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Christology Divine revelation Soteriology

Why did the 5 “solas” of the Reformation arise?

Jesse Johnson briefly describes the context which required that Protestant beliefs be defined, and he summarizes the 5 points which all orthodox Protestants agree are essentials of Christian faith and life. We should note, however, that although these five basic truths were frequently affirmed by leaders of the Reformation, they did not constitute a formal […]

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Christology Eschatology

Jesus’ death and the nature of hell

Both traditionalists and annihilationists often say that their view of hell best accords with the manner in which Jesus suffered the penalty of sin in our place. I am still not convinced, however, that either understanding of hell has a significant advantage in this regard. Traditionalists generally focus on hell as an endless experience of […]

Categories
Christology Soteriology Spirituality

Should we forgive the unrepentant?

When we pray the Lord’s prayer, we find it easy at the start. We do want our heavenly Father’s name to be reverenced, and we do want his kingdom to come, which means that his “will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We are also happy to ask God for our daily […]

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Christology

When did Jesus know that he was God, when did the disciples know, and does it matter?

When did Jesus know that he was God? I have often pondered the question of when Jesus knew he was God. I understand him to have grown up as a normal child, learning just as all children do, discovering his world and his own identity, through others’ teaching, his own discovery, and God’s revelation, as […]

Categories
Christology Soteriology

The righteousness of Christ: imputed, infused, incorporated

Last Friday, at the Festival of Faith and Writing held at Calvin College, Cornelius Plantinga Jr. preached an excellent sermon during the Vespers service, which was itself beautifully designed. He described quite elaborately the way our bodies work when attacked by a virus, countering it with antibodies and, after defeating it, building antibodies to guard […]

Categories
Christology Ecclesiology Soteriology

God is not finished with ethnic Israel: Hurtado’s response to Wright

N. T. Wright devoted a large proportion of his massive tome, Paul and the Faithfulness of God, to the relationship between the church and Israel, and he argues for a total replacement, what is often dubbed “supersessionism.” Larry Hurtado posits that Wright is correct on a couple of very important points: Repeatedly, Wright takes the […]

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Christology

The serious flaws in the charge that penal substitionary atonement represents divine child abuse

As I jogged this morning, I listened to an interview in which Denny Weaver spoke about the point of his second edition of The Nonviolent Atonement. I understand his desire to take that approach, given his pacifist stance generally, and perhaps I would find the approach more attractive if I were a pacifist too. But […]

Categories
Christology Eschatology

Penal substitution and the second death

In his death on the cross and his three days in the grave, Jesus was neither endlessly tormented nor was he annihilated. This is why I have proposed that neither traditionalism nor annihilationism has an advantage in regard to its explanation of the way in which Christ’s death was a penal substitution for human sin. […]

Categories
Christology Evangelicalism

The theological deficit within evangelicalism as seen in views of the incarnation.

How long can evangelical churches remain evangelical, given the widespread increase in biblical illiteracy and the theological ignorance which accompanies it and which is probably even more severe? Evangelical leaders are aware of the problem, but I see little sign of its being effectively addressed in western churches, and the problem is compounded in the […]

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Christology

Was virginal conception necessary for the incarnation?

As Christmas approaches, the birth of Jesus from the virgin Mary is very much on our minds, so this is a good time to think about the reason for that virginal conception. In a recent blog post, Louis McBride raises the question “Do we lose the incarnation if we deny the virgin birth?” He observes […]