The Relationship of Moses to Adam

A new book has come out which seeks to clarify the strand of the Reformed tradition that sees republication of the covenant of works in the Mosaic economy. It is a collection of essays divided into historical, exegetical, and systematic categories. This book is timely for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the vast amount of confusion I have seen on the internet and in the literature concerning the republication thesis. No one seems to have the foggiest idea what is supposed in this thesis. Just to take one example concerning the relation of the Mosaic economy to the covenant of grace in the republication thesis:

First, to affirm that in some sense the covenant of works is republished at Sinai is not to say that there is a different way of salvation in the Old Testament from the New. The doctrine of republication is not in any way dispensationalism. Advocates of republication universally affirm that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, and that the gospel was in operation from the instant of man’s fall. Secondly, to affirm the doctrine of republication does not entail the view that the Mosaic covenant is not part of the covenant of grace (p. 14).

Indeed. This is something that opponents of republication cannot seem to get their head around. That there is a two-fold relation (as Turretin would put it) of the Mosaic to the CoW and to the CoG seems impossible to many. They might even claim that republication mixes law and gospel. Careful readers of this book will hopefully have such erroneous conceptions dispelled.

The first section contains historical articles by John Fesko, Darryl Hart, and Brenton Ferry. Fesko talks about Calvin and Witsius, Hart about Princeton, and Ferry about all the various views that have been promulgated on republication.

The second section has articles by Bryan Estelle on Leviticus 18:5 and Deut 30:1-14, Richard Belcher on the Psalms, Byron Curtis on Hosea 6:7, Guy Waters on Romans 10:5, T. David Gordon on Galatians 3:6-14, and S.M. Baugh on Galatians 5:1-6.

The third section has two theological articles, one by David Van Drunen on the natural law as related to the works principle, and one by Michael Horton on Christ’s total obedience to the law.

I felt that all the articles were competent, and addressed the topic well. For me, the most striking article was T. David Gordon’s article on Galatians 3:6-14. He exegetes the passage extremely well, and finds five ways in which the Sinaitic covenant differs in kind from the Abrahamic as Pauline exegesis (Sinai excludes Gentiles, whereas Abrahamic includes them; Sinai curses, whereas Abrahamic blesses; Sinai is characterized by works of the law, whereas Abrahamic is characterized by grace; Sinai does not justify, whereas the Abrahamic does; and Paul refers to Sinai as ‘law,’ whereas Abrahamic is described as ‘promise.’). Now, his discussion is only summarized this way. His actual argumentation, and the qualifications he puts on these five differences are extremely important. Equally convincing is the response he gives to those who argue that Paul is merely putting down a misinterpretation of the law. Paul is doing no such thing. This is evident in Gordon’s discussion of the translation issue concerning the gratuitous addition of the words “rely on” in many modern translations of Galatians 3:10. He says:

Such a gratuitous error is difficult to account for apart from sheer theological prejudice, a sheer unwillingness to grant that Paul is here speaking of the covenant-administration given at Sinai itslef, not some later, alleged Jewish perversion thereof (p. 245).

In other words, in Galatians 3:10, Paul is not rejecting a perverse “relying on” the works of the law, but rather is showing us that those who are of the works of the law, in that works covenant, are cursed. This, of course, has to be balanced with other descriptions of Sinai as part of the Covenant of grace. Gordon’s target in all this is John Murray’s wholesale recasting of covenant theology in a monocovenantal mode. Gordon argues convincingly that monocovenantal views cannot read Galatians properly.

The book as a whole is well-written. Certainly, many will disagree with some or all of the book. But it is a very important contribution to the discussion.

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78 Comments

  1. John Ball said,

    March 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Your statement that “No one seems to have the foggiest idea what is supposed in this [republication] thesis” is more true than you realize. Even the authors of the book don’t seem to be sure what they precisely mean by it. I don’t know how many times I read them repeat their thesis that the Mosaic covenant must “in some sense” be a republication of the covenant of works. But in what precise sense? Answering that question with specificity has a lot of ramifications when trying to assess the orthodoxy of the various proposals. The authors themselves admit this: “there are a number of different formulations [of the republication thesis], some unorthodox, that have been offered over the years.” I found that to be a rather unhelpful way of framing the question, and, in my opinion, keeps the book from really dispelling the confusion you speak of.

    As for Gordon’s article, I was suprised that you focused upon it, as it is probably the most provocative in the whole volume. Perhaps some of the critical comments of late (particularly those over at Thomas Goodwin) prodded you to focus on it. One quote particularly struck me as especially difficult to harmonize with the consensus of the mainstream Reformed tradition on this matter:

    “Some may not like Paul’s opinion on the matter. What we must not do is evade the plain teaching of Paul that the Sinai covenant itself, as it was delivered by the hand of Moses 430 years after the Abrahamic covenant, was a different covenant, different in kind, characteristically legal, Gentile- excluding, non-justifying because it was characterized by works, and therefore cursing its recipients and hearing children for slavery. If this doesn’t sound like any bargain, recall that the original Israelites did not consider it a bargain either, and they resisted Moses’ efforts to engage them in it. All things considered, many of the first-generation Israelites, who received this covenant while trembling at the foot of a quaking mountain and then wandered in the wilderness, preferred to return to Egypt rather than to enter the covenant with a frightening deity who threatened curse-sanctions upon them if they disobeyed. I do not blame them; their assessment of the matter was judicious and well considered, albeit rebellious. The Sinai covenant- administration was no bargain for sinners, and I pity the poor Israelites who suffered under its administration, just as I understand perfectly well why seventy-three (nearly half) of their psalms were laments. I would have resisted this covenant also, had I been there, because such a legal covenant, whose conditions require strict obedience (and threaten severe curse-sanctions), is bound to fail if one of the parties to it is a sinful people.”

    Does anyone really think that this is the mainstream consensus of Reformed theologians on the relationship between the Mosaic and Abrahamic covenants?

    Furthermore, Gordon’s fails to substantively interact with Murray’s exegesis on Galatians. He writes: “…John Murray, to my knowledge, never wrote so much as a paragraph about the Galatian letter” (253). Later on the same page he says: “Not of [Murray's articles, essays, or books] deals with Galatians generally, nor a particualrly passage within Galatians specifically. Considering that Murray was both a NT scholar and a professor of Systematic Theology, it seems odd that he would publish nothing about what many consider to be one of Paul’s most important theological letters.” Finally, Gordon writes: “[Murray] could have made no sense out of the letter, and anything he might have written about it would have been obfuscatory in the highest degree.”

    All of these claims are simply false. Just pick up ANY volume Murray wrote on specifically doctrinal subjects. Look in the indices. Nearly all of them deal with Galatians (even the passage Gordon treats in his essay). Go type in “John Murray Galatians” on any search engine on the internet, and you will find two class lectures in which Murray painstakingly exegetes Galatians 3. The question is not, “has Murray read Galatians.” Evidently he has. Rather, the question is, has Gordon actually read Murray? Apparently for him, it doesn’t matter what he wrote. He is already convinced BEFORE reading his argument that “anything he might have written about it would have been obfuscatory in the highest degree.”

    I am not one to defend everything Murray wrote. But it is simply bad scholarship to fail to substantially interact with the person you aim to critique.

  2. Michael Saville said,

    March 23, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I haven’t read the book or Gordon’s essay. However, it’s pretty clear from the New Testament that Israel had by-and-large departed from the biblical faith and a proper understanding of the law (Mt 15:1-9); thus, it would seem that the perversion of the law is the more likely target of Paul in Galatians than the Mosaic covenant per se. Otherwise, it would seem that the real problem with those whom Paul is targeting in Galatians, is that they were about 20 years behind the times (redemptive-historically).

    Anyway, I think that Dabney in his Systematic Theology provides a compelling case against the CoW republication viewpoint.

  3. John Ball said,

    March 23, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Calvin would agree with you here:

    “The Apostle obviates here an objection which might have been made against him; for the Jews might have appeared to have kept the right way by depending on the righteousness of the law. It was necessary for him to disprove this false opinion; and this is what he does here. He shows that he is a false interpreter of the law, who seeks to be justified by his own works; because the law had been given for this end, — to lead us as by the hand to another righteousness: nay, whatever the law teaches, whatever it commands, whatever it promises, has always a reference to Christ as its main object; and hence all its parts ought to be applied to him.” (Comm. Rom. 10:4)

    “[Paul] was disputing with perverse teachers who pretended that we merit righteousness by the works of the law. Consequently, to refute their error he was sometimes compelled to take the law in a narrow sense, even though it was otherwise graced with the covenant of free adoption.” (Institutes, II.vii.2).

  4. Patrick said,

    March 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    How can a covenant be different in kind, and yet be the same in substance? Sounds like recasting to me! ;)

  5. Dale Olzer said,

    March 23, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    For a layperson who reads and respects authors on both sides of the debate concerning CoW/CoG at Sinai this is a very difficult issue to navigate around and understand.

    If we take the CoW approach it seems that the OT becomes less important because the law at Sinai becomes a tyrant we cannot please. And yes it is true that the righteous and holy demands of the law can only be fulfilled in Christ, but with CoW there is no sense that the Law can be a guide to holy living, which by faith a Christian can be motivated towards. With the CoW the law at Sinai doesn’t seem like it could be treated as a gift from God on how His people may please Him.

    Now as for Galatians 3:10, and remember I’m just a layperson who knows no exegetical method or Greek, but it seems Paul is saying that if you think your performance with the law is providing your way to salvation, you better think again. Furthermore, Paul is teaching us that if you think you can rely on your works of the law, then the law is not by faith, rather it is a curse (Galatians 3:12). So Paul in Romans 9:32 teaches that the failure of the OT Jews was that they did not pursue the law by faith. Only by faith is the Law to be pursued and obeyed.

    The Law can be our great joy because for the Christian it is our rule of gratitude, our way of pleasing the one who purchased our salvation. And God by his Spirit gives us the divine motivation to pursue this task. This seems to be the consistent message of the bible in both the OT (especially at Sinai) and in the NT (Sermon on the Mount, Paul’s imperatives given after a grounding in the indicative).

    If the Law is not by Faith, how can it be a joy and how can a Christian love God and his neighbor apart from faith?

  6. Benji Swinburnson said,

    March 24, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Wait a minute…I thought that was what John Murray was up to :).

  7. Ron Henzel said,

    March 24, 2009 at 4:47 am

    Dale,

    I would say rather that the Law can be our great joy because Christ has removed its curse by taking its curse upon Himself. This, to me, is the actual consistent message of Scripture throughout the OT and NT, and is even foreshadowed by aspects of the Law itself, even while other aspects of it consist in a republication of the Covenant of Works.

  8. John Ball said,

    March 24, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Dale:

    Again, Calvin would seem to agree with you here (as you can see, I continue to be very impressed with the way he handles this issue).

    “The law evidently is not contrary to faith; otherwise God would be unlike himself; but we must return to a principle already noticed, that Paul’s language is modified by the present aspect of the case. The contradiction between the law and faith lies in the matter of justification. You will more easily unite fire and water, than reconcile these two statements, that men are justified by faith, and that they are justified by the law. “The law is not of faith;” that is, it has a method of justifying a man which is wholly at variance with faith…And yet it does not follow from this, that faith is inactive, or that it sets believers free from good works. For the present question is not, whether believers ought to keep the law as far as they can, (which is beyond all doubt,) but whether they can obtain righteousness by works, which is impossible.”

    As you can see, this seems to be quite a different take on this text than (some of) the authors of this book. But in my opinion (and Calvin’s!) you may be a “layperson,” but you have accurately read the apostle Paul (cf. WCF 1:7).

  9. Dale Olzer said,

    March 24, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Thanks for your insight Ron and I completely agree with you that Christ has removed the curse by taking the curse upon Himself.

    So Ron, maybe you can help me with this, the trouble I have with viewing the covenant at Sinai as a republication of the CoW, is how were the people of God during that dispensation of the covenant encouraged? How were the covenant families living in the days of Moses nourished? How did God care for their souls?

    I do ask this in all sincerity. Not as a gotcha.

    Thanks

  10. Ken Pierce said,

    March 24, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Lane,

    Isn’t there a third option between the Estelle/Fesko/Kline/Horton/Gordon complete discontinuity approach and the complete continuity approach?

    I, for instance, find in Witsius and Hodge a more balanced approach –understanding that the Law functions both in regards to works and grace? The classic understanding of the three-fold use of the law, it seems to me, bears this out.

    Kline and his followers have some important things to say, but I think historic Covenant Theology is more faithful to the actual Scriptural data.

  11. Todd said,

    March 24, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Ken,

    Where did you get the idea that Horton, Fesko, etc… do not hold to the third use of the Law? They all affirm it. Horton writes:

    But no one who has actually read the reformers or the Reformation confessions, postReformation dogmatics, etc., could ever conclude that the third use of the Law or the importance of sanctification was in any way subverted. (Even the Lutheran Book of Concord clearly affirms the third use in its condemnation of antinomianism.) The reformers and their heirs were affirming the necessity of good works while denying that obedience or faithfulness in any way served as either ground or instrument of justification. Their critics (Roman, Socinian and Arminian) would quote verses that clearly warned against falling away and that called for obedience in the Christian life as if these teats somehow cancelled out the biblical understanding of justification. Only if justification is regarded as the only truth about sinful Christians can it be opposed to good works. By insisting that justification was by faith alone, apart from human obedience, they were not also saying that one could be saved in the end who did not have works.”
    (M. Horton, “What’s really At Stake”)

    Todd

  12. Ken Pierce said,

    March 24, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Todd,

    I think they think they uphold it, but wind up subverting it –witness Mike Horton’s qulaifications of various kinds of covenants in his Covenant theology tome. His work on the Mosaic Covenant, it seems to me, puts it exclusively in the realm of a works-based covenant.

    I would agree with Hodge and others that there is a works/reward principle in the Mosaic covenant, particularly as it relates to Israel retaining the land blessing.

    But, that is something altogether different than saying the Law is completely a matter of works, and therefore abrogated.

    In short, I find their work inherently self-contradictory. That said, I far prefer that overemphasis to the opposite error, which monocovenantalism brings us.

  13. Todd said,

    March 24, 2009 at 11:02 am

    “But, that is something altogether different than saying the Law is completely a matter of works, and therefore abrogated.”

    I guess I would need to see an example where Horton writes such a thing. Mind providing an example?

    Todd

  14. John Ball said,

    March 24, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Witness also this statement from David Vandrunen in the volume under discussion:

    “…Insofar as they [NT Christians] are called out of the world into the kingdom of Christ, Christians do not operate according to the natural law (though their basic moral obligations remain the same), for they are not under the works principle, either in regard to their justification before God, OR IN REGARD TO THEIR CONDUCT TOWARDS ONE ANOTHER.” (pg. 313)

    Again, the issue with “antinomianism” did not focus on whether our “moral obligations” are essentially the same as that laid down in the law. Rather, the issue is whether the law itself continues to direct us in our conduct (in both society, and the church, I might add). DVD cannot view the law expect in relationship to a strict works-principle (either in nature or under Moses). He may affirm the 3rd use of the law when asked about it (and we are happy he does), but how does his underlying theology necessitate or require such an affirmation?

  15. Ken Pierce said,

    March 24, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Todd,

    Complete discontinuity appears to be Horton’s position.

    By his own admission, he goes fartherthan older covenant theologians would. In my reading of older covenant theologians, they draw a distinction between the law itself and its administration under Moses. I don’t see this in Horton, but it has been some time since I read it closely.

    Horton, for instance, says, “The point could not be clearer: the new covenant is not a renewal of the old covenant made at Sinai, but an entirely different covenant with an entirely different basis.” (God’s Promise, p. 53). Later he does admit, “[i]t is not quite right to say that the Sinai covenant is nothing more than a republication of the original covenant of works made to Adam before the Fall…In this I agree with the old Reformed theologians, M. G. Kline…” (p. 54) IN short, Horton recognizes some discontinuity between himself and older theologians! But, the probelm is that he doesn’t explain how this works. How can the Mosaic Covenant be a self-contained typological unit and yet have continuing significance? How can it be that it was simply designed to fail, and no longer in effect in any sense, and say that Christ fulfilled the curse of the law for us –why would that be relevant if the Old Covenant were a closed book?

    All of which is fine. I’m not accusing him of heresy, merely of novelty! The danger in regarding the Law as simply a covenant of works for Israel is it overlooks the truth that all post-fall covenants are in one sense just like the Covenant of Works –they are based upon the obedience of the recipient. Pre-fall, it was based on the obedience of Adam. Post-fall, they are based on the obedience of Christ. This, I think, is what the monocovenantalists, who seem to make it all depend upon man with God’s gracious help, also miss.

    The Mosaic Covenant is abrogated for the believer in terms of its sanctions falling on him because Christ has fulfilled it for him. He has fulfilled its types and shadows. He has fulfilled its moral components. And, he subsumes in himself its legal decrees.

    I think what Horton misses is this. The terms of all covenants are the same: personal obedience and loyalty to the revealed will of God. Those terms must be fulfilled by us or by another. Outside of Christ, we live under a broken covenant. In Christ, we live under the covenant he has kept for us.

  16. Todd said,

    March 24, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Ken,

    Sorry, I may be slow today, but I’m not seeing your concern with Horton based upon that reading. Maybe someone else can help here.

    Todd

  17. Reformed Sinner said,

    March 24, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Al Groves used to make a case that in the OT times the “Exodus” was their “cross”. It is because God has saved you, now, follow my Law. You are already a people of God (Exodus cements that), now live like one. Their nourishment and mercy is their Exodus experience, God’s great salvation to His people.

    Of course Exodus is only a shadow to the true liberation of sin – Jesus Christ.

  18. Reformed Sinner said,

    March 24, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Yes there is. Listen to Gaffin’s teachings on Salvation I class (Westminster Theological Semianry.) He spent quite a lot of time on the topic of Covenant and it’s continuality and discontinuality.

  19. David R. said,

    March 24, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    I thought this quote from James Buchanan would be a good one to throw into the mix as a historic witness to the doctrine of republication:

    “The addition of the Law was not intended to alter either the ground, or the method, of a sinner’s justification, by substituting obedience to the Law for faith in the Promise; … Believers were justified, therefore, under the Law, not by works, but by faith: by faith, they were ‘the children of Abraham,’ and ‘heirs with him of the same promise.’ The Law–considered as a national covenant, by which their continued possession of the land of Canaan, and of all their privileges under the Theocracy, was left to depend on their external obedience to it,–might be called a national Covenant of Works, since their temporal welfare was suspended on the condition of their continued adherence to it; but, in that aspect of it, it had no relation to the spiritual salvation of individuals, otherwise than as this might be affected by their retaining, or forfeiting, their outward privileges and means of grace” (James Buchanan, The Doctrine of Justification, pp. 38-39).

  20. David R. said,

    March 24, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    P.S. I can’t see any difference between Buchanan’s view and that of “Estelle/Fesko/Kline/Horton/Gordon.” Can anyone else?

  21. Ken Pierce said,

    March 24, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    First, you can’t assume to have Buchanan’s whole view from one quote.

    Second, you can’t quote one brief passage of what is commonly held by those who hold to more continuity (read OP Robertson, for example, for a contrasting view on the Mosaic Covenant), and those who hold to discontinuity and say that all covenant theology is the same.

    Nobody who has read extensively in covenant theology would ever contend that all covenant theologians are united on continuities and discontinuities.

  22. David R. said,

    March 24, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Ken,

    Buchanan is unambiguous here: “The Law–considered as a national covenant, by which their continued possession of the land of Canaan, and of all their privileges under the Theocracy, was left to depend on their external obedience to it,–might be called a national Covenant of Works, since their temporal welfare was suspended on the condition of their continued adherence to it; but, in that aspect of it, it had no relation to the spiritual salvation of individuals …”

    My point was that I really doubt that Estelle et. al. are saying anything more than this. And by the same token, I doubt that their detractors would agree with the substance of what Buchanan is saying here. If I’m wrong about this, please show me what I’m missing, as I am open to being corrected.

  23. Ron Henzel said,

    March 24, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Ken,

    You wrote:

    First, you can’t assume to have Buchanan’s whole view from one quote.

    Then how about two quotes? In the very next sentence Buchanan put a finer point on it when he wrote:

    It may be considered, however, in another light, as a re-exhibition of the original Covenant of Works, for the instruction of individual Jews in the principles of divine truth ; for in some such light it is evidently presented in the writings of Paul.

    [The Doctrine of Justification, (Edinburgh: T.&T. Clark, 1867), 39.]

    (Note the distinction in Buchanan’s thinking here between the concept of the Mosaic Law as “a national Covenant of Works” for Israel’s possession of the land and “a re-exhibition of the original Covenant of Works” both for the Jews and as presented to the Gentiles by Paul.)

    Or how about three quotes? Twenty years earlier Buchanan even used the word “republication” when he wrote:

    In so far as the law given by Moses was a republication of the covenant of works, it had no power to give peace to the sinner’s conscience, and no tendency to liberate him from the bondage of his fears. On the contrary, it was fitted and designed to convince him of his guilt and danger,—to impress him with an awful sense of God’s unchangeable rectitude and justice, and to teach him, that “by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” It was, in fact, a ministration of death, a ministration of condemnation ; and the bondage of the law preceded, and tended to prepare the way for the glorious liberty wherewith Christ maketh his people free.

    [The Office and Work of the Holy Spirit, (New York: Robert Carter, 1847), 455.]

    How many times and how many ways does an author have to say something before we have his “whole view’ on one particular point of doctrine?

  24. Jeff Cagle said,

    March 24, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    I think what he’s saying is that

    IF

    Horton means for the Mosaic Covenant to be a stand-alone covenant, operating entirely separately from the New Covenant,

    THEN

    Jesus’ fulfillment of the Law as the basis for our justification and inclusion into the New Covenant now makes no sense.

    For why would Jesus have to fulfill the Law if it is entirely irrelevant to the New Covenant? What has the Church to do with Sinai? Or something like that.

    For my part, I wonder what Horton means by “entirely different covenant” in light of WCoF 7.4-5 “The Covenant of Grace … This Covenant was differently administered in the time of the law…”

    Not having read Horton, I think I’m missing context here.

    Jeff Cagle

  25. John Ball said,

    March 24, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    The issue is not whether we can find a couple (or even 5-6) theologians who state a view like this. Rather, the question is, what is the mainstream consensus of Reformed theologians on this matter? What view is reflected in our confessions? I think an honest reading of WCF 7 in its 17th century context, as well as a 19:1-2, poses problems for this version of the republication thesis (not to mention the Formula Consensus Helvetica).

    Again, everything depends on how you frame the question. You can quote individual theologians all day long – it does not change the fact that this is not the view of the majority consensus of confessional calvinism. That is the question we should be focusing on.

  26. John Ball said,

    March 24, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    By the way, has anyone read D. Patrick Ramsey’s (excellent, in my opinion) article, “In Defense of Moses: A Confessional Critique of Kline and Karlberg?” I think that deals in a fairly clear way some of the problems with similar proposals of the republication thesis.

    This book mentions the article a couple of times, but unfortunately, it doesn’t substantially interact with or answer his arguments (but I am not really suprised, they don’t really do that with Murray either – see comment above). I think he convincingly argues that even though there is a degree of diversity amongindividual Reformed writers, there is, nevertheless, a clear consensus in our confessional documents.

  27. Patrick said,

    March 24, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Check out March 24 Ref21 blog post on Calvin by Derek Thomas here:

    http://www.reformation21.org/calvin/2009/03/blog-57-263-271.php

    He writes: “No “renewal of a covenant of works under a Mosaic covenant” for Calvin but rather, a continuation of the one gracious administration of the covenant established with Abraham and fulfilled in Jesus Christ; the sacrifices serving as “types,” foreshadowing the coming Mediator. “

  28. thomasgoodwin said,

    March 24, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Calvin … that “monocovenantalist” … he should be consigned to the same heretical camp that Murray has been sent to …

  29. John Ball said,

    March 24, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Hmmm…that’s not what Fesko says in the first article of the volume. He says that for Calvin there are two separate covenants operative simultaneously in the Mosaic administration (pg.30, 33): a covenant of works or legal covenant, and a covenant of grace or evangelical covenant. Brenton Ferry’s article seems to try to make the same case (pg. 104).

    I am not sure how this squares with Calvin’s own comments on Jer. 31:

    “Now, as to the new covenant, it is not so called, because it is contrary to the first covenant; for God is never inconsistent with himself, nor is he unlike himself, he then who once made a covenant with his chosen people, had not changed his purpose, as though he had forgotten his faithfulness. It then follows, that the first covenant was inviolable; besides, he had already made his covenant with Abraham, and the Law was a confirmation of that covenant. As then the Law depended on that covenant which God made with his servant Abraham, it follows that God could never have made a new, that is, a contrary or a different covenant. For whence do we derive our hope of salvation, except from that blessed seed promised to Abraham? Further, why are we called the children of Abraham, except on account of the common bond of faith? Why are the faithful said to be gathered into the bosom of Abraham? Why does Christ say, that some will come from the east and the west, and sit down in the kingdom of heaven with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? (Luke 16:22; Matthew 8:11) These things no doubt sufficiently shew that God has never made any other covenant than that which he made formerly with Abraham, and at length confirmed by the hand of Moses. This subject might be more fully handled; but it is enough briefly to shew, that the covenant which God made at first is perpetual.”

    That’s the great thing about primary documents: they can never misrepresent (consciously or unconsciously) the author!

  30. Ron Henzel said,

    March 25, 2009 at 4:39 am

    Several things are worth noting here:

    1) There is a vast difference between calling the Law of Moses, on the one hand, a “renewal” of the Covenant of Works, and on the other hand a “republication” or “re-exhibition” of it. Strictly speaking, the Covenant of Works was never and could never be renewed after the Fall. To say otherwise would both compromise the federal headship of Adam over the race of fallen humanity and insert an unbiblical gap into the Covenant of Grace, of which the Mosaic Law is an administration. However, a republication or re-exhibition of it for the pedagogical purpose of driving sinners to Christ, and the soteriological purpose of providing a legal basis for the redemption and propitiation aspects of the atonement, is not only consistent with the Law as part of the Covenant of Grace, but required in the New Testament.

    2) In the portion of the Institutes Thomas considers (2.6.3 – 2.7.1) is not relevant to the discussion of the relationship of the Mosaic Law to the Covenant of Works. However, it is relevant to the discussion of the unity of the Covenant of Grace, which no proponent of the republication thesis denies.

    3) Although Calvin briefly alludes to it beginning in 2.7.2, the portion of the Institutes that is actually relevant to the discussion of the relationship of the Mosaic Law to the Covenant of Works is found in 2.12-13.

    4) If Thomas had been describing monocovenantalism, he would not have labeled the Mosaic Law as “a continuation of the one gracious administration of the covenant established with Abraham,” but “with Adam.” Monocovenantalism is not merely a denial of the republication thesis, but a denial of the Covenant of Works itself.

    5) Not only is Thomas not guilty of denying the Covenant of Works, he also does not believe that Calvin was guilty of it. In his contribution to A Theological Guide to Calvin’s Institutes, (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2008), he writes:

    Calvin does not employ the terminology of a “covenant of works” in his understanding of Gen. 2:16-17, but it is difficult to deny that all of the elements of such a covenant are present in his thinking.

    [Ibid., 210, footnote 28.]

    The portion of the Institutes he covers for that volume includes the aforementioned 2.12-13, and goes through 2.15. Oddly, the book itself contains no discussion of 2.5-9, in which section is found the subject of Thomas’s current blog post.

  31. greenbaggins said,

    March 25, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Ken, I would certainly agree that the law functions in the traditional three-fold way. As such, I would argue that it functions in the Mosaic economy both in its first use (which connects it to the CoW), and in its third use (which connects it to the CoG). I am not sure whether Fesko et al actually subvert this or not. I did not get that impression from reading the book. To me it was a question of asking whether the law really functions in its first use in the Mosaic economy. I have to answer yes. And I also find myself attracted to saying that the first use somehow changes in the CoG. I haven’t worked that one out yet. But the argument concerning Galatians 3 I found very powerful.

  32. John Ball said,

    March 25, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Just a question: which “version” of the republication thesis are you referring to? The book under discussion notes that there are several ways this can be formulated.

  33. David R. said,

    March 25, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I think I may possibly have figured out a way to cut through some of the confusion caused by the differing notions of what is meant by “republication” (though that is probably too much to hope for …). Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it true that the essence of the republication thesis is simply that: Israel stood a probation in the Land that was in some way analogous to Adam’s probation in Eden, and was also typological of Christ’s probation in the pactum salutis?

    Is this a fair way of stating things? It seems to me that this is what the proponents of republication are actually affirming, and what its detractors are denying.

    If this is indeed true, then affirming that the Law functions in its first use in the Mosaic economy is NOT enough to make one a proponent of republication, since ALL Reformed theologians would agree that the Law functions in its first use, not just in the Mosaic economy, but in all economies of redemption (including the present one of course). What distinguishes the republication thesis is its insistence on Israel’s probation – in other words – that a works principle was operative in Israel’s retention of the Land of Canaan, and in her reception of temporal blessings therein. True or false?

  34. rfwhite said,

    March 25, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    David R., speaking for myself, I think your summary of the essence of the republication thesis is correct. I say this presuming that when you say, “a works principle was operative in Israel’s retention of the Land of Canaan, and in her reception of temporal blessings therein,” you mean that Israel would keep or lose the earthly and temporal blessings of residence in the land according to their own obedience.

  35. Todd said,

    March 25, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    David,

    I would add that not only was Israel under a probation (as a nation) which depended on her obedience (a cov of works), which was not hypothetical but real, each individual Israelite under the Law was under a hypothetical covenant of works; the Law demanding complete obedience for eternal life. See Ezek 18:5-9, Matt 19:17-19.

    Todd

  36. thomasgoodwin said,

    March 25, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    So long as you mean, as the Westminster Divine, Stephen Marshall, argued:

    …neither did the Lord promise them [Israel]entrance into, or continuance in that Land, but upon the same conditions upon which hee promiseth eternall life, as true Faith in the Gospel, with the love and feare of God, and obedience of his Commandments: Godliness having then, as it hath now and alwayes, the promise of good things for this life, and the life to come…Now this externall Administration of the Covenant is not the same with us, as it was with them, but the Covenant is the same…the same conditions…the same graces promised…Theirs was dispensed in darker Prophecies, and obscurer Sacrifices, types, and Sacraments, our more gloriously and clearely, and in a greater measure: the cloathes indeed doe differ, but the body is the same in both. A Sermon of the Baptizing of Infants, pages 11-12

    There are plenty of promises in Scripture based on our obedience (i.e. conditional promises versus unconditional promises). Israel’s problem was lack of faith. After all, whatever is not of faith is sin; this applies as much to us as it does the Israelites. Their obedience should have sprung from their faith, but they were exposed for unbelief.

  37. John Ball said,

    March 25, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Dr. Richard Gaffin, in a recent review of Horton’s book on Union with Christ and Salvation in Ordained Servant (a publication of the OPC) had this to say (which I think essentially agrees with your quote from Marshall:

    “…I remain unpersuaded, however, that this structure either requires or is particularly enhanced by Horton’s view that under the Mosaic economy the judicial role of the law in the life of God’s people functioned, at the typological level, for inheritance by works (as the covenant of works reintroduced) in antithesis to grace.

    It is difficult for me to see how this way of viewing the theocratic role of Israel as God’s covenant people from Moses to Christ (historia salutis) avoids creating an uneasy tension, if not polarization, in the lives of his people between grace/faith and (good) works/obedience (ordo salutis), especially under the Mosaic economy. As far as I can see from reading the Old Testament, particularly the prophets, the reason Israel went into exile was not failure as a nation to maintain a requisite level of formal obedience to the law in all its details. Rather, Israel lost the land for the deeper reason of unbelief, because of the idolatry that was at the root of and focused the unbelieving nonremnant’s disobedience of God and his law.”

    But then again, he sat in that “revisionist” Murray’s chair, so obviously he can’t really be representing the classic Reformed tradition, right :).

  38. thomasgoodwin said,

    March 25, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks, “John”. To me this is obvious; and Gaffin is only echoing the vast majority of Reformed theologians on this point. Not even Owen (the crypto-Lutheran on this issue) spoke as crassly as some do today.

    But, as I have said before, once people start to read George Mendenhall’s distinctions between promise covenants (Gen. 17) and law covenants (Ex.19-24), they will understand Kline (and Horton) a little better.

  39. David R. said,

    March 25, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Dr. White, Yes that’s exactly what I meant. Thank you for your response and clarification.

  40. David R. said,

    March 25, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Todd, but that’s true in every dispensation, right?

  41. David R. said,

    March 25, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    It stands to reason based on Marshall’s sermon title (“Sermon of the Baptizing of Infants”) that he would be emphasizing elements of continuity between the two dispensations. It’s hard to tell for sure (based on this small excerpt) that he is not simply saying the same sorts of things that all Reformed theologians would say when speaking of the unity of the CoG. (Though here again perhaps we’re back to the issue of how much of an author’s view can be known from one quote.)

  42. thomasgoodwin said,

    March 25, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    David,

    Marshall is emphasizing a point that sometimes isn’t appreciated: it was not bare obedience that dictated whether they entered or not. It was faith in the gospel that provided the ground for their obedience. Some speak of a “works-retention”, but that can be misunderstood to exclude faith. Faith leads to works (Heb. 11). Obedience springs from nothing else but a true, living faith.

    These aren’t semantic differences, either. See Gaffin’s critique above.

  43. Todd said,

    March 25, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    David,

    Yes, but laid upon the Israelites by Law under the old economy, laid upon the rest by conscience to those not under the Law.

    Todd

  44. Todd said,

    March 25, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    “As far as I can see from reading the Old Testament, particularly the prophets, the reason Israel went into exile was not failure as a nation to maintain a requisite level of formal obedience to the law in all its details.”

    This statement seems to be forgetting typology. Israel was exiled for national sins; i.e. formally turning to other gods. Individually we are responsible for complete obedience to all of God’s Law; us or Christ for us. As a nation their obedience was typological of a person. Israel was a Son as a whole, and acted as a whole. And nothing formal about their disobedience, it sprang from hardheartedness.

    Todd

  45. Matt said,

    March 25, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    I’ve told Gordon (on at least a couple of occasions) that he needs to write a full book on Galatians that works out not just Galatians 3 but how this matter of ‘covenant’ permeates the entire book. For example, Paul’s ‘duo diatheke’ in Chapter 4 is not so easily explained by monocovenantal thinking.

  46. David R. said,

    March 25, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Ah, okay, thanks for the clarification Todd.

    Thomasgoodwin (there’s no “reply” link under your comment),

    Aren’t you essentially saying that in the CoG, faith in Christ is a sine qua non of obedience (which of course all parties affirm)? Or did you mean more than this?

  47. Matt said,

    March 25, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Another way to ask Todd’s question….

    Was someone like Daniel sent into ‘exile’ “for the deeper reason of unbelief, because of the idolatry that was at the root of and focused the unbelieving nonremnant’s disobedience of God and his law.”

    I love Gaffin….but I don’t see how this gets rid of ordo (Daniel’s personal faithfulness) and historia (Israel’s corporate unfaithfulness) tensions.

    Thomasgoodwin, why not just skip Mendenhall altogether and go straight to Paul in Galatians 3 and 4!?!? ;-)

  48. rfwhite said,

    March 25, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    John Ball, thanks for the reference to Dr. Gaffin’s review. As I read the citation you provide us, I wonder what he makes of the fact that the believing remnant went into exile along with the unbelieving nonremnant. In other words, one’s faith did nothing to immunize one against exile — or did it? Am I missing something? Ostensibly, would this not be consistent with the republication interpretation of “the Law is not of faith”?

  49. thomasgoodwin said,

    March 25, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    “Thomasgoodwin, why not just skip Mendenhall altogether and go straight to Paul in Galatians 3 and 4!?!? ;-)”

    Because Kline needs Mendenhall more than I do ;)

    David,

    I’m saying, along with most Reformed theologians, that Sinai belongs to the CoG. Israel’s retention of the land is based on an obedience that springs from faith. No faith, no obedience. Their problem was lack of faith, which naturally resulted in a lack of obedience. I’m echoing Gaffin who said (as quoted above):

    “…I remain unpersuaded, however, that this structure either requires or is particularly enhanced by Horton’s view that under the Mosaic economy the judicial role of the law in the life of God’s people functioned, at the typological level, for inheritance by works (as the covenant of works reintroduced) in antithesis to grace.”

    My point is that the words “their rentention of the land is based on works” are not felicitous. It’s a little more complex than that, I think.

  50. rfwhite said,

    March 25, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    If it is the case that the nation’s problem was a lack of faith, which resulted in a lack of obedience, help us understand why the believing remnant went into exile with the unbelieving nonremnant.

  51. thomasgoodwin said,

    March 25, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Are you denying that faith was the problem? (cf. Rom. 14:23)

    Moses was the man in whom Israel was to believe (Ex. 14:31; 19:3).

    Deut 1:32-33 shows that Moses reminds Israel of how the previous generation refused to enter the promised land through unbelief, borrowing language from Num 10:33, and mentioning Caleb as an exception.

    In John 6 Jesus said THE work of God is to believe in him, which agrees with the Pentateuch showing that faith is the essence of Abraham’s covenant keeping (Gen 15:6 compared to Gen 26:5), while unbelief is the essence of Israel’s covenant breaking (Num 14:11). Israel’s redemption from Egypt was followed by death in the wilderness for this reason.

    Why did the believing (elect) remnant go into exile? Isn’t that a pretty prominent theme in the Old and New Testaments?

    Maybe you can answer your own question better than I?

  52. thomasgoodwin said,

    March 25, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    “Corporate solidarity” was supposed to be the answer to your question.

  53. rfwhite said,

    March 25, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    I’m affirming that faith did not keep Israel’s believing remnant from experiencing exile from Canaan any more than faith kept Adam from experiencing exile from Eden. The exile of Israel’s believing remnant looks to me to be consistent with Paul’s claim that the law is not of faith, rather “the one who does them shall live by them.”

  54. John Ball said,

    March 25, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    I fail to see how the fact that the believing remnant went into exile with the believing remnant necessitates the idea that they were under some kind of works covenant.

    As I see it, Daniel and other members of the believing suffered in the exile as a part of the being conformed to the cross of Christ, albeit in a manner suitable to that stage of redemptive history. Unbelieving Jews went into exile as punishment for their unbelief and sin. Believing Jews went with them because God was mysteriously conforming them to the cross of Christ. Rom. 8, in my opinion, speaks to this.

    Perhaps you can help us understand why this necessitates the republication position.

  55. Matt said,

    March 25, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Mark,

    To circle the wagons back to Lane’s initial post…now you see why Galatians 3:12 is so important here:

    Because there is a significant difference between:
    (a) “The Law (wrongly understood) is not of faith”
    (b) “The Law (rightly understood as the Sinaitic legislation) is not of faith”

    Where you come down on that seemingly small *exegetical* point makes a pretty massive difference as to how you view the Mosaic covenant.

    I realize that the Reformed Tradition varies on this point. But point (a) just doesn’t work in Galatians, even if it is theologically true (e.g. the law, if used as the standard of justification, certainly could not be by faith!). You end up having to read Paul as jumping back and forth between these two meanings of ‘nomos’

    vs. 12 — law (understood wrongly to apply to justification)
    vs. 18 — law (understood rightly as the Sinaitic legislation)
    vs. 19 — law (understood wrongly to apply to justification)
    vs. 20 — law (understood rightly as the Sinaitic legislation)

    As Westerholm demonstrates (thoroughly, IMHO), that’s not a very coherent exegesis of Galatians 3. The reason we disagree here is because some of us are taking Paul’s ‘nomos’ reference as consistently meaning the same thing, at least within the limited parameters of Galatians 3….NOT an oscillation between two different perspectives (one right, one wrong) on ‘the law’.

    Sorry….sometimes you can’t go with Calvin all the time! :)

  56. thomasgoodwin said,

    March 25, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    matt,

    Yes, I agree. I haven’t commented on blogs for some time now … because when I do its usually a fruitless exercise, both because of all the issues involved and because I don’t have time to be as careful as I’d like to. I humbly bow out … and return to hospitals to visit old ladies (seriously).

    MJ

  57. Matt said,

    March 25, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Mark,

    Now you see why Ridderbos is right when he notes that “this is an exceedingly complex subject”!

    It’s a question of trying to tie together our loose ends. Not so easily done, granted. But if we’re at a point of saying that Daniel’s exile-suffering is parallel to the Church’s suffering for Christ in Romans 8…..well, now, who’s the one trying to force parallels that thoroughly don’t fit?

    Greet the saints at Faith for me (especially the ones in the hospital).

    MAM

  58. John Ball said,

    March 25, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Rom. 8:36 quotes an exilic psalm (44) that deals with the precise issue of the believing remnant and why they went into exile

    “For your sake we face death all day long, we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”

    Ps. 44:17 says: “All this happened to us, THOUGH WE HAD NOT FORGOTTEN YOU OR BEEN FALSE TO YOUR COVENANT.

  59. John Ball said,

    March 25, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    (Sorry, I accidentally sent the post before I finished it)

    Ps. 44:17 says: “Ps. 44:17 says: “All this happened to us, THOUGH WE HAD NOT FORGOTTEN YOU OR BEEN FALSE TO YOUR COVENANT. Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path. But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals and covered us over with deep darkness.”

    What is Paul’s response to this? The OT saints couldn’t figure this out, so they cried out to God with confidence that he would eventually show them the way: “Rise up and help us; redeem us because of your unfailing love” (Ps. 44:26). Paul, in the fulness of redemptive history, gives us the answer in light of Christ: “But [the Greek does not say "No" as some English translations have it] in all these things we are more than conquerers through him who loved us.

    Or as he put it earlier: “Those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” (8:29). Likewise he called them to suffer with Christ in order that they might share in his glory (8:17).

    Are you saying that we cannot include Daniel and the other OT saints (like the ones he quotes in Psalm 44) in light of this? Are you denying that Daniel’s sufferings were for Christ in Christ? It seems liek a passage like Hebrews 11 (esp. 11:32 compared with 11:26) would support the notion I am arguing here.

  60. John Ball said,

    March 25, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    The point is not simply whether “the Law (wrongly understood) is not of faith.” Everyone (Klineans included) are going to have to eventually say that the Jews in some way misunderstood the Law. Klineans will typically say that the Jews misunderstood the law in that they applied what was true of the typological arena (works-merit) to the arena of individual salvation.

    As I understand Calvin, he is saying that the precise antithesis between law and faith Gal. 3:12 is with respect to justification. The law has an entirely different way of justifying a person than does faith. This completely fits Paul’s broader argument in Galatians, which focuses specifically on the question of how a man is justified before God (Gal. 2:16). It also completely fits the immediate context of Gal. 3:10-14, especially the verse right before 3:12 (3:11): “Clearly NO ONE IS JUSTIFIED BEFORE GOD BY THE LAW, because the righteous shall live by faith.”

    Again, to quote Calvin on this passage:

    “The law evidently is not contrary to faith; otherwise God would be unlike himself; but we must return to a principle already noticed, that Paul’s language is modified by the present aspect of the case. The contradiction between the law and faith lies in the matter of justification. You will more easily unite fire and water, than reconcile these two statements, that men are justified by faith, and that they are justified by the law. “The law is not of faith;” that is, it has a method of justifying a man which is wholly at variance with faith.”

    It seems to me that you have simply set up a straw man here. The “misinterpretation” thesis (at least in its better forms) recognizes that the law as law as originally given by God has a different method of justifying a man, and thus is reallly (in itself) not “of faith.” However, Paul is also very clear that the law was never given to justify a man – that was not its function at all (to Israel, that is) – Gal. 3:19, 21-22. Indeed, this is what he clearly says in 2:16: “a man is not justified by works of the law.” The Jews missed the point because they made the law a constitutive principle of justification, rather than seeing it as a tutor to drive them to Christ (and, as Paul states in other contexts [Gal. 5:14] as a guide to regulate their lives of thankful obedience in sanctification).

  61. Matt said,

    March 25, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    When you start going by your real name, I’ll be glad to interact further. Last I checked, “John Ball” died a long time ago.

    Besides, I’m not interested in being told for the 10th time that I disagree with Calvin or Gaffin or Murray….when I’ve already admitted that there are different readings of Galatians, and I don’t follow your ‘typical’ Reformed reading. If that makes me ‘unReformed’ in some minds then fine — that’s not a battle I’m interested in fighting.

  62. John Ball said,

    March 25, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Alas, it is true that the real “John Ball” is long dead. But his (covenant) theology and the confession he helped to shape is still alive! My only hope is that people will continue to interact with the substance of his arguments.

  63. David R. said,

    March 26, 2009 at 9:27 am

    With regard to the issue of the first (i.e., pedagogical) use of the Law raised earlier (e.g., in comment #19), is it fair to say that scripture compels us to speak of this in two ways? The first way is with respect to the historia salutis, meaning that the people of God in the OT dispensation were imprisoned under the harsh discipline of the Law until the coming of Christ. The second way is with respect to the ordo salutis, meaning that elect sinners in every age are by the Law (known through general or special revelation) made aware of their liability to the wrath of God and driven to faith in Christ. Any thoughts?

  64. David R. said,

    March 26, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Actually, I suppose most refer to this use of the Law as the “second use” (rather than the “first,” as I did above).

  65. Patrick said,

    March 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    FYI, the article “In Defense of Moses: A Confessional Critique of Kline and Karlberg” is now available here: http://patrickspensees.wordpress.com/2009/03/27/in-defense-of-moses/

  66. Jeff Cagle said,

    March 28, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Thanks for the interesting read, Patrick. I was unaware of Puritan views prior to the Confession.

  67. March 28, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Links on a Thursday Night……

    Old Life Theological Society is at it again, saying Lutherans and Reformed have more in common than is thought by those newer concepts of a distinct Reformed doctrine of justification. This topic moves to sanctifiction and the Third Use of the Law as t…

  68. John Ball said,

    March 28, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Patrick:

    I am glad you put this up. I was so dissapointed with Ferry’s response in the later issue of WTJ. All he did was quote a work from Kline that is now 40 years old (By Oath Consigned). As I understand it, Kline explicitly changed his exegesis of Jeremiah 31 reflected in that work.

    None other than Lee Irons has written a very helpful post on the development of Kline’s thought on the relationship between the Mosaic and New covenants. This is what he (that is, Lee) says about it:

    “Unsurprisingly, Kline’s revised description of the New Covenant in KP corresponds to his revised description of the Abrahamic Covenant. In other words, in KP he no longer defines the New Covenant as a renewal of the Old/Mosaic Covenant (i.e., as a law covenant) and instead stresses the contrast between the Old and the New Covenants. The Mosaic Covenant was a covenant of works and was breakable. The New Covenant is a covenant of grace and is fundamentally unbreakable (although the sense in which it is unbreakable must be carefully defined).”

    See this link for the quotes from Kline and his extended commentary: http://www.upper-register.com/blog/?p=41.

    FYI, Irons also sees the Cameronian-Amyraldian subservient covenant position as the closest precursor to Kline. See his paper, entitled, “The Subservient Covenant: A 17th Century Precursor of Kline’s View of the Mosaic Covenant” (http://www.upper-register.com/papers/subservient_cov.pdf).

    To me, this seals the deal as to the accuracy of Patrict’s analysis and the correspondence he draws between (the mature) Kline and Amyraldians.

  69. April 25, 2009 at 8:30 am

    [...] Here is my review of the book. __________________ Rev. Lane Keister Teaching Elder, PCA, North Dakota (working out of bounds in a CRC and an RCA church) http://greenbaggins.wordpress.com http://brahmsgreenglove.blogspot.com http://accenttranslation.blogspot.com Click to get: Board Rules — Signature Requirements — Suggestions? [...]

  70. Richard Tallach said,

    December 11, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    I think the whole expression Republication of the Covenant of Works is confusing and misleading for a start.

    If the way of salvation by a CoW is barred because Man has sinned, why would it be republished at Sinai, apart from hypothetically to make the Israelites look to Christ?

    At best it can be said that the moral law was republished at Sinai and that the Israelites as a nation had to attain to a to a certain degree of holiness and godliness as a nation, if they were to avoid being ejected from the Land. But since they all started out as sinners, the Israelites could only have attained to this degree of godliness by grace, as a by product of their personal salvation.

  71. pduggie said,

    January 12, 2010 at 9:23 am

    I think if the Fesko book is right, the WCF is wrong and needs revision.

  72. rfwhite said,

    January 12, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Is the link in #65 broken or otherwise defunct?

  73. Stephen Welch said,

    January 12, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Fowler, I found the article you were inquiring about and just sent it to you.

  74. Ron Henzel said,

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    The target of the broken link in #65 is now located here.

  75. rfwhite said,

    January 12, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Thanks, guys.

  76. Brian Nicholson said,

    January 14, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    The Kerux book review of The Law Is Not of Faith has been posted at http://www.kerux.com as a pdf. The lengthy review is 151 pages. The authors find fault with the republication idea and see it as form of Pelagianism introduced into Reformed covenant theology. Patrick’s paper – In Defense of Moses – is cited favorably by the authors.

    Dr. Scott Clark has responded to this review at Heidelblog in a five part series “Considering the Source.” http://heidelblog.wordpress.com

  77. June 29, 2012 at 12:48 am

    To say that the mosaic covenant (mc) was a typological covenant of works is to say that it was not a real covenant of works, but only symbolic. That is what the word, “typological,” means. In the same sense that the sacrificial offerings were not the real offering, but only portrayals of Christ’s work to come. The Pelagian charge seems to overlook the significance of that important adjective.

    In other words, to say that the mc was a typological covenant of works is to say that it was a covenant of works for Christ, but not a true covenant of works for the Jews.

    The sanctions of the covenant of works are typified in the mc in the sacrifices. If the sanctions of that covenant are typified in the mc, then we should expect to find the positive precepts also typified, and broken. The mc reaches back and recapitulates the fall on the level of sacrificial symbolism, and presents Christ’s sacrifice on that same typological level. Typological expressions of the covenant of works (precepts and sanctions) are therefore entirely consistent with the covenant of grace, of which the mc is an organic part. I believe that is the answer to Patrick’s question above. That is how many people read Kline

    In other words, if the mc does not typify the covenant of works, the sacrificial system is theologically meaningless.

    I am not sure why some proponents of this position find it necessary to embrace a Cameronian-Amyraldian view that dislocates the mc from the covenant of grace, given the compatibility of typology within the covenant of grace. It is systemically unnecessary. I learned that from Karlberg.

    Nevertheless, I believe Irons and Gordon made that unnecessary mistake during Iron’s appeal, but I don’t recall Kline and Karlberg making it in writing. In fact, after writing my response to Patrick, I received personal correspondence from Karlberg who, at the time expressed agreement with me. He was explicitly writing to me in behalf of himself and Kline. However, after criticizing aspects of Karlberg’s work in my Th.M. thesis and in TLNF, Karlberg became critical of my analysis. Personal picks like this don’t help.

    If the mc typified the work of Christ, then it typified the covenant of works, the precepts of which Jesus fulfilled, and the sanctions of which he suffered. Praise his name!

  78. June 29, 2012 at 11:43 am

    My response to the KERUX review of The Law Is not of Faith is at this link: http://mtairyopc.org/mtairyopc.org/Pastor.html.


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