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Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Natural Law Philosophy Steven Wedgeworth The Natural Family

Male-Only Ordination is Natural: Why the Church is a Model of Reality

One of the dangers inherent in “complementarianism” is the perception that ordination to ecclesiastical office is a matter of semi-arbitrary positive law and private zones of jurisdiction, that male leadership in church is only a question of ordination or specific church polity and only because a few bible verses command it. Worse yet, it might […]

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Archive Civic Polity Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Simon Kennedy The Two Kingdoms

Augustine on Earthly and Heavenly Goods

In chapter 25.4 of De Civitate Dei, Augustine says the following about the the different but related goods of the two cities of God and Man: It would be incorrect to say that the goods which this city [the City of Man] desires are not goods, since even that city is better, in its own human […]

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Authors Eric Parker Natural Law Nota Bene

The Threefold Foundation of Natural Theology: Alsted on Natural Theology (VIII)

It has been a while since my last post on Alsted, so those of you who may be unfamiliar with this series can find the earlier posts here. In this series, I have been translating and offering brief commentary on Johann Heinrich Alsted and his book Theologia naturalis, the full title of which (when translated) […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

Hemmingius on the Natural Knowledge of God

Niels Hemmingsen begins his Enchiridion Theologicum (1557) with the claim that there exists a twofold knowledge of God, the universal (known to everyone) and the peculiar, or special (known only to the sons of God). For the knowledge of God that is universal, he cites Romans 1:18-20, and then comments that all the world’s a school […]

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Authors Eric Parker Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Education and the Purification of the Mind: Ficino’s De Christiana Religione (IV)

In the third chapter of De Christiana Religione Ficino discusses the topic of educating adolescents in religion. Most, if not all, theological manuals of this period are devoid of any treatment of childhood education. Why, then, does Ficino devote a whole chapter to it? At least three possible solutions stand out. Firstly, the fact that […]

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Authors Eric Parker Natural Law Nota Bene Philosophy

The Ladder of Truth and the Sweetness of Grace: Alsted on Natural Theology (VII)

In this our seventh installment on Johann Heinrich Alsted’s Theologia naturalis we see Alsted utilize the metaphor of a “ladder” of truth to describe the relationship between nature and grace, and he argues that God intends for man to study the truths of nature in order to make grace sweeter: IV. Natura & Gratia non pugnant […]

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Archive Book Reviews Joseph Minich

Covenantal Apologetics: Principles and Practice in Defense of Our Faith

Judging from its endorsements, K. Scott Oliphint’s recent Covenantal Apologetics: Principles & Practice in Defense of Our Faith, is set to become a standard introduction and update to Cornelius Van Til’s “presuppositional” approach to Christian apologetics. The substance remains the same, but the language is streamlined and made more accessible to the layperson. Regrettably, while […]

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Authors Eric Parker Natural Law Nota Bene Philosophy

Listen to Cicero as to a Frog: Alsted on Natural Theology (VI)

In the third theorem of his Theologia naturalis Alsted discusses the issue of non-Christian authors and commends their use even for public preaching, though with certain caveats: III. Præclara ethnicorum dicta Theologica ab eis tanquam iniustis possessoribus, in usum nostrum transferenda sunt. Hoc theorema totidem ferme verbis occurrit apud Augustinum lib. 3. de doctrina Christ. […]

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Archive Reformed Irenicism Steven Wedgeworth

Bavinck: Christianity is Paganism’s Fulfillment

In his treatment of general revelation and prolegomena, Herman Bavinck writes: In the Middle Ages Thomas not only asserted that as rational beings human beings can– without supernatural grace– know natural truths but also testifies that it is impossible for there to be “some knowledge which is totally false without any admixture of some truth” […]

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Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Calvin on the Areopagus

Eric Parker passes along this observation from John Calvin: Certain of your poets. He citeth half a verse out of Aratus, not so much for authority’s sake, as that he may make the men of Athens ashamed; for such sayings of the poets came from no other fountain save only from nature and common reason. Neither […]