My critique of Gerhard Forde has been published

My book length critique of Gerhard Forde's understanding of the law is now available. Here is the description:Martin Luther's theological revolution depended in a significant part upon the distinction between law and gospel. Within the last hundred years, several authors have reevaluated the reformer's understanding of this paradigm in light of its development within the Lutheran orthodox tradition. Some authors have argued that the Lutheran scholastic view of God's law departs from that of … [Read more...]

Q&A March 2017

On today's program, I addressed a bunch of listener questions on a multitude of topics. Among these were: the theology of St. Augustine, the distinction between law and gospel, fellowship between Lutherans and Anglicans, and a rant about how obnoxious the anti-Lent facebook posts are.Here is the program. … [Read more...]

Heartfelt Spiritual Counsel for “Fabulous Internet Supervillain” Milo Yiannopoulos

Post by Nathan RinneI recently watched a couple of interviews (here and here) the ever controversial Breitbart journalist Milo Yiannopoulos did with “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson about his new movie “Torchbearer”. According to an article from the same Breitbart news, the film’s "thesis" is that “sin has become mainstream in Western culture, which will soon lead to societal destruction.”Yiannopoulos himself, a vigorous proponent and practitioner of free speech, identifies as both … [Read more...]

A Short Selection from my Upcoming Book: Baptized Into Christ

God’s Solution: The GospelThe law is not God’s final word to us. He did not give us a law to condemn us only to leave us in that state of condemnation. Rather, he gave us the law to diagnose our problem so that we might then search for the remedy. God could not have given us the gospel without the law. Picture a doctor approaching you and telling you that you should take a medicine that he then hands you a prescription for. You have no idea why, and as far as you know, you are perfectly hea … [Read more...]

Preaching and Law and Gospel

On this week's program, I spent the hour discussing a number of different issues surrounding the nature of preaching. I began with the question, "Should a pastor preach a sermon that is all law?" This led to a number of further questions surrounding preaching and law and gospel.Here is the program … [Read more...]

The Doctrine of Divine Simplicity and Contemporary Law-Gospel Debates

The doctrine of God does not tend to be a primary issue in contemporary Lutheran theological discussions. Apart from basic Trinitarian theology, Lutheran theological journals and publications tend not to emphasize Theology Proper, and specifically the attributes of God. I think there are a number of reasons for this. First, Lutherans tend to avoid overt speculation, and are somewhat reticent to utilize extensive philosophical categories at the expense of clear Biblical language. Second, … [Read more...]

A Very Nice Explanation of Progressive Religion, Filial Foe of Christ

Post by Nathan RinneFirst of all, this post is not about the recent Wheaton college controversy (see last post here), but I think it is likely highly relevant to the situation. It seems increasingly clear that persons like Larycia Hawkins and Miroslav Volf, in spite of their vaunted tolerance, simply have zero respect for the views that Wheaton's administration holds. Volf has insinuated or directly spoken of hatred, enmity, and bigotry and added that the removal of Hawkins was morally … [Read more...]

Do Proponents of Other Abrahamic Faiths Worship the Same God? The Answer is Not in Philosophy but in the Distinction Between Law and Gospel

Post by Nathan RinneNote: this is my third post on this issue. The first one, “Wheaton Professor’s Suspension Is Not About Anti-Muslim Bigotry: a Response to Miroslav Volf and Others” (this one is shorter and quite direct), is here, and the second, “When Christians Say “Idolatry”, It Is – or Should Be – Because of Love: Another Appeal to Miroslav Volf” (this one is a bit more challenging), is here. This third post will necessarily be the most nuanced, detailed, and technical of all of these p … [Read more...]

Introduction to Christian Doctrine Videos

I have begun a series of Youtube videos aimed at a lay audience introducing various aspects of Christian theology (from a Lutheran perspective). This is intended to be at the same level as Bible studies taught to my congregation. These are the videos currently available:What is the Ordo Salutis?The Distinction Between Law and GospelElection and PredestinationThe Two Kinds of RighteousnessPlease leave your thoughts and comments. I'd like to continue to make these videos. … [Read more...]

Jesus and Banned Books Week

Post by Nathan RinneYes –me talking about Banned Books Week again. As a librarian, I suppose I can’t help it!Last week, I talked about why Christians – particularly when it comes to their schools – should exercise some critical thinking towards Banned Books Week. This time, I simply want to take the concept and run with it – and “hijack” it a bit for my own purposes.One of the most feared books throughout history has been the Christian Bible. Interestingly it has been feared by both a … [Read more...]