard Muller, in Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics (PRRD) volume II on Holy Scripture, uses Hosea 6.7 to show two things: first, continuity between the patristic and medival commentators and Reformation/Post-Reformation commentators.  Second, he uses it to show the Reformation development of the pre-fall covenant. Does Hosea 6.7 talk about Adam breaking the pre-fall covenant (covenant of… Continue reading The Reformers, Scholastics, and Hosea 6.7: Exegesis and Covenant

God’s Will, the Law, and the Gospel

True or False: the Law/gospel distinction was such an intrinsic part of Reformation and post-reformation Reformed theology that it was even discussed under the will of God (voluntas Dei) in Systematics? (Note: to get our "systematic bearings" in place, the "will of God" is frequently discussed under the communicable attributes of God.) True. Under the… Continue reading God’s Will, the Law, and the Gospel

Scripture’s Clarity, Scope, Fundamentals and Their Implications for Christian Humility

Several different topics of Reformed Scholasticism along with the Jerry Bridges book I'm reading (Respectable Sins), made me consider one area of practical Christian humility: being humble in doctrinal matters. Someone here suggested that Bridges' section on "Doctrinal Pride" - the sinful pride that we are superior because our doctrine is "superior" - showed that… Continue reading Scripture’s Clarity, Scope, Fundamentals and Their Implications for Christian Humility

On Certainty in the Christian Life

Reading through Vanhoozer's Drama of Doctrine a couple of years ago, I made a mental note of his discussion on certainty in the Christian faith. I loved the book, but was wrestling over his critique of absolute or apodictic certainty in the faith. After all, aren't we certain that God exists and that our sins… Continue reading On Certainty in the Christian Life