Recovering the True Purpose of the Reformation with Matthew Barrett | Ep. 75

Dr. Matthew Barrett discusses how the Reformers have often been misunderstood and misrepresented

Were the Protestant Reformers theological innovators, or were they calling the church to return to it’s foundational beliefs and practices?

On this episode I talk with Dr. Matthew Barrett about his new book The Reformation as Renewal: Retrieving the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

In this discussion we’ll talk about how the reformation and the men who lead it have often been misunderstood and even misrepresented.

Because rather than attempting to do something new and innovative, they were in fact focused on retrieving the historical Christian faith and correcting errors that had seeped into the church over the ages.

Here’s some of what we cover in this conversation:

  • A helpful overview about how the Reformers benefited from and made use of the Church Fathers
  • Why understanding the Middle Ages is critical for understanding the Reformation
  • Our need to embrace the rich history and tradition of the church that goes back much further than the 1500s

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Meet Our Guest

Matthew Barrett is associate professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the executive editor of Credo Magazine, and director of The Center for Classical Theology. He is the author of several books, including: Simply Trinity; None Greater; Canon, Covenant and Christology; and God’s Word Alone.

Additional Resources

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The Reformation as Renewal: Retrieving the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church

In the sixteenth century Rome charged the Reformers with novelty, as if they were heretics departing from the catholic (universal) church. But the Reformers saw themselves as faithful stewards of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church preserved across history, and they insisted on a restoration of true worship in their own day.

Clay Kraby: Well, thanks for joining me once again. I’m joined for this conversation by Dr. Matthew Barrett. He’s professor of Christian Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he’s also the founder and editor of Credo magazine and the host of the Credo Podcast. We’re going to be talking about his new book, the Reformation as Renewal retrieving the one holy, catholic and apostolic Church. In this discussion, we’ll talk about how the Reformation and the men who led it have often been misunderstood and even misrepresented, because rather than attempting to do something new and innovative, they were in fact, focused on retrieving the historical Christian faith and correcting errors that had seeped into the Church over the ages. In our conversation, Dr. Barrett provides a helpful overview of how the Reformers benefited from and made use of the Church fathers. He explains why understanding the Middle Ages is critical for understanding the Reformation, and he encourages us to embrace the rich history and tradition of the Church that goes back much further than the 15 hundreds. You can find the show notes for this episode, where I’ll provide additional resources for diving deeper into this topic. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Dr. Matthew Barrett. To start off, could you share a little bit about your role at Midwestern?

Matthew Barrett: Yeah, so I’m a professor of, systematic theology there. I, teach classes a lot of master students, who are taking classes, in introductory classes in theology. But I also teach at the PhD. Level, and so I supervise, PhD students through their dissertation, and, I love doing that at the PhD. Level. I teach, seminars in systematics historical theology as well as, philosophical theology.

Clay Kraby: Excellent. Yeah, it’s a, lot of great resources being put out by Midwestern, including some of the things that you’ve been working on and the conversations you have with your colleagues on the podcast. So I appreciate all those things. Now, before we get too far in the discussion of the book, just to head off any confusion that might be out there for those that aren’t familiar with some of the terminology, even though it is ancient terminology that we get from the Creed, can you give some definitions about what you mean when you write that? It’s about the one holy, catholic and Apostolic Church.

Matthew Barrett: Yeah, I’d love to. that phrase is not my own. I did not invent it. maybe some of the listeners are familiar with it, because if you’ve ever been in a church where, perhaps the Nicene Creed has been present, or the Apostles Creed, sometimes these phrases come up in these creeds. Take the Nicene Creed, for example, towards the very end here’s this beautiful, creed that is confessing the doctrine of the Trinity and our salvation. And at the very end it says, we believe in one holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. Now, keep in mind, this is the fourth century, and so it would be very anachronistic of us if we said, oh, that must mean Roman Catholic. That would have surprised them as much as, it should surprise us, rather by catholic it’s catholic with a small c, which means universal. So, essentially it’s saying something that the Bible emphasizes again and again, that, when we have been saved by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are not saved and set, on our course solo. but actually, we are saved by Christ and, regenerated by the Holy Spirit and by God’s good grace. We are then brought into the communion of the saints. And what a blessing that is to be part of his church. And so when Jesus says, when he promised to build his church, he’s come through on that promise, which should give us great confidence, as Protestants in particular, to look back and say, okay, where’s God’s providence been at work? when we do that, we are standing on the shoulders of others. And, we are essentially linking arms with brothers and sisters in Christ across the globe, but also down through the ages. and that gives us, some great, assurance that actually, not only are we held accountable, but, we have great confidence that, Jesus has come through on his promise.

Clay Kraby: Absolutely. So, no Midwestern is not hiring a Catholic theology professor. And it’s speaking to the Universal Church. And has that rich, historical creedal affirmation involved in that. So what is the main premise of this new book of yours?

Matthew Barrett: Well, the book is called The Reformation as Renewal. And that’s key, I think. Well, there are mountains of books that have been published on the Reformation, hasn’t there? but, my book adds to the conversation in a very different way. yes, it’s a history of the Reformation. it’s one that is more theologically minded, maybe, than some others. It, tells the story of the Reformation. But in order to tell that story, I’ve often found that Protestants, they’re used to a certain narrative. And sometimes, these narratives give the wrong impression, as if, the Reformation is something new, something quite radically, radically new than before. but actually, when you listen to the Reformers themselves, what do you discover? You discover a very different narrative. they would have been shocked by that statement. They would have been really, disturbed by it, because that was an accusation that came at them often from Rome. But the Reformers argued, actually, we are standing in the stream. we have birthright, ah, to the one holy Catholic and Episodic Church. Rome does not have a monopoly on that. And so we are not trying to start a new church or be rebels and revolutionaries. Rather, we are attempting to be faithful. nevertheless, because of certain innovations in the late medieval period, in particular, they said, we do believe that the Church needs to be renewed. And to do that, they, of course, went back to the Scriptures, the Bible as their final authority. But, like we just talked about, they went back to the Bible, but they read the Bible with the church. and they said, this is to our advantage, because when we read the Bible with the Church, we find that actually the scales are tipped in our favor. And so this is one of the reasons why if you pick up a book by a reformer from the 16th century, you will discover that, yes, they’re quoting Scripture, but they’re also doing so in conversation with, say, ah, Augustine or Bernard, or in conversation with, say, Athanacious. In other words, they are appealing to the church fathers and the theologians of the Middle Ages, in order to support, their case. that’s important, because if we fail to recognize that much, we can risk confusing the reformers with the radicals. and that would be a mistake, because the radicals well, as the name gives it away, doesn’t it? well, the radicals not every single one of them, some were more extreme than others, but many of the radicals had very little patience for tradition. the reformer said, well, we are not throwing out tradition, but we want to understand it correctly. Whereas the radicals, they were quite intolerant of tradition in many ways, which at times got them into a lot of theological, sometimes even political trouble.

Clay Kraby: And we’ll get more into why this perspective that you’re bringing. This kind of nuance of the conversation is good and helpful, but I think a lot of us have experienced the Reformation being presented differently, where it is this new, innovative, kind of a back to the drawing board mentality about the Christian faith. How did that happen? is that just from oversimplifications of presenting church history? In what ways has the Protestant Reformation been misunderstood even by those who would, consider themselves to be Reformed?

Matthew Barrett: Yeah, I think you’re onto something there. It has been misunderstood. And unfortunately, we’ve sometimes perpetuated some of these narratives. They come in different forms and different sizes and shapes, and for different reasons. there’s a lot of history to this backstory. for example, if you go back to, say, even the 16th century itself, well, it was not lost on the reformers. This accusation that they were innovators, that accusation did not sit well with them. In fact, they tried to show just the opposite. however, even to this day, you, will hear in polemics, with Protestants and Roman Catholics, that charge will still be thrown around. What’s peculiar about that type of mindset, is how it makes its way within an evangelical context. And I think one of the reasons that sometimes happens is there’s a bit of a swinging of the pendulum, if I can put it that way. In other words, in an effort to really show, how we are different as a Protestant from a Roman Catholic per se, we can in a good emphasis on one thing. assume then that to be Protestant means there is a complete discontinuity on everything else. And one way we can remedy that is to simply recognize, well, the polemics of the 16th century were very specific. They were not debating about everything. Richard Mueller, one of the great historians of our generation has said this really well. He has said, when it comes to, say, the exact nature of justification, when it comes to, say, transubstantiation, or, the authority of the papacy well, certainly these are examples where there is fierce debate, and there needs to be. But those are very specific on the majority of other Christian doctrines. The reformers were silent, not because they were in disagreement, but precisely because there was no debate to be had, especially in matters of orthodoxy. that’s a helpful correction because, when certain radicals in the 16th century, went too far and started to reinvent the wheel, not paying attention to the past, it could be the doctrine of the Trinity, it could be Christology, it could be the doctrine of the Church. well, the Magisterial reformers hit the brake’s heart at that point and said, no, you are, moving us way beyond matters of reform. These are matters of Christian orthodoxy on which there is no debate. So that’s an important clarification, I think, to some of the listeners. If you’re Reformed in particular, I am, this, too, is an important emphasis, right? Because we can sometimes forget that, well, we can sometimes give the impression that to be Reformed is somehow antithetical with Catholicity. And I think the Reform tradition of the 16th and 17th centuries, would find that very puzzling because they, understood themselves as Reformed. They understood themselves as adhering to a Reformed Catholicity. They did not see those two things as opposed to one another. Let me put it this way. If that’s confusing, they saw themselves as Catholic with a small C, but not Roman. That’s the difference. And so, for that reason, we could go into a lot of reasons why that disappears. But I think it’s really key to return that emphasis so that we don’t misunderstand our own identity. I’ll leave it at that. There are other reasons, though. There’s a popular narrative out there that oftentimes, will, blame the Reformation for, the Modernism and schism that came after it with the Enlightenment and everything after the Enlightenment. And I think sometimes as Protestants, we haven’t had an answer for that charge. And because we have not had an answer, sometimes it can come across as if, well, to hold the solo scriptura then means that we’re individualists and well, that’s exactly where the Enlightenment went or that we’ve completely severed, the chord of participation. So that we just merely focus on what’s external and we have no appreciation for God’s real presence in this world. And sometimes those caricatures are perpetuated to this day. And oftentimes I find protestants don’t know what to say. And so we give them more credence than they should have.

Clay Kraby: And it is a caricature, but it’s a caricature for a reason. I think lots of times, us Reform folks can operate, something closer to solo scriptura rather than the solo scriptura and rather seen scripture as our ultimate authority. it’s seen as the only authority. Which is to say that we can learn nothing from the church as a whole church, ages of the past and these councils and these creedl. And we don’t want to fall into that either. And so I think our own tendencies have maybe given more ammunition than is helpful to that claim that, there is this kind of a jettising, of history and tradition and there ought not to be. There’s lots of things that can be, retained and things that can be pointed to. And as you mentioned, the Reformers had to do this in their own time. They’re being accused of being accused of being schismatics, they’re still accused of being schismatics. And so in their own day, how is it that they are pushing back against that claim? You mentioned that they’re appealing to Augustine and Bernard. What are they doing to try and say no? it’s called a Reformation for a reason. We’re reforming what’s already there. We’re not starting over.

Matthew Barrett: Well, they’re doing a lot, to put it very, bluntly, that’s where my book, is good size because…

Clay Kraby: You just scared everyone away.

Matthew Barrett: Yeah, I’m trying to take a lot of time and to visit each corner of the Reformation and let the reader see for themselves. So we go to Wittenberg, we go to Geneva, we go to England to visit Kramer and John Jewel and John Fox and we go to Zurich to look at Zwingley and Bollinger and many, many others. why do we do that? Because I want readers to see with their own eyes and to hear with their own ears what the Reformers have to say. Not just to take my word for it. So as big as the book is, in many ways it’s very much an introduction so that readers can go do more of this themselves. Now, there’s many examples. I mentioned the English Reformation that might be a good example, because you take a figure like Thomas Cranmer. Isn’t it interesting, Cranmer here’s an incredible opportunity. I mean, the man lives long enough, somehow miraculously, to survive, the brutal reign, of Henry. He, lives long enough to see Edward come to the throne. And with these transitions are some real opportunities to make headway on reform. But Cranmer doesn’t, like you said, he’s not attempting to do something new so much as he is doing something quite ancient. It’s not to say that, there’s nothing, fresh in his reform, but it is to say that everything from the vernacular Bible to the Book of Common Prayer, to some of the homilies, and so much more. So many of these reforming measures by Kramer are an attempt to put English, reformers in touch with their patristic roots, for example. And so, if you look at the beautiful language that he uses, in say, the Book of Common Prayer, you’ll notice this, there’s echoes here of the Church fathers for a reason. But of course, he’s not alone. And this is, I think, one of the remarkable things I found in the book. It almost didn’t matter what corner of the Reformation I went to. Yes, they have some serious differences, right? Anyone who studied their debates over Lord Supper knows that. but what’s so remarkable is that in the midst of these serious differences, they have this continuity and consensus over their Catholicity. And they’re laboring hard to demonstrate that they are not innovators, but they are retrieving, that which is so good in the Church before them. another example of this, I think, just to list one more would be, well, the Lutherans. of course, our mind is drawn to Luther, but it might be good to mention Philip Malankson, because when you look at, say, the Augsburg Confession, they are very direct about this. in fact, they name the radicals to distinguish themselves from them. And then they are insisting that the doctrines they are putting forward, are not doctrines that, would put them under the charge of innovation and possibly heresy. but rather, they are putting forward these doctrines as well. Just take the doctrine of grace, for example. They see themselves as very augustinian. now that was a bold claim in the 16th century, because either Rome was truly augustinian or the reformers were. You couldn’t have it both ways, right? But they are convinced that it’s them. And so you almost see this in the evolution of those early years with Luther as well. 15, to 1521, all the way through to 1525, you see him, his his appeal more and more to someone like Augustine is coming through. and this is another story that we probably don’t have time for. But luther, in 1517, is very much reacting against late, medieval innovations the century or two before him. And he names these individuals, individuals like, SCOTUS and Occam and Beal. He, is quite disturbed by the way that their volunteerism and nominalism has had a certain semiplegian effect, in his opinion. And, as the Reformation continues, other Reformers, you think of, like Peter Martin, Vermigley, and others, they’re a little bit more trained than Luther is in some of the sources, of the High Middle Ages. And so they understand that, okay, yeah. Luther was reacting against these late medieval innovations, which means that we need to have a conversation now about how does our Reformation, how does it draw from and retrieve and align with certain components of the High Middle Ages instead. so so many of these conversations are happening. All that to say, the Reformation, I sometimes think we caricature it as a debate over Scripture versus tradition. It tends to be a debate over what kind of tradition. And that becomes, really the nucleus, of so many of their disputations.

Clay Kraby: Yeah. So as they’re going to these great lengths to say, we’re not innovators aka heretics, we’re not doing something new, we are indeed retrieving what is the faith once for all handed down to the saints. How interesting it is that both the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformers are pointing back to Augustine and what a unique figure he is that there’s this tug of war going on. Would, it be fair, though overly simplistic, to say that what the Reformers are doing is saying, no, we’re going back to correct the excesses that have developed in between Augustine and where they are then in the Protestant Reformation.

Matthew Barrett: Yeah. And I develop this in different ways. So I spend a good 300 pages or so. it’s far from what it could be, believe it or not, but a good 300 pages before I get into the Reformation, looking at the medieval period, because if you’re exactly right, you have to be able to identify, okay, where exactly do indulgences come from? Right. is this something that is as ancient, as, say, the early Middle Ages or the period of the Church Fathers? Or is it later? what about the idea of a papal supremacy? those are questions they’re wrestling with. And, in order to demonstrate, that actually they’re not the innovators, it could be the other way around, they are more and more digging into history, to demonstrate that now, it is complicated. It’s extremely complicated. It really depends what issue we’re talking about. Right. Because on the one hand, they are, just to give an example, take Calvin. well, in Calvin, there are clear signs that he is indebted to both the Church Fathers and any number of medieval theologians. and so if you read Calvin carefully, take his Institutes, for example, you’ll begin to discern. Okay, here’s a point at which Calvin takes issue, and then here’s a point in which he seems quite indebted. so Calvin, for example, is very appreciative of, say, the medieval emphasis on spiritual ascent. He understands, that, we have been made in the image of God. And if we’ve been redeemed by Christ, and the Holy Spirit now indwells us well, because Christ has descended to us, then the Holy Spirit takes us on a pilgrimage so that we are meant to ascend to God through Christ. It’s, a very trinitarian pattern. Right. this emphasis comes out everywhere in Calvin, whether he’s from a union with Christ or the double grace of justification and sanctification. well, this is very medieval. this is a medieval emphasis. You can find, all over. So Calvin has a lot of continuity. Is there some discontinuity, too? Yeah, there’s some discontinuity, too, because in the midst of understanding that type of spiritual ascent, which for Calvin, just like the medieval theologians, the destination is the beatific vision itself. But at the same time, Calvin will have to do some reforming to say, maybe you’ve misunderstood ascent here when it comes to, say, the nature of your works. what do we make of those works? Are those works necessary because justification, is a process of, internal renewal and renovation? Or have we confused justification with sanctification? And so Calvin starts to go to work, then to refine it and to reform it. there are many other examples, but those are some small examples, and I give so many others in the book where the story is just more complicated than sometimes we make it, and church.

Clay Kraby: History is more complicated than we make it. I think so often, people have the idea of if you’ve got the early church in Acts, and then you have the Protestant Reformation, and then you have the Puritans, and then there was Billy Graham, and then my church started and I was converted. And that’s church history. But you’re making the argument, I think, that you cannot properly understand the Protestant Reformation without understanding these developments in the Middle Ages. Is that fair to say?

Matthew Barrett: Yes. You know what? I know it’s hard to believe, but there were Christians before Billy Graham.

Clay Kraby: All of our timeline gets awful smushed together.

Matthew Barrett: That’s right. I think one encouragement to listeners is, when you pick up the book, get out a pencil or pen. When you go through it, circle and underline and highlight all those places where you’re noticing the Reformers are proud of being Protestant, because they have a confidence. A confidence that yes, what they are saying is based ultimately in the word of God. And God’s word has been faithfully passed down through the ages. The Church was not lost after the Apostles, as if everything was Dark Ages. But the Reformers are trying to show no, we have a birthright here, too, that we can be proud of, and, doesn’t have to be taken from us. And when we look at the past, yes, certainly there are, corruptions, and they’re quick to point those out, but, there’s also a line of continuity, a stream of continuity in which we firmly plant our feet. And we’re going to show this not just in our polemical treatises, but in our Confessions, in our Catechisms. We’re even going to form our liturgy in a way that proves our Catholicity. And, I think for the Reformers, that’s life giving. And I really do hope that for Protestants today, it will help us understand and recover what it really means to be Protestant after all. And I hope that will be life giving to churches today, too.

Clay Kraby: Yeah. And just demonstrates that it really was all about retrieving that one holy Catholic Apostolic Church. The history of the Protestant Church, in that sense, didn’t start at the Reformation. They were retrieving. They were going back, they were renewing, reforming, what needed reforming. But that doesn’t mean that we’re bereft of history. All those things are, as you’ve mentioned a few times. It’s, ah, our great pride that we can take in all the things that happened throughout church history that led up to that moment.

Matthew Barrett: Yeah, that’s a great way of putting it. And I would just add to that, I think one way this really comes through. I have a whole chapter towards the end of the book on the radicals, and I look at different types of radicals, some more radical than others. that’s a great chapter to dig into, because if you’re listening to this and you’re just not sure, you feel like you’re on the fence, read that chapter, because I think it will help you discern two very different mindsets, the Magisterial Reformers and the radicals. And you’ll begin to notice that, okay, even though they have some overlap, their approach to history is vastly different. And then I would just encourage listeners. Okay, then ask yourself that pivotal question. Right. as a Protestant, which one do I trace my origins to? I think if you can do that, that’s an important exercise. I think if you can do that, you’ll start to notice a difference, and that will really, open your eyes to new horizons, and then all kinds of doors will open for you to start to ask, okay, who influenced the Reformers? who influenced them the most? what were figures both in the Church fathers and in the medieval, this classic period that they were indebted to, and how did that inform their thinking?

Clay Kraby: what would you hope that the modern Christian reader that goes through this book, that sees the example laid out by the Reformers, what would you hope that they take away in terms of better valuing and understanding the role that tradition plays in the life of the church?

Matthew Barrett: Well, that’s goodness, that’s a key question, isn’t it? I do fear that there is a younger generation, that is weary, that’s tired, they’re fatigued. they walk into an evangelical church and they just don’t see any roots. they see a lot of contemporary, relevance to be, let me put it this way effort to be relevant to the contemporary thing. And with time, I think a lot of young people feel, a bit disenchanted. and I’ve met a lot of people like this, and I think that if we as Protestants cannot demonstrate historically, at the very least, that we have roots. And those roots are, yes, in the Reformation, but they go further than that. I, think that this younger generation will ultimately not be persuaded and they will find what they’re looking for. The problem is they may go elsewhere, they may go to a tradition that they shouldn’t go to in order to find, what they’re so thirsty for. I think I see this a lot in the way that, we structure church. sometimes it can feel a bit, just kind of put together when you go back to the Reformation, though, in many ways, they were very intentional. this might be a word that, some listeners are not familiar with, but they were quite liturgical and they were intentionally so. they would have very intentional conversations to make sure that, on a Sunday morning, they are hearing the word preached. They are exercising, ah, their sacramental muscles in a very Protestant sense of that word. baptism and the Lord’s Supper. even discipleship and church discipline if needed. they are also reciting, not just Scripture, but they are saying the Nicene Creed together. There’s, this great moment in the life of Luther more towards the latter half of his life, in which he’s a bit frustrated by the lack of reform in the churches after all these years. And he writes to the churches, he writes a book called, the Three Symbols or Creeds. And he’s trying to encourage churches to say the Apostles Creed together. And he sees this as so important because, he’s finding that they don’t even know basic beliefs, basic Christian doctrine. and then towards the end, he says, well, maybe you could go further and even sing the Nicene Creed together. And he just quotes it, so what’s happening? And then they’re writing catechisms because they don’t just want adults, but they also want children trained in sound doctrine, as Scripture says. So all that to say, I think some of this is missing in evangelical churches today. It’s not to say that there’s there’s nothing good to say, but, a lot of this is missing. And as a result, I, think that younger. Generation is, is sensing, okay, there’s a lack of roots here. is this just accidental or is this what it means to be present? If it is, they’re finding that, well, it’s a mile wide and an inch deep. So that’s where I think the book could hopefully be, a great motivator to say, to Christians today. Hey, it means something to be Protestant. And, this is something we should recover today, whether it’s the sacraments, baptism and Lord’s Supper, whether it’s returning sound doctrine through a catechism or the preaching of the Word, whether it’s writing a confession, whatever component it is, I think we have to be able to demonstrate our Catholicity, it’s not going to prove itself. I think I could leave it at that.

Clay Kraby: Yeah, and there’s other elements too. I mean, it’s, really encouraging to see in many churches that are retrieving these things and making use of catechisms and digging back into the creedal statements and confessions and even in their songs. Not only singing things that were written the last ten minutes, but going back to things that Christians have been singing together. I think that’s such an important touchstone to have a song that’s hundreds, in some cases it could be 1000 years old that Christians have been singing throughout the ages. And you’ve touched on something I think we’ve all encountered, and that is those who found, their Protestant faith to come across as quite ephemeral and so new and innovative that they found, Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholicism quite appealing because of the roots and the perceived depth that they see of the rich history. And unfortunately, have conflated orthodoxy and sound theology with historic practice. And so Protestants, Reformed folks can go a long ways towards, correcting that issue. And I think your book will help them to do that by acknowledging the rich history that we have every right to celebrate.

Matthew Barrett: Yeah, absolutely. I, hope so too. I think if we can start making strides, ah, towards that end, it won’t just be a historical enterprise. I mean, my book is focused a lot on the history because I’m trying to demonstrate, no, this is real. This emphasis is not, something I’m forcing back on the 16th century. It’s coming right out of it. And at the same time, I think, well, if we will be able to stand on that, but then we’ll be able to move forward and actually start to think about, okay, what does this mean theologically for us? And then what does this mean practically? what should church look like? should we return an emphasis on, say, confessional fidelity, for example? these are the type of questions that I think pastors, especially pastors, need to start thinking through. But, it’s only going to happen if we connect the dots between our history and our present moment.

Clay Kraby: Absolutely. Well, this book is The Reformation as renewal. I understand that you have other books that are either recently out or coming out very soon. Would you just touch on briefly what readers, can be on the look for from you?

Matthew Barrett: Yeah, well, I’m actually writing a systematic theology with Baker academic. I’m working on that now. It will take me, some years to finish, but hopefully not too long. And so I’m excited about that project. I’m hoping that this will be a systematic theology that will be quite fresh, maybe asking questions that are not usually asked and encouraging Christians, to recover some key doctrines of Christian orthodoxy that sometimes, we’ve fumbled. so I’m excited about that book, I’m also working on a doctrine of God, that will be a larger project. if you’re listening to this and you think, well, I’d love to jump from these projects to something, very thick, with Theology, I’m hoping that will be the book for you. And, I’m excited about that book. That, is also something that will will take me a little bit of time but I’m hoping there to help, evangelicals and Protestants, recover an Orthodox doctrine of God that used to be very common place for 16 ah th and 17th century Protestants but unfortunately has been compromised since in very significant ways. So those are two projects, that I’m thrilled about. I’m also the co editor with Craig Carter of a new series called, Pillars of Christian Dogmatics. This will be with BNH Academic, and this will be a whole series of volumes by different authors. BNH is a Baptist publisher, and so we’re hoping to show that, Baptists can do dogmatics too, and we will also be able to do it in conversation with others who are not Baptists. And so we’ll have some Baptists contributing and then some, who are, who are not Baptists, other traditions Presbyterian, Reformed and others as well. So we’re excited about that series, but first I have to write the Systematic Theology.

Clay Kraby: Well, as a fellow Reformed Baptist, I look forward to that. You’re always looking for good sound, doctrinal texts, from a Baptist perspective. And when you go out there and you look, you ask for recommendations, a whole bunch of Presbyterian books come your way. So look forward to those things and I’ll be sure to link in the show notes to the other things have you written and been working on. You can find that at as we close out. Where can folks go to learn more, about your work and learn more from the resources that you’re putting out to make theology accessible to the church?

Matthew Barrett: Well, like you mentioned, I am the editor of Credo and we have a magazine, we have a podcast that releases twice a month. And, I’m connected with this. I’m also the director, of the Center for Classical Theology. this is brand new. I’m thrilled about it. This November will be the, inaugural lecture. We’ll have one lecture a year. This is it. Carl Truman will deliver this lecture in November in San Antonio, Texas. If you go to the website, you can find all the details, but it’s going to be great. I hope people will come and, not just enjoy listening to, theology and find out what is Classical theology all about, but even have some camaraderie, among others who are there. It’s a great opportunity to meet people. So those are some resources. Credo and, the center for Classical Theology, check those out.

Clay Kraby: Wonderful. And as I said, I’ll be sure to link to those in the show notes for this episode. Been talking to Dr. Matthew you barrett about his new book, the Reformation as Renewal retrieving the one holy, catholic and Apostolic Church. Greatly appreciate you taking the time to have a conversation with me.

Matthew Barrett: Hey, thanks for having me. it’s been, a real privilege.

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