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

“You Heal Me from the Lust for Self-Justification”: Augustine on God’s Mercy

God changes us over time. That change begins with the lesson–which may take a lifetime to learn in the way that it really needs to be learned–that the first thing we must do is to give up trying to justify, or vindicate, ourselves. Abandoning the desire for self-justification is the necessary precondition for receiving God’s […]

Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Natural Law Nota Bene

Augustine on Law

Augustine was not a legal positivist, which is to say, he knew that human laws and customs could not be ultimate. If they are out of accord with a higher law (viz. natural law or divine law), they are not truly binding because not truly just. The opposite of this position, of course, is the […]

Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Calvin’s Augsburg

(Continuing a recent line of inquiry.) It is well known that Calvin assented to or subscribed the Augsburg Confession, whether as a formal act or in some other way. Lest there be any doubt, Calvin himself says so in a letter of March 1557 to Schallingius. There is much in the letter of interest, and […]

Archive Authors Early Church Fathers Eric Parker Nota Bene

Principium Patristicum de Sancta Scriptura

Recently having had occasion to revisit a passage in Rufinus of Aquileia’s┬áCommentary on the Apostles’ Creed, which I discussed briefly here, I was struck by the principles he sets out when dealing with the validity of confessing Christ’s descent into hell. 18. They who have handed down the Creed to us have with much forethought […]

Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Reformed Irenicism

Robert Louis Stevenson on Augustine (Updated)

In a letter of 1884 to Sidney Colvin, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the following: Did you ever read St. Augustine? The first chapters of the CONFESSIONS are marked by a commanding genius. Shakespearian in depth. I was struck dumb, but, alas! when you begin to wander into controversy, the poet drops out. His description of […]