The first session on the second day of the Westminster conference this year featured Maurice Roberts of Inverness (our favourite Welsh Scotsman chairman Geoff Thomas introduced him as) speaking on Turretin and the place of Systematic Theology. This focused on Turretin (1623-1687) - described by the late Leon Morris as a towering figure among the Genevan Reformers - and his Institutes of Elenctic Theology and was chiefly a helpful summary of that great but largely forgotten work. It included some background to the subject also and closed with a plea - "Systematic Theology breathes in the soul something our churches very much need at this hour - a conviction of the infallibility of eternal truth."
Originally in Latin, an English edition of the elenctics (from a Greek word meaning conviction and used when convicting of error) has been available in three volumes since 1992, edited by James T Dennison. Mr Roberts plea was for Systematic Theology rather than Turretin's work in particular, which is no easy read. He was commended, however, for his help on open theism, God's law and the new perspective. A good discussion followed, thankfully not side-tracked by the presence of a latter day Amyraldian, with whom Mr Roberts dealt graciously but firmly.