During the last four years I have written a number of blog posts that deal with the topics of soft antinomianism, the Law and exhortation. In these I have identified a problem that is new and unique to modern Lutheranism - an inability and even refusal to preach about new obedience and good works. This form of antinomianism stood outside the two categories of antinomianism that Lutheranism had defined in the sixteenth century. After identifying the problem, it was clear that a new term of reference was needed in order to speak clearly about a new phenomenon. And so "soft antinomianism" was born. I have sought to identify and explain soft animonianism, and to show on the basis of Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions and the practice of Lutherans in the past that it is wrong. In rejection of this I have advocated what the Lutheran Confessions clearly teach on the basis of Scripture - that being Lutheran includes exhortation for Christians to live in ways that are prompted and made possible by the Gospel. For ease of access, I have brought together all of the posts into one place and provide a brief description of each one.
The blog post that started it all. A look at Titus and the manner in which Paul repeatedly calls for good works – a call which he grounds in the Gospel.
A consideration of some of the key issues in the discussion of “sanctification” including the distinction between sanctification, new obedience and “sanctification”; regeneration by the Spirit and cooperation in new obedience; the possibility of growth and progress in new obedience; and the law’s third use. I had just come to realize how big the problem is.
A discussion of what I have termed “soft antinomianism” in which the robust presence of language that exhorts or admonishes Christians to godly living and good works is seen as a diminishing and denial of the Gospel in preaching. This is followed by a discussion of Martin Luther's antinomian theses and disputations. The term "soft antinomianism," was first coined here.