William Cunningham on Francis Turretin's Institutes

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
William Cunningham informed his students that Francis Turretin's Institutes was "a work of inestimable value, which I hope all of you will master before you complete your theological studies".[1] Now that is translated into English, everyone should read it before going to theological college, or, if like me you never intend to go into ministry, just read them for your own edification.

[1] William Cunningham, Theological Lectures on Subjects Connected with Natural Theology, Evidences of Christianity, the Canon and Inspiration of Scripture (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1878), Lecture VIII, p. 109.
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
This is helpful to hear again as I am about to work my way through Turretin, finally. I think I have always psyched myself out when considering reading him, which is odd because I have read substantial amounts of theological works. I added the set to my library recently. The first bits that I have read, I was surprised. He is very readable for how dense the material is.
 

Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
Daniel, in re William Cunningham, have you read The Doctrine of Holy Scripture in the Free Church Fathers, by Nicholas R. Needham (Rutherford House, 1991)?
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Daniel, in re William Cunningham, have you read The Doctrine of Holy Scripture in the Free Church Fathers, by Nicholas R. Needham (Rutherford House, 1991)?

I have not done so, Wayne. Do you know where he did the thesis upon which that book was based? I could probably get the thesis online somewhere.
 

Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
The author has gone on to write the well-received 2000 Years series on church history.

Opening premise of the book comes from a quote by Richard Risen:

"Why the church that prided itself on being the strictest evangelical body in Christendom produced A.B. Davidson, William Robertson Smith and George Adam Smith is a question without an easy answer." [1]

Needham continues, "Richard Riesen's pertinent and arresting question provides one part of the rationale behind this present work. Why did the Free Church of Scotland commence its existence with such a fervent commitment to Westminster Confessional orthodoxy, and yet within forty years became the ecclesiastical channel through which higher critical views of the Bible, and their attendant denials of plenary verbal inspiration and inerrancy, filtered so effectively into Scotland and Scottish religion? Riesen calls it 'one of the interesting ironies of modern ecclesiastical history'.[2] Perhaps 'interesting' is too non-committal; for those who prize Confessional orthodoxy, 'challenging' and 'alarming' come nearer the target. For if the Free Church went wrong, what hope is there for any of us? Must we resignedly acquiesce in the proposition that declension from the faith is one of the perpetual marks of the Church catholic?"

[1] Riesen, Criticism and Faith in Late Victorian Scotland, p. 377.
[2] ibid, p. xviii.
 
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