Francis Cheynell

Polemic and Piety in The Divine Trinunity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (1650)


Sergiej S. Slavinski presents the first major study of Francis Cheynell's 1650 treatise on the doctrine of the Trinity. Situating Cheynell in his historical context, Slavinski examines Cheynell's role in the Trinitarian controversies of the Civil War and Interregnum England. The book demonstrates the interplay between polemic and piety in a work of Reformed scholasticism, showcasing how Cheynell’s eclectic theological method in reading Scripture reinforced his conviction of the Trinitarian persons as one true God. Slavinski argues that Cheynell’s polemical-practical Trinitarianism has the idea of Trinitarian oneness as infinite simplicity at its core.

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Sergiej S. Slavinski, Ph.D. (2022, University of Edinburgh), has published articles on Reformed scholasticism and theology, with an emphasis on early modern Trinitarianism.

 1 Francis Cheynell and Mid-Seventeenth-Century English Trinitarian Controversies

 2 Puritan Piety

 3 Method, Thesis, and Structure

2Cheynell’s Intellectual Biography and the English Crisis of Mid-Seventeenth-Century Reformed Trinitarianism
 1 Introduction

 2 Cheynell’s Early and Pre-civil War Life

 3 The ‘Prevailing Faction’ of Laudianism

 4 The Rise of Socinianism

 5 The ‘Arch-Visitor’ and Reformer

 6 The Trinity: ‘Not Problematical, but Fundamental’

 7 Conclusion

3Infinite Simplicity
 1 Introduction

 2 Divine Incomprehensibility: Chastening Human Reason

 3 Divine Necessity: ‘I Am That I Am’

 4 How to Think and Speak about God Cautiously

 5 Divine Simplicity and the Divine Attributes: What Kind of Distinction?

 6 Conclusion

4The Written Trinity
 1 Introduction

 2 The Trinity: The Authority of Tradition?

 3 Trinitarian Exegesis Contra Radical Exegesis

 4 The Biblical Portraiture of the ‘Single and Eternal Godhead’

 5 Conclusion

5Unity in Trinunity: The Metaphysics of ‘Nature’ and ‘Person’
 1 Introduction

 2 Cheynell’s Reformed Scholastic Definition of Person

 3 The ‘Great Masters of Language’ and Boethian Anti-Trinitarianism

 4 The Nature-Person Distinction and the Transcendent Affections of Ens Simpliciter

 5 Conclusion

6Trinunity in Unity: The Metaphysics of Personal Distinction
 1 Introduction

 2 Cheynell’s Reformed Inheritance of Medieval Trinitarianism

 3 Divine Aseity and Essential Communication

 4 ‘Natural’ Communication in the Unity of the Divine Essence

 5 The First Person A Se

 6 Conclusion

7The Mystery of Godliness: ‘Divine’ and ‘Natural’ Worship
 1 Introduction

 2 Intellectual and Affectionate Trinitarian Theology

 3 Christ’s Divine Nature: The Object of British and Continental Reformed Worship

 4 British and Continental Kingdom Christology

 5 Apocalyptic Communion with the Trinity

 6 Conclusion




This book is aimed at scholars and researchers working in the field of historical and systematic theology, specifically with regard to early modern Trinitarianism, Christology, and Civil War polemics.
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