In a crucial period after the Reformation, when Reformed orthodoxy was vibrant and pristine, the great dogmatician Amandus Polanus brought the Reformers’ writings and thoughts together into one comprehensive work: the Syntagma Theologiae Christianae. Translated into English for the first time by Lexham Press, A System of Christian Theology presents Polanus’ Syntagma to the English-speaking world. A treasure trove of insight, comparable in scope to Berkouwer’s massive Studies in Dogmatics, no serious student of Reformed theology should be without this text.
Polanus, taking his place alongside such figures of doctrinal importance as William Ames, Francis Turretin, and William Perkins, created this comprehensive synthesis to defend Reformed orthodoxy from attack by the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation—especially the polemics of Jesuit cardinal Robert Bellarmine.
The Syntagma has influenced the giants of the Reformed tradition, like John Owen, Charles Hodge, and B. B. Warfield, and was consistently relied upon by such theologians as Herman Bavinck and Karl Barth. In his Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, Richard A. Muller cites and refers to Polanus and the Syntagma nearly 600 times to illustrate classic Reformed orthodoxy. An invaluable resource for scholars, pastors, students, and interested lay-people, the Syntagma is the chief representative of Reformed orthodoxy in the generation following the Reformation, coming at last in English as A System of Christian Theology.
With Logos Bible Software, these valuable volumes are enhanced by cutting-edge research tools. Scripture citations appear on mouseover in your preferred English translation. With a click, jump to the full texts of other works in your Logos library that are cited by Polanus. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful searches help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Tablet and mobile apps let you take the discussion with you. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Lexham Press is pleased to announce the first ever English translation of Amandus Polanus’ Syntagma Theologiae Christianae, or, A System of Christian Theology. Using the Pre-Pub Process for this project allows us to invest in translating Syntagma Theologiae Christianae, in proportion to community demand. With Pre-Pub, books that have hitherto only been available to specialists will soon be accessible to everyone. As the scope of the project becomes clearer (for example, once we announce the translator and begin production), the price may increase. That means users who pre-order right away will get the best price.
In order to get this resource to you as soon as possible, when the first volume is finished, we will process your pre-order for the full amount and ship the first volume so you can start digging into this valuable work right away. Subsequent volumes will download as free updates as they are completed.
If you love Reformed theology, if you want access to classic Reformed texts, if you want to learn Reformed theology from the sources that informed the Synod of Dort and the Westminster Assembly, then this is the sort of project that you should support.
—R. Scott Clark, professor of church history and historical theology, Westminster Seminary California
Amandus Polanus is one of the most significant dogmaticians of early Reformed orthodoxy . . . as a consolidator, a preserver of the tradition, he brings the whole field of theology together into a systematic unity. . . . His intent is to meet the needs of the church of his day, a generation or more removed from Calvin and facing new challenges which require fresh and perhaps clearer and more rationally developed solutions. . . . Polanus is a school-theologian, careful and precise in his theological construction, aiming to preserve and consolidate the Reformed teaching by developing it in a systematic form and by defending it from new polemical assaults.
—Robert Letham, senior lecturer in systematic and historical theology, Wales Evangelical School of Theology
Polanus was a gifted consolidator and systematizer, giving to later generations a coherent, organized body of theology that would exert considerable influence by content and method. He also portrays the state of emerging Reformed orthodoxy in the crucial years between Theodore Beza and the Synod of Dort. . . . Of importance in the development of federal theology, he is one of the first to teach a pre-fall covenant of works. . . . Polanus is a bridge between the pristine Reformed teaching and orthodoxy, scholastic in constructing theology with academic precision and logical rigor but, with a strong doctrine of God, oriented to christological, soteriological, and practical concerns.
—Evangelical Dictionary of Theology
The Syntagma of Polanus was prescribed reading for Scottish theologians for some two centuries.
—T. F. Torrance, theologian and professor of Christian dogmatics, New College Edinburgh
Polanus was one of the leading Reformed theologians of the period of Protestant orthodoxy.
—Donald K. McKim, academic and reference editor, Westminster John Knox Press
Amandus Polanus was one of the most prominent of the Reformed theologians of the age just after the Reformation.
—James I. Good, professor of Reformed Church history and liturgics, Central Theological Seminary
Book 1, The Basic Principles of Theology, offers an introductory section on theology followed by an extensive treatment of the doctrine of Scripture.
Book 2 examines the first part of the doctrine of God, including his essence and attributes.
Perhaps the clearest and fullest summary of the entire paradigm [of God’s attributes] is found in Polanus’ Syntagma.
—Richard A. Muller, P. J. Zondervan Professor of Historical Theology, Calvin Theological Seminary
Book 3 delves into the second part of the doctrine of God, the Trinity.
Book 4 looks at the works of God, both personal and essential, and his decree on predestination, the election of Christ and the angels, the election of man, and reprobation.
Book 5 examines creation as part of the external works of God.
Book 6 covers the external works of God in relation to providence, good and evil, law and gospel, the person and office of Christ, Christ as prophet, priest, and king, God’s promise, calling and covenant, the communion of saints, the benefits of Christ (justification, regeneration, adoption, and spiritual liberty), the sacraments, and the last things.
Book 7 covers Reformed doctrine regarding the Church.
Book 8 reviews the concept of good works from the perspective of early Reformation thought.
Book 9 offers insight into true and false religion and examines faith, knowledge of God, love, and hope.
Book 10 delves into moral virtues, love, marriage and divorce, and the civil magistrate.
Amandus Polanus (1561–1610) was an influential German Reformed theologian. He studied at the University of Geneva under Theodore Beza, and also at the Universities of Heidelberg and Basel. He obtained his theological doctorate in 1590 and served as professor of the Old Testament at the University of Basel from 1596 until his death. As a professor at Basil, he helped raise up the next generation of Reformed theologians such as Johannes Wollebius, whose work would go on to influence the doctrinal standards of the Westminster Assembly. He also served as rector of the university from 1600 to 1609.
Polanus was one of the most significant figures of early Reformed dogma. His Syntagma Theologiae Christianae was among the first complete systematic compilations of Reformed orthodoxy.
Andre L. Pickens