Analytical Reformed

With an analytical method, one first considers the building itself in general; the point of departure is the whole. From there each element is considered, brick by brick, in order finally to arrive at the foundation. The synthetic method, on the other hand, implies that one first consider the foundation. Then all the other parts follow until one finally has an impression of the entire building.

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After an initial preference for the analytical method, over the course of time few Reformed theologians—certainly in comparison to the Lutherans—chose to follow it. This led to the remarkable situation in which Lutheran theologians oriented themselves after the Heidelberg Catechism, which has an analytical structure, while the majority of Reformed theologians—who had an analytical catechism in their background—followed the synthetic method.

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It may well be that Reformed thought holding up the salvation of mankind as the end of theology went too far. Theology ought, after all, to be concerned with God.

 


Consistent Lutheran Christology sounds Barthian

Fourth, if, on account of the union the divine properties are communicated to the flesh, then the properties of the flesh ought in turn to be communicated to the Logos (Logo). The union is reciprocal. However, they are unwilling to admit this. Nor can the distinction of the nature assuming and assumed remedy this difficulty. The foundation of a reciprocal communication is not assumption, but the union itself, which is reciprocal (as the divine is united to the human nature, so the human is united to the divine). Thus also it would demand a reciprocal communication, not in the concrete only, but also in the abstract. Nor can a difference be derived from this-that the human nature indeed needed the communication of these attributes, but not the divine nature. The human nature did indeed need exalted gifts for the performance of its own work, but not attributes of God (which would rather have destroyed the human nature and transformed it into deity).

 

Francis Turretin, Inst. III.XIII.XII.

Anthony Burgess and the Ceremonial Law in the Covenant of Grace

In addition to the moral law, the ceremonial law also provides evidence that the old covenant was part of the covenant of grace. Burgess makes the point that all divines reduce the ceremonial law to the moral law, "so that Sacrifices were commanded by vertue of the second Commandment."48 The sacrifices, according to Burgess, did not oppose Christ, or the grace of God, but included them, a point that carried a lot of significance for confirming him in his opinion. Moreover, the ceremonial law foreshadowed Christ's person and work; "it typically pointed further [ ... ] to Christ."

 


Divine Accommodation

For who is so devoid of intellect as not to understand that God, in so speaking, lisps with us as nurses are wont to do with little children? Such modes of expression, therefore, do not so much express what kind of a being God is, as accommodate the knowledge of him to our feebleness. In doing so, he must, of course, stoop far below his proper height.

 

Calvin, Inst 1:13:1

On the 2nd Commandment

Here is a call, not only not to worship any other God, but not to worship the true God in the wrong way.

 

Dunnam, M., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1987). Exodus (Vol. 2, p. 237). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.

Calvin's description of monks in his day

To find an application for this passage we need look no further than the monks, for though they are all completely unlearned asses, yet solely on account of their long robes and hoods they have the reputation of being learned men .... The excessively insolent pride of the monks comes chiefly from the fact that they measure themselves by themselves, and since in their cloisters there is nothing but barbarism, it is no wonder if the one-eyed man is king in the country of the blind.

 

John Calvin, Commentary on 2 Cor. 10:12