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  • The Gospel Expressed: Luther’s Teaching on Alien Righteousness as Divine Gift

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    The Gospel Expressed: Luther’s Teaching on Alien Righteousness as Divine Gift

    When exactly the levee is going to break is not easy to know, but when it does we all know. October 31, 1517 is the day the levee broke in the church of the West. It is not likely that Luther was aware he was laying his ax to the root. But that is what […]

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  • The Gospel Embodied: Luther’s Theology of the Lord’s Supper

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    The Gospel Embodied: Luther’s Theology of the Lord’s Supper

    Martin Luther sought above all to understand God’s self-revelation in the gospel, and how men and women are to grasp this revelation. In the gospel Luther discovered a God who comes to us. God condescends to us to meet us in our need as Savior and gives himself for us. Jesus Christ is God for […]

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  • “Plainly Diabolical”: Bishop Davenant Weighs in on Clerical Celibacy

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    “Plainly Diabolical”: Bishop Davenant Weighs in on Clerical Celibacy

    John Davenant, as Lady Margaret Professor of Theology at Cambridge, gave a lecture in the 1610’s defending the thesis that: “Thus, marrying in the Sacerdotal Order is lawful, and the decree for its prohibition in the Church of Rome is unlawful, anti-Christian, and plainly diabolical.” In this post, I want to highlight some of the more pertinent parts of Davenant’s lecture as they relate to the present problems facing the Roman Catholic Church.

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  • Why We Need the Common Good

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    Why We Need the Common Good

    Christian morality is not ultimately instruction in how to make oneself a member of the Christian club. It is not a self-help program whose rules are adopted by a small set of people who wish to better themselves. Christian morals, rather, are simply moral teachings that agree with the natural design of the universe.

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  • “Nursing Fathers”: The Magistrate and the Moral Law

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    “Nursing Fathers”: The Magistrate and the Moral Law

    Not many passages in the New Testament speak directly to political order. The first part of the thirteenth chapter of Romans is perhaps the most famous. I would like to focus in this essay on vv. 3-4, which may appear prima facie to be something of an interpretive crux. Are these verses descriptive or prescriptive? That is, are they simply declarative, or are they imperatival, telling us what magistrates ought to do?

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  • The Neglected Craft: Prudence in Reformed Political Thought

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    The Neglected Craft: Prudence in Reformed Political Thought

    Aristotle described politics as involving art or craft (techne). It, too, required skill. It, too, could produce excellent, even wondrous edifices: regimes. Once upon a time, the Reformed tradition saw politics in the same manner. Althusius, for example, spoke of “the art of governing.”[1] Joseph Caryl, a Westminster Divine, described rulers as engaging in an “art” or a “craft.” These thinkers, moreover, developed this artistry, doing so consciously within a Reformed framework.

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  • The Decline of the Magisterial Tradition and the Rise of the Cromwellian Consensus (Pt. 1)

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    The Decline of the Magisterial Tradition and the Rise of the Cromwellian Consensus (Pt. 1)

    After the conclusion of the English Civil War, the tensions between two Puritan emphases began to become apparent: the ideal of the “godly magistracy,” which assumed general uniformity in religious practice, and the tendency towards a “gathered church,” which had encouraged the gathering of the “godly” in separate assemblies.

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  • Revisiting Martin Luther’s Philosophy

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    Revisiting Martin Luther’s Philosophy

    Cooper’s defense of the scholastic method argues for seeing continuity, rather than disjuncture, between Luther and his successors.

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