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Archive Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Natural Law Reformed Irenicism The Two Kingdoms

Horton Hears a “WHAAAAT?”

I was going to let this pass, but…who am I kidding, there was never any chance of that. I’m not going to comment on all of it; just some of the Augustine bits. And I’m going to do it in the style of a HOTT TAKE, because it’s Thursday and I need something to spice […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Whence “Protestant”?

Today marks the anniversary of the birth of the term “Protestant,” but its origin is frequently unknown or ignored. The term does not come from the camp of theologians, but from that of magistrates acting as the heads of their realms. It is a term, in other words, that reminds us of the importance of […]

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Archive Civic Polity Reformed Irenicism Steven Wedgeworth

John Piper, Guns, and Civic Responsibility

A few weeks ago, Jerry Falwell Jr. made headlines by encouraging the students of Liberty University to acquire permits to carry guns on campus so that they could, if necessary, “end those Muslims before they walked in.” This rather artless way of expressing himself led to immediate worries about religious hostility and even possible genocide, […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Nothing Common (Again)

I’ve written before about the sense in which there is now no area of life that is “common” because Christ has made all clean: there is no “common” realm in that sense. The last time we looked at this, it was via the Apostle Paul’s comments on Romans 14. Calvin says the same in commenting on […]

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Archive Civic Polity Reformed Irenicism Simon Kennedy The Two Kingdoms

‘For the welfare of the church’

Althusius’ two kingdoms doctrine, as outlined in chapter XXVIII of the his Politca methodice digestica, has further knock-on effects for his political science than what I discussed in my previous post. Immediately following the instructions about the civil magistrate and freedom of conscience, Althusius explains that the prudent ruler will ‘abstain from persecutions’ of sects which […]

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Archive Civic Polity Reformed Irenicism Simon Kennedy The Two Kingdoms

‘Faith must be persuaded, not commanded’

In his Politca methodice digestica Johannes Althusius makes the following observation about the spiritual nature of faith, warning the civil magistrate not to assume control over what is solely God’s jurisdiction: A magistrate in whose realm the true worship of God does not thrive should take care that he not claim imperium over that area of the […]

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Archive Civic Polity Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Simon Kennedy The Two Kingdoms

Augustine on Earthly and Heavenly Goods

In chapter 25.4 of De Civitate Dei, Augustine says the following about the the different but related goods of the two cities of God and Man: It would be incorrect to say that the goods which this city [the City of Man] desires are not goods, since even that city is better, in its own human […]

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

The Church in Exile?

It has become increasingly popular of late to make use of the motif of “exile” in describing the church. (Pretend there are a bunch of links here.) This can take a couple of forms: (I) The church on earth is, by definition, always an exile community. (II) Due to adverse cultural circumstances, the church becomes an […]

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

Office and Person in Lex, Rex

Even when it is agreed that magistratical power is ordained of God, as Paul says in Romans 13, there are various theories as to how that power is applied to any particular individual in office. Is they king (e.g.) appointed immediately by God, or mediately by the people? George Buchanan famously advanced and argued for […]

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

The Doctrine of the Two

There are a number of dualisms that often come up in discussions of political theology. Many of these bear resemblances with one another, even while they remain distinct–which is to say, some of them share similarities rather than identity. Below I’ve tried to sketch out what is proper to each one of these dualisms. Obviously […]