Categories
Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Scripture Teaches All That Is Necessary for Salvation: The Patristic Roots of the Reformation (8)

I’d like to return to a point that I made in the previous post to emphasize it again, because, at the end of the day, it is extremely important. So, once more: the Westminster Divines say this: VII. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things […]

Categories
Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Scripture as the Source of Dogma: The Patristic Roots of the Reformation (7)

In the first chapter of their confession of faith, on Holy Scripture, the Westminster Divines say (among other things): VI. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from […]

Categories
Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Deep in History?

The scene: Twitter, Reformation Day 2017. The charge: “The more I prayed, studied history &theology, read the Bible & ChurchFathers, the more I felt God calling me to be Protestant” said no one — Ryan T. Anderson (@RyanTAnd) November 1, 2017 To date, this has been retweeted 95 times (the number seems oddly fitting) and […]

Categories
Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

“Faith Alone”: The Patristic Roots of the Reformation (6)

Protestants in the sixteenth century were fond of quoting a number of passages from patristic sources in which the “exclusive particle” (i.e., “alone”) was used in connection with justification. Philip Melanchthon, for example, does this in his Responsiones ad impios articulos Bavaricae inquisitionis (“Answers to the Impious Articles of the Bavarian Inquisition”) in Article 23, “Whether […]

Categories
Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

The Real Absence and the Extra Calvinisticum: The Patristic Roots of the Reformation (5)

I’ve touched on the extra patristicum, er, extra calvinisticum before, here. The important idea in this connection is that the divine nature of Christ is omnipresent but his human body cannot be. This is a corollary of Chalcedonian Christology, viz. that the integrity of Christ’s two natures must be maintained in their hypostatic union in the person […]

Categories
Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Sacraments as Visible Words: The Patristic Roots of the Reformation (4)

The Protestant Reformers regularly referred to the sacraments as visible words–that is, they communicate the same gospel and promises as the written word, but in a different form, one that could be handled, touched, tasted. And yet the sacramental elements are not self-explanatory. For that reason, they must be joined with the Word, such that […]

Categories
Archive Authors Calvin E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Miracles: The Patristic Roots of the Reformation (3)

In the prefatory address of the Institutes of the Christian Religion to King Francis I, appended to the work from its first appearance in 1536 (though it undergoes expansion over time), John Calvin gives a full-throated defense of the evangelical cause in France in the tradition of Justin Martyr’s First Apology. In it, he attempts, in the […]

Categories
Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Deification: The Patristic Roots of the Reformation (2)

“Theosis” and “deification” are culpably ambiguous terms. On the other hand, using one of them in the title did get you to click on the link, did it not? There are unobjectionable (as well as objectionable) ways of construing the concept behind the term, and there were senses in which the Reformers did so, as […]

Categories
Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

“Here I Stand”: The Patristic Roots of the Reformation

Before Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in April 1521, Martin Luther famously said, “Here I stand.” Or maybe he didn’t. We do know, however, that he said the following: Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason–I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each […]

Categories
Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Sacred Doctrine

A Mediator in the Eschaton?

Will we need a Mediator even after the perfection brought about to God’s people after the Resurrection and the Last Judgment? In an interpretation of 1 Cor. 15.24 (“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all […]