You are here:Home-Resources-Counsel of Chalcedon Magazine-2000 Issue 4-An Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism

An Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism

When we see the words Reformed and Scholasticism next to one another we might scratch our heads and think we are reading an oxymoron like jumbo shrimp. The two terms do not seem to belong together. Just as Tertullian (160-220) once asked what Jerusalem had to do with Athens when wondering what Greek philosophy had to do with Christianity, we might wonder what Reformed theology has to do with scholasticism? Are not these terms like proverbial oil and water? After all, was it not medieval scholastic theologians who debated inane subjects such as how many angels could dance on the head of a pin? Is not scholasticism associated with philosophical speculation that was swept away by the Reformation? The simple answer to these questions is, No. More often than not, there is more myth than truth surrounding the term scholasticism. Moreover, it might surprise some to find out that there is a Reformed version of scholastic theology. In order to define Reformed Scholasticism we want to: (1) define the term scholasticism; (2) show what Reformed Scholastic theology looks like from the pen of one of its advocates; and (3) then examine how the church can benefit from this type of Reformed theology. With this general plan, let us proceed and define the term scholasticism.