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By Richard A. Muller / Baker Academic / 2003
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A major study reevaluating the primary sources of the post-Reformation era, Richard Muller’s four-volume Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics chronicles the development of Reformed theology and documents the rise of Protestant orthodoxy. These volumes contain some of the most important treatments on the theological history of the Reformation, including:
Contending that the theology of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is often misrepresented in church histories and scholarly treatments, Richard Muller has undertaken an exhaustive study of specific doctrines to demonstrate how doctrine developed in the early Protestant period. Muller writes out of the firm conviction that “a detailed study of Protestant thought in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is . . . a subject of direct relevance to the life and work of the church today as it attempts to understand itself in the light of its past and formulate its theology in the present.”
Few periods in the history of Christianity have been as badly neglected or as frequently misrepresented in contemporary theological discussions as the period of Protestant Orthodoxy. Richard Muller has overturned conventional wisdom on the significance of this period and redefined the field through his careful and comprehensive analysis of the primary sources. All future work on the history of Protestant theology from 1550 to 1800 will have to take Muller's studies into account.
—David C. Steinmetz, Duke University
The revised versions of volumes 1 and 2 include updated bibliographic references, rearranged chapters and sections, and attractive formatting to match Volumes Three and Four. Scholars, students of the Reformation, theological libraries, and devoted Reformed readers will find these volumes indispensable. Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics (4 Vols.) serves as an important addition to the libraries of theologians and pastors, and is intended for scholars interested in the history of thought and the history of Reformed theology from the Reformation to the rise of Protestant orthodoxy. This extensive work demands the attention of anyone interested in the history, the development, and the contemporary expressions of Reformed theology.
A work of monumental significance. . . Muller has done for post-Reformation Reformed dogmatics what no one else has done with such detail since the beginning of the eighteenth century (and in its own way, what no one else has ever done). . . Of course anyone working in the area of historical theology, intellectual history, or philosophy cannot afford to miss these volumes.
—Scott F. Sanborn, Kerux
The past continues to speak with powerful relevance to the modern age in the remarkable project of Richard A. Muller in Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics. This four-volume work is a tour de force of historical theology and will be of interest to all evangelicals regardless of denominational heritage.
—R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Preaching
Richard Muller has gained an international reputation as a brilliant and incisive commentator on John Calvin and the Reformed tradition. But these volumes are something else. With immense erudition and energy, Muller here displays the theology of the Reformed scholastics in relation to the full sweep of the history of Christian doctrine, expounding it on a truly monumental scale. The scholarly community is permanently in his debt. Muller demonstrates that when used with discernment, the long-neglected wealth of Reformed dogmatics can result in the deepening of theological reflection and preaching in the Christian church.
—Paul Helm, Regent College, Vancouver
Richard Muller's long-awaited volumes represent a work of vast historical scope, profound engagement with the primary and secondary sources, and careful application of sound historical method. By setting seventeenth-century Reformed theology against the background of classical, patristic, medieval, Renaissance, and Reformation intellectual culture, Muller paints a picture of seventeenth-century Reformed theology that belies the old clichés through its nuance, learning, and sophistication. Nobody engaged in this area can afford to ignore his arguments or his conclusions; those who wish to dissent from his central theses have been set a daunting task, and those who find themselves in agreement have been set a standard for their own research.
—Carl R. Trueman, Westminster Theological Seminary
Muller's work, here as always, is marked by an unrivaled mastery of the sources displayed with attentiveness to detail and precise expression. As a historian, he is adept at discerning the continuities and contexts of theological traditions as they grow and develop. His approach to the often-maligned Protestant Scholastics is sympathetic and free of the usual caricatures, and if his work is at all iconoclastic, it is only for the sake of defending writers and communities of the past against their later misrepresentations.
—John Thompson, Fuller Theological Seminary
With the publication of these volumes, the academic community has been given a work of great consequence. . . The comprehensiveness of its analysis and the force of its argument makes this study one of the truly essential works on post-Reformation history and theology. No future research in post-Reformation polemic and theology, whether orthodox or heterodox, can afford to ignore these volumes.
—Chad B. Van Dixhoom, Historical Journal
A multi-decade project that promises to send out ripples for decades to come. . . An accessible reference for the thoughtful elder, pastor, or seminary student. I have already used the work as a reference in preparing adult Sunday school classes, and have found that twenty or thirty minutes of browsing can solidly ground a popularly oriented lesson on key aspects of Reformed thought by establishing the outlines of its historical development. Of course, the more serious use of this resource by professional students in theology also promises to bear untold fruit, as the clear waters from the source of the Reformed tradition reach ever more readers.
—Brian J. Lee, Modern Reformation
Richard A. Muller received his Ph.D. from Duke University. He is P. J. Zondervan Professor of Historical Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary and the author of several books, including Church History: An Introduction to Research, Reference Works, and Methods and Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms.