Pagan Civil Righteousness

The following are quotes from Reformed theologians on the possibility of pagans achieving civil righteousness (see my previous post on the subject). “In political life even an infidel may be called just, innocent, and upright because of [their external and civil life of words, deeds and works], since they have “natural knowledge of and inclination towards …

Is Voting Trump Worthy of Church Discipline?

After Ted Cruz suspended his campaign last week, a flurry of blog posts from evangelical and Reformed Christians massed on the internet both denouncing Trump’s evangelical supporters and calling for a radical renewal of Christian political participation.  Russel Moore, for example, links support for Trump to “nativism” and “white supremacy.” He says that there is “bigotry all …

Virtuous Pagans in Reformed Thought (1)

Many Reformed theologians acknowledged the virtue of pagans and their ability to know the natural law as it relates to human social relations—even to the point of acknowledging a sort of natural sociability. Reformed theologians “have always fully acknowledged,” writes Dutch Reformed theologian Herman Bavinck, the existence and moral value of [the virtue of pagans.] …

Winthrop’s “City upon a hill” in Context

You can’t avoid city-on-the-hill talk in American elections. Every presidential election season since Reagan must include numerous references to Winthrop’s sermon “A Model of Christian Charity” by those advocating a “return” to American greatness and those complaining about those “dominionist” or theocratic Christian Rightists.  Much could be said on the use of the sermon over the last …

Apologia Radio and the Defamation of Tony Lauinger: A Call for an Apology

Though I usually avoid internet confrontations, a controversy has surfaced that I must address. Apologia Radio, a group of internet broadcasters that offers “Christian radio programming” that “boldly confronts the hard issues of today,” posted an interview with Tony Lauinger, a man who has worked in pro-life organizations for over 35 years and is the state …

Quotes on Social Inequality from the Protestant Tradition

I’ve posted a few articles on Christianity and inequality (see here, here, here, and here).  I list more quotes here, especially more from Calvin. I have also included quotes from Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, non-theologians and philosophers on inequality. Augustine (354 – 430) Peace between man and man is well-ordered concord. Domestic peace is the well-ordered concord between those …

Everyone Believes in Marriage Equality

When the Supreme Court discovered in the Constitution a right for same-sex couples to marry, I thought that the advocates of redefinition would stop shouting for “marriage equality.” I was wrong. The Republican candidates are against “marriage equality,” so we will have to endure more equality-talk.  This gives me an opportunity, however, to discuss the …

Francis Turretin on Divine Voluntarism: Most Reformers Follow Aquinas

Early in his section on the Law of God in his Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Francis Turretin discusses three views on the question, “Are the precepts of the Decalogue of natural and indispensable right?” He answers, “We affirm.” He briefly describes these three views: the views of Occam, Scotus, and Aquinas. He writes (11.2.10-11): There are three …

Prayer Shaming and Human Consolation

Jake Meador wrote a blog post at Mere Orthodoxy on the so-called “prayer shaming” that occurred following the shootings in San Bernardino. He writes, What we are seeing from many of the politicians offering their “thoughts and prayers” is simply another species of the prayer-as-gossip and prayer-as-performance ritualism that many of us saw as children …

Natural Duties and the Two Kingdoms

In my previous post on two-kingdom theology, I tried to make precise and concise distinctions and incorporate my other work on social hierarchy to develop an “anti-modern”  position in opposition to the modern variants of 2k theology. In this post, I further question the consistency of the most modern version put forward, namely, the 2k theology …