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

Magistrate as Minister

In Romans 13:4, Paul calls the magistrate a “minister of God” (KJV), a Dei…minister (Vulg.); the ESV translates the relevant phrase as “God’s servant.” Calvin agrees, echoing the language of the Vulgate in the Institutes’ prefatory address to King Francis and adding that the magistrate should acknowledge such to be the case:   “Siquidem et verum regem […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Nota Bene

The Final Cause of Civil Government in Romans 13:3-4

“[F]or the present we’re stuck with the world as it is. And if they couldn’t agree on a way to make an act of war impossible, then it is better to have some provisions for coping with the consequences than to have no provisions.” “Yes and no. Yes, if it’s in anticipation of one’s own. And especially no […]

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

Calvin’s Two Governments

(Revisiting a topic that has been discussed here previously.) When Calvin discusses the differences between the two “kingdoms” or “governments” ruled by God in Institutes 4.20.2, he makes one “spiritual” and “inward,” and connects it to the “heavenly kingdom,” and the other “external,” and connects public worship with the latter and with civil justice. “Civil government,” […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Augustine: The Saints Do Not Merit Heaven

In Book 5 of City of God, Augustine catalogs several instances of Romans (“who were good according to a certain standard of an earthly state,” 5.19) who performed glorious deeds. All of them did what they did for the sake of earthly, temporal glory and earthly, temporal rewards. If men were willing to subject themselves to horrific physical punishment, act […]

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

A.A. Hodge on Adam’s Created Holiness

There have been a couple of posts here over the last year or so on issues related to concreated holiness and the donum superadditum (e.g., here, here, here, here). A.A. Hodge finds that the idea of created holiness necessary to a full understanding of the image of God. He lists three “elements” of the image: “(1.) […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Sacred Doctrine

Only the Word Begets the Church

Does Church or Word come first? For Calvin, the answer is clear. Here are his comments on Psalm 22:30 (“Their seed shall serve him”): 30. Their seed shall serve him. The more to exalt the greatness of the benefit, he declares that it will be of such a character that posterity will never forget it. And he […]

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

Duncan on Conservatism and Theology

Quoting John Duncan is an enjoyable pastime, so I’m going to carry on doing it. A week after the “Future of Protestantism” event I continue to mull over the themes that were raised, and I wonder how the following passage strikes readers vis-a-vis that discussion. There are elements of both a Leithart and a Trueman […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Sacred Doctrine

More from Calvin on the Restoration of Creation

It seems fairly clear that John Calvin thought of the “new heaven and new earth,” or the “new creation,” primarily in terms of restoration and purification of the original, good creation. I’ve cited several passages from his commentaries to that effect previously. But as I continue to come across more statements of his that tend […]

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Archive Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Reformed Irenicism

Calvin on Consummation as Restoration, Again

Not long ago, I posted about Calvin’s comments on several passages relating to the new creation or the new heaven and the new earth, such as 2 Peter 3, Isaiah 65 and 66, and Romans 8. Further support for the conclusions drawn there about his view on the matter comes from his comments on Isaiah […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Sacred Doctrine The Two Kingdoms

John Calvin on the Universal Sovereignty of Christ

The opening chapters of Colossians and Ephesians are two places in which one can see Paul making a claim for universal, cosmic sovereignty belonging to Christ, rather than ascribing it to “God” in general terms, and rather, on the other hand, than limiting Christ’s sovereignty to the “church” (which I will leave undefined for the […]