Theology Proper

Theologoumena from a great theologian: Rev. Dr. Kurt Marquart on who may be saved

HT: Rev. David Jay Webber   Another matter which has worried me for some time: In your absolutely correct and necessary insistence that Christ is the only Way to Salvation, do formulate more carefully especially as regards hell. It is surely not helpful to be insisting at every turn that such and such shall undoubtedly […]

Blessed Martin Luther: “The person who can rightly divide Law and Gospel has reason to thank God.”

From Martin Luther’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians (1535), trans. Theodore Graebner (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1949) p. 60 [Ch. 2] VERSE 14. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel. No one except Paul had his eyes open. Consequently it was his duty to reprove Peter and […]

Behold, and it came to pass, a new Lutheran T-shirt…

Back in 2007 or so, New Reformation Press started marketing this shirt: You’ve probably seen it before. It’s sort of emblematic of what some would call “the Lutheran view of sanctification,” and what others would call, “a dumb caricature, which, while intending to be funny, says more about the lack of understanding of sanctification on […]

“Why do you talk so much about sanctification?”

To get at an answer to this question (often put to me more in the form of a charge or accusation), I’d like to direct the reader to an extended excerpt from Adolf Köberle’s very useful work, The Quest for Holiness. If you have never read, or if it’s been awhile since you’ve read, Köberle’s book, then read […]

“Who’s right, St. Paul or St. James?” The Formula of Concord on faith and its fruit.

When people try to undermine justification sola fide as it is taught in Romans with James chapter 2, all of the explanation you need can be found in the Formula of Concord, Article III. The question answered by James 2:20 is not “How is a man justified?” but rather “How do you see that a […]

“God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who is the eternal and essential righteousness, dwells by faith in the elect…”

The following quote is taken from a comment by Rev. Dr. Holger Sonntag from an ongoing conversation over at Brothers of John the Steadfast. For a sneak-peek of Dr. Sonntag’s English translation of The Apology of the Book of Concord, coming Summer 2015, click here! +          +         […]

Francis Pieper: “The Necessity of Sanctification and Good Works” and “The Imperfection of Sanctification”

From Christian Dogmatics, Vol. III, (CPH, St. Louis: 2011) pp. 20-37 The Necessity of Sanctification and Good Works The dispute about the necessity of good works was in part simply a logomachy, the words “necessity” and “free” lending themselves to different meanings. Formula of Concord: “This controversy was originally occasioned by the words necessitas and libertas, that is, necessary […]

Theosis is Glorification

Oposition to the doctrine of theosis among Lutherans seems to be rooted in the fear that it’s an alternate explanation for how we are saved, that it’s somehow in competition with justification through faith alone. And the way it’s usually presented by the Eastern Orthodox, it is, but that’s deeply backwards. Divinization is not a […]

Pastor Sonntag’s Extremely Helpful Comments on the Brothers of John the Steadfast Blog

[Note: this post was accidently published earlier today under Trent Demarest’s name by me, Nathan Rinne.] Again, not long ago at the Brothers of John the Steadfast blog, a discussion was started which came largely to focus on Pastor Jordan Cooper’s writing a book about theosis.  One of the more helpful, clarifying, and enlightening comments […]

C.F.W. Walther on Sanctification

In a recent comment on this site Rev. Paul T. McCain offered a snippet of a sermon by C.F.W. Walther. I reproduce it here for your edification. Thank you, Pr. McCain! By way of a preface, McCain writes: “Here are some great quotes from a model sermon demonstrating how Lutherans faithfully preach and teach about justification […]