Blog Posts by Scott Swain

"It is not we who can sustain the church..."

Article by   October 2015
I begin every semester in my Church and Sacraments course with the following quotation from Martin Luther, which Karl Barth used "In Place of a Foreword" to introduce Church Dogmatics, volume 1.2. The quotation says so much about the relationship... continue

Psalm 19 and human flourishing

Article by   August 2015
Human flourishing"Human flourishing" is a cultural catchphrase that can be overheard in the hallways of corporate America and in the institutions of public and private education. In recent days, human flourishing has served as a warrant for doctrinal and moral-theological... continue

Paul, the virtues, and theological conflict

Article by   August 2015
I. Virtue: a brief introductionIn my previous post, I briefly noted the threefold grace that Paul unfolds in Titus 2.11-14: (1) "saving grace," which flows from God's free mercy toward sinners in the redeeming death of Jesus Christ, (2) "training... continue

Notes on Titus 2.11-14: a threefold grace

Article by   August 2015
"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of... continue

Justification and Ariel's Grotto

Article by   July 2015
Systematic theology must make sure that each doctrine it teaches is biblical. It must also make sure that each doctrine it teaches reflects an appropriate proportion and order in relationship to other doctrines. This proportion and order is determined by... continue

Theses on natural theology

Article by   July 2015
Introduction   Recent Reformed theology has not held natural theology in high esteem, and that for understandable reasons. Enlightenment thinkers (Catholic, Protestant, and secular) often treated natural theology as a pre-dogmatic discipline, i.e., as a discipline that could and should... continue

The trinitarian depth of Scripture

Article by   June 2015
Most evangelical presentations of the doctrine of Scripture are implicitly trinitarian. They identify the Father as Scripture's primary author, the Son as Scripture's central subject matter, and the Spirit as the immediate agent of prophetic and apostolic inspiration. Scripture is... continue

An open letter to worship leaders

Article by   June 2015
Dear Comrades in Pursuit of the Chief End of Man,I have rarely (alright, never) been asked to give input regarding the weekly "worship set." However, having witnessed Christian worship in local churches, Christian camps, seminary chapels, and other venues over the... continue

Geerhardus Vos on membership in the covenant of grace

Article by   June 2015
Scholastic theology is often derided for the subtle distinctions it makes. Seemingly unable to provide a simple "yes" or "no" regarding disputed theological questions, the common scholastic reply, "we distinguish," sounds more like the response of a slick politician than... continue

Geerhardus Vos on the doctrine of God

Article by   May 2015
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to work through the first volume of Geerhardus Vos's Reformed Dogmatics, which is devoted to theology proper (i.e., God's being, attributes, and triunity; God's decrees; and God's "natural works" [naturae opera] of creation... continue
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