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这门课采用我读硕士时的导师Dr. Hodges的教案,所以我也主持翻译了Dr. Hodges的300页讲义和一册专著——《Reformed Theology Today》(今日改革宗神学)。老先生用的古老的wordperfect字处理软件,当时颇为头疼,花了不少功夫来校对和整理原文。





《威敏准则神学》试读:第一章(翻译 Wayne/跨文翻译,校对 Eddy)

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3The  Westminster Standards (1646–1647) are loved by many and employed as the  confessional standards by numerous Presbyterian denominations around the  world.威斯敏斯特准则(The  Westminster Standards,1646-1647)深受许多人的钟爱,被全世界不计其数的长老会宗派用作认信式准则。
4The  Confession and catechisms of the Westminster Assembly have been praised by  theologians, both in the seventeenth century and in our own day, as being the  high-water mark of Reformed theology in the early modern period (ca.  1500–1800).作为现代之初(约1500-1800)改革宗高水平神学的代表作,威斯敏斯特会议的信仰告白和要理问答在十七世纪和当今都受到神学家的赞誉。
5Given  that the Westminster Standards are admired and confessed, it is only natural  that over the years theologians would write a number of books that explained  the doctrine of the Standards.考虑到威斯敏斯特准则广受推崇和承认,数世纪以来多有神学家撰写专著对这一准则的教义加以解释,乃是情理之中的事情。
6Such  works appeared quite quickly following the creation of the Standards.该准则刚面世,这类的著作就接踵而至。
7Most  notable, for example, is David Dickson’s (1583–1663) Truths Victory over  Error, or Thomas Watson’s (ca. 1620–1686) Body of Divinity, which was a  series of sermons upon the Shorter Catechism.1 Other notable works include,  but are not limited to, those by Thomas Boston (1676–1732), A. A. Hodge  (1823–1886), and Edward Morris (1825–1915).2 Theologians immediately saw a  need to explain and comment upon the Confession and catechisms.比如说,其中最引人注目的包括大卫迪克森(David  Dickson, 1583-1663)的真理胜过错谬(Truths Victory over Error),以及汤姆·华森 (Thomas  Watson,约1620-1686)的系统神学(Body of Divinity)。后者是关于小要理问答的一系列讲道。1此外还有不少佳作,包括汤玛斯波士顿(Thomas  Boston, 1676-1732)、A. A. 贺治(A. A. Hodge, 1823-1886)以及爱德华莫里斯(Edward Morris,  1825-1915)等人的作品。2神学家们很快就意识到,需要对信仰告白和要理问答加以解释。
8Other  commentaries were written, and the practice continues unabated in our own  day, not only with the contribution of new commentaries but also with the  republication of older volumes, as well as studies on specific sections of  the Standards.3关于该准则的注释书籍不断出现。直到今天,这份热情仍然有增无减:不仅包括新的注释,还有以前注释书的再度印刷,以及针对某些部分的研究。3
9But  characteristic of the older commentaries, in contrast to their contemporary  counterparts, is a better connection to the history, events, and theology of  the seventeenth century.但是相对于近代的作品而言,以前的注释与十七世纪的历史、事件和神学联系更紧密。
10Dickson  was alive during the creation of the Westminster Standards, interacted with  theologians who were present, and was one of the theologians who wrote The  Summe of Saving Knowledge, which was a summary of the Westminster Standards  appended to the documents by the Scottish Kirk.威斯敏斯特准则出炉的时候,迪克森仍然健在,与当时的一些神学家有互动,也曾参与起草救恩知识的总结(The  Summe of Saving Knowledge)。这份文件是对威斯敏斯特准则的总结,附录于苏格兰教会文献的末尾部分。
11Dickson,  by virtue of being alive during the period, was intimately familiar with the  context of the Standards.因为生活在那个时代,迪克森深知准则诞生的来龙去脉。
12Present-day  commentators, on the other hand, stand at a significant disadvantage.另一方面,当代的注释作者显然居于劣势。
13Not  only are they separated from the assembly by hundreds of years, but also they  often have different theological questions pressing them and at times  different philosophical assumptions, given that they live after, rather than  prior to, the Enlightenment.他们不仅和准则隔着几百年的时间跨度,而且面对着不同的神学问题,需要处理不同的哲学预设,因为准则和当代之间被启蒙运动分隔开来。
14For  example, one commentary on the Larger Catechism discusses the theology of  neoorthodoxy, especially the thought of Karl Barth (1886–1968) and Emil  Brunner (1889–1966), in its treatment of the catechism’s doctrine of  Scripture.4 As necessary as it is to bring the historic teaching of the  Reformed faith to bear upon present-day theological challenges, it is  important first to establish historically what the Standards have taught  before its theology can be pressed into service.比如说,在一本有关大教理问答的注释书中,圣经论的部分居然讨论了新派神学,尤其是巴特(1886-1968)和卜仁纳(1889-1966)的思想。4在谈论改革宗信仰的历史教导时涉及到当今的神学挑战,这种做法固然有其必要性,可是在运用威斯敏斯特准则的神学之前,首先要搞清楚在当时的历史情况下,准则中的教导内容究竟是什么。这是很重要的。
15Another  challenge to a proper understanding of the Standards is when contemporary  historians and commentators read the Standards through the grid of later  theological developments.5关于恰当地理解威斯敏斯特准则,另一个挑战就是当代的历史学家和注释者会透过后来的神学发展来解读这些准则。5
16Recently  promising steps have been made to situate properly the Westminster Standards  within the doctrinal and historical context of the seventeenth century.6  However, given the massive amount of primary-source literature and the scope  of the Standards, there is much more that can be done to unearth the original  context of the assembly.近来,有人提出一些似乎可行的步骤,尝试将威斯敏斯特准则放置在十七世纪的教义和历史背景之下做恰当的理解。6然而,由于原始文献的庞大数量以及这些准则涉及的范畴,发掘会议初始背景的工作依然任重道远。
17Much  of this work has been greatly assisted by the publication of the extant  minutes of the assembly, which provide the contemporary reader with a window  into the inner workings, debates, and concerns of the assembly.7 But the  theology of the Standards does not lie exclusively in the minutes, as  important as they are.现存会议记录的出版给这项工作带来极大的帮助。这些备忘录让当代读者有机会了解会议的内部运作、讨论和关注点。7尽管会议记录很重要,威斯敏斯特准则的神学却并非完全有赖于此。
18Rather,  the Westminster Assembly was part of a broader ongoing conversation with  Patristic, medieval, Reformation, and contemporary seventeenth-century  theologians.相反,我们应当将威斯敏斯特会议视为十七世纪神学家们与早期教父、中世纪神学、宗教改革在展开的宽广而持续的对话的一部分。
19Anyone  who wants to understand the thought and ethos of the Standards must enmesh  themselves, as much as possible, in the literature of the period.任何想要了解威斯敏斯特准则之思想和宗旨的人,都必须尽可能地沉浸在当时的文献海洋之中。
20What  theological works, for example, were the Westminster divines reading?比如,撰写威斯敏斯特准则的牧师们阅读哪些神学著作?
21What  were their theological interests, concerns, fears, and passions?他们的神学兴趣点、关注点、担心和热情何在?
22What  were the historical events of the day, and how did they shape  seventeenth-century English life?当时发生了哪些历史事件?它们如何塑造了十七世纪英国人的生活?
23The  Importance of the Original Historical Context原始背景的重要性
24It  is often said that the three most important rules to purchasing real estate  are location, location, location.人们常说,购买不动产时,最重要的三个原则就是位置、位置、位置。
25A  similar maxim is true for good historical theology—context, context, context.类似的格言也适用于优秀的历史神学——时代背景、时代背景、时代背景。
26The  best explanations of the doctrine of the Standards must rest upon the  testimony of the time.8 Such a contextual reading of the Standards will  undoubtedly produce several important results.对于威斯敏斯特准则之教义的最佳解释必须有赖于当时的见证。8毫无疑问,根据当时的背景来阅读威斯敏斯特准则,将会带来一些重要的成果。
27By  enmeshing the Standards in their original context, the reader is forced to  look for cognitive dissonances, that is, things that do not quite fit the  contemporary way of stating or understanding things.把威斯敏斯特准则和它们最初的背景联系起来,读者就不得不面对认知上的不和谐成分:有些内容并不太适用于当代阐述或者理解事情的方式。
28True,  many people still profess the Reformed faith as found in the Westminster  Standards, but much has changed over the last 350-plus years.诚然,很多人仍然承认威斯敏斯特准则中的改革宗信仰,但是过去的350多年里,已经发生了太多变化。
29Think  for a moment about what was happening in our own country twenty-five, fifty,  or one hundred years ago; things were quite different.试想一下,过去的二十五年、三十年或者一百年里,在我们自己国家所发生的各种事情;情况已经不再一样。
30The  seventeenth century was a period that was marked, for example, by different  general beliefs about the world.比如,关于世界,十七世纪存在着几种不同的笼统信念。
31The  seventeenth century was a period when most Protestant theologians, with  little dissenting opinion, believed that the pope was the antichrist; this  was a virtually unquestioned fact.当时,大多数新教徒神学家几乎异口同声地认为教皇(pope)就是敌基督,乃是毫无疑问的事实。
32It  was also a period when people believed in ghosts and spirits.那时人们相信鬼和灵。
33In  one such account, the supposed testimony of the ghost of an old woman played  a role in the execution of a bishop, John Atherton (1598–1640).9 What has  this ghost’s tale to do with the Westminster Standards?有一次,人们以讹传讹地谈论一位老年妇人的鬼魂,居然导致约翰艾瑟顿(John Atherton,1598-1640)主教被处决。9这个鬼故事和威斯敏斯特准则会有什么关系呢?
34This  slice of early modern English history is but one small example of how  differently things functioned during the time of the Westminster Assembly.威斯敏斯特会议的时代背景和现在差别很大,这个发生在英国进入现代之初的故事就是一个小小的例子。
35One  might certainly debate the existence of ghosts in our own day, but to say  with a serious face that a message from a ghost would play a part in the  arrest, conviction, and execution of a church official must surely be the  stuff of fiction, not history.在当代,人们多半会辩论鬼魂是否存在。可是如果有人一本正经地说,有鬼魂通风报信,让一位教会领袖被捕、定罪,失去了生命,听到的人一定会认为这是虚构的故事,而不是历史。
36Yet,  this is precisely what happened in the case of Bishop Atherton’s execution.10  When the layers of this bizarre case are pulled away, they reveal that Bishop  Atherton was opposed to Laud’s imposition of high-church Arminian and Papist  practices upon the Church of England, and that the rumors surrounding Mother  Leakey’s ghost, as well as the false charge of buggery, were quite possibly  an elaborate conspiracy to discredit and remove Atherton and replace him with  a bishop more congenial to Laud’s policies.11 Adding to the complexity of the  politics and religion of the time, a number of Presbyterians, including  Westminster divine Robert Baillie (1602–1662), saw the conviction of Bishop  Atherton as further reason to reject and remove Episcopacy “root and branch,”  given its corruption.12 This whole event is but one illustration of the  differences between the seventeenth century and the present day.然而,艾瑟顿主教被处决就恰恰被人附会了一个鬼故事。10我们需要揭开这一荒诞事件的层层面纱,才能让真相浮出水面。劳德大主教(Laud)在圣公会强制推行高派教会阿米念(high-church Arminian)和罗马教廷的做法,而艾瑟顿主教表示反对。关于利基修女(Mother Leakey)鬼魂的谣言以及鸡奸罪的虚假指控,更像是一场精心设计的阴谋,旨在败坏艾瑟顿主教的名声,进而将他革除,换上一个与劳德大主教更加意气相投的主教。11本来,当时的政治和宗教氛围已经足够复杂;艾瑟顿主教的定罪让包括威斯敏斯特牧师罗伯特贝利(Robert Baillie,1602-1662)在内的几个长老会人士更有理由抵制腐败的主教制,将其斩草除根。12整个事件不过是一个例子,让我们看到十七世纪和当今的区别。
37Theologically  speaking, the Standards contain curious turns of phrase, oblique rejections  of doctrines without persons or responsible parties named, and peculiar terms—such  things that often pass unnoticed by contemporary readers but were well known  to theologians of the period.从神学角度而言,准则里含有一些词组上的有趣组合,间接地抵制某些教义,却又避免提及相关人员或群体的名称,另外还使用了一些特殊的字眼。这些词汇通常会被当代读者忽略,却是当时的神学家非常熟悉的。
38What,  for example, does the term general equity mean (19.4) and what is the  difference between the moral law as a covenant and as a rule (19.5)?比如,一般衡平法(general  equity)是什么意思(19.4)?道德律作为圣约和规条(19.5),又有什么区别?
39Why  does the Confession say that the kingdom of Christ is the visible church  (25.2), whereas God, not Christ, is the “Supream Lord and King of all the  world” (23.1)?信仰告白中为什么说基督的国度是有形的教会(visible  church)(25.2),为何上帝,而非基督,“是至高的主和全世界的王”(23.1)?
40When  the Confession states that God has ordained “whatsoever comes to pass,” but  at the same time his decree has not taken away “liberty or contingency of  second Causes” but rather has established them (3.1), how can the divines  affirm both a sovereign decree and contingency?信仰告白宣称神已经命定“将来所要发生的一切”,但是却同时“诸次因的自由运行或因果关系也并未废去”,反而得以确立(3.1)。神学家们如何能够同时肯定神主权的命令与偶然性呢?
41Why  do the Standards never employ the word atonement (or its variants) when such  a word is commonplace in contemporary Reformed theology, especially with  regard to popular terms such as limited atonement?为什么准则当中从来没有出现过赎罪(atonement)(或其变体)呢?要知道,在当代改革宗神学当中,这个词很常见,有限赎罪这类的字眼更是特别流行。
42All  of these are questions that we need to ask when reading the Standards, and  they can only be answered by investigating the Standards in their original  context.当我们阅读威斯敏斯特准则的时候,需要提出所有这一切的问题,并且只有在初始背景下查考准则,才能够找到答案。
43Early  modern Reformed theologians had a slightly different outlook on life and  theology than we do today, and despite whatever similarities in doctrine and conviction  are shared with theologians in the twenty-first century, the differences can  be significant.对于生活和神学的认识,现代之初 改革宗神学家先驱们和我们的观点稍有不同。不管他们和二十一世纪的神学家在教义和信念方面多么的相似,差异可能依然很显著。
44Learning  to Read a Confession of Faith学习阅读信仰告白
45A  benefit of reading the Standards within their original historical and  theological context is that the contemporary reader learns how to read a  confession of faith.在最初的历史和神学背景下阅读准则,好处之一是使得当代读者可以学会如何阅读信仰告白。
46In  the present day those who employ confessions of faith often fail to  understand that confessions can be highly nuanced documents.当今采用信仰告白的人通常不明白,信仰告白里面隐藏着诸多极其精微之处。
47The  running joke in Presbyterian circles is, “Put three Presbyterians in one room  and you’ll get five different opinions.”长老会圈子里长期流传着一个玩笑,“把三个长老会的人关在同一个房间,你会得到五种不同的观点。”
48This  humorous observation is equally true of Reformed theology in the early modern  period.对于现代之初的改革宗神学而言,这个幽默同样成立。
49Confessions  of faith were typically written to define truth and fence off heterodoxy and  heresy while allowing a degree of doctrinal latitude within the boundaries of  the confession.通常,撰写信仰告白的目的是为界定真理,隔离异教和异端,同时,在告白允许的范围内,一定程度上保留教义的宽容度。
50The  Confession, for example, explicitly rejects certain doctrines, such as  predestination based upon foreknowledge (3.2), justification based upon the  worthiness of one’s faith (11.1), or transubstantiation (29.6).比如,信仰告白明确地拒斥某些教义,例如基于预知的预定论(3.2),将称义建立在人的信心之价值上(11.1),或者化体说(29.6)。
51However,  the Westminster Confession is equally silent about a number of other  teachings, which typically were viewed as issues of doctrinal liberty—issues  upon which theologians could disagree but still be within the bounds of  confessional orthodoxy.然而,在几个通常被认为可以自由裁量的教义问题(对这些问题,神学家们可以持不同意见,却仍然处于正统告白的范畴之内)上,威斯敏斯特信仰告白同样未置一词。
52In  the debates over God’s decree, for example, and the composition of the  Confession’s third chapter, one of the divines, George Gillespie (1613–1648),  wanted the assembly to compose certain phrases in such a manner that “every  one may injoy his owne sence.”13比如,在辩论神的谕旨,写作信仰告白第三章的内容时,一位名叫乔治吉利斯比(George Gillespie,1613-1648)的神学家希望会议可以将“每个人可以保留自己的理解”一句纳入告白。13
53In  other words, at many points the Confession is very specific in terms of what  it rejects or teaches, but at other points it is brilliantly ambiguous or  vague, thus allowing various theologians to assent to the document even  though it might not advocate each theologian’s precise view on a particular  subject.换句话说,信仰告白在很多方面明确指出它所反对或者支持的立场,但是在另一些方面却巧妙地留下模棱两可,从而让各色的神学家都可以接受这份文件,即使在某些特定话题上,它没有明确支持每位神学家的确切观点。
54Such  deliberate ambiguity or vagueness can only be discovered by reading the  Confession and catechisms in tandem with the minutes of the assembly and  works of the period.只有当人们对照会议备忘录和同时期的著作来阅读信仰告白和要理问答的时候,才会发现这种这种刻意的模糊。
55For  example, one of the more complex issues in theology, whether in the present  day or in the seventeenth century, is the relationship of the Mosaic covenant  to the other covenants in Scripture; or alternatively stated, what is the  Christian’s relationship to the Mosaic law?比如,不管是在当今还是十七世纪,摩西之约和圣经中其他圣约之间的关系,都是一个更为复杂的神学话题。换句话说,摩西之约和基督徒之间存在怎样的关系?
56Today  many might not realize that at least five different views were held by  various commissioners to the assembly.今天,许多人可能没有意识到,会议委员当中至少存在五种不同的观点。
57The  Confession states the basics of what was the most common view, but when it  came to its rejection of other views, it singled out only one position,  namely, that of Tobias Crisp (1600–1643).信仰告白陈述了最常见的观点之基本内容,但是在反对其他观点时,只是单单挑出了托比亚斯克里斯普(Tobias Crisp,1600-1643)的立场。
58Crisp  advocated that there were two covenants of grace, something the Confession  explicitly rejects (7.6).克里斯普主张有两个恩典之约,而这是信仰告白明确反对的(7.6)。
59It  is silent with regard to the other views held.除此之外,它对其他的观点只字未提。
60The  Methodology of the Present Study当今研究的方法论
61Given  the importance of reading the Standards in their original context, in this  study I have opted to place emphasis upon primary over secondary sources.考虑到在初始背景之下阅读准则的重要性,在本书中,我更偏重原始资源,而不是二手资源。
62There  are numerous commentaries on the Standards that make theological and  historical judgments about their doctrinal content, but do so devoid of  primary-source analysis.有许多注释书籍对准则的教义内容作出神学和历史方面的评判,却没有对其原始资源进行分析。
63Instead,  while I have read much secondary-source analysis of the Standards over the  years, I have chosen only to employ what is, in my judgment, essential or  necessary secondary literature; I have given preference to primary-source  literature, or literature that was within a generation or so of the  Westminster Assembly.反之,尽管我这些年来读过许多关于准则的二手资源分析,还是宁愿仅仅采用在我看来必不可少的二手文献;我会首选原始资源的文献或者威斯敏斯特会议之后几十年之内面世的著作。
64Moreover,  I have chosen to use works not of my own liking, but rather those that  primary sources have identified as important or noteworthy.再者,我不会根据自己的喜好来选择参考书籍,而是采用那些被证明为重要或者值得关注的原始资源。
65In  this respect it is interesting to follow the bread crumb trail that many of  the primary sources have left.在这方面,循着许多原始资料留下的蛛丝马迹进行搜索是一件有趣的事情。
66In  our own day many Reformed theologians would never positively cite Patristic,  medieval, Lutheran, or pagan sources, but this is precisely what numerous  early modern Reformed theologians did.在当今,许多改革宗神学家绝不会从正面引述早期教父、中世纪、路德宗或者异教徒的资源,然而这恰恰是现代之初许多改革宗神学家的做法。
67Hence,  for many contemporary readers the sources I have chosen to illustrate certain  doctrinal points may seem counterintuitive, but for the early modern Reformed  theologian they were perfectly natural, desirable, and necessary.因此,对许多当代的读者而言,我用于佐证某些教义要点的资源似乎违反直觉;但是对于现代之初的改革宗神学家而言,这些材料却是完全自然、可取而又必不可少的。
68Unlike  our own day, when Reformed theologians are content to labor for their entire  ministries in theologically sectarian-like settings where orthodoxy is  measured by a very narrow set of criteria, the Westminster divines had a  different index by which they measured orthodoxy.在今天,改革宗神学家满足于在一种类似宗派的神学背景下度过自己的整个服事生涯,所谓的正统信仰只要用一套非常狭窄的标准就可以衡量。与此不同的是,威斯敏斯特神学家在衡量何为正统信仰时,却采用一套颇为不同的指标。
69The  divines considered themselves reformed Catholics and therefore did not want  to isolate themselves from the rest of the church, but saw their broader  engagement with other periods of history and other theological traditions as  evidence of their catholicity.14神学家们将自己看作公教(Catholics)的改革者,不希望与教会的其余部分分裂,而是将自己与其他历史阶段的广泛接触,和其他神学传统的紧密对话,视为隶属大公教会的证据。14
70In  my effort to return the reader to the seventeenth century, I have chosen to  cite an original edition of the Westminster Standards with its archaic  spelling and punctuation.为了把读者带回到十七世纪,我选择引用威斯敏斯特准则的初始版本,保留了其中的古老拼写和标点。
71This  has a number of benefits.这样的做法有几个好处。
72First,  it causes the contemporary reader to slow down and reread each tenet rather  than sailing over familiar words.首先,它让当代读者放慢节奏,重复阅读每一条教义,而不是对熟悉的字眼一目十行。
73The  archaic spelling, punctuation, and capitalization give the contemporary  reader a sense of what it would have been like for a seventeenth-century  theologian to sit down and read this document for the first time.古老的字体、标点和大写字母可以让当代读者身临其境地感受到十七世纪神学家坐下来,初次阅读这份文件时的情景。
74Second,  contemporary readers might not be aware of this, but the original edition of  the Confession and catechisms are different at key places in comparison with  modern editions.其次,在一些关键部分,信仰告白和要理问答的原始版本和现代版本有着细微的区别,而当代读者很难察觉到这一点。
75Scripture  proof texts have been changed, and punctuation, at least in one place where  it affects the meaning of the statement about the active obedience of Christ,  has also been changed.经文依据已经被改变;而且,至少有一处标点,因为影响到“主动顺服基督”的含义,也已经被改变。
76Such  changes, while perhaps benefiting the contemporary reader’s ability to move  from the present day to the past, cloud the original meaning of the text.这一类的改变尽管或许有利于当代读者回溯到过去,却让文章原始的含义变得模糊。
77The  Plan of the Present Study本书的研究计划
78In  setting forth the plan of this study, I should explain, first, what this  study is not.为了阐明本书的研究计划,我首先打算解释一下这个研究不是什么。
79It  is not a line-by-line exhaustive commentary on the Standards.它不是对准则进行逐行的详尽注释。
80Such  a work would undoubtedly be massive and encyclopedic.倘若真的如此,本书毫无疑问将是长篇累牍,犹如百科全书。
81The  Standards are exhaustive, and as such a line-by-line approach to them would  need to be equally exhaustive.准则是详尽的,逐行注释的方法也需要同等的详尽。
82Therefore,  I do not treat every single doctrinal issue raised within the Standards.因此,我不会面面俱到地谈论准则当中的每一个教义话题。
83There  is still much work to be done in helping us to understand better the theology  and history of the Westminster Standards.除了注疏之外,为了更好地帮助我们理解威斯敏斯特准则的神学和历史,还有许多工作需要完成。
84Nevertheless,  I have sought to explore key subjects of the Standards in an illustrative  fashion.所以,我尝试用例证的方式探讨准则当中的关键题目。
85Each  chapter of the Confession, for example, could warrant a book-length study,  but in order to keep this book to a manageable size, I have treated what, in  my mind, are key elements within the Standards, and have illustrated these  points as much as possible from primary sources.比如,对信仰告白中每一章的研究都足够写一本书,但是为了让本书不至于太厚重,我决定只对其中一些关键内容进行探讨,并且尽可能采用原始资源作为它们的例证。
86Second,  the study begins with an overview of the historical, religious, and political  context in which the Westminster Standards originated.其次,本书的开头部分会概述威斯敏斯特准则诞生时的历史、宗教和政治背景。
87Many  of the doctrinal assumptions and beliefs are connected to this all-important  context.许多教义方面的预设和信念,是与这极其重要的背景联系在一起的。
88The  study then proceeds with Scripture, God and the decree, covenant and  creation, the person and work of Christ, justification, sanctification, the  law and the Christian life, the church, worship, and eschatology.后续的研究内容包括圣经、神和谕旨、圣约和创造、基督的位格和工作、称义、成圣、律法和基督徒生活、教会、敬拜以及末世论。
89I  do not doubt that some will pick up this book and be disappointed that I have  not treated some subjects, such as church polity, divorce, or the Larger  Catechism’s exposition of the Decalogue.毫无疑问,有些人会对本书感到失望,因为我没有提及一些话题,比如教会体制、离婚或者大教理问答中对十诫的解释。
90My  hope is that this work will spur others to do historically sensitive studies  of these and numerous other subjects that appear within the Standards.我的期盼是这本书能够激发别人,从历史角度研究这些话题,以及准则当中出现的其他众多题目。
91In  this respect, this study is an introduction to the theology, history, and  issues that appear in the Westminster Standards and therefore is not intended  to be exhaustive.从这个角度而言,本书只是威斯敏斯特准则的神学、历史以及其中话题的导言,并未包罗万象,事无巨细地讨论。
93The  aim of this study is to set the Standards in their original historical  setting and explore the world of the seventeenth century.本书的目标就是将准则置于初始的历史背景之下,探索十七世纪的世界。
94Like  a deep-sea diver who plunges into the miry depths and must soon come up to  his own world, my hope is that this brief exploration of the marvelous world  of seventeenth-century Reformed theology will be interesting, instructive,  and edifying for saints living in the twenty-first century and beyond.正如一名潜水者扎进泥泞的海底之后,必须很快浮出水面,我的期待就是:对于十七世纪改革宗神学的神奇世界所进行的简短探索,更够给生活在二十一世纪以及未来的圣徒带来趣味、指导和造就。

《今日改革宗神学》第三章 (翻译:Jing&慧娟,校对:Eddy)



    我们可通过多种方式观察到的是,在美国的改革宗传统具有广泛的多样性。在由大卫•韦尔斯(DavidF. Wells)编辑的美国改革宗神学(Reformed Theology in America)一书中可以看到,改革宗传统从五个不同地理和历史出发点发展出五个学派(包括重要的神学差别),每个学派都有各自的背景、主要的神学家和强调的重点。主要学派有:1)霍奇(Hodge)和沃菲尔德(Warfield)的普林斯顿神学学派,2) 梅钦和范泰尔的威斯敏斯特学派,3) 伯克富(Berkhof)和哲学家赫尔曼·杜依维尔德(Herman Dooyeweerd)的荷兰学派,(4)达布尼和桑威尔的南方传统,和(5) 雷茵霍尔德·尼布尔(Reinhold Niebuhr)及其弟弟H·理查德·尼布尔(H.Richard Niebuhr)的新正统主义(Neo-orthodoxy)。


首先,有一个在坚持改革宗特色上非常温和的一派;他们如此温和,以至于常常被认为是边缘派。他们以灵活和宽容为特点,强调合一和善意,更倾向于强调人普遍接受的核心福音真理。上帝的定旨、预定和定罪等教义都被淡化,而上帝的拣选常被解释为,上帝将基督分别出来作为中保。1为了在救恩中保持些许人类意志的自主性,圣灵的重生工作被描述为并非出于绝对全能的动工,而是在上帝的智慧中适应每个人的特殊需要的一种劝导性的工作,以确保人是出于自愿接受了基督。这些观点通常与亚目拉都(Moses Amyraut)的观点联系在一起。亚目拉都教导普遍救恩——但这救恩只有在人真正得救时才适用。2观点上不那么温和的弟兄姊妹则认为,这些构架往好了说是构成一种不一致的加尔文主义,往坏了说是一种软弱的、病态的、甚至是没有改革宗特色的观点。3

与之相反的是一个严格遵守加尔文教义和他们自己特色之信仰告白的团体。由于他们坚持要求牧师们完全接受《威斯敏斯特的信仰告白》及其要理问答,因此他们在长老会圈子里被称为“认信主义者”(Subscriptionists)4 、或“认信式”加尔文主义者。5 他们经常与堕落前神选说(supralapsarianism)和一种强烈的、甚至颇为严厉的定罪观点联系在一起。其最极端的形式为“超级加尔文主义”。这一派否认了人在信福音和传福音方面的责任。6 这个团体在改革宗圈子里被称为“T. R.”(意思是“Truly Reformed/真改革宗“或”Totally Reformed/全然改革宗”),其特点是对精确的不懈追求和对教义的固执坚持,同时难以辨识哪些是改革宗教义与治理的精髓与核心。他们这种不惜一切代价追求真理的立场、加上缺乏区分上帝永恒真理与他们自己对真理之解读间的必要客观性,使他们缺乏弹性,因此让那些不那么严格的同行,好则感到沮丧,坏则在属灵上瘫痪。7

在这两个极端之间是温和的多数派。这个温和的群体试图保持平衡,既坚持历史上的信仰告白,坚定地信仰基督教的基本教义,又在并非核心的事情上有表达彼此相爱的自由。他们体现出奥古斯丁所提倡的:“在基要的事情上,合一;在不重要的事情上,自由;在所有的事情上,彼此相爱”,并试图分清主次。他们仔细研读了诸如拣选和预定论等教义,强调其中的奥秘,也强调人的头脑无法洞悉上帝的奥秘旨意。他们出于对福音和宣教士的强烈关怀而更愿意与葛培理布道大会(Billy Graham crusades)等许多其他福音机构(para-church organization)合作。他们的灵活性使他们对非改革宗教会有更大的宽容、且在创造性上也有更大的自由,并以更温和的方式处理教会法庭上的辩论。一个人若具备对上帝的真理和自己对真理的感知之间作出区分的能力,则会产生一种不那么专制的倾向(包括一个愿意倾听的耳朵,一张慢慢表达的口)、更大的同情心,以及更大的、在辩论中寻求和解的意愿。8

第四组由那些假定改革宗神学与20世纪20年代至30年代的新正统神学(Neo-Orthodoxy theology)或新改教神学(New Reformation theology)之间存在连续性的人所组成。9 在欧洲,新正统派最重要的两位人物是瑞士神学家卡尔巴特(Karl Bart,1886-1968)和卜仁纳(Emil Brunner,1881-1966),而在美国,最重要的代表人物是雷茵霍尔德·尼布尔12(1882 -1971)和他的弟弟H·理查德·尼布尔13 (1894-1962)。I4 新改教神学运动拒绝自由主义(在部分意义上是因为其在20世纪30年代艰难的政治和经济现实面前无能为力);新改教神学重申了圣经中关于罪的教义、上帝至高无上的超然本性、基督位格的重要性,并教导教会必须反对流行的文化。与这些人有过私人接触并研究过他们著作的福音派神学家,在很大程度上看到了一种温暖的虔诚、一种恳切、以及一种对传统信条用语的尊重。然而,很多因素导致福音派改革宗阵营中的多数人将新正统神学视为对改革宗教义的偏离。13 这些偏离包括对命题式启示的否定、对高等批判方法论的认可、受到克尔凯郭尔(Kierkegaard)和其他存在主义哲学家(尼采、加缪、萨特、海德格尔等)的影响、对黑格尔和马克思辩证方法的借鉴,以及对传统术语的重新定义。就本研究目的而言,这一运动被认为是超出了改革宗神学的范围。16

近年来,在严格的改革宗阵营中出现了两种彼此相关的运动,甚至连许多不折不扣的加尔文主义者都将这些运动视为极端。首先是神治主义(或作“神权政体”,“神律论“),其名字源于《基督教伦理学神律论》Theonomyin Christian Ethics 一书;该书的作者巴森(Greg L. Bahnsen),是该运动的主要理论家。斯德尼(Rousas John Rushdoony)的著作中也提出了类似观点。18虽然从词源学上来说,“神治主义(theonomy)的意思是“上帝的律法”(即上帝将通过祂的律法来展示出祂的角色)——对此真诚的基督徒并无任何异议,但巴森是在法律意义上使用了这个术语。他的大前提是,上帝启示给以色列的道德律与治理这个国家的民事律(又作“民刑律)之间存在着本质上的合一,因此后者(又称“司法之律法”)对今天所有人都具有约束力。19此外,民事法律的刑事制裁应由民事当局执行。20

这一立场在第二波福音运动中得到了进一步的发展(这一运动被称为重建神学(Christian Reconstructionism)或基督教国教主义(Dominionism))。21巴森和斯德尼的思想得到了一些人的进一步发展,例如:来自德克萨斯州泰勒市的善牧圣公会(Good Shepherd Episcopal Church)的James Jordan和Ray Sutton;加州普莱瑟维尔的牧师David Chilton;亚特兰大卡尔西顿长老会教堂的牧师JosephC. Morecraft, III;以及总部位于亚特兰大的基督教政府研究所(Institute of Christian Government)的所长Gary DeMar。但其主要参与者为多产而颇有争议的诺斯(Gary North)。22诺斯认为,人类在创造之初就被赋予的文化使命(即让人管理全地的安排)至今仍然有效。23上帝愿意那些被祂所称义、成圣、收养的人,藉著祂的律法,逐步地统治世界。24传福音者把上帝的和平条约之条款传讲给人,叫人降服于伟大君王的权柄之下。25 凡降服在上帝律法以下的人,就必富足,使悖逆之民起嫉妒的心。26诺斯设想,随着撒旦王国逐渐失去资本,一个财富转移的计划将会发生。27 此外,他提倡“victory orientation/得胜导向”,这意味着基督徒将接管世界上的构架,从而“引入”基督的王国。28教会有责任引领基督徒重建世界的进程。29


然而,这两个运动都难逃严厉的批评。神治主义在很多方面都失败了。首先,它没有理解上帝启示的渐进特征。在上帝的子民“尚未成年”的时候,他们得到了很多启示,但这些启示在教会成熟的时期则显得并不恰当(加3:23-25)。上帝救赎计划的发展意味着摩西的治理并不完全(en toto. )适用于今天。事实上,新约指示教会给予的最高制裁是逐出教会,而不是实际的处决(太7:15; 林前 5:1-5; 贴后 3:14; 约三 9-10)。其次,法律的民事和礼仪方面必须与道德方面区分开来(参《威斯敏斯特信仰告白》19.3-5)。像马可福音7:19、使徒行传15:19-29以及希伯来书等经节,都清楚地表明基督徒没有义务遵守礼仪律。在新约时代,上帝的子民主要受罗马律法管辖(路2:1-3; 太 22:21; 罗 13:1-6; 彼前 2:13-14),而不属于神权统治之旧约民事律的管辖。保罗不止一次地行使他的罗马公民权(徒16:37-39; 22:23-29; 25:10-12)。犹太人和外邦人之间彼此敌对的隔墙被打破(弗 2:11-19),也暗示了民事律的临时性。31与此同时,耶稣(太 5:21-22; 27-28; 19:3-5; 可7:9-13; 路 4:4-12)和使徒们(加 5:19-21; 提前 1:9; 雅 2:11; 彼前 4:15; 约壹 3:15; 启 21:8) 的教导皆以道德律的持久效力为前提;这律法建立在上帝不变的品格之上,在创世之初就写在人的心里(罗2:15)。第三,当耶稣在马太福音5:17-20说祂来不是要废除律法,而是要成全(πληρῶσαι)律法时,祂的意思不是像巴森所说的那样是来确认法律,而是说,32 祂来,乃是要在生命和教训上成全上帝的义。33 因此,保罗·福勒(Paul Fowler)在巴森的著作中敏锐地观察到一种律法中心主义(nomocentricity,即以法律为中心),而非以基督为中心(Christocentricity)34

同样,重建神学运动也有值得批评之处。首先,重建主义运动拒绝渐进启示,拒绝放弃以前的训练模式,因此犯了“超律法主义”(hypernomianism)的问题。35 再者,其发言人忘记了人的罪所带来的咒诅要到末后才止息,而过早地要求上帝彰显祂的能力,在充满邪恶的地方建立公义。36 第三,重建主义运动鼓励基督徒专注于世俗的事情,而不是永恒的结果,这违反了圣经的警告(太6:19-34; 西 3:2)。第四,在使徒行传中,早期门徒的目标是在世界范围内传福音,而不是文化上的基督教化;后者只是服从大使命的潜在副产品。相比之下,重建神学有一种倾向,认为拯救灵魂是次要的,不是教会事工的主要目标,因而使传福音的努力变得迟钝或减少。38第五,该运动忽视了基督和使徒们的教导,即在当今时代,上帝的国度是靠属灵的能力而不是政治或属肉体的力量来扩展的(约18:36; 林后 10:3-4)。39 第六,在他们接管世界的版本中,重建主义者把基督教和非基督教的思想混合在一起,在这个过程中失去了圣洁的概念——这一概念在圣经中极为重要。40 第七,在重建主义者留下的文献中,有一些圣经中明确和绝对禁止的特征,比如傲慢、不受教的心和对信徒缺乏爱(有时甚至是完全的敌意)。41


其中一端是支持古典或传统观点的证据论者;他们建立在苏格兰常识之基要主义(foundationalism)之上,在不证自明之真理的基础上建立理论的上层建筑。43 因为在他们的理解中,罪(对头脑)的影响并非通过全然败坏的头脑直接产生,而是通过全然败坏的心灵间接产生,44因此,罪对人类理性的影响最为微弱;相应的,他们对人理性评判上帝赐予之真理的能力也存有信心。45他们认为,以上帝的教义为护教学论述之起头并不恰当,因为若不借着人所被赋予的逻辑法则,人就无法理解上帝。在基督真理得以彰显之前,我们要与不信的人寻求共同的基础。这一基础通常要么是通过对上帝存在之传统有神论的证明而得,要么是通过超自然的启示和神迹的历史证据(尤其是基督的复活)而得来。对前者而言,若表述得当,这些证明将被看为令人信服的确据;而后者借着将史学的准则应用于圣经文献时产生。46这种方法巩固了查尔斯·霍奇和B·B·沃菲尔德(B. B.Warfield)的“老普林斯顿”神学,在某种程度上也支持了在美国南部的罗伯特·达布尼(Robert Dabney)和詹姆斯‧桑威尔(JamesThornwell)的观点。47近年来,这一论证方法已在巴斯威尔(James Oliver Buswell)48 的神学方法和葛士那(John H. Gerstner)49和史鲍尔(R. C. Sproul)的护教方法中得到体现。

与之相对的,是建立在凯波尔和巴文克等荷兰神学家的荷兰“新加尔文主义”基础上的前提论者(Presuppositionalists)。50 凯波尔将普遍恩典和特殊恩典作了鲜明的区分:前者赋予全人类,目的是维持创造秩序,而后者只适用于重生的人,是为宇宙的重生而设计,并以基督救赎的工作为基础。这一区别意味着信徒和非信徒之间并无中立的理性基础。理性总是在特定的世界观中发挥作用;因此,人在开始任何护教的努力之前,需先树立正确的世界观。51 这种思想体系借着在荷兰出生的西敏神学院之哲学神学家范泰尔的著作,在美国得以发展。虽然范泰尔认识到,不信的人并不总是与他的反基督徒原则一致,但他坚持认为,因为罪在人的思维上造成的影响,未得救的人在知识论上与重生的人在原则上并无任何共同之处。此外,虽然所有其他思想体系在追求各自的逻辑目的时都会导致非理性和混乱,但属圣经的前提证明了事实和律法的可理解性,从而带来对人的生活和经验有意义和权威的解释。32 基督教信仰是唯一令人满意的第一个参照点;人可以通过基督教获得生命的意义。范泰尔的学生和继任者约翰•弗雷姆(JohnFrame)近期为这些概念进行了辩护与详述。尽管他在证据主义者的著作中发现了一些有用之处,53但弗雷姆仍然断言,实际上不信者所作的所有陈述都是错的54 ,不信之人对真理一无所知。55他坚持认为,虽然逻辑是一个有用的神学工具,但必须顺服于圣经经文,因为后者才是思想的终极律法。56


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