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 Perfect Love Casting Out Fear

The Gospel as Perfect Love Casting Out Fear

We have seen throughout this section of our series on gospel paradigms that all of the principal NT figures spoke and wrote as though their basic understanding of the gospel was that salvation comes through the New Covenant gift of the Spirit who accomplishes in God’s people what the law of Moses could not by enabling us to display the love of God and neighbor that the Father has desired all along. I have traced all of these elements in...

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On Being Graciously Worthy

On Being Graciously Worthy

If one’s understanding of the gospel is such that the only works that play a causal and contributory role in our gaining entrance into the eternal kingdom are Christ’s and never our own, and further, if distinguishing between Christ’s work imputed (justification) and our works done by the Spirit’s infusion of agape (sanctification) is essential to getting the gospel right, then one would certainly make every effort to...

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Boasting, Eschatologically Considered

Boasting, Eschatologically Considered

One of the most oft-repeated objections to the Catholic paradigm goes like this: “If the Catholic gospel is true, and if our works (even if Spirit-wrought) play some contributory role in our justification, then the door is thereby left open for boasting, which Paul in Romans 3 and 4 explicitly forbids. Therefore some articulation of the gospel is required that makes boasting impossible.” I would like to make a few points by way of...

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Love and Some Verses: John and Judgment Day

In this brief series I have been arguing that a pattern runs throughout the NT beginning with Jesus and being developed by Paul, James, and Peter, according to which Spirit-wrought love of God and neighbor leads to eternal blessings. The final NT writer to be examined is John, and his adherence to this pattern is so obvious that it needs little explanation: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born...

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