Christopher Hall lectures on Ancient Christian Spirituality

I know, I know.  He’s a Protestant so he really doesn’t understand Christianity [end sarcasm], but since he has written a cutting-edge book promoting the Fathers, I figured he knows what he is saying.  I plan to review that book later. hese look to be tinteresting.

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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!”

Towards a proper use of Reformed sources (updating)

I gather folks weren’t expecting me to use Richard Muller as my base of operations.   It was even suggested that my use of him represented “novelty scholars.”   I was floored when I read that.  Muller is to the Reformed academic community what Thomas Kuhn was to the scientific elite:  he is the game changer.   It’s not to say that Muller says that everyone else was wrong.   No, he is noting two important things:

  1. After 1750 the intellectual worldview of everyone subtly shifted.   People, for better or worse, stopped using some of the older lines of approach.   This means key arguments of the scholastics were simply forgotten.
  2. In the 20th century the Barthian schools offered a new interpretation of Calvin.  Muller is simply debunking their interpretation.

None of this is to suggest that the Reformed do not believe that predestination is a big deal.  It certainly is.  We simply reject that it is the central dogma around which the rest of theology is to be deduced.

I was then told that I needed to make my argument simply based on either Calvin or the Reformed confessions.  I reply, “Says who?”  Why should I accept those parameters?  That makes as much sense as my telling him that he can only use either Athanasius or the 5th Ecumenical Council.

So, I will put my cards on the table.  Here is where I am coming from.   The first four resources are free.  Even if you don’t like Reformed theology, you will appreciate Muller’s talks.  He is an engaging and thoughtful speaker.  You can be a hard-core semi-Pelagian who thinks, “I cause my own salvation.”  Fair enough, but at least listen to Muller.

Recovering the Past

Was Calvin a Calvinist

The Practical Syllogism

Rebutting Jonathan Edwards on Free Will

As to resources, the following are necessary for any real understanding of Reformed theology that seeks to go beyond debates on the five points.

Muller, Richard.  Dictionary of Greek and Latin Theological Terms.  This is the most important theological resource I own.   Ironically, it was an Eastern Orthodox apologist who urged me to get it.

 

Covenanter Audio

Tale of Two Kingdoms by Dr Jeff Stitler

This is a really good set.  Some of the audio on Rutherford is poor sound quality, but the rest of the talks appear fine.  While I hold to a moderately cessationist theology, it’s undeniable that Richard Cameron and Donald Cargill prophesied very specifically and very accurately.

Morecraft’s set on the Reformation.

On one hand, it’s legendary.  On the other hand, I dispute a huge number of Morecraft’s interpretations.  Either way, it is fun and engaging.

John Weaver’s talk on Cameron, among others (you can go to sermonaudio and type in Richard Cameron and get a number of hits).