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 […]


Resources from Dr. Joel Biermann on the Two Kinds of Righteousness

This is a compilation of many of the available resources from Joel Biermann regarding his teaching on the two kinds of righteousness. Just and Sinner Programs Two Kinds of Righteousness A Case for Character Preaching the Two Kinds of Righteousness   Other interviews A Case for Character (and Potlucks!)- Boars in the Vineyard   Videos […]


Christ Dwells Within Us, And We Should Be Talking About It.

I often hear Lutherans say things like: “It’s not about Christ in us, but Christ for us.” The “Christ in us” language belongs to pop evangelicalism and the Eastern Orthodox. For Lutherans, Christ in us is a reality…but we shouldn’t really talk about it. To do so would be to adopt an evangelical or Eastern […]

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 […]