Marcus Dods on the logical nature of Calvinism

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by Reformed Covenanter, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    All the peculiar doctrines of Calvinism may be deduced, by a simple logical process, from the one doctrine of Election; but they are not now received, nor were they at first introduced into the system on this ground, but because they were separately found in Scripture. One cannot but feel the immense advantage which this gives to Calvinism against every other theological system. This logical consistency of it, which some use as an argument against its having been drawn from Scripture, is very strong evidence that it has been so drawn.

    Marcus Dods, ‘The Revelation of God in Scripture, viewed in respect both to Theological Science and to the Proper use of Creeds’ in Patrick Fairbairn et al., Divine Revelation Explained and Vindicated: A Course of Lectures for the Times, Delivered in Glasgow in the Spring of 1866 (Glasgow: David Bryce, 1866), p. 185.

    I do not particularly like the way that he has framed his first point, as it seems to lend too much weight to the whole notion of predestination as the central dogma. Still, I do agree with him both on the logical nature of Calvinism and of its logical consistency being evidence of it being scriptural.

    I presume that this Marcus Dods is the elder Marcus Dods who died in 1834 (as opposed to his controversial son of the same name) and that this lecture was published posthumously in this edited collection? While this book was published in 1866, it also includes a lecture from William Symington who died in 1862. Perhaps @bookslover knows something about this matter?
  2. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Dods's citation of William Cunningham on page 193 makes me think it is the younger Dods who wrote this chapter:

    And by far the ablest modern defender of the doctrine of this Confession says, "It holds true universally, that God has never given to any uninspired man, or body of men, to rise altogether above the circumstances in which they were placed, in the formation and expression of their opinions upon religious subjects." (Cunningham, Theol. of Reform., p. 7).

    Given that The Reformers and the Theology of the Reformation was not published as a book until 1862 and this quotation is from the first chapter of the book, which was originally published in The British and Foreign Evangelical Review of April 1860, the elder Dods could have read neither of them. Thus, the younger Dods must have been the author of the above-cited lecture.
  3. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    If what he writes is biblical, it's doubtless the good Dods.
  4. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Here is an extract from him (I believe it is the younger Dods): Marcus Dods on opposition to systematic theology and creeds

    It does seem that he was more orthodox in his younger days but later veered off into liberalism. Does anyone know of a good biographical study of the younger Dods?

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