I was up first this AM. The people were kind, they showed up! After last night I wondered if anyone would return or if they would all stay home and meditate on what Mike and R. C. said. My first session was on the means of grace (media gratiae) and the GDL. I tried to sketch a theology of the means of grace from Rom 4:1-12, focusing, of course, on Rom 4:11. Abraham’s circumcision was a sign and a seal. I tried to define these terms and to distinguish them and to show how the sacraments function as God’s means of signifying his promises and his means of sealing or guaranteeing his promises to those who believe.
Bob followed with a session on the law/gospel distinction from Jesus encounter with the lawyer in Luke. He noted how to him, Jesus preached the law, but how, to Martha and Mary (which is the next narrative) he preached the gospel. He observed the basic difference between the “law” in Scripture and “gospel” as two different ways of righteousness before God.
I was up for the third session, this time on union with Christ. Following Hodge’s suggestion (and Berkhof), I distinguished between our union with Christ from eternity which is part of our being elect “in Christ” (Eph 1:1-5) and our apprehension of union with Christ in time sola gratia, sola fide. In order to be united to Christ we must be right with him and that is only by faith in Christ alone. Flowing from this righteousness with God is union and from that flows our Christian life which we live in union and communion with Christ. I tried to press home the point that the Reformed faith is a Spiritual faith, it’s a Holy Spiritual faith. It is the Holy Spirit who unites us to Christ initially and more and more (through the means of grace).
Bob just finished a session on assurance as the ground of holiness and Mike is up next.
I just got word from Tommy Myrick (who has done a terrific job organizing things) that the mp3s will be available on the WSC bookstore website soon. Stay tuned to this station for more details.