Imperative And Indicative; Law And Gospel

James writes to ask, I am trying to work out the Law/Grace distinction, and am having some trouble understanding the imperative/indicative divide. For example, in Acts 3 Peter is preaching what appears to be the gospel in the Temple, and he preaches . . . Continue reading →

The Legal-Eschatological Religion And Racism

2017 is a “Reformation Year.” It is the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 Theses and an opportunity to remember the Reformation basics. One of those is the distinction between law and gospel. One of the five most basic distinctions Luther recovered for . . . Continue reading →

The Law Exposes Racism As Sin

In response to yesterday’s column, a correspondent to the HB asked how we know that racism is sin. It is true that I assumed that we all know that racism is sin, that it is obvious on the face of Scripture but . . . Continue reading →

Racism And The Second Use Of The Law (Updated)

Broadly, in evangelicalism, there are two stances toward the Ten Commandments or the moral law. For many, if not most evangelicals, it is believed that the Ten Commandments are so uniquely Mosaic, so identified with the Mosaic epoch in redemptive history, that . . . Continue reading →

Salvation Through Grace Alone (Acts 15:11)

The claim by some that there are two stages of justification (initial and final) and that the so-called “initial justification” is by grace alone (sola gratia) through faith alone (sola fide) and the so-called “final justification” is in some degree (either partly . . . Continue reading →

Grumpy Old Men, “A Ministry Of Condemnation,” And The Church

The Bible contrasts two very different kinds of ministries.  In 2 Corinthians 3:6 the apostle Paul says that we are ministers of the New Covenant, of the Spirit and not of the letter.  The contrast the apostle is making is between the New Covenant as the fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham, which he calls the “ministry of righteousness,” and the particular phenomenon of the giving of the law on Sinai to Moses—which he designates as the “ministry of condemnation.”  The contrast between them is important because each kind of ministry produces its own kind of fruit in its recipients. Continue reading →