Tag Archives: unconditional promise

Clinging to Externals: Weak Faith and the Power of the Sacraments

by Phillip Cary, Ph.D. Behind the debates about the objectivity of Christ’s presence in the Reformed view of the supper are crucial pastoral questions about the nature of faith, and I think it will bring clarity to the debate if … Continue reading

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Preaching to the Hopes of Sinners

A second interview with Pope Francis has just been published. It may turn out to be as controversial as the first, if Rod Dreher’s blog response to the interview is any indication. In the interview the pope is asked, “Your … Continue reading

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Preaching Gospel as Gospel: When Law Becomes Torah

There is an old story about a Lutheran pastor who, after a long ministry of rightly distinguishing law and gospel, announced on his death bed: “I shall most certainly go to heaven, as I cannot remember ever having done a … Continue reading

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Preaching Gospel as Gospel: How Unconditional is Unconditional?

The gospel is the story of Jesus Christ proclaimed in the performative mode of unconditional promise. What this means practically for the preacher is this: each week, through prayer, study, and meditation on the appointed biblical text, he must find … Continue reading

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Preaching Gospel as Gospel: Distinguishing Law and Promise

If the gospel is unconditional promise, then that means … well … no conditions! The language of unconditionality has become so commonplace when speaking of the love of God that it is very easy to miss the radicality of the … Continue reading

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Gerhard Forde on Descriptive and Declarative Language

Shortly after seminary I began devouring the writings on Lutheran theologians on the topic of justification by faith. I was particularly intrigued by the Jenson-Lindbeck proposal that the Reformation doctrine of “justification by faith” should be understood as a metalinguistic … Continue reading

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Preaching Gospel as Gospel: The Good News of the Resurrection

Since my first encounter with Robert Jenson’s construal of justification as metalinguistic rule back in the 1980s, I have sought to proclaim the gospel in the mode of unconditional promise. I have often not been successful nor consistent—it’s harder to … Continue reading

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