Thomas Bradwardine: Defender of God’s Sovereignty – Rev. C.Griess

SB-Reform-Nov-2015Back on Reformation Day 2015 (Oct.31), I called attention to the latest special Reformation issue of the Standard Bearer. This issue focuses on the period of the Middle Ages and the pre-Reformers the Lord raised up to give light to His people who sat in darkness.

Today I call your attention to one of the special articles in this issue – an article that introduces us to a man I would guess few of us know or at least know very well; Thomas Bradwardine (c.1290-1349). In his fine piece on this godly man, Rev. Cory Griess calls him the “defender of God’s Sovereignty”.

This is how Rev.Griess opens his article and explains his significance in the history of the church in the Middle Ages:

     It is always a wonderful thing to find another who loves the sovereignty of God as the truth of God revealed in scripture. It is especially wonderful to find such in the Middle Ages. Thomas Bradwardine, though little known, is such a man. If Gottschalk is rightly remembered in particular for His defense of sovereign predestination in the Middle Ages, Bradwardine ought to be remembered for His defense of the absolute sovereignty of God during the same era.
Bradwardine was born in England sometime around 1290 AD. He was a brilliant man earning him the nickname, “The Profound Doctor.” He produced accomplished works in many areas of study, including logic, geometry, and physics, and some of his works are still required reading for advanced research in math and science today.

But his main contribution was in theology which he studied and later taught at Oxford. His great work as a theologian is De Causa Dei (The Cause of God), which was written against the Pelagians who were prevalent in his time. The title helps up know not only the content of the book, but Bradwardine’s own view of his role in God’s kingdom in in the 13th and 14th centuries. Bradwardine rightly viewed himself as a defender of the sovereignty and supremacy of God in the midst of a philosophical climate that exalted man and dethroned God. Gordon Leff describes Bradwardine’s purpose with the book and his life, He was “concerned to cut, root and branch, at that outlook which started from men, not from God…to rebut the consequences which flowed from such a wrong attitude and to win back all attention to God.”

TBradwardineTo read all of this article and the other special ones in this “SB” Reformation issue, visit the home page to receive a copy and/or to subscribe.

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