The Missing Category of the ‘Righteous Man’–Revisited

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A while ago I posted an article entitled, “Is Anyone More Holy Than Anyone Else?  The Missing Category of the ‘Righteous Man”.  In that article I discussed the downplaying of sanctification and holiness in some Reformed circles today.  For whatever set of reasons, certain pastors and theologians are convinced that in order to preserve the doctrine of justification we cannot emphasize that real progress is possible in our sanctification.  If we are really about ‘grace’, we are told, then we must focus predominantly on our depravity.

In my prior post, I argued that one of the motivations for this entire approach is  a misunderstanding of the doctrine of total …

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Did the Early Church Fathers Think That They Were Inspired Like the Apostles?

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A number of years ago, Albert Sundberg wrote a well-known article arguing that the early church fathers did not see inspiration as something that was uniquely true of canonical books.[1]  Why?  Because, according to Sundberg, the early Church Fathers saw their own writings as inspired.   Ever since Sundberg, a number of scholars have repeated this claim, insisting that the early fathers saw nothing distinctive about the NT writings as compared to writings being produced in their own time period.

However, upon closer examination, this claim proves to be highly problematic.  Let us consider several factors.

First, the early church fathers repeatedly express that the apostles had a distinctive …

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New Publication: “Manuscripts, Scribes, and Book Production in Early Christianity”

Christian Origins

A number of years ago my wife purchased a Kindle e-reader from Amazon.  Now, she reads a number of her books digitally.  And she is not alone.  It seems like our modern world has become to digest books more and more in a digital format–e-readers, ipads, digital phones, etc.   Much of this technical innovation is positive.  People can easily access material in ways never before available.

However, in the midst of this technological innovation, our modern concept of the “book” has been transformed.  It has largely ceased to be a physical object that you can touch, hold, and smell, and now has become entirely digital.  Books are merely words, and …

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10 Misconceptions about the NT Canon: #9: “The Canonical Gospels Were Certainly Not Written by the Individuals Named in Their Titles”

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Note: this is the ninth installment of a blog series announced here.  The full series can be found here.

One of the most commonly made claims regarding the canonical gospels is that they were not written by the individuals named in their titles.  Instead, we are told that these gospels were written later in the first century by anonymous individuals outside of Palestine who were not eyewitnesses of any of the events that they record.  After all, the text of the gospels themselves offers no indication of their authorship.   And the gospel titles, it is argued, were added at a later point—probably the middle of the second century—in …

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