Archive for the ‘Shedd’ Category

Shedd – On the Atonement

August 19, 2008

Shedd writes:

Before leaving the subject of vicarious atonement, it is in place here to notice its relation to the soul of man. For, while Christ’s atonement has primarily this objective relation to the Divine nature, it has also a secondary subjective relation to the nature of the guilty creature for whom it is made. The objective atonement is intended to be subjectively appropriated by the act of faith in it.

Dogmatic Theology, page 409 (emphasis in original)

Likewise, Shedd explains that

Unfallen man was a member of the heavenly family merely by the fatherhood of creation and providence; but after his rebellion and apostasy this ceased to be the case. Redemption was needed in order to restore him to membership. The whole human family are not now God’s heavenly family. Only a part of it are the dear children of God. Those only are members of God’s family who are members of Christ, “of whom the whole family in heaven and earth [the church above and below] is named,” Eph. 3:15. All others “are bastards, and not sons,” Heb. 12:8.

Dogmatic Theology, page 422 (footnote omitted)

While Shedd does say that “It does not mean that Christ’s vicarious atonement naturally and necessarily saves every man …” (Dogmatic Theology, page 437) but Shedd goes on to explain that “The atoning Mediator can demand upon principles of strict justice, the release from penalty of any sinful man in respect to whom he makes the demand.”

Read Systematic Theologies

May 17, 2008

I noticed recently that Peter Beck at “Living to God” has encouraged folks to read Systematic Theologies (link). While I’d rather invert his list (placing items 4 and 5 at the top, followed by 3, and then by 1 and 2, it is valuable to read systematic theologies, particularly those that have withstood the test of time. Such systematic theologies include:

1. Francis Turretin’s Institutes of Elenctic Theology
2. Benedict Pictet’s Christian Theology
3. John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion
4. Herman Witsius’ Economy of the Divine Covenants Between God and Man
5. Charles Hodge’s Systematic Theology
6. W.G.T. Shedd’s Dogmatic Theology
7. William Ames’ Marrow of Sacred Divinity

Among the contemporary systematic theologies, I would rank in the first place Robert Reymond’s New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith (link to a bookstore that sells this book). At least the first six above are freely available on the internet, and Ames’ Marrow is back in print, I believe.


The Real Turretin on: The Persons of the Trinity

April 27, 2008

Says Turrettin, III. xxix. 21. “The Father does not generate the Son either as previously existing, for in this case there would be no need of generation; nor yet as not yet existing, for in this case the Son would not be eternal; but as co-existing; because he is from eternity in the God-head.”

As Turrettin says, “The Father and Son spirate the Spirit, not as two different essences in each of which resides a spirative energy, but as two personal subsistences of one essence, who concur in one act of aspiration.” Institutio III. xxxi. 6.

Turrettin distinguishes the difference by the following particulars: 1. In respect to the source. Generation is from the Father alone; procession is from Father and Son. 2. In respect to effects. Generation yields not only personality, but resemblance. The Son is the “image” of the Father; but the Spirit is not the image of the Father and Son. Generation is accompanied with the power to communicate the essence; procession is not. 3. In respect to order of relationship. Generation is second, procession is third. In the order of nature, not of time (for both generation and procession are eternal, therefore simultaneous), procession is after generation. Institutio III. xxxi. 3.

Both translations as well as the gloss apparently by W.G.T. Shedd.

(source – see footnotes 2 and 4)

Thus Turrettin: They differ, “1st. As to source. The Son emanates from the Father only, but the Spirit from the Father and the Son at the same time. 2d. As to mode. The Son emanates in the way of generation, which affects not only personality, but similitude, on account of which the Son is called the image of the Father, and in consequence of which he receives the property of communicating the same essence to another person; but the Spirit by the way of spiration, which affects only personality, and in consequence of which the person who proceeds does not receive the property of communicating the same essence to another person. 3d. As to order. The Son is second person, and the Spirit third, and though both are eternal, without beginning or succession, yet, in our mode of conception, generation precedes procession.”

“The schoolmen vainly attempted to found a distinction between generation and spiration, upon the different operations of the divine intellect and the divine will. They say the Son was generated per modum intellectus, whence he is called the Word of God; the Spirit proceeds per modum voluntatis, whence he is called Love.”

(Vol. I, l. 3, q. 31.) (source – A.A. Hodge, Outlines of Theology, p. 158)


The Deleterious Effect of Particularist/Universalist Propoganda

February 3, 2008

I stumbled across this shocking quotation: “Amazingly, Dabney, Charles Hodge, and William Shedd all distance themselves from theologians like Francis Turretin on the relationship between the decree of God and the cross of Christ, and even go so far as to explicitly reject key exegesis that underlies the “limited atonement” argument found in John Owen’s The Death of Death.” (source)

This is just not true.

I’ve commented on the harmony between TurretinFan’s views and the views of Dabney (link), Hodge (both A.A. and Charles), and Shedd (link) on the subject of the atonement.

If that were enough, we can see that each of the men in question rely on Turretin in their teaching on atonement:

Shedd (Dogmatic Theology, p. 481)

Dabney (Chapter 35 of his Systematic Theology)

Hodge (Systematic Theology, p. 474) (And of course, Hodge is famous for insisting that his students read Turretin (as recalled by his son))

I can guess where Ben got the idea: from one of several misinformation sites out there: “Calvin and Calvinism” “Theological Meditations” and the like, at which Amyraldian and Amyraldian-esque men pretend that Calvinism is something other than what it is, at the expense of the truth.

I hope Ben will consider actually getting a copy of Turretin’s Institutes and reading it, or of any of the systematic theologies of Shedd, Dabney, or Hodge. He seems to be a bright young man who has just grabbed a few wrong sources. I’ll be looking forward to watching him blossom.

Remember that there is a lot of false advertising (link1, link2) out there.

May God assist us in maintaining the truth!


UPDATE: Oddly, I’ve seen what seems to be the exact same article in several other places. Perhaps Ben is not the author after all. (link) (link2)

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