Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Reformation Impact: Postscript

More information about the Christian, and specifically Calvinistic influence, could be posted but I fear information overload. Hopefully, what you have read will motivate you to further study. For those already in the Reformed camp, I pray this was a great source of encouragement and excitement. Teach this to your children, read them to your families and live them in your lives.

Here are some more resources; the quotes I gave were to supplement these readings & authors:

Basic Readings:

1) OPC minister, Loraine Boettner, summarized the historical impact of Calvinism:

2) Professor Douglas Kelly’s excellent work, The Emergence of Liberty in the Modern World: The Influence of Calvin on Five Governments from the 16th Through 18th Centuries, (P&R), is worth buying.

3) Marvin Olasky’s book, Fighting for Liberty & Virtue: Political & Cultural Wars in Eighteenth-Century America, is a worth-while read.

4) Witherspoon was the only minister (and Presbyterian at that!) who signed the Declaration of Independence and influenced dozens of leaders at the New Jersey College (eventually Princeton), including Madison. This new book demonstrates through original letters, the influence of Witherspoon on Madison and others, even on economic issues. The Presbyterian parallels with Constitutional Republic are carefully drawn out and the resistance-doctrines of the Calvinist is further reinforced with historical evidence. Excellent book; excellent read.

Advanced Readings:

1) The History & Character of Calvinism, John T. McNeil. A standard history book.

2) Revolution & Religion: American Revolutionary War & the Reformed Clergy, Keith Griffen. This work is a short read, with a narrow topic (Middle Colony Reformed), but the first two chapters are worth the read in itself. It’s value is in the multitude of original resources (sermons, papers, etc.) that reinforce the fact of Reformed influence.

3) Politica, Johannes Althusius (abridged & translated by Fredrick S. Carney, Liberty Fund, 1995). A full-blown book on how to pattern a society and government according to God’s law and natural revelation. As the introduction notes, secular authorities are just now discovering this work and its impact upon Western governments.

4) Fountainhead of Federalism: Heinrich Bullinger & the Covenantal Tradition, Charles McCoy & J. Wayne Baker, Westminster/John Knox Press, 1991. Most of the historical goodies are in the long introduction. Unfortunately, the analysis pits Calvinistic predestinarianism against covenantalism. However, they acknowledge the religious roots.

May God be pleased to revive His church once more.

Sola Deo Gloria.

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