Gaffin on Calvin on Ezekiel

gaffinWhat is the relationship between faith and works in justification? Recently someone pointed me to this post: Faith Without Works is Dead — John Murray, which I forwarded to several people. Dr. Richard B Gaffin was reminded of something he had written some time ago. He forwarded it to me and gave me permission to post it here. If  you prefer a pdf copy, click on Calvin on Ez. 18, 17.

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Calvin on Ezekiel 18:14-17 Justification, Faith and Works

Now suppose this man fathers a son who sees all the sins that his father has done; he sees, and does not do likewise: [15] he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, [16] does not oppress anyone, exacts no pledge, commits no robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, [17] withholds his hand from iniquity, takes no interest or profit, obeys my rules, and walks in my statutes; he shall not die for his father’s iniquity; he shall surely live. (ESV)

A passage from Calvin’s commentary on Ezekiel 18:14-17 has the distinction of being among the last, perhaps the last, of his comments on the relationship among justification, faith and works (progressive sanctification*), having apparently been written shortly before his death in 1564. Also, it is perhaps as pointed as Continue reading

Advice from Ned B. Stonehouse

kingdom_and_churchOne kingdom? Two kingdoms? How are the kingdom and the church related? Such questions bounce around in books, exchanges of articles, and blog posts. I was recently reminded of a foundational, very helpful work: The Teaching of Jesus Concerning the Kingdom of God and the Church, by Geerhardus Vos (P&R Publishing, reprinted 1972).

In a side discussion during a committee meeting a few weeks ago Richard B. Gaffin quoted the late Ned B. Stonehouse as telling his students, “Every minister of the gospel ought to read Vos’ The Kingdom and the Church once a year.” Although I have read the little book (about 100 pages) a couple of times, and have used it more frequently as the Scripture index has been helpful in finding sections dealing with preaching texts, I was motivated to take Stonehouse’s counsel. The advice was Continue reading