Archive Brian Mattson Early Church Fathers Sacred Doctrine

How The Ancients Heard Resurrection: A Reply to David Bentley Hart

Eastern Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart has written an essay on the Pauline terms “spirit,” (πνευμα) “soul,” (ψυχη), and “flesh” (σαρξ), maintaining that modern readers are greatly (or perhaps completely) hindered in their understanding of them. He lays blame on a kind of “Protestant biblical scholarship” that is allegedly weighed down with all sorts of […]

Archive E.J. Hutchinson Economics Reformed Irenicism

Avoid Overdraft Fees, Go Straight to Heaven? David Bentley Hart’s Curious Reading of Calvin

Look, I don’t know why David Bentley Hart keeps writing about Calvin, or why the editors at First Things keep letting him. It’s pretty obvious that he hasn’t read him. To be clear, that is not meant to be some kind of schoolyard taunt (though the thought of schoolchildren arguing about Calvin on the playground–as they were predestined to do, […]

Archive Early Church Fathers Ecclesiastical Polity Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

David Bentley Hart on the 5th Ecumenical Council

A few months ago David Bentley Hart kicked up quite the online controversy over in the comments of this blog. The original topic was universalism, but then it turned into a discussion of the status of Origen of Alexandria within Eastern Orthodoxy, and that in turn became a discussion about the authority of church tradition […]

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

Love as God’s Attribute among the Westminster Divines

This is an addendum to a recent post on God’s love in the Calvinist tradition, a tradition which supposedly has no place for it as an attribute of God, but only as a description for “how the elect experience him.” Chad Van Dixhoorn, in his recent book Confessing the Faith: A Reader’s Guide to the Westminster […]

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

Translatio Deformis?

I return once more (with apologies) to “Traditio Deformis,” one aspect of which was treated previously here. This post too treats a rather technical matter having to do with translation. Prof. Hart wishes to make much of the fact that Romans 9.22 is expressed in the form of a condition. He writes: “And so, what […]

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

Interpretatio Deformis

In a recent piece of pamphleteering in First Things, David Bentley Hart, not content to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous Western-Augustinian “misreadings” of Paul on original sin and election, takes up arms to put to rout this sea of nefarious, abstractified, and downright mean-spirited troubles. There is much of interest in the essay with […]

Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Nota Bene

On Neo-Augustinianism

Dr. Robert Benne writes on the fashionable Neo-Augustinianism, and while recognizing some of its good points, notes the following drawbacks: Ah, but wait. As attractive as this neo-Augustinian vision is, it is finally more a temptation than a real option. The main reason is theological. If God is indeed the creator and sustainer of the […]

Archive Nota Bene Peter Escalante

Smith’s Apocalyptic Community

Apparently James K. A. Smith concurs with David Bentley Hart’s idea that apocalyptic theopanies are somehow required for understanding that jumping off a bridge is a bad idea. Smith simply adds that these necessary apocalypses are only had in community, but communities, as mothers everywhere know, are sometimes disposed to jump off bridges. Smith will […]

Archive Natural Law Peter Escalante Philosophy

Helping David Bentley Hart Find His Nature

David Bentley Hart has responded somewhat coyly to Dr Feser here. Dr Feser had pointed out the peculiarly Humean tone of Hart’s remarks about natural law, which suggested that there is no bridge from the is to the ought; of course Hart is not actually a Humean, but more a Romantic, which means, one who allows […]

Archive Civic Polity Ecclesiastical Polity Natural Law Peter Escalante Philosophy

Who Are You Calling a Modernist?

We watched with interest the recent controversy in the pages of First Things on natural law, knowing that sooner or later the spry Dr Feser would say the right thing and settle the matter. When he did, we said he had said the right thing, and in doing so said that certain First Things contributors struck us as “thoroughgoing modernists” on the topic of natural law, which was in effect a synonymous reiteration of Dr Feser’s own point. At this Anna Williams took genial umbrage; she declared war.