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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Assurance Through Action

Because the soul is not only affected by the consideration of religious things, it must be remembered that the mere presence of affections does not prove the presence of true religion. Edwards listed various examples of affections which are neither proof of the presence of true religion nor proof of its absence. Edwards argued that true religious affections arise only from those influences of the Spirit of God that are saving and not common. In...

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Edwardsian Anthropology

“The affections,” writes Jonathan Edwards, “are no other than the more vigorous and sensible exercises of the inclination and will of the soul.” Edwards taught that God has endued the soul with two faculties; the first is that by which the soul perceives, discerns, and views things (the understanding), and the second is that by which the soul does not merely perceive things, but is in some way inclined with respect to the...

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Jonathan Edwards and the Religious Affections

I entered Westminster Seminary California a pretty devout Edwardsian, and yet as I spent most of the summer of 2002 doing preparatory research for a directed study project with Dr. D.G. Hart on Edwards’s versus Calvin’s view of assurance (the paper was titled What Hath Geneva to do with Northampton?), my sympathies shifted from the eighteenth- to the sixteenth century, and from Massachusetts to Switzerland. At present, the main thing...

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Spirit, Flesh, and Christian Schizophrenia

The locus classicus of the flesh/Spirit battle is found in Galatians 5:17ff. Before anything is positively said about this passage, we must beware of interpreting this text in the light of our individual experience. Our existential concurrence with the “struggle” we perceive in this verse notwithstanding, it is exegesis, not experience, that must guide our hermeneutics. Gordon Fee writes: “The flesh-Spirit contrast in Paul...

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