Office Hours: Mike Horton On Sanctification And The Means Of Grace (2)

Office HoursIf Christians have often been tempted to mysticism (the quest to meet God without instruments, media, or means) they have also been tempted to magic, tempted to turn the sacraments into things they are not. The medieval Western church taught and the Roman church today teaches that the sacraments do what they do (e.g., confer new life) because they are what they are. The phrase says, “By the working it is worked.” That means that whenever the sacraments are used they necessarily confer new life. This identification of the sacrament with the thing itself (e.g., Christ or new life) rests on a kind of magical view of the sacraments. It has also produced a reaction that causes others to seek Christ and new life apart from the Word and sacraments. There is another way to think of the Christian life, a way of thinking of new life and of sanctification and God’s work through the sacraments without either turning them into magic (as, e.g., the Federal Visionists do when they say that at baptism we are temporarily elect, united to Christ, justified, etc) or without neglecting them or turning them into mere memorials.

Mike Horton, Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California, returns for part 2 of our discussion of the relations between the means of grace and sanctification.

Here is the episode.

Here are the episodes for Season Five: New Life in the Shadow of Death.

Here are all the episodes. Subscribe to Office Hours in iTunes.

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  1. I found this incredibly helpful. This season of Office Hours has been outstanding in promoting a paleo-Reformed piety which avoids the both the Scylla of antinomianism and the Charybdis of antinominanism.

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