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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Ecclesiastical Polity Nota Bene Philosophy Sacred Doctrine

The Catholic Retreat To Commitment

In the 1950 encyclical Humani Generis, Pius XII, relying on Pius IX, makes a rather startling claim about the duty of theologians in the church: It is also true that theologians must always return to the sources of divine revelation: for it belongs to them to point out how the doctrine of the living Teaching […]

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Archive Mark Jones Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

Reformed Theologians Using Pagan Sources

For Reformed Catholics, appreciation extends well beyond our Reformed heritage. It has to. For our appreciation of the Christian tradition to cease to move beyond our Reformed borders is in fact to cease to be Reformed. But just how far can appreciation extend? Even to pagan sources? Yes, indeed. After Calvin, in the time of […]

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Authors Eric Parker Natural Law Nota Bene

The Threefold Foundation of Natural Theology: Alsted on Natural Theology (VIII)

It has been a while since my last post on Alsted, so those of you who may be unfamiliar with this series can find the earlier posts here. In this series, I have been translating and offering brief commentary on Johann Heinrich Alsted and his book Theologia naturalis, the full title of which (when translated) […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Nota Bene Philosophy Reformed Irenicism The Two Kingdoms

Argumenta ex Silentio

W(h)igging Out? In discussions of political theology, one sometimes encounters the claim that the so-called “Constantinianism” of the magisterial Reformers was a kind of unthinking holdover from an earlier era; the implication seems to be, in other words, that their assumptions were perhaps not Christian enough, and were certainly not reflective enough. This post is […]

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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 Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

Hemmingius on the Natural Knowledge of God

Niels Hemmingsen begins his Enchiridion Theologicum (1557) with the claim that there exists a twofold knowledge of God, the universal (known to everyone) and the peculiar, or special (known only to the sons of God). For the knowledge of God that is universal, he cites Romans 1:18-20, and then comments that all the world’s a school […]

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Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene

Tozer on Common Grace and the Sensus Divinitatis

Though he uses neither of the terms in my title in the excerpt below, A.W. Tozer in The Pursuit of God seems to combine the ideas signified by those terms in his (admittedly personal) explanation for how to account for “all that is best out of Christ,” e.g., works of philosophical penetration and subtlety, works of sublimity […]

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Archive Natural Law Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Sherif Girgis on Natural Law and Marriage

Over at Public Discourse, Sherif Girgis attempts to field some objections to natural law arguments offered recently in the context of the gay marriage debates. I’m still waiting to hear the political argument against gay marriage from those who reject natural law reasoning, but Mr. Girgis does a good job of explaining some of the […]

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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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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. […]