Thesis Thursday

A few more interesting points from the 10th lecture, concerning


Thesis VI

In the second place, the Word of God is not rightly divided when the Law is not preached in its full sternness and the Gospel not in its full sweetness, when, on the contrary, Gospel elements are mingled with the Law and Law elements with the Gospel.

Rom. 3, 20 we read: By the Law is the knowledge of sin. God does not tell you to preach the Law in order thereby to make men godly. The Law makes no one godly; but when it begins to produce its proper effects, the person who is feeling its power begins to fume and rage against God. He hates the preacher who has shouted the Law into his heart, and he feels that he cannot slip off its coils. Where this has happened, you may hear people say: “We shall never again go to that church. Why, that preacher strikes terror into my soul. I prefer to attend the services of the Rev. So-and-so. He makes you feel good. While listening to him, you discover what a good man you really are.” Alas! in eternity these people will wish to take revenge on the preacher that preached them into perdition. …

For your catechizing you must adopt the same method. When explaining the Law, do not mingle Gospel elements with your catechization, except in the conclusion. Even little children have to pass through these experiences of anguish and terror in the presence of the Law. The reason why so many imagine that they can pass for really good Christians is because their parents reared them to be self-righteous Pharisees; they never made them aware of the fact that they are poor, miserable sinners.  …

The practice of the Pharisees has been taken up by the papists. Papists and Pharisees resemble one another as closely as two eggs. The papists, when handing heretics over to the magistrates, declare: “Ecclesia not sitit sanguinem, that is, The Church does not thirst for blood. True, many of our heretical enemies have been slain. However, it was not we who did that, but the magistrates.” But if the magistrates refused to do it, they were excommunicated by the Church. Thus the papists want to wash their hands of the blood of the martyrs. But they will not succeed; some day they will have to appear before God stained with the damning witness of this blood. The case of the Jews is similar. Had they known the spiritual meaning of the Law, they would also have acknowledged: “Yes, we are the ones who killed Christ; for it was we who cried, ‘Crucify, crucify Him!’ ”

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This entry was posted in Christian life, Compare and Confess, Education, Gospel, Law/Gospel Distinction, Legalism, Liberty, Lutheranism, Protestant preaching, Protestant slogans, Quotes, Reformed Confessionalism, The Protestant Reformation, Thesis Thursday. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Thesis Thursday

  1. RubeRad says:

    I really like the advice about catechism.

    And that last part is an interesting argument against Theonomy. Bahnsen does give lip service to “two kingdoms” and “separation of church and state”, but when push comes to shove, the theonomic state is really just a subsidiary of the church.

  2. Zrim says:

    True, and in case one feels he’s not had quite enough law laid on him he should try making the Roman connection to a theonomist. Speaking of eggs, be sure to wear goggles.

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