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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 […]

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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 […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene

Prosperity and Brutality

Seneca the Younger, in De brevitate vitae (“On the Shortness of Life”), claims that, as the Romans became more prosperous, they refined their public displays of violence to greater and greater degrees of brutality. He speaks in particular here of the methods of Pompey the Great. The Romans would of course continue on this path […]

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Archive Eric Parker Nota Bene

Dissertation on Puritanism and Natural Theology

Speaking of natural theology in the Reformed tradition, a friend directed me to a fairly recent dissertation on the subject by Wallace W. Marshall, entitled “Puritanism and Natural Theology.” Rarely does a dissertation threaten to upend long-standing historical narratives. Marshall’s dissertation does exactly that, adding much needed clarification to this very important issue. Marshall sets […]

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Archive Eric Parker Natural Law Philosophy

Johann Heinrich Alsted: Natural Theology in the Reformed Tradition

The works of Johann Heinrich Alsted (1588-1638) have recently been the subject of research into the nature of theology and philosophy in the Early Modern period, specifically regarding the reception of Ramist and Lullist logic (cf. Howard Hotson’s work for example). Descartes read Alsted’s Encyclopaedia and, though he thought it was a rather curious work, commended the […]

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Archive Eric Parker Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

Know Thyself: Wolfgang Musculus and the Delphic Oracle

References to the phrase γνῶθι σεαυτὸν (know thyself) etched in stone on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi have for centuries abounded in Western literature, perhaps most significantly in the works of Plato. This phrase was also frequently cited by Protestants during and after the Reformation. A simple search of the various phrases γνῶθι σεαυτὸν, […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Reformed Irenicism

“What Is the Best Method for Studying Theology?” (Part 6)

Here is the last installment of Chytraeus’ lengthy answer to the question, “What is the best method for studying theology?” Chytraeus recommends a very broad education for the student of theology–what we have here is a good instance of Reformational humanism, the kind of thing that really ought to be recovered for the present. He […]

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Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

How to Write a Philosophy Paper

Professor James Lenman of the University of Sheffield offers some helpful thoughts on how to write a contemporary philosophy paper. Many of them work just as well for academic theology. Here are a few highlights: Whenever in any doubt as to what to say about X, say, apropos of nothing in particular and without explanation, […]

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Archive Nota Bene Philosophy Steven Wedgeworth

Allan Bloom and the American Mind

Patrick Deneen gives Allan Bloom’s classic The Closing of the American Mind a mixed review over at The Imaginative Conservative. He says that Professor Bloom was correct to critique relativism and its projected dominance among the American educational system, but Dr. Deneen believes that Prof. Bloom’s rejection of multiculturalism, or really culture in general, was a mistake, […]

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Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Metaphysics Before Science

Towards the beginning of the Phaedrus, in one of his many entertaining rabbit-trails, Socrates explains why it is that he doesn’t much care to prove or disprove the ancient myths. He hints that they are likely untrue, but his focus is fixed upon more pressing matters: Phaedr. I have never noticed it; but I beseech you […]