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

The Real Absence and the Extra Calvinisticum: The Patristic Roots of the Reformation (5)

I’ve touched on the extra patristicum, er, extra calvinisticum before, here. The important idea in this connection is that the divine nature of Christ is omnipresent but his human body cannot be. This is a corollary of Chalcedonian Christology, viz. that the integrity of Christ’s two natures must be maintained in their hypostatic union in the person […]

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

Sacraments as Visible Words: The Patristic Roots of the Reformation (4)

The Protestant Reformers regularly referred to the sacraments as visible words–that is, they communicate the same gospel and promises as the written word, but in a different form, one that could be handled, touched, tasted. And yet the sacramental elements are not self-explanatory. For that reason, they must be joined with the Word, such that […]

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

“Here I Stand”: The Patristic Roots of the Reformation

Before Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in April 1521, Martin Luther famously said, “Here I stand.” Or maybe he didn’t. We do know, however, that he said the following: Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason–I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene

Intende, qui regis Israel: A Hymn of Ambrose (2)

Two days ago, I made some introductory remarks about the famous hymn of Ambrose known to many speakers of English as “Savior of the Nations, Come,” and focused specifically on its authenticity and ancient witness. Today we will look at the first stanza of the hymn, which is omitted from our modern version. This, then, […]

Categories
Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene

Intende, qui regis Israel: A Hymn of Ambrose (1)

Over the past few years I’ve posted Latin Advent and Christmas hymns with English translation and some comments. This year we’re going to look at Ambrose’s hymn Intende, qui regis Israel. Parts of this hymn are familiar in English as “Savior of the Nations, Come,” which my family has recently been learning along with some (other) […]

Categories
Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene

The Eternal Non-Subordination of the Son in Gregory of Nazianzus

A couple of months ago there was a lot of discussion as to whether the Son, or Word, as such stands in a relation of obedience to the Father. The suggestion was also floated a couple of times that there was a wealth of patristic support for such an idea. The following passage from Gregory […]

Categories
Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene

Salvation Is Cosmic

So Athanasius, anyway, from the end of the first section of On the Incarnation of the Word: And it is fitting that we who speak about this [i.e., salvation] first speak about the creation of all things, and about God, its [i.e., creation’s] demiurge, in order that someone may contemplate that its [i.e., creation’s] renewal has […]

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

Gwatkin on Athanasius

It almost goes without saying that the state of play in the study of the fourth century Arian controversy has undergone a sea change over the course of the last century. This might lead one to conclude that the older writers are no longer worth reading. But that conclusion would be a mistake. To draw a […]

Categories
Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene

“Person” Doesn’t Mean Person

Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 21, again. Though the term “person” in Trinitarian theology carries a lot of baggage with it now, and often imports misleading ideas into reflection on the Godhead (e.g. “individual center of self-consciousness,” vel sim.), such ideas have little to do with the term as it was originally used in the fourth century. Gregory […]