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 →

Will We Be Finally “Saved” By Faith Alone (Sola Fide)?

The Scriptures simply do not support the inference that there are two stages of salvation and that our putative “future salvation” is contingent upon sanctification. Saying that our future sanctification is “decisively” wrought by God does not alleviate the problem. The whole construct rests on the premise that so long as we assert divine sovereignty we may say, more or less, whatever we please. Continue reading →

The Heidelberg Catechism Confesses Salvation By Grace Alone, Through Faith Alone

It has become fashionable among some who identify as confessionally Reformed and among so-called Reformedish (i.e., Baptists who identify with aspects of Reformed theology) types to claim that the Reformed doctrine of salvation hold that there two stages to salvation: initial and . . . Continue reading →

Your Faith Has Saved You

Bob Godfrey preached the evening sermons last night. His text was in Luke 8:40–56. It is a challenging passage, as he observed, but I was struck by one verse in particular and by the difference between the Greek text and the ESV. I was reading the former while Bob was reading, as he should, from the latter from the pulpit. As he read v. 48 we heard, “And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.’” What I was reading, however, …‘Daughter, your faith has saved you…’” (ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν). Continue reading →

Vos Contra Two-Stage Justification

18. Is justification an act that takes place once and for all, or an act that can be repeated? a) The Roman Catholic church makes a distinction between a first and a second justification. The first consists in the infusion of habitual . . . Continue reading →

New: Resources On The Doctrine Of Justification

According to J. H. Alsted (1588–1638), “the article justification is said to be the article of the standing or falling of the church.” It was said to be such by the confessionally Reformed and Lutheran alike. The language was probably borrowed from . . . Continue reading →

A Debtor’s Ethic

John Piper has complained that the historic Reformed understanding of the Christian faith and life produces what he calls a “debtor’s ethic.” The assumption is that a “debtor’s ethic” is something that we are supposed to reject out of hand. I have . . . Continue reading →