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 E.J. Hutchinson Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

Obviously Protestants Ruin Poetry

The folks over at Sententiae Antiquae recently posted a passage worth reading from a letter of Benjamin Rush to Ashbel Green from 1807. Therein Rush says: No more Latin should be learned in these schools than is necessary to translate that language into English, and no more Greek than is necessary to read the Greek Testament. […]

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

The Wittenberg Concord (3)

A few people asked that I finish the translation of the Wittenberg Concord that I began about a year ago (see post 1 and 2). There was one article remaining, that on absolution; I include it below. The only thing that remains to be done and that likely will be of interest to TCI’s readers […]

Archive E.J. Hutchinson Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

John Calvin and the Summa Rebooted

I noted a couple of years ago Calvin’s possibly revealing use of the word summa (as in, Summa theologiae) “so prominently in the first sentence [of the final edition of the Institutes (1559)],” and commented that  [t]he gesture would signal, I think, a radical simplification of the theological enterprise, reconfigured in radically non-speculative terms (he is interested only […]

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 […]

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

“Faith Alone”: The Patristic Roots of the Reformation (6)

Protestants in the sixteenth century were fond of quoting a number of passages from patristic sources in which the “exclusive particle” (i.e., “alone”) was used in connection with justification. Philip Melanchthon, for example, does this in his Responsiones ad impios articulos Bavaricae inquisitionis (“Answers to the Impious Articles of the Bavarian Inquisition”) in Article 23, “Whether […]

Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene

Political Order a Proof for the Existence of God

In the final edition of his Loci communes, Philip Melanchthon offers nine proofs for the existence of God in the locus De creatione, as B.B. Warfield long ago noted in “Calvin’s Doctrine of God” (see n. 41). Some of these will seem standard fare; the sixth proof will perhaps surprise. The nine proofs are: “the […]

E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

The God of the Philosophers and the God of the Theologians

In the final edition of the Loci communes (1559), Philip Melanchthon provides a good example of how to move from a philosophical to a theological definition of God. Melanchthon had added a section de Deo, missing in the first edition, to later editions of the Loci, but the passage below is not found in the second aetas, or “age,” […]

Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Commemorating Melanchthon’s Death (April 19, 1560)

Today is the 457th anniversary of the death of Philip Melanchthon, one of the most important figures of the sixteenth century. In honor of the day, I’m re-posting a couple of texts relevant to the occasion that I’ve translated in this space before. First, a list Melanchthon made on his deathbed as to why he […]

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 […]