Re: FV, NPP, Wilson, & Piper & CoW
- For my money, Edgar, I still think the best short critique of John Piper is John Robbins' Pied Piper from '03. To my knowledge Clark has yet to subject Piper's theology to any kind of criticism other than one, he is one of those purportedly "reformed" Baptists and two, he has obviously extended the right hand of fellowship to one Doug Wilson.
(For that matter Robbins and Gerety's Not Reformed At All is the best critique of Wilson, who is astute enough to try to confuse/cover his tracks as compared to some of the other FV advocates, i.e. Jordan, Schlissel. Gerety discusses Piper's video here.)
Yet in that the neolegalism of the Federal Vision rejects the Covenant of Works and the CoW has been discussed here previously (IOW this is a two birds, one longer post affair), a quote from Pied Piper that might whet some interest particularly, if not in general:
This inability to see the covenant of works in Scripture is a common defect among Neolegalists. They assert that Adam could not have earned or merited eternal life for his obedience,because God does not deal with men on a works-principle, but solely by"grace." Even in the Garden, before the Fall, God dealt with Adam solely on the principle of "grace," not works. Therefore one covenant-which they misleadingly call the "covenant of grace" - is what forms the "unity of the Bible."
Thus the denial of the covenant of works is an attack on the justice of God: on the imputation of Adam's sin to his children, on the active obedience and work of Christ, on the imputation of Christ's active obedience and righteousness to believers. By denying that Adam and Christ, as federal heads of their respective races, were subject to the covenant of works before the court of God's justice, not his grace, each Adam being required to fulfill the terms of the covenant, one failing miserably, and the other succeeding perfectly, the Neolegalists put all believers on probation, and make their salvation depend on their own evangelical obedience (emph. added).IOW denying the CoW, neolegalism smuggles it back in and subjects the believer to it for salvation. IOW we are talking about a works righteousness - not of Christ - but of the believer, after coming to faith in Christ's (not quite completed) work of salvation in his life and death on the cross.
Moving on to Bird #2 and previous discussion here of the COW, the same is held as orthodox by the historic P&R church. Chapt. 7 of the Westminster Confession of Faith "Of God's Covenant with Man" briefly expounds both the covenant of works and grace. (See also Chapt. 4:2, 19:1 and LCat. 20,22, SCat. 12,16). Despite criticism of the CoW from Hoeksema and the Protestant Reformed and Schilder and the Canadian/American Reformed (accompanied by the influential neo reformed Barth and Brunner) and while it is not explicitly affirmed in the 3 Forms of Unity, the CoW is also found in Reformed theology. See The Covenant of Works in Dutch Reformed Theology for a survey of Olevianus, Ursinus, Witsius, Brakel, Bavinck and Berkhof.
Further the doctrine is taught in the Dutch Staten Vertaling Bible translation and annotations completed in 1637 as called for by the historic Synod of Dordt of 1618,19. (The same responsible for the Canons of Dordt found in the 3 Forms of Unity). The translation of this Bible into English was called for by a number of the Westminster divines in 1645, including all the Scotch divines. As translated into English in 1657, the New Testament Argument (preface) starts out by saying:
The word Testament is a Latine word, whereby the Greek word Diakethe is rendered, which the Greek translators use to express the Hebrew word Berith, that is Covenant. And thereby I properly understood the Covenant itself, which God hath made with mankinde upon certain conditions to give them everlasting life: which Covenant is twofold, the Old and the New. The Old is that which God made with the first man before the fall, wherein eternal life was promised upon condition of a thoroughly perfect obedience, and keeping of the Law; and is thereby called the Legall Covenant, which God again propounded to the Israelites, that from thence they might learn to understand (seeing this condition is transgressed by all men, and can now be fulfilled by no man) that they must seek their salvation in another Covenant, which is called the New [Covenant,] and consisteth in this: That God hath appointed his Son for a Mediator, and promiseth eternal life upon condition that we believe in him; and is called the Covenant of Grace.The facsimile reprint of 2002, from which the above is taken, may be obtained from Reformation Heritage Books in Grand Rapids for $175. Not cheap, but well worth it for a Reformation primary source document and a sound commentary on the entire Bible. While the marginal notes were never intended to be binding per se upon the conscience of the believer, as the translators acknowledge, the explanations are taken from the most eminent reformed teachers of theology past and present and approved by the Reformed Church of that day.
And we might assume, relevant for today when even conservative P&R churches deny historic Reformation doctrines, such as the CoW and thereby play into the hands of the FV heresy of neolegalism.
In email@example.com, "Ic Neltococayotl" <puritanpresbyterian@...> wrote:
> Dr. Scott Clark Posted a really good article in regards to FV, NPP, and
> Piper's views of D. Wilson...I highly recommend it; especially since
> the heresies of Federal Vision (yes including their leaders) & New
> Perspective of Paul (ala N.T. Wright) have been posted/written about
> Old School Presbyterian