1 John 2:2 is one of the foundational texts which speaks against a Calvinistic understanding of the atonement. “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” The reformed position is that Christ’s death was only for the elect, with the possible exception of common grace being bought through the cross. So how does the Calvinist respond to a text like this? It is not as though reformed… Read more

Calvinists often claim that their theology is not something which arose through the writings of John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli. To support this thesis, they usually cite St. Augustine, the doctor of grace. Here are five reasons why I do not believe Calvinists are truly Augustinian in their soteriology. Though they can certainly cite him as an influence, the theology of Concord is much closer to that of Augustine and his early predecessors. 1. Augustine saw baptismal regeneration as essential for… Read more

It has often been stated by theologians as well as historians that Bernard of Clairvaux was the last “father of the church.” This may seem inappropriate since the Patristic age is usually seen to end around the time of Gregory (600 A.D.). However, the description does offer an accurate depiction of Bernard’s place among later medieval theology. In many ways, Bernard was among the last theologians of the period to deal primarily with Biblical exegesis, though most often in an… Read more

After Calvin published his Institutes as well as his several treatises on the Lord ’s Supper, many Lutherans quickly rose up to begin writing in defense of the doctrine which they held so sacred. This time however, they were not writing against someone who gave barely any importance to the sacrament but one who fought for its sacredness. The two main exegetical issues in this debate were the words of institution and the issue of whether or not Christ’s human body… Read more

After Zwingli’s death, John Calvin became the leader of the Reformed branch of the reformation. Calvin greatly admired Luther and looked at him much more highly than he did Zwingli. In his reply to Sadoletto, Calvin even referred to himself as a Lutheran. This being the case, Calvin tried to make a compromise between the Zwinglian and Lutheran positions of the Lord’s Supper. Calvin sent letters to Luther by means of his friend and Luther’s pupil Philip Melancthon. However, fearing… Read more

In the eyes of Martin Luther, the most essential division between himself and the group of reformers in Zurich under Ulrich Zwingli was in the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. Luther, coming from a monastic background held on to much that he was taught within the Roman church. However, Zwingli, coming from more of a humanistic background, largely abandoned accepted church practice and doctrine, including their sacramental emphasis. Luther’s reformation was from within the church, while Zwingli was much quicker… Read more

Often in evangelicalism, the question is asked “are you a Calvinist or an Arminian?” No other alternatives are given. How should a good Lutheran answer this question? Some would day that they agree with only the first two points of the acronym TULIP but rejects the rest. A more nuanced view, which I would take, is that there is truth to be affirmed in four of the five points. Now to go through each point:1. Total Depravity- The Lutheran language on… Read more

The sermon from the sixth Sunday of Easter, examining Jesus’s statement: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” I discussed the role of good works in the life of the believer, and the good works that Jesus has done for us. Here is the message. Read more

Sermon from the fifth Sunday of Easter from John 14:1-14, about Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life. Here is the message . Read more

This message is from Good Shepherd Sunday on the gospel text fromJohn 10. The message contrasts Jesus, who is the Good Shepherd, with thefalse shepherds and wolves who seek to steal and destroy God’s sheep. Here is the message . Read more

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