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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

The Hellenic Jordan Peterson?

Psychologist and University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson has become a recent internet sensation, with publications from the New York Times to The Federalist to the National Review and The Atlantic covering his rise and videos featuring him going viral on YouTube. It is a rise that has confounded and concerned at least some on the political […]

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Archive Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

Natural Knowledge Still Requires Teaching

If one holds to some version of natural law or a natural knowledge of the virtuous and the vicious, it might seem to imply that nothing else is required for virtuous action. I mean, we all know what “the good” is, right? Well, yes and no. Affirming that everyone knows the distinction between right and […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

Hodge’s Schleiermacher (3)

Charles Hodge’s next reference to Schleiermacher in his notes as preserved in his son’s Life comes from less than a week after the last reference, 14 March 1827 (a Wednesday, if you’re curious). This journal-entry deals with the subject of pantheism, whether Schleiermacher was a pantheist, and the relation of the philosophy and religion. Hodge says: […]

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Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

Bacon: Big, Bad, and…Derivative

In the fictional story of the Fall into Modernity (coming soon as a Netflix Original Series), Sir Francis Bacon sometimes plays the role of a big baddie for banishing formal and final causality from natural philosophy (i.e. science; what he calls “physic”). Never mind the benefits this has for, you know, the progress of ACTUAL […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Ecclesiastical Polity Nota Bene Philosophy Sacred Doctrine

The Catholic Retreat To Commitment

In the 1950 encyclical Humani Generis, Pius XII, relying on Pius IX, makes a rather startling claim about the duty of theologians in the church: It is also true that theologians must always return to the sources of divine revelation: for it belongs to them to point out how the doctrine of the living Teaching […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

Aristotle the Innovator?

In The Advancement of Learning 2.7.2, Sir Francis Bacon acknowledges that he’s using old terms in new ways (e.g., “physic” and “metaphysic”). He claims that this is part of an effort to remain as close to tradition and antiquity as he can, even when he must depart from it in substance (at least in certain respects), […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Ecclesiastical Polity Philosophy Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

The Rivers of Babylon: A Cartographical Inquiry

In a recent post at First Things, Archbishop Charles Chaput seems to want to appropriate Martin Luther’s image of “Babylonian captivity” to describe the situation of “believing Catholics and Protestants alike” over against the bugbears of modernity: for instance, consumerism, sex, technology, and sex (this last gets two mentions). In other words, “the world,” apparently, […]

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Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Philosophy

Reformational Eclecticism

Last week, I posted a couple of excerpts from Richard Muller’s discussion of method among the Protestant orthodox or “scholastics” and their Reformational predecessors. Later in the same volume, he includes a useful summation of their basic philosophical stance. Though “Christian Aristotelianism” remains the dominant stream into the seventeenth century, one must be careful not […]

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Archive Authors Eric Parker Nota Bene Philosophy The Natural Family

Wesminsterian Aristotelianism: Marriage (2)

In the last post, we saw that Samuel Willard recognizes only one natural “order of superiority,” that of parents over children. All other relations of superior and inferior are what he calls “political.” We further saw that he divides the “political” into the two spheres of public and private, the former of which is called […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

Shedd, Plato, and the Nature of Human Thinking

In the first chapter of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology, “Relation of Sacred Eloquence to Biblical Exegesis,” W.G.T. Shedd discusses what “originality” might mean for the “sacred orator,” for he has just said that the study of sacred revelation does indeed grant an originality to “religious thinking and discourse.” Shedd writes: Originality is a term often employed, […]