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
Thursday, 21 June 2018 02:18

What Is an Apostle?

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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...

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Wednesday, 20 June 2018 09:29

The Cloud of God, the Cloud of Good Examples

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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...

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Tuesday, 19 June 2018 05:14

The Eucharist and Spiritual Eating

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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...

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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....

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Thursday, 14 June 2018 04:10

Early Auden and the Scottish Psalter

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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...

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Monday, 11 June 2018 06:16

Nature and Grace in Richard Sibbes

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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...

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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),...

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Athanasius of Alexandria’s doctrine of the deity of Christ rest upon two basic concepts. These are that the divine nature is simple and incapable of division and that the Son is generated or begotten from the essence of the Father, that divine essence which is simple. When you combine these...

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Athanasius of Alexandria actually has a lot to say about the divine nature. He says that it is fruitful. He says that its essence and its existence are identical. He says that it is simple and infinite. And yet, he also says that the divine nature is, in itself, unknowable to us. We have nothing...

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Friday, 25 May 2018 05:21

Athanasius: Why Not Eternal Creation?

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In an most interesting section of his Orations Against the Arians, Athanasius fields an objection against the eternal generation of the Son based on a parallel with creation. Athanasius has been arguing that certain divine names (Father, Wisdom, Word) show us that God must have always had a...

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For you, little child,Jesus Christ has come, he has fought, he has suffered.For you he entered the shadow of Gethsemane and the horror of Calvary.For you he uttered the cry, “It is finished!”For you he rose from the deadand ascended into heavenand there he intercedes —for you,...

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Peter Hitchens has written a rather remarkable essay on the difference between the religious persecution carried out by Queen Elizabeth I and that done by Bloody Mary. What’s more remarkable is that it was published by First Things. Mr. Hitchens’ essay attempts a number of things, but...

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Friday, 11 May 2018 01:08

Hodge’s Schleiermacher (5)

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Picking back up with this series…

We last left Charles Hodge in March of 1827. According to his son’s “Life,” Charles next mentions Schleiermacher in a journal entry of Wednesday, April 18, 1827. Here, Hodge meets Schleiermacher himself for the first time, on the occasion of...

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“Rock of Ages” was my Memaw’s favorite hymn. It holds a particular place of sentiment in the hearts of many and regularly tops various greatest hymns lists. Its relationship to its Augustus Toplady’s conversion is also widely known. Traveling home from a neighboring village,...

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Wednesday, 09 May 2018 08:59

Against Prosthetic Masculinity

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There’s a deep irony with any attempt to lecture on masculinity. Throughout history, “manly men” have been men of relatively few words. Verbosity, on the other hand, has typically been a considered effeminate. The leader of men is a man of action. He speaks when he must, but...

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Matthew 16:13-20 has been the subject of enormous controversy in the history of the Christian church. This is particularly the case with respect to the interpretation of its famous “rock” and “keys of the kingdom of heaven” clauses.[1] It is safe to say, in fact, that the...

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The following passage is so over-quoted that I hesitate to quote it again (I discuss the general idea in an essay in this book), but I’m going to do it anyway to make just one tiny little point. That point is this: though Aristotle is enjoying something of a renaissance among...

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Friday, 04 May 2018 00:59

Christ as Poseidon, Christ over Poseidon

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The 4th/5th century Greco-Egypto-Roman poet Nonnus of Panopolis composed a huge epic work in 48 books on Dionysus, the Dionysiaca, as well as an epic poetic paraphrase of the gospel of John, both in Homeric idiom and meter.

In his version of the famous Johannine prologue, Nonnus writes:...

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Monday, 23 April 2018 20:01

Systematic Theology As Exegesis

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Strange days are upon us as Christian theology takes shape in the twenty-first century.  Some biblical scholars are working on projects that resemble works of systematic theology (e.g., Michael Bird’s Evangelical Theology).  Systematic theologians are working on biblical...

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Thursday, 29 March 2018 23:08

The Wittenberg Concord (3)

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A few people asked that I finish the translation of the Wittenberg Concord that I began about a year ago (see post 1 and 2). There was one article remaining, that on absolution; I include it below. The only thing that remains to be done and that likely will be of interest to TCI’s readers is...

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Wednesday, 28 March 2018 23:53

A Brain Swarming with Ideas, Not Thought

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Bear with me, I’ve got a couple more posts on G.K. Chesterton to go.

T.S. Eliot said of Chesterton: “Mr. Chesterton’s brain swarms with ideas; I see no evidence that it thinks.”

Today’s passage, from a late collection called The Well and the Shallows, is a prime...

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About a decade ago, Adam Gopnik wrote a long essay in The New Yorker on G.K. Chesterton and his works called “The Back of the World: The Troubling Genius of G.K. Chesterton.” Gopnik is both an admirer of Chesterton, but one with critical distance–meaning that he does not...

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Sunday, 25 March 2018 23:56

What Is “A Prince of the Church”?

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In his Brief Outline of the Study of Theology, Friedrich Schleiermacher coins a new term to describe someone who serves as an ideal guide for the church. Such a person would be characterized by balance–the balance of practical piety and academic competency, united in a single...

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Wednesday, 21 March 2018 01:02

The Martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer

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21 March marks the martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer, 1 Archbishop of Canterbury and architect of the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-Nine Articles, by being burned alive at the hands of Queen Mary I in 1556.

The most famous account of his death is that found in Foxe’s Book...

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Friday, 16 March 2018 00:25

John Calvin and the Summa Rebooted

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I noted a couple of years ago Calvin’s possibly revealing use of the word summa (as in, Summa theologiae) “so prominently in the first sentence [of the final edition of the Institutes (1559)],” and commented that 

[t]he gesture would signal, I think, a radical...

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