Reforming or Conforming on Scripture?

This is part 2 of my review of this excellent book. The article on Scripture and humanity is written by Paul Wells (no relation to David).

His stated purpose in general is “to apply a little ointment to the Achille’s heel of evangelicalism, the humanity of Scripture” (p. 30). There are three ways Wells attempts to do this. First, a consideration of what happens when people separate the human elements of Scripture from the divine. Secondly, an examination of how people have attempted to articulate this relationship in the past, and third, his own approach to the question.

Wells rightly points the finger at the Enlightenment for driving a wedge between the humanity and the divinity of Scripture (p. 31). However, this is a problem mantle that evangelicals have perhaps unknowingly donned. The question that the Enlightenment poses to us is “whether or not the humanity of Scripture is identical to all other expressions of humanity we might observe (pp. 32-33). The most extreme form of this duality is reader-response criticism, which “challenges the truth and the authority of Scripture” (p. 36).

Wells goes on to examine several models of the relationship of the human to the divine in Scripture. Witness, accomodation, the incarnational analogy, and the servant form of Scripture. I’m not going to do all your work for you. I’ll let you read it to find out which of these is good and which is not.

Wells then examines three authors and their views: Bloesch, Pinnock, and Enns. I will just quote his conclusion about Enns, which is probably of most interest to my readers:

Enns leaves us with the unhappy impression that by being embedded in culture, both the writers and the readers of the Bible are in some way stuck in it. If that is the case, as James Barr remarked years ago, “there is no sense in which the Bible can be ‘authoritative’ for us.” Even if we are sure that Enns does not mean that, his formulation of cultural embeddedness unfortunately suffests that cultural relativity affects the biblical writers and ourselves in much the same way (p. 54).

Lastly, he advocates four perspectives through which we should look at this question: 1. a new humanity in the old. What he means is that “the God-breathed Scripture participates in the old creation as the divine sign and presence of the new creation” (58). 2. the humanity of Scripture as a political function, in the sense of Kline’s metapolis, “the metamorphosed city, the city of God” (ibid.). 3. Christ is the conclusion of the whole historical process. This is the redemptive-historical understanding of Scripture. 4. There is a link between the humanity of Scripture and humanity in regeneration.

Also In!

WTS bookstore has now received the Pitt Minion ESV’s published by Cambridge. If you can’t afford goatskin, there is a French Morocco leather available for $20 less. For a closer look, see this excellent post.

It’s In!

A Short Review of “The Hope Fulfilled”

Previously, I had only reviewed the one article by Terry Johnson on lectio continua Scripture reading. I am still not going to comment on every article. That should not be read as a slight on any of the articles, as they were all of them excellent. I merely comment on a few which I think are particularly timely. Here is a link to the book in question.

Nick Willborn has an article in this book on biblical theology in Southern Presbyterianism. I think that Southern Presbyterianism in general has been unjustly neglected anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line. Of course they got some things wrong (as all theologians have). But why should that blind us to all the good things they did? Furthermore, they were not monolithic even there. Willborn’s article, therefore, reintroduces us to the theological insights in biblical theology, and in so doing, re-inserts Southern Presbyterians into the mainstream of Reformed thinking. May we not slight any Reformed theologian simply for where he lived and for what position he took on slavery!

Dr. Gaffin has an article on Christ in the OT in the NT. The question that he answers is this: is Christ in every sentence of the Old Testament? To quote Abelard completely out of context, sic et non. Gaffin does not advocate an atomistic reading of Christ in every detail of the OT, as some like Pink have done. Rather, it is an organic, progressive, unfolding of the story-line that has its climax in the person and work of Christ. Included also are some important methodological considerations (pp. 62-63) related to the study of biblical theology.

Rick Phillips has an article on the language “baptism now saves you” in 1 Peter 3:21. Given the recent hoopla over the Federal Vision in various Reformed denominations, this is a very healthy reminder to us of what sacramental language does and what it means.

Guy Waters has a thorough article on the development of the theology of Norman Shepherd. I’m sure this is preparatory to the publishing of his book on the theology of Norman Shepherd (not sure exactly at the moment where that book is in the process of publication). His always careful (FV pundits notwithstanding!) qualifications are helpful: “The Federal Vision, while not to be identified with the theology of Shepherd, is nevertheless sufficiently indebted to that theology as to bring Shepherd’s doctrine before the attention of the church once again” (p. 207). Waters notes the theological progression in Shepherd’s views, and that Shepherd’s views are not monolithic, but developed over time, even though some things have their origin in very early pieces. So, there is continuity and discontinuity.

Dominic Aquila has an article on the regulative principle of worship as it relates to biblical theology, or redemptive history. He affirms the usual distinction between elements of worship and circumstances (p. 257). His principle on what hymns should be used is simple: “We should sing only what is acceptable to preach” (p. 265). He expands on this: “If the human preacher can interpret, explain, and apply Scripture in human language, we can also sing scriptural concepts written by human authors” (p. 265). To me, this position makes a lot of sense. Exclusive psalmody (EP) seems to me to make the fallacy of the word-concept variety when it says that we must use scripture’s very words in singing. Of course, EP does not even do that, as most EP’ers use a translated-into-meter version of the Psalms to sing. To me that gives the ball game away. If one can translate the Psalms into meter, effectively instituting a paraphrase, then why is it unlawful to make hymns that paraphrase other parts of the Scripture’s truth? Aquila also makes the point that the Psalms speak of Christ typologically (p. 265). At the very least, this means that we must sing the Psalms Christologically. However, it also means that we must have hymnody that sings about the fulness of Christ’s person and work as we find it in the NT. I might add to this a comment about the structure of redemptive history: after every major deliverance of God’s people, there is singing. After the creation, the morning stars sang. After the Exodus, the people sang. After Hannah’s deliverance from barrenness (which was death to a woman in those days), she sang. In the New Testament, Mary sings, Elizabeth sings, Simeon sings, and Zechariah sings. And now, after Christ’s death and resurrection, we can sing no new songs? Far be it from me to denigrate Psalm singing. I have a Psalm that is read responsively, and then sung, every week in worship. The Psalms are still the crown of the Christian’s hymnbook. Nevertheless, we can sing new songs, in my opinion.

Along the same lines is Joey Pipa’s article on the second commandment and the regulative principle. Fundamentally, it seems to me, Pipa’s concern is with a practice that establishes itself before it has theological justification for it (see pg. 268). Pipa particularly targets Frame and Schlissel for making this error (and rightly so, in my judgment). Pipa’s article is on the issue of images. This, I thought, was a very helpful way of framing the matter (pardon the pun): “By forbidding us to worship him according to our imagination, God requires us to worship him according to his revelation” (p. 273). Along the way, he makes some very helpful comments about synagogue worship and its relationship to temple worship (pp. 280-281). The real problem with jettisoning the regulative principle is this fundamental fallacy of the human heart: “How foolish for us who possess a remnant of sin, which fuels our lusts and vain imaginations, to think that because something pleases us it pleases God” (p. 285). Indeed.

This book is a very fitting tribute to someone who is surely one of the most significant biblical theologians of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, O. Palmer Robertson. Any theologian would have to feel abundantly honored to have such a resource that is written in honor of him.

I Didn’t Know He Had a Blog

But you should check out Voddie Baucham’s blog. He has gotten a fair bit of press lately for standing up for complementarian values in the face of a hostile media. He is Reformed Baptist, and seems to me a very sane voice in today’s world. He has a powerful message here on theodicy.

Net Gain

Matthew 13:47-50


Audio Version

Church fights are so prevalent these days that people have written books about them. Leslie Flynn wrote a book entitled Great Church Fights. In this book, he tells the story of a father who was in his study reading, and he heard a commotion outside the window. It was his daughter who was playing with her friends. It got louder and it got louder and more heated and more argumentative, until finally he could restrain himself no longer. He pushed the window open and said, “Stop it. Honey, what’s wrong?” And after the reprimand she responded quickly, “But, Daddy, we were just playing church.” What causes fights in the church? At root, the issue is pride, especially since we think we know all there is to know about the other people in the church. Especially in small communities such as ours, there is very little in the way of privacy. Everyone seems to know what is going on in everyone else’s lives. That has many good results. When someone is in the hospital, or suffering in some way, other people come alongside them and comfort and help them. However, it can have down sides as well, since things that should not be spoken about are broadcast with a million watt foghorn all over the community. It helps us in these kinds of situations to know what the church is, and what we can infer from that and what we cannot infer from that.

Jesus tells us a story about the church. The church is a mixed company. There are good fish in the net, but there are also bad fish in the net. The church is mixed, and we need to know this. Let’s look at some of the details.

Firstly, let’s look at the net itself. The net being talked about here is a gigantic square net. They would put weights on the bottom of the net, so that it would scrape the bottom of the lake, and they would put corks on the top end of the net, so that the top would float. Then they would tie one end of the net to the shore somehow, and then the other end of the net they would carry all the way around in a semi-circle. Some of these nets, by the way, were over 700 feet long. Obviously, anything and everything that was in the path of the net would get caught up in this net, whether it was good or not. That net is like the church proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All sorts of people get caught up in the church. Some of the fish that get caught are good fish, but some of them are bad fish, and some are not even fish at all. Let’s take a closer look at these fish.

According to the Old Testament, the only fish that were fit for human consumption were fish that had both fins and scales. So, for instance, shrimp were not allowed, nor crabs. Of the nearly 30 varieties of fish that could be caught in the Sea of Galilee, only about one quarter of them were ceremonially clean. That is what defined whether a fish was a good fish or a bad fish. So, the fishermen would gather up this net at the end of their fishing expedition, and start sorting the good fish from the bad.

Now, notice something very carefully here. The fishermen are not us, and they are not the church. The church is the net. The angels on judgment day are what the fishermen mean in the parable. In other words, we are not the ones who get to do the sorting, by and large. There is one exception, which we will get to in a minute. But for now, notice that it is not our place as Christians to judge whether someone else is a good fish or a bad fish. We are not qualified to do that, because we cannot read people’s hearts. I have heard even in our two churches many many people judge other people, who are members in good standing, to be unbelievers, and therefore justify their own lack of forgiveness or lack of love “because they just aren’t Christians.” To put it rather bluntly, “Who died and left you God?” The church is the only body in this life who gets to decide who is “in” and who is “out.” That is the one exception.

The church has the keys to the kingdom, and if gross sin is evident in the life of a member of the church, then the steps of Matthew 18 are to be put into play. First, the offended party goes to the offender and seeks reconciliation. If reconciliation does not happen, then the offended party seeks out a second person to act as a witness, and goes to the offender again, to seek reconciliation. If that does not work, then the offended party takes it to the church. If the church steps in and the offender still does not repent, then the church has the authority to excommunicate the offender. But do you see that the individual does not have that kind of power to decide who is in and who is out? The only thing we have to go on is whether or not a person is a member of a good church. If that person is a member of a good church, then there is absolutely no reason to treat them as a nonbeliever. Folks, I can think of nothing more crucial than this to the life of the body and getting along well with one another. It is sad that Matthew 18 is usually ignored, as well. No one goes to the offender. Rather, we go to our friends and gossip about the motives of the offender, which gossip is almost always wrong. Worse yet, we’ll let those problems just sink into our souls for months and years without ever dealing with them. This is not life in the net as Jesus portrays it here. Life in the net is a mess in some ways. The good fish and the bad fish are all jumbled up together. That leads us to two errors. One is to try to separate the church right now. That is what people who are quick to judge do. Eventually, they wind up all on their own, which a church of their very own, with a membership of one, and of course, if they have even a modicum of self-awareness, they will start to doubt even that membership of one. But the equal and opposite problem is that when we know about sin, we do nothing about it. We can use this parable even as an excuse to avoid the hard work of reconciliation and dealing with sin problems. Matthew 18 is also in the Bible.

There are two encouraging things, besides all the hard things just mentioned, that we can glean from this text. The first thing is that God has the power to change completely a bad fish into a good fish. There are many people who come into a church and are not saved. But then, after a while, they notice that they are not, and become convicted of sin, and recognize their need of Jesus. This happens all the time. So, we do need to be patient with people. Maybe so and so isn’t a Christian. That doesn’t mean we give up on them. The proper response is not to broadcast their shortcomings to the world, but to pray for them. We can always pray that other people’s walk with the Lord becomes closer. That is a safe prayer for anyone, for it does not pre-judge whether they are Christians or not. So, maybe some of you listening tonight are not good fish, but bad fish. In that case, make sure that you repent of your sin, and come to the one who can give you fins and scales, making you clean, making you different from the world.

The second encouraging thing is that, while we look at the church now and see all her shortcomings, and see all her warts and blemishes; we can see that there are bad fish in her, and pieces of rotting wood, and all sorts of other things that don’t belong; still, we can know that it will not always be this way with the church. I am constantly amazed at people’s main excuse for not coming to church: “it’s just a bunch of hypocrites.” That is probably the number one excuse I hear for someone not coming to church. As if Jesus didn’t tell us this centuries before! Of course the church has a lot of hypocrites in it! Jesus told us in this parable that that would be the case! That is no reason not to come. The church is mixed right now, but it will not be mixed in the coming age. Then, we will all see just how beautiful the church really is. We will see all the good fish, the purified fish, all in one place, and we will see all the bad fish, and all the non-fish in another place.

So, we need to be concerned to treat other people charitably. It does not matter what that person has done to you. If they are members of the church of Christ, then you are to treat them as members of the church. Do not do private excommunications. At the same time, examine your own hearts to see what kind of fish you are. The story is told of a young pastor who went to a small-town church. He was totally idealistic, and wanted to turn the church around. But no matter what he did, week after week, no change came. So finally, he had had enough. He decided to announce in the local paper that the church had died, and that there was going to be a funeral service at the church building, and that all who wanted to attend could do so. The church was packed. There was standing room only in that church. What was really shocking, however, was that the pastor had a casket up front. Everyone wondered who was in the casket, since it was a funeral for the church. At the end of the sermon, the pastor announced that he was going to have a viewing of the casket, and that anyone who wanted could come and see the casket. Everyone got up to go to the front to see. The pastor opened the casket, and moved aside the flowers so that everyone could look in and see…the mirror. So, don’t just play at church. Don’t judge other people to be in or out, when you don’t know people’s motivations for anything. Instead, treat one another kindly, and look to your own heart that you be a good fish by the grace of God and for the glory of God.

My Wife Reviews a Book

Practical Theology for Women: How Knowing God Makes a Difference in Our Daily Lives

I asked my wife to read this book and give me a book review of it, and she willingly and graciously assented. So, these are her words, only lightly edited.

There are no pet issues, feel-good fuzzies, or cultural buzzwords in this book. It is not a book for the shallow Christian, yet it is understandable enough for any who desire to grow and benefit from it. This book is solidly biblical, very challenging, extremely practical, and amazingly conservative. In short, it is the book for women I have long bemoaned that all the others aren’t. This woman must have read the Puritans, or at any rate, she knows their God. This book will make you think, but not overwhelm the “non-intellectual” types. Here are some quotations I found helpful:

My husband and boys can’t be my idols. I can’t pin all of my hopes for the future on their personal successes. It’s not fair to them, and it keeps me from placing my hope for the future in God’s hands. I must be a steward of my roles of wife and mom, not an idolater who looks to her husband and children for her sense of personal achievement. The same is true for you in whatever calling God has given you. Jesus must be our source of identity.

Instead of seeing ourselves as connected to Christ at all times, we tend to view our relationship with God in terms of intersecting moments during the day. We think that the more times our lives intersect with God, the more “spiritual” we are. In this paradigm, God goes on his way and I go on my way until we intersect at another corner later that day, week, month, or year. Instead, we need to think of ourselves walking with Jesus continually, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. If you are a believer, Christ is with you, in you, holding you together at all times. The goal is for us to be aware of that reality and live in light of it, for Christ warns us that apart from him we can do nothing (see John 15). (Taken from pp. 96-97)

Is the Law/Gospel Distinction Only Lutheran? Part 2

This time, we’ll start with some more modern authors and work our way backwards. First off is Danny Hyde, author of a commentary on the Belgic Confession:

When law and gospel are confused, sanctification is motivated by guilt, not gratitude.

What follows is an extensive quotation from Calvin’s Commentaries (Commentaries on the Last Four Books of Moses 3:199-200) that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Calvin held to the Law/Gospel Distinction:

Further, because Paul seems to abrogate the Law, as if now-a-days it did not concern believers, we must now see how far this is the case…he does not treat of the Law in the abstract, but sets it forth invested with those of its qualities, wherein it is opposed to the Gospel; for, inasmuch as his controversy was with those who interpreted it amiss, he could not help contrasting the Law with the Gospel, as if they were in opposition to each other: not that they were really so, if their respective doctrine be dextrously applied to its proper object, but because such a conflict arose from the absurd mixture, which the false apostles introduced. They asserted that men are justified by the works of the Law, and, if this were admitted, the righteousness of faith was destroyed, and the Gospel fell to the ground. They, moreover, restored the yoke imposed on the ancient people, as if no liberty had been obtained by the blood of Christ. In this discussion it was necessary for Paul to advert only to that which is peculiar to Moses, and distinct from Christ; for although Christ and Moses perfectly accord in the substance of their doctrine, still, when they are compared with each other, it is fitting to distinguish what is peculiar to each.

A few comments are necessary here on Calvin’s language. Firstly, he, as well as practically all other Reformed authors, do not make the covenant of grace totally distinct from the Mosaic economy. He asserts that the doctrine really does agree. However, justification by works of the Law versus justification by faith is completely antithetical. It is in that sense that the Law and the Gospel are distinct. And even there, there is still a distinction between the time of the Law and the time of the Gospel (the Westminster standards make the Law/Gospel a distinction in time in WCF 7.5).

Next up, we have John Owen, in his magisterial treatment of justification by faith alone, in volume 5 of his complete works, which is one of the most important treatments of the doctrine of justification ever written. Here is what he says (pp. 75-76):

The order, relation, and use of the law and the gospel do uncontrollably evince the necessity of this conviction previous unto believing. for that which any man hath first to deal withal, with respect unto his eternal condition, both naturally and by God’s institution, is the law. This is first presented unto the soul with its terms of righteousness and life, and with its curse in case of failure. Without this the gospel cannot be understood, nor the grace of it duly valued. For it is the revelation of God’s way for the relieving the souls of men from the sentence and curse of the law, Rom. 1:17. That was the nature, that was the use and end of the first promise, and of the whole work of God’s grace revealed in all the ensuing promises, or in the whole gospel. Wherefore, the faith which we treat of being evangelical,- that which, in its especial nature and use, not the law but the gospel requireth, that which hath the gospel for its principle, rule, and object,- it is not required of us, cannot be acted by us, but on a supposition of the work and effect of the law in the conviction of sin, by giving the knowledge of it, a sense of its guilt, and the state of the sinner on the account thereof.

Closely related to the work of John Owen is the work of Thomas Goodwin. I do not have the finer, five-volume edition of his works, but rather have the Nichol edition published by Tanski. Mark Jones will not only tell you that the five-volume work is better (since it is not nearly as edited), but I hope he will look up this passage and tell me if anything major has been edited out or changed. This is from the Nichol edition, volume 4, pp. 315-316, in his work A Discourse of the Glory of the Gospel, the beginning of chapter 6:

The next thing that is (in Col. 1:27) attributed to the gospel is, that it is a glorious gospel…He saith that the law is good…but when he comes to speak of the gospel, he calls that glorious…He doth acknowledge that the law had a kind of glory in it…but now I only quote it for this in the general, that the apostle, though he attributeth a glory to the law, yet in comparison of the gospel he makes it no glory.

Goodwin goes on to mention how the gospel is more glorious than the law in their respective promulgations, and in their respective subject matter. This plainly implies a Law/Gospel distinction.

Jonathan Edwards, in his work, Justification By Faith Alone, in volume 19 of the Yale edition, pp. 166-167, plainly affirms the Law/Gospel distinction. First he argues that just because we are sinners does not mean that God somehow lost the right to require absolute perfection of sinful creatures. Otherwise, why would Jesus Christ need to die for our sins? Then, Edwards goes on to argue that we are justified by faith alone apart from works, and what he means is, apart from the law, apart from any and all works of the law. This kind of argumentation is impossible apart from the Law/Gospel distinction. Edwards goes on to demolish the Roman Catholic/proto-NPP position that Paul only excludes ceremonial aspects of the law (pp. 168ff).

John Bunyan has an entire treatise entitled The Doctrine of the Law and Grace Unfolded. It is found in volume 1 of the Banner of Truth Works. In his epistle to the reader (p. 493), he says this:

If there be the terror, horror, and severity of the law discovered to a people by the servants of Jesus Christ, though they do not speak of it to the end people should trust to it, by relying on it as it is a covenant of works; but rather that they should be driven further from that covenant, even to embrace the tenders and privileges of the second, yet, poor souls, because they are unacquainted with the natures of these two covenants, or either of them, therefore, say they, ‘Here is nothing but preaching of the law, thundering of the law;’ when, alas, if these two be not held forth-to wit, the covenant of works and the covenant of grace, together with the nature of the one and the nature of the other-souls will never be able either to know what they are by nature or what they lie under. Also, neither can they understand what grace is, nor how to come from under the law to meet God in and through that other most glorious covenant, through which and only through which, God can communicate of himself grace, glory, yea, even all the good things of another world…So long as people are ignorant of the nature of the law, and of their being under it-that is, under the curse and condemning power of it, by reason of their sin against it-so long they will be careless, and negligent as to the inquiring after the true knowledge of the gospel.

More to come in Part 3.

A New Bible Study Series

The first one on Esther follows the format and content (especially since the author is the same!) of the NIVAC series commentary. My impression is that this will be standard practice in the new series.

Is the Law/Gospel Distinction Only Lutheran? Part 1

The short answer is that the Law/Gospel distinction is found in many important Reformed writers. One can certainly argue that the Three Forms of Unity are based on this distinction, in pointing out (in the HC, for instance) misery (which we find out by the law), salvation (pointed out to us by the Gospel), and gratitude (the Law/Gospel distinction does NOT eliminate the third use of the law, contrary to what some might think). Here are some quotations that clearly indicate that the Law/Gospel distinction is Reformed.

First up, Ursinus, one of the two authors of the Heidelberg Catechism (concerning question 2, which lays out the structure of the HC):

This question contains the statement and division of the whole catechism and at the same time accordes with the division of the Scriptures into the Law and Gospel. (Commentary on the Catechism, p. 20)

Hence it is manifest that we must commence with the preaching of the law, after the example of the Prophets and Apostles, that men may thus be cast down from the conceit of their own righteousness, and may obtain a knowledge of themselves, and be led to true repentance. Unless this be done, men will become, through the preaching of grace, more careless and obstinate, and pearls will be cast before swine to be trodden under foot. (Commentary, pg. 21)

Next up, Turretin, in speaking of the covenant of grace:

(In talking of Galatians 4:24) “He disputes against the false apostles who confounded the law and the gospel.” (IET II, p. 236)

There is not the same opposition throughout between the Old and New Testaments as there is between the law and the gospel. The opposition of the law and the gospel (in as far as they are taken properly and strictly for the covenant of works and of grace and are considered in their absolute being) is contrary. They are opposed as the letter killing and the Spirit quickening; as Hagar gendering to bondage and Sarah gendering to freedom, although the law more broadly taken and in its relative being is subordinated to the gospel. (IET II, pp. 236-237).

W.G.T. Shedd (in the third edition), p. 824 quotes approvingly (“the following excellent statement of the law and the gospel as means of grace”) the Lutheran Formula of Concord article 5 (for which, see Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, volume 3, pp. 126-130, which is followed, interestingly enough, by an exposition of the third use of the law, article 6; the Lutherans did NOT deny the third use of the law!).

Johannes Vos, in his commentary on the WLC, pp. 235-236:

13. What is the place of the moral law of God in a scriptural program of evangelism? While the word evangelism means “proclamation of the gospel,” we should realize that the gospel is meaningless without the law. Gospel means “good news”: that is, good news of salvation from sin. Sin is the transgression of the law: without conviction of being transgressors of the law, people will feel no need of the gospel; without knowledge of the moral law of God, people will not feel themselves to be transgressors of the law. Therefore no program of evangelism is sound os scriptural which does not emphasize sin as the transgression of God’s moral law. Much present-day “evangelism” has little to say about God’s law, sin, and repentance; instead, the tendency is to speak only about “accepting Christ.” A return to the old emphasis on God’s law is urgently needed. Without it, there cannot be a genuine revival of the Christian faith.

Notice that Vos equates the Law/Gospel distinction with the first use of the law. This means that the WS do indeed teach the Law/Gospel distinction as the first use of the law. Therefore all six forms of unity teach the Law/Gospel distinction. The reason some are uncomfortable with the Law/Gospel distinction is that they feel it does away with the relevance of the law for the Christian. It does no such thing. As we saw even in the Formula of Concord, the Law/Gospel distinction is immediately followed by a discussion of the third use of the law for the believer. Similarly, the treatment of the Ten Commandments in the HC is found in the section on gratitude, NOT in the section on misery, or salvation. Ursinus obviously felt no schizophrenia for arguing in this fashion (see the quotes above). On to other authors in Part 2, which will follow shortly.

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