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Archive Eric Parker Natural Law Nota Bene

Alsted on Natural Theology (II): On the use of the natural sciences

In the first installment of this series I left the reader with a few questions that Johann Heinrich Alsted proposes to himself in anticipation of his readers’ objections to his proposal of natural theology as a discipline. The first question has to do with the similarities and differences between natural theology and natural philosophy, or […]

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Archive Eric Parker Natural Law Philosophy

Johann Heinrich Alsted: Natural Theology in the Reformed Tradition

The works of Johann Heinrich Alsted (1588-1638) have recently been the subject of research into the nature of theology and philosophy in the Early Modern period, specifically regarding the reception of Ramist and Lullist logic (cf. Howard Hotson’s work for example). Descartes read Alsted’s Encyclopaedia and, though he thought it was a rather curious work, commended the […]

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Archive Natural Law Nota Bene Peter Escalante

Political Theology Today

There are so many excellent entries lately at PTT that the only thing to do is link the chief ones here, and encourage readers to explore further. Dr Littlejohn offers reflections on what Aristotle can tell us about a godly commonwealth (clue: even pagans know a thing or two about nature). Mr Adam Borneman invites […]

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Archive Early Church Fathers Eric Parker Natural Law Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

Clement of Alexandria on Faith, the Mother of the Virtues

Today is the feast day for Clement of Alexandria in the Church of England. Born Titus Flavius Clemens (150-215 AD), Clement is now known as one of the first church fathers and one whose theological syncretism had a profound affect on the theologies of both Origen and Augustine (among others), and through them the rest […]

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Archive Civic Polity Natural Law Ruben Alvarado

Stahl on the Law of Marriage

excerpted from Friedrich Julius Stahl, Private Law (WordBridge 2007), pp. 117ff.   The Marriage Bond The essence of marriage is the complementarity of the sexes. The difference between the sexes, and their union as the origin of all new life, is a general law of physical nature. What significance this law has is not a […]

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Archive Natural Law Steven Wedgeworth

Calvin on Ius Gentium in Genesis 26

From one of John Calvin’s sermons on Genesis, we read: For faith has this property, that it confines us within divinely prescribed bounds, so that we attempt nothing except with God’s authority or permission. Whence it follows that Isaac’s faith wavered when he swerved from his duty as a husband. We gather, besides, from the […]

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Archive Civic Polity Natural Law Philosophy Steven Wedgeworth

C. S. Lewis and the Theory of Punishment

Peter Escalante briefly mentioned C. S. Lewis’s theory of punishment in his recent post. Prof. Lewis’s thoughts on that matter can be found in his essay, “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment,” published in God in the Dock and available online here. In it, he gives a compelling defense of the old concept of punishment as […]

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Andrew Fulford Archive Natural Law Sacred Doctrine

Natural Law in Clement of Rome

Written by the associate of the apostle Paul, Clement to Corinth focuses largely on trying to restore order to a church suffering from disharmony. Along the way, Clement makes what is essentially an appeal to natural law: 19. Accordingly, the humility and subordination of so many and such great men of renown have, through their […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law

Natural Law in Romans 2:14-15: Tertullian

Now we turn back the clock by a couple of centuries to include a very interesting passage from Tertullian’s De corona militis, written around the turn of the third century. Tertullian emphasizes strongly here that there is a natural order that is naturally perceptible to us even now, in spite of the Devil’s marring of […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Natural Law

Natural Law in Romans 2:14–15: Pelagius

Our next example comes from Pelagius’s commentary on Romans. Like that of the commentaries of Ambrosiaster, the textual tradition of Pelagius’s commentaries is a mess. A revised version of Pelagius’s commentaries circulated for a long time under the name of Jerome, “with no essential modification of the doctrinal standpoint,” a phenomenon that is perhaps unintentionally […]