Blog

  • The Real Presence and the Presence of Reality

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    The Real Presence and the Presence of Reality

    On October 16th, Davenant Institute President Brad Littlejohn was invited to give a lecture at Hillsdale College on the doctrine of the Eucharistic real presence in the Protestant Reformation. In the lecture, he argued that contrary to many popular narratives and misrepresentations, the Reformed did hold to a kind of real presence of the body […]

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  • Calvin on the Public Rites of Confession and Absolution

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    Calvin on the Public Rites of Confession and Absolution

    In the third book of his Institutes, John Calvin argues that the church’s worship should begin with a corporate prayer of confession: “Besides the fact that ordinary confession has been commended by the Lord’s mouth, no one of sound mind, who weighs its usefulness, can dare disapprove it….

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  • Why Protestants Convert, Pt. 4: The Sociology of Conversion

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    Why Protestants Convert, Pt. 4: The Sociology of Conversion

    Why do Protestants convert? The answer, as we’ve seen in our posts this fall, is complicated. It cannot be reduced to simple slogans or polemical talking points, and it calls for serious self-examination among Protestants

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  • How the Reformation Vanquished Death

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    How the Reformation Vanquished Death

    For the Christian, the threat of death, in whatever form it comes, does not have the final word. Jesus said it this way: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).

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  • Best Reads of 2019

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    Best Reads of 2019

    We asked a handful of our staff and Davenant Fellows what books they particularly enjoyed reading over this past year.

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  • Will All Be Saved? David Bentley Hart on Universal Salvation, Reviewed by John Ehrett

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    Will All Be Saved? David Bentley Hart on Universal Salvation, Reviewed by John Ehrett

    Few topics are more likely to cause a stir among Christians than universal salvation, or apokatastasis—the view that no person will ultimately experience eternal estrangement from God. Although the universalist view is difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile with the authoritative teaching of most Christian churches, it is not consistently considered heresy on the level of, say, denying the Trinity or the hypostatic union in Christ. But the concept of hell as “eternal conscious torment” has undoubtedly been a part of the Christian theological fabric for centuries, and from the perspective of the broader Church catholic, the burden of proof is probably on any challenger wishing to disrupt that consensus.

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  • “Presbyterians” and the Making of an Informal Establishment (Pt. 2)

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    “Presbyterians” and the Making of an Informal Establishment (Pt. 2)

    So far, I have worked to argue that the English Reformed tradition had already become considerably less magisterial by the mid-seventeenth century. Next, I want to suggest that Cromwell’s move towards supporting a kind of multiple establishment had echoes in the early republic, first in the abortive attempts to create shared establishments that would support churches of various denominations, as was attempted by Jefferson’s enemies in Virginia, then by the creation of an informal evangelical establishment in which Presbyterians and Congregationalists played the central role.

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  • The Shape Fallacy: The Book of Common Prayer as Text

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    The Shape Fallacy: The Book of Common Prayer as Text

    The Reformers were concerned not only with theology but also with its expression in worship. Many liturgies were produced in the churches of the magisterial Reformation in Germany, England, Switzerland, and elsewhere.

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  • The Art of Protestant Learning

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    The Art of Protestant Learning

    One of the misguided but persistent assumptions about English reformers in the sixteenth century is that they rejected the study of ancient languages, rhetoric, grammar, philosophy, and poetry in their efforts to defend the supremacy of Scripture.

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  • Retrieving John Donne: Poetic Companion for Conflicted Protestants

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    Retrieving John Donne: Poetic Companion for Conflicted Protestants

    Many Protestants today are conflicted Protestants. Here we stand, we can do no other—yet we feel adrift of the church’s historical doctrine and worship.

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