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Jonathan Moore, Hypothetical Universalism and Jacobus Kimedoncius

November 14, 2007

What do you do when you read something in a dissertation from a solid school a comment or claim you just know to be so untrue that it really does look like blatant misrepresentation? Its frustrating.

What I want to do is a set of posts just outlining in brief form how one modern published Ph.D grad has just misrepresented a critical source. I would actually love to see this author interact with the text and with me on this. But well…

The author is Jonathan Moore. The work is: English Hypothetical Universalism: John Preston and the Softening of Reformed Theology, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2007).

In terms of the overall thesis, the plus is that he is delineating Preston’s position. The negative or down side is that he is going about it in very bad way. His thesis is that Reformed theology always was Protestant Scholastic theology in terms of the doctrine of the atonement etc. He maintains “the continuity thesis,” (Helm, Nicole, and Muller) by saying that Amyraut was the theological deviant, not the Protestant Scholastics, from first generation Calvinism or Reformation theology. For him, Preston follows a hermetically sealed tradition from Davenant and other English hypothetical Universalists which is distinct and separate from the alleged uniform theology of Continental Calvinism. To be sure, I have roughly paraphrased his argument.

Of course, this thesis comes undone if one can show from a Continental Calvinist or from a first generation Reformed the very same, or like position on the atonement as found in Davenant or even in Amyraut. That seems obvious. I have posted a few of these at the C&C blog. Moore looks at one of these, Jacobus Kimedoncius, and makes this bold statement:

Kimedoncius explicitly taught what Usser and Davenant were later to condemn as the doctrine of “bare sufficiency.”[footnote 190] He also taught that Christ’s priestly satisfaction and intercession were only for the elect; and that under the preaching of the Gospel, sinners are not required to believe that Christ died for them personally.” [footnote 191]

[Page 67.]

Moore has two footnotes wherein he cites from Kimedoncius’ work Of the Redemption of Mankind. Moore cites these pages from that work: note 190: 36, 38, 39, 80, 95, 177, 205. From note 191: 33, 173, 210-11, 329-30. He also cites 146-51 and 148, with reference the assurance question.

What I want to do is work through some of these pages, typing them out if necessary, showing that he has completely inverted Kimedoncius, making him to stand on his head.

Some of the material is already here:
Sheesh I went to the effort to type out an entire chapter from Kimedoncius. I am amazed that Moore just ignores it.

Further, Moore notes that in John 3:16, 1 Tim 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 and I John 2:2, Kimedoncius adopts the strict particularlist reading of these verses. Moore is not quite accurate here. I shall cover these too. The essential point is that none of this changes Kimedoncius’ clear statements about the extent and intent of the redemption.

Moore says much the same regarding Vermigli. I can more understand confusion regarding Vermigli as his corpus is huge. But that too is a botched analysis. See here from a lot of Vermigli here.
I am still working my way through his works so I expect this file to be updated in the future.

When Tony pointed out what Moore was saying about Kimedoncius, I was stunned. It’s just not right. :-)


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Martin permalink
    March 27, 2008 10:12 am

    Say David, why don’t you post this review against the book on Amazon?

  2. Flynn permalink
    March 27, 2008 10:37 am

    Hey Martin,

    Last I heard you can only post a review if you bought the book from Amazon?


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