Beeke, Joel R. & Ramsey, D. Patrick
This, his magnum opus, is a reflection of some of the most fruitful and mature thinking on federal theology during the seventeenth century, and still holds a preeminent place in our own day. Reformed theology has always understood the biblical doctrine of the covenant to be the theological framework which best unifies Scripture, making it a consistent hermeneutic. In this two volume work, Witsius, presents the reader with a fully biblical and experiential doctrine of the divine covenants; opening up their nature, stipulations, curses, and blessings. Anyone interested in Reformed theology should read this book, for it is Reformed theology at its best.
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Herman Witsius (1636-1708) was Professor of Divinity in the Universities of Franeker, Utrecht, and Leyden. A brilliant and devout student, he was fluent in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew by the age of fifteen, when he entered the University of Utrecht. He was ordained at twenty-one and served in several pastorates, filling both the pulpit and the academic chair over the course of his life.
“Herman Witsius’s Economy of the Covenants is a pinnacle achievement in the history of Reformed doctrine, serving as a principal exhibit of the federal theology that marked Reformed thought in the seventeenth century. Witsius, always writing in an irenic style, sought to retain the best traits of Cocceian thinking, while following more directly in the path of Voetian orthodoxy. Witsius’s Economy presents readers with a full study of the covenant of works, followed by an even more comprehensive treatment of the covenant of grace (including the pactum salutis). Witsius handles all the relevant issues: the nature of conditionality in the covenant, the substance of the divine promise, the parties with whom God establishes His covenant, Christ’s Suretyship, the unity and diversity of the evangelical covenant, as well as a complete handling of the ordo salutis—the order of salvation—and the historia salutis—the history of salvation. In this, his greatest work, Witsius—a pastor-theologian, and a man of great piety—puts on display his immense theological talent. These volumes should not be missed!”
—J. Mark Beach, Professor of Ministerial and Doctrinal Studies at Mid-America Reformed Seminary, Dyer, Indiana
“It is works such as these that take us beyond milk to the meat of the Word. If you want to know what confessional Reformed theology and piety looks like and how we understood Scripture before Barth turned the tradition upside down, there are few authors whose work will repay your investment of time and money more completely than Herman Witsius. Who should buy and read these volumes? Any elder, any minister, and certainly every Reformed seminary student. If you love your pastor and if he doesn’t have these works, you should make sure that he has them. If you know a seminary student who is studying to enter the ministry or otherwise to teach the Reformed faith, be sure that he has these volumes.”
—R. Scott Clark, Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Westminster Seminary California