Video: Trueman On Why Protestants Need Classical Christian Theology

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  1. This is an important lecture. I hope everyone listens to it. What I have found over the years of reading and listening to various commentaries and otherwise audio presentations is that a grain of the author’s personal struggles, experiences, etc. enter into and flavor their interpretations of various scripture passages. A bit of that might be warranted, but it often overshadows what the original authors intended to convey, sadly.

  2. Dr. Clark, Dr. Trueman,

    The idea of speculative reasoning among the 16th & 17th Century Reformed Theologians, presented in this talk, seems to be active in modern day theologians such as S.M. Baugh, J. Fesko, D.E. Johnson, and R.S.Clark. As I study doctrine in Scripture, these men do not alter Orthodoxy but increase one’s ability to read Scripture to understand Scripture with increasing clarity by supplying translations of Greek that are accurate.

    Also Richard Muller, refers to an ongoing development of systematics in light of Church history, knowledge of the language and the culture. None of these authors appear to be departing from Orthodoxy but clarifying and substantiating 16th & 17th Century doctrine in Scripture.

    Could you speak to speculative reasoning? The value of it among theologians whose theology, piety and practice is sound?

    • Hi Catherine,

      The word is used in two senses:

      1) to theorize unhelpfully about things about which no one can reasonably know.

      2) to elaborate on a doctrine in a way that is consistent with orthodoxy.

      In the second sense, there is beneficial kind of speculation though, in the modern period, we more frequently hear about the latter.

  3. Dr. Clark,
    I am understanding and learning from theologians who employ “speculation” to ‘elaborate on doctrine in a way that is consistent with orthodoxy’. This perspective strengthens a devotion to ‘a right’ theology, piety, and practice through history.

    So, in order to discern the usefulness of a speculator’s speculation he/she must be consistent with orthodoxy. Right?

    I am finding a commitment to orthodoxy, in some confessional reformed churches, meets a roadblock especially if the Book of Church Order makes it optional for officers to adhere to Confessional Standards. When orthodoxy is abandoned then ‘speculation’ of the first kind abounds. A direct approach to correct the BCO is treated like a ‘drip, drip, drip’ and raising questions about doctrine dismissed. And so prayer, studying Scripture and confessional standards for doctrinal understanding, trusting God, who created everything and established justification by Grace through Faith, and reading the distinctions related to ‘speculation’ – inform me of a condition I am seeing.


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