Due to the recent dust-up and the ongoing controversy in Reformed circles, I have decided to begin a series on the question of antinomianism. This series will not have any specific structure but will likely focus on a few main points.
Tullian, Liberate, and One Way Love
The current controversy circles around, although certainly not limited to, Tullian Tchividjian and his popular book One Way Love. Along with the book and Tullian’s blog, there is also a conference and accompanying podcast. Some of the posts in this series will be critiques and analysis of this content. I will strive to be fair and charitable to the speakers, authors, and content that I analyze. However, it should be said at the onset that I respect people like D. A. Carson, Carl Trueman, and Kevin DeYoung who have critiqued Tchividjian’s theology and found it to be lacking. I am not interacting with these sources from a neutral place, but I will attempt to be objective and fair.
Reformed Theology and the Westminster Confession
I will admit that the uses of the Law is not something that I am exhaustively conversant in. As such, I will be engaging in a study, albeit not as deep as I would like, to try to understand this topic on a deeper level. Posts of these nature will revolve around analysis of various Reformed thinkers I encounter both historical and contemporary, as well as thoughts regarding my study of the Reformed confessions (specifically the Westminster Confession of Faith and associated Catechisms).Scots Confession – Article 13
Scots Confession – Article 14
Law and Gospel Distinction
While it is true that Lutheran theology is more classically known for the distinction between Law and Gospel, it is certainly not true that this is a feature of Lutheran theology alone. There is a long history of understanding the Bible as containing a Law and Gospel distinction. These posts will partially reflect upon this theological phenomena, but will also likely take the form of personal reflection on the application of Law and Gospel to the life of the believer, since the understanding of what role the Law has for Christians is at the heart of the Antinomian controversy (both historic and contemporary).
A Note about SGM and TGC
There is much controversy currently over the Sovereign Grace Ministries sexual abuse cases, and the role that the Gospel Coalition may or may not have played in covering things up. While I do have a perspective on this, discussing this controversy is not my intention and I will not engage in it. I simply am not in a position to make statements or speculations about a situation in which I have no involvement. My heart breaks for those who have been abused, and if C. J. Mahaney, Joshua Harris, or anyone else had knowledge of said abuse then they ought to be punished under the full weight of the civic laws applicable and their ecclesiastical positions ought to be forfeited. If D. A. Carson, Tim Keller, or anyone else involved in the Gospel Coalition (including Tullian Tchividjian) had knowledge of this abuse and defended the perpetrators, then they ought to be punished under the full weight of the civic laws applicable and their ecclesiastical positions ought to be forfeited. That being said, I am a firm believer that a person is to be considered innocent until proven guilty, and until such a time that these people have been proven guilty I will assume they are not and act accordingly.