Archive Jordan Ballor Nota Bene

Luther and the ‘Epistle of Straw’

Luther famously referred to the book of James as an “epistle of straw,” purportedly because of its lackluster portrayal of the gospel and the ease with which it might be used to foster doctrines of works-righteousness. Here’s the full context of Luther’s evaluation from his preface to the New Testament: In a word St. John’s […]

Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Martin Luther on Preaching

From Andrew Pettegree’s wonderful Reformation and the Culture of Persuasion, we have these reflections on Martin Luther’s view of preaching: Central both to Luther’s concept of the preacher’s art and his extraordinary skill was careful preparation, above all through the reading the Scripture. ‘Some preachers’, he wrote in 1542, ‘are lazy and no good. They do […]

Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Littlejohn Reviews Leithart’s Between Babel and Beast

TCI contributor Brad Littlejohn has posted a very thoughtful review of Peter Leithart’s Between Babel and Beast over at Reformation 21. Some of Mr. Littlejohn’s observations echo my own review which I posted here some time back. Especially important are these remarks: Leithart’s ecclesiology seems to suffer from the same kind of overrealized eschatology and opposition between […]

Archive Eric Parker Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

The Platonism of Martin Luther

Martin Luther’s ubiquitous criticisms of Aristotle were once considered to be, by such interpreters as Harnack and Barth for example, a wholesale attack on the natural capacity of the intellect to discern the truth from created realities, i.e., philosophically. More recent readers of Luther, such as Lohse, Gerrish, Zachman, et alia, have recognized this criticism […]

Archive Nota Bene Philosophy Steven Wedgeworth

Martin Luther and the Meaning of Reason

Quoting Brian Gerrish, Eric Parker helpfully explains why Martin Luther said what he did about “reason”: Because reason belongs to the natural sphere, Luther will not allow that it is competent to judge in matters of faith; and yet, because faith comes through the hearing and understanding of the Word, Luther found himself bound to […]

Jordan Ballor Nota Bene

Luther’s Apocryphal Apple Tree

David C. Barker and David H. Bearce would have us believe that Christian belief in the return of Christ is linked with lack of concern about the natural environment. Joe Carter does a good job providing some perspective on this piece, which appears in Political Research Quarterly under the title, “End-Times Theology, the Shadow of the […]

Andrew Fulford Archive Sacred Doctrine

Is N. T. Wright a Threat to Classical Protestantism?

Some time this year Dr. N. T. Wright’s long-awaited fourth big book will be out. No doubt its eventual release will provide fodder for scores of blog posts and comments, along with, of course, published reviews, and responses in other books. At present, though, there are no particular Dr. Wright controversies in the blogosphere, so […]

Archive Civic Polity Economics Philosophy Steven Wedgeworth

Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right

Part of what made me want to publish a review of an older book like Allan Carlson’s Third Ways is that it seems as if a number of conservatives are making known their desires to break with the unhelpful Left/Right political bifurcation.  A few years back James Matthew Wilson wrote his “Letter from a Traditional Conservative” at Front […]

Archive Civic Polity W. Bradford Littlejohn

Two Kingdoms Redivivus: Is there still a fuss?

This past spring, I wrote a piece for this site engaging Matthew Tuininga’s essay, “The Two Kingdoms and the Reformed Tradition,” which had been published in several online venues. Mr. Tuininga is a former student of David VanDrunen, and it was my contention that despite certain helpful qualifications, Tuininga’s version of the Reformed two-kingdoms doctrine […]

Archive Civic Polity Ecclesiastical Polity W. Bradford Littlejohn

Tuininga’s Kingdoms and the Reformed Tradition

Another recent essay on the two-kingdoms doctrine that has been getting some attention across the web comes from Matt Tuininga, a Ph.D student of John Witte’s at Emory University.  Tuininga’s essay, “Two Kingdoms and the Reformed Tradition,” is a clear example of why, as we have been contending, the dispute over Reformed two-kingdoms teaching today, […]