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“Expositio reverentialis”: Gisbertus Voetius’s (1589–1676) Relationship with John Calvin

In: Church History and Religious Culture
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The important Dutch scholastic theologian Gisbertus Voetius (1589–1676) held John Calvin in high esteem and was very familiar with his work, although he did not like to be called a Calvinist. This article argues that Voetius’s reading of Calvin is reminiscent of the medieval practice of expositio reverentialis or “respectful explanation.” When Voetius evaluates in his Thersites heautontimorumenos and his Disputationes selectae Calvin’s rejection of the scholastic distinctions between the effective and permissive will of God and between his absolute and ordained power, he argues that Calvin only dismissed their abuse, but not their proper use. This way Voetius defends Calvin against charges by the Remonstrants or Roman Catholic theologians.

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