Essays on the Diversity of the Reformed Tradition
Proceedings of the 4th Annual Convivium Irenicum
Edited by W. Bradford Littlejohn and Jonathan Tomes
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 offer an introduction to the theological rigor and surprising breadth of the early Reformed tradition.
Bradford Littlejohn (Ph.D, University of Edinburgh) is the President of the Davenant Institute and author of several books and numerous articles in historical theology and Christian ethics.
Jonathan Tomes (MDiv, SBTS) is on staff at the Baylor University Libraries (Waco, TX). He has copyedited for books published with Banner of Truth, Crossway, Fortress Press, and Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. He lives in Waco, TX.
In [today’s] 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.
Read, learn and go and do likewise.
—Carl R. Trueman (Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary), from the Foreword