What Does “The Empty Hand of Faith” Mean? (Boston)

You may have heard someone talk about coming to Christ with an empty hand of faith.  What does this mean?  This phrase has a historical background.  In the 17th century, some Christian teachers were saying in order to be forgiven and justified a sinner needs to have repentance.  [Repentance in this context has a broad… Continue reading What Does “The Empty Hand of Faith” Mean? (Boston)

The Baxterian Winding of Righteousness

As some of our readers might know, Thomas Boston (d. 1732) wrote an excellent commentary on Edward Fisher’s (d. 1655) The Marrow of Modern Divinity.  Both The Marrow and Boston’s notes on it talk about faith, justification, works, law, gospel, sanctification, and so forth from a historic Reformed perspective.  I appreciate this resource because the… Continue reading The Baxterian Winding of Righteousness

Richard Baxter: A Strange Theological Mix

Richard Baxter (d. 1691) was a pastor and prolific writer who, broadly speaking, was a Puritan.  However, unlike many other Puritans, he rejected some key aspects of Reformed theology.  Here’s how Beeke and Pederson summarize: “Baxter’s writings are a strange theological mix.  He was one of a few Puritans whose doctrines of God’s decrees, atonement,… Continue reading Richard Baxter: A Strange Theological Mix

Thomas Boston, Richard Baxter, and Justification

  Here's a great section from Fisher's Marrow found on page 193.  It is Thomas Boston's notes against Richard Baxter, who mixed up faith and obedience in the area of justification.  Boston stood firmly for the Reformation doctrine of justification sola fide, while Baxter snuck the law into justification's back door. "As to the point… Continue reading Thomas Boston, Richard Baxter, and Justification

Justification Vindicated

 I recently finished Robert Traill's (d. 1716) excellent treatise called Justification Vindicated (Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 2002).  This was originally published in 1692 as a response to Arminian legalist errors (i.e. Richard Baxter) as well as those of the Antinomians (i.e. Tobias Crisp).  As a side note, Traill also made me go out and purchase Walter Marshall's Gospel Mystery… Continue reading Justification Vindicated