Johann Heinrich Alsted wrote: “The article of justification is said to be the article by which the church stands or falls.” The Reformers sought to recover this vital doctrine, which is at the very heart of the gospel. Brave men such as John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Heinrich Bullinger, Theodore Beza, John Knox, and many others gave their lives—often literally—to recover this quintessential doctrine of grace.
But the Reformation recovery of these great truths was immediately threatened by two very different, but equally militant, movements—the Counter-Reformation and the Radical Reformation. The Reformers wrote a great body of literature to guide the church through the time’s treacherous waters, but one generation after the Reformation, there remained little in the way of a comprehensive, rigorously systematized synthesis of Reformed theology to preserve the Reformers’ legacy.
Christian ethics, the needs of the church, and more
In the midst of this battle for truth, the gifted scholar Amandus Polanus provided the Reformed churches with one of the earliest and most extensive Reformed systematic theologies: the Syntagma. This monumental achievement synthesizes the body of Reformed theology into a coherent and rigorous system. Not only does it preserve and defend the Reformers’ original theology; it also presents it in a precise, nuanced way. The Syntagma covers all the topics addressed in standard theologies, and addresses the church’s practical needs with an extensive treatment of Christian ethics.
Polanus’ importance as a preserver of the Reformed tradition and a shaper of its development is undeniable. As a student, he was trained at Basel by Calvin’s successor, Theodore Beza. He later became an influential professor at Basel, where he instructed important figures such as Johannes Wollebius and others who would become the next generation of Reformed theologians and ministers. Polanus’ work served as one of the primary sources that would go on to influence the enduring Reformed confessions, such as the Canons of Dort and the Westminster Standards.
Pre-order before the price goes up!
Lexham Press wants to produce the first-ever English translation of Polanus’ Syntagma, previously available only in rare Latin editions—but we need your help. The more pre-orders we get for this classic, the more quickly we can get it to you. Pre-order your copy of Polanus’ A System of Christian Theology today, and join Polanus in preserving the legacy of the Reformation.
Don’t wait—pre-order your copy before March 7, when the price goes up!