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Archive Authors Eric Parker Natural Law Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Prudence and Persuasion in Erasmus and Luther

Victoria Kahn’s Rhetoric, Prudence, and Skepticism in the Renaissance is well worth the read for anyone interested in the topic of political theology, virtue ethics, or the Renaissance and Reformation more broadly. She describes the nature of Renaissance concepts of prudence and rhetoric and its importance for the debate between Erasmus and Luther on the freedom […]

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Archive Eric Parker Nota Bene Philosophy

Aristotle and Other Platonists

For those of you who may be unaware of the Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews or who browse it intermittently, I direct your attention to John Bussanich’s review of Lloyd Gerson’s eminently important work, Aristotle and Other Platonists (Cornell University Press, 2005). Not only does Bussanich helpfully summarize and offer caveats to Gerson’s general argument, that […]

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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 […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene

Change and Identity, Infancy and Pre-Infancy, Personhood

In Confessions 1.6.9, Augustine wonders aloud at the stability of his identity, his “ego,” over time as he leaves different stages of life (or they leave him). The issue arises at the beginning of the paragraph, where he writes: et ecce infantia mea olim mortua est et ego vivo (“And behold, my infancy at some […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Andrew Fulford Archive Nota Bene

Milbank on Imagination and Children’s Literature

Dr. Milbank writes: This calls forth a wider reflection: is the entire adaptation of Christianity to a fantastic mode itself a sign of de-Christianization and a post-religious approach to religious materials? A conversion of doctrine into fictionalized myth might be seen as one manifestation of a post-Christian phase in which what was once truth still […]