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Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Nota Bene

Billings on Protestant Resourcement

Dr. J. Todd Billings summarizes the future possibilities for Protestant resourcement, and includes some reflections on the significance of this task for theology:

  1. Rediscover the Centrality of Biblical Exegesis—The loci communes approach to theology models a compelling way to make scriptural exegesis a central task for the theologian. In addition, the Reformation and Post-Reformation theologians offer examples of scriptural exegesis that illuminate both in their debates and in their areas of agreement.
  2. Rediscover Catholicity—Read the Reformers and the Protestant Scholastics together with the patristic and medieval writers who influenced them (e.g., the influence of Thomas Aquinas upon John Owen). This provides an opportunity for a doctrinal feast that is deeply traditional, philosophically nuanced, and widely ecumenical.
  3. Deepen and Widen Traditions—Explore the breadth and diversity of Protestant traditions which are often narrowed, caricatured, and constricted in their contemporary forms. The Reformed Scholastics, for example, had surprising things to say about the freedom of the will; a contextual account of Melanchthon defies stereotypes about Lutherans and the three uses of the law; and surprisingly, variations of seventeenth-century “hypothetical universalism” are actually part of the broad Reformed tradition, if one takes the Synod of Dort as exemplative.