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

Mistranslating Turretin? (3)

Another passage on the “Sinaitic legal covenant” that perhaps could be a little clearer in Giger’s translation. This is paragraph 24, the penultimate paragraph in the section. First, here is Giger: “The promise of the land of Canaan given to the people was not primary and principal, but only secondary and less principal (add by […]

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

Contarini on Justification (2)

In the first passage, Contarini had discussed two senses of the term “justice”; he now adds a third (still working from the classical tradition), the metaphorical “justice” of a mind whose powers are all in harmony with one another, where the lower parts obey the higher, and the higher is in a state of rectitude. […]

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

Kuyper contra Donum Superadditum

In Wisdom and Wonder (1905), the missing sections on science and art from the first edition of De gemeene gratie (Common Grace), Abraham Kuyper argues against an idea of a superadded gift, a donum superadditum, in man as created, this way: God created the world. Before he did so, He thought about it. He thought about it via […]

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

All of Life Redeemed?

John Calvin, commenting on 1 Cor. 10:31 (“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”), remarks that we should always be conscious of the end, or goal, of life, which is the glory of God. It may seem counterintuitive that such an end should affect even […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Augustine on the Analogy of Scripture

In two passages of Book 2 of De doctrina christiana (“On Christian Teaching”), Augustine gives clear expression to the basic principle of the analogy of Scripture, summarized, for example, in Westminster Confession of Faith 1.9: “The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full […]

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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 Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene

Bavinck on the Analogy of Faith

Did the Reformers hold to a version of the “analogy of faith”? I affirm, says Bavinck. And this he sees as perfectly in keeping with sola Scriptura; and indeed, for him, the derivation and intelligibility of this “analogy” is closely dependent on the clarity, or perspecuity, of Scripture. He explains as follows: On account of this […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Apologia pro Analogia

Analogy, and especially Trinitarian analogy, gets a bad rap in theology. See, for instance, St. Patrick’s Bad Analogies. Trinitarian analogies, it is said, always end up in some kind of heresy, whether modalism, Arianism, or something else. I’d like to offer some resistance to this criticism on the grounds that it misunderstands the way in […]

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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 E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Words and Things in Gregory of Nazianzus and the Westminster Divines

One basic tenet of the Reformed doctrine of Scripture is that doctrine should be derived from Scripture as its source, but that Scripture “knows” more than it puts forward explicitly in so many words. That is, the words of Scripture themselves necessitate further deductions that in turn provide matter for dogmatic reflection and formulation. A […]