Skip to main content Accessibility help

Samuel Rutherford's supralapsarianism revealed: a key to the lapsarian position of the Westminster Confession of Faith?

  • Guy M. Richard (a1)

Samuel Rutherford (1600–61) has long been assumed to be an advocate of a harsh supralapsarian predestinarianism. Such an assumption, however, cannot be substantiated by the claims that he makes in his writings. New evidence from his writings suggests that while Rutherford was supralapsarian, he expressed his supralapsarianism only in the most moderate of terms. In fact, he consistently employed infralapsarian language to express his thinking in regard to predestination. This essay will seek to demonstrate this in Rutherford and then to explore whether such an expression of supralapsarian predestinarianism can help us in determining the lapsarian position of the Westminster Confession of Faith. While some scholars have claimed that the Confession is an infralapsarian document, this essay will show that, by using Rutherford's supralapsarianism as a hermeneutic, it is perhaps better understood as a supralapsarian document that is phrased in such a way so as to facilitate consensus on the lapsarian issue.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Scottish Journal of Theology
  • ISSN: 0036-9306
  • EISSN: 1475-3065
  • URL: /core/journals/scottish-journal-of-theology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed