October 31, 2013

For Reformation Day. This won’t be to the taste of all my friends but I think it’s kickin!


I’ve been working for my whole life to get to the other side
And try to achieve true righteousness
All the scourges and whips I cracked
The flesh I ripped off my back
It only led me to emptiness

Here I am, a broken man who’s done all that a man could do
And found that it’s only filthy rags
Monasteries, religious schools, indulgences, laws and rules
It all added up to nothing and darkness and death
Vanity, Heartache, and emptiness
Efforts all fading away
The flesh and defeat that it brings
‘Till You guide me and show me things
That my eyes have never seen before
As I burst forth from the belly of the beast
Never fight it anymore
For the burden on my life has been released
Nail it to the door

Nailed these ninety-five things I’ve learned
They’ll say that I must be burned
For God has no place for heretics
All the things that they try to sell
It’s trickery straight from Hell
To turn it into a den of thieves

See these madmen peddling the wares of dead men’s souls
Collecting on a debt already paid so long ago
There’s fire in my spirit, and fire in their eyes
For now they’ll want to burn me alive
Yet freedom rings
Unworthiness is all I bring
The blood of Christ is all I claim
This grace revealed everything
That my eyes have never seen before
As I burst forth from the belly of the beast
Never fight it anymore
For the burden on my life has been released
Nail it to the door


More Theses Online

January 8, 2011

There is a small online archive of theses at Duke Divinity School. The two that would be more likely to interest readers of this blog are a rather old one by Earl T. Farrell entitled ’The Doctrine of Man and Grace as held by the Reverend John Flavel’. Of greater interest to me was David C. Fink’s doctoral dissertation, entitled ‘Divided by Faith: The Protestant Doctrine of Justification and the Confessionalization of Biblical Exegesis’, which I have dipped into and am finding thought-provoking. I really enjoyed his 2007 article on Bucer and triplex iustificatio and it is good to see someone getting deeper into the exegesis that lies behind the doctrinal formulations of the sixteenth century.

Found on the Internet

January 2, 2011

I recently came across searchable PDFs of two useful books. Not sure what they are doing online! How long they will be there, I cannot say.

The first is Alister McGrath’s  Iustitia Dei: A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification which I have found indispensible over the years.

The second is his The Intellectual Origins of the European Reformation. I read this years ago as I was getting more interested in historical theology. Whilst I have some quibbles, this is one of McGrath’s most helpful books. It is also one his least annoying, perhaps because he doesn’t get onto the subject of Protestant scholasticism!

Martin Luther says:

October 31, 2007


Happy Reformation Day!!

    The beers are on me!

Reformation MP3s

October 29, 2007

Definitely worth a look is this short series of lectures by Carl Trueman on the Reformation. Trueman is entertaining and really gets to the principles. Enjoy.

Lecture 1 – “The Road to Reformation”

Lecture 2 – “The Theology of the Cross”

Lecture 3 – “Freedom from Babylon, Freedom for Christ”


Reformation Day

October 29, 2007

So, 31 October approaches, the day when Martin Luther may or may not have nailed his 95 theses to a wooden door in Wittenberg. In some traditions this is a day that is celebrated, but here in England it doesn’t get much attention in many churches, mine included, so I will celebrate it in my own quiet way. Actually, celebrate would not be the best word. Remember and give thanks, yes. Celebrate in any triumphalistic sense, no.

The words of Richard Baxter, whatever one might think of his theology, are sobering:

I can well remember the time when I was earnest for the reformation of matters of ceremony; and, if I should be cold in such substantial matter as this, how disorderly and disproportionable would my zeal appear! Alas! can we think that the reformation is wrought, when we cast out a few ceremonies, and changed some vestures, and gestures, and forms! Oh no, sirs! it is the converting and saving of souls that is our business. That is the chiefest part of reformation, that doth most good, and tendeth most to the salvation of the people. (The Reformed Pastor)

Let’s remember our Reformation heritage. But let’s remember too the millions in this country who walk in darkness, and remember the churches that have fallen back into error and the prevalence of false teaching.

Semper reformanda.



Hot off the press – a new book from Alister McGrath. Yes, another one. He has attempted a study of the Reformation and Protestantism up to the 21st century. The dangerous idea in question is that any man or woman should be able to read the Bible for themselves and come to their own conclusions. This is a racy and readable account of the seemingly uncontrollable forces unleashed at the Reformation which have led to the diversity of expressions of Protestant belief today. Heavily discounted at