Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Surburg's thoughts about soft antinomianism, the Law and exhortation

During the last three years I have written a number of blog posts that deal with the topics of soft antinomianism, the Law and exhortation. For ease of access, I have brought them all together into once place and provide a brief description of each one.

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.

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 followed by a discussion of
Martin Luther’s antinomian theses and disputations

Martin Luther says in his 1535 Galatians commentary, “Therefore it is as necessary that faithful preachers urge good works as that they urge the doctrine of faith,” and “This is why faithful preachers must exert themselves as much in urging a love that is unfeigned or in urging truly good works as in teaching true faith.”  I discuss how this language flies in the face of much Lutheran understanding about preaching and teaching today.


A discussion of how the apostolic pattern of exhortation and admonition should help guide our preaching today.


Lutheran "synergism" and the regenerate will


A discussion of synergism – the good kind.  Justification is a result of divine monergism.  Sanctification (understood in the narrow sense) is a result of divine monergism. But new obedience takes place through synergism (cooperation) of the new man working with the Spirit.


Is an increase in new obedience possible? Scripture says yes!


A discussion of how both Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions state that an increase of in new obedience is possible, and what this means.


Four things Lutherans believe about the Law that are false ... and true


A discussion of how the simultaneous presence of the new man and the old man in the believer necessitates that we balance two sets of truths.


What is soft antinomianism? 


A discussion what soft antinomianism is, why the term “soft antinomianism” is an accurate and helpful term of reference, and a brief account of its history.

The elephant in the room - Presuppositions of soft antinomianism

An examination of next why soft antinomianism operates in this way in the way it does.


An example of soft antinomianism  


Some say soft antinomianism doesn't exist. This is a discussion of a classic example.

Walther's Law and Gospel on exhortation and good works

An examination of Walther's Law and Gospel which shows that Walther offers a very different understanding of the Law and the preaching task than is offered by the soft antinomianism of modern Lutheranism.


David Scaer describes the problem of soft antinomianism

There are some who say that soft antinomianism does not exist.  David Scaer provides a description of LCMS preaching today that matches it precisely.

WWJD - Luther says good question, when you take it up second

Is Jesus and example and should we speak about him in this way.  In his Church Postil Luther says that the answer is yes.




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