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

Religion a Part of Justice

We haven’t had a Hemmingsen post in a while, and I know how it has made you pine. Fret not; I’m here for you. In their discussion of the virtues, the magisterial Reformers followed the classical tradition in considering religion to fall under the category of, or to be a part of, justice, which can […]

Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Nota Bene Sacred Doctrine

Edmund Calamy’s Art of Divine Meditation

Since my time reading Dallas Willard in my early 20s, I’ve been interested in the practice of meditation. My diligence in the discipline has waxed and waned throughout my life, with periods where it had deep effect and others where I came up dry. Yet, my growing appreciation for Thomistic psychology has confirmed the potential […]

Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Civic Polity Philosophy

The Failure of the Harm Principle

Steven D. Smith’s The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse is one of the most piercing works in political philosophy I’ve read in a long while. Though it’s brief, by the end of it Smith has turned inside out some of the modern Western world’s most repeated fundamental values, and shown that appeals to them are actually […]

Authors Eric Parker Natural Law

Calvin’s Solution to an Aristotelian Cosmological Problem

Many of John Calvin’s references to Aristotelian cosmology occur during his later years, representing his mature theology. Christopher Kaiser has shown that Calvin viewed the universe through the lens of Aristotelian natural philosophy. He accepted such ideas as the concept of natural place (the earth is the center of the spheres due to its weight), […]

Authors Eric Parker Reformed Irenicism

What Is Calvin’s Take on Images of Jesus?

Unless I am missing something quite obvious, which is possible, the question of whether images of Jesus violate the second commandment does not receive a clear and definitive answer in Calvin’s major works. In his Institutes (I.11) he fails to explicitly mention images of Jesus. He only refers to images of “God” or the adoration of created […]

Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Eric Parker Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Happily Inebriated: The Lord’s Supper and Assurance of Salvation

Paul’s call to self-examination in 1 Corinthians 11 has shaped the Reformed way of celebrating the Lord’s table for better or for ill. In those churches that emphasize self-examination in their fencing of the table, Paul’s requirement can sometimes appear to overshadow the ultimate purpose of the ritual itself. In 17th century England, many honest church goers felt overburdened by […]

Archive Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine Simon Kennedy

Peter Harrison on ‘Religio’

James 1:27 does typically give Christians some grief: how can “true religion” be properly equated with making charitable stop-overs to orphans? In an incisive discussion on the historical relationship between the terms religion (religio) and science (scientia) in his Territories of Science and Religion, Peter Harrison makes clear that we typically misunderstand the import of the […]

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

Religion a Part of Justice

For Niels Hemmingsen in the De lege naturae, as for the classical tradition in general, “religion” is one part of the more general, and chief, virtue of justice. Without it, he says, there is no trust between men, no fellowship between men–indeed, no justice at all.  “No justice, no peace” is a popular protest saying; […]

Authors Eric Parker Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Vermigli on Episcopacy

As Steven pointed out a number of years ago, the early Scots adopted an episcopal form of church polity. This should not strike us as unusual for there were some among the continental Reformers who wanted to continue the long tradition of ruling bishops in the church. Martin Bucer, Peter Martyr Vermigli, and Jerome Zanchi […]

Archive Eric Parker Natural Law Nota Bene Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

A Public Conscience: Ralph Cudworth on the Religious Foundation of Civil Government

Ralph Cudworth (1617-1688) is perhaps the most famous and influential of the group of Anglican divines that scholars since the 19th century have dubbed the Cambridge Platonists. These divines were some of the first, if not the first, English philosophers to discuss and critically engage with the new philosophy of René Descartes. They were certainly attracted to […]