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Christ and the Decree: Christology and Predestination in Reformed Theology from Calvin to Perkins (Muller)

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Baker Academic

In Christ and the Decree, one of the foremost scholars of Calvinism today expounds the doctrines of Christ and predestination as they were developed by Calvin, Bullinger, Musculus, Vermigli, Beza, Ursinus, Zanchi, Polanus, and Perkins. Muller analyzes the relationship of these two doctrines to each other and to the soteriological structure of the system.Back by demand, this seminal work on the relationship between Calvin and the Calvinists is once again available with a new contextualizing preface by the author. It offers a succinct introduction to the early development of Calvinism/Reformation thought.

Table of Contents:

I. Introduction

1. Protestant Orthodoxy: Survey of Opinion

2. Theological and Methodological Considerations

Part I: Reformed Theology in Its First Codification: The Systems of Calvin, Bullinger, Musculus and Vermigli

II. Predestination and Christology in the Thought of Calvin

1. Fundamental Distinctions in Calvin’s Theology

2. Calvin’s Doctrine of Predestination

3. Patterns in Calvin’s Christology

4. Christ and Election – The Interrelationship of Two Focal Points in Calvin’s Theology

III. The Systems of Calvin’s Contemporaries

1. Predestination and Christology in the Thought of Heinrich Bullinger

2. Musculus’ Loci Communes

3. Vermigli’s Loci Communes

Epilogue: Christ and the Decree in the First Codification of Reformed Theology

Part II: The Formulation of Orthodox System: Reformed Theology in Its Second Codification

Division 1: The Movement Toward Orthodoxy

IV. Predestination and Christology in the Thought of Theodore Beza

1. The Tabula Praedestinationis (1555)

2. Beza’s Contribution to the Systematic Structure of Reformed Theology

V. Reformed Theology in Heidelberg: Zacharias Ursinus and Jerome Zanchi

1. Ursinus on Christ and the Decree

2. Christology and Predestination in the Theology of Zanchi

Epilogue: The Movement Toward Orthodoxy

Division 2: The Early Orthodoxy Codification

VI. Calvinism at the Close of the Sixteenth Century: Polanus and Perkins

1. Predestination in the Doctrinal Structure of Early Orthodoxy

2. The Development of Christological Structures in Early Reformed Orthodoxy

3. Predestination and Its Christological Referent in the Theology of Polanus and Perkins

Epilogue: The Early Orthodox Codification

VII. Christ and the Decree in the Development of Early Orthodoxy: Retrospect and Prospect



Richard A. Muller (PhD, Duke University) is P. J. Zondervan Professor of Historical Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the author of numerous books, including The Unaccommodated Calvin, After Calvin, and Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics. He also serves as the editor for the Texts and Studies in Reformation and Post-Reformation Thought series.



"[Muller] has made an analysis of the thought of leading Reformed thinkers during the latter half of the sixteenth century, with regard to the relation of their thought concerning the person and work of Christ to predestination, and has come to what appear to be valid conclusions. . . . The book will certainly be effective in answering those who wish to turn Reformed theology into simply a system rationally deduced from the doctrine of predestination, for the author has shown that the doctrine is not the central or controlling factor in the system." - W. Stanford Reid, Sixteenth Century Journal