Pietists And Rationalists Together

Between 1685 and 1725 theologians became increasingly wary of the traditional dogmatic results of exegesis belonging to the preceding period and also of the use of traditional philosophical assumptions in theology. At the same time, those thinkers who leaned toward elements of the new rationalism also recognized the need to modify systems of thought like the Cartesian in the light of concerns raised by theological orthodoxy. (A parallel development appears in the philosophy of the era, in the work of thinkers like Malebranche, Arnauld, and Leibniz, all of whom attempted to develop rationalism toward some rapprochement with Christian orthodoxy). Some of the theologians of the era tended toward pietism or, among the Dutch Reformed, toward the Nadere Reformatie, and many evidenced affinities for the newer rationalist philosophies.

—Richard A. Muller, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy; Volume 1: Prolegomena to Theology, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003), 81.

    Post authored by:

  • R. Scott Clark
    Author Image

    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

    More by R. Scott Clark ›

Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!