September 20, 2007

Richard Muller on Amyraut and Confessional Bondaries: Part 2

Whereas, therefore, some distinction can be made between various lines of development within Reformed orthodoxy, such as between the Swiss orthodoxy of the line of Turretin and Heidegger and the Academy of Saumur, between the northern German Reformed of Bremen or the Herborn Academy and the rather different approach of Franecker theologians in the tradition of Ames, between the Cocceian or federalist line and the Voetian approach, between the British Reformed theology of Owen and that of Baxter, or between the British variety of Reformed theology in general and the several types of Reformed teaching found on the continent, there is no justification for identifying any one of these strains of Reformed thought as outside the bounds of Reformed orthodoxy or as not evidencing the characteristics of Reformed scholasticism. Voetius and Cocceius obliged the same confessions—and Voetius could identify several lines of Reformed thought on, for example, the work of Christ, including that of Crocius and the Saumur theologians. He disagreed with these thinkers but did not set them outside of the Reformed Confessions.[114] Turretin, similarly, indicates his disagreement with the Saumur theologians on various issues, but consistently identifies them as Reformed and as "our ministers."[115] Owen and Baxter acknowledged each other's theologies as belonging to the same confessional tradition. Owen, moreover, thought highly of Cameron and Amyraut on such issues as the divine justice and the doctrine of the Trinity—at the same time that he abhorred elements of the teaching of Twisse and Rutherford, both of whom stood closer to him than to the Salmurians on the issues addressed in the Formula consensus Helvetica. All of these branches of the Reformed tradition stood within the boundaries established by the major national confessions and catechisms of the Reformed churches.
114. On Voetius' and Cocceius' confessionality, see in particular the approbatie of both the Utrecht and Leiden faculties in Zacharias Ursinus Schat-Boeck der Verklarigen over den Nederlandtschen Catechismus, uyt de Latijnshe Lessen van Dr. Zacharias Ursinus, op-gemaecht van Dr. David Paraeus, vertaelt, ende met Tafelen, &c. Verlicht, door Dr. Festus Hommius, nu van nieuws oversein ... door Johannes Spiljardus, 2 parts (Amsterdam: Johannes van Revensteyn, 1664), fol. A4, r.–v.; and on Voetius approach to Crocius and Saumur, see his Problematum de merito Christi, pars secunda, in Sel. Disp., II, p. 252.

115. Turretin, Inst. theol. elencticae, IV.xvii.4;; XIV.xiv.6.
Richard A. Muller, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy, ca. 1520 to ca. 1725, 2nd edition (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003), 1:79–80.

Also, see Richard Muller on Amyraut and Confessional Boundaries.

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