But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

The Calvinist International - Apologetic Report

In his 1911 volume which began the trilogy of Pro Rege, Abraham Kuyper reflects on the importance of  Matthew 11:20–30 for our understanding of the kingship of Christ. In that passage, Jesus is denouncing the cities where he worked and preached and then affirms the authority that...

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Wednesday, 17 May 2017 00:59

Call to Prayer

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Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

 

Like many of you, I have allowed...

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In today’s installment from his prolegomena to Aristotle’s Physica, Zanchi again explains man as microcosm, which he now refers to as “smaller world” (minorem mundum,) in different terms–the terms of human physiology–in a way that will presumably strike most...

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In the next installment, Zanchi notes that the kind of natural philosophy he has in view ranks second only to the Word in helping us to learn the things that we need to know about nature, God, and ourselves (more on this in a moment).

Zanchi here invokes the Platonist hierarchical schema&nb...

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It’s been a while, but we now return to Zanchi’s prolegomena to Aristotle’s Physica, in which Zanchi discusses his views of philosophy in general and of natural philosophy in particular.

At the end of the previous installment, we saw Zanchi’s conclusion that the...

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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...

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In the final edition of the Loci communes (1559), Philip Melanchthon provides a good example of how to move from a philosophical to a theological definition of God. Melanchthon had added a section de Deo, missing in the first edition, to later editions of the Loci, but the passage...

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Wednesday, 03 May 2017 03:51

Zanchi’s Aristotle (8): What Man Must Know

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It’s been a while, but we now return to Zanchi’s prolegomena to Aristotle’s Physica, in which Zanchi discusses his views of philosophy in general and of natural philosophy in particular.

At the end of the previous installment, we saw Zanchi’s conclusion that the...

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Richard Hooker famously (?) said: “A gross error it is, to think that regal power ought to serve for the good of the body, and not of the soul; for men’s temporal peace, and not for their eternal safety: as if God had ordained kings for no other end and purpose but only to fat up men...

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Thursday, 27 April 2017 11:08

What Irenicism Looks Like (16th c. Edition)

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We’re big on “Reformed Irenicism” around here. Do we have it now? Maybe, I dunno. Did we have it before? Yes, at least sometimes. We can catch a glimpse of what it looked like in the 16th century in the case of one of its most significant sons, the Italian Protestant Peter Martyr...

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Thursday, 20 April 2017 23:59

Love as the Fulfilling of the Law in Gal. 5.14

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Ever wondered what Paul meant when he said that the Law is fulfilled through obeying Leviticus 19.18 (“You shall love your neighbor as yourself”)? Can the Law really be “fulfilled” without reference to the first Table? Don’t worry, Niels Hemmingsen is here to help....

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Today is the 457th anniversary of the death of Philip Melanchthon, one of the most important figures of the sixteenth century. In honor of the day, I’m re-posting a couple of texts relevant to the occasion that I’ve translated in this space before.

First, a list Melanchthon made on his...

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017 03:55

Concerning the Covenants

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Concerning the Covenants [De Foederibus]

The old covenant or testament was established in accordance with the righteousness of God through the Law, so that the righteousness of God might be vindicated from the false accusations of men; so that men would be inexcusable, guilty, and convicted by the...

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From time to time, the Protestant Reformers, especially the Calvinists, found it necessary to clearly distinguish the ways in which the two natures of Christ operate in His work of redemption, even explaining which aspects of the work were properly carried out by Christ’s divine nature, which...

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The question of whether Protestants should regard Roman Catholic churches as “true churches” is very important to all ecumenical endeavors. Usually in reaction to those hardened Protestants who simply say that Rome is apostate and thus “no church at all,” the...

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Tuesday, 28 March 2017 05:48

Proposing the #BonOp

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True confession: I haven’t really been following all the dust-up and discussion surrounding the latest proposals for how Christians should relate to “the culture”–and this for a variety of reasons, many of which have little to do with the discussion itself and much more to...

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Tuesday, 28 March 2017 05:33

Calvin on Involuntary Worship

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As we have noted in the past, Calvin allowed for the suppression of heretics for political reasons, but he did not believe that the faith could be coerced. One reason that it can not be coerced is that, for Calvin, worship must be offered willing. A worship give out of fear or force is of no value.

C...

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Thursday, 23 March 2017 23:26

“As Many of You As Were Baptized” (2)

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After some delay, we continue with Calvin on Galatians 3.26-7. In the first installment, we saw the central importance to Calvin of union in the consideration of what it means to be sons of God. But Paul seems to say that this comes about by baptism. So: is it the case that “being...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 20:00

Herman Bavinck on the Beatific Vision

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The doctrine of the Beatific Vision, so central to medieval Western theology, is much rarely discussed in Reformed churches. It does appear in most of the older dogmatic writers, however. There are interesting points of variety between them too– take, for instance, Calvin’s view and...

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Sunday, 12 March 2017 13:45

Kuyper on Authority

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In volume 1 of Pro Rege, Kuyper expounds upon the theme of the origins and nature of authority. In his exposition, he shows himself to be quite the political theologian. As a side note, this is one of the virtues of taking the effort to read these new Lexham Press translations of...

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Thursday, 09 March 2017 05:10

“As Many of You as Were Baptized” (1)

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In Galatians 3.26-7, Paul makes what seems prima facie to be a startling transition: “[F]or in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (ESV). Note that second connective “for”: Paul is...

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Wednesday, 08 March 2017 06:18

Kuyper’s Reformed Understanding of History

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In the midst of a discussion about the connection between common grace and particular, or special, grace, Kuyper sets out to make clear that Christ is the telosof all things. He does so by distinguishing between Christ himself, and then his ‘body’, the Church. Both are...

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We come now to the final section of Niels Hemmingsen’s comments on Col. 2.16-17, which contains a disquisition on Christian festivals. The passage below contains the seventh of Hemmingsen’s regulae and some concluding observations.

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SEVENTH, the Emperor Constantine established...

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Monday, 06 March 2017 01:05

Zanchi’s Aristotle (7): Divine Philosophy

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At long last, we continue with Zanchi’s remarks on the history of philosophy in the prolegomena to his edition of Aristotle’s Physica.

In the previous installment, Zanchi claimed that it we had Solomon’s philosophy books, we wouldn’t need Aristotle....

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Here is part 3 of our exposition of Hemmingsen’s comments on Col. 2.16-17, in which we look at rules (regulae) 4-6 that ought to govern Christian observance of festivals.

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FOURTH, the Jewish sabbath was a type and figure of Christians’ spiritual sabbath, which indeed ought to be...

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