While Richard Baxter (1615-91) has been called the ‘chief of English Protestant schoolmen’, few studies of his theology exist, and none of his major systematic work the Methodus Theologiae (1681). Through examining the scriptural and metaphysical foundations of his exemplaristic logic, and engaging extensively with his medieval and early modern sources, this study presents Baxter’s understanding of method as the unfolding of the believer’s relation with the Triune God through salvation history, revealing his profound debt to Scotist and Nominalist thought. In tracing the manifold ramifications of this method it offers a fresh reading of Baxter’s soteriology, countering the charges of moralism and rationalism often levelled at him, and placing his thought within a scholastic paradigm of ‘faith seeking understanding’.
Simon J. G. Burton gained his PhD in Historical Theology from the University of Edinburgh (2011), prior to which he read both Natural Sciences and Theology at Magdalene College, Cambridge. His primary research interests lie in medieval and Reformed theology.
"In the evolution of intellectual history – as well as of nature – some changes are irreversible and there is no way back. After Burton’s book it is no longer plausible to make Baxter a rationalist or a forerunner of the Enlightenment." Petr Pavlas, in: Acta Comeniana, Vol. 29 (2015).
Historical theologians, especially those involved in the study of medieval and Reformed thought, intellectual historians and historians of science, as well as systematic and ecumenical theologians.