Robert Letham’s book The Westminster Assembly: Reading Its Theology in Historical Context is superb, showing the breadth of the Reformed faith in the seventeenth century. Of course not everyone within this broad faith believed it was–Luther not only disagreed with Zwingli at Marburg, he declared him and his followers not to be Christians. More common today are those who want to huddle around the word “Reformed”, limiting it to their small stream which is in fact just one offshoot of a massive theological Columbia River. Letham leaves no room for such provincialism:
Regarding the article on justification, Twisse, Gataker, and Richard Vines–like Robert Rollock (1559-99) and Johannes Piscator (1546-1625) before them–argued strongly that only the passive obedience of Christ is imputed for justification. Other opposed them, led by Featley. The vote went in favor of Christ’s “whole obedience,” with “3 <or 4> only dissenting.” James I’s request that the controversy between Molinaeus and Tilenus on the imputation of the active obedience of Christ not be discussed in his realm was read to the Assembly, although there is some doubt as to whether the whole of it was read or only part. James cautioned against making it an issue on the ground that it was a new matter, not decided by any council, nor handled by the Fathers or scholastics. (p39)
The imputation of Christ’s active obedience was a divided question but not a divisive question. We know this because men on both sides of the issue worked together and signed the Confession. Our tradition is bigger than many think, and big enough to include those who want to draw the circle tightly around themselves, although the irony is not lost that they fence out the authors of one of the central confessions of Reformed faith.