Reviews - What do customers think about Calvinism and the Amyraut Heresy: Protestant Scholasticism and Humanism in Seventeenth-Century France?
Armstrong does a good job comparing and contrasting Amyraut with other reformed thinkers. Mar 9, 2007
Even though I'm not even close to being a theologian, it was a pleasure to read about the development of the French version of reformed thought by Cameron and Amyraut. Calvinists tend to eat their young, so when I've read about Amyraut in the past he was frequently thrown in with Arminians - which in reformed thought is the worst of insults. After reading this book I can tell you that when you hear the wild claims about Amyraut, take them with a grain of salt. Armstrong compares and contrasts Amyraut's theology with the Scholastic approach which is the approach commonly associated with supralapsarianism and infralapsarianism. There were two very interesting facets of the book for me. First, Armstrong does and elegant job of showing that in most respects, Amyraut was closer to John Calvin's ideas that were the Scholastics. The second facet of book I found particularly enlightening is the comparison Armstrong provides of the respective approaches taken by the two schools of thought. The Scholastics, according to Armstrong used a systematic/deductive approach which resulted in the speculative "order of decrees." Amyraut, on the other hand used an analytical/inductive approach, beginning with scripture and trying to reconcile the particularistic verses with the seeming-universalistic verses. Amyraut did the best he could to reconcile what seemed to be a dualistic element in God's will regarding the extent of the atonement. When I first began reading the book I thought Armstrong was going to be too much of an apologist for Amyraut. However, the weak spots and problems with Amyraut's thought are pointed out as well. Frankly, it was refreshing to read about Amyraut without the usual vitriol. The only problem I had with Armstrong's book was trying to interpret some of the French and Latin quotes. Even with a little knowledge of both languages, I was unable to translate some to the phrases. Ordinarily, I have to "push" my way through theology, but Armstrong's writing is compelling and thought-provoking. I enjoyed it very much.