Categories
Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

“Let No One Judge You in Food and Drink”

Colossians 2.16ff. is a locus classicus for discussing the Protestant doctrine of adiaphora, or things indifferent. In his commentary on Colossians (1566), Niels Hemmingsen provides a convenient treatment of the issue in his exegesis of the first two verses of the passage. We’ll look at what he has to say over the course of two or three posts. […]

Categories
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 […]

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

Augustine and the Seduction of the Image

With respect to the veneration of images, one sometimes encounters the following argument: the image itself is not worshiped, but is rather only a means by which God might be worshiped. Such a claim may seem to have some initial plausibility for excusing the practice. After all, don’t we regularly make use of created things […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Knowledge of God and Knowledge of Ourselves

Wisdom and Worship in Two Parts John Calvin famously begins his Institutes of the Christian Religion with a programmatic statement about the interrelation of knowledge of God and knowledge of oneself, in a sort of sanctification of the injunction of the Delphic Oracle: Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and […]

Categories
Archive E.J. Hutchinson Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine The Two Kingdoms

Calvin on Posture in Worship

Sitting on the Promises? Two of the more common gestural accompaniments of prayer and worship in Scripture are kneeling and the lifting of one’s hands. In several places in the Institutes and his commentaries, John Calvin reflects on the usefulness of such practices for Christian prayer and sketches an outline of what it is that […]

Categories
Archive Eric Parker Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Some Religion is Better than None: Ficino’s De Christiana Religione (V)

Marsilio Ficino, in chapter 4 of his De Christiana Religione, argues that God does not reject all forms of human worship, even those performed by other religions. Rather, God approves of man’s worship of him and he does not punish every form of false worship equally. Though all forms of religious worship derive, in some […]

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

Calvin on “Burning Love towards God” and the “Sacred Institutions of His Worship”

John Calvin is masterful at navigating and explicating the relationship between the internal and external aspects of the Christian faith. I recently discussed this aspect of his reflection as it pertains the already inaugurated and still future dynamics of the new heaven and the new earth. He is equally adept when dealing with the dynamics […]

Categories
Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Jewish A Capella

From John Arthur Smith’s Music in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity: Ancient Jewish cultic music was valid only in connection with the cult, and the cult was valid only at the Temple in Jerusalem. When Jerusalem fell to the Romans in 70 CE, and the Temple destroyed, the cult ceased, and with it cultic music. Hope […]