The Davenant Press

Apology of the Church of England

Pre-order now. Publication November 3 2020.

John Jewel (1522-1571), Bishop of Salisbury, stands as one of the leading architects and perhaps the staunchest defender of the Protestant Church of England. Writing in 1562 when the Elizabethan church was yet young and fragile, and menaced by Catholic foes at home and abroad, Jewel proudly proclaimed the independence of the English church from Roman rule, and the deep catholicity of its reformation.

Appealing throughout to the testimonies of the Church Fathers, Jewel made a powerful case that the Protestants were not heretics or innovators, but genuine reformers, restoring the church to the purity of apostolic practice and proclaiming anew the “faith once delivered to the saints.” Along the way, he refutes common misunderstandings or caricatures of Protestant teaching, and takes the offensive against what he sees as the tyrannical power of the medieval papacy.

The result is a ringing defense of the English Reformation that became an instant classic, integral to the theological self-understanding of the Church of England and to the Anglican Communion that later developed from it. It remains essential reading today for Anglicans—or any English-speaking Protestants—seeking to better understand and articulate their relation to the church’s biblical roots, catholic tradition, and sixteenth-century renewal.

Without Excuse

The twentieth century was unkind to classical Reformed theology. While theological conservatives often blame liberals for undermining traditional Protestant doctrines, the staunchest conservatives and neo-Orthodox also revised several key doctrines. Although Cornelius Van Til developed presuppositional apologetics as an attempt to remain faithful to timeless Christian truth as the Reformed tradition expresses it, he sacrificed the catholic and Reformed doctrine of natural revelation in the process. "The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made . . . so that they are without excuse," writes the Apostle Paul. Without Excuse seeks to grapple with this indictment and show how Van Til's presuppositionalism fails as an account of natural revelation in light of Scripture, philosophy, and historical theology. It argues that these three sources speak with one voice: creation reveals itself and its God to the believer and unbeliever alike.

The Lord is One

After an age of original integrity, the doctrine of divine simplicity fell from grace. Once a cornerstone of orthodox Christianity’s doctrine of God, many modern theologians expelled it from the garden, especially since it often employed now-passé Platonic and Aristotelian metaphysics. But was the doctrine of divine simplicity’s fall deserved? Is it unreasonable to hold that God is metaphysically without parts? Is the Lord really one?

Rather than dismiss the challenges leveled against divine simplicity by modernity, "The Lord is One" engages them. The contributors advance in the belief that modernity cannot and should not be escaped, but they do not hesitate to critique currents within it. Thus, this volume presents exegetical, historical, and theological treatments of divine simplicity. It argues the doctrine of divine simplicity is cogent and indispensable while also making space for historically marginalized or idiosyncratic articulations of it. After all, once expelled from the garden, nothing returns exactly as it was.

On Original Sin

Appearing now in English for the first time since 1583, "On Original Sin" represents Part II, ch. 1 of the Loci. Presented here in a clear, readable, and learned translation, Vermigli's searching discussion of original sin reveals the biblical and patristic foundations of this controversial doctrine, and its centrality to Protestant orthodoxy. Along the way, Vermigli offers a scathing critique of the semi-Pelagian Catholic theologian Albert Pighius and defends the Augustinian understanding of sin and grace, in a treatise marked by exegetical skill, historical erudition, and philosophical sophistication.

Grace Worth Fighting For

Calvinists are well known for their fighting, and on the rare occasions when the Synod of Dort is remembered, it is often highlighted as an example of Calvinist squabbling and dogmatism. But few know the real story, or why the battles at Dort were worth fighting. In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Canons of Dort, pastor and scholar Daniel Hyde reminds us what Dort was all about: protecting and proclaiming the glorious gospel of grace!

Dispelling harsh caricatures and whitewashed hagiographies alike, Hyde leads us on a patient journey through the history and text of the Canons, illuminating the fine-grained theological distinctions and simple Scriptural truths encapsulated in their ninety-three articles. Along the way, the reader will discover the startling catholicity and breadth of this foundational statement of Calvinism, and its remarkable pastoral value for nourishing Christian faith, hope, and love today.

JAMES USSHER

“James Ussher was probably the most learned man of his day and an outstanding example of the Reformed Catholicism that the churches of England and Ireland were committed to. He was irenic in controversy, looking for godly balance rather than political compromise, and he was deeply respected by all sides at a time when tolerance of other opinions was in short supply. In today's ecumenical climate his voice needs to be heard again. Circumstances have changed but Ussher's principles are as valid and as promising today as they were in his own time.”

—GERALD BRAY

RESEARCH PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY | BEESON DIVINITY SCHOOL

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Reformation Theology

To understand why the Reformation unfolded as it did, we must understand the ideas that were so forcefully articulated, opposed, and debated by Protestants and Catholics. For Protestant or Catholic believers in this forgetful age, the need to understand these disputed doctrines, and the logic and coherence that linked them together, is all the more imperative. This is what this volume seeks to offer for the first time: a primary source reader focused squarely on the theological questions that drove the Reformation.

Beginning with the first rumblings of conflict in the late medieval period and continuing until the solidification of Protestant confessions in the early 17th century, this collection of thirty-two texts brings the modern reader face-to-face with the key men whose convictions helped shape the course of history. Concise historical introductions accompanying each text bring these writings to life by recounting the stories and conflicts that gave birth to these texts, and highlighting the enduring themes that we can glean from them.

KEY TOPICS INCLUDE: the doctrine of the church, and its relation to the state; the doctrine of the eucharist, and transubstantiation in particular; the doctrine of justification sola fide and the place of works; the meaning of the Protestant commitment to sola Scriptura; and others.

KEY AUTHORS INCLUDE: Marsilius of Padua, John Wycliffe, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Martin Luther, Thomas More, John Calvin, The Council of Trent, Thomas Cranmer, Richard Hooker, Robert Belllarmine, and many more.

Experience The Reformation First-Hand

Experience The Reformation First-Hand

Experience The Reformation First-Hand

“Most people today become atheists less because of persuasive arguments than because of the social realities of our secular age. There are plenty of good apologetics books out there. But few target the ‘gut’—that is, the pre-understandings and social practices that make belief in God more difficult today than in previous generations. This is a must-read.”

—MICHAEL HORTON

PROFESSOR OF SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY AND APOLOGETICS | WESTMINSTER SEMINARY CALIFORNIA

The Richard Hooker Modernization Project

Now Published

“That posterity may know we have not loosely through silence permitted things to pass away as in a dream...”
So opens Richard Hooker’s Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, one of the great landmarks of Protestant theological literature, and indeed of English literature generally. Sadly, however, recent generations of church leaders and scholars have come perilously close to allowing his work to pass away as in a dream. Locked away in a rich and beautiful, but labyrinthine and archaic Elizabethan prose style, Hooker’s writings are scarcely read—and for many, scarcely readable—today. This new edition of Hooker’s Laws “translates” his prose into modern English for the first time, without sacrificing any of the theological depth or sparkling wit of the original.

Radicalism: When Reform Becomes Revolution

In this initial offering of an ongoing translation project by the Davenant Institute, we present Hooker’s Preface to the work, which offer a short and accessible sample of his profound insight and rhetorical genius. Much more than a mere preface, this wide-ranging discourse on the psychology of religious and political radicalism, and the need to balance the demands of conscience with legal order, offers startlingly relevant insights for the church and the task of Christian citizenship today.

Divine Law and Human Nature

In this second volume we present Book I of Hooker’s Laws, for which he is perhaps most famous. Here he offers a sweeping overview of his theology of law, law being that order and measure by which God governs the universe, and by which all creatures—humans above all—conduct their lives and affairs. In an age when  natural creation order is under wholesale attack, even within the church, Hooker’s luminous treatment of the relation of Scripture and nature, faith and reason is a priceless gift to the church.

The Word of God and the Words of Man

In this third volume of an ongoing translation project by the Davenant Institute, we present Books II-III of Hooker’s Laws, comprising Hooker’s treatment of Scripture’s authority in relation to the auties (including the Church) requires the use of reason, prudence, and historical awareness.

In Defense of Reformed Catholic Worship

In this initial offering of an ongoing translation project by the Davenant Institute, we present Hooker’s Preface to the work, which offer a short and accessible sample of his profound insight and rhetorical genius. Much more than a mere preface, this wide-ranging discourse on the psychology of religious and political radicalism, and the need to balance the demands of conscience with legal order, offers startlingly relevant insights for the church and the task of Christian citizenship today.

Convivium Proceedings

Proceedings from the 2nd Annual Convivium Irenicum. The authors use the doctrine of Creation to explore the relation of philosophy to theology, of the church to the saeculum, and of the kingdom of Christ to the visible church. This volume brings together careful investigations of established and emerging historians and theologians, exploring how these questions have been addressed at different points in Christian history, and what they mean for us today.

Proceedings from the 3rd Annual Convivium Irenicum. Together, the essays in this volume challenge us to recognize the breadth and depth of our heritage of Protestant political wisdom, and the complexity and contingency of civic life to which its principles must be artfully applied, which rules out any attempt to inscribe any particular instance of Christian politics as a model for all time.

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. The essays in this volume offer an introduction to the theological rigor and surprising breadth of the early Reformed tradition.

Protestantism today has an idolatry problem. Not merely in the sense of worshipping false gods—of pleasure, wealth, or politics—but in the sense of worshipping the Triune God of Scripture according to images and ideas of our own devising. Whether it’s a God who suffers and changes alongside his creatures, or a “Trinitarian circle dance” of divine personalities, or a hierarchically-arranged Trinity that serves as a blueprint for gender relations, modern evangelical theology has strayed far from historic Christian orthodoxy. Needing a God that can be put on a greeting card or in a praise song, our idolatrous hearts shrink the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob down to size, and make him more like us.

Cardinal Newman once stated that to be deep in church history is to cease to be Protestant. These essays argue that, on the contrary, to be Protestant is simply to be a principled catholic. In one sense, the Protestant tradition just is the catholic tradition shorn of excess and reduced to truly “universal” doctrine and principle. We embrace God’s calling to maturity by learning to be active participants in the universal church as it grows into fuller understanding of God's revelation. Openness to reform is not silly submission to the ethos of each age, but is rather the insistence that all of our understanding must submit (in the classic formula of Luther) to the bar of the Scripture and plain reason, which stands above and judges the church in each era. The whole Word stands in judgment over our fractured communities and fragmented understanding.

Davenant Guides

Pacifism has gone from the margins to the mainstream, even among evangelicals. Christians have turned to the works of Stanley Hauerwas, and John Howard Yoder, seeking a more authentic way to walk in the way of Jesus. In this book, Andrew Fulford shows that these arguments, while well-intentioned, fail to take seriously the whole biblical witness and even the teaching of Jesus.
“In this concise little book, the author does more than merely refute the case for Christian pacifism…highly recommended for anyone who is struggling with this issue.” —Dr. Craig A. Carter, Tyndale University College.
In recent years, fresh controversy has erupted over the meaning and relevance of the Reformation’s “two-kingdoms” doctrine. At stake in such debates is not simply the shape of Christian politics, but the meaning of the church, the nature of human and divine authority, and the scope of Christian discipleship.
In this guide, Bradford Littlejohn sketches the history of the doctrine and clears away common misunderstandings, and shows that the two-kingdoms doctrine can offer a valuable framework for thinking about pastoring, politics, and even financial stewardship.

Even believers often navigate the world based on knowledge not always derived from Scripture. Frequently misrepresented as an assertion of the autonomous power of human reason or as a uniquely Roman Catholic doctrine, natural law has actually been an integral part of orthodox Christian theology since the beginning, and is even asserted in Scripture. In this brief guide, David Haines and Andrew Fulford explain the philosophical foundations of natural law, clear up common misunderstandings about the term, and demonstrate the robust biblical basis for natural law reasoning.

Davenant Retrievals

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Tertullian famously asked, “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” Since the first century, Christians have hotly debated the relationship between faith and reason, between Scripture and natural revelation, and between Christian doctrine and non-Christian philosophy. Too often, though, the history of this conflict has been misrepresented and misunderstood. Thus, before we seek to answer these questions for our own time, we must first come to grips with the answers of the past. What did “philosophy” mean for our spiritual forefathers? When Christian teachers raised warnings in the past about its dangers, what precisely did they have in mind? And most importantly, where does this leave the church today?

The Lord is One

After an age of original integrity, the doctrine of divine simplicity fell from grace. Once a cornerstone of orthodox Christianity’s doctrine of God, many modern theologians expelled it from the garden. But was the doctrine of divine simplicity’s fall deserved? Is it unreasonable to hold that God is metaphysically without parts? Is the Lord really one? Rather than dismiss the challenges leveled against divine simplicity by modernity, The Lord is One engages them. This volume presents exegetical, historical, and theological treatments of divine simplicity. It argues the doctrine of divine simplicity is cogent and indispensable while also making space for historically marginalized or idiosyncratic articulations of it.

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