Office Hours: Remembering The Canons Of Dort With W. Robert Godfrey

Office Hours 2016 full sizeWhat if I told you that one of the most important events in the history of Reformed theology and in the Reformed churches almost did not happen, that, indeed, theologically indifferent politicians and well connected critics of the Reformed confession almost persuaded those authorities to hold a synod to help overturn the Reformed piety and practice? What if I told you that a major European power bankrupted itself three times in the space of a few decades in its attempt to wipe out the Reformation in the Netherlands? What if I told you that event took place in the midst of an Eighty-Years War that ended only in 1648? What if I told you that a Synod helped to save a nation? Would you believe me? Well it is true.

Of course I am talking about the Synod of Dort, a meeting of Reformed pastors (and others) from Geneva, Zürich, the Netherlands, and the British Isles, in the city of Dordtrecht, the Netherlands from November 1618 to May 1619. This is the Synod that gave us the Canons of Dort and more. Bob Godfrey joins us for this episode to walk us through the Synod, how it happened, why, and why you should care.

Bob is Professor emeritus of Westminster Seminary California, where he has taught church history since its beginning in 1980 and where he served as president for 24 years. He is singularly well qualified to talk with us about the Synod of Dort since he did his doctoral research at Stanford University on Dort (1974) and upon some its conclusions. He remains one of the world’s leading experts on the Synod of Dort just finished his a commentary on the Canons of Dort. We will talk with him again about the commentary in March, Dv.

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