Without Tradition as Truth, the West – and the Rest – Cannot Be Saved

Post by Nathan RinneThis past week, responding to the President’s well-received speech in Poland, the Atlantic wrote: "The West is a racial and religious term. To be considered Western, a country must be largely Christian and largely white… He’s not speaking as the president of the entire United States. He’s speaking as the head of a tribe." Well, excuse me (Rod Dreher’s response to), but I had always assumed people who talk like our President did in Poland not only tend to think that “demo … [Read more...]

Misconceptions about Lutheranism: A Response to James White

On today's program, I responded to comments from Dr. James White about Lutheranism. I discussed several misconceptions about what Lutherans believe, and addressed the relationship between the Lutheran Confessions and Philip Melanchthon.Here is the program … [Read more...]

Are Evolutionary Ethics Good for a Nation?

 Post by Nathan RinneThe famous 20th century theologian Karl Barth, perhaps largely because of his preferred political orientation[i], made a very interesting point:Historically speaking, certainly prior to the 20th century in the West, elites concerned with keeping stability and order were more than happy to use the Bible to help them rule.As Barth argued more specifically, here the Bible had been brought under human control and reason. He said that it had come to be seen … [Read more...]

Faith and Reason in Luther, Zwingli, and Lutheranism

On today's program, I dealt with the relationship between faith and reason. I began with a discussion of Luther's own thought on the topic, while addressing criticisms that he is an irrationalist. I then discussed this in relation to Luther's distinction between the two kingdoms. I then discussed the idea of paradox and contrasted this approach with that of Zwingli and later Calvinism.Here is the program. … [Read more...]

The Doctrine of Objective Justification

On today's program, I addressed the teaching of objective justification. I responded to some false understandings of this idea, and also responded to some criticisms. I overviewed some of the basic arguments for the teaching, and read citations from Lutheran theologians in the past on the issue.Here is the programThis is the critique of objective justification which I cited on the program: ATP Objective Justification.Also, this is the collection of citations put together by Rev. … [Read more...]

Thoughts on The Southern Baptist Convention and the Alt-Right

I am not one to generally pay much attention to the goings-on of the Southern Baptist Convention, as I have never been involved in the Baptist world. However, as the largest conservative Protestant denomination in the U.S., decisions which arise out of the denomination are significant for the broader face of evangelicalism in the United States. I am, however, particularly interested in the ongoing discussion surrounding the alt-right and its relationship to evangelicalism.I, personally, have … [Read more...]

To Hell With Our Fallen Love: Why “Annihilationism” and Universalism Fall Short

 Post by Nathan RinneOne of our Lord's great promises is the blessed fellowship we will know in the life to come: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.” The Apostle Paul, in Philippians 4:1 and I Thessalonians 2:19 respectively, can hardly contain himself when he thinks about this fellowship: “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love … [Read more...]

Questions and Answers June 2017

On today's program, I addressed listener questions on a variety of topics. I discussed the recent debate on the Marian dogmas, and then discussed the high priestly prayer in John 17 as well as the connection between election and perseverance in Romans 8. Finally, I addressed my recent blog post on circumcision and baptism.Here is the program. … [Read more...]

A New Book on Church and Ministry

It has been a long time since Just and Sinner Publications has released any new books, but one has just arrived, with two more to come in the near future. This book is titled, The True Church and the Holy Ministry: Two Treatises on Ecclesiology by E. Greenwald and Henry Eyster Jacobs. The description is as follows:This volume contains two separate treatises on the subjects of church and ministry. These essays contain doctrines and arguments that remain relevant to the contemporary church, … [Read more...]

Baptism is not the Replacement of Circumcision

It is a common aspect of Reformed sacramental theology that a parallel is made between the Old Testament rite of circumcision, and the New Testament sacrament of baptism. This connection is foundational for the baptismal theology of Ulrich Zwingli and the consequent reformed tradition. It is noteworthy, however, that such a strong connection does not appear in any significant sense in the church fathers. One might wonder then exactly why such a parallel became so prominent. It appears that the … [Read more...]