Category Archives: Church history

A Mouth Full of Fire: Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the Nature of True Preaching

What is preaching? That is the question! I remember the first time someone asked me to explain the difference between teaching the Bible and preaching the Bible. I don’t exactly recall what I said, but I know that it was a fumble at best! … Continue reading

Posted in Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching, Church history, Practical theology | 1 Comment

The Answer is More Certain than Our Prayer: Encouragement to Pray from Question 129 of the Heidelberg Catechism (with commentary by Karl Barth)

Heidelberg Catechism 129 Q. What does the word “Amen” signify? A. “Amen” signifies, it shall truly and certainly be: for my prayer is more assuredly heard of God, than I feel in my heart that I desire these things of … Continue reading

Posted in Church history, Devotional, Heidelberg Catechism, Karl Barth, Prayer, Sovereignty of God | 1 Comment

The Cross Alone: Martin Luther’s Sixth Sola of the Reformation (The Heidelberg Disputation, 1518)

Recently I have written about the theologia crucis — the theology of the cross — that constituted in many ways Martin Luther’s most important discovery, a discovery that gave rise to his entire vision for church reform. Although Luther is perhaps remembered … Continue reading

Posted in Apostle Paul, Church history, Doctrine of God, Gospel, Grace of God, Knowledge of God, Martin Luther, Nature and grace, Philosophy, Protestant theology, Reformation, Revelation, Roman Catholicism, Scholasticism, Theologia crucis, Theological methodology, Thomas Aquinas

“The Mouth By Whom We Speak to God”: John Knox on Praying on the Basis of Christ Alone

John Knox, from his “Treatise on Prayer” [The Select Practical Writings of John Knox (Edinburgh; Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 2011), 12-16] [G]odly prayer requireth … the perfect knowledge of the advocate, intercessor, and mediator; for, seeing no man is himself … Continue reading

Posted in Christology, Church history, Devotional, Five Solas, John Knox, Prayer, Reformation, Reformed theology, Roman Catholicism, Vicarious humanity of Christ

The Catholic Roots of Luther’s Gospel: The Sacrament of Penance and the Surety of Faith

[W]e now turn to the holy sacraments and their blessings to learn to know their benefits and how to use them. Anyone who is granted the time and the grace to confess, to be absolved, and to receive the sacrament … Continue reading

Posted in Assurance, Church history, Critiques of Protestantism, Ecumenism, Five Solas, Heresy/Heterodoxy, Justification, Law & Gospel, Martin Luther, Protestant theology, Protestantism, Reformation, Roman Catholicism, Sacramentalism, Scholasticism, Soteriology, Stephen Strehle, Thomas Aquinas, Word of God

Serving and Suffering Under the Cross: Martin Luther on the Visible Sign of the Militant Church (Reformission Monday)

As I suggested in my post “Rediscovering the Scandalous God“, Martin Luther’s concept of the “theology of the cross”, as opposed to the “theology of glory”, is one that has significant implications for the mission of the church. Luther himself … Continue reading

Posted in Apostle Paul, Church history, Gospel, Martin Luther, Missiology, Mission & evangelism, Preaching, Reformation, Reformission, Suffering, T.F. Torrance, Theologia crucis | 1 Comment

“I Did Nothing; the Word Did Everything”: Martin Luther’s Second Invocavit Sermon on the True Way of Reform (Preached in Wittenberg on 10 March 1522)

The Second Sermon, March 10, 1522, Monday after Invocavit [Martin Luther, Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings, Third Edition. W. R. Russell & T. F. Lull, eds., (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012), 292-294.] Dear friends, you heard yesterday the chief characteristics of Christians, that … Continue reading

Posted in Apostle Paul, Church history, Martin Luther, Preaching, Reformation, Reforming Catholicism, Roman Catholicism, Sacramentalism, Scripture, Word of God | 2 Comments

Augustine Contra Aristotle: The Stimulus for Martin Luther’s Vision for Reform

It is often believed, especially among Roman Catholics, that Martin Luther, and the Reformation that he inspired, set in opposition the individual’s conscience and interpretation of Scripture against the authority of the Catholic Church. Who did Luther think he was, … Continue reading

Posted in Augustine, Biblical interpretation, Church history, Critiques of Protestantism, Martin Luther, Nominalism/Voluntarism, Patristic theology, Philosophy, Protestant theology, Protestantism, Reformation, Reforming Catholicism, Roman Catholicism, Scholasticism, Thomas Aquinas, Thomism

“Nothing Other Than Sheer Life”: Martin Luther on Preparing to Die (1519)

In 1519, Martin Luther preached a sermon in which he offered counsel on the importance and manner of preparing to die. This message has become particularly relevant to me in light of the passing of a dear family member. In … Continue reading

Posted in Assurance, Christology, Church history, Martin Luther, Reformation, Resurrection, Sin and evil, Suffering, Theologia crucis, Union with Christ | 2 Comments

Rediscovering the Scandalous God: Martin Luther’s Theology of the Cross (The Heidelberg Disputation of 1518)

Although we think of Luther’s famous 95 theses as sparking the Reformation in 1517, it would perhaps be more accurate to accord this honor to the theses that he prepared for the disputation in Heidelberg in 1518. It was at this event that … Continue reading

Posted in Church history, Dialectical theology, Doctrine of God, Justification, Law & Gospel, Martin Luther, Natural theology, Philosophy, Protestant theology, Reformation, Scholasticism, Suffering, Theologia crucis | 1 Comment