Coming In December, 2022: Beza, Polanus, And Turretin On Justification

 From its inception, the goal of the Classic Reformed Theology Series from Reformation Heritage Books (sponsor of the Heidelcast) has been to present, in English, primary source texts in Reformed theology. This new volume is the sixth in the series, which began with William Ames, A Sketch of the Christian’s Catechism, (Ames’ sermons on the Heidelberg Catechism) and includes Caspar Olevianus, An Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed, Johannes Cocceius, Doctrine of The Covenant and Testament of God, J. H. Heidegger, A Concise Marrow of Christian Theology, and Robert Rollock, Commentary on Ephesians. The last three of these volumes were first-ever English translations and the first two were the first to appear in a modern edition. Volume six continues this series by publishing in English translation for the first time:  Theodore Beza, A Defense of Justification by Faith Alone (1592),  Amandus Polanus, The Free Justification of Man the Sinner before God (1615), and Francis Turretin, The Harmony of Paul and James on the Article of Justification (1687). Beza (1519–1605) was Calvin’s colleague and successor in Geneva. Like Calvin, Beza was educated as a humanist but became a theologian and pastor. He adapted, taught, and defended Reformed theology for the second half of the sixteenth century and influenced the development of Reformed orthodoxy. Amandus Poland’s (1561–1610) is not well known today but he taught Old Testament and dogmatic theology in Basel. His (as yet untranslated) Syntagma was a massive systematic theology and was well and widely received in the early 17th century. It was clear, biblical, and edifying. Francis Turretin (1623–87) was a pastor and theologian in Geneva for decades in the middle and second half of the 17th century. His Institutes of Elenctic Theology was not a system per se but a topical defense of Reformed theology against Roman, Socinian, and other criticisms. As the publisher writes, these three treatises “represent genres of classical treatments of the same doctrine. Beza’s Defense of Justification by Faith Alone is polemical and in response to ecclesiastical controversy. Polanus’ Free Justification of Man the Sinner before God is systematic and the fruit of logical argumentation based on Scripture. Turretin’s Harmony of Paul and James on the Article of Justification is exegetical and in the form of an academic disputation. Each text explores aspects of justification from a different angle. Together they touch on a host of important theological concerns: the nature of faith, good works, sanctification, union with Christ, the Holy Spirit, hermeneutics, the unity of Scripture, and more. They are offered here in English translation for the first time.”

The treatises included in Justification by Faith Alone were translated by Casey Carmichael and the introduction is by Zachary Purvis. Volume 6 is scheduled to appear in December, 2022.

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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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