Ensuring a proper understanding of Reformed prolegomena

I get many Anchorites annoyed when I tell them that some generic essay against mainstream Baptist culture does not count as a “Refutation of Reformed Theology.”   I then tell them to read Turretin and Muller.  They get really annoyed.  I then told them that Bradley Nassif recommended Muller (LOL).  I got the hint to leave.   I decided, not only for their sakes but also for anyone else who is interested.  Here is a brief collection of talks (and later essays) by men who are world-renowned authorities on Reformed scholasticism.   Most of these talks are reasonably short (fewer than 45 minutes, which is a lot better than my slugging through an hour and a half Carlton lecture on the energies with bad sound recording) and Muller is a very gifted speaker.

Recovering the Past.

Was Calvin a Calvinist?  (Please listen to this first and stop with silly terms like “Calvinism.”   Calvin was actually a younger Reformer and deferred to Bucer and Vermigli.  Is it fair, or even rational, to call the latter two “Calvinists?”)

Calvin on Assurance.

Jonathan Edward’s Break with the Reformed Tradition.  This helps you understand the difference between the types of necessity and how facile it is to say “Reformed don’t believe in free will!”


4 comments on “Ensuring a proper understanding of Reformed prolegomena

  1. Jnorm says:

    The Reformed don’t believe in free will!

    Perfect Will Theology: Divine Agency in Reformed Scholasticism As Against Suarez, Episcopius, Descartes, and Spinoza (Brill’s Series in Church History)

    This view by the Reformed borrows a number of elements of LFW but it’s still not LFW, and not only that it’s a minority view among the Reformed. Most of the Reformed in America for the past 4 or so centuries didn’t hold to that view. And if I was a betting man I would say probably most Reformed in the past 5 centuries didn’t hold to that view either, and so you shouldn’t get upset when we focus on the more popular Reformed views that most Americans encounter from the PCA, OPC and other conservative Presbyterian groups that tend to attack the Orthodox. I don’t see the PCUSA attacking us but you guys often do!

    • Olaf's Axe says:

      I never said Reformed believed in LFW. I think LFW collapses on the doctrine of God. I said that the Reformed can distinguish between different types of necessity (a distinction which most medieval scholastics argued) and so to bring up labels like “determinist” or “free will” really isn’t helpful.

      The PCUSA is an apostate denomination. The only people they attack are registered Republicans. The OPC doesn’t know you exist. The PCA doesn’t care because you aren’t a big name megachurch pastor. I don’t “attack.” I simply return the favor to OrthodoxBridge.

  2. Jnorm says:

    By the way, when I said the Greeks were all over the place I meant the pagan Greek philosophers were all over the place, not the Greek Fathers. They(the Greek fathers as well as early Latin ones) mostly advocated a form of LFW.

    Yes you didn’t say the Reformed believed in LFW but you tend to get upset when folks like me claim that the Reformed don’t believe in free will. It is my opinion that the term “free will” is misleading if it doesn’t mean the libertarian freedom of the will. When looked at like this bringing up terms like “determinist”, “Free will”….etc. is helpful because it makes the term free will something other than “determinist”. You are working under a determinist paradigm and so to you some forms of determinism can be “called” free will. But I reject such an idea because many Jews who believed in synergy and the early church in general didn’t mean that when they said the words “free will”. they just didn’t.

    • We are working with two entirely different paradigms on free will and determinism. Nothing I am saying is remotely new to the Reformed faith, but the Reformers simply took insights from both Thomists and Scotists on this point. My comments make sense only in that paradigm.

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