Petrus van Mastricht’s Polemic against Balthasar Bekker

Dan Ragusa introduces us to the theological method of Petrus Van Mastricht, Dutch Reformed theologian, who maintained consistent Reformed orthodoxy against Cartesian influences. Van Mastricht wrote a polemic against Balthasar Bekker, a critic of paganism but a proponent of Cartesianism. In his polemic, Van Mastricht addresses the issue of Scriptural authority, theological method, and the proper end toward which all theologians and philosophers must be directed: worship of the one, true, and living God.

Dan Ragusa is a PhD student at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


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Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

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Jonathan White

1 year ago

I didn’t quite catch the name of the man who wrote letters back and forth with Descartes. What was it?

Daniel Ragusa

1 year ago

Hi Jonathan, the name was Gisbertus Voetius, a Dutch theologian who taught at the University of Utrecht.

Chris Ross

1 year ago

Hi… These discussions are very encouraging. I have been reading Mastricht Theoretical and Practical Theology and as a beginner (Grad Dip Div.. 8 subjects) find his work quite readable and comprehensible. My pastor really links practice with theology each week in preaching. What l would like to know is, are there any sermons by Mastricht about that are able to be read to see how he puts it all together for a congregation? If… Maybe some bright chap could translate one or two for us beginners. Thanks.

Michael Newsome

1 year ago

I appreciate Van Mastricht’s commitment to Scripture as the final arbiter of Truth. It is a common error, sometimes done in great earnestness, to commit to philosophical bases that are designed to defend against errors that people commonly make such as hypersupernaturalism but that wind up going against what says the Lord. I have found that it is important to always keep Scripture front and center in one’s thinking so as not to taken captive by human philosophy and tradition.



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