Francis Turretin and natural theology (Kevin DeYoung)

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Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
At the beginning of his Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Francis Turretin posits an elaborate system of theological divisions. True theology consists of knowledge that is archetypal (that which God has of himself) and ectypal (that which God communicates to his creatures). One branch of ectypal theology is revealed knowledge, what God communicates to his creatures during their earthly pilgrimage. This revealed theology can be further divided into natural theology, which corresponds to the light of reason, and supernatural theology, which corresponds to the light of faith. Although Turretin means for his Elenctic Theology to examine supernatural theology as revealed in the Scriptures, he understands every branch of true theology to possess an underlying unity, since they are but different ways—some superior to others—in which the same God is made known.

Against the Socinians, Turretin argues for the legitimacy of natural theology. That God reveals himself in the book of conscience (innate knowledge) and from the book of creatures (acquired knowledge) is taught in Scripture (Psalm 19:1; Acts 14:1517; 17:23; Rom. 1:19, 20; 2:14, 15) and confirmed by universal experience and the institution of religions in the world. Man is not an absolute tabula rasa. Even when men deny God’s existence, there are still remnants of the imago Dei and the law of God written on our hearts. In other words, from within ourselves and from observing the outside world, we can know true things about God—not enough to save, but enough to render men culpable for their unbelief.

Kevin DeYoung, ‘John Witherspoon and “The Fundamental Doctrines of the Gospel”: The Scottish Career of an American Founding Father’ (Ph.D. thesis, University of Leicester, 2019), p. 134.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
At the beginning of his Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Francis Turretin posits an elaborate system of theological divisions. True theology consists of knowledge that is archetypal (that which God has of himself) and ectypal (that which God communicates to his creatures). One branch of ectypal theology is revealed knowledge, what God communicates to his creatures during their earthly pilgrimage. This revealed theology can be further divided into natural theology, which corresponds to the light of reason, and supernatural theology, which corresponds to the light of faith. Although Turretin means for his Elenctic Theology to examine supernatural theology as revealed in the Scriptures, he understands every branch of true theology to possess an underlying unity, since they are but different ways—some superior to others—in which the same God is made known.

Against the Socinians, Turretin argues for the legitimacy of natural theology. That God reveals himself in the book of conscience (innate knowledge) and from the book of creatures (acquired knowledge) is taught in Scripture (Psalm 19:1; Acts 14:1517; 17:23; Rom. 1:19, 20; 2:14, 15) and confirmed by universal experience and the institution of religions in the world. Man is not an absolute tabula rasa. Even when men deny God’s existence, there are still remnants of the imago Dei and the law of God written on our hearts. In other words, from within ourselves and from observing the outside world, we can know true things about God—not enough to save, but enough to render men culpable for their unbelief.

Kevin DeYoung, ‘John Witherspoon and “The Fundamental Doctrines of the Gospel”: The Scottish Career of an American Founding Father’ (Ph.D. thesis, University of Leicester, 2019), p. 134.
Do you have this book? If so is it good?
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
It took me about 4 months to read Turretin's Institutes.

That is nothing. It took me about 4 years (2012-16). :lol: I read one or two questions each Lord's Day, so that is what took me so long. I am now on my second reading and coming to the end of volume two. It is a work worth re-reading over and over again.
 
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