New In Print: Petrus van Mastricht, Theoretical-Practical Theology vol. 3: The Works of God And The Fall Of Man

Petrus van Mastricht (1630–1706) was among the more important Reformed theologians of the later 17th century. According to Richard Muller, in van Mastricht we see Reformed orthodoxy and scholasticism coming to its high point technically. So students of the history of Reformed theology are naturally anxious to read van Mastricht as they should be. Volume 3 of the seven-volume series has now been translated from Latin into English by Todd Rester. He also offers an introduction to the work. This volume essentially covers the last part of the doctrine of God and also theological anthropology, i.e., the doctrine of humanity: creation and fall. Under each heading van Mastricht wrote an exegetical part, a dogmatic part, an elenctic part, and a practical part. He covered the major departments of seventeenth-century Reformed theology.

The volume begins with “the actions of God,” moves to a discussion of the divine decrees, predestination, election, reprobation, and thence to creation. His discussion of the six days, of course, in light of the Modern controversies will be interesting. In his introduction Rester discusses Mastricht’s rejection of Copernican astronomy. He was not alone. Witsius and others in the period also expressed skepticism. You should read Todd’s essay. You might also want to see the discussion of the Reformed struggle over geocentrism and heliocentric in Recovering the Reformed Confession. If you have been looking for a through discussion of angels in a classic Reformed text, look no farther.

Under theological anthropology he discusses our creation, our status as image bearers, the fall, providence (to which he turned after beginning his discussion of anthropology). Under special providence he discussed the covenant of nature (i.e., the covenant of works, under which he explained the doctrine of the republication of the covenant of works in Galatians 3), sin as apostasy from the covenant of nature/works, original sin, actual sin and its penalty.

The book is published by Reformation Heritage Books in hardcover and is listed at $38.00.

The publisher did not provide a copy for this notice.


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  • R. Scott Clark
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    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.

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