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

Instrumentum Litteraturae

Yesterday we saw that Tertullian was willing to go so far as to call the soul “naturally Christian,” just as, in a sense, one might say the universe–the cosmos that bears witness to divine order–is. And yet we do not apprehend God as we ought from nature. The impossibility of our absolute ignorance of him leads to […]

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

Hemmingsen’s Principium of Theology (2)

Last time we noted that Niels Hemmingsen finds two “prefaces” (prooemia) to the Decalogue: “And God spoke all these words, saying” and “‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery’”). In the first, the (inspired) authorial comment that precedes God’s speech reported in […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Sacred Doctrine

“These Are the Fountains of Salvation”

(This post can be read together as part of a sort of series with others such as this, this, this, this, this, and this.) The 39th Festal Letter of Athanasius, written for 367, is, together with items such as the Muratorian fragment, one of the most famous documents in the discussion of the history of […]

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

Vivification and Reading Well

Once more on purification and the theological task: In Holy Scripture: A Dogmatic Sketch, John Webster, with the assistance of Kierkegaard and Calvin, helpfully integrates the proper reading of Scripture with sanctification, that is, with mortification and vivification. In the passage below, he explicates the latter. Vivification is a process of overcoming not only inept reading, […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene

“I Am Utterly Ignorant What I Can Achieve in It”

Yesterday I cited part of one of Augustine’s sermons on Psalm 119 (118). Today, I thought I’d post his preface to that series. As I mentioned in the previous post, he didn’t treat Ps. 119 until 422, when he had already commented or preached upon the rest of the Psalter. Why did he wait so […]

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Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Nota Bene

Leithart on Enns

Dr Peter Leithart critically reviews Dr Peter Enns’ new book on the bible. On similar matters, see Peter Escalante’s previous post on Enns.

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Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Nota Bene

Richard Hooker on Belief, Commitment, and Anxiety

In Laws II.vii.5: The truth is, that the mind of man desireth evermore to know the truth according to the most infallible certainty which the nature of things can yield. The greatest assurance generally with all men is that which we have by plain aspect and intuitive beholding. Where we cannot attain unto this, there what […]

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

Gregory of Nazianzus on the Development of Doctrine

Earlier this summer I posted and discussed a passage on progressive revelation from Gregory of Nazianzus’ fifth Theological Oration (= Oration 31). I’d like to return to that passage today, but in order to discuss it from a different vantage point. In 31.26-27, Gregory gives a three-stage view of revelation, in which the deity of the Father is […]

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

Inspiration and Application

In his second Oration, Gregory of Nazianzus contrasts the continuing relevance of the ancient histories of the Bible with the legends of the Greeks. The reason for this continuing relevance seems in his view to be the Spirit’s exhaustive inspiration of every element of the text, down to “the merest stroke and tittle.” This inspiration means […]

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

Ground and Pillar, Again

I’ve noted in previous posts the way in which Irenaeus connects “Scripture” and “tradition” by means of the Gospel, the content of the plan of salvation. This allows him to say that the Gospel is the ground and pillar of the truth without violating what Paul means when he calls the Church the ground and […]