Turretin's Institutes

Discussion in 'Seminaries, Colleges & Education' started by Peter Bell, Feb 26, 2019.

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  1. Peter Bell

    Peter Bell Puritan Board Freshman


    Through my seminary search, it's apparent that Turretin's "Institutes of Elenctic Theology" is not appreciated nor used like it was when it enjoyed its status as THE textbook of Old Princeton Seminary.

    Does anyone know why this is? I see a lot of Calvin (a main-stay, and rightfully so!), Bavinck, and Berkhof as a part of most seminary curriculum.

    Do any seminaries currently use this? Has anyone here gone through this text in the context of a seminary classroom?
  2. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Pretty sure Mid-America uses a hefty amount of Turretin in their curricula. There are two main reasons. Firstly, Turretin is really heavy slogging, and most seminary students are not up to reading it if they don't have any background in philosophy, which most don't have anymore. Secondly, Turretin's Institutes are more combative in character than many others, and some profs prefer to teach systematics in a more constructive way. That being said, there are so many excellent systematics out there now in the Reformed world that leaving Turretin out is not necessarily a sign of its being neglected or under-appreciated.
  3. ADKing

    ADKing Puritan Board Junior

    Turretin was the primary systematics text when I attended Northwest Theological Seminary. I studied under James Dennison who was the editor of the Turretin volumes. We read all three volumes and also supplemented with many other sources.
  4. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Can be pricey. He's somewhat hard to read. Some seminarians are in to "missional theology," which might have its place but doesn't really "mesh" with Turretin. Turretin also presupposes a certain understanding of substance-metaphysics terms, which aren't always self-evident.

    Very important in Roman Catholic debates, though.
  5. Peter Bell

    Peter Bell Puritan Board Freshman

    I've heard that Northwest used his Insitutes! That must have been a treat learning under the editor!
  6. Miller

    Miller Puritan Board Freshman

    We read Turretin at Westminster Theological Seminary.
  7. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    We are greatly in debt to James T. Dennison, Jr. for the meticulous work he (and his helpers I presume) did in tracking down all those references! The man did an excellent job!

    He and Chris Coldwell have earned my gratitude and respect in that regard!
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  8. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Do you also do a serious study of both Bavinck's and Vos' Reformed Dogmatics? I assume you would but its a lot of reading. Top quality though!
  9. Peter Bell

    Peter Bell Puritan Board Freshman

    What happened with Northwest?
  10. Miller

    Miller Puritan Board Freshman

    We used Bavinck and Calvin, not so much Vos for systematics. And yes, great stuff!
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