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Voetius on God’s Single, Absolutely Simple Essence

Editor, teacher, and translator, Ryan M. Hurd speaks about the theology of Gisbertus Voetius. Hurd has translated a significant disputation of Voetius’ published as “Gisbertus Voetius: God’s Single, Absolutely Simple Essence” in The Confessional Presbyterian Journal (Volume 15, 2019).

Gisbertus Voetius (1589–1676) was a Dutch theologian born in Heusden, Netherlands, and educated at Leiden. He became a professor of theology at the University of Utrecht and wrote several significant works, including Politica ecclesiastica (3 volumes, published 1663–1676) and Selectae disputationes (theologicae) (5 volumes, published 1648–1669).

In his treatment, Voetius mediates between two of the major Medieval schools of thought—Thomistic and Scotistic. Hurd writes,

Yet the early modern period saw the rise of the Socinians and Vorstians, and this was to the dismay of all orthodox regardless of their communion. The emergence of this heterodox movement met with immediate response that would last until the eclipse of Reformed orthodoxy in the darkness of the modern age. In our own context today, we observe similarly that among the Reformed there are likewise those who uphold orthodoxy and affirm divine simplicity, and likewise those who have emerged and put themselves against it. As a historical testimony, Voetius’s disputation underlines several points to both sides.

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