Institutes of Elenctic Theology, 3 Volumes
Turretin was one of the finest reformed theologians ever to grace the Church of Jesus Christ. He was perhaps the greatest defender of Calvinism there has ever been, short of John Calvin himself. Turretin is by no means light or easy reading. Every topic that he deals with in the three volumes, he sounds to the very depths,and leaves no stone unturned. No one has ever explained the reformed faith as thoroughly as Turretin. Read and master Turretin, and you will be able to defend the faith in any situation, with anybody. If you master Turretin, you may walk with the giants of the faith. The air may be thin up where Turretin walks, but it is crystal clear and Christ shines as brightly as ever. Every serious Christian should have Turretin on his shelves and in his hands. If you have Turretin, you may WANT other systematic theologies, but you will never NEED any other. Truly a master of the Christian Faith, and one of Christ's most able servants.
February 10, 2007
Francis Turretin's Institutes of Elenctic Theology This large 3 volume work is a gold mine of precise and careful thought. Turretin was not a rationalist, merely rational. He was a seventeenth-century Reformed pastor and theologian who clearly articulated Reformed doctrine in the midst of those who were opposing such doctrine. I have found Turretin to be biblical in his doctrine, delicate and precise in his thought, clear in his articulation, and powerful in his argumentation. Turretin organized his Institutes into 20 topics (loci) that range from "Prolegomena" (that is, very necessary introductory considerations) to "The Last Things." Each topic (locus) is organized by specific questions. For example, locus 20 is divided into 13 questions. Question 2 reads, "Are the same bodies numerically which have died to be raised again? We affirm against the Socinians." Turretin raised this particual question because he wanted to defend the biblical doctrine of the bodily resurrection from an error that was being taught in his day. Turretin's theology is indeed elenctic (that is, polemic or argumentitive), for a great portion of his Institutes is written against the Roman Catholics, Arminians, Socinians, Anabaptists, and others. Turretin's Institutes is not merely a negative work (exposing the errors of unbiblical doctrine), but is positive. He builds up and defends biblical doctrine in every locus. As for the edition, Dr. Dennison has blessed us all in editing and indexing the whole work. He has also provided a 19 page biography of Turretin, the message given at Turretin's funeral, and a short biography of George Giger (the translator). These volumes are sturdy and will last for decades. As for the translation, this edition is a publication of George M. Giger's translation of the Institutes. Giger died in 1865 having produced this translation at the behest of Charles Hodge. The translation strikes me as unduly bulky and difficult at times.Overall: 5 stars
September 5, 2005