Sola Gratia

Western Seminary stands in the great tradition of the Reformation, embracing the five solas. The solas of the Reformation are at the heart of the gospel centered transformation taking place among our students at Western Seminary. There’s not sufficient time to address each one of the five solas, but I’d like to touch briefly on Sola Gratia, by grace alone.

books

The Death of Expertise

Conversations at the end of sermons can go many places. I have forgotten most, but a few stand out. I particularly remember one that took place some thirty years ago. I was just into my first Senior Pastorate, having worked my way through the ranks of Youth Pastor and Associate Pastor. I was still in the process of completing my Ph.D. in Systematic Theology, having acquired a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology degree. Nonetheless, I felt overwhelmed and woefully inadequate. I felt very much a novice at preaching, pastoral care, and board leadership.

The V-Shaped Gospel

For the last six years my eyes and ears have been attuned to a spatial reading of the Scriptures. I wrote my first book on the spatial nature of the kingdom and have plans at some point to write a biblical theology of the descent-ascent theme that is found across the canon of Scripture. Recently I picked up Matthew Bates newest book, “Salvation by Allegiance Alone.” In the first part of the book, he gives an argument for what I would call a “wide angle lens” of the gospel, but he employed imagery that resonated with me. He argues that the gospel has a V-shape (he admits he heard this from Ben Witherington first). What does he mean by this?