I was working through Archbishop Leighton’s works (yes there are – sadly many- good 17th C Scottish theological works still on my ‘to be read’ list) and came across his take on the lapsarian controversy (Works 2:577):
To say the truth, I acknowledge that I am astonished, and greatly at a loss, when I hear learned men, and professors of theology, talking presumptuously about the order of the Divine decrees, and when I read such things in their works.
Now judging by the secondary literature Leighton was a good “Calvinist” – despite his conformity – but I’m not posting this to discuss the theological merit of his statement. What struck me was that we have here an eminent and respected theologian expressing amazement at how bold some leading Reformed thinkers have been when speaking of the order of the Divine decrees. If Leighton was astonished at leading Reformed theologians discussing these matters what would he make of today’s reformed blogs and discussion boards where dogmatic pronouncements about the various lapsarian positions are routinely made? Indeed, perhaps this is the greatest danger of blogs/internet discussions – everyone has a platform from which to opine on areas where even the most qualifed theologians must tread with care.
Coming soon – some thoughts from this excellent book: