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, 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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Wednesday, 19 April 2017 03:55

Concerning the Covenants

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Concerning the Covenants [De Foederibus]

The old covenant or testament was established in accordance with the righteousness of God through the Law, so that the righteousness of God might be vindicated from the false accusations of men; so that men would be inexcusable, guilty, and convicted by the...

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From time to time, the Protestant Reformers, especially the Calvinists, found it necessary to clearly distinguish the ways in which the two natures of Christ operate in His work of redemption, even explaining which aspects of the work were properly carried out by Christ’s divine nature, which...

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The question of whether Protestants should regard Roman Catholic churches as “true churches” is very important to all ecumenical endeavors. Usually in reaction to those hardened Protestants who simply say that Rome is apostate and thus “no church at all,” the...

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Tuesday, 28 March 2017 05:48

Proposing the #BonOp

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True confession: I haven’t really been following all the dust-up and discussion surrounding the latest proposals for how Christians should relate to “the culture”–and this for a variety of reasons, many of which have little to do with the discussion itself and much more to...

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Tuesday, 28 March 2017 05:33

Calvin on Involuntary Worship

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As we have noted in the past, Calvin allowed for the suppression of heretics for political reasons, but he did not believe that the faith could be coerced. One reason that it can not be coerced is that, for Calvin, worship must be offered willing. A worship give out of fear or force is of no value.

C...

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Thursday, 23 March 2017 23:26

“As Many of You As Were Baptized” (2)

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After some delay, we continue with Calvin on Galatians 3.26-7. In the first installment, we saw the central importance to Calvin of union in the consideration of what it means to be sons of God. But Paul seems to say that this comes about by baptism. So: is it the case that “being...

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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.

Text

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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