Vincent's Attending upon God without distraction' and the Ramist method of outlining

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Stephen L Smith

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I hope to review this classic Puritan work for our denominational magazine DV. In the biographical introduction it says that Vincent book "reflects a warm, experiential piety expressed according to the Ramist method of outlining".

I am broadly familiar with the Puritan use of Ramist outlining. Could someone explain more fully what it is? Note, I am writing a book review so any comments I make on this have to be understandable to the average reader. Thanks.
 

AT

Puritan Board Freshman
Van Asselt and Rouwendal discuss Ramus and his method in the book Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism, chapter 7.

"According to Ramus, the logician's task was therefore primarily to give a method of classification oriented toward practical use. He emphasized a clear arrangement of the concepts so that they could be put to memory more easily. It was of utmost importance that there be an orderly presentation of the material, which he effected by means of dichotomies (bifurcations). In this way, the framework of a system was created, and it came to be printed in manuals in the form of tables and charts as a sort of blueprint. All subjects were divided and subdivided until everything had its own place. Ramus was of the opinion that a topic can be treated properly when the material is organized in an orderly and understandable way. One should be careful, however, not to consider all such diagrams as exclusively Ramist, as Reformed theologians applied dichotomies from the outset of the Reformation. Ramus can, however, be called the champion of dichotomies because he turned them into the very essence of his method."

Also @Charles Johnson's blogs on Ramus are helpful:
 
D

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I just picked up this book this morning and read a small section. Fancy that.
 

Stephen L Smith

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Any other takers? I have a fair idea of how I will comment on this in the review, but interested in others thoughts.
 
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