16 November 2013

Law and Gospel, 5

It's time to finally bring this thing full circle. I started exploring law and gospel from questions about parenting. How is establishing rules for my kids consistent with the gospel of grace?

The place for rules or law in parenting is basically given by the three uses of the law mentioned last time (part 4). In the civil use, the law is useful to establish a relative amount of peace and cooperation in a society. This can apply directly to parenting and the home. It doesn't matter whether or not we're talking about regenerate people. Everyone has a self-preserving interest. Nobody ultimately enjoys pain. The establishment of rules and corresponding consequences for breaking them has the effect of compelling people to obedience. A well-ordered, peaceful home is a good thing. Beyond the home, I'm setting up my kids to avoid a whole lot of pain in life if they simply understand that actions have consequences.

Too often I think my tendency, in wanting to champion the gospel of grace, is to downplay the value of obedience when it is merely out of selfish motive. Aren't we just training kids to be Pharisees? My kindergartner's public school experience so far has a lot of positive reinforcement awards for good behavior--but I'm questioning this standard of "good." No one is truly good, right?

What I think I miss in that tendency is a value for God's common grace. My child's school, our broader society, and even my home should all degenerate into absolute chaos because of the unregenerate sinners in their midst, but they maintain some semblance of peace and order because of God's restraining, common grace. While it is a confusion of terms to say that the rules are gracious, it is nonetheless true that peace in a home is God's gift, and that it comes about by the means of established rules and consequences.

All that is to say that the theological concept of the law's civil use means I should establish in my home and for my children clearly stated achievable rules and understood proportionate consequences. 

Yet, my mission in my home is not merely to establish peace. What good is external peace and quiet when there's storm and turmoil within the souls of my children? It may still seem like a home's civil law would train kids to be Pharisees and thus is actually working against my mission to train my kids to know Jesus. But I think this civil law in the home thing is actually working with me. Rules in my home train children to understand how actions have consequences. Good actions have joyful consequences and bad actions have painful consequences. Children need to understand this sort of merit system in order to have a framework to understand the gospel. That's because, in our relationship to God, we are saved by works. Not our works, but the works of Jesus. But works nonetheless.

Adam's sin reaps terribly painful consequences for us all. Jesus' obedience reaps joyful consequences for his people. A home's system of rules and consequences trains children to understand that framework. Rules work with us, not against us, in bringing up children to know and understand the gospel of grace.

But because this degree of external peace and civil righteousness is at a lesser standard than God's perfect standard of righteousness, our use of the law in training children to know Christ cannot stop at a civil use. We need to go further, and Lord willing I'll get there in the next post.

31 October 2013

Inconceivable: 1 Cor 10:31

I don't think that verse means what you think it means.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1Cr 10:31 ESV)
I regularly read of and hear this verse used to prove that we ought to live life, especially in mundane tasks, to the glory of God. This has been popularized by John Piper applying this verse to the drinking of orange juice.

My contention is that this verse has a very specific meaning in context. I affirm the truth that all of life should be lived for God's glory. But that is at best a peripheral concept to be taken from this verse. It has a more specific meaning. There might be ways to extend a principle from a given passage into a broader context, but when we only regard the passage's meaning in that extended sense my concern is that we forget the original sense. And it's pretty hard to get the extended application right when you haven't nailed the main point.

In my humble opinion, this verse is essentially identical to Romans 14:21:
It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. (Rom 14:21 ESV)
In the context of 1 Cor 8-10, "eat or drink" doesn't include drinking orange juice in private. Paul is speaking of specific issues of conscience, brought out more explicitly in Romans as eating meat or drinking wine. I don't know of any person or people group that has questions of conscience over orange juice. I don't know anyone that could possibly get offended if they saw me drinking orange juice. Drinking OJ in private doesn't even involve other people and is therefore really far removed from the context.

From the context and the place within the argument, "eating" and "drinking" has been in reference to eating and drinking food offered to idols. Paul's purpose has been to show that, "Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do," (8:8). Which is to say, food itself has no moral value. However, the problem in the Corinthian church being addressed is not that they lack this knowledge; rather, the primary problem is that those who have this correct knowledge do not use it properly toward those who do not. Some people still aren't quite convinced that such food is OK before God. While they ought in all things to build each other up through love, some having clearer understanding of their liberty in Christ became proud towards others, thinking themselves superior, and offended those with weaker consciences by eating and drinking food offered to idols, thus tearing down the bonds of unity. This, to me, is the primary sense of "eat or drink."

Applying this verse to our present day contexts still doesn't involve drinking OJ in private. To do all things for God's glory, from this verse, means to value other people's consciences before Christ as more important than my own freedom in Christ. Doing something "to the glory of God" is in contrast to behaving for one's own glory; it is to put the interests of others before yourself. The primary sense of "whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" is then, "In issues of conscience your guiding principle by which to act is not what is permissible for you but what is beneficial for others around you, that you may help guard them from sin in acting contrary to their conscience and promote belief in Christ. In doing so you demonstrate that your ultimate desire is God's honor. If, rather, you flaunt your own liberty before others, you demonstrate that you only seek glory for yourself."

Go ahead and enjoy orange juice to the glory of God. Please go ahead and consider how doing the dishes and other mundane tasks are actually valuable before God. But don't stick 1 Cor 10:31 on it. From its context such applications are, to me, inconceivable.

11 October 2013

Law and Gospel, 4

Having said that both law and gospel run straight on through the whole Bible, and both are active even today, something needs to be addressed: what law exactly is in force today? Are people in this age subject to all those laws in the OT? The short answer is that I'm talking about the moral law.

In The Transforming Power of the Gospel by Jerry Bridges, he says:
Impossible though it is for us to fulfill this standard, God has nevertheless called us to be holy as He is holy, and in order that we might understand what it means to be holy as He is holy, He has given to us His law (and here I am using law as a shorthand expression for all the moral will of God found throughout Scripture). God's law is both an expression of His moral will for us and also a reflection of His character.
God is holy and never changes. Therefore His moral standard never changes. In order for human beings to enjoy relationship with God, we must be holy as He is. And so, just as Jerry Bridges said, God gave us His law so that we could know how to live in order to enjoy fellowship with God. Another word for this "giving" act of God is revelation. In revealing His law, God was revealing a bit of Himself.

There are essentially two sorts of revelation to be considered: general and special. General revelation is what we see in creation, while special revelation is what we have in the Bible. God has revealed His moral standard in both general and special revelation. In Romans 1-2, it is indicated that human beings are able to perceive God's revelation of Himself in creation, His "eternal power and divine nature" (Rom 1:19-20), and that human beings innately have a knowledge of God's moral standard built in to the conscience (Rom 2:15). Every human being to ever live has a sense of right and wrong, but note especially that all people who lived from Adam to Moses knew God's moral law.

Once we come to Moses, however, God published his moral law through special revelation. The very first text humans ever received from God was written by God Himself: the Ten Commandments. Following the idea that the law runs straight on through the whole Bible, these Ten Commandments are an explicit and specific recording of the same moral law that Adam had in his conscience. In other words, the moral standard that God published in creation He republished at Sinai.

What about all those other laws that God gave through Moses? In at least the Reformed tradition, there is understood to be three aspects to the law of Moses: moral, civil, and ceremonial. The civil aspect are laws similar to any government would have in order to uphold peace in a society, including laws for the punishment of criminals. The ceremonial aspect are laws regarding worship and sacrificial practices. The civil and ceremonial laws were new things that Adam never knew of, although they were based upon the moral law and the promise of the Messiah about which Adam did know. But now, just as that nation of Israel has been dissolved so the civil law of Moses is no longer in force. The ceremonial laws foreshadowed and pointed to Christ, so now that he has since come and fulfilled them those laws are not binding on us. The moral law, however, is as abiding as God's holy character.

There's a lot to get confused about in the law of Moses and the OT, but getting a feel for God's purpose in that covenant through Moses has helped me make more sense of the OT. The covenant through Moses was not given as a way for eternal salvation. The promise to one who kept all the law of Moses was not eternal life but long life in the land. It was a national covenant. The promise of eternal life, on the other hand, was announced to Abraham; all who believe that promise like Abraham did receive eternal life. Salvation of the human soul, even of those in national Israel, has always been by grace through faith in God's promise of a savior. God's primary purpose in this national covenant and in giving the law of Moses was to cause humanity to understand our total depravity, our inability to reach God's righteous standard, so that we would look to a savior. (See Gal 3:15-4:7.)

This leads to the so-called "three uses" of the abiding moral law. The first use of the law is to drive a sinner to his knees so that he sees his need for a savior. This is related to 1 Tim 1:8-11 where Paul says the law is for "lawless and disobedient" people. The second use is civil, so that evil acts receive punishment and thus, appealing to people's self interest, crime is deterred and relative peace established in a nation. Just as God's law says not to murder, so it is beneficial for a civil government to criminalize murder. The third use of the law is as a guide for the redeemed sinner, that as he desires to glorify and express gratitude to God he knows what to do.

Because they affirmed the abiding moral law, and since that moral law is summarized in the Ten Commandments, reformation traditions (Reformed, Reformed Baptist, Lutheran) all include teaching on the Ten Commandments in their catechisms. The first four commandments, or "first table" of the law, teach how to love God; the last six commandments, the "second table," teach how to love your neighbor. So the abiding use of the Ten Commandments is entirely consistent with Jesus' teaching on love as the greatest commandment.

For more on the three uses of the law, R.C. Sproul Jr. has a great article here.

17 September 2013

Law and Gospel, 3

This is part 3 of a series looking at Law and Gospel. Links to the previous installments: Part 1 Part 2.

Having said that both concepts of Law and Gospel are present throughout the whole Bible, it could be helpful to substantiate that claim with some examples. I contrasted this view with that of seeing Law as Old Testament era and Gospel as New Testament (into the present) era. Here's how I'd depict the contrast:
Erroneous view
More accurate view

Since it is usual to see Law in the OT, I will only show examples of Gospel in the OT and likewise only examples of Law in the NT.

Gospel in the OT

By Gospel I mean anything that God gives to humanity out of sheer grace based on Christ's merit, apart from any merit of the recipients.
And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. (Gen 3:21 ESV)
This may seem insignificant, but Adam and Eve's new clothes were really a gift from God that they did not deserve. The skins is an indication that animals were killed in order to provide these clothes. God indicated that to trespass his law meant certain death (Gen 2:17), yet here God shows that He is gracious to spare them by providing atonement in a substitute. Yet, what was it that allowed God to pass over their sin, allow them to live, and give them clothes? How could He neglect justice? Was it the death of these animals that satisfied His justice? Surely not. Only the atoning death of Christ could provide this (see Rom 3:23-26). The sacrifice of the animals was to indicate to Adam and Eve the severity of their sin, that it indeed deserved death, but that God is gracious, and that He is gracious based on the merits of a substitute. The animals were suggestive of the substitute concept, while Christ is always the actual substitute. I don't think Adam and Eve were confused on this, because previous to the gift of clothes God had announced the coming of a Messiah:
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." (Gen 3:15 ESV)
Then, after pronouncing Eve's curse of pain in childbirth, this seemingly random statement comes:
The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. (Gen 3:20 ESV)
Though she had yet to give birth to anyone, it seems that to have called her "mother of all living" was their statement of faith in God's promise to provide in her offspring a savior, the true substitute, the victor over Satan. And the very next verse, on the basis of their confession of faith in the Messiah, comes the gracious provision of clothes.

This post has already gotten too long, but this understanding of the animal sacrifices as not sufficient in themselves but as pointers to the true sacrifice is a significant concept to remember throughout the OT (so I won't provide commentary for the following examples). It may seem that God's gracious favor can be merited through animal sacrifice, but in reality the one offering the sacrifice did so in faith of God's promise of the real sacrifice to come. God's grace is merited only by Christ's atonement and his righteousness accounted to the sinner when the sinner believes, whether that sinner was Adam or me or any in between.
(Gen 8:20-22 ESV) 20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease."
(Gen 15:5-6 ESV) 5 And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." 6 And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
(Gen 22:17-18 ESV) 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.
As the NT explains in Gal 3:8, "And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, 'In you shall all the nations be blessed.'"

Law in the NT

By Law I mean anywhere that God commands.
(Mat 5:17, 21-22, 27-28 ESV) 17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. ... 21 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire. ... 27 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
(Gal 5:19-21 ESV) 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
(Jam 4:11 ESV) 11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
(1Pe 1:14-16 ESV) 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." 
(1Jo 2:15-17 ESV) 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life--is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

11 September 2013

Sola Scriptura

I've been trying to learn about the solas of the reformation. Under desk piles I uncovered an old issue of Tabletalk (Nov 2012) that addresses them. I also found an old Modern Reformation article1 that has been helpful. I've also referenced R.C. Sproul's book "What Is Reformed Theology?" The following are some notes on Sola Scriptura I gleaned from these sources. These aren't necessarily quotes but reflect my current understanding of the topic. Also, as I'm going about learning, I'm particularly interested in how the Reformation2 perspective differed not only from the Roman Catholic view but also from the opposite extreme of the Anabaptist3 view.

Sola Scriptura is the Reformation view on this question: Where do we go to get God's Word? Christians might all agree that God is the highest authority and therefore His Word is the ultimate standard for all of life, but we disagree on how His Word is communicated to us.

This is essentially my understanding of the spectrum:

How does God speak to humanity today?
Roman CatholicReformationAnabaptist
Trifold authority: Scripture, tradition, and the Magisterium; but, primarily the pope, being the highest authority of the Magisterium.Only the 66 books of the Christian Bible. We should no longer expect ongoing revelation now that God has finally spoken in His Son (Heb. 1:2).Scripture, plus the Holy Spirit speaks directly to each believer, or perhaps directly to various charismatic leaders.

On Rome's side, the pope is viewed as the successor to the Apostle Peter, and so the pope's official pronouncements are the very words of God. In this way, the speaking and revealing work of the Holy Spirit did not end at the biblical Apostles but continues in the teaching offices of the Roman Church.

On the Anabaptist side, reacting radically to Rome's view, the Holy Spirit could and does presently speak to any Christian, not just the pope or official teachers. Yet, the great similarity this has with Rome is, again, that the speaking and revealing work of the Holy Spirit did not end at the biblical Apostles but continues for those who are sufficiently "tuned in."

The Reformation view, in contrast to both extremes, said that the Holy Spirit was done revealing with the close of the NT canon. The Holy Spirit continues to speak today, but only mediated through Scripture4. And, in my understanding, the Holy Spirit doesn't hijack the words on the page and make them mean something special to each reader; rather, the Holy Spirit meant something when He first inspired the writing, and He means for them to say the same thing today. So God speaks today in the contextual meaning of the words of the Bible.

It is interesting (and concerning) to me how some who would otherwise identify as reformational are reinterpreting passages that provide the basis for Sola Scriptura to support a continuationist view of prophecy, for example. The apostolic age was a unique period in redemptive history, a period which is not today. Lack of appreciation for this fact has most of evangelicalism today looking more like Anabaptists than Reformers. Similarly, Sola Scriptura is commonly misunderstood today to justify a view of "me, God/the Holy Spirit, and the Bible," which is radically individualistic and unappreciative of the rich history of traditions, creeds, and confessions of the church. Reading scripture in isolation from the church (both present-day and historical) actually elevates the authority of the individual self over the authority of God in the scripture.

Related concepts to Sola Scriptura are the perspicuity (clarity) of Scripture and the sufficiency of Scripture. Perspicuity goes to the issue of how to interpret the Bible. Rome said an official teaching office was necessary to interpret Scripture for everyone else, since the Bible is so confusing and all. But the Reformers argued that Scripture isn't that hard to understand, at least on the main points it addresses. So interpretation is performed by all people together, as Horton explains:
In interpreting it, the whole church must be included, including the laity, and they must be guided by the teachers in the church. Those teachers, though not infallible, should have considerable interpretive authority. The creeds were binding and the newly reformed Protestant communions quickly drafted confessions of faith that received the assent of the whole church, not merely the teachers.
Anabaptists get around interpretation by allowing any number of meanings, so long as it is what the Holy Spirit told you. But here the Reformers also argued for a literal meaning of the text which we come to by basic principles of hermeneutics and grammatico-historical method. As Sproul says, "Though a text may have a multitude of applications, it has only one correct meaning." Of the Holy Spirit card, Calvin said, "When the fanatics boast extravagantly of the Spirit, the tendency is always to bury the Word of God so they may make room for their own falsehoods."

The sufficiency of Scripture goes to the conviction that everything we need to know regarding religious life5 is in Scripture, and to add anything else is to reduce Scripture's authority. The medieval Roman Church's official theology "was shaped more by the insights of Plato and Aristotle than by Scripture." On the other side, much of evangelicalism today following an Anabaptist stream takes more cues in its message and methods from contemporary politics, sociology, and marketing than from Scripture. In saying "Sola Scriptura," the reformers were rejecting any such influences from Christian theology or practice.

1 "The Crisis of Evangelical Christianity: Reformation Essentials" by Michael S. Horton. Issue: "The Reformation Then and Now" March/April 1994 Vol. 3 No. 2 Page number(s): 12-19
2 I am deliberately avoiding the word "reformed." The Solas in particular trace back to Luther, so "Reformation" to me is inclusive of both Lutheran and Reformed (Calvinist, Presbyterian) traditions. Besides, "reformed" doesn't mean the same thing to everyone anymore.
3 I am aware that some don't think bunching people into a category like Anabaptist is fair, since some Anabaptists were generally orthodox and others were crazies. But as I understand, most of them were crazies, so there.
4 I like how the Westminster Confession of Faith says with present tense, "the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture." WCF chapter 1 article 10: "The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture."
5 By "religious life," I am intentionally qualifying the sphere in which Scripture is sufficient. Westminster Shorter Catechism question 3 is helpful: "Q. What do the Scriptures principally teach? A. The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man." The sufficiency of Scripture is not at odds with exercising practical wisdom, nor with learning from unbelievers about issues in a common grace realm. As Calvin said in his commentary on the creation in Genesis, "nothing is here treated of but the visible form of the Word. He who would learn astronomy, and other recondite arts, let him go elsewhere." Or as I paraphrase him: if you want to learn astronomy, ask an astronomer (not the Bible).

24 August 2013

Law and Gospel, 2

White Horse Inn is a radio program where four guys of different denominational backgrounds discuss the Reformation theology that unites them. The "usual cast of characters" is Rod Rosenbladt (Lutheran), Ken Jones (Baptist), Kim Riddlebarger (Presbyterian/Reformed), and Michael Horton (Presbyterian/Reformed). They talk about law/gospel a lot. I most recently came across this definition of law and gospel in an article by Ken Jones (in Modern Reformation, the magazine associated with WHI):
Law (which corresponds to the commands of Scripture) is what God demands of his image bearers, and gospel (which corresponds to the gospel declarations of Scripture as it relates to the person and work of Christ) is what God gives freely out of sheer grace.
In other words, anywhere in the Bible where there is a command we may call law. Anywhere in the Bible where there is an unconditional promise we may call gospel.

Understanding how these two words are different yet interact is incredibly important. Michael Horton quotes Theodore Beza (1519-1605, John Calvin's successor): "The confusion of law and gospel is the principal source of all the abuses that corrupt or have ever corrupted the church." Another Modern Reformation article quotes Luther: "Luther even declared of the person ignorant of this [law/gospel] distinction that 'you cannot be altogether sure whether he is a Christian or a Jew or a pagan, for it depends on this distinction.'"

For me, and many others I would guess, having been immersed in a Dispensational church culture, the tendency is to view "law" as the stuff of the Old Testament and "gospel" as the New Testament. In other words, law was then and is no longer. This is what's so radically different about the Reformation perspective: both law and gospel are at play throughout all the Bible. Therefore even our lives today need to be shaped by both law and gospel.

Seeing all the Bible unified around a law/gospel theme is correlated to seeing all the Bible unified around Christ. In Sally Lloyd-Jones's children's book, the Jesus Storybook Bible, she shows how Old Testament stories are really types and shadows of Jesus (gospel), not stories of moral heroes that we ought to try to be like (law). If a kid's Sunday School lesson is "dare to be a Daniel," that is, God wants you to try real hard to be brave like Daniel was, then not only did we miss the point of Daniel but we've given those kids all law and no gospel. And that means no Jesus. The fruit of this is kids who are either Pharisees or Philistines, moralists or rebels.

A man spoke the truth, but people rejected him. They executed him. He descended into the pit of death. But he miraculously emerged alive! Is this the story of Daniel or of Jesus? Daniel is a type of Jesus, a foreshadowing. Daniel was saved from death by trusting in God. The Sunday School lesson from Daniel should be to trust in Jesus for salvation.

Today this fresh perspective of the Old Testament may be perceived as a new fad in how we approach the Bible, but the reality is that this view goes back to at least the time of the Reformation. And, of course, if you hold this view you may also argue that the apostles and even Jesus himself (Luke 24:27; John 5:39,46) had this perspective of the Old Testament.

Jesus Christ himself stands as the solution to the law/gospel antithesis. That's why understanding law/gospel is so important: to confuse them together or to utterly separate them, to err on either side, is to lose Christ.

22 August 2013

Law and Gospel, 1

My journey into learning about law and gospel began with parenting questions.

I remember reading Give Them Grace, and a line in there asking how a Christian's parenting is distinctly Christian. Jews, Muslims and Mormons can produce morally straight children, and if a Christian has merely the same goal, "good" kids, then what really is Christian about it? The book's answer is that parenting can be made distinctly Christian with grace.

Thinking through this naturally led me to consider all the rules we place on our kids. We have so many rules when I stop and think about it. Just look at table manners: sit straight, sit still, eat over your plate, chew with your mouth closed, don't talk with food in your mouth, keep your hair off your plate, keep your hands to yourself, don't touch anything until you've washed your hands, on and on. And so I asked myself, what is Christian about rules? Isn't Christianity about grace and the gospel? A free gift apart from works? So to make my parenting distinctly Christian, I suppose we should get rid of all the rules.

Yet I knew something wasn't right about that conclusion. For the record, Give Them Grace didn't draw that conclusion, but neither did it give me a satisfying reason. Having heard something of "law and gospel" from White Horse Inn, I turned there for answers.

To be continued...