© Contra Mundum
Theologies of culture without a transcendent norm are mere speculation.

Biblical & theological studies

Biblical exegesis and commentary

Michael Kelley The Burden of God: Studies in Wisdom and Civilization from the Book of Ecclesiastes (694 k) Thomas Schirrmacher Law or Spirit? Galatians Between Legalism and Antinomianism (442 k) : Cover Paul is fighting against the abrogation of the Old Testament Law as well as against using this Law as way of salvation instead of God's grace.

Theological studies

Joel Herndon Sola Scriptura and the Church Fathers Herman Bavinck Calvin and Common Grace Horatius Bonar Assurance of Salvation G. W. Bromiley Sacramental Teaching and Practice in the Reformation Churches (1.8 MB) Jorge Ruiz - Westminster Hoy N.T. Wright Or the Recatholisation of Protestant Thought Spanish - N.T. Wright o la Recatolización del Pensamiento Protestante

Norman Shepherd’s error in a nutshell

Reformed theology in its scholastic origins had a system of distinctions about the aspects of justification which it referred to as “causes”. They might vary in the number of categories but often distinguished 1) the efficient cause; God, who effects the justification 2) the meritorious cause; Christ’s merit 3) the instrumental cause; faith which apprehends the meritorious cause 4) the material cause; believing man who is the entity being saved 5) the formal cause; what is transferred to man, the imputed righteousness of Christ and 6) the final cause; the end or goal of justification. Robert Rollock, to take an example almost at random, in his “Treatise on Justification” lists four causes, but breaks down the efficient cause into meritorious and instrumental subcategories. (See Mid-America Journal of Theology 27, (2016): 99-110.) Norman Shepherd set these distinctions aside and spoke merely of the “ground” of justification. “Ground” then became a horribly ambiguous term which might take on any or several of the above meanings, or change from one to another in the course of the argument without the reader being alerted. Shepherd’s error, then, was to conflate the six causes into one ground, and at the same time the conflation into a single term served as a camouflage of his error, as he did not have to contradict distinctions he didn’t make or refer to. Strangely, Shepherd’s colleagues at Westminster Seminary accepted to debate him in these ambiguous terms, a condition which ensured nothing could be resolved clearly or proved.

Reformed in theology, but …

Writers here are generally in line with the Reformed confessions, perhaps the Cambridge Platform or Westminster Confession most of all, but we take a critical view of the institutional arrangements.

Contra Federal Vision

When the Tyler branch of Christian Reconstruction fell apart amid the excesses of ecclesiasticism, one faction, working with fellow spirits mainly in the PCA, introduced the Federal Vision, deviously named to suggest that it was not the attack on federal theology that was. This movement amalgamated several heretical doctrines such as the confusion of justification with other aspects of salvation (already a feature of Tyler Reconstruction influenced by Norman Shepherd), institutional and sacramental interpretations of Christian standing, denial of the assurance of salvation, adoption of the New Perspectives on Paul’s view of law and justification, and an affinity for postmodern irrationality. We offer several books and essays in refutation of those views, and to make clear our opposition to them. See also the Monergism page.
Contra Mundum
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Theologies of culture without a transcendent norm are mere speculation.

Biblical & theological

studies

Biblical exegesis and commentary

Michael Kelley The Burden of God: Studies in Wisdom and Civilization from the Book of Ecclesiastes (694 k) Thomas Schirrmacher Law or Spirit? Galatians Between Legalism and Antinomianism (442 k) : Cover Paul is fighting against the abrogation of the Old Testament Law as well as against using this Law as way of salvation instead of God's grace.

Theological studies

Joel Herndon Sola Scriptura and the Church Fathers Herman Bavinck Calvin and Common Grace Horatius Bonar Assurance of Salvation G. W. Bromiley Sacramental Teaching and Practice in the Reformation Churches (1.8 MB) Jorge Ruiz - Westminster Hoy N.T. Wright Or the Recatholisation of Protestant Thought Spanish - N.T. Wright o la Recatolización del Pensamiento Protestante

Norman Shepherd’s error in a nutshell

Reformed theology in its scholastic origins had a system of distinctions about the aspects of justification which it referred to as “causes”. They might vary in the number of categories but often distinguished 1) the efficient cause; God, who effects the justification 2) the meritorious cause; Christ’s merit 3) the instrumental cause; faith which apprehends the meritorious cause 4) the material cause; believing man who is the entity being saved 5) the formal cause; what is transferred to man, the imputed righteousness of Christ and 6) the final cause; the end or goal of justification. Robert Rollock, to take an example almost at random, in his “Treatise on Justification” lists four causes, but breaks down the efficient cause into meritorious and instrumental subcategories. (See Mid-America Journal of Theology 27, (2016): 99-110.) Norman Shepherd set these distinctions aside and spoke merely of the “ground” of justification. “Ground” then became a horribly ambiguous term which might take on any or several of the above meanings, or change from one to another in the course of the argument without the reader being alerted. Shepherd’s error, then, was to conflate the six causes into one ground, and at the same time the conflation into a single term served as a camouflage of his error, as he did not have to contradict distinctions he didn’t make or refer to. Strangely, Shepherd’s colleagues at Westminster Seminary accepted to debate him in these ambiguous terms, a condition which ensured nothing could be resolved clearly or proved.

Reformed in

theology, but …

Writers here are generally in line with the Reformed confessions, perhaps the Cambridge Platform or Westminster Confession most of all, but we take a critical view of the institutional arrangements.
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Contra Federal

Vision

When the Tyler branch of Christian Reconstruction fell apart amid the excesses of ecclesiasticism, one faction, working with fellow spirits mainly in the PCA, introduced the Federal Vision, deviously named to suggest that it was not the attack on federal theology that was. This movement amalgamated several heretical doctrines such as the confusion of justification with other aspects of salvation (already a feature of Tyler Reconstruction influenced by Norman Shepherd), institutional and sacramental interpretations of Christian standing, denial of the assurance of salvation, adoption of the New Perspectives on Paul’s view of law and justification, and an affinity for postmodern irrationality. We offer several books and essays in refutation of those views, and to make clear our opposition to them. See also the Monergism page.