Doing, Being, and the Function of Faith

Doing, Being, and the Function of Faith

This is going to sound very strange, but what if I told you that Catholics believe in Justification by faith alone while (Reformed) Protestants are actually the ones who believe in Justification by works? A statement that outrageous surely requires an explanation, so that’s what I want to provide. This post won’t be so much about exegesis as it is about simply helping people to understand where each side is coming from. In the Protestant...

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On Bodies Visible and Invisible

On Bodies Visible and Invisible

It has become apparent after the post addressing the Reformed dilemma regarding Infant Baptism and the New Covenant that another closely-linked Protestant issue needs to be addressed. That issue is the widespread (even universal) belief among Protestants that there is a “Visible Church” and an “Invisible Church.” According to the Westminster Confession, the Invisible Church “consists of the whole number of the elect,” while the...

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The New Covenant, Baptism, and Properly-Realized Eschatology

The New Covenant, Baptism, and Properly-Realized Eschatology

The question of whether or not to baptize infants has been a very divisive issue throughout the history of Protestantism, dividing Protestantism roughly in half between Lutheran/Reformed and Baptist/Non-Denominational traditions. But instead of writing a post on how Sola Scriptura has been unable to address this “church-dividing issue,” I will instead focus on another issue, specifically the Reformed understanding of infant baptism...

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Some Thoughts on Romans 4

Some Thoughts on Romans 4

I’m feeling a little cray cray, like I want to get all exegetical up in here. And stumbling across PCA pastor Nick Batzig’s post, “Abraham and the Time Frame of Justification,” provides me with a perfect opportunity to do so. Plus, some of you have been nagging me to delve back into Romans, so. Concerning the issue of “eschatological justification,” Nick writes: The most significant passage of Scripture in...

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Baptism and Sola Fide

Baptism and Sola Fide

Today Catholics celebrated the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, and most likely heard a homily on the topic of baptism accompanying the prayers, hymns, and readings that focused on this topic. As I sat in Mass this morning I was thinking about baptism and what a messy topic it was for me as a Reformed Protestant minister. On the one hand we have the teachings of the New Testament — teachings which are quite clear — about how...

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Exegetical Gains vs. Theological Losses

Exegetical Gains vs. Theological Losses

I was recently hanging out with a PCA pastor friend, and we were discussing the exegetical and theological issues surrounding the Federal Vision. As you may know, one of the biggest difficulties one encounters when comparing the confessional Reformed theology with that of the Federal Vision is this: How are we to understand the New Testament’s descriptions of the baptized? For example, when Paul writes to “the saints  in...

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