HT611 Reformed Scholasticism

Course Description

A study of the theology and methods of Reformed orthodoxy from 1561–1725. Special attention will be given to soteriology. Fall. 2 Credits.

Course Goals

— Academic Goal:

  • To enable the student to understand and discuss intelligently the development of Reformed academic theology from 1560s through the 17th century.
  • The student “demonstrates understanding of the dogmatic (theological) development in the history of the church” (Source: WSC Student Learning Outcomes).— Pastoral Goal: To gain a sympathetically critical appreciation of an important period in the Reformed tradition.
  • The student “exhibits growing integrity, teachability/humility, perseverance, self-discipline” (Source: WSC Student Learning Outcomes).
  • The student “gives reasons for convictions rather than merely asserting them.” (Source: WSC Student Learning Outcomes).


  1. Attend all classes, complete all readings, prepare seminar discussion outl. ines, lead and participate in class discussion (50%). After the initial orientation, each class session will be led by a student who shall have prepared a brief outline  introducing an assigned author or reading. Those students who do not make a presentation shall present 1-page reaction paper. Participation is essential in a seminar. If you cannot be present for a seminar, you must give the instructor reasonable notice and explanation.
  2. Essay (50%). Limit 2,500 words (approximately 10–12 pages). Each student shall present and defend his completed paper to the seminar. Each paper must be distributed to each member of the seminar at least 48 hours in advance of presentation to the seminar.
  3. Penalties: Students who do not meet the class time deadline shall be marked down 1/2 a grade. An essay shall be marked down a full grade for every day it is late for either the seminar or the final deadline.
  4. After reading the paper to the seminar, the student shall revise and re-submit it to the instructor for a final mark. The final draft is due at 10:00AM on the last day of class. Please submit both the draft and the final versions as hard copies.

Required Reading (in the order assigned. The readings are either published or provided online):

To be Done Before the First Class:

Part 1:


Part 2:

Part 3:

Primary Sources To be Read According to the Schedule Below

Theodore Beza, The Christian Faith, trans. J. Clark (East Sussex: Focus Christian Ministries Trust, 1992)

Theodore Beza, A Defense of Justification By Faith Alone in Theodore Beza, Amandus Polanus, Francis Turretin, Justification By Faith Alone. Selected Writings from Theodore Beza, Amandus Polanus, and Francis Turretin, Classic Reformed Theology vol. 6, trans. Casey B. Carmichael (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2023) (bookstore).

Zacharias Ursinus, Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism (Phillipsburg: P&R, 1985), 82–116, 205–58; 324–40. (Bookstore).

Franciscus Junius, On True Theology. (all; omit preface) (Bookstore).

William Perkins, Commentary on Galatians (Works, vol. 2, pp. 13–37, 99–240, 317–34, 365–94)

Amandus Polanus, The Free Justification of Man the Sinner Before God in Theodore Beza, Amandus Polanus, Francis Turretin, Justification By Faith Alone. Selected Writings from Theodore Beza, Amandus Polanus, and Francis Turretin, Classic Reformed Theology vol. 6, trans. Casey B. Carmichael (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2023) (bookstore).

Johannes Wollebius, Compendium of Christian Theology in J. W. Beardslee, ed. and trans., Reformed Dogmatics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1965), 29–190. (Bookstore)

Gisbertus Voetius, Select Theological Disputations in J. W. Beardslee, ed. and trans. Reformed Dogmatics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1965), 262–334. (Bookstore)

John Owen, Vindiciae Evangelicae cap. 7 (Populi)

Francis Turretin, The Harmony of James and Paul on the Article of Justification in Theodore Beza, Amandus Polanus, Francis Turretin, Justification By Faith Alone. Selected Writings from Theodore Beza, Amandus Polanus, and Francis Turretin, Classic Reformed Theology vol. 6, trans. Casey B. Carmichael (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2023) (bookstore).

P. Van Mastricht, Theoretical-Practical Theology, Volume 4: Redemption in Christ (Grand Rapids: RHB, 2023), 4.1–88, 582–644. (Bookstore)

J. H. Heidegger, The Concise Marrow of Christian Theology, trans. Casey Carmichael. Classic Reformed Theology Series, ed. R. Scott Clark and Casey Carmichael (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2019). (Bookstore)


Hour/Date Author/Topic Leader
1/Sep Historiography rsc
2/Sep Beza Bio/Christian Faith student
3/Sep Beza, Justification Student
4/Sep Ursinus, Intro/Bio Student
5/Sep Ursinus, Commentary Student
6/Sep Junius/Intro Student
7/Sep Junius/On True Theology Student
8/Sep Perkins, Bio/Intro Student
9/Oct  Perkins/Golden Chain Student
10/Oct Polanus, Bio/Intro Student
11/Oct Polanus, The Free Justification Student
12/Oct Voetius, Bio/Intro Student
13/Oct Voetius, Select Student
14/Oct Owen, Bio/Intro Student
15/Oct Owen, Vindiciae Student
16/Oct Turretin, Bio/Intro Student
17/Nov Turretin, Harmony Student
18/Nov Van Mastricht, Bio/Intro Student
19/Nov Van Mastricht Student
20/Nov Heidegger intro Student
21/Nov Heidegger/Marrow Student
22-26/Nov Papers Student
  1. Recommended Reading:
  2. Willem J. van Asselt, Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism. Reformed Historical-Theological Studies (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2011).
  3. Heinrich Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics: Illustrated and Set Out From the Sources, ed. E. Bizer, trans. G. T. Thomson (Grand Rapids: Baker, repr. 1978). (Caution: Heppe re-arranged subjects according to his theological program and the translations are not always accurate).
  4. Richard Muller, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, 2nd edition, 4 vol. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002).
  5. Christ and the Decree: Christology and Predestination in Reformed Theology from Calvin to Perkins (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1986).
  6. After Calvin: Studies in the Development of a Theological TraditionOxford Studies in Historical Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).
  7. Calvin and the Reformed Tradition.
  8. Willem van Asselt and Eef Dekker, eds, Reformation and Scholasticism: An Ecumenical Enterprise (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001).
  9. Carl Trueman, The Claims of Truth: John Owen’s Trinitarian Theology (Carlisle, UK: Paternoster, 1998).
  10. —John Owen, Reformed Catholic, Renaissance Man.
  11. Sebastian Rehnman, Divine Discourse: The Theological Methodology of John Owen (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002).
  12. Robert D. Preus, The Theology of Post-Reformation Lutheranism, 2 vols (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1970-72 )
  13. W. R. Godfrey, “Tensions within International Calvinism: The Debate on the Atonement at the Synod of Dort, 1618–1619,” (Ph.D. Thesis, Stanford University, 1974)
  14. Mark E. Dever, Richard Sibbes. Puritanism and Calvinism in Late Elizabethan and Early Stuart England (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2000).
  15. —[with Dr. Joel Beeke], “Ursinus, Oxford and the Westminster Divines,” The Westminster Confession into the 21st Century: Essays in Remembrance of the 350th Anniversary of the Publication of the Westminster Confession of Faith, 3 vols, ed. Ligon Duncan (Ross-Shire, Scotland: Mentor, 2003-), 2.1-32.
  16. —ed. and trans., Classic Covenant Theology
  17. —”Janus, the Well-Meant Offer of the Gospel and Westminster Theology,” in David VanDrunen, ed., The Pattern of Sound Words: A Festschrift for Robert B. Strimple(Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2004).
  18. J. E. Platt, Reformed Thought and Protestant Scholasticism (Leiden: Brill, 1982).
  19. Jeffrey Mallinson, Faith, Reason, and Revelation in Theodore Beza 1519-1605 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).
  20. Willem J. van Asselt, “The Fundamental Meaning of Theology: Archetypal and Ectypal Theology in Seventeenth-Century Reformed Thought,” Westminster Theological Journal 64 (2002): 319–35.
  21. — The Federal Theology of Johannes Cocceius 1603–1669 (Leiden: Brill, 2001).
  22. — “The Theologian’s Tool Kit: Johannes Maccovius (1588–1644) and the Development of Reformed Theological Distinctions,” Westminster Theological Journal 68 (2006): 23–40.
  23. J. Mark Beach, “The Doctrine of the Pactum Salutis in the Covenant Theology of Herman Witsius,” Mid-America Journal of Theology 13 (2002): 101–142.
  24. Backus, Irena Dorota. Life Writing in Reformation Europe: Lives of Reformers by Friends, Disciples and Foes. Aldershot, Hampshire, England: Ashgate Pub, 2008.
  25. Backus, Irena Dorota. The Reformed Roots of the English New Testament: The Influence of Theodore Beza on the English New Testament. Pittsburgh, Pa: Pickwick Press, 1980.
  26. Raitt, Jill. Shapers of Religious Traditions in Germany, Switzerland, and Poland, 1560-1600. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981.
  27. — The Eucharistic Theology of Theodore Beza: Development of the Reformed Doctrine. Chambersburg, Pa: American Academy of Religion, 1972.
  28. Raitt, Jill. The Colloquy of Montbéliard: Religion and Politics in the Sixteenth Century. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Assertion of Intellectual Property Rights

The instructor holds the copyright to all course lectures and original course materials. This copyright extends to student notes and summaries that substantially reflect the lectures or original course materials. Course lectures and materials are made available for the personal use of students only and may not be recorded or otherwise distributed (including the publication of student notes or summaries on social media) in any way for commercial or non-commercial purposes without the express written permission of the instructor.

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