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

Apologetic Report - The Calvinist International
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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Tuesday, 21 February 2017 03:57

Zanchi’s Aristotle (6): Solomon the Philosopher

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In this installment, Zanchi continues his exposition of the spread of philosophy after its initial revelation to Adam. Philosophy, according to Zanchi, comes to the Hebrews eventually, but not directly. It rather goes from Adam’s direct descendants to Noah and his sons after the Flood, and...

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Monday, 20 February 2017 11:33

On the Difficulties of Allegory

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Horace, Odes 1.14, is a notoriously difficult poem to interpret. It is universally agreed that it is an allegory, but there is no consensus as to what it is an allegory of, and this points up the problems of allegorical writing and reading in general. First, the poem, in Latin and in Engli...

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We continue with our exposition of Hemmingsen’s exposition of Col. 2.16-17. In the previous post, we saw the ways in which Hemmingsen distinguishes between the old Mosaic order and the order that obtains after the coming of Christ. Christians do not observe “days” and...

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Zanchi continues his exposition of Adam as the first philosopher. His evidence? “Man gave names to all the animals.” (That’s a Bob Dylan song, of course; you can listen to Johnny Cash’s version here.) There is an important point about language in Zanchi’s position...

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Monday, 13 February 2017 06:03

“Let No One Judge You in Food and Drink”

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Colossians 2.16ff. is a locus classicus for discussing the Protestant doctrine of adiaphora, or things indifferent. 1 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....

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Despite the title, this is about Plato rather than Aristotle.

In the next section of the prolegomena to Aristotle’s Physica, Zanchi makes the case that philosophy ultimately comes to man by divine revelation. I’m afraid that I misspoke in the first note of the previous post, in...

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Wednesday, 08 February 2017 09:29

Calvin Against Uniformity

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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...

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Friday, 03 February 2017 09:59

Zanchi’s Aristotle (3)

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In this section (first see parts 1 and 2), Zanchi continues his exposition of philosophy as a revelation of God. To defend his position, he has to deal with those who think it is a discover of man. Isn’t that what Plato and Aristotle teach in saying that philosophy begins in wonder...

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Thursday, 02 February 2017 07:33

Zanchi’s Aristotle (2)

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In our next installment of his prolegomena to Aristotle’s Physica, Zanchi begins to respond to the charges brought against Christians pursuing philosophy at all, a pursuit in which he here gives pride of place to natural philosophy, as Melanchthon does too. For Zanchi, it is “nearly...

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Wednesday, 01 February 2017 09:37

Cyrus as “Messiah”

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As far as I know, there is only one heathen ruler referred to in the Old Testament as a “messiah,” and that is Cyrus the Great of Persia. In Isaiah 45.1, one finds: … כֹּה־אָמַ֣ריְהו&#14...

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Tuesday, 31 January 2017 13:55

The Dignitatis Humanae Revolution

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A little over a week ago, we began the argument that the disruption currently occurring within the Roman Catholic Church is an inevitable reverberation of the 20th century. A fundamental transformation then occurred, and the classic position on religious liberty and the rights of the human...

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Monday, 30 January 2017 05:51

Augustine on Law

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Augustine was not a legal positivist, which is to say, he knew that human laws and customs could not be ultimate. If they are out of accord with a higher law (viz. natural law or divine law), they are not truly binding because not truly just. The opposite of this position, of course, is the...

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Friday, 27 January 2017 07:49

Zanchi’s Aristotle (1)

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In 1554 Girolamo Zanchi, while he was teaching at Strasburg, lectured on Aristotle’s Physica and published an edition of the Greek text with substantial introduction. 1 In the prolegomena, Zanchi recognizes that there are critics of the teaching of philosophy in general and of...

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Tuesday, 24 January 2017 22:13

Kuyper on Civil Government and Divine Right

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In Common Grace, Kuyper combines the questions of God’s institution of capital punishment and the institution of civil government into one moment. He understands God’s command to Noah in Genesis 9:6 as the moment when God instituted civil government. He also rejects outright the...

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Tuesday, 24 January 2017 12:23

Calvin’s Sacraments (Again)

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When I posted on “Calvin’s Augsburg,” I said I might return to the letter to Schallingius whence the statement in question 1 came (see also here on this subject). I do so here with a passage on Calvin’s view of the Lord’s Supper that immediately precedes that statement...

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In a recent blog post, Peter Leithart reflects on the concept of “person” in relation to the Trinity. He takes as his starting point the classic definition given by Boethius: a person is an individual substance of a rational nature, and from this argues that the divine persons of the...

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Friday, 20 January 2017 11:27

Hyperius’ Prayer after Studies

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Yesterday I posted Andreas Hyperius’ prayer when one is on one’s way to his studies; here is his prayer for after they have concluded (A studiis).

For those things that thou hast wished, O God, heavenly Father, for me to learn in the elements of piety and in the honorable arts, I give...

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Thursday, 19 January 2017 11:24

Kuyper on the institution of civil government

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In CommonGrace (Lexham/Acton Institute: 2015), Kuyper spends a number of chapters examining Genesis 9:5 and Genesis 9:6 in relation to capital punishment and, therefore, the instituting of civil government. Genesis 9:5-6 reads as follows:

And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning:...

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