|Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology|
I‘m not sure why it is that fewer systematic theologies were produced in the UK during the Puritan era than on the continent, particularly in Holland but also Geneva. Continental theologies are very thorough, dealing not only with the various loci of theology but also, under prolegomena, discussing the place of reason and the senses in the work of theology in general terms. Francis Turretin is a good example. So he gives his readers a general account of the place of logic, reason and judgment in theology at the beginning of his Institutes. In Book I question 9-11 he outlines what he takes to be the role of reason in theology, and in question 12, the role of the senses, albeit in his usual compressed and economical way. In the light of current ferment about foundationalism and its alleged evils I think that it is helpful to regard Turretin not as an epistemological foundationalist in the optimistic Enlightenment sense of providing self-evident proposition or propositions as foundational, like Descartes’ cogito, or providing undeniable foundational data, like John Locke’s simple ideas, ideas of sensation and reflection, but as thinking of the senses and intellect as fundamental instruments of knowledge. And intrinsic to his account of the place of the reason and the senses in theology is the claim that grace builds upon nature.