Social Hierarchy in the Christian Tradition

Reformed Christian ethics has taken a social egalitarian turn. Recently, a few Reformed bloggers have criticized Christians for failing to support the “radical and inclusive social ethics” of the New Testament. Matthew Tuininga, in a couple interesting and well-written posts on the Presbyterian role in racial segregation (see here and here),[1] has condemned the southern …

A Reformed Perspective on Natural Beauty

The universe is before our eyes like a beautiful book in which all creatures, great and small, are as letters to make us ponder the invisible things of God. ~ Belgic Confession of Faith Swiss Alps The Protestant Reformers spoke often of the beauty of creation. Indeed, natural beauty[1] plays an important role in some …

Review of The Religious Beliefs of America’s Founders (1)

In the next few weeks or months, I plan to review the book The Religious Beliefs of America’s Founders: Reason, Revelation, and Revolution, chapter-by-chapter.[1] It is written by Gregg Frazer, a Master’s College professor of history and political science. The book has caused a stir among those who have an interest in the United States …

Echoes of Scotus, Ockham, and Eck in the Reformed Orthodox discussion of faith and reason

On this topic, I present what Muller has to say, without comment: Medieval Antecedents to the Reformed Discussion The Reformed orthodox debate echoes the debate over the Scotist distinction between the infinite and perfect theologia in se and the various forms of finite theology typical of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. On the one hand, …

“What God Knows” and “What He Reveals”

What is “theology”? Richard Muller shows how the Reformed Orthodox began to define the term in using some pre-existing categories; in doing so, he also fleshes out the difference between an epistemology of Thomas Aquinas and that of other writers. A. To “define theology”: Muller writes: The theologies of the Reformers, particularly those that took …

Fudging Aristotle: A Digression (Part 6): Fudging God?

“The Roman Communion is a creature of the 14th century and even more profoundly, of the 16th century (Trent). The sacramental system she reveres is a 14th century invention. As late as 9th century no one knew anything about 7 sacraments. Ask Radbertus and Ratramnus, and ask the latter about transubstantiation; he thought it was …

How Reformed Scholasticism differed from Medieval Scholasticism

For the Orthodox Reformed writers working in the generations after the Reformation, “scholasticism” was a method of doing things, not an appropriation of earlier doctrines. These writers and theologians worked with the “broad brush” provided by the Reformers, as they sought to “establish … systematically the normative, catholic character of institutionalized Protestantism.” The term scholasticism …

A Brief History of the Interpretation of Matthew 16:18: “On this rock I will build my church”

Matthew 16:18, of course, is the famous proof-text used by Roman Catholics to “prove” that Peter was the first pope. Ulrich Luz, a leading commentator on the Gospel of Matthew, is author of the three-volume Hermeneia Commentary on Matthew series. What follows is from Chapter 4 of his work, “Matthew in History: Interpretation, Influence, and …