‘Nowadays We are not Dealing with Pelagians in our Churches’. Karl Barth and the Janus Face of the Doctrine of Justification in the current of “Reasonable Orthodoxy”’

“Nowadays We are not Dealing with Pelagians in our Churches”1

Karl Barth and the Janus face of the Doctrine of Justification in the current of

‘Reasonable Orthodoxy’

Rinse H. Reeling Brouwer

  1. Barth Discovers ‘Reasonable Orthodoxy’

During the winter semester of 1932-1933 in Bonn, Barth offered a course on the theology of Neo-Protestantism for the third time. In Münster 1926, he had started with Schleiermacher. In Münster 1929-1930, he had started out with Lessing, but this time he located the beginning of modern theology around the year 1700. After three introductory paragraphs – on the task of writing this history, on man in the eighteenth century, and on the problem of theology in that age – he starts the fourth paragraph in his outline of the history of how eighteenth-century scientific theology dealt with this problem with Valentin Ernst Löscher, who actually tries to go against the prevailing current of his time in continuity with the Lutheran orthodoxy of the preceding age.2 But then a series of theologians follow, who can be seen as typical for their time: the conservative innovator Joh. Franz Buddeus (Halle); his more worldly-minded friend Christoph Matthias Pfaff (Tübingen) in Germany; the Swiss triumvirate of the honourable Samuel Werenfels (Basel), the more pedagogically minded Jean Fréderic Osterwald in Neuchâtel and, with a more apologetic disposition, Jean Alphons Turrettini (Geneva); and back to Germany with the son-in-law of Buddeus, Johann Georg Walch (Jena), and the church historian Johann Lorenz von Mosheim (Helmstedt and Göttingen).3 All these theologians taught during the first decades of the eighteenth century and showed what we can call a ‘Janus face’: they maintained the Protestant orthodoxy of the earlier generations and did not seek to abandon or to attack the doctrine of their church, but at the same time they were driven by a completely new spirit, giving expression in a fundamental way to “the crisis of the European conscience” (as Paul Hazard has characterized the change in mentality from the eighties of the seventeenth century onwards). Barth observes: with regard to all these theologians you can raise the question: Why did they not take a step forward? They wanted to be “reasonably orthodox”, but in reality they were “theologians of a transition period”.4

Now, one can view such a current as remarkable evidence for the vitality of Christianity: it appears to be capable of acculturation, to take up the ideas of modern times, and to be in some respects even a forerunner of them. The ‘orthodoxie eclairté’, one could say, shows how the Enlightenment is not the enemy but from the very beginning also a fruit of the inner renewal of the Protestant world.5 But that was not at all the theological evaluation Karl Barth came to in the early thirties! On the contrary, we can observe how his becoming acquainted with this historical phenomenon6 on the eve of the Third Reich7 would accompany him during the years of the German Church Struggle that were to follow. We can see that in the following survey.

In his first lecture after Hitler’s coming to power, held on 10 March 1933 in Copenhagen, Barth tries to concentrate the minds of the theologians on the “First Commandment as a theological axiom”. This does not mean that there are no other powers that can influence our thinking and doing, but we do not have the freedom to give those powers a quasi-divine status beside the authority of the speaking Lord of Israel.

“The newer Protestant theology since the turn of the seventeenth to the eighteenth century (my italics) is supposed to know, and to do so better than the theologians of former ages, how difficult it is to stand alone with God and his Word vis-à-vis the philosophy, the historical and natural sciences, and so many other acquirements of the modern world.”

Barth does not deny the difficulty but simply states that one has to ask when all those interesting ‘other’ powers really become a threat to the obedience to the First Commandment.8

In October 1933 Barth says ‘Farewell to Zwischen den Zeiten’ and therewith to his former partners in a supposedly common theological programme. Here he declares that he observed how Emil Brunner and others were doing theology in a way that he could only conceive as “a return to the flesh pots of Egypt, i.e., to the new Protestant scheme of ‘reason and revelation’, as it was proclaimed in Protestantism for the first time by the so-called ‘reasonable orthodoxy’ at the turn of the seventeenth to the eighteenth century”.9 And when Friedrich Gogarten identifies with crucial propositions of the German Christians, Barth confesses that he can see this current only as “the last, most complete and evil excrescence of Neo-Protestantism in its essence”.10 The last utterance reveals what will remain Barth’s theological strategy during the German Church Struggle: not only must one resist the extreme positions connected with National Socialist ideology, but one must also and particularly resist seemingly self-evident positions that are regarded as perfectly normal in modernity. In fact in his eyes these latter positions have been considered normal since the days of ‘reasonable orthodoxy’!

A year later, in his famous pamphlet Nein! against Emil Brunner’s Natur und Gnade (October 1934), Barth finds Brunner’s position reminiscent of the same theme, in more current language, held by “reasonable orthodoxy” – that “very influential theological school, represented by mostly quite serious personalities, which at that time was experienced as liberating in the widest circles”. He asks Brunner whether he knows this school and how he thinks to distinguish his own convictions from those of this former “spirit of moderation”.11 And when Brunner tries to equate his own interpretation of natural theology with Calvin’s, Barth reproaches him: “Brunner has made Calvin into someone like Jean Alphonse Turrettini.”12 To understand how, in the conception of Karl Barth, this theme of natural theology is related to our theme, we must also note another remark Barth makes in the direction of Brunner:

“Certainly the reformers did see and attack the possibility of an intellectual justification by works at the core of theological thought, but they did not do so with the same scope, intensity and principle as the ethical justification by works at the core of the Christian life.”13

Conversely we may presume that Barth conceived of his own struggle against natural theology (Barmen Thesis nr. 1!) as the application of the reformational Doctrine of Justification to the topos of theological epistemology.14 We will return to this connection below.

During the winter semester of 1933-1934 and the summer semester of 1934 Barth gave lectures that were going to provide him with the material for Church Dogmatics I/2. At the very beginning he already argues passionately against a methodical “reversal”, in which our imagination regarding the possibility of revelation precedes thinking through the reality of revelation itself. “This reversal is the great temptation of all theology”. “In the Protestant theology which has prevailed since about 1700, it has actually become a fundamental presupposition”. “That is the basic difference between this theology and the theology of older Protestantism”. “Pious, even inspired recognition of the reality of revelation is perfectly possible. It should be noted that theological Neo-Protestantism in its beginnings” – here Barth mentions the main names of ‘reasonable orthodoxy’ – “could deal with the Bible and dogma in a thoroughly conservative way. Nevertheless even in these conservative forms it means misconstruction, nay, denial of revelation. Only by happy inconsistencies (…) can it ever be anything else.”15 Further on, in the beginning of the locus De religione,16 Barth shows how for the first time with Buddeus the exposition on religion precedes that on revelation, and how with Salomon van Til even an apologetic dogmatics of a theologia naturalis constitutes a first and autonomous section. “It constitutes, in fact, the presupposition, the criterion, and the necessary framework for an understanding of revelation.” Here too Barth stresses that this “sad history of more recent Protestant theology” begins with “men of an admitted seriousness and piety”. And in points of detail they were “outspokenly conservative”. But nevertheless the fundamental reversal has taken place with these respectable men.17

After he had been dismissed from his professorship in Bonn, Barth accepted a chair in his native town of Basel, where he held his inaugural address, quite delayed, in the assembly hall of the university on 6 May 1936. He decided to describe his famous predecessor Samuel Werenfels (1657-1740) and to evaluate this man’s theological programme as another example of the programme of his ‘reasonable orthodox’ friends.18

Already when working on his lectures in Bonn, Barth had written to Eduard Thurneysen in a letter that his portrait of Werenfels also offered an “analysis of a Basel theologian in general” – conservative by birth, he has, however, at the same time his secret, almost sympathetic delight in the radicalism and the extravagances of others, safeguarded against Roman Catholicism or Orthodoxy by a generous humanistic sceptical mind, uniting a spirit of freedom and of moderation, and although personally ready for a limited experiment, e.g. in the shaping of piety, always mastering his own feelings and his tongue.19 One might suggest that Barth wanted to offer a statement to the city of Basel: “I am coming back to town, but unfortunately for you my spirit is not like the genius loci”. In any case, with this lecture we have at our disposal Barth’s most detailed and most subtly elaborated text on ‘reasonable orthodoxy’.

It is also the last text on the subject. After 1936 Barth presupposes the analysis he had made in the years 1932-193620 but does not elaborate on it. Perhaps the most significant reference to reasonable orthodoxy is found in CD IV/1, the paragraph on justification, where Barth shows himself astonished at the fact that with Buddeus as a representative of this current (and with his Lutheran-orthodox examples W. Baier and D. Hollaz behind him) “this doctrine was reckoned among the articuli fundamentals secundarii, on the ground that a Christian can believe and therefore attain forgiveness by faith without ever having reflected on iustificatio per solam fidem et non per opera.”21

Now we will first turn to Barth’s lecture on Werenfels for a further orientation in  reasonable orthodoxy (2). Then we will look at the question of the position of the doctrine of justification in the framework of the articuli fundamentales (3). Finally we will focus on the actual teaching on justification in reasonable orthodoxy, especially in Germany – J.Fr. Buddeus and a little on J.L. von Mosheim (4), and in Switzerland – S. Werenfels, J.-Fr. Ostervald and J.A. Turrettini (5). We will end with a conclusion (6)

2. Barth’s Inaugural Address on Samuel Werenfels (1936)

Barth starts his lecture with a lively presentation of a doctor’s degree ceremony at the Basel University in 1709, in which the supervisor Werenfels gives an equally lively exposition of his own scientific programme. However, Barth says, it is not just an exposition of a personal programme but of the theology that was dominant in Basel at that time – and not only in Basel (represented by the names already enumerated above). It was prepared in the previous century by such divergent currents as Arminianism, the school of Saumur, Cartesianism, Pietism and Latidudinarianism, and it provided the opposition movements of the sixteenth century, humanism and spiritualism, e.g., with a delayed triumph. This ‘reasonable orthodoxy’ deserves more attention by historians than it usually receives, Barth says.22 For it is insufficient to regard it merely as an outlet of seventeenth century orthodoxy. On the contrary, it thought it was its task to prepare for a new reformation of the church.23

“Something old in the history of theology has come to an end here, something new has appeared on the scene; and whatever new things have been subsequently added until far into the beginning of our own century, have in the end (…) only been the extension and repetition of what appeared on the scene as new at the time.”24

In the stature of Werenfels one can see the decisive unity of the age: this respected man had good connections with the pietistic Graf Zinzendorf, as well as with the Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire and the Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm I.25 Then Barth makes an important remark, with which his reconstruction of the historical situation becomes clear. As he also argues in his Protestant Theology, for him the Enlightenment is not a fully unexpected phenomenon from the outside, to which church and theology had to respond.26 Rather, he considers Pietism and the Enlightenment as two sides of one coin. It is the spirit of “the age of absolutism”, that expresses itself in Neo-Protestantism as well. In all their mutual contradictions these two aspirations fundamentally belong together. On the one side this is about “the doctrine of a directly infused and possibly experiential [erfahrbaren] supranatural reality of grace”, and on the other side about “the doctrine of a natural knowledge of God, i.e., a knowledge of God and morality immanently present to the human selfconsciousness” – we will hold on to these characterizations! For Barth the similarity, in its powerful presence in a person like Werenfels, is more important than the difference, also because the struggle of his own days would be related to the fundamental point of similarity. For that very reason, the change in course [Weichenstellung] around the year 1700 is such an interesting  phenomenon to him.27

Now the positive intention of the movement, which was new at that time, was the following. It was the theological expression of the aspiration of the age to sovereignly shape human life through the will and actions of the man enabled to do so. This aspiration was related to the coming to power of the bourgeois layer of society with its corresponding ideology.28 The wildness and violence of the former age with its fanaticism, religious wars, and partiality was detested. Instead of that, one had confidence in the achievements in many fields. For that confidence, one could fall back on the Stoic doctrine of human goodness, as supported by a divine goodness. The Christian heritage too was received within the framework of such a programme. Moralistic intentions could function as the critical and hermeneutical key for the appropriation of it. No need was felt to abandon the old orthodox truth – it would have been difficult for an orthodox giant like Amandus Polanus, a century earlier, to discover evident heresies in the works of his successor Werenfels.29 But there was a new interpretation of it in the light of humanistic presuppositions. Doctrine is not denied, but it is interpreted as a theory, and as such it loses out against the actual emphasis on practice.30 Not the church or dogma, but the fathers and the schools have to be respected – and must be kept in perspective. Therefore there is this quarrel about words31 and against the harsh forms of conversation between theologians.32 Therefore there is this plea for tolerance and freedom of conscience and for a (relative) freedom of teaching [Lehrfreiheit] for clergymen,33 for confessional unification,34 and for a new biblical hermeneutics, which should be free from confessional presuppositions.35

This new hermeneutics, Barth suggests, could have been a startingpoint for a reading of the Bible that does take its own cause [Sache] even more seriously than the reformers did. But unfortunately, Werenfels shows no real interest in issues that could be subject to a correction of doctrine based on a better reading of Scripture. Rather, he seems willing to bury such problems. His real concern seems to be to stress the conformity of biblical content with the own, well-grounded, reasonable, and moral feelings. This is the tenor of his interpretation of the Testimonium Spiritus Sancti.36 To be sure, Reason is not the principium, but actually it is the organon of our understanding. One can compare it to a king (God), who installed a governor (Reason). Unfortunately, when the population became too turbulent (because of Sin), the king was compelled to send an ambassador (Revelation) to restore order. However, it remains the ability of the governor to judge the authority of the temporary ambassador. Barth asks: how long will the peace between both instances hold? Or will the time come when the ambassador (revelation) can be sent away?37 Later on, in the doctrine of Scripture in CD I/2, Barth will remark that in the end Werenfels “transforms the witness of the Holy Spirit into the human conviction which as readers of Scripture we ourselves can form of the meaning and credibility of what we read according to our own knowledge and conscience”.38

On one point, Barth stresses, the new hermeneutics certainly proves itself to be prejudiced, namely where its own moralistic and practical impulse could be hindered by the reading of Scripture. What decisively should not be true was an interpretation of justification that could promote passivity and quietism. From the references, quoted by Barth, the final pages of the Meditatio de incitamentis ad virtutem in S. Scriptura propositis perhaps are most instructive.39 There are many factors in Christianity, Werenfels remarks, that prevent people from acknowledging the Bible as the best source for discovering virtue, better than the books of the philosophers and the documents of other religions. But one of the most particular factors is the misunderstanding of the doctrine of justification, against which already the apostle James sincerely had to warn: as if the cultivation of good works should not be very necessary for obtaining life eternal. For the message of forgiveness asks for serious repentance and conversion. It is certainly not enough to embrace the saviour as priest,

and neglect to honour him as teacher (prophet) and as king. It may be that the old formularies are confusing in this respect, but we have to understand these texts in light of their tendency to edify. Nowadays there really are scarcely reasons to stress the old dogma: there is more danger than utility in it!

Barth concludes: Werenfels refuses to honour both the sovereignty of grace as well as the sovereignty of revelation. At the same time, he diagnoses that Werenfels fails to unfold his own alternative doctrine of justification on exegetical grounds in connection with his own moralism.40 His interests simply have gone in another direction.41 For that reason, I propose to speak of a Janus face of the doctrine of justification with Werenfels. For the conversation with the doctrine of predestination that was handed down to him, he offers a proposal on how to deal with it,42 but on the loci of original sin43 and justification that is less clear: there is an honouring of tradition and at the same time a neglecting of it. Therefore, to obtain more clarity it makes sense to first read him in the context of his contemporaries.

  • 3 The Doctrine of Justification in the Framework of the articuli fundamentales

The origin of the distinction of articuli fundamentales et non fundamentals seems to lie in the polemic or rather irenic confrontation of the different confessions.44 From the beginning of the seventeenth century onwards one sought to formulate what elements  of the confession the struggling religious parties had in common. Especially the Lutheran theologians were following the Thomistic dogmaticians of the time here. It was Nikolaus Hunn who distinguished between the articuli fundamentals primarii and secundarii for the first time in 1626. He also tried, in a further concentration, to reduce the kernel of Christian faith to one fundamentum fidei dogmaticum for the sake of uniting Christianity.

As a consequence, the interest in the main loci of Lutheran doctrine, e.g., that of the person of Christ and of justification dwindled.45 In the paragraph on dogmatic method in his prolegomena, Barth discusses this doctrine, but he falsely supposes (although mentioning Hunn) that it was an invention of the later orthodox systematic theologians and as such (as in their natural theology and their doctrine of scriptural inspiration) a sign of the incipient disintegration of orthodoxy.46 However, earlier in the prolegomena in the context of the question of the relationship between Scripture and tradition in the history of theology, he also discusses the contribution of Georg Calixt († 1656), whose programme for the embedding of Scripture in tradition in many respects can be seen as a continuation of that of Hunn, although the former’s programme was far more disputed than that of the latter. Barth there says:

“Calixt could regard himself as a good Lutheran in that he did undoubtedly value the doctrine of justification by faith as the one and important insight and confession of his Church, and stated it fairly correctly as understood by the Reformation. But at the same time he belongs to that increasing number of Evangelical theologians who from the seventeenth century onwards did not give full weight and content to the concept of faith in this doctrine, but with a strange lack of certainty conceded that faith might unfortunately mean even an inactive and ineffective intellectual belief, and that therefore if the way of salvation is to be fully expounded, it is necessary that without altering the doctrine of justification there should be added to it some conclusion of the necessary fruits of faith on the minimum of moral righteousness in the believer indispensable to eternal bliss. In other words the idea arises, or recurs, that grace must be enlarged by man. The moral disposition and sentiment acquire an independence quite alien to the Reformers. It is of a piece with this that in Calixt the significance of the doctrine of justification has faded compared with that of the common dogma of the ancient Church, against the background and as the result of it he rightly enough understands it.”47

And further on in the excursus:48

“When he asserted the unity of the Lutheran Church with that of the Middle Ages and antiquity, Calixt could do so sincerely and boldly not least because he accepted the doctrine of justification only with this need for expansion and this expansion, not least because he thought he should correct the reformational doctrine of original sin by teaching that the result of original sin involves only a severe weakness, but not a positive corruption of human nature, not least because he obviously wanted to understand the activity of the regenerate as a co-operation of natural and supernatural acts based on the indwelling of the Holy Ghost.”49

Now we admit, that the later orthodox theologians who took over the doctrine of the articuli fundamentales, did so assuming they were taking distance from the position of Calixt, sometimes even obscuring its origin in the inter-confessional issue. Barth, discussing the arguments of the Lutheran Andreas Quenstedt and the Reformed Franciscus Turrettini, does not have serious objections against their enumeration (including the justification by faith) as such, and he is also able to read ad bonam partem the idea of a fundamentum fidei substantiale in correspondence with his own doctrine of the Word of God as Gospel, as well as the idea of a fundamentum organicum as an analogy of his own speaking of the Word of God as Law. But at the same time he fears that the understanding of faith as a principium will dangerously impair the living movement of the proclamation of the gospel. When Hunn’s fundamentum dogmaticum, however well-formulated it may appear, is adopted as an unchangeable quintessence of dogmatics, it hinders the freedom of an actual and continual confessing anew of the church, it defines and restricts the living Word of God, it disavows the eschatological character of dogma, and at the same time, it transforms the modest task of dogmatics into the pretentious but catastrophic claim of building a system.

In the prolegomena Barth briefly touches on the distinction within the articuli fundamentales between articuli fundamentales primarii and secundarii, but, as we saw already, further on in his paragraph on justification, he encounters this distinction again in the works of later Lutheran orthodoxy. His main source is here Joh. Wilh. Baier. In his Compendium Theologiae Positivae, Prolegomenon Cap. I (‘De natura et constitutione theologiae’), in §29 he declares as part of the fundamentum fidei “Christus, quatenus est causa nostrae salutis”, in §32 under the articuli primarii the “articulus de Christo merito et satisfactione” as well as – although not the res itself, yet closely linked with it – the “articulus de Iustificatione seu remissione peccatorum per Christum impetranda, deque fide, per quam impetratur (achieved) remissio peccatorum”, but in §33 under the articuli secundarii the article “de iustificatione per fidem, excluso operum merito” – for, he argues (under siglum ‘i’), it is possible that someone believes in salvation in Christ without in any way knowing the manner of salvation. However, it is, of course, not allowed to deny this truth.50 The other sources Barth refers to are David Hollaz51 and (less correctly!) Io. Franc. Buddeus.52 Barth here judges as follows: “this certainly betrays a lessening of interest in the subject [of justification], and would undoubtedly have earned the censure of Luther himself.”

Among the members of the Swiss ‘reasonable orthodox’ triumvirate, it was Jean-Alphonse Turrettini who wrote a major contribution on the issue of the articuli fundamentales.53 Turrettini returns to the original intentions of Hunn and Calixt: the union with other Protestants, particularly the Reformed and the Lutherans. A determination of the kernel of faith is helpful to remove all minor objections that might be an obstacle to peace with others. That there are essentials must be proven from nature and from Scripture (Chap. II). The Symbolum Apostolicum, recommended by Calixt as a basic source, is burdened by an uncertain historical origin and moreover contains too many parts that are not primary at all (Chap. III.6).54 Only God is able to determine what the fundamentals are, but it is evident that the articles have to be clear, commonly shared, and free from scholastic subtleness (Chap. IV.4). One can deny that there is a foundation; however, one can also build too much on the foundations (Chap. IV.9).55 With the Church of Rome there remains a fundamental difference (Chap. VIII), but with the Lutherans, an agreement, also on the controversial points of the presentia realis, the communicatio ideomatum, and the praedestinatio, is in every respect possible, as S. Werenfels on the Reformed and Chr. Matth. Pfaff on the Lutheran side have already shown. Therefore: do not unnecessarily magnify the matter!56 Alexander Schweizer concludes:

“Here we have in the midst of Geneva the aspiration of Arminius of a century before: a reduction of the dogmas to practical, useful main points, toleration of different opinions in all other questions, especially in the two opinions on predestination – and all this taught from the mouth of a recognized representative of the academia, without any contradiction by other members.”57

It is significant that the doctrine of justification does not appear anywhere in this disquisitio (study). It is significant too that J.-A. Turrettini rejects the view that the articuli fundamentales must be discerned through the method of the analogia fidei. That older conception teaches that the weight of every article must be correlated separately with the tendency of Scripture as a whole and with the doctrine of the Church as it is instructed by the Holy Spirit and that there is a connection between the different articles in the one faith. Without mentioning his name, the son here aims at the convictions of his father Franciscus too.58 Jean-Alphonse simply and harshly declares: an appeal to this rule of “faith” is the same as that of the “systems of the theologians”!59 But we do not seek our concord in the field of dogmatics anymore! The more cautious and conservative ally of Jean-Alphonse in Halle, Buddeus, hesitates to follow him fully on this point. He does not want to give up the contents of dogmatics totally. But he also acknowledges the untenability of the old method of analogia fidei. Therefore he proposes an alternative: we compare (i.e., we find analogies) what the different confessions diagnose as their fundamental articles, with the reality of what can be observed as the kernel of Christian faith that they in fact have in common (the fundamentum dogmaticum).60 We may presume that doing so, Buddeus was moving from a loci-dogmatics to a real theological system, qualified by one principle (as in the ensuing philosophical systems of the Enlightenment and German idealism), functioning as the essence of Christianity in the midst of the various existing religions.61

  • 4 The Doctrine of Justification with J.Fr. Buddeus (and a Little on J.L. von Mosheim) in Germany – Against the Backgroundof D. Hollaz and H. Witsius

To be able to assess the status questionis of the doctrine of justification in the Institutiones of Buddeus, we first must examine the shape this doctrine received in later Lutheran orthodoxy. While it was widely accepted in mainstream Lutheranism of that time, we find this shape most prominently in the Examen of David Hollaz († 1713).

Pars III of this work, De principiis et mediis salutis, is divided in two sections. It strikes us that not only the Word (of Law and Gospel) but also faith in Christ are treated here in the second section, under the heading of the means of salvation (Pars III, Sectio II Capita I-II and VII respectively). What has been constitutive in the teaching of Luther – the liberating address of Christ in his Word that is accepted through grace by faith – seems to be merely supportive here. Moreover, in the first section, on the principles of salvation, the aspect of justification appears only as the fourth step (of a total of seven) of the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit applying grace.62 In this way the illumination, conversion, and regeneration of man are presented as presuppositions before being able to undergo or be faced with his justification.63 Man receives a new understanding by illumination, and by regeneration a good desire is  brought about in his heart. Thus his will is liberated to wish to believe. After that justification by faith may be seen as the actualisation of these potencies of regeneration.64 It is clear that the influence of the pietists on Hollaz can be seen here, although he never mentions them explicitly.65

Therefore the definition of justification says that it is “an act of grace, in which the most righteous and most merciful God acts for man, who is indeed a sinner”– with the remark: thus, Deus iustificat impium, Rom 4:5; “but, although accused because of guilt and subject to punishment, yet converted and regenerated” – with the remark: iustificat Deus impium non persistentem in impietate…, sed per legem divinam conversum… etc.66 The other elements of the definition sound perfectly reformational: we hear of the acting out of sheer mercy because of the satisfaction and the merit of Christ; we hear of true faith, of forgiveness of sin and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ. But at the same time the basic intention has already been expressed: the iustificatio regenitorum appears to be far more interesting than the iustificatio impii! When we quoted Barth above, about the (pietistic) “doctrine of a directly infused and possibly experiencable [erfahrbaren] supranatural reality of grace” and about a certain development, as we can observe with Calixt, in which a “moral disposition and sentiment acquire an independence quite alien to the Reformers”,67 all this can be affirmed by reading Hollaz as well.

Now Alister McGrath is of the opinion that “the Reformed school is considerably closer to Luther than Lutheranism is”.68 That may be true in some respects, but it does not imply that later Reformed orthodoxy has been immune from the influence of (its own types of ) pietism. As an example we will study this here below with Herman Wits, a moderate federal theologian (although not of its Cocceian branch),69 who has in turn influenced Buddeus.70 Witsius’ definition of justification reads as follows: “the juridical, but graceful act of God, through which the elected and believing sinner is acquitted from the guilt of his sins, and the right of eternal life is credited to him based on the obedience of Christ, as accepted by faith” (my italics).71 With Hollaz, justification can refer either to the ungodly or to the regenerate sinner. Witsius pays attention to the ungodly only in the sense that he sees him appear at a stage before his regeneration, in which he receives faith, and after that he will soon be justified through faith.72 For that reason Witsius is able to declare in the explanation of his definition that the union with Christ by faith precedes the imputation of the righteousness of Christ.73 For a gratia inhaerens exists in regenerate man not based on his own dignity, nor on any sanctity derived from the rule of the Law but based on the work of the Holy Spirit in the elect. Therefore the warning of the apostle James (2:24) should be listened to carefully: Abraham is justified not only by his faith but also by his works, and so it is also necessary for the sinner to be justified sola fide and porro (further) by his works, i.e., that it can be declared that he in fact (empirically?) appears to be regenerate, faithful, and holy. Without this second justification by works, the first one is only idle and imaginary.74 Can we really say that this conception is ‘closer to Luther’ than that of the Lutheran contemporaries of Witsius?

In all the loci of his main work, Buddeus, just like the congenial Mosheim, seriously accounts for his argument vis-à-vis the Lutheran confessional documents. So in the fourth part of his Institutiones Theologicae Dogmaticae, chapter four,75 we find a purely forensic definition of justification in §5,76 a reminder of the merely passive character of faith in the man who receives the imputation of the righteousness of Christ in §10,77 a decisive rejection of the Osiandric interpretation of the righteousness of Christ as a iustitia essentialis in accordance with the Formula Concordia in §11,78 and a taking distance from all those who neglect the doctrine of Paul on the merit of Christ without any works on our part in §17.79

As we said earlier, again and again the conservative habit of this man prevents doctrinal catastrophes. But at the same time, Budde is in no way a man like V.E. Löscher. Indeed, he was fighting with the pietists against that representative of unvarying orthodoxy.80 And therefore in the unfolding of his doctrine of salvation, he is, to be sure, more cautious than Hollaz in starting this part with a chapter on faith,81 but in effect he does show faith to be produced by regeneration and conversion too (Cap. III §16).82 Faith is the kernel of spiritual life (Cap. III §19), and thus the essence of spiritual potencies. One who is regenerated, will also soon been justified (Cap. III §26)83 – in that order. For, as shown in the corresponding passage in the chapter on justification, the transformation that a person has to undergo in regeneration is a presupposition of his justification: justification does not create, but presupposes faith, and faith, as has been said, is produced by regeneration (Cap. IV §4).84 When faith is not there on our part, the righteousness and obedience of Christ do not work (Cap. IV §9).85 And because faith can only be found in the regenerated person, only that regenerated person can be a justified man (Cap. IV §12).86 But, we may ask, what is the value of all those orthodox assurances on the forensic character of justification without any inherent quality on the side of man, of the passivity of faith in receiving justification, of the rejection of any essential righteousness or any cooperation of works in the acceptance of grace, when before justification such things as an inherent quality, an essential virtue, a desire for doing justice are, in a cooperation of nature and grace, already there in man? This is either a very paradoxical situation, or in effect a suspension of the formally confessed importance of the doctrine of justification.87

Again, and in a very pronounced way, we are here dealing with the Janus face (mentioned earlier) of this doctrine in the current of reasonable orthodoxy. It seems to take a very wise and moderate middle-of-the-road position between the attacks against justification of radical pietists like Johann Konrad Dippel on the one hand88 and the extremes of the concentration on the “blood of the lamb” by Graf von Zinzendorf on the other.89 But in effect, is it really a middle of the road position? Or is it merely a very civilised, seemingly honourable, and subtle attempt to eliminate an essential discovery of the Reformation?90

Buddeus’s chapter on justification ends with a warning (Cap. IV §18): this doctrine should not be used as an excuse to leave the security of the flesh untouched.91 The same warning already has been found above in Werenfels.92 But Werenfels did not consider it useful to accompany it with an (exegetically grounded) elaboration of a doctrine of justification. In fact Buddeus did what Werenfels neglected to do. But is the result very different in the end?

5. The Doctrine of Grace and Justification with S. Werenfels, J.-Fr. Ostervald and J.A. Turrettini

As we turn to the Reformed-Swiss, “reasonably orthodox” theologians, we will start with a look at the nine theses on Converting Grace by Samuel Werenfels.93 Here too we see the sensitive question whether any disposition exists in man which precedes receiving divine grace.94 Here too we find a Janus face. On the one side we hear: this grace that works conversion in man is per se efficax (Thesis 1). When the gospel is preached to man, not only is remission of sins offered to him under the condition of faith and repentance on his part, but effective grace itself in the form of faith and repentance is offered simultaneously (Thesis 2). Never should the credit for this offer be attributed to an inner disposition within man (Thesis 6). But on the other side it is said: man can exclude himself from grace by obstinately refusing the divine offer (Thesis 3). This refusal becomes visible when a man neglects the means of desiring salvation that God ordinarily provides in his common and prevenient grace (Thesis 4). As long as we do not know our personal condition in this respect, the best attitude is to start from the supposition that one belongs to the normal cases and that God will honour our use of the preparatory means he provided (Theses 8-9). To conclude, when reading these theses it does not ultimately become clear, whether, in the eyes of the author, grace is conditional or unconditional, or perhaps it is supposed to be both at the same time. Wilhelm Gaß is right: in the long term such a position satisfies nobody.

In a Reformed climate the question of the (un)conditionality of grace cannot be answered without taking a position in the debate on predestination. As already mentioned in another context, Werenfels contributed to this in his anonymous pamphlet that eventually even reached Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia.95 In this he starts with the observation –not unusual in (some) Reformed circles96 – that an unregenerate man may have second thoughts within himself when he realizes that he cannot contribute anything to his own conversion (475), that the beginning, middle, and end of it is not his own, but exclusively God’s work, and that he is not able to do more for it than a dead man could for his resurrection. The only way out seems to be that he flees to God, crying for mercy. However, precisely because he is not born again, it is impossible that the fruits of grace as, e.g., the works of prayer and improvement of life, would be his own for him. Obviously he can only leave it in the hands of God and his eternal decree whether it will be given to him to convert. Because it is not consistent to presume that God should only provide him with the means to convert and leave the use of these means to his own free will (476), there rests only the doctrine that God in eternity has made a decision on the regeneration or non-regeneration of each man. But in that situation, the unregenerate man will lose all zeal to do anything for his conversion.

Up to this point in his Scrupulus, Werenfels seems to argue fully in favour of the orthodox Reformed doctrine (477). But then a break appears in his argument. Most theologians, he says, will only provide the unregenerate man with a harsh answer. Some others will warn him not to ask for the hidden will of God but to hold on to his revealed will. But this doesn’t offer any comfort at all either because it is precisely this that God has revealed, namely that an unregenerate man is not able to convert (478). So why should we preach this doctrine from the pulpits anymore? Indeed, we have to seek for a more radical way to deal with this dogma (479). Very wise was the advice of Myconius (the fellow-worker of Zwingli), to Bibliander, only to teach the rule that believers will be saved and the ungodly condemned and to avoid telling the people anything more than this. Otherwise only misunderstanding can arise. Following the advice of Myconius, three advantages present themselves: (1) the Reformed preachers will avoid the confusing issue that can only lead either to desperation or to a false security; (2) they have room to preach about affairs that are far more useful, because in our churches we certainly do not have to deal with Pelagians, who overestimate the powers for conversion in men, but rather with people that have to been stimulated to use all their potencies (my italics),97 (480); and (3) the peace with the Lutherans, who are very sensible in this field, will have been promoted (481). Because of this “solution” to the doctrine of predestination as the stumbling-block for a moralistic age, Alexander Schweizer concludes: Castellio has definitely won over Calvin!98 And Paul Wernle proclaims: behold, Erasmus has returned to Basel!99

For Jean-Frédéric Ostervald, the man of the church, who gave his city Neuchâtel a new catechism, a new liturgy, and a new Bible translation in French among other things, we look at his Traité des sources de la Corruption, which first appeared anonymously in Amsterdam in 1700.100 In this treatise, written for the general public, we encounter an attractive and in a certain sense modern rhetoric. In terms of its content, it warns against the causes of corruption in Christianity, but in its preface the presupposition is stated that it is actually possible for man to banish sin from the world and to overcome the obstacles to a more holy Christian life. And with that it offers a series of wise and practical suggestions and warnings. The belief which is for the most part rejected is that there are objectives that cannot be fulfilled and necessary changes in life that cannot be implemented. In this connection the doctrine of justification is never characterized as essentially wrong, it is true, but time and again warnings are raised against the kinds of misunderstanding of it that can easily arise, and the kinds of misuse that easily can be made of it. Following the first four chapters of the first part, we are confronted with the following argument.101 (1) There is ignorance with regard to the truth and duties of Christianity. Unfortunately, theologians in their teaching at times neglect the general principles of religion and instead occupy themselves with sometimes fully useless, particular dogmas. As if, for instance, a specific doctrine like that of justification does not depend directly on several general principles! (4). However, scholasticism would always obscure the clear doctrine of the Gospel at the expense of the image of theology, which would thus appear to be a very obscure discipline (23). The priority of doctrine above the duties of Christian life is harmful too, for all diminution of good works affects the foundation of religion itself (27), which consists in the necessity of sanctification (30) and the continuous training in it (37). (2) The prejudices and false ideas of religion are manifold. It is falsely said that religion should only focus on the comfort of knowing salvation (48), should be reduced to confidence in divine mercy and the merits of Christ (51), and that it is indulgent towards laxity and indolence (54). The most abhorrent attitude (73) is that of the quietists or mystics (in the extreme wing of Reformed meekness), who are only capable of stressing their own inability (“I am not able, I am not willing” etc.), which is in full contradiction to the message of Holy Scripture, which everywhere appeals to industry, action and improvement of life (78). (3) Then there are the maxims and the feelings one falsely uses to favour the decline of religion. One of these is the thesis, faith alone is necessary for salvation, setting aside good works (83). Or there is this cherishing of one’s own impotence: with the excuse that in the end sanctity is impossible, one neglects to do anything in the direction of it (86). Or, to avoid all bad pride, one deprives man of any courage at all (103). Or one apologizes for one’s imperfection, without doing anything to change (108ff.). (4) Abominably, one also misuses Holy Scripture as a pretext for ungodly behaviour. Two points particularly demand attention in this respect. The first one is the misuse of Paul’s doctrine of justification by eliminating all goods works. The prejudice which thinks that faith is only a matter of confidence is one of the most peculiar thoughts that have ever been conceived (128). However, we have to understand the polemics of the apostle in a specific context: he wanted to let go of the ceremonial laws of Judaism and was correct in doing so. But for us, who are no longer heathens, but are capable of being regenerated, this struggle lacks any urgency (130). On the contrary, we urgently need to stress good works, which is also found in the epistles of Paul. The second point consists of rejecting the doctrine that all people have fallen in a state of inability to do anything good. However, when David says “there is no one who does good” (Psalm 14:1; cf. Rom 3:10), he is only speaking of his own days (144). And Paul, when he describes the weakness of his will as “of the flesh, under sin” in Romans 7:14, is not speaking of himself as a regenerate man, but for other people, looking back at a condition before conversion – an explanation that is defended by some orthodox authors too (153).

To conclude, we cannot say Ostervald attacks the Reformed doctrine of justification as such. He only makes statements to avoid many misunderstandings of it. But at the same time he fails to offer a positive exposition of it, and we do not find any argument in his treatise concerning why justification should have its own rightful place beside sanctification. Therefore, one may well ask whether it is correct to still call this reasonable orthodox clergyman orthodox.102

Finally we come to Jean-Alphonse Turrettini. We will look at his lectures at the Genevan Academy on chapters 1-11 of the letter to the Romans, which were published posthumously (four years after his death).103 Rather than the popular style of Ostervald, we here encounter a scholarly attitude and a nuanced approach. Nevertheless we can observe how Turrettin makes every effort to show the simplicity of the Gospel, so very different from a man like Luther who could not avoid to resort to using paradoxes. Certainly this professor is proud to be an heir to the Reformation in a well-known Reformed city, and his knowledge of the reformers is notable, and it includes knowledge of their polemics with the Church of Rome about the issue of justification (170). But at the same time he fails to articulate the remarkable differences between his own explanation of the letter of the apostle and that of the reformers, even if he was aware of these differences. On the other hand, as in the rest of his works he is driven by an apologetic ambition that was alien to the sixteenth century but characteristic for his own age. Thus he sees Paul’s famous rhetorical questions in Romans 6 – “should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound?” (vs. 1) and “should we sin because we are not under law but under grace?” (vs. 15) – as theses that the enemies of Christianity or the Jews could raise against the apostolic doctrine of grace, as a doctrine that paralyses any virtuous action (214, 222).104 In the end his intentions are congruent with those of both of his friends in the Swiss triumvirate.

In presenting the main statement of the letter in Rom 1:16 “for the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith”, Turrettin complains about the preachers of his days that obscure this power of the Gospel. Quite as his companion Ostervald did in his Traité, he blames Christianity for ignorance, for asking useless speculative questions, for a mere ritual conception of religion, for a false notion of faith and divine mercy, and for losing oneself in less spiritual matters. He gladly refers to the writings of his friend Werenfels in this connection.105 Therefore it is clear that the younger Turrettini also acknowledges the dangers of teaching the doctrine of justification vis-à-vis practical life and doing good works. However, he tries to give a serious explanation of the intentions behind this doctrine, as he reads them in Paul’s letter to the Romans. We will pay attention to the following seven places in his explanation, in the hope that we will discover what he saw as these intentions.

(1) Romans 1:17, the Righteousness of God. The justitia Dei, Turrettini argues on philological grounds, is (a) not the specific divine attribute, (b) that can be characterized as justitia distributiva or vindicatrix, but (c) it is “the justification of man, with which man is deemed to be just before God and with which he becomes a participant of salvation” (56). In the first part of this description (a) Turrettini differs from Luther, for in the latter’s famous figure of the ‘happy exchange’ [fröhliche Wechsel], in reality Christ’s act of self-sacrifice , in which the Son takes upon himself all the properties of human sinfulness, a transfer is meant of divine properties such as justice (sc. as justitia vindicatrix, not as justitia distrubutiva) and freedom to man, which man was totally lacking in before.106 In the second part (b) Turrettini differs from Luther as well as from Calvin, in the sense that in the course of his commentary – although he explains the verb justificare in a forensic and not in a physical sense (164) – he yet continuously plays down the divine act of justification as a tribunal, a verdict (with a very unexpected outcome), which was such an important image for the reformers.107 In effect (c), the doctrine of redemption thus positively receives the mark of the ‘ethical’ variant: God is faithful to his promises and in the end he will provide man with the means of obtaining salvation (153).

(2) Romans 1:16-17 and 3:21-22: justification by faith. Faith, Turrettini declares, is “the most firm persuasion of those things that God has revealed and promised, through which it comes about that we can lean on God and surrender ourselves to his guidance” (45). It is not a naked assent, or an assent to speculative truths, but a lively, firm, effective assent, by which we have confidence in Gods promises (45). In Scripture the word has different meanings, but the most adequate one in Paul is that of a condition for the covenant of grace and for justification, which because of its effectiveness necessarily draws to itself the doing of good works (157). For it contains, very generally speaking, such aspects as knowledge of God, fear of the Lord and love of God (169 q. 4), and with the aspect of love all good works are also implied, including that of penance, because it is itself a good work too (169 q. 5). In all this, faith can be characterized as a dispositio animi, a disposition of the soul (164), an expression which, like that of conditio, converges with the anthropological conception of faith as the kernel of spiritual life which Buddeus mentioned above. With respect to the seeming contradiction between Paul and James, Turrettini denies the incompatibility of the doctrines of both apostles, for with James faith is actually a naked assent, and in that constellation it is necessary to add good works to faith, while in Paul’s effective conception of faith works are already implied in it, that is to say, as the good works of the gospel, not those of the law.108

(3) Romans 4:4-5: justifying the ungodly:

“for him, who does not look to being justified by works, who knows that works are not perfect, and who ‘believes in him who justifies the ungodly’, i.e., who puts all his confidence in the mercy and promises of God, knowing that God in his grace also  receives ungodly people, even the most terrible sinners, when they return to him and do penance, of such a man, the apostle says, it can optimally be said that ‘his faith is reckoned as righteousness’” (176).

In such a reproduction of the justificatio impii there remains little reason for astonishment, for the sinner appears to be capable of quite a lot of achievements: confidence, knowledge, penance, which all are aspects of faith as a good work. What remains here of the radical justitia aliena of the reformers109 and of their insight that all people are to be reckoned as impii?110

(4) Romans 6:14: you are not under law but under grace. (a) Already in the introduction to his commentary, Turrettini has argued: the basic controversy in this letter is, “what is the best reason to please God and to acquire felicity: the observation of the Mosaic Law, or the faith which is provided by the Gospel? The Jews claim the first reason…” (9). In this way the whole dispute between Law and Gospel is fully historicised, comparable with the argument we already met in Ostervald’s exegesis: being ‘under the law’ as sinners is related to the ceremonial laws of Moses, which have been abolished with the coming of Christ, and only some Christians who are judaïzantes in the congregation of Rome do not yet want to understand that (222). (b) On the other side, according to Turretin it is true that there are some legal aspects that have remained within the scope of the Gospel too, as far as they are related to the good works that are implications of faith. (a) The first, historicising, argument, we may observe, is far removed from Luther’s temptations in his struggle with the law.111 (b) And the second argument about the remaining importance of the commandments in Christian life seems to neglect Calvin’s notion that not only justification, but also sanctification is fully a gift of God, realized for us in Christ.112

(5) Romans 7:13-14: the Law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. When the apostle here uses the first person, Turrettini has already explained in his comments on verse 13, and repeats this again in the comment on the 14th verse, he certainly does not mean himself as a pious and faithful person (246). But he uses a rhetorical figure to make an impression on his readers. He seems to identify himself with the Jews, or with sinners, as if he were still existing before his own conversion, but he does so by a way of substitution that actually is impossible, for it is contrary to his real state (249). It is therefore clear that Turrettin – on this point too in full accordance with Ostervald – is not able to agree with ‘many theologians and interpreters’, especially with Augustine, who understands this verse to refer to a regenerate man (249, too). For after justification, the life of the regenerate is safeguarded precisely from such struggles with sin as the apostle is describing. It becomes a monotonous story, but also in this respect, we have to say, the ‘reasonable orthodox’ theologian deviates from the view of his predecessors in the Reformation era.113

(6) Romans 9:19: who can resist his will? One could expect that Turretin would experience some difficulties in explaining the rather harsh expressions of Paul vis-à-vis the presuppositions of the gift of grace in the council of the Lord. Actually, Turretin is willing to acknowledge the importance of the apostle stressing the liberty and the sovereignty of God in his acts of election and reprobation, but he explicitly takes distance from the conclusion of ‘many theologians’ (including, of course, his own father!) of the existence of an eternal, absolute and double decree of election and reprobation (319 on Romans 9:19-20). Undoubtedly the ‘Erasmian’ interest in the human will’s own place and right beside the divine will plays a part behind this turn. And indeed, in his argument regarding Paul’s debate on the relationship of the Jews and the Gentiles as the firstborn and the latter born – about the first that shall be the last and the last that shall be the first, Turretin attaches importance to the grounds for the divine action in the human actors themselves: the disobedience of the Jews and the conversion of the Gentiles. Although he is free, God will never act against his own virtues of justice, wisdom, goodness etc., and therefore he rewards all people according to their works: the Jews according to their unbelief, the Gentiles according to their belief (see the concluding remarks on the ninth chapter, 324-326). In this way Erasmus with his doctrine of the free will of man was ultimately gaining the victory, not only in Werenfels’ city of Bern, but also in J.-A. Turrettini’s city of Geneva.114

(7) Romans 10:17: so faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the Preaching of Christ. The last passage in the commentary of Turrettini we will mention here is remarkable, because he is actually silent on it, or rather he uses only very few words. His only remark is this: the fact that the Jews and ungodly Gentiles could have heard the preaching of the apostle prevents them from being excused from not knowing how to be obedient to their Lord (340-341). Turrettini seems to be completely unaware of the deep connection Luther once argued for between God speaking his Word on the one side and the awakening of faith in the human soul on the other.115 Meanwhile the deeply rooted conception that faith is a spiritual condition or a disposition of the soul that precedes justification, prevented him – and with him the great majority of his contemporaries – from remembering the reformational insight that faith positively is a responding existential act. And perhaps that is the main theological reason, why he, as all the other ‘reasonable orthodox’ theologians, failed to offer a real alternative to reformational doctrine in areas where he had valid objections to it (as on the topos of the decretum absolutum). Thus what Barth said about Turrettini’s friend Samuel Werenfels is true for Jean-Alphonse Turrettini as well:116 he was in a position to renew theology from the perspective of a new biblical hermeneutics, but unfortunately the moralistic program of his age was too strong and prevented him from effecting this kind of improvement of the reformational movement from within.

  • Conclusion

There would have been many reasons to give an inspiring sketch of the progressive contributions of the ‘theologians of the transition period’ in the early eighteenth century within the whole of the successio apostolorum et prophetarum. However, in this paper we wanted to assess Karl Barth’s assertion in the years 1932-1936 and especially in his inaugural address on Samuel Werenfels of 1936, that the reformational preaching of justification functioned as a stumbling-block to them – and we could only affirm this assumption. The tendency of their age was most explicitly articulated by J.-Fr. Ostervald: he never attacks the doctrine of justification as such, but neither does he develop it. Instead he warns of any misunderstanding of it that might paralyse the active renewal of Christian life. Along this same line S. Werenfels in his constructive efforts marvellously

achieved both the (orthodox) unconditionality and the (modern) conditionality of grace at the same time. Joh. Fr. Buddeus, although a much more skilled dogmatician, succeeded in maintaining an interesting proposal on teaching the declarative function of the forgiveness of sins, yet at the same time one may ask whether this declaration is really indispensable for him to the spiritual development of regenerate man on the way to sanctification or rather a surplus, founded on the natural capacities of man, that – in a next, less cautious generation – might be omitted without hindering the development of religious life as such. In conclusion, we saw the view with J.-A. Turretin that faith, very broadly conceived as a disposition of the soul, will be provided with the virtue of the righteousness that God has promised the soul, without there being any need of a divine judgement and without this righteousness being a gift that is alien to a corrupted soul.

Barth saw his remembrance of the fate of ‘reasonable orthodoxy’ as a warning for the third decade of the twentieth century, a time in which it was worth struggling for the main decision of the Reformation in a new way. And what might one say about this in our own time?


1 ‘Scrupulus de praedestinatione’, in: Samuelis Werenfeldis Opuscula, Lausannae & Genevae:

Marci-Michaelis Bousquet & Sociorum, 1739, Tomus I, (473-481) 480.

2 As we know, the course was edited under the title Die protestantische Theologie im 19. Jahrhundert.

Ihre Vorgeschichte und ihre Geschichte, Zurich: EVZ 1947 after the Second World War. For V.E. Loscher, see 118-120. English translation: Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century, London: SCM 1972, 139-141. In his inaugural address ‘Samuel Werenfels (1657-1740) und die Theologie seiner Zeit’, Evangelische Theologie 3 (1936), (180-203) 183, Barth mentions the right-wing Voetian theologian Melchior Leydecker in Utrecht as the reformed counterpart of the Wittenberger Loscher.

3 K. Barth, Prot. Theol. (ref. 2), 120-135 (141-156). Moreover, in his lecture on Werenfels (ref. 2.), 183, Barth mentions the polemical figure of Joh. Jakob Zimmermann (Zurich) and the Cocceian apologist Salomon van Til (Leiden).

4 K. Barth, Prot. Theol. (ref. 2), 123 (144).

5 That is, e.g., the opinion of the Dutch theologian Rudolf Boon. See his book Ons cultureel draagvlak. Wat is ermee gebeurd?, Soesterberg: Aspekt 2008, 200-201.

6 Presumably Barth had no active knowledge of this phenomenon before. Yet in Die Kirchliche Dogmatik I/1, 128 (Church Dogmatics I/1, 124) he mentions several later orthodox theologians of the seventeenth century and then records in a quite general way “the catastrophic crash of orthodoxy in the eighteenth century, as the collapse of a house whose foundations are going way”.

7 K. Barth, Prot. Theol. (ref. 2), Foreword: “When the Hitler regime dawned, I happened to be occupied with J.J. Rousseau” (§5).

8 K. Barth, ‘Das erste Gebot als theologisches Axiom’, in: Zwischen den Zeiten 11 (1933) 4, 297-314; also in: Theologische Fragen und Antworten (Gesammelte Vorträge III), Zurich: TVZ 1957, (127-143)137.

9 K. Barth, ‘abschied’, in: Zwischen den Zeiten 11 (1933) 6, 536-544; also in: J. Moltmann (ed.), Anfänge der dialektischen Theologie II, Munchen: Kaiser 1977, (313-321) 315.

10 K. Barth, ‘Abschied’ (ref. 9), 316-317.

11 K. Barth, ‘Nein!’ Antwort an Emil Brunner (Theologische Existenz heute 14), Munchen: Kaiser 1934, 46.

12 K. Barth, ibid., 41. For the Theses de theologia naturali in genere of Jean Alphonse Turrettini cf. F.H. Breukelman, The Structure of Sacred Doctrine in Calvin’s Theology, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 2010, 237-240.

13 K. Barth, ‘Nein!’ (ref. 11), 38.

14 Cf. in chapter V on the knowledge of God K. Barth, KD II/1, 151 (CD II/1, 136).

15 K. Barth, KD I/2, 5 (CD I/2, 4). Barth here mentions Buddeus and Pfaff in Germany and the triumvirate in Switzerland, but also the theologians of the school of Chr. Wolff later on in the eighteenth century.

16 Although I have discussed the question with Hinrich Stoevesandt, it has not been clear to me whether Barth still taught §17 of the CD in Bonn or only in Basel. Presumably he started that paragraph during the winter semester of 1934/35, but could not finish it, and then started it again in the winter semester of 1935/36 in Basel. [[Addition for this website: K. Barth, Vorträge und  kleinere Arbeiten 1934-1935, Zürich: TVA 2017, 550 tells: ‚Am Nachmittag des 26. November [1934] schrieb Barth an seinem Dogmatik-Kolleg. Das erhaltene Manuskriptblatt zu dem Abschnitt, der im Druck KD I/2, 335-340 entspricht, bricht mit dem Verweis auf Jer. 31,33 geschriebenen Worten „Kraft Gottes“ mitten im Satz ab. Darunter ist mit Bleistift in Barths Handschrift vermerkt: ‚Hier erreichte mich der telephonische Anrufes Kurators mit der Nachricht von meiner Suspension.!‘]]

17 K. Barth, KD I/2, 313-317 (CD I/2, 288-291). Besides the works of Buddeus and Van Til, Barth also uses the analysis of A.F. Stolzenburg, Die Theologie des Jo. Franz. Buddeus und des Chr. Matth. Pfaff, Berlin: Trowitzsch & Sohn 1926 (cf. ZDTh Suppl. Series 4 (2010), 199). For Buddeus on religion and revelation, cf. also F.H. Breukelman (ref. 12), 234-237.

18 K. Barth, Samuel Werenfels (ref. 2).

19 Karl Barth – Eduard Thurneysen Briefwechsel (GA V), Vol. 3, 1930-1935, Zurich: TVZ 2000, 320 (Letter 23rd December 1932). Cf. K. Barth, Prot. Theol. (ref. 2), 124 (144-145).

20 Yet in the Einführung in die evangelische Theologie, Zurich: TVZ 1962, 127, Barth speaks about “the fatal turn [verhängnisvolle Wende] from the seventeenth to the eighteenth century”. Barth is consistent in maintaining this thesis, although he would reconsider his assessment of Pietism, particularly in CD IV/2 (see the Preface). Cf. E. Busch, Karl Barth und die Pietisten, Munchen: Kaiser 1978.

21 K. Barth, KD IV/1, §61.1, ‘The Problem of the Doctrine of Justification’, 582 (CD IV/1, 522).

22 From the literature used by Barth we mention: W. Gas, Geschichte der protestantischen Dogmatik in ihrem Zusammenhang mit der Theologie überhaupt, Vol. 3, Die Zeit des Ubergangs, Berlin: Reimer 1862, 275-289; the lemma ‘Werenfels’ in the Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche (PRE), 3rd ed., Leipzig: Hinrichs 1908, Vol. XXI (E. Vischer); and P. Wernle, Der schweizerische Protestantismus im 18. Jahrhundert, Vol. 1, Das reformierte Staatskirchentum und seine Auslaufer (Pietismus und vernunftige Orthodoxie), Tubingen:

Mohr Siebeck 1923, 522-524 (and see the index). In his letter to Thurneysen of December 1932 (ref. 19) Barth already complains that the category “Auslaufer” from “our old friend (or enemy) Wernle” neglects the wonderful materials he offers himself, and fails to show how reasonable orthodoxy can be adequately explained. Cf. K. Barth, Werenfels (ref. 2), ref. 5 on 184.

23 Besides editions of Werenfels’ Sermons and his Letters, Barth made extensive use of the Opuscula theologica, philosophica and philologica in three volumes, Basel: Thurneysen 1782. As mentioned above in ref. 1, we used the Lausanne/Geneva edition in two volumes of 1739 (In addition we used a Dutch translation of the fourteen dissertationes: Bondel van theologische verhandelingen door den Heere Samuel Werenfels, Amsterdam: Balthazar Lakeman 1723). Werenfels (ref. 2), 85, ref. 6 to the Dissertatio de scopo doctoris in academia S. Literas docentis, refers in that edition to Op. I, (357-374) 372: “a nobis malum incepit; videndum, ut a nobis incipiat

magna illa Christianismi reformatio; quae unicum hodie votum et desiderium est tot piarum animarum.” (“We caused the evil; therefore, it is up to us to show, how that great reformation of Christendom that today is desired by so many pious souls, can be started”).

24 Werenfels (ref. 2), 184. Interesting in this respect is also reference 15 on 189: Samuel Werenfels had to break with his father, the important antistes and professor Peter Werenfels, just like his friend Jean Alphonse Turrettini in Geneva had to break with his very famous father, the orthodox Reformed theologian Franciscus Turrettini (the formula consensus against the school of Saumur of 1675, drafted and introduced in the churches by the father, was suspended by the son!). Since that time generation after generation of liberal sons have been rising up against their allegedly orthodox fathers, as if the struggle of that time must infinitely be repeated.

25 Zinzendorf (ref. 8 on 185) was prepared to ask Werenfels to be the leader of the Unity of the Brethren in Basel; Voltaire received a dedicating epigram from Werenfels (‘in Henriadem’; ref. 10 on 186; cf. Op. II, 566); and Friedrich Wilhelm received an anonymous pamphlet on predestination, written by Werenfels: cf. Op. I, 475-481: Scrupulus de predestinatione (see below, par. 5 of this paper).

26 This is the opinion of Ernst Troeltsch and his school, which Barth rejects. It is clear that he refuses as well to take the question of the threat of the ‘modern scientific world view’ too seriously, Cf. ref. 17 on 190-191. In favour of that hesitation he argues that Werenfels could defend the biblical miracles in such a way that they did not (yet) cause any serious problem for him; cf. Op. I, 70-92 Diss. De veritate Miraculorum in S. Scriptura narratorum, and 93-102 Solutio de Quaestionis, Num Miracula certa sint Veritatis signa.

27 Werenfels (ref. 2), 187-188. ‘Man würde modern wie im Schlaf ’ (‘they became modern as though in their sleep’), Barth quotes Wernle (Werenfels (ref. 2), 187 ref. 14; cf. K. Barth, Prot. Theol. (ref. 2), 126; 147); cf., P. Wernle, Der schweizerische Protestantismus (ref. 22), 470.

28 Werenfels (ref. 2), 188. Cf. KD II/1, 156-158 (in the translation of CD II/1, 141-142 this sociological reference has been eclipsed).

29 Werenfels (ref. 2), 189 ref. 15. Barth rightly shows that a text as the Meditatio de zelo in S. Scriptura ubique conspicio pro una Dei gloria, Op. I, 103-114, breathes a remembrance of an old Reformed atmosphere.

30 Cf. Responsio ad Quaestionem: num theologia sit theoretica, an mere practica, an theoretico-practica?, Op. II, 292-297. Werenfels (ref. 2), 192 ref. 18. See also the Dissertatio adversus carnalem securitatem, Op. I, 387ff.: a polemic against those that sin too easily is far more important than any polemic against heretics.

31 Cf. Epigrams Op. II, 494 and II, 519. Werenfels (ref. 2), 193, ref. 24.

32 Cf. Diss. de controversiis theologicis rite tractandis, Op. I, 323-342; Werenfels (ref. 2), 192, ref. 20; and the famous Diss. de logomachiis eruditorum, Op. II, 1-116; Werenfels (ref. 2), 192, ref. 22. In this respect Werenfels had his own problems, how to deal with the legal proceedings against J.J. Wettstein with his textual criticisms of Scripture. Initially he participated in the proceedings, afterwards he withdrew; Werenfels (ref. 2), 191 ref. 17 and 193 ref. 25. Barth, after having just read the biography of Harnack’s daughter Agnes Zahn-Harnack (1936), is reminded of similar behaviour (participation, ref. 17, as well as withdrawal, ref. 25, in ecclesiastical proceedings on doctrine) of his own liberal theology teacher Adolf Harnack.

33 Cf. Diss. Apologetica pro Plebe Christiana adversus doctores judicium de dogmatibis fidei illi auferentes. Op. I, 1-34; De Jure in Conscientias, ab homine non usurpando, Op. I, 35-56; Quaestio de ministris ad sacrum hoc munus admittendis, Op. I, 463-472; Werenfels (ref. 2), 195 ref. 31.

34 Cf. Diss. de ratione uniendi ecclesias protestantes, Op. I, 431-462; Werenfels (ref. 2), 195 ref. 30. More recently, Rudolf Dellsperger defended the following position: “Ich kann diese Urteile [Barths zu der vernünftigen Orthodoxie] nicht zuletzt vor dem Hintergrund des Kirchenkampfes zwar erklären, sie aber nicht unbesehen übernehmen. Man wird den Triumvirn als Theologen nicht gerecht, wenn man ihr unionstheologisch ausblendet”, see ‘Der Beitrag der ‘vernünftigen Orthodoxie’ zur innerprotestantischen Okumene. S. Werenfels, J.-Fr. Ostervald und J.-A. Turrettini als Uniontheologen’, in: H. Durchhardt & G. May (eds), Union – Konversion – Toleranz. Dimensionen der Annäherung zwischen den christlichen Konfessionen im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert, Mainz : Ph. Von Zabern 2000, (289-300) 299.

35 Cf. Diss. de scopo, quem S. Scripturae Interpres sibi proponere debet, Op. I, 343-356; Lectiones Hermeneuticae, sive de arte interpretandi Scripturam Sacram, Op. II, 329-364; Werenfels (ref. 2), 196, ref. 32.

36 One can find Werenfels’ considerations in the third part of the Dissertatio de triplici teste de Verbo Dei testante, Op. I, (138-163) 157-163. Barth praises this writing as such because of the useful points-of-view it offers (Werenfels (ref. 2), 194, ref. 29).

37 Werenfels (ref. 2), 198.

38 K. Barth, KD I/2, 597 (CD I/2, 537). Of course Barth lets Werenfels say more here than he asserts literally. For the rest, Werenfels here seems to anticipate the argument of the Dutch modern (liberal) theologian J.H. Scholten. Cf. his De leer der Hervormde Kerk in hare grondbeginselen uit de bronnen voorgesteld en beoordeeld, Vol. I, Leiden: Engels 1855, 108-219.

39 Op. I, 115-128, particularly the Appendix, ubi excutitur quaestio: cur hoc incitamenta non plus efficaciae habeant inter Christianos, Op. I, (129-137) 136-137. Werenfels (ref. 2), 199, ref. 40. See also (mentioned in the same ref. 40) the Dissertatio de Scopo, quem S. Scripturae Interpres sibi proponere debet (the lecture with which Werenfels accepted his professorship in the Old Testament in 1703), Op. I (343-355) 353-354 against the ‘misuse’ of the doctrine of Paul in the sense of antinomists and libertarians, where the dark tones of the Confessions on human corruption unfortunately are not functioning in favour of a piety of humility, but as a pretext against actual conversion.

40 Barth ends with an illustrative synopsis of the Meditatio in Psalmo III, Op. I, 401-410, and Calvin’s exposition on the same Psalm in his commentary on the book of Psalms. Werenfels (ref. 2), 202-203, ref. 49.

41 Werenfels (ref. 2), 201. At the end of his life, Werenfels voluntarily resigned as professor of New Testament to concentrate on spiritual training.

42 See above, ref. 25, and see below, par. 5 of this paper.

43 Barth suggests that Werenfels was scandalized by this dogma (Werenfels (ref. 2), 191 ref. 17) and was a Pelagian openly. This is entirely in line with Barth’s analysis of the theology of the eighteenth century as a whole. Cf. K. Barth, Prot. Theol. (ref. 2), 145 (166) about the time of the neologians, Goethe and Herder and the letter to Thurneysen (ref. 19), 320. However, here Barth fails to document his assertion.

44 Cf. O. Ritschl, Dogmengeschichte des Protestantismus, Vol. IV.8, Der interkonfessionelle Synkretismus und die Frage nach den fundamentalen Glaubensartikeln, Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1927, e.g. 231-472.

45 O. Ritschl, a.a.O., 326, with reference to Hunnius, Diascepsis theologica de fundamentali dissensu doctrinae Evangelicae-Lutheranae et Calvinianae seu Reformatae, Ed. I, Wittenberg: Helwig 1626.

46 K. Barth, KD I/2, 965-968 (CD I/2, 863-866). As is apparent elsewhere, Barth did not like O. Ritschl – nor did he consult him in this case.

47 K. Barth, KD I/2, 617-620 (CD I/2, 555-557). Cf. O. Ritschl (ref. 44) 363ff. (Barth here uses W. Gas).

48 K. Barth, KD I/2, 617 (CD I/2, 555) and 619 (and 557); in the translation, we replaced the word ‘Reformed’ in the Bromiley-version by ‘reformational’. Barth adds: “Inevitably, too, Calixt adopted a mediating position even in the question of knowledge, even in the relationship of reason and revelation”: again, thus, we meet the parallel between the doctrine of regeneration and that of natural theology, as later on that between pietism and enlightenment.

49 To discover how the “theologians of the period of transition” evaluated the contribution of Calixtus, it is instructive to study the Institutiones historiae ecclesiasticae antiquae et recentioris, Helmstedt 1755 of J.L. von Mosheim (I also found a – slightly revised – Dutch translation of this impressive work in eleven volumes: Oude en hedendaagsche kerklyke geschiedenissen, van den geboorte van Christus tot den aanvang der tegenwoordige eeuwe, Amsterdam: De Kruijf, et al. 1771-1774). In his part on the seventeenth century II.ii.1, the Chapter on the Development of the Lutheran Church, Latin 828-829 and Dutch 9, 58-71, he sketches Calixt as a man of outstanding capacities and merits, who tried to promote peace between Christians. However, he is wrong when he asserts that there was a consensus in the old Church and that an agreement exists until now between Roman Catholics and Protestants with regard to the articuli fundamentales. In this way, Mosheim pleads for a better understanding of formerly rejected and blackened positions on the one side, but on the other side he refuses to take distance from his own Lutheran confession.

50 Ioh. Giul. Baieri, Compendium theologiae positivae, Leipzig: Thomas Fritsch 1717 (Barth used the edition of 1686); cf. above (ref. 21); KD IV/1, 582 (CD IV/1, 522).

51 D. Hollaz, Examen theologicum acroamaticum universam theologiam thetico-polemicam complectens, Holmiae et Lipsiae: G. Kiesewetter 1750 (Barth used the edition of 1707), Cap. II: Prolegomenon II q. xxi sub e.

52 Io. Franciscus Buddeus, Institutiones theologiae dogmaticae, Leipzig: Thomas Fritsch 1723, Caput Primum: de religione et theologia, §33. Actually Buddeus considers justification part of the articles that should not be called primary, but that are yet very closely connected to the real foundation (sub **). So he does not call it secondary in the strict sense. About the question whether original sin should be called an Art. Fund. Sec., he is doubtful (sub ***). In conclusion, we cannot say that in this respect this generation of reasonable  orthodoxy in Lutheranism was more ‘liberal’ than the generation of Baier cum suis that preceded it.

53 J.-A. Turrettini, ‘De articulis fundamentalibus disquisitio’, in: Opera Omnia, Leovardia et Franeker: A. de Chalmot & D. Romar 1774-1776, Tomus Primus, 496-530. Turrettini also took up this disquisitio in his very popular work Nubes Testium (1719), Opera Omnia, Tomus Tertius, (1-188) 11-44. I found the following Dutch translation of this work: Wolke van getuigen voor de gematigtheit en vredelieventheid in het oordelen over Godtgeleerde zaken, en ter bevorderinge van eendracht onder de protestanten; waar voor gaet een kort en vreedsaem onderzoek der grondtwezentlijke geloofspunten ter bereidinge van den wegh tot den protestantschen vrede en onderlinge verdraegsaemheit, Delft: Adriaan Beman 1724, (1-482) 1-84. A discussion on this text can be found in A. Schweizer, Die protestantischen Centraldogmen in ihrer Entwicklung innerhalb der reformirten Kirche, Vol. II, Das 17. und 18. Jahrhundert, Zurich: Orell, et al. 1856, 784-790. Barth consulted neither J.-A. Turrettini nor Schweizer in this connection.

54 On this point the Lutherans had quite another problem, i.e., that in the Symbolum their fundamental doctrine of justification was only present in the category of the remissio peccatorum.

55 In this Jean-Alphonse resembles his father Franciscus, who accused the Socinians (in the simplicity of their confession) of a defect, and the Lutherans (in their combating the ‘syncretism’ of Calixt and his followers) of an excess; Institutio Theologiae elenchticae, Geneva: S. de Tournes 1688, Locus I, De Theologia, Qu. xiv.1-2.

56 Dutch translation (Jan Suderman) at X.2: “… opdat een vliegh geen olifant worde”.

57 A. Schweizer, Centraldogmen 1856 (ref. 53), 787. The development of the academia he sketches has become clearly visible some years ago in the Musée d’Histoire de la Réformation in Geneva.

58 Cf. Fr. Turrettini, Institutio (ref. 53), Locus I qu. Xiv.xix.: (articulorum fundamentalium haec sunt propria…) 5. “Ut ad eos reducantur omnia dogmata Theologica tanquam ad regulam, quod Apostolus [sc. Rom 12:6] vocat analogian pisteoos.”

59 Disquisitio (ref. 53), Cap. III (Falsa Notae Articulorum Fundamentalium rejiciunter): iii. “nota, qua multi utuntur, ad fundamentalia et non fundamentalia distinguenda, ab Analogia, quam vocant, Fidei, seu, quod idem est (!!), a Systematibus Theologicis, desumitur.”

60 Buddeus, Institutiones (ref. 52), §32, pp. 58-59: “methodus nostra, qua utimur, ut definiamus, quinam articuli fundamentales aut non fundamentales sint, non ab analogia fidei, sed ab analogia seu comparatione fundamenti realis ac dogmatici, pendet.” Cf. F. Nussel, Bund und Versöhnung. Zur Begründung der Dogmatik bei Joh. Fr. Buddeus, Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1996, (71-77) 76.

61 Notice the title of Libri primi, caput primum: ‘de religione et theologia’ (cf. above, ref. 17). Cf. C.H. Ratschow, Lutherische Dogmatik zwischen Reformation und Aufklärung, Vol. I, Gutersloh: Gerd Mohn 1964, 146 (Belegstellen 15 and 16).

62 Hollaz, Examen (ref. 51), Pars III, Sectio I, Cap. IV: De gratia Spiritus Sancti applicatrice; Cap. V: De gratia illuminante; (1) Cap. VI: de gratia convertente; (2) Cap. VII: de gratia regenerante; (3) Cap. VIII: de gratia iustificante; (4) Cap. IX : de gratia inhabitante; (5) Cap. X: de gratia renovante; (6) Cap. XI: de gratia conservante (cf. the Reformed: de constantia foederis gratiae? rrb); (7) Cap. XII: de gratia glorificante.

63 In H. Schmid, Die Dogmatik der evangelisch-lutherischen Kirche, ed. and rev. by H.G. Pohlmann, 2nd ed., Gutersloh: Gerd Mohn 1990, on 261-263 the chapter De gratia spiritus s. applicatrice starts with a ’Vorbemerkung’ (preliminary remark). In that remark the compiler stresses the difference between the older and the later Lutheran dogmatics and justifies the chosen order – the means of grace: 1. Fides, 2. Justificatio, and then the actus or activities of grace: 1. vocatio, 2. illuminatio, 3. regeneratio or conversio, 4. unio mystica, 5. renovatio. However, it may be evident to the reader or user of this textbook that this is not quite the shape of the ordo salutis that later Lutheran orthodoxy will actually show.

64 Cf. A. McGrath, Iustitia Dei. A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification, 3rd ed. In one Vol., Cambridge: University Press 2005, 275-276.

65 Cf. PRE3 (ref. 22), art. Hollaz, Vol. VIII, 279-280 (P. Wolff): Hollaz knows the pietists, but never mentions them. Only their mysticism is explicitly attacked by him.

66 Hollaz, Examen (ref. 51), Pars III sectio I Cap. VIII q. 1 (definitio; ed. 1750, 892) and q. 6 ad b (ed. 1750, 900) and d (ed. 1750, 901).

67 See above, ref. 26 (S. Werenfels) and ref. 47 (CD I/2).

68 A. McGrath, Iustitia Dei (ref. 64), 277, mentions differences “in relation to the objective grounds and subjective appropriation of justification”. The Reformed doctrines of unconditional predestination and limited atonement, as well as that of the image of Christ as caput et sponsor electorum, figure here.

69 Hermannus Witsius, De oeconomia foederum Dei cum hominibus. Libri Quatuor, Basel: Joh. Rudolph 1739.

70 Buddeus, Institutiones (ref. 52), Libri Quarti Caput Quartum, De iustificatione hominis peccatoris coram Deo, §9 (1328) and §12 (1341).

71 Witsius, Oeconomia (ref. 69), Lib. III Cap. VIII, De justificatione, §27, Ed. 1739, 302. Cf. Nico T. Bakker, Miskende gratie. Van Calvijn tot Witsius, Kampen: Kok 1991, 70-77.

72 Witsius, Oeconomia (ref. 69), L. III. C. VIII §59 (the end).

73 Witsius, Oeconomia (ref. 69), L. III. C. VIII §31: “(animadvertum est, …) electos, antequam ipsis justitia Christi ad justificationem vitae imputetur, tam arcte cum ipso per fidem uniri, ut unum corpus, et unus cum ipso Spiritus sint….” (my italics, rrb).

74 Witsius, Oeconomia (ref. 68), L. III. C. VIII §§24-25. Consequently, I did not find any reference to a work of Christ extra nos.

75 Buddeus, Institutiones (ref. 52), Causis atque mediis salutis, Cap. IV: De iustificatione hominis peccatoris coram Deo.

76 Buddeus ed. 1723 (ref. 52), 1311: “per iustificationem idem innocens declaratur tribunali divino, scelerumque purus, adeoque & iustus, non quidem ob propriam, seu inhaerentem iustitiam, sed alienam seu sponsoris Christi.” After this in a second sentence imputation is taught.

77 Buddeus (ref. 52), 1333**: “praeterea, cum ipsa meriti, seu iustitiae Christi adprehensio, actio quaedam fit, fides quoque hoc intuitu ut mere passiva concipi nequit, licet homo ipse, dum iustificatur, nihil utique agat, sed tantum passive sese habeat.”

78 Buddeus (ref. 52), 1339*: “caput causae in eo consistit, quod Osiander renovationem, seu sanctificationem, cum iustificatione confundit.” In the Institutiones historiae ecclesiasticae of Mosheim (ref. 49), we find a similar assessment of Osiander from the point of view of a ‘reasonable orthodox’ church historian, in the part on the sixteenth century III.ii.1.35, Latin 659 and Dutch 7, 81-84.

79 Buddeus (ref. 52), 1364 (with a broad historical excursus).

80 As it is also related in K. Barth, Prot. Theol. (ref. 2), 121-122 (143).

81 Buddeus (ref. 52), Part III, Cap. III: De fide in Christum itemque de regeneratione et conversione; Cap. IV: de iustificatione hominis peccatoris coram Deo; Cap. V: De sanctificatione seu renovatione, ubi et de bonis operibus, deque unione mystica et perseverantia sanctorum. In effect Buddeus attains a notable simplification of the ordo salutis that had acquired a very complicated and differentiated shape in the later dogmatic and spiritual literature of orthodoxy.

82 Buddeus (ref. 52), 1204: “producitur fides per regenerationem (sive vivificationem)”.

83 Buddeus (ref. 52), 1224: “qui regeneratur, statum quoque iustificatur, & hac ratione in numerum filiorum Dei recipitur”.

84 Buddeus (ref. 52), 1310: “summopere itaque differt mutatio illa, quae in regeneration & renovatione contingit, ab ea, quae in iustificatione locum invenit; (…) ad iustificationem enim fides requiritur; fides autem per regenerationem producitur.” Cf. McGrath (ref. 63), 365.

85 Buddeus (ref. 52), 1319: “ut iustitia & obedientia Christi nobis imputari queat, ex parte nostra fides adsit.”

86 Buddeus (ref. 52), 1340: “Cum ex parte hominis iustificandi fides requiratur, haec autem tantum in regenitis fit, sponte sua inde fluit, neminem nisi regenitum iustificari.” Critical of this sentence is J. Baur, Salus christiana. Die Rechtfertigungslehre in der Geschichte des christlichen Heilsverstandnisses, Vol. I, Gutersloh: Gerd Mohn, (111-116) 113. The attempt to refute his objections by F. Nussel, Bund und Versöhnung (ref. 60), (154-166) 159ff. – faith is the active acceptance here of the forgiveness of sins affirmed in justification, but not a merit of man – is only partly convincing.

87 E.P. Meijering, Die Geschichte der christlichen Theologie im Urteil J.L. von Mosheims, Amsterdam: Gieben 1995, 356 quotes the critics of McGrath on Buddeus (and in this respect also Mosheim), as mentioned in ref. 84. (As far as Mosheim is concerned, it relates to his lectures in dogmatics that were published posthumously as the Elementa theologiae dogmaticae, Nurnberg 1758). However, Meijering in a quite naive way, I think, underestimates the seriousness of the question, when he says: “Buddeus and Mosheim don’t teach anything other than receptivity to grace.” I would ask: was the kind of receptivity developed by Buddeus such a self-evident phenomenon in the theology of the Reformers?

88 Cf. K. Barth, Prot. Theol. (ref. 2), 91 (111) and Werenfels (ref. 2), 185 ref. 7. Very instructive: S. Goldschmidt, Johann Konrad Dippel (1673-1734). Seine radikalpietistische Theologie und ihre Entstehung, Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2001. For Dippel the aim of piety is to obtain a state of being united with God in sanctity. Neither a satisfactory work of Christ nor any imputation of an external righteousness can help in obtaining that (143). There is no need for reconciliation with God, only for following Christ (146). Orthodoxy expresses a very leisurely mentality by teaching a faith that has nothing to do: this is only in favour of the old Adam (175). No other doctrine than that of effectively making man just makes sense (178). And the old confessions are only an obstacle to finding a way of salvation and defending the freedom of conscience (213).

89 Cf. K. Barth, Gespräche 1959-1962 (GA IV), E. Busch (ed.), Zurich: TVZ 1995, ‘Gespräch mit Vertretern der Herrnhuter Brudergemeinde’, (124-157) 133-136 on Justification and Sanctification with Zinzendorf.

90 W. Gas, Geschichte der protestantischen Dogmatik 1862 (ref. 22), III, 157-158, offers a very interesting interpretation of the ordo salutis in Buddeus: according to him, only two steps in the believer’s renewal process are really left here: conversion as the entry into the Christian life and sanctification as its continuation. Justification is then pardoning the sinner on the part of God on the grounds of the merit of Christ that the sinner is able to receive because of the seed of a new righteousness that has already been put in him. Can we say that in this way justification is that element in the process of spiritual life, in which the believer experiences the contact with his saviour, more than that Christ is his righteousness and sanctification (1 Cor 1:30)? I am inclined to endorse Baur’s conclusion (116, ref. 86) on the place of justification in the framework of Buddeus’ doctrine of the applicatio salutis as a whole: “Die entschlossen inaugurierte Bedurfnistheologie (…) macht die Rechtfertigung, das Proprium des christlichen, zum abhangigen religiosen Uberbau.”

91 Buddeus, Institutiones (ref. 52), 1373.

92 See above, ref. 30, Werenfels’ Dissertatio adversus carnalem securitatem.

93 S. Werenfels, Theses de Gratia Convertente, Op. I (ref. 23), 481-483; cf. W. Gas, Geschichte der protestantischen Dogmatik 1862 (ref. 22), III, 284-286 and K. Barth, Werenfels (ref. 2), 200.

94 Werenfels refers to the interconfessional discussions between the Lutherans and the Reformed: the Reformed believe that only when they attribute irresistible grace to God, they truly glorify him on account of human conversion – the Lutherans on their side believe, that only when one is of the opinion that man is able to erect an obstacle for grace to reach him, it is possible to hold man guilty for impenitence; for the Lutheran position cf. the sixth chapter in the section on grace in the Examen of Hollaz, as mentioned above (ref. 62). In fact a discussion already existed in Reformed theology, especially between the orthodox and the Puritans:

see H. Heppe, Die Dogmatik der evangelisch-reformierten Kirche. Neu durchgesehen und herausgegeben von Ernst Bizer, 2nd ed., Neukirchen: Neukirchener Verlag 1958, Locus XX, De vocatione, 408, Belegstellen 23 and 24.

95 S. Werenfels, Scrupulus de predestinatione, Op. I, 475-481 (ref. 25 – references to the pages of this work are given in brackets in the main text of this contribution); cf. K. Barth, Werenfels (ref. 2), 200 and A. Schweizer, Centraldogmen 1856 (ref. 53), 777-781. On 781-784 Schweizer in direct connection with this quotes the Theses de g. convertente, as if these theses offer the solution for the question that is discussed in the Scrupulus. For me it is not clear on which manuscript or edition of Werenfels’s writings Schweizer grounds this procedure.

96 I presume this old way of reasoning still held a certain spiritual attractiveness for Werenfels himself.

97 “Certe in nostris Ecclesiis non res nobis est cum Pelagianis, qui hominis viribus in conversione ejus nimium tribuant; sed iis res est, cum hominibus, qui identidem cohortandi sint, ut omnibus, quotquot habent, viribus

(…), summo studio, utantur.” From this Karl Barth concludes: “for Werenfels only a rather undialectical preaching of conversion makes sense”. Cf. Werenfels (ref. 2), 200.

98 A. Schweizer, Centraldogmen 1856 (ref. 53), 783-784.

99 P. Wernle, Der schweizerische Protestantismus (ref. 22), 524.

100 I also found a Dutch translation, Verhandeling over de oorsprongen van het bederf, dat tegenwoordig onder de Christenen heerscht, In ’t Fransch geschreeven door J.F. Oostervald, 4th ed., Amsterdam: Janssoons van Waesberge 1743, 1-256 (First Part) and 257-542 (Second Part). Cf. A. Schweizer, Centraldogmen 1856 (ref. 53), 759-766.

101 J.F. Ostervald, Traité (ref. 100) contains two parts. The first refers to the inner conditions of man that hinder him from doing good works (nine in number): the second deals with external conditions (institutions and leading persons – seven in number).

102 A. Schweizer, Centraldogmen 1856 (ref. 53), 765-766, mentions the objections of the very Calvinistic Huguenot Naude in Prussia 1713 against the orthodoxy of the Traité: the silence of the author vis-a-vis original sin and the rendering of good works into a new yoke of the Law attack pure evangelical doctrine. It is not easy to contradict this judgement of Naude.

103 J.A. Turrettini, In Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos epistolae Capita XI Praelectiones criticae, theologicae et concionatoriae. Opus Posthumum, Lausanne & Geneva: Marci-Michaelis Bousquet & soc. 1741, 376 pp. The lectures are also included in the Opera Omnia (ref. 53), Tomus Secundus, 139-435. Some of the lectures are dated (On Rom 8:28ff. December 14. 1733, 291, on Rom 11:17-24 August 4. 1734, 356 etc.).

104 Of course J.-A. Turrettini, the author of the theses as mentioned above in ref. 12, also stresses the importance of the alleged natural theology in Romans 1:19-20. Cf. Praelectiones ad Romanos (ref. 103), 26 and 72ff.

105 Praelectiones ad Romanos (ref. 103), 54-55, with reference to Werenfels, Cur incitamenta… (see above, ref. 39).

106 M. Luther, De libertate christiana (1520) (WA 7), (49-73) 53-55.

107 Cf. J. Calvin, Commentarius in Epistolam Pauli ad Romanos, T.H. Parker & D.C. Parker (eds) (Opera Omnia. Series II, Opera Exegetica, Vol. XIII), Geneva: Droz 1999, 70-71 ad Rom 3:22: iustificationis nostrae causam non ad hominum iudicium referri, sed ad Dei tribunal.

108 Praelectiones ad Romanos (ref. 103), 165-168: quaestio I (ad Rom 3): de conciliatione Pauli Apostoli cum Jacobo, in negotio Justificationis.

109 Cf. again John Calvin at the same place, Calvini Commentarius in Epistolam Pauli ad Romanos (ref. 107), 82: “nam haec paraphrasis ad circunstantiam loci aptanda est, quod aliena iustitia nos ornet fides, quam a Deo mendicat (the ungodly is a beggar!). Atque hic rursus Deus iustificare nos dicitur, dum peccatoribus gratis ignoscit, et amore dignatur quibus iure irasci poterat; dum scilicet nostram (!) iniustiam misericordia sua abolet.”

110 As Ostervald did discussing Romans 3:10, J.A. Turrettini stresses that the sentence “None is righteous, no, not one” must not be taken too literally, because in Psalm 14 David is speaking of his own bad times, and moreover in the same Psalm he also speaks about the people of God and the poor who are afflicted before God (142).

111 At the same time this historicising view in Turretin finds a counter-weight in his participation in the reflections of some Cocceian and Pietist circles of his generation on the coming conversion of the Jewish people. Cf. Praelectiones ad Romanos (ref. 103), 372-376: an appendix on Romans 11:25-26 “de plenitudine Gentium ingressura in Ecclesiam, & Gentis Judaicae conversione”.

112 J. Calvin, Commentarius in Epistolam Pauli ad Romanos (ref. 107), 132-133 ad Romans 6:22-23. Cf. sc. 1 Cor 1:30.

113 J. Calvin, ibid., 144: “ergo aptissimum in homine regenerato exemplum est, unde cognoscas quantum sit naturae nostrae dissidium cum Legis iustitia”, and 145 on (the young, but also the elder, anti-Pelagian) Augustine.

114 Cf. P. Wernle, Der schweizerische Protestantismus, Vol. I (ref. 22), 495. Wernle presumes Turretini did so without being conscious of what he was doing.

115 M. Luther, De libertate christiana (ref. 106), 51-52: “neque enim verbum dei, operibus ullis, sed sola fide suscipi et coli potest, Ideo clarum est, ut solo verbo anima opus habet ad vitam et iustitiam, ita sola fide et nullis operibus iustificatur.”

116 See above, §2 of this paper, at ref. 35.

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R.H. Reeling Brouwer

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