eBook: Download Reformation Theology Systematic Matthew Barrett ePub (MOBI, PDF) + Audio Version

  • File Size: 2996 KB
  • Print Length: 786 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (March 16, 2017)
  • Publication Date: March 15, 2017
  • Language: English

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" Reformation Theology" is a scholarly collection of historical and theological articles by various teachers/theologians in the Reformation tradition. I have not read every single composition, but I have read major sections of the guide and spent quite somewhat of time looking through it. I’ll give a overview of the book and then share my ideas and observations.

The guide starts off with a prologue and an introduction and is followed by two essays on the historical background of the Reformation. The essay on the historical background focuses on the late medieval understanding of grace and expert in the church. The second background chapter spends just under 30 webpages summarizing the following Reformations: Lutheran, Swiss/Geneva, English, and Scottish.

The bulk of the book is devoted to summarizing the major Reformers’ positions on the basic headings of theology: Scripture, the doctrine of God, predestination, creation, Christ’s person and work, the Holy Spirit, union with Christ, the bondage of the will, justification, sanctification, the church, the sacraments, church/state relationship, and eschatology.

Each chapter of this 750+ page historical theology guide more or less follows this outline: 1) A new short section on the medieval knowledge of the doctrine, 2) Luther, Melanchthon, and/or the Lutheran teaching of the doctrine, 3) Calvin’s teaching of the doctrine, 4) Zwingli, Bullinger, Knox, and/or other Reformers’ teaching, 5) Reformed confessions on the doctrine, and 5) opposing views (such as Arminian, Socinian, etc. ).

For one example, the chapter on justification is outlined like this: 1) Justification in Its Late-Medieval Context, 2) The Lutheran Breakthrough, 3) Adoption and Adaptation of Justification Sola Fide (Calvin’s view, a comparison of the Lutheran view, Roman Catholic replies and some modern controversies).

This book isn’t really a systematic theology, although it does give a common summary showing how major Reformers and early Reformed and Lutheran confessions speak about the primary headings of systematic theology. It doesn’t really get into details of later Reformed theology, such as the scholastics or the Westminster Confession or Princeton (etc. ). In addition, it isn’t a source for the exegetical reasons of Reformed and Lutheran doctrine. I’m not being critical here, I would like to clarify what the guide is not (for those interested).

Many of the articles in this guide are very good and helpful. The articles are technical, detailed, and scholarly, so the book is for advanced readers. There are a lot of titles, dates, philosophical and biblical phrases as well as longer quotes from various medieval and Reformation theologians. I must admit that for me it can read like a textbook at times (a little dry). I’d say it is written at an upper college or seminary level, give or take.

I do appreciate and enjoy this book; it may be a nice addition to historical Reformation theology resources. On the other hand, I do have other books with much of the same information. If you own a number of Luther’s writings, Calvin’s Institutes, a few Reformed systematic theology books and a few historical theology books from a Reformed perspective, you might not need to invest in this one. On the other hand, if you’re enthusiastic about a detailed, scholarly introduction to the theology of the major Reformers, you’ll for sure want to get it!, This particular book is phenomenal. Abundant, insightful. If you want to understand the pondering & theology of the Reformation, this book is essential reading., A very good treatise on reformed theology. A good price for this resource., Great condition!, Excellent!, In Reformation Theology Matthew Barrett has brought together a number of the leading theological minds in our day to provide a work that melds historical and systematic theology.

One could not look for the selection of contributors as each contributor stands as an expert in their respected field. Each chapter is actually representative of the course of doctrinal development in the Reformation with each creator drawing on less famous Reformers and the confessions that arose from the Reformation.

This guide would help many pastors and church leaders be awakened to the significance of doctrinal specificity, something short of many churches and broader evangelicalism. Reading this work one is confronted with the fact the Reformers thought and engaged in doctrines concerning God and the Gospel in a way that many of us today have not. I appreciate most the fact that each creator provides further recommended reading both secondary and major sources therefore any viewer who wishes to get deeper has a powerful set of recommended reading to follow up on.

We know this book most likely won't appeal to the typical church members, but I really do hope that many pastors would read this guide and have their imaginaire indifference challenged.

Disclosure: We received an advanced review copy of the guide from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The views I have expressed are my own, personal, and I was not required to write a positive review., I was hesitant to agree to review this book. I obviously do not put me personally in the reformed church tradition - yet, as a Wesleyan pastor, theology does intrigue me, and I want to understand this best I can. I was not let down.

In spite of the title, the book is not a theology text, each se. It fits most closely under subject heading “historical theology”, but it does not quite fit there either. When We look at the topic of “historical theology” I expect to find the book or paper to follow the introduction of a theological theme with time - from the original scriptures and early church, to the church dads, through the middle ages and the reformation, to its current understanding within the church. This guide does not do that. Rather, this book will take a snapshot of the broad areas of biblical study (from the doctrine of scripture to eschatology) as they were understood during the formative years of the reformation. Written as a series of composition, each dealing with a specific theological topic, the various authors attempt to look at the doctrinal issues through the eyes of major players in the reformation. As an example, let me combine the “Abstract” on the essay titled “Sola Scriptura” by Mark D. Thompson:

[See Attached Image]

The reader will notice that the author efforts to draw from the thoughts of Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingly, Bullinger, Calvin, and Cranmer. Other writers may draw from a subsection, subdivision, subgroup, subcategory, subclass of these individuals or extend their writing to add elements of the Counter-Reformation and other contemporaneous organizations. Interestingly, Wesley’s name is mentioned only once, in the Prologue, which type of serves as later limit of the book’s coverage.

I found the reading to be somewhat uneven - the Prologue was very difficult, formal, scholarly; some essays followed the same routine, while others were more readable by the typical college and graduate student. They were still scholarly and well-researched, but not so formal as to hinder the reader’s understanding. The book was not written as a defense of Reformed theology, but as an explanation of the reformers' theology at the time they lived. Some authors simply echoed the reformers' ideas, others tried to place those ideas into their cultural settings. Talking about creators, the only name familiar to this Wesleyan reporter is that of Michael Horton (who wrote the Prologue) - I expect that this much more a effect of this reader’s background than the quality of the scholars chosen to be part of the job.

Although Advanced Readers Copy would not include indexes, a Name Index, a Issue Index, and a Scripture Index are scheduled for inclusion in the last edition of the guide. These will add important value to the guide. the

This guide really does belong on the shelf of all scholars coming away the reformed church or having any in historical theology. With that said, I would recommend the book be read by Christian college students of all stripes - whether a personal copy or one borrowed from the library. Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingly, Bullinger, Calvin, and Cranmer, each contributed to the protestant reformation in their own way. Understanding that contribution will be important to all of us.

This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions indicated are my own, personal.

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Reformation Theology Systematic Matthew Barrett
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