Beyond Calvin

Essays on the Diversity of the Reformed Tradition

Edited By Dr. Brad Littlejohn and Jonathan Tomes
About this book

Proceedings from the 4th annual Convivium Irenicum

The Reformed tradition today often carries a reputation for narrowness and dogmatism, rather than breadth and diversity. But it was not always so. In the early modern era, the Reformed family of churches boasted not merely a host of theological luminaries of the highest rank, but a remarkable diversity of viewpoints on church polity, ethics, sacraments, and even matters like atonement theology. At their best, they charitably debated these differences within a shared confessional framework, offering examples for Protestants today of how to pursue the maxim, “in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.” The essays in this volume, based on papers presented at the Davenant Trust’s 4th Annual Convivium Irenicum, offer an introduction to the theological rigor and surprising breadth of the early Reformed tradition.

Paperback | 196 pages | 6×9 | Published May 8, 2017 | ISBN 978-0692890820

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From the FOReWoRD

By Carl R. Trueman

“These papers are all historical in their starting points and in their orientation. Yet their significance for today is obvious. Each addresses an issue with which Reformed Christians continue to wrestle today. In an age where we are witnessing a seismic shift in the social status of the church and of Christianity, clear thinking on topics such as ecclesiology is vital. In addition, we need to think carefully about the nature and limits of virtue within a secular context. And, of course, as our numbers decrease and our established denomination structures come under pressure, we need to think constantly about the nature of ecumenism, of confessional boundaries, and on those things which unite us and divide us from other Christians—Reformed and otherwise.

“In such a context, we need to draw upon our history. We should not do this in an uncritical manner—the past is the past and has no intrinsic authority over the present.  But the past is the church’s past and something from which we need to draw help for the present in an appreciative, thoughtful and critical manner. These papers individually, and this collection as a whole, exemplify how this can be done. ”

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Dr. Carl Trueman

W. Bradford Littlejohn


“That No One Should Live for Himself, but for Others”: Love and the Third Mark of the Church in the Theology of Martin Bucer
Jake Meador, Mere Orthodoxy


Written Monuments: Beza’s Icones as Testament to and Program for Reformist Humanism

E.J. Hutchinson, Hillsdale College


A Reformed Irenic Christology: Richard Hooker’s Account of Christ’s “Personal Presence Every Where” in 16th-century Context
W. Bradford Littlejohn, The Davenant Trust


George Carleton’s Reformed Doctrine of Episcopal Authority at the Synod of Dordt

Andre Gazal, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School


Confessional Orthodoxy and Hypothetical Universalism: Another Look at the Westminster Confession of Faith

Michael Lynch, Calvin Theological Seminary


Pagan Civil Virtue in the Thought of Francis Turretin

Stephen Wolfe, Louisiana State University

About the Editors

Dr. Bradford Littlejohn (Ph.D., University of Edinburgh) is the Founder and President of the Davenant Institute. He also works as a Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and has taught for several institutions, including Moody Bible Institute-Spokane, Bethlehem College and Seminary, and Patrick Henry College. He is recognized as a leading scholar of the English theologian Richard Hooker and Has published and lectured extensively in the fields of Reformation history, Christian ethics, and political theology. He lives in Landrum, SC with his wife, Rachel, and four children. Follow him on Twitter at @WBLITTLEJOHN

Jonathan Tomes (M. Div., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; M.S. Library Science, University of North Texas) lives in Waco, TX with his wife, Shawna, and children, Rosie, George, and Kaitlyn. He has copyedited for books published with Banner of Truth, Crossway, Fortress Press, and Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.


The Davenant Institute endeavors to restore wisdom for the contemporary church. We seek to sponsor historical scholarship at the intersection of the church and academy, build friendships and facilitate collaboration within the Reformed and evangelical world, and equip the saints with time-tested resources for faithful public witness. Below are some of the works we’ve published towards that end.

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