Category Archives: Faith and Reason

“The Ultimate Goal of Man”

Here’s Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) on the goal of what he calls “Platonic Theology”: Our soul conceives a universal notion of truth and goodness which prompts it to seek the universal truth and aspire to the universal good. All truths are … Continue reading

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“The Basis for Understanding All Things”

In the previous post, I talked generally about Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) and his idea of the prisca theologia (ancient theology) and pia philosophia (pious philosophy). Just now I’m reading through some selections from his major work, Platonic Theology on the … Continue reading

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Losing Sight of the Human Person

Speaking of the classical (“pagan”) idea of Virtue, Josef Pieper writes: It is true that the classic origins of the doctrine of virtue later made Christian critics suspicious of it. They warily regarded it as too philosophical and not Scriptural … Continue reading

Posted in Christianity and Classical Culture, Faith and Reason, Van Tillianism | 1 Comment

Exaggerated Antithesis

There’s an idea going around in some Reformed circles that Christians before the glorious time of the Reformation, (you know, when the Bible, having been lost for so many ages, was rediscovered and theology purged from centuries of error and … Continue reading

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Locke on Philosophy and “Ordinary Language”

Modern philosophers—and sometimes philosophy in general—have often been charged with speaking in a rarified discourses of their own making, unintelligible to the general public. Here’s what Locke has to say on the subject: “Nor do I deny that those words … Continue reading

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Truth Is A Good Man’s Knowledge of Being

In various places in his dialogues, Plato has it that “truth” is “saying what is.” This doesn’t just mean speaking statements that are abstractly the case, but actually making one’s speech match the things that are (or, being). In his … Continue reading

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Calvinists and Cartesians (Part III)

Walter E. Rex in his book Essays on Pierre Bayle and Religious Controversy (Martinus Nijhoff: The Hague, 1965) makes a sustained argument that throughout the 17th century Calvinist orthodoxy was fundamentally altered by currents of the developing “Age of Reason” … Continue reading

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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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Iustitiam Carnis and “Total” Depravity

Philiip Melanchthon identifies the hotly-disputed issue of free will as being “about the deterioration of human strength through sin, man’s inability to free himself from sin and death, and about the works that man is able to do in such … Continue reading

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