Could Instruments Be Idols?

Friday, in the Medieval-Reformation course I gave a lecture on Calvin’s doctrine of worship during which a student asked about instruments. I replied that Calvin (and most of the Reformed) would have viewed the introduction of instruments into the service the same . . . Continue reading →

Freedom of the Christian Man (1)

There is a great lot of talk in the evangelical and Reformed world(s) about sola Scriptura but one has the growing sense that not only is the Reformation scripture principle not well understood (e.g., it is often misconstrued as an endorsement of . . . Continue reading →

Freedom of the Christian Man (2)

Part 1. Many of us have spent time in forms of Christianity that are very strong on rules and slavery and very weak on grace and freedom. By “rules and slavery” I refer to the imposition of man-made rules by which sanctity . . . Continue reading →

The Freedom of the Christian Man (3)

Luther at the Diet of Worms

Part 2. On 18 April 1521 Martin Luther stood before civil and ecclesiastical authorities at the Diet (Riechstag) of Worms. Heiko Oberman translated Luther’s famous speech thus: “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Holy Scriptures or by evident reason—for I . . . Continue reading →

Contra Leithart: No, The Reformation Isn’t Over

Before You Reject At Least Understand It

In a post on the First Things blog today, Peter Leithart declares the “End of Protestantism.” It’s not at all clear, however, that he understands what he wants to end. He begins with a sociological observation about contemporary English non-conformists and uses . . . Continue reading →

What Is True Faith? (7): Its Object

In the previous installment we considered the role of Scripture in faith. Now we turn to its object. I think they’ve largely gone away but a few years back team-building “trust exercises” were all the rage. The producers even got the Duck . . . Continue reading →

Free Reformation Conference In Santee November 1, 2014

It’s Autumn and that means it’s Reformation season in Reformed congregations all across North America. Christ United Reformed Church, Santee, California is holding a free, one-day Reformation conference on Saturday November 1, 2014 featuring Mike Horton on “Scripture Alone” (sola scriptura), Bob . . . Continue reading →

The Strange Familiarity Of Socinianism

Each fall I lead a course in which we read some great texts of Reformed orthodoxy and scholasticism. This week we turned our attention to John Owen’s response to Socinianism. We’re focusing our attention on chapter 7 of his response to the . . . Continue reading →

What’s Wrong With Reformation Day? (UPDATED)

Each year on this date confessing Protestants remember Martin Luther’s protest against the abuse of indulgences. He followed the academic custom of the day by compiling a list of theses, short statements or claims. Sometimes one would follow from the other but . . . Continue reading →

Rick Warren And Catholics Together

Darryl Hart has a thought-provoking post today on Rick Warren’s recent comments about what Rome and Protestants have in common. Warren’s comments are a sterling reminder of the importance of knowing our church history. Yes, Christians of all the major traditions receive . . . Continue reading →

See You In Bakersfield January 23–24 2015 For According To Scripture Alone

Sovereign Grace Bakersfield

Central California is a beautiful place and that’s where I’ll be Friday evening January 23 and Saturday morning January 24, 2015. I’m giving three talks (and holding a Q &A session) on Sola Scriptura: “The Backbone of the Reformation,” “Its Unique Authority in Knowing . . . Continue reading →

Sola Scriptura ≠ Nuda Scriptura

Evangelical Christians in North America sometimes misunderstand the Reformation doctrine of sola Scriptura to mean that the Bible is the Christian’s only theological resource, that it can and should be denuded of its churchly context (hence nuda Scriptura). Such an understanding is . . . Continue reading →