All Law is Not Created Equal

All Law is Not Created Equal

There is no small amount of confusion in Catholic/Protestant discussions over the issue of God’s law. Protestants constantly accuse Catholics of teaching some sort of salvation by law or works, and regardless of how often or how strongly Catholics insist that they believe no such thing, the charges continue. Part of the problem, it seems to me, is that many Protestants — especially Lutherans or those Reformed who lean that way...

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On Gentile Justification and Jewish Jealousy

On Gentile Justification and Jewish Jealousy

Former Catholic Timothy Kauffman has written a couple posts about me at his new blog, Out of His Mouth  (a blog whose purpose is to “wield the sword of truth in defense of the faith, and refute the errors in which [the author] was once enslaved.” His latest article takes me to task over my “succumbing to Roman arguments about the meaning of Romans 2:13” (a charge which actually thrills me because it demonstrates that...

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The Gospel as Mercy’s Triumph Over Judgment

The Gospel as Mercy’s Triumph Over Judgment

As I have been arguing, once one realizes that the gospel paradigm he holds is one that would never give rise to the teachings of the New Testament concerning issues such as justification, works, and final salvation on the day of judgment, the question that he must ask is, “If someone holding my existing paradigm wouldn’t have said these things in this way, what kind of paradigm would result in teachings like these?” In my...

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Luther was Right about James

Luther was Right about James

In this series we have been exploring the issue of soteriological paradigms, and I have been arguing that the kinds of things that Jesus and the New Testament writers said about the gospel in general, and about justification in particular, may be able to be squeezed into the Reformed paradigm with sufficient exegetical gymnastics, but they certainly would never have arisen from it. If ever there were an example of this, it is the second chapter...

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On the Law / Law Distinction

On the Law / Law Distinction

In the final section of his response to me, Lane Keister quotes me saying of James 2:8, 12-13: “James here speaks of a ‘royal law’ which he also calls ‘the law of liberty.’ If we love our neighbor by showing him mercy, we are placing ourselves under this law of liberty in order to be judged by it, the end result of which will be the triumph of mercy over judgment.” Lane responds by saying, “I would point...

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Love and Some Verses: James on Mercy’s Triumph

Over the last couple of posts I have been seeking to identify a recurring pattern in the New Testament that goes something like this: Christ’s coming –> gift of the Spirit –> divinely-enabled love of God and neighbor –> eternal reward. We saw Jesus answer the scribe’s question about the greatest commandment by highlighting the dual command of love, and when the scribe recognized the superiority of love to all the...

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