2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference

Social Science

Charles Hodge's Defense of the Divine Authority of Scripture: Reconciling an Empirical Philosophy with Calvinist Doctrine
Craig H. Tichelkamp
Dr. Jennifer Jesse , Faculty Mentor

This paper seeks to argue that mid-19th century Princeton theologian Charles Hodge’s desire to maintain a strict Calvinism while allowing for the methodology of an experiential common sense philosophy would cause him to actually reinterpret Calvin’s doctrine of sola scriptura as necessarily involving an experiential element, something that Calvin himself does not allow for. The paper will begin by explaining the Calvinist doctrines and tenets of Scottish Common Sense Philosophy, an empirical philosophy, as they relate to and seem to come into conflict in Hodge’s theology. Then it will evaluate and criticize Hodge’s reinterpretation of Calvinist doctrine and give an account of what this means for conservative theology today.

Keywords: Charles Hodge, Calvin, theology, epistemology, empiricism, Scripture, Bible, Authority

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 43-4
Location: VH 1412
Time: 2:00

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