You Can’t Do Theology Without Philosophy

“What hath Athens to do with Jerusalem?” The old question attributed to Tertullian has been answered in several ways throughout the centuries as Christian thinkers have had to make decisions surrounding the usefulness of philosophy. Thinkers such as Origen and Clement of Alexandria tended to adopt such a strong adherence to Platonic ideas that Scripture was squeezed into a particular philosophical mold into which it didn’t always fit. Others have argued for the complete divorce of theology from philosophy. In my… Read more

Apologetics in Confessing the Gospel

Continuing on the previous post addressing Concordia Publishing House’s new Confessing the Gospel: A Lutheran Approach to Systematic Theology, in this article, I will examine the short section on apologetics in John F. Johnson’s treatment of the doctrine of God (81-88).   General Knowledge of God Like most systematic treatments of God, this volume addresses the commonly discussed arguments for the existence of God as well as their relative usefulness. Johnson uses Luther’s helpful distinction between a general knowledge of… Read more

Review of CPH’s New “So-Called Third Use of the Law” Book

  Post by Nathan Rinne For non-Lutherans, CPH is “Concordia Publishing House”. For upset Lutherans, please consider taking 14 minutes to listen to one of my pastor’s sermons at the bottom of this page: “The law and love”, from Sept. 10. Faith comes by hearing the word! This should help you get a better handle on how he — someone who more or less agrees with me on these issues — handles the word of truth. So, this book. There… Read more

A Question and Answer Podcast

On today’s program, I answered listener questions. Some of the topics were: beneficial theologians from other Christian traditions, premilennialism, the church fathers, and my favorite bands (yeah…unrelated, but someone asked). Check out the discussion! Here is the program Read more

Completely Impartial Book Review of Pastor Jordan Cooper’s Lex Aeterna

Yes, its not impartial. : )  I write for this blog for a reason. Anyway, as I said in a recent post, about the new book on Law and Gospel now being released by CPH….(see above): If someone in the Confessional Lutheran house spoke about the “so-called doctrine of justification,” you could bet that every head would turn. But say “so-called 3rd use of the law” – using the church’s publishing house meant to provide the most excellent Christian doctrine… Read more

Confessing the Gospel: John F. Johnson on the Trinity

In this second part of my review of Confessing the Gospel: A Lutheran Approach to Systematic Theology, I explore the section on the doctrine of God. This is done in two parts: the Trinity, and the attributes of God, which are addressed in separate posts. This article was written by John F. Johnson, who is a frequent contributor to Concordia Theological Quarterly on the doctrine of God and other related ideas. In perusing some of his articles, it is clear that… Read more

A Review of Confessing the Gospel: A Lutheran Approach to Systematic Theology

Concordia Publishing House recently released a two volume systematic theology titled Confessing the Gospel: A Lutheran Approach to Systematic Theology. This is a much needed set, as there has been a severe lack of Lutheran systematic theological texts in recent years, aside from the Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics series from Luther Academy. I recently received both volumes in the mail, and I have decided to do a series of reviews on these books as I read them section by section. In… Read more

In Memory of Robert Jenson

It should be of no surprise to my readers that I have profound areas of disagreement with Robert Jenson. He promoted a form of process Theism [1] based upon a modified theology of hope [2], while I hold to a more Thomistic approach to the doctrine of God. Yet, despite whatever disagreements I have with him, I recognize Jenson to be one of the most significant Christian thinkers of the last century. His brilliance is perhaps only surpassed by Karl… Read more

Martin Luther Addresses the Nashville Statement: Does it Reveal or Cause Sin?

  Post by Nathan Rinne Do you think that you can love God but not the Christians who penned the Nashville Statement? Maybe, like St. Augustine who was haunted by the knowledge that he had stolen pears just because they were behind a fence — not even eating them – you are experiencing the utter confusion and divine wrath the law of God brings. At least, that’s what I venture the Sarcastic Lutheran’s namesake, Martin Luther, would have thought. How… Read more

Martin Luther on the Christian in Society

This is the final section of my lecture series on the history and theology of the Reformation. In this talk, I discuss Luther’s approach to the two kinds of righteousness, the two kingdoms, and other aspects of the Christian life. Here is the program. Read more

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