Posts by Amy Mantravadi

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Note: This post concludes Amy's series on Roman Catholic and Reformed Protestant views of justification. Find previous posts in this series below . Does God want us to be certain of our salvation? “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” Saint Paul wrote, “for it is God who is at work in...
I declared at the outset of this series that the matter of justification is of essential importance because it concerns the eternal fate of souls. We've spent much time describing and analyzing the Reformed and Roman Catholic positions; we should now consider more fully why this issue matters. We...
I have spent much time describing the views of the Reformed Protestants and Roman Catholics according to official theological statements and works by influential theologians. But where humans can be wrong, the Word of God never fails. Any theological debate must be rooted in the message of sacred...
Note: Click here to read previous articles in this series. At the Council of Trent, the Roman Catholic Church drew a hard and fast line between their view and that of the Reformed Protestants. We've already explored the Council's view ; now we will see more clearly what they were opposing. In...
Editor's Note: The following is the second entry in a new series on justification. Click here to read part one . In response to the challenges posed by the Protestant Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church called its 19th ecumenical council in the city of Trento in modern day Italy. [1] Held in...
Martin Luther is often credited with the assertion that justification is “the article by which the Church stands or falls.” He may or may not have said those exact words, even when we make allowance for translation into English, [1] but the sentiment was clearly held by many prominent theologians...
In February of this year, I experienced labor and delivery for the first time. I went in to the hospital on a Monday afternoon to begin the process of induction, but it took until Wednesday morning for my son to make his appearance in this world. Although I had been administered Pitocin in...
When we think about the humiliation of Christ, we often focus chiefly on His death and the suffering that immediately preceded it. However, in order to view things from an eternal perspective, we must also consider His Incarnation itself: the point when “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us...
The mind turning in on itself
As one of the many people living with an anxiety disorder, I hope to use this article to pass along a few things I have learned which might prove beneficial to you, and as always to dispel certain misperceptions. Rather than sticking to my usual essay format, I'd like to offer a some initial...
The issue of abortion is one of the most divisive in modern political discourse. The option for a woman to end a pregnancy has been proclaimed by some to be a basic right, while others have decried it as the murder of a fellow human being. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult for so-called "pro-...
There are many ways to think about God's attributes. They can be divided between those that affirm something about God and those that deny something about God, those that are communicable to creatures ( i.e. can exist in or be communicated to them somehow) and those that are incommunicable, and...
Just south of central Dayton, Ohio, in the heart of one of the city's historic districts, is a stretch of road familiar to all the locals: A two block section of Fifth Avenue that is home to an eclectic mix of high-end restaurants, bars, oddity shops, tattoo parlors, a Goodwill, and an adult video...
Just south of central Dayton, Ohio, in the heart of one of the city's historic districts, is a stretch of road familiar to all the locals: A two block section of Fifth Avenue that is home to an eclectic mix of high-end restaurants, bars, oddity shops, tattoo parlors, a Goodwill, and an adult video...
Just south of central Dayton, Ohio, in the heart of one of the city's historic districts, is a stretch of road familiar to all the locals: A two block section of Fifth Avenue that is home to an eclectic mix of high-end restaurants, bars, oddity shops, tattoo parlors, a Goodwill, and an adult video...
I have recently been wading into the thought of the 20th century Reformed theologian Cornelius Van Til in order to consider his use of the term "limiting concept." These words appear throughout his collected works, both in his full-length books and his shorter articles. Our ability to define them...
I have recently been wading into the thought of the 20th century Reformed theologian Cornelius Van Til in order to consider his use of the term "limiting concept." These words appear throughout his collected works, both in his full-length books and his shorter articles. Our ability to define them...
I have recently been wading into the thought of the 20th century Reformed theologian Cornelius Van Til in order to consider his use of the term "limiting concept." These words appear throughout his collected works, both in his full-length books and his shorter articles. Our ability to define them...
In my first article on the topic of theology proper, I discussed why we must know the God who created us. I will now explain how we can know that God whose ways are higher than our ways, and his thoughts higher than our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) Christianity is a religion of revelation, and our God...
The very root and beginning of all theological study is known as theology proper or the doctrine of God. Within this field, the existence, being, and attributes of God are considered and his character is defined within the limitations common to human beings. All Christian theology (from Greek...
It’s become somewhat fashionable to say that hell is a state of mind rather than a physical location. Far more people in modern America will proclaim their belief in heaven than admit hell exists. Even so, they must both exist in relation to one another, and scripture assures us they both do. Hell...
“But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.” (1 Timothy 2:12) I begin by quoting that verse because many of you are already thinking about it. I do not blame you. It is an important and much debated verse, and the way we interpret it tends to define...
Within the early verses of Genesis, we find not only the source of the universe but also the source of every woman’s identity. The story of our first mother, Eve, has much to tell us about the purpose of women on this earth. Imago Dei The first piece of Eve’s identity is the fact that she was made...
What do we mean when we say that the Bible is the Word of God? We mean that while it was written by men, it was not the product of their independent and fallible thoughts. It was inspired by God Himself, and specifically one Person of the Godhead: the Holy Spirit. In this book, the eternal God of...
When I was in high school, I heard my Bible teacher say “To pray ‘Your kingdom come’ is to pray for judgment.” He excitedly told us how the Israelites had found a legitimate red heifer that might allow them to restart the sacrificial system, should the Tribulation come upon us soon. We had just...
Why should history have to make a case for itself? No one questions why we should study mathematics or science. The humanities are always having to justify their existence in a way that is not expected of other disciplines. Even so, I do not mind the question—either as a writer of historical...
The Heidelberg Catechism, penned mostly by Zacharias Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus, is among the most beloved and best written statements of Reformed Christianity. The forms of assurance discussed in this catechism fall into two broad categories: 1) those benefits which accompany union with Christ...
B.B. Warfield is well known for his writings on the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. The rise in higher criticism and schools of thought that cast doubt upon the origins of God’s Word required Warfield to spend much of his time defending biblical authority. However, when it came to the...
"Let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me…" (Jeremiah 9:24a) That verse captures the goal of Trinitarian theology: to know the amazing God that we worship. It is a task in which we must confess our impotence, for we are limited by both our own fallible reason and the...
The Bondage of the Will is one of Martin Luther’s most important and enduring works. It represents his greatest defense of the doctrine of predestination and was written as a response to Erasmus of Rotterdam. I have previously described the relationship between these two men and the circumstances...
“Whenever I pray, I pray for a curse upon Erasmus.” That quote appears in Martin Luther’s Table Talk, the same place where he called the Prince of the Humanists “the vilest miscreant that ever disgraced the earth” and quipped that those who do not hate Satan ought to love Erasmus. How did...