Archive Featured Posts Steven Wedgeworth

Man and Woman: A Biblical Systematic Anthropology

Christian sex and gender conversations are back. They never really went away, but the past few weeks have seen a number of new essays and other contributions on the topic. Recently, Dr. Scott Swain added a helpful essay to this ongoing discussion. In it, he explains the variety of categories necessary to fully understand men […]

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

Melanchthon’s Aristotle: Civic Virtue

Philip Melanchthon is nothing if not consistent in the way in which he handles the appropriation of classical, and particularly Aristotelian, thinking about virtue for the benefit of Christians (a topic treated recently at Mere Orthodoxy). Melanchthon finds Aristotle (or an eclectically ressourced Aristotle) of special use for political purposes, provided that his insistence be granted that […]

Archive Civic Polity Ecclesiastical Polity Reformed Irenicism Steven Wedgeworth

Political Not Religious? Peter Hitchens and the Two Kingdoms

Peter Hitchens has written a rather remarkable essay on the difference between the religious persecution carried out by Queen Elizabeth I and that done by Bloody Mary. What’s more remarkable is that it was published by First Things. Mr. Hitchens’ essay attempts a number of things, but its most important point is that the character […]

Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Nota Bene Sacred Doctrine Steven Wedgeworth The Two Kingdoms

Calvin, the Lord’s Day, and the Liberty of the Church

Though it triggers some Presbyterians to say so out loud, John Calvin was not a Sabbatarian. He did have a strict Sunday practice (and thus he most likely did not go lawn bowling on that day…), but this was always explained as a matter of human and not divine law. In fact, Calvin argues that […]

Archive Ecclesiastical Polity Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine Steven Wedgeworth The Two Kingdoms

Calvin Against Uniformity

Here are some important passages from Calvin to add to the two kingdoms files. In his commentary on 1 Cor. 14, especially having to do with order, he raises the question of uniformity when it comes to ecclesiastical polity, tradition, and external forms. He writes: The design of the admonition is this — that they […]

Archive Civic Polity Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine Steven Wedgeworth

Calvin on the True Supression of Heretics

Everyone knows that John Calvin believed in the use of force to suppress heretics. What this post presupposes is…. maybe he didn’t? Perhaps the question is more complicated. We have written about the relationship between Calvin’s doctrine of the two kingdoms and the civil-political suppression of heresy here and here. He certainly did not promote […]

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

Moral Law and Magisterial Design in Romans 13

It is well known that the Magisterial Reformers treated the Decalogue as a summary of the moral law, that is, as teaching the precepts of the law of nature. In that way, “divine law”–the moral law as revealed–was to serve as a standard for public life in concord with natural law, since the two are […]

Archive Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Simon Kennedy The Two Kingdoms

Bucer on the Reformation of the Kingdom

In his De Regno Christi (1550), Martin Bucer advises King Edward VI of England to reestablish the Kingdom of Christ not just through edicts and decrees, but through persuasion. This is a good demonstration of magisterial reformers’ understanding of belief and faith, and the way that one comes to these. Outward conformity is not enough. One must […]

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

Melanchthon’s Poetic Paraphrase of Psalm 2

Some more on Melanchthon’s poetry, while we’re on the subject. Below is a poem from (perhaps) 1540. “Christ’s Speech (from Psalm 2)” What madness to rouse arms against the heavenly powers! Man’s impiety will not have a happy issue. On Zion’s height God hands me Zion’s royal scepter and grants it to me to bring new […]

Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene The Two Kingdoms

A Syllogism on Religion and the State

It seems to me that Christian advocates of an über-Jeffersonian separationism with respect to “church” and “state,” which usually in such a view are taken to mean not quite “church” and “state,” but something more like “religion” and “political order,” need to be able to answer coherently the following syllogism: P1. Man’s chief temporal end is […]