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), […]

Authors Eric Parker Reformed Irenicism

What Is Calvin’s Take on Images of Jesus?

Unless I am missing something quite obvious, which is possible, the question of whether images of Jesus violate the second commandment does not receive a clear and definitive answer in Calvin’s major works. In his Institutes (I.11) he fails to explicitly mention images of Jesus. He only refers to images of “God” or the adoration of created […]

Archive Authors British Isles E.J. Hutchinson France Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Belloc on Calvin (2)

Taking seriously what writers like Belloc and Chesterton have to say about Protestantism is a little like pricking one’s ears up in earnest when Donald Trump begins to dilate upon immigrants and women. Still, many people do, so I return again to the quotation from Belloc’s The Great Heresies cited previously. If nothing else, it should […]

Archive Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Simon Kennedy

Calvin on ‘Love thy neighbour’

In his lengthy discussion of the Decalogue in Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin expresses a dual truth; that we are to love all mankind without exception, and that those who are tied more closely to us should benefit from our special loving attention. I do not deny that the more closely a man is linked […]

Archive Authors Nota Bene Philosophy Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Hidden Wisdom

Bringing together a couple of recent themes, viz. the theater and alienation: Calvin in an uber-Brechtian synthesis gives an account of the latter which prevents us from seeing God’s glory in the former. It cannot be emphasized enough that the alienation that most needs to be dealt with is, as Calvin understood so well, the alienation […]

Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene The Two Kingdoms

Does the King in His Might Love Justice?

According to Calvin, he better!  Without it, the throne becomes empty, an honorable name with a dishonorable pseudo-inhabitant–which is to say, a tyrant. The throne is held by God to be worthless when “abused by wicked men,” because God is just and can have no part in iniquity. If the king is just, he will […]

Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene

“Thou Art More Terrible Than the Mountains of Prey”

Calvin makes a number of remarks about good and bad princes in his comments on Psalm 76, and is insistent that all are subject to God’s providence and purposes. First, in his remarks on v.4 he waxes Augustinian (City of God 4) on the violent and mischievous means by which many kingdoms have expanded. These […]

Archive Eric Parker Nota Bene

Paul’s Pastoral Kenosis

Paul paints a marvelous picture of Christ’s “kenosis” or humility in his Epistle to the Philippians, where we are told that Christ “emptied himself [ekenosin], taking on the form of a servant…” In Wesley’s words, he “emptied himself of all but love.” In his Epistle to the Thessalonians Paul reveals that he too has become like […]

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

Destruction as Renewal

I return here to a theme I’ve looked at several times before: Calvin’s views on the new heaven and new earth in relation to those that currently exist (cf. here, here, and here). One of the most catastrophic-sounding texts in this regard is Psalm 102:26, also quoted in the first chapter of the letter to […]

Archive Early Church Fathers Jordan Ballor Nota Bene

Augustine ‘as Great a Predestinarian as Calvin’

Pierre Bayle provides his reading of the status quaestionis regarding the reception of Augustine, particularly with respect to the bishop of Hippo’s soteriology, among the Calvinists, Dominicans, Jesuits, and Arminians in the Reformation and post-Reformation era: The approbation which councils and popes have given St Augustin, on the doctrine of grace, adds greatly to his glory; […]