Categories
Authors Eric Parker Natural Law Nota Bene Philosophy

Natural Theology as Preparation for Grace: Alsted on Natural Theology (V)

As I mentioned in this post last week, the idea of “preparations” for grace or justification was not completely rejected by the Reformers. Rather, they insisted that God uses certain preparations as his instruments to bring the unbeliever to self-knowledge, particularly the condemnation of the Law – this causes one to reflect on one’s own […]

Categories
Authors Eric Parker Natural Law Nota Bene Philosophy

Is Natural Theology an Exercise in Neutrality? Alsted on Natural Theology (IV)

Alsted does not directly address the issue of “neutrality” in apologetics, that is, the question of whether one may or should use rational principles in an effort to neither promote nor refute the truth claims of religion, thus establishing a sort of “public space” in which to debate the importance of religion on non-religious grounds. […]

Categories
Archive Natural Law Peter Escalante Reformed Irenicism Steven Wedgeworth

The Blessing of Japheth: A Response to James B. Jordan

As our readers know, our task from the beginning has been a return to, and a critical retrieval of, the classic Protestant tradition.  As we say, it arose out of recent ferment in the Reformed world; our goal was to make the “Reformed catholicity” movement both really Reformed and really catholic. Our position from the […]

Categories
Archive Eric Parker Natural Law Philosophy Sacred Doctrine

Self-Knowledge as “Foundation” and “Preparation” for Grace?

Although Martin Luther rejected the Roman Catholic notion of “preparatory works” for justification he did not reject the language of preparation altogether. Rather, he writes of the torments of the Law which “shows sin, terrifies, and humbles; thus it prepares us for justification and drives us to Christ” (Luther’s Works, 26:126). For Luther, it is […]

Categories
Archive Eric Parker Natural Law Nota Bene Philosophy

A Language Known To All Peoples: Alsted on Natural Theology (III)

Alsted’s final argument in the preface to his Theologia naturalis concerns the proper heading of natural theology. Is natural theology truly different than philosophy? Is natural theology not a part (or locus) of revealed theology? As is evident from the text, Alsted addresses these questions to those who have brought accusation against his Præcognitorum theologicorum (1614). Alsted’s Præcognitorum is […]

Categories
Archive Philosophy Reformed Irenicism Ruben Alvarado

The Greeks and the Gospel

In honor of the publication of the digital edition of The Greeks and the Gospel by J.B. Skemp, I present an excerpt: CHAPTER I The Greeks and the Gospel TIMEO Danaos et dona ferentes—I fear the Greeks even when they are bringing gifts. This was the cautious reaction of the Trojan Laocoon to the introduction […]

Categories
Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Philosophy Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Greeks and Christians, Reason and Authority

Apparently there have been grumblings of late in some quarters regarding TCI’s too appreciative assessment of certain aspects of the Greco-Roman heritage. There will be more on this particular topic on this site in due course. For the time being, I want to post a citation that gets at this issue from Book 3 of […]

Categories
Andrew Fulford Archive Philosophy Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

The Problem of Natural Revelation in the Thought of Cornelius Van Til

In recent days we have seen some spirited discussion on the place of natural law and natural theology in the life of the church. One figure who stands out as an important member of the discussion about such matters, at least in Presbyterian circles, is Cornelius Van Til, especially in his essay “Nature And Scripture.” […]

Categories
Andrew Fulford Archive Natural Law Philosophy

The God of Psalm 19

It is perhaps one of the most famous wisdom Psalms, and with good reason. Psalm 19 meditates on creation and the law, distilling their message and benefits for Israel’s choirs. However, for at least two reasons readers today may miss the wisdom of the song. Firstly, David’s brevity assumes wisdom in his audience without providing […]

Categories
Archive Eric Parker Natural Law Nota Bene

Alsted on Natural Theology (II): On the use of the natural sciences

In the first installment of this series I left the reader with a few questions that Johann Heinrich Alsted proposes to himself in anticipation of his readers’ objections to his proposal of natural theology as a discipline. The first question has to do with the similarities and differences between natural theology and natural philosophy, or […]