On Holy Scriptures from Elenctic Theology

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Book Cover: On Holy Scriptures from Elenctic Theology
Part of the Garnet Milne's Has the Bible Been Kept Pure? series:

Chapter 1 is available as a pdf download

This is an excerpt dealing with Turretin's view of Scripture which formed the view of the Second Helvetic Confession.

This is Francis Turretin's magnum opus, a massive work of Reformed scholasticism. Written originally in Latin with sentences frequently lasting nearly a half a page, Turretin's Institutes are at once familiar, profound, erudite, thorough and precise, detailed, comprehensive, historically significant, and truly Reformed, etc. Turretin organized his Institutes into 20 topics (loci) that range from "Prolegomena" (that is, very necessary introductory considerations) to "The Last Things." Each topic (locus) is organized by specific questions. The work is Elenctic (polemic or argumentitive), for a large chunk of this work is written against the Roman Catholics, Arminians, Socinians, Anabaptists, Molinists and others.


Reviews:Tony Reinke on http://www.monergism.com/legacy/mt/sitepages/review-institutes-elenctic-theology-francis-turretin wrote:

Turretin was concerned about the relation between the theoretical ("to look at") and application ("to do") in theology. In light of this pragmatism, we return to an ancient question: Is the study of theology theoretical or practical? Turretin answers, "We consider theology to be neither simply theoretical [to see] nor simply practical [to do], but partly theoretical, partly practical, as that which at the same time connects the theory of the true with the practice of the good. Yet it is more practical than theoretical" (1:21). Theology is the joint that connects what is true and what is practiced.

In theology the theoretical and the practical are inseparable. So Turretin simply called the study of theology "theoretico-practical."

Turretin more clearly defines and distinguishes between the theoretical and practical. "A theoretical system is that which is occupied in contemplation alone and has no other object than knowledge. A practical system is that which does not consist in the knowledge of a thing alone, but in its very nature and by itself goes forth into practice and has operation for its object" (1:21). Theology is then theoretical (sometimes terminating in a vision of the divine mysteries) but also (and most commonly) practical in nature.

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