In case you didn’t know, this past week John Armstrong hosted a special conference with Norman Shepherd and then Armstrong put up a post on his blog entitled ” Norman Shepherd is not a heretic”. Armstrong’s endorsement of Shepherd’s teaching comes as no surprise to those of us who have watched Armstrong wayward trek over the past few years with his infatuation with NT Wright’s understanding of justification, and the the epistemological postmodern innovations of the late Stanley Grenz and John Franke as well their disciples in the emergent conversation.
Armstrong highlighted Sherherd’s denial of the CoW and his rejection of the AOoC as something that should welcomed by the Reformed churches. This is a classic example of people defining what it means to be ‘Reformed’ based on their own indiviual likes and dislikes and not allowing the Reformed confessions to define what it means to be Reformed. Shepherd candidly admits that his views are not in harmony with the WS. But niether are they in line with the Three Forms of Unity ( as my friend David Gadbois will attest). In fact, Shepherd ( and Armstrong ) cannot find support for his novel views in ANY Reformed confession. Kuyper’s wonderful observation about the critical importance of the CoW and the AOoC is in keeping with other major Reformed theologians like Bavinck, a’Brakel, Berkhof, Vos, Kline, and on and on the list goes.
Thanks for the link to the Kuyper quote.. Yet I have just one question. Is it really true to say that Adam and Eve observed the Sabbath on the seventh day? It is my understanding that they (literally) walked with God daily. Human observation of the seventh day Sabbath seemed to have come after the fall. But then again I’m not a theologian or anything.
Deb, thanks for the question, and welcome to my blog. The Sabbath was instituted before the Fall, as Genesis 2:1-4 make very clear. The Sabbath was therefore the rest from work on Adam and Eve’s part that echoed and was patterned after God’s own rest. In any case, the Sabbath is clearly not a post-Fall ordinance. It is rather a creation ordinance.
One question that could be asked about the Sabbath argument is how it should account for the fact that it would seem Adam’s first full day of existence was the Sabbath. It was not the case that Adam had to work for a week before enjoying a Sabbath. He enjoys a sabbath on *his* day 1.
It has been a longstanding argument presented in some presbyterian circles as a demonstration that the sabbath continues, and does so on the first day of the week for Christians.
I can see that that might muck with some presentations of the Covenant of Works.
Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens; Justification, by John Fesko; The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan; Recovering the Reformed Confessions, by Scott Clark; Brief Outline of Theology, by Friedrich Schleiermacher; Principles of Sacred Theology, by Abraham Kuyper
Books I am now reading
Exodus commentaries; Matthew commentaries; Turretin's Institutes of Elenctic Theology; Baker's new history of the church
Books for future reading
Turretin's Institutes; Joseph Caryl on Job, German encyclopedias of theology