I read through Turretin a few years ago. Now I have time to do a more thorough study.
On Natural Theology
It is partly innate (derived from conscience) and partly acquired (I.3).
God (and divine things) is the object of theology: he is not to be considered exclusively under the relation of deity (per Aquinas), but as he is our God (i.e., covenanted in Christ as he has revealed himself; Turretin, I.5.IV).
Purpose of reason for theology: it has a ministerial function.
- Truth of propositions: axiomatic judgment
- Truth of conclusions: discursus
Faith perceives the consequent, reason the consequences (I.8.11).
The Judgment of Contradiction:
- Reason judging: the reason in question is that which is restored and enlightened by the Holy Spirit (I.10.1).
- The principle from which the judgment is formed: axioms which are drawn from Scripture
- Rule of consequence::
Scriptural proofs for this principle: Matt. 7:15; 16:6; Col. 2:8; 1 Thess. 5:21.
In the 11th Question Turretin affirms the use of the senses. This allows him to reject transubstantiation.
Second Topic: The Holy Scriptures
First Question: Was Verbal Revelation Necessary? We affirm. It must also have been committed to writing because of the need to preserve and propagate the word.
- Although the church before Moses didn’t have the word, and the early church didn’t have all of it, it does not logically follow that the word is inferior.
Sixth Question: From what source does the divine authority of the Scriptures depend?
Turretin points out that the “authority belongs to the genus of things ek ton pros ti….[and] should not be considered absolutely but relatively. Therefore, Scripture cannot be authentic in itself without being so for us” (II.6.3).
The Bible on its own account is the objective cause of why I believe it. The Holy Spirit is the efficient cause. The Church is the instrumental cause. We can give the three-fold reply on account that threefold causes can be granted for the manifestation of anything (section 6).
Twentieth Question: What is the Supreme Judge, Scripture or the Pope?
We prove it is Scripture by:
- God himself: he sends the judge and we must obey him (Dt 17:10). Christ says to obey and judge by Moses and the Prophets (Lk. 16:29).
- When Christ sends people to the church to hear, the church is not speaking of matters of faith but of scandal (Matt. 18:17).