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
Friday, 17 August 2018 04:52

Contarini on Justification (16)

Written by

We’ve now referred to “twofold justice” a few times, viz. the justice and charity inherent in us by grace, and the justice of Christ’s perfect merit imputed to us through union with Christ by faith. But, having dealt with the potential ambiguity of the term...

Read more

Wednesday, 15 August 2018 02:37

Contarini on Justification (15)

Written by

Herewith the next installment. (Read that first and then circle back up here.)

A couple of important points: Contarini denies that we are justified because of inherent faith, as though “faith” in the proposition were treated as a good work that is equivalent to...

Read more

Friday, 10 August 2018 02:48

Contarini on Justification (14)

Written by

Cleaning out some paperwork in my office reminded me that, after three years, I should get back to this series and finish it at some point. Lo these many months ago I started a new translation of Cardinal Gasparo Contarini’s treatise De iustificatione, “On Justification.” I...

Read more

Eastern Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart has written an essay on the Pauline terms “spirit,” (πνευμα) “soul,” (ψυχη), and “flesh” (σαρξ), maintaining that modern readers are greatly (or...

Read more

“Literalism” frequently gets a bad rap nowadays when it comes to the Bible. The word “literal” is fraught with ambiguities, especially in its modern usages, which I have no intention of getting into here. But the practice of reading the Bible ad litteram–“acc...

Read more

“Natura abhorret a vacuo

Nature abhors a vacuum, and so every people constituted as a political body is going to have a schedule of sacred observances, of holy days–days marked out as special in some way, whether because of their perceived relation to a polity’s foundation...

Read more

It is well known that C.S. Lewis borrowed the phrase “mere Christianity” from the seventeenth-century Puritan Richard Baxter; Lewis says as much in his book called–wait for it–Mere Christianity. Lewis also uses the phrase with some regularity in other writings, as indicated h...

Read more

Monday, 16 July 2018 09:16

The Importance of the Love of God

Written by

Christians struggle with two kinds of assurance – assurance that God loves them and assurance that God likes them. We might immediately cringe at such language as overly anthropomorphic and sentimental. I want to forestall this reaction, however, by admitting that such language can and has...

Read more

As we’ve alreadyseen, the first two poets W.H. Auden mentions in his literary catalog in New Year Letter, Dante and William Blake, are both included in the syllabus for the course he taught at the University of Michigan in 1941. The same is true of the third, Arthur Rimbaud, whose prose...

Read more

Sunday, 15 July 2018 10:34

What is Effeminacy?

Written by

So let’s talk about effeminacy. This came up as final point of criticism in my Mere Orthodoxy critique of the gay Christianity of Revoice and Spiritual Friendship. Now, I knew that “going there” would upset a lot of people. It’s basically touching the third rail to even say...

Read more

As we continue our thoughts on gay Christianity and “spiritual friendship,” we need to take an important detour. My original plan to was to move from concupiscence to the topic of effeminacy, but as I worked through Augustine’s writings on concupiscence, I was confronted with his...

Read more

The next writer in Auden’s judgmental catalog of poets is William Blake. Like Dante and his Commedia, Blake was included in the syllabus of the literature course Auden taught at the University of Michigan the year after he wrote New Year Letter, “Fate and the Individual in...

Read more

Prologue.

If one is reading a secondary source but also wants to be sure he, you know, knows something, it is advisable to track down primary sources in order to check the veracity of claims made about some figure, text, or whatever. “Trust, but verify,” as the Gipper said.

Scene:...

Read more

Picking up from my previous post on the problem of gay-but-chaste Christianity, I want to talk about concupiscence.

Jack Bates criticizes me for introducing concupiscence into the discussion in an over-generalized and therefore simplistic way. Bates writes:

Wedgeworth’s treatment of...

Read more

Tuesday, 26 June 2018 01:33

Auden’s Anxious Library Bench (1): Dante

Written by

This is for the philistines, to help you get in touch with your inner non-philistine and slay the Goliath within you. Dare to be a David!

Name-checking one’s literary influences has a long pedigree. One might mention Ennius’ Pythagorean dream in which the ghost of Homer appeared to him an...

Read more

My essay over at Mere Orthodoxy on the Spiritual Friendship conversation has generated a fair amount of discussion these past few weeks. Much of it has been very good. Some of it was of the predictable online partisanship variety, which, while inevitable, is still too bad. There was a sort of blind...

Read more

Friday, 22 June 2018 08:29

Ursinus on Mortal and Venial Sin

Written by

In his Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, following his commentary on Q&A #7, Zacharius Ursinus enters into an extended discussion of sin. He gives a basic definition and then makes several distinctions between varying kinds of sins. The first is the common distinction between...

Read more

Friday, 22 June 2018 05:23

What Is an Apostle? An Addendum

Written by

Yesterday we saw that Kierkegaard distinguished between a genius and an apostle via the following kinds of binaries: immanence vs. transcendence; inborn talent vs. the exterior call; aesthetic vs. authoritative appeal.

A different model of authority that presents some problems for that of...

Read more

Thursday, 21 June 2018 02:18

What Is an Apostle?

Written by

In Of the Difference between a Genius and an Apostle, 1 Søren Kierkegaard discusses, well, the difference between a genius and an apostle.

A “genius,” for him, is always immanent, always assimilable, never paradoxical (a favorite word of Kierkegaard’s)–even if he...

Read more

Wednesday, 20 June 2018 09:29

The Cloud of God, the Cloud of Good Examples

Written by

In his perhaps unfortunately named work Bowels Opened, Richard Sibbes makes a connection between the cloud God used to guide the Israelites to the Promised Land out of Egypt and the reference in the letter to the Hebrews to the “cloud of witnesses” (“Therefore, since we are...

Read more

Tuesday, 19 June 2018 05:14

The Eucharist and Spiritual Eating

Written by

John 6.22ff. is a text that has long been used in various ways and to various ends in debates about the Eucharist. Christ himself gives a clue to its proper interpretation in v. 63: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and...

Read more

A debate arose among Reformed divines in the 1620s and 30s, particularly in England, over the issue of baptismal regeneration. A variety of interpretations of passages like Titus 3:5 and 1 Peter 3:21 were proposed and there was debate over how to interpret Augustine and even Calvin on this issue....

Read more

Thursday, 14 June 2018 04:10

Early Auden and the Scottish Psalter

Written by

For those who, for whatever reason, don’t like to sing the actual words of the Psalms, metrical psalmody can be a good substitute. 1

But it can also have its difficulties. Probably the best known metrical Psalter in English is the Scottish Metrical Psalter. Anyone who has ever used it knows...

Read more

Monday, 11 June 2018 06:16

Nature and Grace in Richard Sibbes

Written by

Introduction

With respect to the relation between nature and grace, the mainstream Christian tradition does not hold that grace obliterates or destroys nature, but rather that it works with it in some sense as its necessary substratum. The most well known formulation of the idea is found in Thomas...

Read more

Classically speaking, there are some truths about God that can be known, or known partially, or grasped, or grasped partially, by reasoned reflection on general revelation. These truths are usually grouped under the domain of natural theology: for example, that there is only one God (monotheism),...

Read more

Page 1 of 13