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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene The Two Kingdoms

Magistrate as Minister

In Romans 13:4, Paul calls the magistrate a “minister of God” (KJV), a Dei…minister (Vulg.); the ESV translates the relevant phrase as “God’s servant.” Calvin agrees, echoing the language of the Vulgate in the Institutes’ prefatory address to King Francis and adding that the magistrate should acknowledge such to be the case:   “Siquidem et verum regem […]

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Archive Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Nota Bene The Two Kingdoms

Theocracy without Theonomy?

It is perhaps an easy mistake, but nevertheless a very bad one, to confuse theocracy and theonomy. It is also a mistake, on the other hand, to equate theocracy with ecclesiocracy or clerical rule. The magisterial Reformers were theocrats, believing as they did in the kingship of Christ over all earthly and heavenly orders, but […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Nota Bene

The Final Cause of Civil Government in Romans 13:3-4

“[F]or the present we’re stuck with the world as it is. And if they couldn’t agree on a way to make an act of war impossible, then it is better to have some provisions for coping with the consequences than to have no provisions.” “Yes and no. Yes, if it’s in anticipation of one’s own. And especially no […]

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Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Peter Escalante Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

The Nature and Future of Protestantism

A month after the Future of Protestantism discussion at Biola, I think it is fair to say that by all accounts it was a great success. I am honored to have been part of it. The discussion was very well attended— the chapel was packed, in fact, and thousands watched the live stream— but most […]

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Archive Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Nota Bene

Nicolaus Hemmingius on Justice and Law in the Commonwealth

The De lege naturae apodictica methodus (“Demonstrative  Method Concerning the Law of Nature”) by the Danish (Philippist) Lutheran scholar and theologian Nicolaus Hemmingius (Niels Hemmingsen) was first published in Latin in 1564. In the excerpt below, from the dedicatory epistle to Erik Krabbe, Hemmingius lays out the connection between justice, law, and the health of the commonwealth […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

A.A. Hodge on Adam’s Created Holiness

There have been a couple of posts here over the last year or so on issues related to concreated holiness and the donum superadditum (e.g., here, here, here, here). A.A. Hodge finds that the idea of created holiness necessary to a full understanding of the image of God. He lists three “elements” of the image: “(1.) […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Duncan on Conservatism and Theology

Quoting John Duncan is an enjoyable pastime, so I’m going to carry on doing it. A week after the “Future of Protestantism” event I continue to mull over the themes that were raised, and I wonder how the following passage strikes readers vis-a-vis that discussion. There are elements of both a Leithart and a Trueman […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Sacred Doctrine The Two Kingdoms

John Calvin on the Universal Sovereignty of Christ

The opening chapters of Colossians and Ephesians are two places in which one can see Paul making a claim for universal, cosmic sovereignty belonging to Christ, rather than ascribing it to “God” in general terms, and rather, on the other hand, than limiting Christ’s sovereignty to the “church” (which I will leave undefined for the […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Nota Bene Sacred Doctrine The Two Kingdoms

Stephanus Fabricius on the Christian Prince (4)

(Part 1; Part 2; Part 3) Today’s installment is much briefer than the last. We continue on with the Doctrina section of Stephanus Fabricius’ twelfth Discourse on Psalm 148. In the previous post, we observed Fabricius’ delineation of the magistrate’s “common,” or shared, duty in relation to the laudes Dei. In today’s, he treats his peculiar duty […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene The Two Kingdoms

Stephanus Fabricius on the Christian Prince (3)

At long last, the next installment of Stephanus Fabricius’ comments on Psalm 148:11-12, from his twelfth discourse on that Psalm (part 1; part 2). If it is granted that magistrates have a duty to render praises to God along with all other men, one might ask in what, particularly, that consists for a magistrate. It […]