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Archive Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Natural Law Reformed Irenicism The Two Kingdoms

Horton Hears a “WHAAAAT?”

I was going to let this pass, but…who am I kidding, there was never any chance of that. I’m not going to comment on all of it; just some of the Augustine bits. And I’m going to do it in the style of a HOTT TAKE, because it’s Thursday and I need something to spice […]

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Archive Authors Eric Parker Natural Law Nota Bene Sacred Doctrine

Bart Keckermann on the Nature of the Regenerate Soul

Christians often talk about the transforming power of the Gospel of Christ, but for many who do not completely grasp the basic principles of human nature, the nature of this transformation may seem a complete mystery. And, when the inner struggles of faith are met with the ignorance of these basic principles – or if […]

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Authors Eric Parker Natural Law

Calvin’s Solution to an Aristotelian Cosmological Problem

Many of John Calvin’s references to Aristotelian cosmology occur during his later years, representing his mature theology. Christopher Kaiser has shown that Calvin viewed the universe through the lens of Aristotelian natural philosophy. He accepted such ideas as the concept of natural place (the earth is the center of the spheres due to its weight), […]

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Archive Civic Polity Economics Natural Law Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Calvin’s Natural Law Theology of Work

Commenting on Genesis 2:15, John Calvin offers a general philosophy of the goodness of labor and the duties of cultivating the earth. He says that this is a “natural” duty for all men, and he includes the themes of activity, frugality, and legacy. This is often summarized simply as “stewardship.” Calvin explains: And the Lord […]

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Archive Natural Law Philosophy Steven Wedgeworth The Natural Family

Paul Tournier on Homosexuality and the Sublimation of Desire

Paul Tournier  was a Swiss physician whose work became particularly regarded across Europe and America for use in pastoral counseling. He was an M.D. but also an orthodox Calvinist, and his writings reflect both medical and theological knowledge. Dr. Tournier was a member of the Oxford Group and published over twenty books. The selection printed […]

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Archive Civic Polity Lily Cherney Natural Law Reformed Irenicism The Natural Family

Are Women Real?: Towards a Comprehensive Complementarianism

I. Complementarianism For Real “If gender is just a term in grammar, how can I ever find my way/ When I’m a stranger here myself?” –Kurt Weill, One Touch of Venus What follows is a kind of prolegomena to any future complementarian squabbling, or possibly a groundwork for the metaphysics of tango. It’s very incomplete […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Nota Bene

Obedience and Unjust Laws (5)

I said yesterday that I would return to the passage of Augustine that Aquinas quotes, so let me do that here. In De libero arbitrio (“On the Free Choice of the Will”) 1.5, Augustine says, ironically: Non ergo lex iusta est, quae dat potestatem vel viatori ut latronem, ne ab eo ipse occidatur, occidat; vel cuipiam […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Nota Bene

Obedience and Unjust Laws (4)

(Parts 1, 2, and 3) Aquinas, too, holds that unjust laws (that is, laws that do not accord with or derive from the law of nature) do not have the force of law; they are, rather, corruptiones legis–corruptions of the law. In response to objections concerning the seemingly adiaphorous nature of some human legislation, the diversity […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Nota Bene

Obedience and Unjust Laws (3)

The basic point of the passage from Cicero’s Laws cited here the other day reappears in the Westminster Confession of Faith (of all places) in the chapter on–coincidentally enough–marriage. Treating incestuous marriages, the Divines say: IV. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden by the Word. Nor can such incestuous marriages ever be […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Nota Bene Philosophy

Obedience and Unjust Laws (2)

Today we go back in time to Cicero’s Laws 1.42-5. There he elucidates the necessary foundation for positive law, which is justice. Without it, there is merely opinion and power. Laws are not ultimately “established” by will and the decisions of the powerful. If they were, one could say that there is a “right” to theft, […]