Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Around the Blogs

As the blogosphere enters a new year, please note:

James Crossley looks on the decade that was and what might be in the future. Excerpts from D.A. Carson's excellent devotional For the Love of God are being posted daily at the Gospel Coalition Website. Norman Jeune draws attention to this quote from Bavinck:

"[W]e must remind ourselves that the Catholic righteousness by good works is vastly preferable to a protestant righteousness by good doctrine. At least righteousness by good works benefits one’s neighbor, whereas righteousness by good doctrine only produces lovelessness and pride. Furthermore, we must not blind ourselves to the tremendous faith, genuine repentence, complete surrender and the fervent love for God and neighbor evident in the lives and work of many Catholic Christians. The Christian life is so rich that it develops its full glory not just in a single form or within the walls of one church."

I am glad to see that Steven Coxhead has launched his own blog called Berith Road which is well worth checking out! Finally, Daniel Doleys notices that Michael Bird's new line of fleece pullovers are now available at the WTS Store.


Steven Coxhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven Coxhead said...

Thanks, Mike, for introducing my blog to your readers. The blog will focus on Old Testament theology and explore how that impacts on our reading of the New Testament, especially Paul.

Hope I'll bump into you some day, Mike, now that you're back Down Under. Keep up the good work, and all the best in the Lord in 2010!

2:36 AM

Unknown said...

Thanks! That's a great quote.

Michael Barber said...

Of course, Crossley doesn't mention that the Catholic view is of course that righteousness comes only through grace and that the good works are only the result of God's grace at work in the soul. Perhaps he realizes this. I just mention it because as a Catholic who has spent most of his life at non-Catholic academic institutions, I have found that the crass characterization of the Catholic view as merely works-righteousness as opposed to grace is ridiculously common.

pennoyer said...

Michael Barber:

Your statement that righteousness comes only through grace and that the good works are only the result of God's grace at work in the soul is Luther's view. So, if that is indeed the Catholic view, either the church has "moved" or there is some kind of finessing of terms going on. Maybe the difference comes to the surface with the slight clarification of Luther's position which would be righteousness comes only by grace through faith. What do you think?

- Ray

Michael Barber said...


Thanks for the comment.

Here's what the Council of Trent said: "we are therefore said to be justified gratuitously, because none of those things that
precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace of justification" (Sess. VI,
Chap. VIII).

In sum, faith and good works play a role in justification, but only because it is God's grace that first allows one to have the gift of saving faith (i.e., "flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father in heaven") as well as to transform our works into Christ's, thus making them meritorious.

I'd highly recommend this very brief but illuminating discussion:

The paper was written by Richard White, who at the time was an evangelical studying at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

My issue was simply that the works-righteousness attributed to Catholicism by Crossley can be easily misconstrued, as it typically is.

John Thomson said...


Thanks for introducing us to Steven Coshead's blog. I am really appreciating reading it. Struggling a little with his more federal vision (I think) view of Sinai covenant - but a lot to think about.