Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Grammar, Grace, and Good Works in John of Salisbury

For John of Salisbury, virtue is necessary for man, but knowledge is necessary for virtue, but grammar is necessary for knowledge, but grace is necessary for grammar. Quite a catena causarum, but it’s his, and he’s sticking with it. More expansively: In Metalogicon 1.23, a chapter preceded by the titulus “What things are important for […]

Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Imitating the Imitators of Christ

John Calvin was what you might call “a fan, bigly” of the proper use of the motif of the imitation of Christ. He mentions it in various places; but one that is particularly illuminating is found in his comments on 1 Corinthians 11.1, where Paul says, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” […]

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

Melanchthon’s Aristotle: Civic Virtue

Philip Melanchthon is nothing if not consistent in the way in which he handles the appropriation of classical, and particularly Aristotelian, thinking about virtue for the benefit of Christians (a topic treated recently at Mere Orthodoxy). Melanchthon finds Aristotle (or an eclectically ressourced Aristotle) of special use for political purposes, provided that his insistence be granted that […]

Archive Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

Natural Knowledge Still Requires Teaching

If one holds to some version of natural law or a natural knowledge of the virtuous and the vicious, it might seem to imply that nothing else is required for virtuous action. I mean, we all know what “the good” is, right? Well, yes and no. Affirming that everyone knows the distinction between right and […]

Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Civic Polity Philosophy

Do Humans Have Dignity?

I recently wrote about Steven D. Smith’s arguments in The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse, and more specifically, about how he demonstrates the vacuity of many of the Western world’s central political buzzwords, such as equality and freedom. In the course of his critique of Martha Nussbaum, he mentions another one that I thought deserved its own […]

Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Nota Bene Philosophy

Responding to Sarah Conly on Pleasure and Goodness

One of the most provocatively titled books I have ever come across from a contemporary ethical philosopher is Sarah Conly’s Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism. The book’s gist is just as punchy: Since Mill’s seminal work On Liberty, philosophers and political theorists have accepted that we should respect the decisions of individual agents when those […]

Archive Authors Eric Parker Natural Law Nota Bene Sacred Doctrine

Bart Keckermann on the Nature of the Regenerate Soul

Christians often talk about the transforming power of the Gospel of Christ, but for many who do not completely grasp the basic principles of human nature, the nature of this transformation may seem a complete mystery. And, when the inner struggles of faith are met with the ignorance of these basic principles – or if […]

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

The Diognetus Option

Christians Are the Soul of the World “[W]hat the soul is in the body, Christians are in the world.” That may sound presumptuous, to say that Christians are the soul of the world–but, then again, I didn’t say it. “Mathetes” did, in his 2nd-c. letter to Diognetus. So consider this an exercise in post-Apostolic ressourcement: I […]

Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Philosophy

Peter Westen’s “The Empty Idea of Equality”

About 33 years ago Peter Westen wrote a seminal article for the Harvard Law Review, “The Empty Idea of Equality”. Though he uncovered some profound flaws in the way modern legal discourse conceptualizes the term, to this day none of his warnings have been heeded. The following will summarize some of the more perennial aspects […]

Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Nota Bene

Carl Trueman on the Value of Thomas Aquinas

Carl Trueman writes on the value of the Angelic Doctor for Protestant (and other) Christians today: I have considered Thomas a treasured source ever since. In fact, I believe he is perhaps more important now than ever before, for we live in an age where Christians need to think clearly. Clear thinking depends upon precise […]