Muller on the 17th Century on Rational Faculties

Whereas the medieval doctors had assumed that the fall affected primarily the will and its affections and not the reason, the Reformers assumed also the fallenness of the rational faculty: a generalized or “pagan” natural theology, according to the Reformers, was not merely limited to nonsaving knowledge of God—it was also bound in idolatry. This view of the problem of knowledge is the single most important contribution of the early Reformed writers to the theological prolegomena of orthodox Protestantism. Indeed, it is the doctrinal issue that most forcibly presses the Protestant scholastics toward the modification of the medieval models for theological prolegomena.

 

Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, V1, p. 108

Legalism

Legalism lacks the supreme sense of worship.

 

Geerhardus Vos, Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation: The Shorter Writings of Geerhardus Vos, ed. Richard B. Gaffin Jr. (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2001), 231.

Calvin on Desisting from Inquiry

Let us, I say, allow the Christian to unlock his mind and ears to all the words of God which are addressed to him, provided he do it with this moderation, viz., that whenever the Lord shuts his sacred mouth, he also desists from inquiry. The best rule of sobriety is, not only in learning to follow wherever God leads, but also when he makes an end of teaching, to cease also from wishing to be wise."

 

Calvin, J. (1997). Institutes of the Christian religion. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Ancient Greek Contribution

The [Ancient Greek] national spirit did make its contribution—a great contribution—to the coming of the kingdom of Christ, but only in spite of itself, as an incendiary on a boat can be used also to clean its deck.

 

Van Til, Who do you say that I am?

Ignoring God

...God would not feel very kindly disposed to those who ignore him. Even in human relationships it is true that to be ignored is a deeper source of grief to him who is ignored than to be opposed.

 

Van Til, C. (1969). A Survey of Christian Epistemology. The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ.

Scriptural Chastity

For a strict adherence to the word of God constitutes spiritual chastity.

 

Calvin. Commentary on Psalm 106:39

Priority of Union

By faith he is a member of the covenant, and that faith has a wide outlook, a comprehensive character, which not only points to justification but also to all the benefits which are his in Christ. Whereas the Lutheran tends to view faith one-sidedly—only in its connection with justification—for the Reformed Christian it is saving faith in all the magnitude of the word. According to the Lutheran, the Holy Spirit first generates faith in the sinner who temporarily still remains outside of union with Christ; then justification follows faith and only then, in turn, does the mystical union with the Mediator take place. Everything depends on this justification, which is losable, so that the believer only gets to see a little of the glory of grace and lives for the day, so to speak. The covenantal outlook is the reverse. One is first united to Christ, the Mediator of the covenant, by a mystical union, which finds its conscious recognition in faith. By this union with Christ all that is in Christ is simultaneously given. Faith embraces all this too; it not only grasps the instantaneous justification, but lays hold of Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King, as his rich and full Messiah.

 

Geerhardus Vos, Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation: The Shorter Writings of Geerhardus Vos, ed. Richard B. Gaffin Jr. (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2001), 256.

Against Presumptuous Curiosity

Hence it is obvious, that in seeking God, the most direct path and the fittest method is, not to attempt with presumptuous curiosity to pry into his essence, which is rather to be adored than minutely discussed, but to contemplate him in his works, by which he draws near, becomes familiar, and in a manner communicates himself to us.

 

Calvin. Institutes 1:5:9

Eschatology Precedes Soteriology

...second to none in its importance for the Pauline system of thought, the eschatological appears as predeterminative both the substance and form of the soteriological.

What has been found is important not merely by reason of the light it throws upon the genesis of Paul’s teaching on its intellectual side, it likewise helps to answer the charge of the absence of systematic coherence brought particularly against the eschatological teaching. It were far more accurate to say that the eschatological strand is the most systematic in the entire fabric of the Pauline thought-world. For it now appears that the closely interwoven soteric tissue derives its pattern from the eschatological scheme, which bears all the marks of having had precedence in his mind.

 


Brute Facts

We appeal to facts, but never to brute facts. We appeal to God-interpreted facts. This is simply another way of saying that we try to discover whether our hypothesis is really in accord with God’s interpretation of facts.

 

Cornelius Van Til, Christian-Theistic Evidences (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1978), 73.