Richard Baxter On Initial And Final Justification Through Faith And Works

The magisterial Protestant churches (i.e., the Lutheran and Reformed) and their theologians did not speak of, teach, or confess a “two-stage” doctrine of justification or even a “two-stage” doctrine of salvation (justification, sanctification, and glorification). Yet, today, one sees leading evangelical and . . . Continue reading →

Principles Of Spiritual Self-Defense

My first interaction with the theology of Norman Shepherd probably came in seminary. He was dismissed from his position as a professor in a Reformed and Presbyterian seminary, where he taught the course on the doctrine of salvation (soteriology) in 1981. I . . . Continue reading →

Background On The Current Salvation Controversy

In 1980, Daniel P. Fuller published Gospel and Law: Contrast or Continuum seeking to lay siege to both the Dispensational tradition in which he had been raised and covenant theology as he understood it. This work provoked strong responses from some within . . . Continue reading →

Does Covenant Theology Change Our Doctrine Of Predestination?

Baptism, Election & the Covenant of Grace

HB reader Keith asks, Succinctly, what is covenant theology on the following: Predestination Security of the believer? Hi Keith, The short answer is that the covenant theology that we confess does not fundamentally change our doctrine of predestination, which says that all . . . Continue reading →

Burying The Lead On Baxter

There is a phrase in journalism called “burying the lead” (or, since about 1979, the cloying variant lede). The lead (lede) is the paragraph in which the most important, salient facts are contained. In the old days (c. 1975), the writer was . . . Continue reading →

Through Good Works? (2)

In order to understand properly what Calvin wrote we need to put these passages in context. Chapter 21 is about the relations between justification and sanctification, which he called the “progress” of justification. In other words, for Calvin, the definitive act of God in declaring sinners righteous, on the basis of the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, which is received through faith alone, results in the gradual sanctification of the Christian. Continue reading →