Unexpected Ally: Thomas Aquinas – An Excerpt from Grace Alone
In today’s excerpt from Grace Alone–Salvation as a Gift of God, Carl Trueman, professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary, gives us the background and context of Thomas Aquinas, the unexpected friend of grace alone.
If the reception of Augustine’s theology of grace was subject to some confusion in the West, there were still some theologians whose teaching maintained his clear emphasis on God’s sovereignty and priority. Among these the most preeminent was Thomas Aquinas.
Most Protestants, if they have heard of Thomas Aquinas, probably regard him with some degree of suspicion. He is, after all, the great theologian of Roman Catholicism who provided the most elaborate and compelling arguments for many Roman Catholic distinctives such as transubstantiation. For many…
Grace Is Profoundly Existential, Beginning With the Church
“Grace is a profoundly existential matter” (157).
That’s the verdict in Carl Trueman’s new book Grace Alone, a tour de force through the biblical, historical, and existential conversations surrounding salvation as a gift of God. How is grace existential?
[Grace] does not simply explain how the Creator and his fallen creatures are brought back into communion with each other… Grace should hold us in its grip in such a way that our whole being is affected. That which brings us from being under God’s wrath to being his beloved children is surely something that we cannot contemplate in a dispassionate manner. (157)
This is why Trueman culminates his book with an extended conversation on the means of grace through the church, preaching, the…
You Can Love Him or Hate Him, but You Can’t Ignore Him: Augustine on Grace–An Excerpt from Grace Alone
“Grace is the heart of the Christian gospel. It is a doctrine that touches the very depths of human existence.” (19)
In today’s excerpt from Grace Alone–Salvation as a Gift of God, Carl Trueman, professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary, reveals the importance of Augustine’s thinking as a foundation for the church’s understanding of this magnificent gift.
The history of theology is essentially a story. How one tells that story, which characters and places and actions receive prominence, will vary from historian to historian. But when we look at the “history of grace,” an undisputed key figure in that history is Augustine, fifth-century bishop of Hippo Regius in North Africa. Augustine’s life and writings profoundly shaped all later debates about grace.…
Five Intriguing Insights About Grace and the Old Testament
The language of grace so permeates the Bible and all traditions of Christian theology that to claim that salvation is by grace alone is, in itself, to claim very little at all (17).
So begins Grace Alone, Carl Trueman’s tour de force examining the doctrine of salvation as a gift of God.
He examines the development of this theme in the early church, through the Reformation, to the Protestant confessions that still shape the church in the present day. Trueman also explores the biblical means of receiving God’s grace—with a highly informative engagement of grace in the Old Testament.
Below we’ve highlighted some of his material to help you better understand what the Old Testament says about this doctrine, in order to help the church recover it in the face…
[Common Places] The Five Solas: Grace Alone
This year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation, looking back to Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and the theological debates kick-started by their posting. The Reformation continues to be lauded, cajoled, and debated in circles of all sorts today. At Common Places we will begin the year by focusing on some of the central principles and most relevant texts that shaped early Reformation theology and that have continued that conversation in the centuries that followed. Each month we will begin with a post related to an ongoing book project from Zondervan Academic that addresses the five solas of Reformation theology. We will then conclude each month with an annotated reading guide on classic and contemporary works that address that particular principle.
One thing that the Protestant Reformers…
Extracurricular Activities 1.3.15 — The Law of Moses, Robert Alter, Moses Myth?
A Q&A summary with David Dorsey’s essay, “The Law of Moses and the Christian: A Compromise,” JETS 34 (1991): 321-34:
What was the purpose or design of the law of Moses?
The corpus was designed to regulate the lives of a people living in the distinctive geographical and climatic conditions found in the southern Levant, and many of the regulations are inapplicable, unintelligible, or even nonsensical outside that regime. The corpus was designed by God to regulate the lives of a people whose cultural milieu was that of the ancient Near East. Fred Sanders on ““All the Prophets Proclaimed These Days” of Acts 3
In Acts 3, near the end of his sermon in Solomon’s Portico, Peter says that “all the prophets, as many as have…
Extracurricular Activities 11.01.14 — Favorite Heresies, Luther’s 95 Theses, Ross Douthat’s Catholicism
Most American evangelicals hold views condemned as heretical by some of the most important councils of the early church.
A survey released today by LifeWay Research for Ligonier Ministries “reveals a significant level of theological confusion,” said Stephen Nichols, Ligonier’s chief academic officer. Many evangelicals do not have orthodox views about either God or humans, especially on questions of salvation and the Holy Spirit, he said.
On October 31, 1517—a Saturday—a 33-year-old former monk turned theology professor at the University of Wittenberg walked over to the Castle Church in Wittenberg and nailed a paper of 95 theses to the door, hoping to spark an academic discussion, making the first order of business the proposition that all of life…