Calvin and the Calvinists

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Sven

Puritan Board Sophomore
I am going to be doing a study on Calvin and the Calvinists. What I need help with here is the different strains of Calvin against the Calvinists. As far as I can tell there seems to be two strains: the Modernist/Neo-Orthodox strain, which sees Post-Reformation scholasticism as dead and way too rigid, and the R. T. Kendall strain, which sees later Calvinists, following Beza and Perkins, as perverting Calvin's doctrine of faith and assurance and the atonement. I assume Basil Hall fits in with the Modernist/Neo-Orthodox. Is there any other version of Calvin against the Calvinists that I am missing. Is my paradigm correct? Thanks in advance.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Muller's Calvin and the Calvinists: Assessing Continuities and Discontinuities between the Reformation and Orthodoxy, parts 1 and 2, found in his book After Calvin provide a good overview of the different strains of this thought.
 

rbcbob

Puritan Board Graduate
I am going to be doing a study on Calvin and the Calvinists. What I need help with here is the different strains of Calvin against the Calvinists. As far as I can tell there seems to be two strains: the Modernist/Neo-Orthodox strain, which sees Post-Reformation scholasticism as dead and way too rigid, and the R. T. Kendall strain, which sees later Calvinists, following Beza and Perkins, as perverting Calvin's doctrine of faith and assurance and the atonement. I assume Basil Hall fits in with the Modernist/Neo-Orthodox. Is there any other version of Calvin against the Calvinists that I am missing. Is my paradigm correct? Thanks in advance.

Do you have Paul Helm's Calvin and the Calvinists or the nefarious John Calvin versus The Westminster Confession by Holmes Rolston, III ?
 

Guido's Brother

Puritan Board Junior
There's also another strain and you can find it with the older confessionally Reformed authors like Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck. Here's one example from Bavinck that I came across the other day:

"This joyful note echoed on into the time of the Canons of Dordt. But then gradually it weakened, and uncertainty and fear entered the language of faith. The faith of the sixteenth century became the orthodoxy of the seventeenth. People no longer confessed their beliefs, but they only believed the confessions. Among most of the people this orthodoxy prepared the road for rationalism. Religion became a matter of reason, the truth regarding eternal things was now dependent on historical proofs and rational argument, and the certainty of faith became confused with rational insight."

The Certainty of Faith, 41.

There is a tradition at least a century old in the Netherlands of viewing scholasticism as the source of much evil in theology.

I think Muller, especially in After Calvin, speaks quite pointedly to this perspective (although he doesn't mention Bavinck).
 

Sven

Puritan Board Sophomore
Wes, I just recently read about this, but for the life of me can't find my notes on where I read it. Is this tradition in the Netherlands just a break off from the Modernist strain?
 

Guido's Brother

Puritan Board Junior
Wes, I just recently read about this, but for the life of me can't find my notes on where I read it. Is this tradition in the Netherlands just a break off from the Modernist strain?

Bavinck was trained at Leiden University under modernist professors, although he was a son of the 1834 Secession. Kuyper also studied at Leiden, but he was initially a modernist, only becoming confessionally Reformed later. So, I suppose it might be possible to view their attitudes towards scholasticism as a result of their theological training. But I have a hunch it might be far more complicated than that. The modernism of the eighteenth century Netherlands had no use for Calvin and in fact before the Secession in 1834 there were many men who would become ministers in the Reformed church who had never even heard of, much less studied Calvin.
 

Guido's Brother

Puritan Board Junior
As I was looking through my library, I was reminded that Bavinck edited an edition of the Leiden Synopsis (Synopsis purioris theologiae) published in 1881. So he was familiar with scholasticism, probably much better than I am!
 

Sven

Puritan Board Sophomore
Do you have the Synopsis Purioris, or do you just have Bavinck's Gereformeerde Dogmatiek? I have the Synopsis Purioris on my computer thanks to GoogleBooks.
 

Guido's Brother

Puritan Board Junior
Do you have the Synopsis Purioris, or do you just have Bavinck's Gereformeerde Dogmatiek? I have the Synopsis Purioris on my computer thanks to GoogleBooks.

I used to have GD in Dutch, but when the English came out, I splurged and bought the set and tossed the old Dutch volumes.

As for SP, like you I have an electronic copy. But my alma mater in Hamilton (where I'll soon be residing) has a hard copy.
 
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