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16778[Covenanted Reformation] Re: Federal view of imputation

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  • jp_protestant
    May 31, 2009
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      Hi Everybody,

      Ben objected to the vagueness I manifested when trying to explain how it is that we can be morally responsible (i.e., held guilty for) Adam's first sin. I'm interested in eliminating this vagueness, and I wonder if we could all work together in order to try to tell a more precise story about how it is that we are guilty for Adam's sin. So here's my proposal: let's brainstorm. That is, let's just throw out some ideas, and we can see which ideas stick.

      Here are some ideas that I have:

      (1) I'll call this the "Plurality of Kinds of Moral Responsibility" approach. According to this approach, there are different kinds of moral responsibility for actions, and the kind of moral responsibility we derive from the actions of a federal head is sui generis. This is a real kind of responsibility (and hence, a real kind of guilt), but it isn't identical to the kind of guilt that we acquire when we personally do something immoral. The kind of moral blame Adam deserves for eating the forbidden fruit is different from the kind of moral blame we deserve for Adam's eating the forbidden fruit. Adam's responsibility is a merit-based kind of moral responsibility, whereas our responsibility for the action isn't merit-based but a different sort--say, derived responsibility. The idea that I'm trying to capture on this account is this: some people can be praised or blamed for actions for which they don't merit praise or blame. Accordingly, there must be a kind of responsibility that corresponds to this latter kind of praise or blame that is not a merit-based moral responsibility.

      This move isn't ad hoc, I don't think, since we do feel comfortable praising and blaming people for things they didn't merit. For instance, consider someone who is very attractive, athletic, naturally intelligent, or whatever. We are very happy to praise these people for these traits although they don't deserve praise or blame for them. Not all praise or blame is deserved. Accordingly, the fact that there is "moral" praise or blame that is not deserved isn't entirely shocking. In fact, some consequentialists--ethicists who think right or wrong is determined by the consequences of an action--think that one should hold people morally responsible for an action if and only if holding them morally responsible will have the right kind of consequences (e.g., reform, scaring other bad guys or encouraging other good guys, etc.). I'm not endorsing this view, but it shows that even contemporary philosophers are occasionally willing to endorse views that say that some kinds of moral responsibility are not merit-based.

      The kind of moral responsibility at issue here, it seems to me, would be a kind of derived moral responsibility.

      (2) A second strategy would be to ditch "moral responsibility" talk altogether. Who knows what 'moral' means anyway? What we're really worried about, here, is the question of when it is appropriate for certain kinds of action to take place. In particular, we are interested in this: when is it appropriate for (i) God to make people suffer for Adam's first sin, and (ii) individuals to feel bad for and repent of Adam's first sin? Whether the person is morally responsible for Adam's sin or not, there is certainly some kind of 'guilt' involved if (i) and (ii) are appropriate. It seems to me that we could feel bad for and repent of Adam's first sin simply because we share Adam's nature. This kind of guilt would be similar to the kind of guilt a US citizen might feel when around a citizen of a nation we unjustly attacked. Individually, the American didn't attack the nation and he may even oppose the entire war; nevertheless, he still feels dirty for it because he is an US citizen. In fact, if he feels filthy enough for his nation's crimes, it seems that he wouldn't even blame the unjustly attacked nation for responding by attacking the USA or even himself. After all, he is a US citizen. Analogously, when Adam--the very first human created--sinned against God so egregiously, we should all feel awful and filthy for it, and we should feel that God is justified to ruin us all on account of that sin. No moral responsibility is necessary for this picture.

      (3) Before Adam had any children, we were all in Adam in some important metaphysical sense. We were part of Adam--perhaps it could even be said that our wills were all contained in his will. When he willed to sin, therefore, it could be said that we also willed to sin. The idea, here, is that we pre-existed in Adam in a corporate existence long before our individual existence, and--since our wills just were Adam's will--we are guilty of Adam's sin. This gets us moral responsibility in the strong sense, but it also gets us into serious problems. For instance, we should be blamed or praised for anything Adam every willed.

      Either way, these are just some quick ideas. I'm sure more could be offered, and I hope some of you offer them. I suspect the answer to this question will be very enlightening. We are in a sense engaging in the project of explaining how federal representation can work. I suppose the desiderata for a good theory would be to provide a thoery that allows us to (i) remain thoroughly orthodox and biblical while (ii) minimizing the need to reject strongly held and nearly universal intuitions.

      In Christ,
      John

      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Ben Hart <benjamin.hart1@...> wrote:
      >
      > John,
      >
      > On the one hand, you're right that those who have (or perhaps are infected
      > with?) the intuition that "it just isn't morally justifiable to punish
      > someone for the sin of a representative they didn't authorize" would find
      > the federal position hard to swallow in some of its forms. But some
      > intuitions should be accommodated, and for what it's worth, unless this one
      > proves to entail some horrible conclusions then we should keep it. It's
      > sort of like "(moral) ought implies can" or "moral responsibility requires
      > that one could have done otherwise". Maybe these intuitions should
      > eventually be chucked, but before they prove irreconcilable, they seem to
      > have a prima facie presumption that, *in some sense* they're on to something
      > important. For ease of reference I'll call this one the Principle of
      > Representative Authorization, PRA for short, and define it as I quoted you
      > above.
      >
      > Interestingly, what you say about Saul is completely consistent with PRA
      > since it was Israel who authorized Joshua to contract with the Gibeonites,
      > and it was Israel that was punished by God for what Saul did. What this
      > brings up though is the question of the ontology of collective moral
      > agents. I'm a moral agent, and I have proper parts that constitute me; when
      > I sin, I--not my hand or my motor neurons--are guilty, and it's a stretch to
      > say that my sin is imputed to my neurons and hand, etc. But this picture
      > seems to get altered with collective guilt on your way of looking at
      > Israel's sin. The proper parts (analogous to my neurons and hands) get
      > imputed guilt for the sin of the representative of the moral agent. What's
      > the difference? Perhaps it is that my hands are not the kinds of parts that
      > you can hold responsible since they're not moral agents on their own (my
      > hands don't have a mind of their own!), but in the case of collective moral
      > agents, because the parts are morally evaluable agents, they are eligible
      > for being praised/blamed. This goes some way to explaining why Billy and
      > Sally can have corporate sins imputed to them personally, but it doesn't go
      > far enough since it only says how it's possible to hold the proper parts of
      > a constituted whole responsible. It fails to say wherein their guilt lays
      > if they didn't voluntarily enter into being a part of that body.
      >
      > You even seem unsure what to say here: "Instead, <i>Israel</i> as a moral
      > person was held morally responsible for covenant breaking, and somehow the
      > individuals who are the members of that moral person participate, in virtue
      > of being members of that moral person, in the state's sin." OK--it's true
      > that "somehow" they "participate", but that just seems like putting labels
      > on something nobody has yet to say anything informative about. Whatever the
      > "somehow" and "participate" mean, they had better accomodate the idea that
      > Billy and Sally played some voluntary role in what Israel did.
      >
      > Let me try to get at this from another angle.
      >
      > It seems that in all of what has been said, we're missing an important
      > distinction between obligations and moral responsibility. Nobody is saying
      > (or should be saying) that people can only be obligated to do something if
      > they've voluntarily contracted to do so or authorized someone to contract
      > them to some obligation. This is both counterintuitive and incoherent. It
      > is counterintuitive because I have obligations to be moral just because I'm
      > a rational animal (or for whatever your favorite ethical theory is). It is
      > incoherent because I would have to be under under some previous obligation
      > to keep the promises I've voluntarily opted into; this easily generates an
      > infinite regress.
      >
      > What I am saying is that one can only be morally responsible for some action
      > if one has voluntarily performed, or authorized someone to perform it on
      > your behalf. *This *is the intuition that needs to be accounted for.
      > Notice that in the case of Saul and the Gibeonites, Saul was morally
      > responsible for an obligation that others put him under. It's fine for
      > certain factors outside of my agency to put me under an obligation, but for
      > me to be morally responsible for something I had no voluntary part of seems
      > unjust. In Saul's case however, he voluntarily broke a promise he was
      > obligated to keep in virtue of the agency of others.
      >
      > And a quick final point--children who are born into a society that is being
      > blessed/cursed by God for the actions of others in the moral person into
      > which they've been born could be receiving the blessing/curse not as such,
      > but just as a consequence of being part of the moral person, but not a part
      > in the proper sense to receive Divine actions in a morally relevant way.
      > They're sort of like unintended casualties in a war--it's unfortunate for
      > them that they were civilians who weren't the intended target of the missile
      > attack, but they were there. For the soldiers, it was intended in one way,
      > for the civilians, well, may God have mercy on them.
      >
      > (Sorry if this isn't put together as neatly as I'd like--I've been trying to
      > get this thing written over the course of 2 days and 7 or 8 interruptions.
      > But I wanted to get it out before I never got it done!)
      >
      > Take care,
      > Ben
      >
      >
      >
      > On Sat, May 30, 2009 at 11:42 AM, jp_protestant <filepapers@...>wrote:
      >
      > >
      > >
      > > Ben,
      > >
      > > I guess I'm unsure of what, exactly, the standard moral practice with
      > > respect to official representation is. As a result, it is very difficult for
      > > me to wonder whether Adam's representing us is non-standard (or
      > > significantly non-standard).
      > >
      > > Here's the paragraph in which you presented your argument:
      > >
      > >
      > > "The federal view rests on a false analogy between an elected head and a
      > > 'natural' or 'generic' head. One reason we might think the represented
      > > people have the guilt of their representor laid to their account is because
      > > they've duly authorized them to be their agent. Not so with us and Adam. We
      > > weren't around to do so, making him an unauthorized representor. God, no
      > > doubt, could have authorized him to 'represent' us in some sense, but not in
      > > the sense the federal view wants to say he represented us."
      > >
      > > Your worry about Adam's representation of the human race appears to be that
      > > it is non-standard because Adam wasn't duly authorized by the human race to
      > > be their representative. In standard moral cases, this suggests, you think
      > > that such authorization takes place. Now, I can't think of any way to defend
      > > this account of a 'standard moral case' that doesn't amount to more than
      > > that it comports with the intuitions of some that it just isn't morally
      > > justifiable to punish someone for the sin of a representative they didn't
      > > authorize. After all, it is clear that all federal heads of state in the
      > > history of the world, for instance, have represented individuals who didn't
      > > authorize them. Consider the well-known case of Saul and the Gibeonites.
      > > Saul broke a covenant with the Gibeonites, thereby representing all of
      > > Israel. Whom did God punish for this sin? The Israelites who lived under the
      > > reign of David. Many of these individuals--supposing they had already been
      > > born--were too young to authorize Saul as a representative. Nevertheless,
      > > they were punished for Saul's sin as a representative. Furthermore, it would
      > > be silly to think that every single individual who suffered as a result of
      > > God's wrath for Saul's sin had knowingly, retroactively consented to it. But
      > > this doesn't seem compatible with your picture because this means
      > > individuals who didn't authorize someone to represent them are--in a
      > > standard case--held responsible for the sin of the representative. This
      > > raises an interesting question.
      > >
      > > In what way were these individuals "held responsible for" the sin of their
      > > representative, King Saul? It doesn't seem that they were held responsible
      > > for the sin as though they <i>individually</i> committed the sin. God didn't
      > > punish Billy and Sally the Jews because <i>Billy</i> and <i>Sally</i> each
      > > individually broke a covenant. Instead, <i>Israel</i> as a moral person was
      > > held morally responsible for covenant breaking, and somehow the individuals
      > > who are the members of that moral person participate, in virtue of being
      > > members of that moral person, in the state's sin. They are 'reckoned' guilty
      > > of the sin, not qua individuals who committed the sin, but qua member of the
      > > body who committed the sin in its head--Saul.
      > >
      > > This ties into your question about imputation. Conceptually, imputation can
      > > take place in a variety of ways. Often, we think of Christ's imputed
      > > righteousness as though it is applied to us individually like a cloak is put
      > > on individuals. This picture is misleading because it sounds like God looks
      > > at my balance sheet and sees Christ's works under the heading "John's good
      > > deeds". Accordingly, it sounds like you would find, "Made water into wine in
      > > display of mercy" as <i>my</i> good deed. But that is a confusion. Instead,
      > > what happens is this: Christ lived a perfect life, and <i>Christ</i> is
      > > declared righteous on account of His genuinely perfect righteousness.
      > > Through faith, we are incorporated into Christ as members in a body--or, as
      > > members in an (invisible) ecclesiastical body. Just like the Israelites
      > > around Saul's time happened to be guilty of Saul's sin in virtue of being
      > > Israelites, so also we happen to be acquitted on account of Christ's perfect
      > > righteousness in virtue of being spiritual Israelites.
      > >
      > > Another way to think of it is like this: God isn't acquitting you and me
      > > and Augustine and Calvin, etc., individually because He counted Christ's
      > > good works as our own. Instead, God is acquitting Christ (deservedly) and
      > > everyone in Christ gets a free pass because they are (thanks to God's mercy)
      > > members of the acquitted Christ. Hence, while it is still appropriate to say
      > > that we are justified because of Christ’s righteousness rather than our
      > > own, it is even more appropriate to call Christ (<i>the person</i>) “the
      > > LORD our righteousness.â€
      > >
      > > Returning to Adam's case: it seems to me a stretch to claim that it is a
      > > non-standard case that Adam represents us without our authorization.
      > > Representation often happens without authorization. For instance, when you
      > > had your children baptized, your children didn’t authorize you to impose
      > > new obligations on them, namely, to resist the devil, the flesh, and the
      > > world. You had that representative authority directly from God who
      > > authorizes fathers to do such things. Similarly, God authorized Adam to
      > > represent the race in a certain way. This isn’t that surprising.
      > >
      > > Cheers,
      > > John
      > >
      > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com<covenantedreformationclub%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > > Ben Hart <benjamin.hart1@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > John,
      > > >
      > > > I think that most of what you say is what the federalist should say, but
      > > I
      > > > don't think it's totally without problems. One could ask what justifies
      > > God
      > > > in determining such an arrangement. As is often the case, one can say
      > > that
      > > > God has a morally sufficient reason for doing what he did, and has a
      > > morally
      > > > sufficient reason for withholding that reason from us. Fair enough.
      > > >
      > > > But if there is another view of imputation that doesn't have to rest
      > > matters
      > > > here, I'm certainly all ears.
      > > >
      > > > So I concede that much. However, I'm not clear how your answer deals with
      > > > my second concern, which, to my mind, is more important. It would be a
      > > mere
      > > > oddity that Adam was in hell or we are all saved if that is what the
      > > > federalist view entails. But it is more problematic that the analogy with
      > > > official representation of others doesn't seem to fit our standard moral
      > > > practice. In fact, it seems contrary to it. Rather than rehearsing that
      > > > again, I'll just refer you back to my email from last night. It's the
      > > part
      > > > at the end.
      > > >
      > > > -Ben
      > > >
      > > > On Fri, May 29, 2009 at 12:39 AM, jp_protestant <filepapers@>wrote:
      > >
      > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Ben,
      > > > >
      > > > > Seeing your ideas in writing helps me understand where you're coming
      > > from.
      > > > > It seems to me that the federal view doesn't view the relevant
      > > relationship
      > > > > between Adam and his posterity as something grounded in anything more
      > > than
      > > > > the divine will. Here's why I think this is correct.
      > > > >
      > > > > Adam--like the rest of us--sinned innumerable times throughout his
      > > life.
      > > > > According to the federal view, though, only one of his sins is imputed
      > > to
      > > > > us: his consuming the forbidden fruit. Adam does not, therefore, serve
      > > as
      > > > > our federal head in all of his actions according to the federal view.
      > > > > Instead, he only served as our federal head in a very limited way. He
      > > was
      > > > > our head, it seems, in the probationary period wherein he could have
      > > either
      > > > > kept the covenant of works or violated it. Once it was clear that he
      > > had
      > > > > violated (rather than kept) the covenant of works, he had completed his
      > > work
      > > > > of representing the species. No other action of his is imputed to us
      > > because
      > > > > his federal headship was limited to a very narrow and specific domain.
      > > > >
      > > > > That said, the fact that a federal head's domain is limited seems
      > > > > reasonable. For instance, Christ is the federal head of all God's
      > > people. In
      > > > > Christ, however, we do not have everything that is Christ's imputed to
      > > us.
      > > > > We don't, for instance, have the property of being the second person of
      > > the
      > > > > trinity imputed to us, nor do we have the action of creating the world
      > > ex
      > > > > nihilo imputed to us simply because our federal head--Christ--created
      > > the
      > > > > world. Instead, only Christ's redemptive actions are imputed to us in
      > > virtue
      > > > > of the fact that He is our federal head.
      > > > >
      > > > > I suspect the same thing goes for the representation that any federal
      > > head
      > > > > makes for a people.
      > > > >
      > > > > With all of this in mind, it seems to me that the idea of federal
      > > headship
      > > > > is not one grounded in a natural relation between the head and those
      > > > > represented by the federal head. Instead, it seems to me that the
      > > extent to
      > > > > which a federal head is in fact a federal head is a function of
      > > something
      > > > > like the divine will in the case of Adam and Christ. Similarly, it may
      > > be
      > > > > the case that the extent to which a civil authority is a federal head
      > > > > representing his people may be a function of the divine will coupled
      > > with
      > > > > the will of the people in the nation--or something like that. Hence,
      > > only
      > > > > the official actions of a civil ruler is charged to the nation as a
      > > whole.
      > > > > (I've not thought much about the claims of this last two sentences.)
      > > > >
      > > > > One more thing: supposing Adam did repent and obtain salvation, in
      > > virtue
      > > > > of what did he repent and obtain salvation? In virtue of the work of
      > > his
      > > > > federal head, Christ. It would be strange, to say the least, if Adam
      > > was a
      > > > > federal head whose representative action was itself derived from--or
      > > made
      > > > > possible because of--the actions of an additional federal head (qua
      > > federal
      > > > > head).
      > > > >
      > > > > That said, it seems to me that the question--if one wants to really
      > > > > understand the issue--is this: is the relationship between Adam and his
      > > > > posterity one of (i) federal headship *and* natural origin or sorce, or
      > > (ii)
      > > > > merely one of natural origin or source? If the relationship between
      > > Adam and
      > > > > his posterity is one of both federal headship and natural origin,
      > > then--as
      > > > > reformed orthodoxy has it--both the guilt of the original transgression
      > > and
      > > > > a corrupt nature would be ours on account of Adam's sin. If, on the
      > > other
      > > > > hand, the relationship is merely one origin or source, then we would be
      > > > > corrupt from conception, but we wouldn't be guilty of Adam's first sin.
      > > > >
      > > > > Take care,
      > > > > John
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com<covenantedreformationclub%40yahoogroups.com>
      > > <covenantedreformationclub%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > >
      > > > > Ben Hart <benjamin.hart1@> wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > gmw,
      > > > > >
      > > > > > my responses are interleved...
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I'm not sure whether you intend by that last question to indicate
      > > that
      > > > > you
      > > > > > > do, or do not, take this issue seriously. I'll assume you are
      > > taking it
      > > > > > > seriously. The Bible speaks of mens sins building up, God's keeping
      > > > > track of
      > > > > > > our works good and evil, God's keeping our tears in a bottle, etc.
      > > So I
      > > > > > > don't think it's so silly to say that the Lord does make account of
      > > you
      > > > > in a
      > > > > > > moral sense. Do you?
      > > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > BH: Just because there is talk of "keeping tears in a bottle" "sins
      > > > > > building up" etc., I see no reason to take this as the serious
      > > > > metaphysics
      > > > > > of what's going on. God has a bottle? C'mon, he doesn't have a body!
      > > So
      > > > > > when it says that he takes account of what we do, I don't see this as
      > > > > more
      > > > > > than a metaphor. Surely we're responsible to God; he remembers what
      > > we
      > > > > do,
      > > > > > and he will hold us responsible for it, but that's no evidence for
      > > his
      > > > > > having a "moral bank account" (whatever that may be!) to make sure
      > > we're
      > > > > > squared away with him.
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > So if that is the right way to understand things, then we have
      > > > > conclusive
      > > > > > > > evidence that Adam is in hell, and here's why--we are still
      > > condemned
      > > > > in
      > > > > > > > him.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > This doesn't follow. Adam's salvation (assumed by many by the
      > > picture
      > > > > of
      > > > > > > God's graciously covering his shame), was personal. The Covenant of
      > > > > Works
      > > > > > > carried no promise of grace to the fallen, nor did it assume Adam
      > > as
      > > > > the
      > > > > > > Federal Head of mankind in his repentence and faith. Adam's
      > > salvation
      > > > > would
      > > > > > > be considered under the Covenant of Grace, not the Covenant of
      > > Works,
      > > > > and
      > > > > > > Adam is NOT our Federal Head in the Covenant of Grace -- Christ is,
      > > the
      > > > > > > "second Adam."
      > > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > BH: Can the federal view have it both ways without some special
      > > pleading
      > > > > > going on? If Adam is my head in the Cov of works, and qua federal
      > > head he
      > > > > > repents, why does this not get imputed to us? Try this as a
      > > > > metaphor--Adam
      > > > > > holds an umbrella over us, and when he fell, the umbrella got holes
      > > in
      > > > > it.
      > > > > > But when he asks Jesus to put an umbrella over him, Adam hasn't
      > > ceased to
      > > > > be
      > > > > > our covenant (i.e. federal) head in the cov of works, so when Jesus
      > > puts
      > > > > the
      > > > > > umbrella over Adam, we get the umbrella as well. The head of the cov
      > > of
      > > > > > works is now under the head of the cov of grace. So it's irrelevant
      > > that
      > > > > > Jesus is the head of the covenant of Grace--if Adam gets in it, he's
      > > > > still
      > > > > > our federal head in the covenant of works, and qua head of that
      > > covenant,
      > > > > > he's been redeemed. It seems to follow straightforwardly that we get
      > > his
      > > > > > benefits since we're still "in Adam" who, having repented, is "in
      > > > > Christ".
      > > > > > Try a second metaphor--if Adam is a cup and that cup gets defiled,
      > > we're
      > > > > > defiled insofar as we're in that cup. But when Adam gets in
      > > Christ--he's
      > > > > in
      > > > > > Christ's undefiled cup--we're still in Adam's cup and get the
      > > benefits
      > > > > > mediately through Adam. I'm not saying this is the right way to think
      > > of
      > > > > > imputation, just that it seems like the federal view is committed to
      > > > > this.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > See, if Adam repented (looking forward to the future Christ, the
      > > same
      > > > > > > > situation we think OT believers were in) then as our
      > > representative,
      > > > > we
      > > > > > > > should have had his good act of repentance laid to our account,
      > > since
      > > > > he
      > > > > > > is,
      > > > > > > > after all, our representative.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Again, this is flat out dead wrong. Adam is not our representative
      > > head
      > > > > in
      > > > > > > the Covenant of Grace.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > So do we have evidence that Adam never repented? If so, I think
      > > we
      > > > > have
      > > > > > > > good reason to reject the federal view of imputation.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > This makes no sense to me whatsoever. I think you are confused.
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      > > > > >
      > > > > > BH: No doubt I am--precisely why I've asked you all to say why this
      > > > > > argument is wrong. ;D
      > > > > >
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      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Here's another reason to reject the view.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > The federal view rests on a false analogy between an elected head
      > > and
      > > > > a
      > > > > > > > "natural" or "generic" head. One reason we might think the
      > > > > represented
      > > > > > > > people have the guilt of their representor laid to their account
      > > is
      > > > > > > because
      > > > > > > > they've duly authorized them to be their agent. Not so with us
      > > and
      > > > > Adam.
      > > > > > > > We weren't around to do so, making him an unauthorized
      > > representor.
      > > > > God,
      > > > > > > no
      > > > > > > > doubt, could have authorized him to "represent" us in some sense,
      > > but
      > > > > not
      > > > > > > in
      > > > > > > > the sense the federal view wants to say he represented us.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > What about the federal view requires Adam to be elected, exactly?
      > > > > > >
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      > > > > > BH: The federal view argumes from analogy (at least as I understand
      > > how
      > > > > > it's stated. Because the federal view is explained in terms of Adam's
      > > > > being
      > > > > > a "prince" who represents us in the way a prince or president does,
      > > it
      > > > > > behooves us to take seriously the conditions of representation and
      > > why we
      > > > > > hold those represented morally responsible for the deeds of those
      > > > > > representing them. If you're my state representative and I've
      > > authorized
      > > > > > you to enact legislation on my behalf that is bad--say, giving gays
      > > > > marrying
      > > > > > rights--then I can be held responsible for what you've done because
      > > > > that's
      > > > > > what I've authorized you to do on my behalf. But if I've authorized
      > > you
      > > > > to
      > > > > > enact good laws, like prohibiting gay unions, and you do the
      > > opposite,
      > > > > your
      > > > > > bad deeds cannot be "imputed" to me--you've not done as you've been
      > > > > > authorized. Getting back to Adam's federal headship in the cov of
      > > works,
      > > > > if
      > > > > > I didn't exist in the first place, how can I have authorized him to
      > > do
      > > > > > something for me?
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Let's be clear here--these aren't easy doctrines, and I'm not trying
      > > to
      > > > > > overthrow orthodoxy. I seriously struggle with understanding what is
      > > > > being
      > > > > > asserted by standard Reformed treatements of these doctrines and I'm
      > > just
      > > > > > trying to honestly wrestle with them. There's no malintent on my
      > > part;
      > > > > > frankly, I just want to understand the Gospel so it will better
      > > affect my
      > > > > > life.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Hope that clarifies things a bit--both the concerns and the
      > > motivation
      > > > > for
      > > > > > raising them.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Thanks for your response.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > -Ben
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > I doubt these are new arguments, but I thought some of you have
      > > given
      > > > > > > these
      > > > > > > > some consideration and wanted to know what (if anything) you all
      > > > > thought
      > > > > > > was
      > > > > > > > wrong with this way of thinking.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > They may very well not be new arguments, but I don't believe I've
      > > ever
      > > > > > > heard anything like them before.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Perhaps Dr. Milne will consider addressing this briefly?
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > gmw.
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      > > >
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      >
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