Tag Archives: Theology

The Principles of Protestantism, Part 4 – Grace Alone

II – Grace Alone

Starting with Scripture as the first principle of Protestantism, we now proceed to grace as the second. The division between the two is comprehended by the designation of the formal and the material causes of salvation. Scripture alone is the formal principle as it is the authority by which salvation is revealed and understood. That is a marked departure from the Roman Pope and Magisterium. Grace alone is the material principle as it is the cause of salvation apart from any other thing such as sacraments or human effort. Actually, the material principle in salvation is comprehended by three things which are Christ alone, given by Grace alone, and received through faith alone. A review of many writers reveals a diversity of thought regarding the order of these principles. Some place faith before grace, while others put the glory of God as the first principle. Lutherans tend to view the principles of Protestantism as primarily three in number, grace, faith, and Scripture. Any order seems appropriate as long as it is constructed properly in terms of a logical explanation of each. So with this in mind, we have chosen grace as the next principle. Continue reading

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Scripture and Logic

Preface

Several years back, I attended a midweek Bible study at a local church that lasted for about a year and a half. This was for me and my family a time of transition away from one situation that had lasted a number of years, to another one in which we are now at present permanently connected. During that time the teacher, who was also the Pastor of the same church went through the book of Exodus in an expository manner. He also went through the book of Romans on Sunday morning as well. The study of both books was of excellent quality and I enjoyed it very much. Unfortunately, this particular church found itself repenting of its commitment to someone whom they vetted before calling to the position of Pastor. He moved on and so did we when it became apparent they wanted a little more warm fuzzy feeling and a little less Bible. Continue reading

The Holy Scriptures, Part 2 – Introduction

Introduction

What is the Bible? To some this might seem to be a silly question. But considering the fact that few people in modern civilized society today ever read it or know much about it, it shouldn’t be too silly a question to ask. Here is a book that has been around for thousands of years, a book virtually everyone knows exists, but it is also one in which few people have the vaguest notion of what is in it or what it actually says. Today in public schools the study of comparative religion is taught, sometimes even at the elementary school level. So everyone knows that the Bible is a religious book, but most would rate it alongside other religious books such as the Bhagavad Gita of the Hindus, or the Tibetan Book of the Dead, or the Muslim Koran, or for that matter the Book of Mormon. Continue reading

The Principles of Protestantism, Part 3 – Scripture Alone

I – Scripture Alone

The first point of protest against the Roman Catholic Pope concerned the place of the Bible in the Christian church. The Bible then as now is regarded by the Roman Catholic church as the Holy Scripture of God. That was never in dispute. However, the issue in dispute between the Reformers and the Pope was the place the Bible occupied in the church’s dogma and practice. Continue reading

The Principles of Protestantism, Part 2 – Introduction

Introduction: Christianity in America today is in rapid decline

It should be clear to anyone who pays attention to various polls and statistics that are conducted concerning the present health of the Christian church in America that it is in decline. In spite of a number of high profile mega churches in various parts of the country, the overall numbers of people committing themselves to the Christian church is decreasing. Polls should never be a determining factor for analyzing what the church is doing by way of service to the Lord. But there is one thing that is rather interesting about them. They seem to suggest that Americans are fundamentally a spiritually minded people, way more so than their European counterparts. But when it comes to defining what they believe in terms of historic orthodox definitions of the Christian faith that is entirely a different story. The point is that most Americans find little reason to identify, or even associate with any sort of historic expression of the Christian faith. Continue reading