Authors Calvin E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Philosophy Sacred Doctrine

Calvin’s Socratic Sanctification

Plato, in the Phaedo, had Socrates claim that philosophy was “practice for dying and death.” It was a sentiment that was to exercise great influence down through the centuries, all the way to Heidegger’s “Being-toward-death” and beyond. (That last part works better if you say it in the voice of Buzz Lightyear.)  John Calvin agreed […]

Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Philosophy

Neoplatonist to the End? Augustine’s Last Days

Augustine is well known for the degree to which he was influenced by Neoplatonism in the first phase of his career. (It is sometimes assumed–incorrectly–that this makes his early works insufficiently “Christian.”) In the preface to his first completed extant work, for instance–the De beata vita, “On the Happy Life”–he refers in the preface, addressed […]

Archive Natural Law Philosophy Reformed Irenicism Steven Wedgeworth

What is Effeminacy?

So let’s talk about effeminacy. This came up as final point of criticism in my Mere Orthodoxy critique of the gay Christianity of Revoice and Spiritual Friendship. Now, I knew that “going there” would upset a lot of people. It’s basically touching the third rail to even say the word “effeminate” today. And yet, it’s […]

Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Philosophy

“Especially the Platonists”: Plato Owning Aristotle in Late Antiquity

The following passage is so over-quoted that I hesitate to quote it again (I discuss the general idea in an essay in this book), but I’m going to do it anyway to make just one tiny little point. That point is this: though Aristotle is enjoying something of a renaissance among “conservative” Christian theologians these […]

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

Shedd, Plato, and the Nature of Human Thinking

In the first chapter of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology, “Relation of Sacred Eloquence to Biblical Exegesis,” W.G.T. Shedd discusses what “originality” might mean for the “sacred orator,” for he has just said that the study of sacred revelation does indeed grant an originality to “religious thinking and discourse.” Shedd writes: Originality is a term often employed, […]

Archive E.J. Hutchinson Philosophy Sacred Doctrine

Calvin’s Plato

Mark Jones has a recent post on a subject long of interest on this site, viz. the use of Greek and Roman sources by Protestant theologians. As a case study that confirms Dr. Jones’ point, one might look at the way in which John Calvin makes use of Plato in his Institutes of the Christian Religion. […]

Archive E.J. Hutchinson Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

Toward an Aesthetics of the Ordinary

I frequently make fun of “aesthetics.” I do so because the way in which the term is used in common parlance at the present hour is silly, and serves roughly as a synonym for “something that gives me the feels.” This is the refuge of not a few Tiber-jumpers. Some Protestants, on the other hand, […]

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

Zanchi’s Aristotle (9): Man as Microcosm

In the next installment, Zanchi notes that the kind of natural philosophy he has in view ranks second only to the Word in helping us to learn the things that we need to know about nature, God, and ourselves (more on this in a moment). Zanchi here invokes the Platonist hierarchical schema to describe the various “levels” of […]

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

The Platonism of Gregory of Nazianzus

It is well known that Platonism was a much more powerful philosophical force in the fourth century than Aristotelianism (this judgment must, of course, be modified somewhat due to the incorporation of elements of Aristotelian philosophy in later strands of Platonism; but that modification is not going to happen in this short post). Many images […]

Archive Philosophy Reformed Irenicism Steven Wedgeworth The Natural Family

Some Observations on Tournier’s Prescriptions for Homosexuality

I wanted to say a few things about Paul Tournier’s thoughts on sublimation and the relationship between sexual energy and divine creativity. If you haven’t read his essay, then refer to it first. I hope to explain his perspective and then expand it to a more basic understanding of desire and dominion. The first thing which […]