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
Tuesday, 20 June 2017 09:20

Why All Arminians Are Calvinists

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imageI want to put forth an argument against Arminianism based upon an internal flaw within the Arminian scheme of predestination.

My argument, simply stated:

“The Arminian position on predestination is inescapably Calvinistic (of sorts). Because this is so, the only option is to embrace open theism...

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Friday, 16 June 2017 03:48

John Owen on Mary as “Mother of God”

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The Reformed have frequently been accused of having a “Nestorian” Christology in theological polemics. This is macro-level theology-trolling, of course, but it does happen.

How was Nestorius’ alleged heresy diagnosed? 1 The usual answer is that he would not call Mary Theotokos,...

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Mark Jones wrote a fun essay last week explaining why he doesn’t like the name “Calvinism.” I agree with all of the substantive points and have made many of them myself. I also liked the playful jab at the name of this site. Good ol’ Mark.

Still, I want to give a word or two...

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Wednesday, 14 June 2017 05:46

Toward an Aesthetics of the Ordinary

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I frequently make fun of “aesthetics.” I do so because the way in which the term is used in common parlance at the present hour is silly, and serves roughly as a synonym for “something that gives me the feels.” This is the refuge of not a few Tiber-jumpers. Some Protestants,...

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Memini me fiere pavom

“I remember that I became a peacock…”

Biblical inspiration is obviously different from poetic inspiration. But there is a long tradition of the latter going back to Hesiod’s vision of the Muses at the beginning of the Theogony:

And one day...

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Around the year 1548, Peter Martyr Vermigli published the following quote from John Chrysostom, said to be from a letter to Caesarius the monk:

For as [in the eucharist] before the bread is consecrated, we call it bread, but when the grace of God by the Spirit has consecrated it, it is no longer...

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Monday, 05 June 2017 03:22

Against Calvinism

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Writing here at the Calvinist International gives me the opportunity to argue that the name of the website should be changed. Why? Because Calvinism is an unfortunate word. Scholars should try to avoid it in most instances. Churchmen and laypeople need to be aware of the pitfalls of the word....

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Thursday, 01 June 2017 04:26

Why Christians Must Sing Hymns

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Why should we sing hymns?

Singing hymns in corporate worship has many excellent advantages for the catholic church. In this article I want to give a positive case for why we should take hymn-singing seriously as something vital for the ongoing life and health of the visible church of Christ.

First,...

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Wednesday, 31 May 2017 05:46

17th Century Exclusive Psalmody Hymnody

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So, what do you know of Puritan hymnody? Did the Puritans sing hymns? If so, what was the nature of the hymns they sang?

Earlier Reformed theologians debated this question and the evidence shows that no firm consensus existed on exclusive Psalmody in corporate worship. For example, the influential...

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After asserting that man’s physiology bears witness to the three kinds of “worlds” that exist and the kinds of knowledge that correspond to them, Zanchi notes that natural philosophy is useful for two of them (the lower and the middle), he adds–in reliance on the Pl...

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Many Bible passages speak of God rewarding his people while many others call such redeemed individuals sinners. When you consider who we are by nature (sinners), and who God is in his nature (holy, righteous, just), it seems a little presumptuous – perhaps even delusional? – to speak of...

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Friday, 26 May 2017 01:09

Legitimacy vs. the good

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In a 1973 article on the social contract tradition, Patrick Riley notes an important distinction in how we understand “the state”. 1 He notes that “the mere excellence of an institution would no longer be enough; it would now require authorization by individual men understood as...

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Thursday, 25 May 2017 07:06

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

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In broadly Reformed circles there are many theological catchphrases that are mocked and ridiculed for being theologically perverse. But on a little closer reflection, the phrases have a fairly solid Reformed pedigree and it is only the recent weakening of Reformed theology that has caused us...

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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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