A Word from Musculus to Theology Students


Loci Communes in usus S. Theologiae Candidatorum parati

The second generation Wolfgang Musculus’s (1497–1563) Loci Communes in usus S. Theologiae Candidatorum parati (1560) is a fine, early example of a Reformed system produced to aid pastoral students of theology. As such, while preparing for The Davenant Latin Institute’s Advanced Latin: Theology Proper in the Early Modern Period class I’m teaching this semester, I enjoyed much the following section, occuring at the head of Musculus’ whole work, immediately prefacing his de deo. For students of the Post-Reformation, and students of theology more broadly, it orients us properly to engage in the great task of considering the divine Majesty in whatever part of the broader systematic project we occupy ourselves with—a project which is, after all, just the saying of Deus in recto et in obliquo. Here’s the text: Read more…

Debating the Simple God



In the last few years, few issues have been more controversial among Reformed evangelicals than the debate over the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father.[1] To the extent that God’s intra-triune life has been thought to be the foundation and model of inter-human relationships, many have perceived their various social programs (particularly in relation to the sexes) to be at stake, at times driving the debate’s resolution in a particular direction. One meta-issue continually at the forefront in the debate over eternal subordination concerns the traditional doctrine of God’s simplicity. In classical Christian theology, it is insisted that God is not composed of parts. The simple in divine simplicity is not simple as opposed to complex, but simple as opposed to composite. It is clear that, for instance, God is not a composition of soul and body. But from the classical theist perspective, the doctrine of divine simplicity goes further than this. God is also not composed of His attributes. They do not inhere in Him as accidental properties of a fundamental “God” substance. Rather, God’s existence is simply as His attributes, which simply are Him, and which (then) are to be seen as diverse ways of naming all that is in God. What is more, since there is only one God who just is (for instance) His own will, it is problematic—from a classical perspective—to speak of the Son as “submitting” to the Father in the intra-triune life from eternity past. It is difficult to see how this would not imply a multiplicity of wills of which God’s supposed “one will” is an amalgam. Read more…

“What Has Athens to Do With Jerusalem?”



Within a month, The Davenant Institute will release an anthology volume entitled Philosophy and the Christian: The Quest for Wisdom in the Light of Christ. Compared to most of our publications, this particular one might seem rather redundant in our day. Hasn’t enough, maybe even too much, already been said?  In the last few decades, there has been a cottage industry of major and minor historical and normative treatments of philosophy written by an Evangelical theologians and philosophers. Why enter the fray with yet another such volume? What could possibly justify the existence of this volume in light of so many other contributions? Read more…