October 21, 2008

More Obervations from the Writings of Richard Muller on Amyraut and Salumurian Theology

On the Calvin and Calvinism website, one may find significant quotations from the following writings by Dr. Richard Muller:

Richard Muller, “Divine Covenanters, Absolute and Conditional: John Cameron and the Early Orthodox Development of Reformed Covenant Theology,” Mid-America Journal of Theology 17 (2006): 36–37.

Richard A. Muller, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003), 1:76–77, 79–80.

From these writings, one may at least make the following 22 observations.

From the Mid-America Journal of Theology:

1. Salmurian soteriology, covenantalism or federalism indicates continuity with Reformed predestinarianism.

2. Salumurian covenantalism offers an element that presses it away from rather than toward Arminianism.

3. Seventeenth-centuray opponents of Amyraldianism [such as Turretin] recognized that the views of Cameron and his Salmurian successors were not heresy, and that, like it or not, were consciously framed to stand within the confessionalism of Dort.

4. Cameron's covenantal thought ought to be understood as an integral part of the rather fluid and variegated history of early Reformed covenantal thought.

From the Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics (1:76–77):

5. The teachings of the Academy of Saumur and the soteriology of Baxter did not cause the Reformed churches to rupture into separate confessional bodies.

6. Reformed churches did not identify a particular theologically defined group [including that of Saumur and Baxter] as beyond the bounds of the confessions.

7. Amyraut was exonerated by several national synods in France, and the debate over his "hypothetical universalism" did not lead to the charge of heterodoxy against himself or others.

8. Davenant, Martinius and Alsted had maintained similar lines of argument as Amyraut's concerning the extent of Christ's satisfaction.

9. The Westminster Confession was "in fact" written with this diversity [on the extent of the satisfaction] in view.

10. The Westminster Confession of Faith confessionally encompassed the varient Reformed views on the nature of the limitation of Christ's satisfaction to the elect, just as it was inclusive of the infra- and supralapsarian views.

11. Amyraut is intraconfessional [like Turretin], and stood in agreement with Turretin on the issues of the fundamental articles of the faith.

12. The Formula Consensus Helvetica did not identify the Salmurian theology as heretical, but as problematic teaching.

13. The preface to the Formula specifically identifies the faculty of Saumur as "respected foreign brethren," who stand on the same "foundation of faith."

From the Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics (1:79–80):

14. Although some distinctions can be made between the line of Swiss orthodoxy as found in Turretin and Heidegger from that of the line of the Academy of Saumur, they are both "various lines of development within Reformed orthodoxy."

15. There is no justification for identifying the Saumur strain of Reformed thought [or the Bremen theology, the British variety of Reformed thought or that of Baxter] as being outside the bounds of Reformed orthodoxy.

16. Voetius could identify several lines of Reformed thought on the work of Christ in the Saumur theologians.

17. Voetius did not set the Saumur theologians outside of the Reformed Confessions.

18. Turretin consistently identifies the Saumur theologians as Reformed and as "our ministers."

19. Owen and Baxter acknowledged each other's theologies as belonging to "the same confessional tradition."

20. Owen thought highly of Cameron and Amyraut on the issues of divine justice and the doctrine of the Trinity.

21. The Salmurians are a branch of the Reformed tradition standing within the boundaries established by the major national confessions and catechisms of the Reformed churches.

22. Davenant indicated some of his differences with Cameron in his Dissertation on the Death of Christ.


Martin said...

Very interesting post Tony. And it is most telling that one would not have gathered any of this from reading the blogs of those who seem so intent on opposing and deriding us. One can only conclude that they are quicker to oppose than to study the issue which, in turn, tells us something of the sad spiritual state of the church in our day.


Kent said...

An electronic edition of this work is now available for pre-order from Logos Bible Software. I thought you might be interested:

Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics (4 Vols.)