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

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  • Ben Rochester
    Yes, Murray did not agree with the typical formulation of the CoW. However, his view is not a denial of a works principle in the Garden (See his Romans
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 19, 2010
      Yes, Murray did not agree with the typical formulation of the CoW. However, his view is not a denial of a works principle in the Garden (See his Romans Commentary, on ch 5.). Kline and various followers saw the CoW as republicated in the Mosaic Administration. Therefore the land, given to Abraham's descendants as a gracious promise has to be kept by obedience to the Covenant of Works (See his Duet Commentary in Wycliffe). This second issue is usually the one in sight of the discussion. Murray held that the Law was indeed types and shadows, but the moral equity remains, the Ten Comandments. Kline sees the Ten Commandments as tied inexorably to the Mosaic administration, therefore the life norms have changed in the NT (See Structure of Biblical Athority).

      There is a tendency in Kline/Murray debate to confuse the concepts of CoW and Mosaic Administration of the CoG. The Kerux article primarily seeks to defend Murray's view of the Mosaic Law (which is the mainstream Reformed Scholastic view, cf Bolton Bounds of Christian Freedom, Fairbairn, The Revelation of Law in Scripture). Murray's view of the Law is the Confession's view. Kline's view of the CoW is the Confession's view (these are general categories, both are nuanced).

      As a confessional Presbyterian, I hope that helps further discussion.


      --- On Sun, 1/17/10, PuritanoPresbiteriano <puritanpresbyterian@...> wrote:

      From: PuritanoPresbiteriano <puritanpresbyterian@...>
      Subject: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Was the Mosiac Covenant a NEW Covenant of Works?
      To: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Sunday, January 17, 2010, 9:39 PM


      Hey Bob!

      It appears that WW is teaching/propagatin g Kline's view that the Mosaic covenant was meritorious, i.e. the way to earn God's favor and that is what KERUX is raising the alarm about.

      I am not as familiar with John Murray in respects to his view of the CoW to be able to honestly answer your questions/criticism of Murray in this respect, so until I have read Murray on this, I will have to postpone answering those points you raise.

      I agree that the CoW is a Reformed doctrine and taught by the reformers and the standards. No disagreement from me.  But would you propose that they taught that by keeping the Mosaic covenant, man could be justified before God or merit favor before God? If so, please cite the original sources, not a modern writer stating that they did.

      I disagree with your assessment of Lc 101. It may be that I do not understand your point but I do not see where the keeping of the Commandments merits favor with God. If anything, the Law is God's will for man and what man was supposed to do as his basic reason for living; "man's chief end & etc." Man violated this Law and fell. If Adam could not keep it, much less sinful Israel at Sinai and afterwards.  Remember my friend there are 3 uses of the Law.  Your point is more along the lines of what Zacharias Ursinus stated in his Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism when he states, that the keeping of the Mosaic Covenant brought about temporal blessings, but at all time God always required faith in Christ (even under Moses) for salvation, not the keeping of the Mosaic covenant -- i.e. not a republication of the CoW. See pages 98-99.

      Further the Puritan divine Samuel Bolton in The True Bounds of Christian Freedom (Puritan Paperback edition) seems to refute your point, especially Kline's intrepretation of the "republication of the CoW at Sinai" and ergo the professors at West. West Seminary that are Kline's disciples. 

      Read Bolton's chapter titled "Law and Grace". Especially pages 88 ff. He directly refutes the idea that the Mosaic Covenant is a republication of the Covenant of Works.  His language is a clear and straighforward refutation of this idea of republication.

      As to your point 3. I am not familiar enough with Vos' view of Biblical/Covenant Theology to address your criticism of Vos.  But the controversy over Biblical Theology did not start with Vos. Go back a few hundred years to the "tensions" between the Cocceians and the Voetians in the Dutch Church.  Witsius' Economy of the Covenants seeks to reconcile the tension in Biblical Theology by stating that the best way to read the Scriptures is via the doctrine of the Covenants.

      I am sure that those more familiar with both Vos and Murray will hotly dispute that they are the forerunners of FV and those heresies.

      I know this will not be very satisfactory to you Bob, but it is all I can offer at this time. I cannot get into a long discussion as I used to be able to with others in the past. I have other pressing issues at the moment. I just wanted to bring that KREUX issue to everyone's attention really.

      I hope all is well with you besides. Drop me a line privately via email and let me know how things have been since our mutual exodus from imperialistic presbyterianism. ..


      Your brother in Christ,


      --- In covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com, "bob_suden" <bsuden@...> wrote:
      > --- In covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com,
      > "PuritanoPresbiteri ano" puritanpresbyterian @ wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > This is being taught in at least one conservative Reformed Seminary.
      > > Read:
      > >
      > > http://www.kerux. com/pdf/Kerux% 2024.3%20( Dec%202009) .pdf
      > > <http://www.kerux. com/pdf/Kerux% 2024.3%20( Dec%202009) .pdf>
      > >
      > Edgar,
      > What is being taught?
      > By Kerux/NW or by WW?
      > John Murray questioned, if not disagreed with the WCF regarding the
      > covenant of works (CoW), did he not?
      > But
      > 1. The CoW is hardly unreformed, being found in the Dutch reformed
      > Staten Vertaling Bible called for by the Synod of Dordt and further
      > developed by the Westminster Assembly and Turretin etc. See Rowland
      > Ward's God and Adam (2003) for a brief survey of the CoW in reformed
      > theology
      > 2. Neither is republication of the CoW considered novel in reformed
      > theology. Sinai is generally admitted to be a cov. of grace administered
      > in a legal fashion, the preface (L.Cat. 101) declaring the reason for
      > obedient gratitude and grateful obedience being the Israelites'
      > deliverance from Eygpt, the house of bondage and typical of sin.
      > Further, that obedience to the 10 commandments is to be rewarded by
      > remaining in the Promised Land in this life is hardly unusual either or
      > a contradiction of the covenant of grace.
      > 3. Kerux seems to confuse Kline's view with the above, if Kline really
      > is that different or adds to it. But that said, Kerux seems to be
      > confused enough in general that they are hardly the last word, if WW is
      > really generating theological novelties. FTM Kerux/ NWSem. emphasis on
      > biblical theology and JVos itself could be said to be extreme.
      > 4. Federal Vision, preceded by Norm Shepherd is generally taken as the
      > distant successor to JMurray's doctrinal infelicities. After all, both
      > claim JM in their denial of the CoW. But see Westminster East's
      > Justified in Christ (2007) which reprints Murray's Imputation of Adam's
      > Sin and which accompanies West. West's Covenant, Justification and
      > Pastoral Ministry (2007) in critiquing Fed. Vision.
      > No?
      > cordially
      > Bob S

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