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Podcast Throwback – Should we blame the Reformation for secularism? Matthew Barrett and Samuel G. Parkison

The Reformation has often been lamented, blamed for secularism, as if the Reformers cut the cord of participation in God by perpetuating the voluntarism and nominalism of their age. But in episode 2 of this mini-series, Sam Parkison asks Matthew Barrett, author of The Reformation as Renewal, to address the philosophical context of the Reformation. With a brief tour through classical philosophy, Barrett explains the differences between the scholastic realism of Aquinas and the voluntarism of Scotus or the nominalism of the late medieval scholastics like William of Ockham and Gabriel Biel. By introducing the via moderna, the modern way, Barrett puts his finger on the nerve, identifying the provocation for Luther’s Reformation beginning in 1517.

In this episode, Parkison and Barrett discuss the influence of classical philosophy on the Reformers, exploring the basic building blocks of Christian Platonism and medieval metaphysics for a more balanced understanding of our Protestant history.

Matthew Barrett

Matthew Barrett is the editor-in-chief of Credo Magazine, director of the Center for Classical Theology, and host of the Credo podcast. He is professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the author of several books, including Simply Trinity, which won the Christianity Today Book of the Year Award in Theology/Ethics. His new book is called The Reformation as Renewal: Retrieving the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. He is currently writing a Systematic Theology with Baker Academic.

Samuel G. Parkison

Samuel G. Parkison (PhD, Midwestern Seminary) is Associate Professor of Theological Studies and Director of the Abu Dhabi Extension Site at Gulf Theological Seminary in the United Arab Emirates. Before coming to GTS, Samuel was assistant professor of Christian studies at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and pastor of teaching and liturgy at Emmaus Church in Kansas City. He is the author of Revelation and Response: The Why and How of Leading Corporate Worship Through Song (Rainer, 2019), Thinking Christianly: Bringing Sundry Thoughts Captive to Christ (H&E, 2022), and Irresistible Beauty: Beholding Triune Glory in the Face of Jesus Christ (Christian Focus, 2022).

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