Institutes of Elenctic Theology, vol. Dennison Jr. Translator: George Musgrave Giger Publication Date: Pages: Covering topics 1—10, this volume contains careful discussions directly related to some of the most important issues discussed in the church today. Turretin discusses theological prolegomena, including discussions like the object and genus of theology, whether theology is theoretical or practical, and the place of reason and philosophy in theological study.
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It really is. For now, why Turretin? These are the really great ones. Each one of them has his own particular emphasis and style. Augustine had such a deep, philosophical background and understanding of things. Then Aquinas marks the high scholasticism of the Middle Ages. In fact, if you would ask me who I think were the three most brilliant theologians in all of history, I would say Edwards, Aquinas, and Francis Turretin.
SPROUL: I mean, Calvin was the real deal in the sixteenth century; his brilliance, his knowledge, his ability to have a systemic, coherent understanding of the things of God was just marvelous.
People are often critical of what happened in the seventeenth century. Then in the seventeenth century, which was called the Age of Reason, marked by its philosophy of rationalism.
There was a look back to the high period of scholasticism, and a reification of Reformed orthodoxy occurred, and some people sneer at that and look down their noses at it. They all see Turretin as just being dry. Just purely logical. See, this is the thing that I love the most about Turretin. He does the close work, the really difficult stuff that requires the deepest kind of sharp analysis in theology.
Both Hodge and Warfield were deeply dependent on Turretin. In fact, you read Hodge, half of his books are in Latin. They were a little different from the disputes of the sixteenth century. The sixteenth-century dispute was primarily with Rome.
In the seventeenth, we had to deal with Remonstrance in Holland and with Socinianism, which anticipated nineteenth-century liberalism. Several years ago, the Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company published a monograph, one little book, by Turretin on justification, and they did it at my urging and request.
I just thought that his article on justification was so clear, so vital, that I wanted to see it appear as a separate work. Because then, after that volume on justification came out, Turretin was still largely inaccessible. He was in Latin, as you said. But as you said, I think, Hodge would always put the punchline, as it were, by bringing in Turretin to give the answer on a given topic.
He was at Geneva, right? Now we have it, and we have it in English. Maybe we should define elenctic before we go. Back in the sixteenth century, as I mentioned, there was a controversy between the followers of Calvin and the followers of Luther over the issue of the place of the law in the Christian life. Calvin, of course, developed his threefold use of the law and, most importantly, the so-called tertius use.
He believed that the whole point of the law is to drive people to Christ, to be the schoolmaster, to teach. He believed that once that law taught us our need for Christ, then its purpose had been fulfilled. Thank you for letting us know about them. It really is heavy stuff, but it is sound.
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Institutes of Elenctic Theology (3 vols.)
Life[ edit ] He was the grandson of Francesco Turrettini, who left his native Lucca in and settled in Geneva in Returning to his native city, he was made pastor of the Italian church there from to , of the French congregation from , and professor of theology at the University of Geneva in The Institutes uses the scholastic method to dispute a number of controversial issues. He also argued for infralapsarianism and federal theology. Of his other disputations , his most important are De Satisfactione Christi disputationes and De necessaria secessione nostra ab Ecclesia Romana et impossibili cum ea syncretismo published in
R.C. Sproul and Turretin’s Institutes of Elenctic Theology