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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Ecclesiastical Polity Nota Bene The Two Kingdoms

Matthew Arnold, Interpreter of Richard Hooker

One of the most important arguments that Richard Hooker makes in the preface to his Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, now available in a modernized version from the Davenant Institute, is that church order (or polity) and discipline are adiaphora: neither Episcopacy nor Presbyterianism (roughly, the Genevan model) are required de iure divino such that the true […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

“Let No One Judge You in Food and Drink” (2)

We continue with our exposition of Hemmingsen’s exposition of Col. 2.16-17. In the previous post, we saw the ways in which Hemmingsen distinguishes between the old Mosaic order and the order that obtains after the coming of Christ. Christians do not observe “days” and “times” as was done before Christ’s Advent. And yet Christians still […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

“Let No One Judge You in Food and Drink”

Colossians 2.16ff. is a locus classicus for discussing the Protestant doctrine of adiaphora, or things indifferent. In his commentary on Colossians (1566), Niels Hemmingsen provides a convenient treatment of the issue in his exegesis of the first two verses of the passage. We’ll look at what he has to say over the course of two or three posts. […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine The Two Kingdoms

Calvin on Posture in Worship

Sitting on the Promises? Two of the more common gestural accompaniments of prayer and worship in Scripture are kneeling and the lifting of one’s hands. In several places in the Institutes and his commentaries, John Calvin reflects on the usefulness of such practices for Christian prayer and sketches an outline of what it is that […]

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Archive Civic Polity Ecclesiastical Polity Reformed Irenicism Steven Wedgeworth

Zacharias Ursinus, Worship, and the Classes of Law

There is much more to be said about Zacharias Ursinus’s view of adiaphora and worship. Our previous post on the issue was widely read, but it did raise a number of important questions. The most interesting is in regards to Ursinus’s relationship to the so-called “regulative principle of worship.” To allow for man-made “ceremonies” in […]

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Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Reformed Irenicism Steven Wedgeworth

Adiaphora and the Heidelberg Catechism

From Ursinus’s Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, a collection of his teaching notes compiled principally by David Paraeus, we have this explanation of religious “ceremonies” and their permissibility in worship. This is included under the discussion of the Fourth Commandment: III. HOW MANY KINDS OF CEREMONIES ARE THERE? There are two kinds of ceremonies some […]

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Archive Civic Polity Ecclesiastical Polity Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine Steven Wedgeworth

Martin Luther’s 3 Services

In his preface to The German Mass and Order of Divine Service, Martin Luther lays out his philosophy of worship and gives three examples of liturgy that he would like to see implemented. Two of these were actually created, while the third remained only an ideal, to be attempted by later groups with varying degrees of […]

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Archive Civic Polity Ecclesiastical Polity Sacred Doctrine W. Bradford Littlejohn

Hooker in the Bedroom? Law, Liberty, and Things Indifferent

Reformed evangelical pastor Mark Driscoll recently sent shockwaves through the evangelical world with the publication of his book Real Marriage.  Of course, sending shockwaves is what Driscoll does best, and most often, the scandals have something to do with unapologetic exaltation of masculinity and politically incorrect pronouncements on gender roles—he’s too much of a fundamentalist, […]