Was John Calvin a Nominalist?

I have published a three-part series looking at the nominalist roots of John Calvin’s theology. Here are the links to my articles:

“Worldview history” and the Causative Power of Ideas

I love The Calvinist International website. The Protestant world needs more Calvinists like the people who write for this site – Calvinists willing to return to their rich heritage after so many churches in America have truncated reformed theology to be about little more than the tulip. Those who, like myself, have completely abandoned Protestantism, would do well to be well-versed in what TCL calls “the old evangelical tradition, most of which is still largely forgotten”, before launching into historically misinformed tirades against evangelicalism.

That said, my recommendation of the website is not without qualifications. Many of their writers could practice a little more intellectual charity towards their opponents, including being a little more selective in the pejorative adjectives used to describe those with whom they disagree. I would also like to see their method of resourcement significantly widened to include more extensive engagement with the breadth of what is available from the classical Christian tradition.

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Do Ideas Have Historical Consequences? A Defense of The Benedict Option Chapter 2

In Chapter 2 of The Benedict Option, Rod Dreher takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of some of the factors that have contributed to the West’s spiritual decline. In his historical narrative there were five landmark events that played a pivotal role in this process. He summarizes these as follows:

“In the fourteenth century, the loss of belief in the integral connection between God and Creation—or in philosophic terms, transcendent reality and material reality [he is talking about Nominalism vs. Realism here.]

The collapse of religious unity and religious authority in the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century

The eighteenth-century Enlightenment, which displaced the Christian religion with the cult of Reason, privatized religious life, and inaugurated the age of democracy

The Industrial Revolution (ca 1760-1840) and the growth of capitalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

The Sexual Revolution (1960-present).”

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