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Christology Soteriology

Did Calvin affirm “limited atonement”?

If you have read my posts regarding the extent/intent of the atonement in recent months, you will be aware that my own way of stating the situation has been changing, but I’m still working some things through. I remain convinced that my present understanding of a double intent in the redemptive work of the Godhead […]

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Pneumatology Soteriology

The Saving Work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

“How was one regenerated apart from the inward work of the Holy Spirit?” and even more foundationally, “How is one forgiven of their sins in the OT apart from union with Christ?” The answer to both questions must be that one isn’t; regeneration apart from the Spirit and forgiveness without union is impossible. (Jonathan Brack) […]

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Books Pneumatology Soteriology

Baptism in the Spirit and Union with Christ

After creation and the incarnation, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the third great work of God (Herman Bavinck). Since we are united to Christ, God regards us in the identical way he does Christ. The Father treats us in exactly the same way as he does his own eternal and beloved Son (Robert […]

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Books Christology Soteriology

Creation, Incarnation, and Union with Christ

          I have benefited significantly from previous work by Robert Letham, so I am happy to be reading his new work, Union with Christ: in Scripture, History and Theology. I have chosen to work through the book because I concur with Letham that “union with Christ is right at the center […]

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Soteriology

Should Protestants affirm a doctrine of purgatory?

Recently, I’ve observed within evangelicalism a new sympathy for some sort of purgatory in the saving process. For instance, one might take from a statement by Roger Olson in a blog post today, that he has moved in this direction. Here is the paragraph I have in mind:  “This touches on a subject I’ve raised […]

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Soteriology

Justification: imputation, and final basis

Today, I was reading a review, the particulars of which are not relevant, but the author speaks of “N. T. Wright’s brand of the New Perspective, in explaining justification: . . . . imputation of Christ’s righteousness is refuted; . . . and there is a final eschatological justification based on the faithful life lived.” […]

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Books Soteriology

Horton on effectual calling and perseverance

Michael Horton’s presentation In chapter 5, Michael Horton takes up the fourth and fifth points of  “TULIP,” which he places in covenant context. He distinguishes the Sinaitic covenant of law from the Abrahamic covenant of promise/grace, and he then unpacks the new covenant doctrines of effectual calling and perseverance. The overarching truth which Horton unfolds […]

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Books Christology Soteriology

Horton on the Atonement

Michael Horton’s presentation In chapter 4, Michael Horton addresses the third point of  “TULIP,” which he prefers to call “particular redemption”` rather than “limited atonement,” arguing that it is “specific or definite in its intention and scope” (80.) He begins with a discussion of “the nature and effects of Christ’s work on the cross,” positing […]

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Books Soteriology

Horton on election

Michael Horton’s presentation  In chapter 3, treating election (which is to be “loved before time”), Horton begins by asserting that unconditional election was not a doctrine originated by Calvin and his heirs. It is found in the writings of Augustine, Gregory the Great, Bonaventure, Albert the Great, and Thomas Aquinas (54). But the doctrine had […]

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Soteriology

Why does God reward the good deeds of believers?

In a book review yesterday, Roger Olson expressed his puzzlement about how God’s giving rewards to believers in the final judgment coheres with Calvinism’s monergistic understanding of sanctification. He wrote: “My fear is that Spence, and Calvin before him, rob rewards of any meaning and imply that God is actually rewarding himself and not believers. […]