Category Archives: Christianity in Modernity

Calvinists and Cartesians (Part II)

In the first part of this series, we looked at Ernestine van der Wall’s short article on the alliance between Cartesian philosophy and the 17th century school of Reformed theology known as Cocceianism. In this part, we will look at … Continue reading

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Calvinists and Cartesians (Part I)

I’ve been saying for several years now that among popular Calvinist writers and apologists the philosophy of Rene Descartes to no small extent determines how they present Reformed Theology, its relationship to what they call “the plain meaning of Scripture,” … Continue reading

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“Constrained By No Limits”

The classical notion of the “chain of being,” which held that all existing things are hierarchically ordered in terms of how much “spirit” and “matter” each had in it. At the top of the hierarchy was the Divine (for pagans, … Continue reading

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The Technology of Grades

Being something of a perfectionist, I’ve always had to varying degrees “grade anxiety” about my schoolwork. Insofar as mere numbers are concerned, I did “OK” at New St. Andrews College in my B.A. work and I’m doing “Very Well” at … Continue reading

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Modernity and Postmodernity: What’s A Non-Specialist To Do?

Found this one in my archives from a few years ago, and am republishing it here. In his Weekly Messenger for June 27, 2005, John Armstrong had written one of the best non-technical posts about modernism and postmodernism that I … Continue reading

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Paradoxes of Modernity

We had long lived with the ideal of a new era of freedom, and now we find ourselves in a century of new enslavement. In politics, it is the age of genocides, totalitarianisms, discriminations. Even in pluralist democracies, democratic ideals … Continue reading

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Cogitor, Ergo Sum

Descartes is famous for his saying “Cogito, ergo sum” – “I think, therefore I am.” In the context of the religious wars and the revolutions in philosophy and science which were radically destabilizing the human understanding of Truth in Descartes’ … Continue reading

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Inadequate Ways of Understanding the Reformation

In their book Protestant Christianity Interpreted Through Its Development (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1988), John Dillenberger and Claude Welch give three inadequate ways of understanding the Reformation: (1) The simple self-descriptions of any and all groups which call themselves … Continue reading

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Some Factors in the Dissolution of the Medieval Synthesis

In their book Protestant Christianity Interpreted Through Its Development (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1988), John Dillenberger and Claude Welch discuss several trends which led to the weakening and dissolution of the Medieval Church’s great theological and cultural synthesis. They … Continue reading

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Lutheran and Calvinist Concepts of “Vocation”

According to Max Stackhouse,:”(“Vocation,” in The Oxford Handbook of Theological Ethics, ed. Gilbert Meilaender and William Werpehowski [Oxford University Press, 2005], pp. 189-204. The material here summarized is from pp. 198-199.)”: although it is true that the Reformation generally considered … Continue reading

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