Blog Posts by Aaron Denlinger

Faith is a Gift (But Not That Kind of Gift!)

Article by   October 2016
Any theological system worth its salt affirms that faith is a gift from God rather than the exercise of some innate power of the human soul. But that affirmation can be misleading, particularly so if one's notion of "gift"... continue

On Burials and Bargains

Article by   September 2016
Upon the surface, Genesis 23 seems rather curious in its choice of emphases. In the terse space of a single verse it records Sarah's death and Abraham's mourning (Gen. 23.2). The remaining twenty-odd verses (Gen. 23.3-20) of the chapter... continue

A Valuable (or not) Historical Resource on Gender Roles

Article by   September 2016
The last year or so has witnessed some controversy about the meaning and value of the term complementarianism (not to be confused with complimentarianism, which is belief in people who pay me compliments) to describe men and women's respective... continue

Statism and Parachurchism

Article by   August 2016
Several weeks ago I re-read J. Gresham Machen's pivotal, early twentieth-century work Christianity and Liberalism in preparation for giving the final lectures of a seminary course on modern church history. Having originally read the work more than a decade... continue

The Justification of Works by Faith

Article by   August 2016
The Protestant Reformers, following Scripture's lead, roundly rejected the notion that believers might be justified in part or in whole by their own good works. Sinners, they maintained, are justified wholly on the basis of Christ's perfect righteousness imputed... continue

"The Labyrinth of Temptation": Calvin on Genesis 22

Article by   July 2016
"This chapter contains a most memorable narrative." Thus Calvin introduces his readers to Gen. 22, that text which records God's instruction to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, the long-awaited fulfillment of God's promise and source of Abraham's profound... continue

John Webster (1955-2016) Ref21 Contributions

Article by   June 2016
Ref21 readers who are familiar with the British theologian John Webster will, I'm sure, already know that he passed away late last month. I'm equally sure that many readers of this site will not have heard of Webster, or will... continue

Papist Wildlife and Providentialist Histories

Article by   June 2016
Several days ago I was distracted from my mid-afternoon, back-porched task of grading college research papers by the presence of a pair of cardinals flitting around our yard. As I watched them doing what cardinals do, I began wondering whence... continue

Luther, Palmerworms and Theological Precision

Article by   May 2016
The details of Luther's mid-1520s tussle with Erasmus over the issue of sin's impact on human freedom are generally well known. Luther responded to Erasmus's 1524 De libero arbitrio diatribe sive collatio with his own 1525 De servo arbitrio [On... continue

Luther, God's Law and Uncle Rico Syndrome

Article by   May 2016
In 1524 Desiderius Erasmus, who until then had proven reluctant to challenge Martin Luther publically, finally caved to pressure from Rome to employ his literary talent against the impudent German Reformer who had caused, and was still causing, the institutional... continue
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