Category Archives: Soteriology

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

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

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

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

Reforming Calvinism: Why the Doctrine of Limited Atonement Implies a Heretical Christology

T.F. Torrance is known to have criticized the traditional Calvinist doctrine of limited atonement (i.e. that Christ died in an efficacious way only for the elect) on the basis of its implicit Nestorianism, the early Christological heresy, condemned by the … Continue reading

Posted in Atonement, Christology, Church history, Classic Calvinism, Election, Evangelical Calvinism, Five points of Calvinism, Heresy/Heterodoxy, Incarnation, Karl Barth, Orthodoxy, Patristic theology, Predestination, Reformed theology, Reforming Calvinism, Soteriology, T.F. Torrance, Vicarious humanity of Christ | 10 Comments

“He Is Our Flesh”: John Calvin on the Saving Significance of the Incarnation

Sometimes when we think about Jesus Christ and his saving work, we can tend to lay so much emphasis on his death for our sins and resurrection for our justification (as Paul puts it in the last verse of Romans 4) … Continue reading

Posted in Atonement, Creeds, Devotional, John Calvin, Love of God, Patristic theology, Reformed theology, Soteriology, Vicarious humanity of Christ, Worship | 4 Comments

The Virgin Birth as the Judgment of Grace: Karl Barth on the Miracle of Christmas

The following reflection on the virgin birth is excerpted from Karl Barth, Church dogmatics I/2, London; New York: T&T Clark. p.172. In the [virgin birth of Christ] there is contained a judgment upon man. When Mary as a virgin becomes the … Continue reading

Posted in Creeds, Devotional, Grace of God, Judgment of God, Karl Barth, Nature and grace, Seasonal, Soteriology | 2 Comments

No Rational Sin: T.F. Torrance on the Error of Universalism

Anyone who has read T.F. Torrance to any extent knows that he was an ardent exponent of universal atonement and of Christ-conditioned election which vicariously includes all humanity. The common objection to these doctrines is that they inevitably lead to … Continue reading

Posted in Atonement, Biblical interpretation, Doctrine of sin, Election, Predestination, Reformed theology, Soteriology, T.F. Torrance, Universalism | 1 Comment

A Fragile Glory: John Calvin on the Grandeur of Human Inability

John Calvin has the unfortunate reputation of having been a rather dour and depressive individual. Among the countless caricatures that have proliferated in various publications about Calvin, perhaps Pope Francis said it best when he called Calvin “that cold Frenchman” who … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Apostle Paul, John Calvin, Nature and grace, Pope Francis, Protestant theology, Reformation, Reformed theology, Soteriology, Thomas Aquinas, Thomism, Union with Christ

The New Reformation: T.F. Torrance on Retrieving the Nicene and Protestant Pattern of Reform for Today

In a series of recent posts I examined the question “Is the Reformation over?” from a variety of angles and, in each case, I gave a resounding “No!” as the answer. When I say that the Reformation is not over, I … Continue reading

Posted in Christology, Creeds, Five Solas, Grace of God, Holy Spirit, Homoousion, Incarnation, John Calvin, John Knox, Orthodoxy, Patristic theology, Protestant theology, Reformation, Reformed theology, Reforming Catholicism, Reformission, Roman Catholicism, Soteriology, T.F. Torrance | 2 Comments