What did the Reformation ever do for us? (2) Brought us back to grace

 the centre of the Reformation was the question “How can I be right with God?” It wasn’t that faith and grace were completely absent from the teaching of the church, it was rather that they’d been squeezed out by works, rituals and sacraments.

Grace had become a substance bestowed on you at baptism because of Jesus’s death. However, through life you could lose grace as well as gain it. Sacraments like the Mass, saying confession, doing penance etc were ways to in effect top your account back up.  You could gain additional grace by taking up holy orders in a monastery.  You could also pay (through a scheme known as indulgences) for your dead relatives to have their grace accounts topped up and that way buy them out of purgatory (an intermediate place between earth and heaven where most people expected to go to pay off their debt to sin in order to purify their souls for heaven). Continue reading

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Fulfilling the Law (part 4) Typology

We’re continuing to think through the continuity and discontinuity between the OT and the NT. One helpful way to do this is through Typology. The OT provides types/ patterns or foreshadowing of the greater reality to come in Christ.

Let’s sketch that out a little (nb there’s nothing original in this post but if I were to cite everyone who had picked up on these images the footnotes would be longer than the article). Continue reading

Shame and/or guilt? Collective and/or individual?

Judy Wu Dominick writes about guilt and shame here.  Her thoughts can be summarised as follows Continue reading

Why did Jesus rise from the dead?

A week ago, we raised two important questions:

–          Why did Jesus die?

–          Why did Jesus rise?

When we looked at the first question, we saw that it was important for Christians because we want to follow Jesus and there are two challenges along the way

–          The temptation to sin

–          The threat of false teaching

We are now going to look in more detail at the second question “Why Did Jesus rise” and we are going to see what it says about how we deal with sin. Continue reading

What Mike Ovey taught me

This weekend, we heard that Mike Ovey, Principal at Oak Hill College, had died suddenly aged 58.  The news was sad and a shock.  Mike is going to be greatly missed, though we are encouraged by the reminder on the Oak Hill website “that for Mike, death is not an end but a glorious beginning”[1] because he is now with the Lord. Continue reading

Calvin without Hobbs

 Indulged

In 1517 Johann Tetzel,  a travelling preacher and ambassador of the Pope travelled through Germany with another catchy little tune.

“As soon as a coin in the coffer rings / the soul from purgatory springs” Continue reading