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16893Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Was the Mosiac Covenant a NEW Covenant of Works?

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  • PuritanoPresbiteriano
    Jan 17, 2010
      Ben,

      To be honest I am ignorant of modern resources that follow the vein of Murray.  This is not to say there isn't any, I am just not very familiar with modern works as I am of the works of the past.

      Not knowing what you have already read, please indulge me as I offer some suggestions for reading that may help you out here.

      John Murray has a small booklet out called "The Covenant of Grace", my edition was published by P&R publishing. It is always good to start reading the source themselves and then go after those that "follow" him in his view of the Covenant of Grace & see how they compare besides reading those that are critical of Murray, you can then see if they are right in their criticism or not.

      However I did read the first half of a modern work, now that I think of it. It is by Rev. O. Palmer Robertson, titled "The Christ of the Covenants".  Not sure exactly where he sides in respect to Meredith Kline and John Murray as it has been a long time since I read this book.  But I do find the following footnote of his to be very telling.  Now the edition I have was published in 1980, & he saw an issue with Kline's view of the Mosiac Covenant.  The footnote is found in the section titled "Moses: The Covenant of Law". The footnote in my edition (P&R Publishing, 1980) is on pages 174-175 & Rev. Robertson writes the following statement that he then footnotes. I will quote the statement then the footnote, in case you or the other readers do not have this book:

             "Throughout the Mosaic period of law-covenant, God considered as righteous everyone who believed in him. <sup>7</sup>"
      Footnote:
             "The language of Meredith Kline is misleading on this point.  His desire to maintain the distinctive emphasis of the law-covenant may be appreciated.  But his statements too easily could be understood in a legalistic fashion.  He interprets Paul as saying that the Sinaitic covenant "made inheritance to be by law, not by promise - not by faith, but by works" (By Oath Consigned, p. 23 authored by Meredith Kline).
            "The distinctiveness of the Mosaic covenant resides in its externalized form of law-administration.  But the law under Moses cannot be understood as opening a new way of attaining salvation for God's people.  Israel must maintain the law, not in order to enter the favored condition of the covenant of redemption, but in order to continue in the blessings of the covenantal relationship after having been empowered to do so through their covenantal onesness-with-God experienced by grace alone through faith alone.  Under both the Mosaic and Abrahamic covenants man experienced redemption by grace through faith in the work of the Christ who was to live and die in the place of sinners."

      His following paragraph starts out as such:
      "For this reason, the covenant of law as revealed at Sinai would best be divorced from "covenant of works" terminology."

      I find this very telling and an indication that Kline was taking the Mosaic covenant to a place the Bible never does and inventing a new "Covenant Theology".  To be honest there are a few things I do not like about Kline's theology in general, this is one glaring one.  The other is his Framework Hypothesis (which Westminster Sem. in CA champions). But that is another story...

      Regarding writings of the past I offer these in respect to the Covenants:

      Francis Turrentin's "Institutes of Elenctic Theology" vol. 2 pp. 169-270

      Wilhelmus a Brakel's "The Christian's Reasonable Service" vol. 4 the Appendix.

      Herman Witsius' "The Economy of the Covenants between God & Man" vol. 1 pp. 41-164 & vol. 2 pp. 108-187

      James H. Thornwell's "Collected Writings" vol. 2 section I Outline of the Covenant of Grace

      Not sure how much help this is, but I hope it is some help.

      Let me know what you think.

      Yours in Christ our Kinsman-Redeemer,

      Edgar Ibarra
      P.S.
      I offer this article to you as well:
      http://www.westminsterconfession.org/the-doctrines-of-grace/the-covenant-of-grace.php


      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Ben Rochester <benrochester@...> wrote:
      >
      > I have heard a great deal over the years at Westminster concerning their view. I have been essentially shooting in the dark on my own exploration of Covenant theology outside the Westminster hermeneutic. The problem at Westminster is that there is a blackballing of Murrayan Covenant theology.
      >  
      > Can you direct me where to look on rescources that are more up to date than, yet following the vein of, Murray?
      >
      > -Ben
      >
      > --- On Wed, 1/13/10, PuritanoPresbiteriano puritanpresbyterian@... wrote:
      >
      >
      > From: PuritanoPresbiteriano puritanpresbyterian@...
      > Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Was the Mosiac Covenant a NEW Covenant of Works?
      > To: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 6:39 PM
      >
      >
      >  
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Hi Ben,
      > Well, the link I provided is a review of Rev. Fesko's book he edited titled _The Law is not of Faith_ and the reviewers are very critical of the essays that appear in that book, to the point that they call the position espoused therein as heterodoxy.  They also view their review as a warning to the Reformed Church. 
      > In fairness to both parties my take is this: If the reviewers are very serious and alarmed, then those that are in the same denomination as those they are critical of should resolve this in their respective  Church Courts.  Seems the OPC did something similiar in the case of Lee Irons. So take it there. If nothing is really done, then to me it is just some academic excercise that does not warrant people using the words "heterodox" and such.  No Church discipline equals No Church.
      > Ben, I refer you, again in fairness to this point, to one of your professors Dr. Clark, who has given a reply to the reviewers. I think with this info, you will have your question/concern addressed.
      > http://heidelblog. wordpress. com/?s=KERUX
      > Hope this helps?
      > Edgar Ibarra
      > a John Murray fan!
      >
      > --- In covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com, Ben Rochester <benrochester@ ...> wrote:
      > >
      > > I am a John Murray sympathetic student at Westminster West. I would like more information on this if you could point it out to me.
      > >
      > > Benjamin Rochester
      > > --- On Tue, 1/12/10, PuritanoPresbiteria no puritanpresbyterian @... wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > From: PuritanoPresbiteria no puritanpresbyterian @...
      > > Subject: [Covenanted Reformation] Was the Mosiac Covenant a NEW Covenant of Works?
      > > To: covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com
      > > Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 1:43 PM
      > >
      > >
      > >  
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > This is being taught in at least one conservative Reformed Seminary. Read:
      > > http://www.kerux. com/pdf/Kerux% 2024.3%20( Dec%202009) .pdf
      > > .
      > >
      >
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