Category Archives: Roman Catholicism

“The Disqualification of Human Powers”: The Virgin Birth and Salvation By Faith Alone (T.F. Torrance on the Apostles’ Creed)

Here in Italy, the month of May is dedicated to the veneration of Mary the mother of Jesus. Outside the local Catholic parish, a large banner reads: “Maria, Mamma di Noi Tutti” (Mary, Mama of Us All). In Catholic theology, … Continue reading

Posted in Christology, Creeds, Five Solas, Grace of God, Holy Spirit, Incarnation, Protestant theology, Reformed theology, Roman Catholicism, Soteriology, Sovereignty of God, T.F. Torrance, Word of God | Leave a 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 | Leave a comment

The Impossible Possibility of Proving “Sola Scriptura”: Karl Barth & John Calvin on the Self-Authenticating Authority of the Bible

In dialoguing with Catholics about sola Scriptura, I am often challenged to “prove” that Scripture truly is the supreme authority in the church independent of any interpretation (or misinterpretation) to which it might be subject. I understand why Catholics would demand … Continue reading

Posted in Critiques of Protestantism, Five Solas, John Calvin, Karl Barth, Protestant theology, Protestantism, Reformation, Roman Catholicism, Scripture, Sola Scriptura, Word of God | 2 Comments

“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

“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

The Witness of Martin Luther to the Catholic Church of Today

As an introduction to this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Catholic Church, under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU), prepared and published the following statement [full text here]: In 1517 Martin Luther raised … Continue reading

Posted in Church history, Ecumenism, Five Solas, Martin Luther, Protestant theology, Protestantism, Reformation, Reforming Catholicism, Roman Catholicism

An Ocean of Love Unspeakable: Martin Luther’s Rediscovery of Christ’s Centrality (Reformission Monday)

It is Martin Luther week here at Reformissio! Last week I had the privilege (and fulfillment of a long-time desire) to visit Wittenberg, the home of Martin Luther and the birthplace of the Reformation. Living in Europe has its perks, one … Continue reading

Posted in Apostle Paul, Christology, Church history, Five Solas, Gospel, H.R. Mackintosh, Incarnation, Martin Luther, Mission & evangelism, Protestant theology, Protestantism, Reformation, Reforming Catholicism, Reformission, Roman Catholicism, Scholasticism, Theologia crucis | 2 Comments

Reforming Rome: Karl Barth and Vatican II (according to D.W. Norwood)

Over the course of many posts that I have written on Roman Catholicism, Reformation, and Karl Barth — and especially on all three combined — it has sometimes been asked (or disputed), by Catholics and Protestants alike, if these subjects … Continue reading

Posted in Church history, Karl Barth, Pope Benedict XVI/Joseph Ratzinger, Protestantism, Reformation, Reformed theology, Reforming Catholicism, Reformission, Roman Catholicism