Where Did the Antinomianism in Today’s Christianity Come From?

 Post by Nathan RinneWhat is an "antinomian," a term which appears to have been invented by the 16th century church reformer Martin Luther? According to Merriam-Webster, an antinomian is someone “who holds that under the gospel dispensation of grace the moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to salvation.”Modern Christianity is full of such antinomians. These days, for example, it is not difficult to find people who identify as evangelical or non … [Read more...]

Certitude vs. Certainty: What Can Neil Gorsuch and Martin Luther Teach Us About Knowledge and Truth?

Post by Nathan RinneNeil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s widely lauded pick for new Supreme Court Justice, will be big news for weeks to come. Gorsuch is, like Antonin Scalia before him, an "originalist" judge, meaning that he "interprets the Constitution based on its plain language and original public meaning.” (see here)According to Wikipedia, “originalism is a way to interpret the Constitution's meaning as stable from the time of enactment” (italics mine). Stanley Fish however, right … [Read more...]

35 (or 33) Christian Theses (and Core Assumptions) About the Character of God, Man, Language, and Interpretation

For discussion. What would you take out? What would you add?:“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4) “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” (I John 4:16)[i] “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sen … [Read more...]

Why Karl Barth Should Have Just Read Johann Gerhard

Post by Nathan RinneThe following is a summary, from my pastor (Paul Strawn), of the article in German “'Das Word sie sollen lassen stahn…' Die Auseinandersetzung Johann Gerhards und der lutherischen Orthodoxie mit Hermann Rahtmann und deren abendmahlstheologische und christologische Implikate.”, from Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche 95 (1998), 338-365.This is translated as: “'The Word they still shall let remain…' The Debate of John Gerhard and Lutheran Orthodoxy with Hermann Rahtman … [Read more...]

“Reading the Bible With Martin Luther”? Or With His Modern Existentialist Interpreters?

Post by Nathan Rinne"But because we have for so long been persuaded of the opposite by that pestilential saying of the Sophists that the Scriptures are obscure and ambiguous, we are obliged to begin by proving even that first principle of ours by which everything else has to be proved—a procedure that among the philosophers would be regarded as absurd and impossible." -- Martin Luther, AE 33:91Recently, at the recommendation of a Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LC-MS) pastor I had come … [Read more...]

Theonas of Alexandria on the Importance of Holy Scripture

Despite the claims of the Roman Church in reaction to the Reformation, there is an immense divide between Patristic piety and late Medieval spirituality. In the late Medieval church, reading of sacred Scripture was discouraged on behalf of the laity; it was done by some of the clergy, and even then only with the guidance of magisterial teaching. The following quote from the 4th century Alexandrian bishop Theonas which is representative of the place which Scripture held in the church prior to the … [Read more...]