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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Ecclesiastical Polity Reformed Irenicism

“That Clearer and More Blessed Vision”: Machen and Vos on Festival Seasons

At various points, we’ve discussed the celebration of Christmas and other holidays in various sectors of the Reformed tradition, including among some conservative Presbyterians in the nineteenth century, as well as time-keeping more generally. The same favorable attitude we see in Hodge continues into the twentieth century. J. Gresham Machen Thus J. Gresham Machen, the […]

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Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Reformed Irenicism Steven Wedgeworth

Charles Hodge and a 19th Cent. Presbyterian Christmas

Anyone familiar with the Simpsons’ Groundskeeper Willie, knows that old-fashioned Presbyterians did not celebrate holidays. Even Christmas was seen as illegitimate, and Christmas was not celebrated in early Puritan America. This stance has given way pretty decisively, and in the present day, the overwhelming majority of even conservative Presbyterians think Christmas is at least permissible. […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Ecclesiastical Polity Reformed Irenicism

Preference and Prudence: A Case For A Church Calendar

What follows could be called a Reformed Irenic case for keeping a church calendar. A couple of weeks ago, in a post on Protestantism and institutional unity, I made the following comment: Mutatis mutandis, the same is true in the case of liturgy (also foregrounded by Dr. Leithart) as in the case of administration–which is […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Have Yourself a Regulative Christmas?

I don’t consider myself a partisan of the strong Puritan construal of the regulative principle, in so far as I understand it–one that, on principle, objects to the corporate celebration of things such as Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, Ascension, and so on. However, the Westminster Confession of Faith, which is the confession most often subscribed by […]