Category Archives: Reformed theology

John Calvin on the “In-Christness” of Predestination

Sermon excerpt from John Calvin, Sermons on the Epistle to the Ephesians. (London; Carlisle: Banner of Truth Trust, 1973), pp.32-33: How then do we come to God? How do we obey him? How do we have a quiet mind that yields itself … Continue reading

Posted in Apostle Paul, Church history, Election, Five points of Calvinism, John Calvin, Predestination, Reformation, Reformed theology, Soteriology, Sovereignty of God | Leave a comment

“According to the Scriptures”: Irenaeus, the Word of God, and the Tradition of the Church

One of the common criticisms of sola Scriptura is that it has no support prior to the Reformation, especially in the early centuries of church history. Not only is sola Scriptura without patristic support, but (so it is claimed) it represents a total contradiction … Continue reading

Posted in Church history, Critiques of Protestantism, Ecclesiology, Five Solas, Heresy/Heterodoxy, Irenaeus, John Behr, Orthodoxy, Patristic theology, Protestant theology, Reformed theology, Roman Catholicism, Scripture, Sola Scriptura | 3 Comments

The Reformed Theology of T.F. Torrance

Last week, Bobby Grow offered some thoughts on his blog The Evangelical Calvinist about his experiences in the infamous “Reformed Pub” discussion group on Facebook after he had been permanently expelled. I can empathize, not because I myself have been banned from the Pub (though I … Continue reading

Posted in Bobby Grow, Classic Calvinism, Confessions, Evangelical Calvinism, Karl Barth, Reformed theology, T.F. Torrance, Word of God

The Eternal Mediation of the Word: John Calvin on the Christocentric Nature of Reality

Often it is tempting, at least in the Reformed tradition, to think that Christ’s office as mediator between God and humanity (1 Tim. 2:5) began with his incarnation. This, in turn, stems from the idea that Christ’s mediatorial work is exclusively … Continue reading

Posted in Biblical interpretation, Christology, Church history, John Calvin, Reformed theology, Scripture, Theological methodology, Word of God

The Impossible Possibility: Karl Barth on the Paradoxical Relation between Grace and Unbelief

In talking with someone about my recent post on why a commitment to universal atonement, at least as articulated by T.F. Torrance, does not entail a corresponding commitment to universal salvation, I was reminded of how counterintuitive this seems, especially to … Continue reading

Posted in Atonement, Doctrine of sin, Evangelical Calvinism, Karl Barth, Kingdom of God, Reformed theology, Reforming Calvinism, Sin and evil, Soteriology, T.F. Torrance, Universalism, Word of God | 2 Comments

Who Interprets the Interpreters? A Question to Roman Catholics in Light of the Debate over ‘Amoris Laetitia’

The focus of this post is fairly straightforward: I have a question to pose to my Roman Catholic friends and dialogue/debate partners. It is a question I have long considered in that it directly impinges upon the historic debate revolving around the … Continue reading

Posted in Biblical interpretation, Church history, Critiques of Protestantism, Pope Benedict XVI/Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Francis, Protestant theology, Protestantism, Reformation, Reformed theology, Roman Catholicism, Scripture, Sola Scriptura, Word of God | 4 Comments

Reforming Calvinism: Why Universal Atonement Does Not Entail Universal Salvation

In a post in which I explained T.F. Torrance’s contention that the traditional Calvinist doctrine of limited atonement implies a heretical Christology, specifically that of Nestorianism. Following Torrance, I argued that a fully orthodox Christology, resting on the twofold concept … Continue reading

Posted in Atonement, Christology, Classic Calvinism, Evangelical theology, Five points of Calvinism, Incarnation, Judgment of God, Reformed theology, Reforming Calvinism, Sin and evil, Soteriology, T.F. Torrance, Universalism, Vicarious humanity of Christ | 7 Comments

Sola Scripture Does Not Mean Scripture Alone!

Prefatory note: The purpose of this post is not to delve into the “practical” side of the debate over sola Scriptura (i.e. Who determines proper interpretation? What about the thousands of Protestant denominations?). Nor does it intend to deal with claims about … Continue reading

Posted in Church history, Confessions, Creeds, Critiques of Protestantism, Evangelical theology, Five Solas, John Calvin, Protestant theology, Protestantism, Reformation, Reformed theology, Richard Muller, Roman Catholicism, Scripture, Sola Scriptura, Word of God | 6 Comments

God Was In Christ: Karl Barth on the Significance of God’s Being in his Act of Reconciliation

While explaining, in a recent post, why T.F. Torrance considered the traditional Calvinist doctrine of limited atonement to involve an implicit heretical Christology (Nestorianism, to be precise), I touched on the critical importance of Scripture’s affirmation that “God was in Christ … Continue reading

Posted in Apostle Paul, Christology, Five points of Calvinism, Gospel, Heresy/Heterodoxy, Incarnation, Karl Barth, Love of God, Reformed theology, Soteriology, T.F. Torrance, Trinity

The Living Voice of God: John Calvin on the Supreme Authority of Holy Scripture

I have noted in the past that perhaps none of the five Solas constituting the heart of what Kevin Vanhoozer calls “mere Protestant Christianity” is as misunderstood (and for this reason as maligned) as sola Scriptura. Usually objections to this principle trade on … Continue reading

Posted in Church history, Critiques of Protestantism, Evangelical theology, Five Solas, Holy Spirit, John Calvin, Protestant theology, Reformation, Reformed theology, Revelation, Richard Muller, Scripture, Sola Scriptura, Word of God