The second volume of a projected three volume Systematic Theology is on its way. Those who enjoyed the first volume are doubtless anticipating this publication. Kelly’s newest may be the most important contribution to Reformed systematic theology in 2013-2014, even with Michael Bird and John Frame releasing one volume systematics texts late this year.

I remember reading a review of the first volume that complained about the arrangement of the text, particularly the inclusion of appendices with each main chapter. My feeling was that this added some interest to the flow of the argument. Indeed, Kelly’s numerous focused appendices work well as applications of the principles of the main chapters. It also provides the opportunity to address special topics with greater freedom than one possibly could in the general body of argument. I look forward to see how the method applied in the first volume works itself out in the second.

I was talking with my wife about C.S. Lewis recently and she made an observation that I thought was quite engaging. She said that she had read that Lewis had wondered whether The Screwtape Letters would be complete without a companion work from the Heavenly perspective. My wife went on to state that Lewis finally decided against such a project. The Heavenly perspective was beyond our ken. I began to think of all sorts of connections. We simply cannot think the thoughts of the celestial beings in the presence of Almighty God. For one thing, though they are created, they are unfallen. I also thought that a book about cherubim and seraphim carrying out the decrees of the Heavenly Father (as opposed to the devils and the directives of their father below) would get too close to transgressing the distinction between our ectypal knowledge and the divine archetype. As the Protestant Scholastic theologians observed (following Medieval precedent), we can only engage in “our theology” (theology nostra), our theology on the way to the heavenly city (theologia viatorum). Still, for those who love the insights of C.S. Lewis, the wish for such a book can remain strong. Never mind, we have something better, the divine condescension, adapted to our creaturely, fallen understanding: the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

The Aquila Report is carrying the news that Robert L. Reymond has died. Today we mourn the loss of a minister of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, a past minister of the Presbyterian Church in America, a theological educator of many years, and the author of a major one-volume system of theology. Reymond also wrote monographs on various topics and contributed to “debate books.” The latter effort includes arguing (I’d say courageously) for a supralapsarian perspective in a multiple views book on the doctrine of election. We will certainly miss this teacher of the church but we can be happy for him that on the deep theological conundrums, faith has given way to sight.

Westminster Seminary California: A New Old SchoolWestminster Seminary California: A New Old School by W. Robert Godfrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A warm, engaging history written by two men who have taught at Westminster Seminary California. D.G. Hart has moved on to other positions but Robert Godfrey has been President for twenty years. This book covers the seminary faculty and some of the staff from the beginnings in the late 1970’s until today. This history focuses on Westminster’s commitment to confessional Reformed theology in a world in which it often faces opposition. The authors don’t shy away from controversy. In fact, this book will help anyone wondering about the stance of the seminary in a host of matters controversial in Evangelicalism and the Reformed churches. Godfrey and Hart also provide many insights into the trends in American Evangelicalism and American Reformed theology, adding humor from time to time. Overall, this history is a happy tribute to the Lord’s faithfulness to Westminster Seminary California.

I read the Amazon Kindle edition. I hope it will be revised because I noticed more than a few typos.

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