Archive Economics Reformed Irenicism Simon Kennedy The Natural Family

The Fruitful Household

TCI has had its differences with Peter Leithart, some of them quite recent, but there is little doubt that his thought is provocative in general, and in some specifics very helpful. His piece some days ago on his First Things blog about the family (or household), productivity and fruitfulness was especially thoughtful. To begin with Leithart […]

Archive Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Simon Kennedy

Retrieval and the Use of History

The question of “Why history?” and “Why the look to the past?” is one historians constantly have to answer. There have been many answers given. Cary J. Nederman offers a good one in his Lineages of European Political Thought. In the introductory chapter Nederman discusses the utility and importance of investigating medieval political ideas, writing: Indeed, the […]

Archive Book Reviews Simon Kennedy

Did Christianity Invent the Individual?: A review

Larry Siedentop, Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism (Cambridge: Belknap Press), 2014, 434 pp + viii.  At the very beginning of Inventing the Individual, Larry Siedentop laments in terms that will resonate with many. Many goods of the past are lost. The western world, taken as a whole, has mislaid its cultural and historical identity. […]

Archive Civic Polity Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Simon Kennedy

Althusius on the role of ruler

In his Politca, Althusius says the following about the ruler: The ruler, prefect, or chief directs and governs the functions of the social life for the utility of the subjects individually and collectively … Petrus Gregorius says that just as the soul presides over the other members in the human body, directs and governs them according […]

Archive Civic Polity Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Simon Kennedy

John of Salisbury on ‘The Prince’

John of Salisbury (c. 1120–1180), Bishop of Chartres and Christian humanist, writes in his Policraticus about the difference between a prince and a tyrant. His description of ‘the prince’ is as follows. Note well John’s emphasis of the divine origin of the prince’s authority, but with that the responsibility that rests on his shoulders: Therefore, according […]

Archive Book Reviews Civic Polity Simon Kennedy

Review: Mark J. Larson ‘Abraham Kuyper, Conservatism, and Church and State’

Mark J. Larson, Abraham Kuyper, Conservatism, and Church and State (Eugene: Wipf and Stock), 2015, 111 pp + xii.    Abraham Kuyper is becoming more and more a point of conversation for politically-minded Christians. Indeed, as my TCI associate Jordan Ballor has just pointed out, we threaten to morph into the Neo-Calvinist International if recent article trends continue. In […]

Archive Philosophy Reformed Irenicism Simon Kennedy

What We Mean by Renewal and Retrieval

One of the aims of the The Calvinist International is the ‘renewal of Christian wisdom’ to re-invigorate the Church. The method for this renewal is a principled retrieval of classical Protestant Christianity. The retrieval is not a bigoted one, which pushes aside ideas and sources not directly stemming from magisterial Reformation. Far from it. The […]

Archive Reformed Irenicism Simon Kennedy The Natural Family

Luther on deliberate childlessness

In his Lectures on Genesis, Martin Luther makes some observations about people who chose not to have children. He is at his subtle, sensitive best, of course. These are Luther’s words, not mine! Here he is commenting on Genesis 2:18: Today you find many people who do not want to children. Moreover, this callousness and […]

Archive Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Simon Kennedy

The Saeculum and seeking peace

In her Augustine and the Limits of Politics, Jean Bethke Elshtain writes of how Augustine’s conception of this temporal age helps us understand our efforts toward earthly order and peace. They are legitimate, they have meaning, if what we aim and hope for is attainable. This last aspect, the attainability of what we hope for, is […]

Archive Natural Law Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Simon Kennedy

The Eschatological Purpose of the Natural Law

In his comments on Romans 8:20, John Calvin makes a profound observation about the natural order in creation pointing to the redemption of the cosmos. What Calvin points us to is the eschatological end of creation, and the way in which the natural law, set in motion and sustained by God, points to a future […]