Books and Essays

Recovering the Reformed ConfessionRecovering the Reformed Confession: Our Theology, Piety, and Practice (Philipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2008). Much of what passes as Reformed among our churches is not. As a class of churches that profess allegiance to Reformed theology, practice, and piety, we have drifted from our moorings. This book is written to facilitate change, specifically reformation according to God’s Word as summarized in the Reformed confessions. Free download: table of contents and the first chapter.


Matthew Bingham, Chris Caughey, R. Scott Clark, Crawford Gribben, and D. G. Hart, On Being Reformed: Debates Over A Theological Identity (London: Palgrave-Pivot, 2018). This volume explores one of the most important debates of historical theology within Protestantism–the definition of Calvinism and Reformed identity. It brings together two of the most important voices in this debate, R. Scott Clark and D. G. Hart.


Always Reformed: Essays in Honor of W. Robert GodfreyAlways Reformed: Essays in Honor of W. Robert Godfrey (Escondido: Westminster Seminary California, 2010), edited by R. Scott Clark and Joel E. Kim, is a collection of essays in honor of the sixty-fifth birthday of our president, professor of Church History, and friend, W. Robert Godfrey. The contributors (including R. C. Sproul, Michael Horton, Sinclair Ferguson, Richard Muller, and D. G. Hart) to and editors of this volume wanted to communicate their admiration for Dr. Robert Godfrey and his work by trying to elaborate on some themes, questions, or areas of study that he has pursued in his career. Also available from iTunes for your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Free download: Table of Contents, Preface, and Chapter 11 (Kim Riddlebarger on the Lord’s Supper). An electronic version of the book is available via Amazon.


Caspar Olevian and the Substance of the CovenantCaspar Olevian and the Substance of the Covenant. Olevianus (1536–87) was one of the more significant figures in the early history of Reformed theology. A student of Calvin and a colleague of Zacharias Ursinus, he contributed to the Heidelberg Catechism (1563) and explained the Reformed understanding of redemptive history and systematic theology through the biblical doctrine of the covenants of redemption, works, and grace. This study places Oleviaus’ thought in historical context, and, by so doing, puts to rest a number of misconstructions of the development of Reformed theology.


Covenant, Justification, and Pastoral MinistryCovenant, Justification, and Pastoral Ministry: Essays by the Faculty of Westminster Seminary California ed. R. Scott Clark (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2007; also available via iTunes). The doctrines of justification and covenant are two of the most basic and yet most misunderstood doctrines in the contemporary Reformed world. This volume addresses both carefully, biblically, theologically, and practically. Few books address both covenant theology and justification, and relate these two doctrines to our confessions and virtually no treatments address it from the point of view of the theological departments: Exegetical theology, Systematic Theology, Historical Theology, and Practical Theology.


Baptism, Election & the Covenant of GraceBaptism, Election, and the Covenant of Grace (Grand Rapids: Reformed Fellowship, 2007). On its face, the Reformed understanding of our Lord’s command to make disciples and to baptize them and their children seems clear enough. Judging, however, by modern discussion in the confessional Reformed and Presbyterian churches, things are more complicated than one might expect. This pamphlet examines this question, discussing the relations between God’s covenant promises, baptism, and the problem of apostasy.


Protestant Scholasticism: Essays in ReassessmentCarl R. Trueman and R. Scott Clark, eds. Protestant Scholasticism: Essays in Reassessment (Carlisle, UK: Paternoster, 1999). Traditionally Protestant theology, between Luther’s early reforming career and the dawn of the Enlightenment, has been seen in terms of decline and fall into the wastelands of rationalism and scholastic speculation. Editors Truman and Clark challenge this perception in this transatlantic collection of eighteen essays covering: Luther and Calvin; Early Reformed Orthodoxy; The British Connection; From High Orthodoxy to Enlightenment; and The Rise of Lutheran Orthodoxy. This volume includes contributions from Richard Muller, David Steinmetz, Carl Trueman, W.Robert Godfrey, Lyle Bierma, John Platt, David Bagchi, Paul Schaefer, Joel Beeke, and others.


William Ames, A Sketch of the Christian’s Catechism. Classic Reformed Theology. Todd Rester, trans. (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2008). Ames (1576–1633) exposits a particular text of Scripture that supports the main thoughts for a given Lord’s Day in the Heidelberg Catechism (1563). Ames’ doctrinal conclusions interact with the corresponding Questions and Answers of the Heidelberg Catechism. Historians of 16th and 17th century thought will value the critical English translation of a much neglected text, and the fact that it demonstrates the interaction between English Puritanism and the Dutch Further Reformation.


An Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed, trans. Lyle Bierma, Classic Reformed Theology Vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2010). Introduction by R. Scott Clark. Caspar Olevianus (1536–87) is most well known today for his role as one of the authors of the Heidelberg Catechism. He was also an able biblical commentator, passionate preacher, and influential churchman. His place in history is noted as a key transitional theologian, helping to bridge the gap between the first generation of the Reformation and the era of Reformed Orthodoxy. Olevianus’ Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed is a collection of sermons he preached on the basic articles of the Christian faith. It serves as a reminder that the Reformed tradition did not see itself as separate from the universal church, though it was principally opposed to Rome. Rather, Olevianus and his tradition argue for a Reformed catholicity rooted in the ancient confession of the church.


In the history of Reformed theology, few volumes have been as important as Johannes Cocceius’ Doctrine of The Covenant and Testament of God (3rd edition, 1660). It appears in English for the first time as volume 3 in the Classic Reformed Theology series graciously published by Reformation Heritage Books. Cocceius (1603–69) was a skilled biblical scholar, philologist, and Reformed theologian. Born in German-speaking Bremen, he became most famous for his work in the theology faculty of the University Leiden, about 245 miles to the southwest of Bremen. As you will see in the introduction written by Willem van Asselt (1946–2014), young Johannes studied in Bremen and in Franeker, Friesland. He taught in Bremen for several years and then returned to teach in Franeker until he was called to the great University of Leiden in 1650. He published volumes on biblical philology, biblical commentary, and systematic theology as well as his most famous work, Summa de foedere. Credit must go to Dr Casey Carmichael (ThD, University of Geneva) for his skill in getting this text into English. This volume also features an introduction written by Willem van Asselt (1946–2014), who, until his death, was the world’s leading expert on Cocceius.


J. H. Heidegger’s Concise Marrow of Theology (1697) is the smallest piece of a threefold theological curriculum. It is an abridgement of Heidegger’s Marrow of Christian Theology, which in turn is a stepping-stone to his more advanced dogmatic system, Body of Christian Theology. The two larger works, however, remain untranslated. This volume is the first and only work by Heidegger to be translated into English. It is volume 4 in the Classic Reformed Theology Series edited by R. Scott Clark and Casey Carmichael. The volume is a survey of Reformed theology and provides a clear, brief window on the state of Reformed theology at the end of the 17th century, as it was being presented to beginning students. Here we see his conclusions without seeing his work, as it were. Readers report that it is clear and edifying. The volume includes an introduction to Heidegger’s world and life by Ryan Glomsrud, which will be essential for the readers unfamiliar with late 17th-century Zürich.


Robert Rollock (1555–99) was one of the most significant Reformed theologians in Scotland in the late sixteenth century and his 1590 Commentary on Ephesians is volume 5 in the Classic Reformed Theology series, which began in 2008. This is the first biblical commentary to appear in the series and is a worthy addition to the series, which features some significant works in the history of Reformed theology. In this volume, translated into English for the first time by Casey Carmichael, one is able to see not only how European and Reformed theology and piety were intertwined in the late sixteenth century but also how Reformed people, in the classical period of Reformed theology, were reading holy Scripture.  As Carmichael notes in his introduction, “[r]eaders of this translation will notice that Rollock sees biblical exegesis and dogmatic formulation as being tightly interwoven.” This is a exegetical commentary but it is also a biblical-theological commentary, a theological commentary, and a practical commentary. Rollock was a theologian but he was also a preacher.

In this booklet are three representative essays from the Heidelblog. The first essay, by R. Scott Clark, is an elenctic piece seeking to clarify for Dispensationalists and others what Reformed theology actually says about Israel. The second, by Wendell Talley, illustrates the work of the HRA seeking to introduce Reformed theology to others as Wendell tells the story of his journey to the Reformed churches, and the third, reflects the work of the HRA is offering pastoral resources for difficult practical problems as Tony Phelps confronts the problem of covenant children who have wandered from the Lord and from his church.


For the first time ever in English, the Classic Reformed Theology Series is proud to present a treatise by Theodore Beza, a section from the Syntagma of Amandus Polanus, and an academic disputation by Francis Turretin on the doctrine of justification. Justification by Faith Alone: Selected Writings from Theodore Beza (1519–1605), Amandus Polanus (1561–1610), and Francis Turretin (1623–1687). These three documents are important witnesses to the doctrine of justification as taught in Reformed orthodoxy from the late 16th century through the late 17th century. Beza was Calvin’s successor in Geneva and major influence on the formation of Reformed theology in the 16th and 17th centuries. Polanus was an Old Testament scholar and theologian in Basle in the late 16th and early 17th century. His Syntagma christianae theologiae (Body of Christian Theology) remains mostly untranslated so this chapter (6.36) is all the more valuable. Polanus’ Syntagma was widely read in the 17th century and well regarded. Little needs to be said about Francis’ Turretin but his disputation defending the Reformed reconciliation of Paul and James on justification is an important witness to the deep connections between the doctrine of justification as taught in Geneva in the 1670s and the doctrine of justification taught in Wittenberg in the 1530s. This volume also features a fine introduction to these works by Dr Zachary Purivis.

Select Essays

Why I changed my mind about Thomas Aquinas: The Classical Reformed Approach to Thomas Aquinas” in Credo Magazine volume 13.2 (June 24, 2022).

God the Son and the Covenant of Grace: Caspar Olevianus On Eternal Generation, and the Substance of the Covenant of Grace,” in Credo Magazine volume 10.4 (November 29, 2020).

“Seriously and Promiscuously: The Synod of Dort on the Free Offer of the Gospel” in Joel R. Beeke and Martin I. Klauber, ed. The Synod of Dort: Historical, Theological, and Experiential Perspectives (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 2020), 89–104.

The Synod of Dort: Keeping Venom From the Lips,” in Ordained Servant 28 (October, 2019), 9–29.

“A House of Cards? A Response to Bingham, Gribben, and Caughey,” in Matthew Bingham, Chris Caughey, R. Scott Clark, Crawford Gribben, and D. G. Hart, On Being Reformed: Debates Over a Theological Identity (London: Palgrave-Pivot, 2018), 69–89.

“‘Subtle Sacramentarian’ or Son? John Calvin’s Relationship to Martin Luther” Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 21.4 (2018): 35–60.

“Law and Gospel in Early Reformed Orthodoxy: Hermeneutical Conservatism in Olevianus’ Commentary on Romans,” in Jordan J. Ballor, David S. Sytsma and Jason Zuidema editors, Church and School in Early Modern Protestantism: Studies in Honor of Richard A. Muller on the Maturation of a Theological Tradition (Leiden: Brill, 2013).

“Christ and Covenant: Federal Theology in Orthodoxy,” in Herman Selderhuis, ed., Companion to Reformed Orthodoxy (Leiden: Brill, 2013).

“‘Magic and Noise:’ Reformed Christianity in Sister’s America,” in eds. R. Scott Clark and Joel E. Kim Always Reformed: Essays in Honor of W. Robert Godfrey (Escondido: Westminster Seminary California, 2010), 74–91.

“Calvin’s Principle of Worship,” in ed. David Hall, Tributes to John Calvin: A Celebration of his Quincentenary (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2010), 247–69.

“The Reception of Paul in Heidelberg: The Pauline Commentaries of Caspar Olevianus” in ed. R. Ward Holder, A Companion to Paul in the Reformation (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 297–318.

“Calvin as Negative Boundary Marker in American Lutheran Self-Identity 1871–1934” in Johan de Niet, Herman Paul, and Bart Wallet, ed., Sober, Strict, and Scriptural: Collective Memories of John Calvin, 1800–2000 (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 245–66.

Iustitia Imputata Christi: Alien or Proper to Luther’s Doctrine of Justification”? Concordia Theological Quarterly 70 (2006): 269–310.

“The Benefits of Christ: Double Justification in Protestant Theology Before the Westminster Assembly,” Anthony T. Selvaggio, ed., The Faith Once Delivered: Celebrating the Legacy of Reformed Systematic Theology and the Westminster Assembly (Essays in Honor of Dr. Wayne Spear). (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2007), 107–34.

“Do This and Live: The Active Obedience of Christ,” in R. Scott Clark, ed. Covenant, Justification and Pastoral Ministry: Essays by the Faculty of Westminster Seminary California (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2006), 229–65.

“Letter and Spirit: Law and Gospel in Reformed Preaching,” in R. Scott Clark, ed. Covenant, Justification and Pastoral Ministry: Essays by the Faculty of Westminster Seminary California (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2006), 331–63.

“Baptism and the Benefits of Christ: The Double Mode of Communion in the Covenant of Grace,” The Confessional Presbyterian Journal 2 (2006): 3–19.

“The Catholic-Calvinist Trinitarianism of Caspar Olevian,” Westminster Theological Journal 61 (1999): 15–39.

“The Authority of Reason in the Later Reformation: Scholasticism in Caspar Olevian and Antoine de La Faye,” Protestant Scholasticism: Essays in Reassessment, ed., Carl Trueman and R. Scott Clark (Carlisle, UK: Paternoster, 1999), 111–26.

“Calvin and the Lex Naturalis,Stulos Theological Journal 6 (1998): 1–22.

Complete list»

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