Chapter 1 of Recovering a Covenantal Heritage [PDF] ‘A Brief Overview of Seventeenth-Century Reformed Orthodox Federalism’ [Barcellos]

You can read chapter one of the forthcoming book Recovering a Covenantal Heritage. It begins:


A Brief Overview of Seventeenth-Century

Reformed Orthodox Federalism

Richard C. Barcellos, Ph.D.

Recovering Covenantal HeritageIt is no secret that various seventeenth-century Reformed orthodox theologians articulated theology utilizing a federal or covenantal model. There are many sources (primary and secondary) available for the contemporary reader which amply display and discuss this model. We will examine briefly a few of the more important federal theologians of the seventeenth century to introduce readers to the world of seventeenth-century federal or covenant theology. This brief survey understands federal theology as a method and not as a distinct school.


Federal or covenant theology did not begin in the seventeenth century. The seventeenth-century Reformed orthodox built upon the labors of their Reformed predecessors, who built upon the labors of others before them. Such theologians as Zwingli, Bullinger, Calvin, Ursinus, Olevianus, Rollock, Perkins, Ames, and Ball all played key roles in the early development of federal theology. We will look briefly at some of the key contributors to the development of federalism in the early and late seventeenth century, and even into the eighteenth century, to provide a wider context to introduce the reader to the thought-world of post-Reformation federalism. This should assist the reader as he continues through this volume. Knowing the historical-theological issues of the most productive era of the formulation of federal or covenant theology (among paedobaptists and Particular Baptists) will introduce readers to the ways and means utilized in such formulations and help understand some of the post-Reformation confessional statements and the biblical and theological issues at stake.

You can read the HTML (text) of chapter one at 1689 Federalism [45 minute readout], as well as find the 18 page PDF below:

Download (PDF, 343KB)

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