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[Covenanted Reformation] Re: Federal view of imputation

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  • jp_protestant
    gmw, Before you respond, I should apologize for my tone in the last email. You may or may not be accusing Ben of evidently departing from settled reformed
    Message 1 of 34 , Jul 1, 2009
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      gmw,

      Before you respond, I should apologize for my tone in the last email. You may or may not be accusing Ben of evidently departing from settled reformed theology. I was too quick to accuse you of charging him with that; it doesn't follow necessarily from your post. My apologies.

      Regards,
      John

      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw" <ragingcalvinist@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > Edgar,
      >
      > I hope you do see the difference in calling someone to repentance for an evident departure from settled Reformed confessional theology, and calling someone to repentance for questioning someone's questionable assertion of authority.
      >
      > your friend,
      >
      > gmw.
      >
      > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Ic Neltococayotl" <puritanpresbyterian@> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > >Doubters, people with serious struggles
      > > > over deep truths, etc. just aren't allowed in this group, and since I
      > > very
      > > > often find myself with doubts and other doctrinal struggles, I don't
      > > think I
      > > > belong here. So thanks, truepresbyterian, for being a true
      > > Presbyterian and
      > > > "calling me to repentance" for asking a few hard questions. I hope God
      > > > helps to teach you how to deal with those who just aren't getting it
      > > but
      > > > really want to.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Deja Vu!
      > >
      > > -Edgar
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Ben Hart
      > > <benjamin.hart1@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Dear True Presbyterian,
      > > >
      > > > To quote my friend Bob S., "You still don't get it, do you?" You
      > > missed
      > > > several of the developments of the dialectic, so let's review real
      > > quickly.
      > > >
      > > > 1. I granted the invalidity of objection 1 in that it misunderstood
      > > the
      > > > nature of the Federal View's understanding of the covenant of works.
      > > >
      > > > 2. I posed objection two as a difficulty in squaring the whole idea of
      > > > imputation with how we typically understand justice. My argument was
      > > that
      > > > we normally don't work things like that in our everyday holdings of
      > > people
      > > > morally responsible. I mean how often do we allow a deal people made
      > > > thousands of years ago to affect our moral standing with another
      > > party? How
      > > > often do we allow it that the good or bad merit of others can be made
      > > over
      > > > to ourselves? How often do we allow an innocent to be executed for the
      > > > guilty? These are extremely counterintuitive and go directly against
      > > almost
      > > > all of our moral practices, yet they stand at the heart of the
      > > Reformed
      > > > understanding of the Gospel.
      > > >
      > > > I no longer see this as a reason to reject the Federal view, but
      > > merely as a
      > > > doctrine that needs to be accepted with piety since it makes no sense
      > > to
      > > > me. The problem is that the federal view often gets explained as if
      > > it's
      > > > all very common sense, but it's not.
      > > >
      > > > Now, I am going to take this as an opportunity to officially end this
      > > > conversation since I'm not only done with it, but with this group as
      > > well.
      > > > I have a few friends here, so I don't mean any offense to them, but to
      > > those
      > > > who (to quote NT Wright) are "self-appointed protectors of orthodoxy",
      > > all I
      > > > can say is that you have really done a great job solidifying my ever
      > > waning
      > > > opinion of the Reformed community. Doubters, people with serious
      > > struggles
      > > > over deep truths, etc. just aren't allowed in this group, and since I
      > > very
      > > > often find myself with doubts and other doctrinal struggles, I don't
      > > think I
      > > > belong here. So thanks, truepresbyterian, for being a true
      > > Presbyterian and
      > > > "calling me to repentance" for asking a few hard questions. I hope God
      > > > helps to teach you how to deal with those who just aren't getting it
      > > but
      > > > really want to.
      > > >
      > > > Kind regards,
      > > > Ben
      > > >
      > > > On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 8:29 AM, truepresbyterian
      > > > no_reply@:
      > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Dear Ben,
      > > > >
      > > > > Your first argument ultimately hangs upon the following assertion:
      > > > >
      > > > > "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."
      > > > >
      > > > > But this is entirely arbitrary of you. There is nothing about
      > > Protestant
      > > > > theology or the "federal view" that makes it necessary that Adam's
      > > later act
      > > > > of repentance should likewise come under a federal character. For
      > > one thing,
      > > > > his breaking of the Covenant may be considered as dissolving the
      > > > > relationship as to any future actions, even as a president or prince
      > > by his
      > > > > representative failures may at the same time both (1) involve his
      > > entire
      > > > > people in irreversible calamity; and (2) forfeit his position as
      > > president
      > > > > or prince. And Secondly, although the moral law as revealed at Sinai
      > > and to
      > > > > the Jewish nation, conjoined with the judicial and ceremonial laws,
      > > > > certainly did teach repentance, yet the Covenant of Works itself
      > > does not
      > > > > give any place for repentance, certainly not as a remedy to relieve
      > > existing
      > > > > guilt. Adam's repentance only served his own purpose within the
      > > context of
      > > > > an entirely different Covenant, the Covenant of Grace; which
      > > Covenant makes
      > > > > none representative except Jesus Christ himself.
      > > > >
      > > > > As for your second argument, it is not definitive as to what is
      > > said, or on
      > > > > what ground it is spoken. You give God permission to authorize Adam
      > > as our
      > > > > representative "in some sense" but you tell us he can only have this
      > > > > permission in a sense other than "the federal view wants to say he
      > > > > represented us." What this different sense of the federal view is,
      > > you have
      > > > > not said, nor why God may not make Adam our representative in this
      > > sense.
      > > > >
      > > > > Please understand that I am not writing these things to encourage
      > > this
      > > > > discussion further. To some it may seem I am out of place to take
      > > upon me
      > > > > such discussion. In fact, I have rather pointedly discouraged others
      > > from
      > > > > doing so on public forums in the past. I do so only with a desire to
      > > help
      > > > > you, not provoke further rebellion on your part. You act very
      > > dangerously in
      > > > > subjecting essential Gospel doctrines to such suspicion for reasons
      > > which
      > > > > are evidently mere trifles. Your heart is not right with God, nor
      > > rightly
      > > > > affected with your state of sin and misery, nor with the mercy which
      > > God has
      > > > > revealed in his glorious Son. Further discussion on your part,
      > > calling in
      > > > > question such doctrines, with vain notions as will ultimately make
      > > the death
      > > > > of Christ to be in vain, is not what will be acceptable in the ears
      > > or eyes
      > > > > of any Christian, and it is only to be expected that the moderator
      > > will
      > > > > expunge such things from this discussion.
      > > > >
      > > > > You have been called to repentance. There is only one answer which
      > > will
      > > > > suffice. All others will displease Christians, and provoke the Lord
      > > Christ.
      > > > >
      > > > > True Presbyterian
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • puritanone
      ... I reject that imputation and inheritance are foreign to our normal experience and practice. Actually, it is quite common in the parent-child relationship,
      Message 34 of 34 , Jul 6, 2009
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        > 2. I posed objection two as a difficulty in squaring the whole idea of
        > imputation with how we typically understand justice. My argument was that
        > we normally don't work things like that in our everyday holdings of people
        > morally responsible. I mean how often do we allow a deal people made
        > thousands of years ago to affect our moral standing with another party? How
        > often do we allow it that the good or bad merit of others can be made over
        > to ourselves? How often do we allow an innocent to be executed for the
        > guilty? These are extremely counterintuitive and go directly against almost
        > all of our moral practices, yet they stand at the heart of the Reformed
        > understanding of the Gospel.
        >


        I reject that imputation and inheritance are foreign to our normal experience and practice. Actually, it is quite common in the parent-child relationship, so it should not be at all surprising in the Adam-mankind and Jesus-adopted children relationships.


        Just some examples:

        1. Children who are born to rich parents are born rich; children who are born to poor parents are born poor.

        2. Children who are born to mortal parents will be mortal.

        3. Children often inherit the genetic diseases of their parents. Children of parents with healthy genes inherit those genes.

        4. The children of terrorist parents are more subject to have their house (along with themselves) blown up. (What is it like to be born the child of an Al Qaeda leader? Does the US military really have to wait until the wife and children are out before destroying the house in which a terrorist leader is residing? Do you think that the US military waits until everyone is out except the terrorist leader?)

        5. Rich parents buy their children presents which the children never worked for; penniless parents can buy their children nothing.

        6. Rich parents often open up a bank account for their children and put money in it for the children (a form of imputation), even though the children never earned it. Penniless parents do not do the same.

        7. When a rich couple walks through an orphanage and selects a child, upon adoption that child is immediately rich, even though the child did no more to earn it than the next child that never gets adopted.

        8. Parents are under no moral requirement to lay up money to the children of other parents, but they should lay up for their own children, "for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children." But their own children did not do some special work to receive this blessing.


        Imputation and inheritance are alive and well in the real world we live and act in. We are very familiar with it in our moral practices. But some people try to suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

        - J. Parnell McCarter
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