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

I’m excited to announce a miniseries of essays between Prof. Thomas Pink of King’s College London and myself. Earlier this year, I posted two essays on Roman Catholicism and religious liberty (here and here). These were brought to the attention of Prof. Pink, and he and I began an email...

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Wednesday, 23 August 2017 00:44

Wesminsterian Aristotelianism: Marriage (2)

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In the last post, we saw that Samuel Willard recognizes only one natural “order of superiority,” that of parents over children. All other relations of superior and inferior are what he calls “political.” We further saw that he divides the “political” into the two...

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In the first chapter of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology, “Relation of Sacred Eloquence to Biblical Exegesis,” W.G.T. Shedd discusses what “originality” might mean for the “sacred orator,” for he has just said that the study of sacred revelation does indeed...

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Thursday, 10 August 2017 04:25

John Calvin on the Use of Goods and Money

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Some of our friends are arguing about Capitalism and Marxism, so I thought we would do what we usually do– turn to the archives! What did the stuffy dead guys say about this? That’s a big task, though (and one that we have been doing piece by piece over time), and so, true to form,...

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Wednesday, 09 August 2017 03:49

Calvin’s Vergil, Calvin’s Lucretius

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Continuing an exercise begun the other day

Calvin refers to the Roman poets Vergil and Lucretius exactly once in the Institutes of the Christian Religion, in the same passage of 1.5.5, “The Knowledge of God Conspicuous in the Creation, and Continual Government of the World.”

T...

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Tuesday, 08 August 2017 04:54

Augustinian Descartes

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In Part 6 of the Discourse on Method, Descartes objects to the way in which the inquiry for truth was, in his experience, conducted in the schools. He writes:

But though I recognize my extreme liability to error, and scarce ever trust to the first thoughts which occur to me, yet-the experience I...

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Tuesday, 08 August 2017 01:40

What is Protestant Scholasticism? (A Primer)

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A Theological Swear Word

Few words in Christian circles conjure up as much misunderstanding as “scholasticism.” Rigid, rationalistic Aristotelian philosophizing, also known as “scholasticism,” entered the church at various point in church history (i.e., the Medievals and...

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Monday, 07 August 2017 12:43

Calvin’s Plato

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Mark Jones has a recent post on a subject long of interest on this site, viz. the use of Greek and Roman sources by Protestant theologians. As a case study that confirms Dr. Jones’ point, one might look at the way in which John Calvin makes use of Plato in his Institutes of the Christian...

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Monday, 07 August 2017 00:18

Reformed Theologians Using Pagan Sources

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For Reformed Catholics, appreciation extends well beyond our Reformed heritage. It has to. For our appreciation of the Christian tradition to cease to move beyond our Reformed borders is in fact to cease to be Reformed. 1 But just how far can appreciation extend? Even to pagan sources? Yes, indeed.

A...

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Friday, 04 August 2017 03:52

Westminsterian Aristotelianism: Marriage

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In Politics 1259a-b, Aristotle distinguishes between the type of authority fathers have over children and that possessed by husbands over wives as follows:

“Of household management we have seen that there are three parts—one is the rule of a master over slaves, which has...

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Wednesday, 02 August 2017 03:53

In Praise of Mayberry

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Stephen Wolfe has an excellent article up today at Mere Orthodoxy in defense of what is called (usually derisively) “cultural Christianity.” The article’s principles should be examined and thought through before unleashing a series of BUT WHAT ABOUTs. The piece has the...

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Monday, 31 July 2017 06:16

Calvin on Christ’s Cry of Abandon

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Pastor Tim Keller has posted a follow-up to the ideas and concepts that Mark Jones highlighted a few days ago concerning Christ’s cry of abandon from the cross. There’s a lot that could be said, but so far it’s simply worth nothing that it is a very good conversation that...

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Monday, 31 July 2017 03:36

Postscript on Mediation

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One more update on the topic Pastor Wedgeworthand I have recently posted on, the end of Christ’s priestly mediation between the Father and the faithful in the eschaton.

The annotator of Augustine’s On the Trinity, which I discussed in the first post, in the NPNF series was...

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Dr. Hutchinson’s recent post on Augustine reminded me about a point of Calvin’s eschatology that I wanted to explore. Agreeing with Augustine, Calvin argues that there will come a time when Christ’s mediation will come to an end, and the godman will deliver the kingdom over to the...

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Friday, 28 July 2017 00:51

Cotton on Marriage, Again

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A bit later in the sermon to which I’ve referred a couple of timespreviously, John Cotton details what he thinks the phrase “help meet” in Genesis 2 means. I suspect that the simple act of copying and pasting this is enough to make most contemporary Christians, including not a few...

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Wednesday, 26 July 2017 00:21

Addendum on “The Reasons for Marriage”

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Yesterday’s post on John Cotton’s wedding sermon tells us something else worth remarking on, which I did not include yesterday.

If one wished to come up with a taxonomy for different ways of looking at marriage, one might call the view expressed in the Cotton excerpt the “social...

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Tuesday, 25 July 2017 00:41

The Reasons for Marriage

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It’s 2017, and so we should remember that there were several, not just one or two, important facets of the project of Reformation undertaken in the sixteenth century. One of these was to exalt the estate of marriage as a high and holy one, and not simply an option for second-class Christians...

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Monday, 24 July 2017 00:05

A Mediator in the Eschaton?

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Will we need a Mediator even after the perfection brought about to God’s people after the Resurrection and the Last Judgment? In an interpretation of 1 Cor. 15.24 (“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all...

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It is well known (at least, I think it is) that a prominent strand of the exegesis of Matt. 16.18 (“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” ESV) makes the “rock” not Peter himself, nor the...

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Catholic theologians, philosophers and historians of the twentieth century, having fought fiercely to eradicate prejudices against medieval philosophy, adopt the anti-Scholastic rhetoric of the old Protestant histories and project it upon the thinkers of the Baroque age. As a result, they reject...

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Everyone knows that Martin Luther hated reason and thereby destroyed Europe, culture, kittens, and organic farming. After all, he once called “holy reason” a “mangy, leprous whore.” Again, “reason is the devil’s prostitute and can do nothing else but slander and...

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A friend notes that John Henry Newman says this in An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine:

Calvinism, again, in various distinct countries, has become Socinianism, and Calvin himself seems to have denied our Lord’s Eternal Sonship and ridiculed the Nicene Creed.

My...

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In the final edition of his Loci communes, Philip Melanchthon offers nine proofs for the existence of God in the locus De creatione, as B.B. Warfield long ago noted in “Calvin’s Doctrine of God” (see n. 41). Some of these will seem standard fare; the sixth proof will perhaps...

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Ok, I was kidding about that whole Shedd thing. I’ll get to him, but via one of his footnotes I was led to a work of Augustus Toplady in which he discusses the question of infant salvation.

Toplady is most famous now not for, e.g., his dispute with John Wesley or his translation of Zanchi on...

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Since Jay Adams and no doubt earlier, the Christian world has been arguing amongst itself over the relationship between its faith and the modern science of psychology. And this is not only a disciplinary division issue, for the modern field of inquiry has experienced a history of its own, with...

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