Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Mark Jones Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

The Mode and Meaning of Baptism

Christians have not agreed on the proper mode of baptism. Many believe that the only proper way to baptize someone is by the full submersion of the body under water. They typically argue that baptizo means immerse and they also appeal to Romans 6 as a watertight (pardon the pun) argument proving the need for […]

Archive Eric Parker Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Debating Baptismal Regeneration: Johannes Maccovius

A debate arose among Reformed divines in the 1620s and 30s, particularly in England, over the issue of baptismal regeneration. A variety of interpretations of passages like Titus 3:5 and 1 Peter 3:21 were proposed and there was debate over how to interpret Augustine and even Calvin on this issue. In the past it was […]

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

Clerihewing Mortara

In his 1960 collection Homage to Clio, WH Auden included a series of what he called “Academic Graffiti,” tendentious and silly, but despite (or rather because of) that fact nevertheless insightful, biographical poems on important figures. (The technical term for this genre, as a colleague of mine in the English Department pointed out, is “clerihew,” named […]

Archive E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Responsa

No, You Cannot Kidnap Your Neighbor for Christ

This article has recently been making the rounds. Though the bizarre defense of this truly bizarre case of the institutional-church-as-Child-Protective-Services is ripe for so much–SO MUCH–trolling (for it opens up a hole for church power wide enough to drive a truck full of hostage children through), I shall restrain myself, though, given that the article […]

Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

The Salvation of Infants (5): Augustus Toplady

Ok, I was kidding about that whole Shedd thing. I’ll get to him, but via one of his footnotes I was led to a work of Augustus Toplady in which he discusses the question of infant salvation. Toplady is most famous now not for, e.g., his dispute with John Wesley or his translation of Zanchi […]

Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

The Salvation of Infants (4): Augustinian Interlude

I said in my initial post that limbo, with respect to those dying in infancy, “does not reckon seriously enough with the grace of God, the character of the atonement, or the relation of sacraments to the application of redemption.” This remark has wider applicability than merely to that bit of postmortem theological fancy. It […]

Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Sacred Doctrine

“As Many of You as Were Baptized” (1)

In Galatians 3.26-7, Paul makes what seems prima facie to be a startling transition: “[F]or in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (ESV). Note that second connective “for”: Paul is talking about faith, and then, all of a […]

Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

3 Reasons for “Sacramental Speech”

The Reformed often employed a sort of communicatio idiomatum for the sacraments, applying the name of the thing signified to the sign. The obvious example is “This is my body.” In his Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, Zacharias Ursinus gives three reasons explaining why this is valid. Number 3 is important for understanding the term exhibitio as […]

Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine Steven Wedgeworth

Ursinus’ Theses Concerning Baptism

In his Heidelberg Catechism lectures, Zacharias Ursinus lists 17 “theses” on baptism. These form a section of their own, and they appear after his commentary and exposition of Heidelberg Lord’s Day 27. For those who have the hard-cover version of the P&R reprint titled Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, the theses begin on pg. 371. We have […]

Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Eric Parker Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven: Thoughts on the Religious Rights of Christian Children

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever […]