“Codifiers and perpetuators” of the Reformation

I’ve recently acquired an electronic copy (yes, I paid for it – one of the benefits of working as much as I do these days is that I can afford to buy all the books that I’ve wanted) of Richard Muller’s “Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics”.

Since this was expensive, and many people don’t have access to such a valuable work – and since I have had precious little time for blogging recently, and since it’s easy for me to copy-and-paste selections, I thought I’d start a series in which I put small snippets of this up from time to time.

Here’s the beginning of Chapter 1, describing why this period is so important:

The theology of orthodox or scholastic Protestantism has never been accorded the degree of interest bestowed upon the theology of the great Reformers and has seldom been given the attention it deserves both theologically and historically. Codifiers and perpetuators, like the theologians of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, simply do not receive the adulation given to the inaugurators of the movement. Nor do codifiers need to be defended as zealously as inaugurators—if only because the codifiers themselves have provided the first line of that defense.

If, however, these codifiers and perpetuators have been neglected in favor of the Reformers themselves, the neglect is clearly unjustified: what the Reformation began in less than half a century, orthodox Protestantism defended, clarified and codified over the course of a century and a half. The Reformation is incomplete without its confessional and doctrinal codification. What is more, Protestantism could hardly have survived if it had not developed, in the era of orthodoxy, a normative and defensible body of doctrine consisting of a confessional foundation and systematic elaboration.

Muller, R. A. (2003). Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise And Development Of Reformed Orthodoxy; Volume 1: Prolegomena To Theology (2nd ed., p. 27). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

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