1689 Federalism Revisited

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Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
why would we assume Reformed Paedobaptists are already well acquainted with it enough to critique it? They are largely busy trying to figure out their own covenantal heritage (republication debate).
Because if a supposed prominent 1689federalist CT view pre-dated and contradicted Westminster, then one would expect to see an abundance of direct scholarly refutation from a Westminster POV. At least that is where my brain goes in trying to research.

I used to interact with Adam when he blogged at Bring the Books (if that's the same Adam). Great guy. However, I hardly think asking someone for a quick response to a summary of the position is going to be helpful. He needs to read the full treatments if he's interested in offering a critique. Do you think offering a quick unstudied response to Westminster CT based on a blog summary of it would really address the nuanced position?

Note that this insufficient understanding of the position is to be expected from someone introduced to it for the first time from a blog summary and not having studied the position.

1689 Federalism completely agrees.

He'll have to study the position to find out. (See my response above explaining this point).

1689 Federalism is not New Covenant Theology. Those are two different views.

No, your pastor is recommending that you read paedobaptist explanations of covenant theology. No, RBs don't hold to those, not even 20th century. 20th century may lean more towards Robertson, but it still departs from him.

Brandon,

I assure you Adam is much more equipped to critique your position than you give him credit. A common theme I have seen from many 1689federalist (including yourself) is that when anyone makes valid points in refutation, a response of "well you just need to read more on the position, or you don't really understand 1689federalism, or well we don't really say it that way anymore" is commonly given.

I just do not think that is anymore courteous than for me to assume that you have failed to read up on Westminster CT. Adam is a full time pastor and college professor, so I do not expect, nor should you, some doctoral dissertation type of response when a laymen sends him a quick email asking for general thoughts on a online article.

Further many more scholarly than I have refuted in more detail here:
https://puritanboard.com/threads/covenant-of-grace.95926/
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman
Do you find that odd considering how "Old" and "wide" the 1689federalist view purports to be?

Just as one example, you can read New England Congregationalist Samuel Austin's 1807 critique. Note, however, that it was not simply a critique of 1689 Federalism, but was a critique of the numerous paedobaptists who had adopted the subservient covenant position (Owen, etc). He was urging them back to Westminster's view. This obviously has many parallels to today.

INTRODUCTION.

SEVERAL works have been published within a few. years, both in Europe, and in this Country, concerning tie Church of God; particularly, the qualifications which are requisite for membership in it, its institutions, the persons to to whom they ought to be extended, and the discipline which its officers, and ordinary members are to maintain in it- The Baptist controversy, in which all these subjects are more or less involved, has been lately revived- Books are multiplied, without bringing this controversy to a close. Difficulties still remain, to perplex the humble enquirer, and keep up the vehemence of debate. Much truth is exhibited. But a clear, consistent scheme, disembarrassed of real difficulties, seems to be wanting. Such a scheme the Bible undoubtedly contains. To elicit this scheme is the only way, to bring honest minds to an agreement. Whoever will candidly review the most ingenious Treatises which have been published in the Baptist controversy, will perceive that the Pcedobaptists have a great pre ponderance of evidence on their side of the question. It will, at the same time, be perceived, that they are not as united as could be wished in the principles of their theory. Some rest the evidence that the infant seed oj believers are proper subjects of baptism, almost wholly upon the covenant which God established with Abraham. Others have not so much re spect to this kind of argument ; but prefer to rest the defence of their opinion, and practice, upon what they apprehend to be the clearer intimations of the Gospel, and upon the re cords oj history. Different views are entertained of the nature of the Abrahamic covenant: It is debated whether this covenant was strictly, and properly the covenant of Grace ; what was the real import, and who were the objects of its promises. Different opinions are entertained, and contrary hypotheses advocated also, respecting the Sinai covenant, the dispensation by Moses generally, and the constitution and character of the community of Israel. Some very respected and learned divines among the Pcedobaptists have adopt ed the idea, that this community was of a mixed character, and have called it a Theocracy. Among the many advocates of this opinion are Lozvman, Doddridge, Warburton, Guise, and the late John Erfkine. These Divines supposed, that the legation of Moses could be best defended against the ca vils of unbelievers, by placing God at the head of the community of Israel, as a civil governor , surrounding himself with the regalia, and managing his subjects with the penalties and largesses, of a temporal sovereign.

The antipaedobaptists have found this hypothesis so convenient a refuge from the attacks of their opposers, as to incorporate it, with great affection, and as a radical principle, in to their system oj reasoning. They have gone farther, and entirely accommodated the hypothesis to their peculiar notions. They insist, that this corqmunitv was not, either in fact, or in the original plan of the institution, spiritual, and religious ; but civil and carnal; and that, of course, the christian church is specifically different, and an entirely nezo society. It is the opinion of the Author oj the following Treatise, that this hypothesis has been adopted unwarily ; and not on ly without,- but against evidence. In view of this diversity of sentiment, and the obscurity which seems yet to lie over these subjects, it was his opinion, that a distinct and accurate view, if one could be given, of the Hebrew economy, as established by J-ehovah,jr§m its rise in the call of Abraham, and the covenant entered into with him, to its consummation in the Christian Church ; deduced, not from the fallible theories of men, but jrorn the Bible it self, was a great desideratum in the science of theology. Such a view he has attempted to furnish. Of his success the public must judge. Though he cannot but entertain the hope that he has succeeded, as to the main principles, could be adventurous indeed to avow a confidence, that his work is without error. Circumstantial errors however, whether they re- sped the matter or the manner, the reader is requested to re member, will not invalidate the truth of the leading princi ples. If these principles can be shewn to be wrong, the writer will be constrained to confess he has altogether failed of his object*
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
Just as one example, you can read New England Congregationalist Samuel Austin's 1807 critique. Note, however, that it was not simply a critique of 1689 Federalism, but was a critique of the numerous paedobaptists who had adopted the subservient covenant position (Owen, etc). He was urging them back to Westminster's view. This obviously has many parallels to today.
This also is proof that the the "1689federalist view" cannot be said to be strictly baptist...correct?
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman
I assure you Adam is much more equipped to critique your position than you give him credit. A common theme I have seen from many 1689federalist (including yourself) is that when anyone makes valid points in refutation, the a response of "well you just need to read more on the position, or you don't really understand 1689federalism, or well we don't really say it that way anymore".

Brother, my criticism was not of Adam's abilities. I know he is very capable of defending his own position and critiquing others. My point was simply that a blog summary of the position is not sufficient acquaintance to offer a meaningful critique, as evidenced by his comments.

when anyone makes valid points in refutation, the a response of "well you just need to read more on the position, or you don't really understand 1689federalism

Adam's points were not valid because he did not understand what he was trying to refute. So yeah, sorry, he would have to study it more in order to understand it. There's no shortcut. It's a big topic and paedobaptists have to spend a lot time studying our view and baptists need to spend a lot of time studying your view.

I just do not think that is anymore courteous than for me to assume that you have failed to read up on Westminster CT.

Brother, if I offered a misinformed critique of Westminster based on 1 blog summary, then yes, you should point out that I failed to read up on it. Are you saying that Adam has in fact studied 1689 Federalism books and that the blog summary was not his only exposure?

Adam is a full time pastor and professor and a college, so I do not expect, nor should you, some doctoral dissertation type of response when a laymen sends him a quick email asking for general thoughts on a online article.

Yes, and my response was that you shouldn't expect such a response to be meaningful or helpful on this "very complex discussion."

Further many more scholarly than I have responded in more detail here:
https://puritanboard.com/threads/covenant-of-grace.95926/

I have interacted many times with the folks here on the topic. You can find the interactions in the archives. See also the list of posts here https://contrast2.wordpress.com/

I appreciate your interest in this topic and hope that you continue studying. I'm happy to provide clarification and point you to resources where appropriate.
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman
So even under the OC, there were saved persons who would fall under the NC, and the lost who were still obeying as best they could the law were under the physical blessings promised to them under the OC?

Regenerate members of the Old Covenant were under both the Old Covenant for physical/temporal blessing/curse, as well as the New Covenant (and the Noahic Covenant of common preservation). See if this diagram helps.

Covenant-Membership-Diagram.jpg


And did the Church exist back in the OC, or start up at Pentecost under the NC then?

From the FAQ section "When Did the Church Begin?"

The church began in Genesis 3:15 and the church began at Pentecost.

How can both be true? Because of the visible/invisible church distinction as it relates to the promised/established New Covenant.

Old Testament saints were saved in the same way that we are today: through saving faith produced by the regenerating power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (2LBC 8.6, 8.8, 10.1, 11.6). They were united to Christ and were therefore part of his mystical body, the church (2LBC 26.1).

But it does not therefore follow that Israel was the church (“assembly”) of Christ. Israel was an assembly, but not the assembly of Christ (Heb. 12:23). Though regenerate Old Testament saints were part of the body of Christ, they were a remnant within the broader body of the assembly of Israel (which was governed by the Old Covenant). Likewise, believers outside of Israel were not under the Old Covenant (for example, Lot & Melchizedek were not circumcised – see Coxe p. 117-118).

It was not until Pentecost that the invisible church gathered (“assembled”) together as the assembly of Christ (the church) (2LBC 26.2, 26.5-7). The visible church was instituted at Pentecost and given ordinances of worship and its own government. John Owen explains how this relates to the New Covenant as promised & established.

This is the meaning of the word nenomoqe>thtai: “established,” say we; but it is, “reduced into a fixed state of a law or ordinance.” All the obedience required in it, all the worship appointed by it, all the privileges exhibited in it, and the grace administered with them, are all given for a statute, law, and ordinance unto the church. That which before lay hid in promises, in many things obscure, the principal mysteries of it being a secret hid in God himself, was now brought to light; and that covenant which had invisibly, in the way of a promise, put forth its efficacy under types and shadows, was now solemnly sealed, ratified, and confirmed, in the death and resurrection of Christ. It had before the confirmation of a promise, which is an oath; it had now the confirmation of a covenant, which is blood. That which before had no visible, outward worship, proper and peculiar unto it, is now made the only rule and instrument of worship unto the whole church, nothing being to be admitted therein but what belongs unto it, and is appointed by it. This the apostle intends by nenomoqe>thtai, the “legal establishment” of the new covenant, with all the ordinances of its worship. Hereon the other covenant was disannulled and removed; and not only the covenant itself, but all that system of sacred worship whereby it was administered. This was not done by the making of the covenant at first; yea, all this was superinduced into the covenant as given out in a promise, and was consistent therewith. When the new covenant was given out only in the way of a promise, it did not introduce a worship and privileges expressive of it. Wherefore it was consistent with a form of worship, rites and ceremonies, and those composed into a yoke of bondage which belonged not unto it. And as these, being added after its giving, did not overthrow its nature as a promise, so they were inconsistent with it when it was completed as a covenant; for then all the worship of the church was to proceed from it, and to be conformed unto it. Then it was established. Hence it follows, in answer unto the second difficulty, that as a promise, it was opposed unto the covenant of works; as a covenant, it was opposed unto that of Sinai. This legalizing or authoritative establishment of the new covenant, and the worship thereunto belonging, did effect this alteration. (Exposition of Hebrews 8:6)

The first solemn promulgation of this new covenant, so made, ratified, and established, was on the day of Pentecost, seven weeks after the resurrection of Christ. And it answered the promulgation of the law on mount Sinai, the same space of time after the delivery of the people out of Egypt. From this day forward the ordinances of worship, and all the institutions of the new covenant, became obligatory unto all believers. Then was the whole church absolved from any duty with respect unto the old covenant, and the worship of it, though it was not manifest as yet in their consciences. (Exposition Hebrews 8:10)

Thus the church began as soon as God began to redeem lost sinners through the promise of the New Covenant (Gen. 3:15), which was efficacious to save, bringing an individual into the invisible church. But it was not until the New Covenant was formally established that the visible church was instituted with its own worship and governance. Consider Samuel Waldron’s Exposition of the 1689 Confession on this point:

Does the Bible teach that this universal church consists of all the elect? Here a distinction is crucial. The church is the final, organized, earthly expression of the people of God. We must distinguish between the church as an institution and the church as the people of God. Such a distinction enables us to do justice to portions of the New Testament which are frequently misinterpreted. There was a very important sense in which the church began as an institution and organism in the complex of events surrounding Christ’s first advent. There was a sense in which historically the church began in the vents of Christ’s earthly ministry, death, resurrection and pouring out of the Spirit. The apostles of Christ are the historical foundation upon which Christ is now building his church (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:20; Heb. 12:18-24). The future tense in the statement of Christ, ‘I will build my church’, may, therefore, be given its natural force. Though Israel was a type of the church (Rom. 2:28-29; 1 Cor. 10:18; Gal. 6:16; Phil. 3:3) and though the church is the new Israel of God and the fulfillment of prophecy (Acts 2:16; 15:14-18; 1 Cor. 10:11; Gal. 6:16; Eph 2:12-19; Heb. 8:7-13), it is true that the church as an institution and organism did not exist in the Old Testament. These truths contradict the tendency of some strains of covenant theology to flatten the difference between the church and Israel in the interests of paedo-baptism.

On the other hand, the church is the climactic earthly expression of the people of God. Thus language is frequently used which equates the church with all those in union with Christ. The church is the body and bride of Christ (Eph. 1:22; 4:11-116; 5:23-27, 29, 32; Col. 1:18; 2:4). Furthermore, the bride of Christ is composed in the last day of the saved from every age (Eph. 5:27; Rev. 21:9-14; note also Matt. 8:11-12; John 10:14-17; Heb. 11:39-40). Thus the church will one day be composed of all the redeemed. As the people of God, the church does consist ‘of the whole number of the elect’. These considerations refute Dispensationalism with its church/Israel distinction and its denial that the Old Testament saints are part of the church.

For more, see Tom Ascol’s Toward a Confessional Doctrine of the Church (3-Part Video).
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman

brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman
This also is proof that the the "1689federalist view" cannot be said to be strictly baptist...correct?

Yes and no. I mean, that's why 17th century baptists appealed to Owen so often. But in doing so they did not fail to point out his inconsistency (see Renihan's JIRBS article and his book). If a paedobaptist adopts a 1689 Federalism understanding of the Covenant of Circumcision, can he really remain a paedobaptist?
 
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Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
misunderstood the position and failed to offer a valid critique.

Yes, this would be your view. However, in my opinion, many have understood the view and refuted it with solid argumentation. I can understand someones argument and reject it...this is possible.


In your view Abraham and the other mediators were in 2 sperate covenants at once...right?
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman
many have understood the view and refuted it with solid argumentation. I can understand someones argument and reject it...this is possible.

Yes, absolutely. However, I am simply commenting on Adam's critique, which was based on an insufficient understanding of the position. It does not address the distinction between form and matter, nor the 1689 Fed explanation of Abraham's salvation... thus it doesn't offer a critique of 1689 Fed on those essential points.

In your view Abraham and the other mediators were in 2 sperate covenants at once...right?

I don't think I would call Abraham a mediator. Perhaps you mean federal head? If so, yes, see response above to Dachaser with the diagram.
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman
For whatever it is worth, here is an updated answer to the FAQ "Does the 2nd London Baptist Confession only permit 1689 Federalism?" reflecting Renihan's completed research.

No. 1689 Federalism is a view of covenant theology (distinguished by its belief that the old and new covenants are different, distinct covenants and that only the new covenant is the covenant of grace) that was held by every published particular baptist work in the 17th century. It accounts for the change in language found in the 2nd London Baptist Confession with regards to covenant theology (in comparison to the WCF). However, this new language was written broadly enough to allow a variety of views to equally confess it. The label "1689 Federalism" is not intended to suggest that no other view is permissible amongst confessional baptists.

In his book From Shadow to Substance, Samuel Renihan elaborates.

Throughout this time [1640s and 1650s], a core model of Particular Baptist covenant theology developed. The covenant of grace was a covenant of sure salvation for all of God's elect. The covenant of circumcision was a covenant of works for Abraham's physical descendants intended to set them apart as the people from whom the promised seed of the woman would be born. The old covenant made salvation known through typology, though the types are distinct from the antitype. When Christ was born, the national covenant of works was aborgated and the new covenant remained alone, the antitype eclipsing the type. From Ritor to Cheare and Steed, the Particular Baptists presented a united but diversely presented covenant theology... For the rest of the seventeenth century it was expanded by the Particular Baptists with considerable continuity and minimal diversity.

The key difference between these confessions [WCF and 2LBC] is the Particular Baptists' complete avoidance of distinguishing the covenant of grace into two historical administrations. In their "quill-skirmishes," the Particular Baptists had repeatedly rejected the idea that the old covenant was the covenant of grace in a different form. Their typology distinguished the covenant of grace from the earthly national covenants made with Abraham and Moses. The hermeneutics they employed were not those of the continental Anabaptists, but of the Reformed tradition as exemplified by theologians from Ursinus to Cameron. The old covenant was distinct from the covenant of grace, but subservient to the covenant of grace.

In their Confession, the Particular Baptists directly tied the covenant of grace to the gospel. Where the gospel is found, there is the covenant of grace. As the gospel was progressively made known throughout history, the covenant of grace was progressively made known throughout history. The covenant of grace should not be flattened into two administrations, oversimplifying its progressive revelation and complex relationship to the old covenant. Rather, the covenant of grace should be seen through "farther steps." Through the gospel, it permeated the entire Old Testament form the promise of the seed of the woman to "the full discovery thereof" in the New Testament. And all the elect were saved by this covenant.

The language is carefully broad and specific at the same time. Any of the Particular Baptists' opponents could have subscribed to these statements. Many paedobaptist treatises dedicated great detail to the progressive historical development of the covenant of grace, often subdividing the two administrations of the covenant of grace into narrower periods. The difference between the confessions, then, has less to do with what the Particular Baptists said, and more to do with what they did not say. The model they confessed was not so exclusively or distinctively Baptist that others would disagree with it. But they clearly refused to commit themselves to the more common, and at times unclear, vernacular of substance and administration...

Though the Particular Baptists' choice of words clearly reflects their model of the covenant of grace, it is possible that this chapter of the Confession was written broadly, not just to avoid unnecessarily distancing themselves from Presbyterian and Congregational allies, but also to fit varying thought on this subject within the Baptists themselves. This is something they were willing to do. For example, they "purposely omitted the mention of things" relating to open and closed membership.

The historical context of the confession lies in the London Baptist' cooperation with the Broadmead Bristol Baptist church, an open-membership church. One of the pastors of the Bristol church, Thomas Hardcastle, whom Kiffen and Coxe had been asked to ordain but could not due to their dealing with Collier, taught a model that differed from most of the Particular Baptists. He contended that the old covenant was the covenant of grace.... but his views were taught privately and not published... Even Cheare, Steed, Hutchinson, and Delaune, despite their confusing language, rejected this idea. The language of 2LCF 7.3 is broad enough that while it confesses a covenantal model that intentionally departs from standard paedobaptist federalism, it seems to do so in a way that allows for some diversity of thought and expression.

(147, 326, 187-191, 327)
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
I don't think I would call Abraham a mediator. Perhaps you mean federal head? If so, yes, see response above to Dachaser with the diagram.
Upon thinking more....I think I am fine, biblically, seeing Abraham as a type of mediator. We do not have to debate the titles here...considering the topic of the OP.

P.S. I actually do not think that diagram is helpful. However, I am not sure I could create a diagram of your position (that is not a slight, just an honest admission).
 
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Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
Me too. But I was actually hoping you would since you've got the name for it.
Ok. I will take it for "grant"ed you were behaving re this topic :) My puns are bad today. I am part Irish :)

Some of those I consider PB "heavy hitters" :judge: actually have already weighed in with much detail on 1689federalism. See Post #113:detective:
Not sure. I think the solid dialogue is indeed healthy but I do see some "talking past each other". I think part of the problem is that 1689 Federalism is seen as more "different" to Westminster Federalism, than what other Reformed Baptist Covenant theologies are to Westminster Federalism. I have not read the Sam Renihan book widely promoted on this thread, but I understand this work goes a long way to make important clarifications re Westminster Federalism.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
I appreciate your interest in this topic and hope that you continue studying. I'm happy to provide clarification and point you to resources where appropriate.
Brandon, still interested in your response to my question in post 67 https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/1689-federalism-revisited.97308/page-3#post-1189323

I did wonder if this was partly historical - ie, had covenant theologians (Baptist and Paedobaptist) reflected more on the relatioship between the pactum salutis, historia salutis and the ordo salutis after the WCF ws completed?
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman
I actually do not think that diagram is helpful. However, I am not sure I could create a diagram of your position (that is not a slight, just an honest admission).

It is not intended to convey the whole system, merely to demonstrate overlapping covenant memberships.
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman
More to the point, do you think the 1689 Confession 7:3 shows the relationship between the pactum salutis, historia salutis and the ordo salutis with more clarity than does the Westminster Confession?

Yes. My understanding is that
1) Westminster was written to accommodate both those who affirmed a CoR and those who did not
2) The doctrine of the CoR was further developed between WCF (1646) and 2LBC (1677), particularly by Owen.

Renihan notes
One of the ways in which the Particular Baptists' confession stepped ahead of its parent documents was an explicit appeal to the covenant of redemption. In 7.3 the Baptists confessed that the covenant of grace "is founded in that Eternal Covenant transaction, that was between the Father and the Son, about the Redemption of the Elect." Following Savoy, in 8.1 they stated, "It pleased God in his eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus his only begotten Son, according to the Covenant made between them both, to be the Mediator between God and Man." Their first confession, though somewhat edited in the later editions, had also spoken of a covenant between the Father and the Son. Here again they confessed this doctrine.

The advantage of appealing to the covenant of redemption was that it closely connected the historical application of salvation, the covenant of grace, to the decree of salvation, the covenant of redemption. These truths were already confessed by all three confessions in 3.5-6, but the relationship of the covenant of redemption to the covenant of grace tightened the connections. In particular, it focused the covenants into union with Christ. As Christ was appointed Mediator of salvation to the elect in the covenant of redemption, so Christ is Mediator of salvation to the elect in the covenant of grace. Apart from union with Christ by faith, confessed in 7.2 as being a gift of the Holy Spirit, no claim could be made to the covenant of grace. (191-192)
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
When did the Church began - was it absolutely NEW or not?

Acts 7:38: "This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us"

The Book of Hebrews cites Psalm 22:22 in Hebrews 2:12 to have Jesus say, “in the ἐκκλησία I will sing your praise”. And in that same Book of Hebrews we read of a great cloud of witnesses (the names written were Old Testament names).

The Church was present in the Old Testament. And the LXX, often uses ekklesia to refer to Israel.

The use of these terms indicate that our lens out to be one of continuity. There is 1 people of God throughout all ages.

What is more, God does not qualify his use of the term ekklesia (congregation/church) in any further way, but merely refers to Isreal as a whole as the Church. He doesn't clarify that "some from my people are the Apple of my eye (Zechariah), but He simply talks of Israel in that way. When He speaks lovingly of Israel He doesn't say, "Some from among Israel" but He simply says Israel. He refers to the people as a whole...Israel.

Perhaps I sound like a Prebyterian, but I believe the main focus is continuity.

Even the Reformed know from Romans and Galatians that the children of the flesh are not necessarily the children of God and not all are true Israelites in Israel. But in the OT Israel (as a whole) was called God's beloved and the apple of His Eye.

I essentialy agree with Brandon's answer that the Church began both with the very first believers (Adam and Eve in my opinion) and it also began at Pentecost, or was renewed in a greater fashion. But I do think his admission goes far in proving the basic continuity of the Scriptures.

After all, wouldn't Moses be so very disapointed to learn that the Covenant in his day had no grace in it and was only a Covenant of Works? Some almost seem to make Christ and Moses into enemies, and yet Moses appeared at the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus.

The New Covenant was not necessarily absolutely New, just as the Church was not an absolutely new thing. The Greek word kainos is used in Heb. 8:8 of the New Covenant and not Neos, and this word Kainos is more properly translated "renewed" instead of "brand -spanking-new."

We see that the "Newness" of the New Covenant is like the "newness" of the Church....the fulfillment of many prior steps - the last stage of a progression. The final capstone of the Covenant of Grace which was not only revealed, but inaugerated in Genesis 3:15 and has come to fulfillment in Christ.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
When did the Church began - was it absolutely NEW or not?

Acts 7:38: "This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us"

The Book of Hebrews cites Psalm 22:22 in Hebrews 2:12 to have Jesus say, “in the ἐκκλησία I will sing your praise”. And in that same Book of Hebrews we read of a great cloud of witnesses (the names written were Old Testament names).

The Church was present in the Old Testament. And the LXX, often uses ekklesia to refer to Israel.

The use of these terms indicate that our lens out to be one of continuity. There is 1 people of God throughout all ages.

What is more, God does not qualify his use of the term ekklesia (congregation/church) in any further way, but merely refers to Isreal as a whole as the Church. He doesn't clarify that "some from my people are the Apple of my eye (Zechariah), but He simply talks of Israel in that way. When He speaks lovingly of Israel He doesn't say, "Some from among Israel" but He simply says Israel. He refers to the people as a whole...Israel.

Perhaps I sound like a Prebyterian, but I believe the main focus is continuity.

Even the Reformed know from Romans and Galatians that the children of the flesh are not necessarily the children of God and not all are true Israelites in Israel. But in the OT Israel (as a whole) was called God's beloved and the apple of His Eye.

I essentialy agree with Brandon's answer that the Church began both with the very first believers (Adam and Eve in my opinion) and it also began at Pentecost, or was renewed in a greater fashion. But I do think his admission goes far in proving the basic continuity of the Scriptures.

After all, wouldn't Moses be so very disapointed to learn that the Covenant in his day had no grace in it and was only a Covenant of Works? Some almost seem to make Christ and Moses into enemies, and yet Moses appeared at the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus.

The New Covenant was not necessarily absolutely New, just as the Church was not an absolutely new thing. The Greek word kainos is used in Heb. 8:8 of the New Covenant and not Neos, and this word Kainos is more properly translated "renewed" instead of "brand -spanking-new."

We see that the "Newness" of the New Covenant is like the "newness" of the Church....the fulfillment of many prior steps - the last stage of a progression. The final capstone of the Covenant of Grace which was not only revealed, but inaugerated in Genesis 3:15 and has come to fulfillment in Christ.

Perg,

I agree. For me as I am reading on the 1689 federalist more, my biggest hang up is their position that the CoG was only "promised" and not "inaugurated" (in time of course) in Gen. 3:15. In Gen 3, we have terms, promises, man, God, and blood ( God made them skin-garments). To say that this was not a covenant inauguration because "it was only the promise of it" seems inconsistent with the way we approach every other covenant. For example, could Abraham's Covenant not rightly be called an inaugurated covenant in Gen 17 because the things God promised him were not yet a reality? of course not! Similar to Gen 3, with Abraham we have terms, promises, man, God, and blood. The same can be said of Adam, Noah, Moses, and David.

The diagram in Post # 127 can be used (with minor modifications), to show for those who hold to Westminster CT or the Vanilla RB, that within God's Covenant people in the various dispensations of the Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, and the NC. There is scriptural proof that those communities were mixed between some who where still under the CoW and those who were in the CoG. In EVERY era since the fall it can be shown that their were those who were in covenant with God externally, yet there souls were still in bondage to the CoW. This continuity (along with the common them of faith in Christ), add further proof to your explanation of the most biblical way to interpret "new". We know from scripture that Moses preached Christ. We know from Scripture that the Church existed in the OT. Christ being preached to the Church in types and shadows sounds a lot like the NC community too. Sure we have greater clarity, but we still have types and shadows in the NC too. We still are looking forward to even more clear realities (the already-not-yet).:detective:
 
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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
When did the Church began - was it absolutely NEW or not?

Acts 7:38: "This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us"

The Book of Hebrews cites Psalm 22:22 in Hebrews 2:12 to have Jesus say, “in the ἐκκλησία I will sing your praise”. And in that same Book of Hebrews we read of a great cloud of witnesses (the names written were Old Testament names).

The Church was present in the Old Testament. And the LXX, often uses ekklesia to refer to Israel.

The use of these terms indicate that our lens out to be one of continuity. There is 1 people of God throughout all ages.

What is more, God does not qualify his use of the term ekklesia (congregation/church) in any further way, but merely refers to Isreal as a whole as the Church. He doesn't clarify that "some from my people are the Apple of my eye (Zechariah), but He simply talks of Israel in that way. When He speaks lovingly of Israel He doesn't say, "Some from among Israel" but He simply says Israel. He refers to the people as a whole...Israel.

Perhaps I sound like a Prebyterian, but I believe the main focus is continuity.

Even the Reformed know from Romans and Galatians that the children of the flesh are not necessarily the children of God and not all are true Israelites in Israel. But in the OT Israel (as a whole) was called God's beloved and the apple of His Eye.

I essentialy agree with Brandon's answer that the Church began both with the very first believers (Adam and Eve in my opinion) and it also began at Pentecost, or was renewed in a greater fashion. But I do think his admission goes far in proving the basic continuity of the Scriptures.

After all, wouldn't Moses be so very disapointed to learn that the Covenant in his day had no grace in it and was only a Covenant of Works? Some almost seem to make Christ and Moses into enemies, and yet Moses appeared at the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus.

The New Covenant was not necessarily absolutely New, just as the Church was not an absolutely new thing. The Greek word kainos is used in Heb. 8:8 of the New Covenant and not Neos, and this word Kainos is more properly translated "renewed" instead of "brand -spanking-new."

We see that the "Newness" of the New Covenant is like the "newness" of the Church....the fulfillment of many prior steps - the last stage of a progression. The final capstone of the Covenant of Grace which was not only revealed, but inaugerated in Genesis 3:15 and has come to fulfillment in Christ.
What was brand new though was the full instituting here of the new Covenant in the Body of Christ, the Church, as the Holy Spirit had to wait until the Promised messiah came, dies, resurrected, and ascended before He could be sent back here to come in His Baptizing all saved now into that same Body now.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Perg,

I agree. For me as I am reading on the 1689 federalist more, my biggest hang up is their position that the CoG was only "promised" and not "inaugurated" (in time of course) in Gen. 3:15. In Gen 3, we have terms, promises, man, God, and blood ( God made them skin-garments). To say that this was not a covenant inauguration because "it was only the promise of it" seems inconsistent with the way we approach every other covenant. For example, could Abraham's Covenant not rightly be called an inaugurated covenant in Gen 17 because the things God promised him were not yet a reality? of course not! Similar to Gen 3, with Abraham we have terms, promises, man, God, and blood. The same can be said of Adam, Noah, Moses, and David.

The diagram in Post # 127 can be used (with minor modifications), to show for those who hold to Westminster CT or the Vanilla RB, that within God's Covenant people in the various dispensations of the Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, and the NC. There is scriptural proof that those communities were mixed between some who where still under the CoW and those who were in the CoG. In EVERY era since the fall it can be shown that their were those who were in covenant with God externally, yet there souls were still in bondage to the CoW. This continuity (along with the common them of faith in Christ), add further proof to your explanation of the most biblical way to interpret "new". We know from scripture that Moses preached Christ. We know from Scripture that the Church existed in the OT. Christ being preached to the Church in types and shadows sounds a lot like the NC community too. Sure we have greater clarity, but we still have types and shadows in the NC too. We still are looking forward to even more clear realities (the already-not-yet).:detective:
The Holy Spirit could not come in His fullness as now under the New Covenant until the messiah had actually came and did His finished work, as none had direct access to God until that happened...
 
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Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
You wrote:

"Since the criticism is nothing more than conjecture about other people's motives, there isn't really much to respond to."

It is not mere conjecture, I have heard these very things said several times, (1) That Presbyterians did not get their doctrine from the bible but invented it to defend Pedobaptism, and (2) We need to develop our own covenant theology to distingish us from the Presbyterians. There needs to be a uniquely baptist covenant theology.

Several RBs have stated these things to me directly.

Also, in Denault's book he states that Presbyterians have become servants to their system of covenant theology instead of following the bible due to their doctrine of baptism. For instance, he writes, ""the paedobaptist approach not only did not use the New Testament to interpret the Old, but did the exact opposite" (Loc 1320).

And again, "“The padeobaptist refused to separate the dualities of the Abrahamic covenant in order to preserve their model of the covenant of grace which integrated these dualities… Their system was self sufficient, but it could not harmonize itself naturally with the Biblical data, and, in particular, to the fact that there was not one, but two covenants in Abraham” (loc 1863, 1929).

Here is another quote:

“Presbyterian federalism was an artificial construction developed to justify an end: paedobaptism. We do not think that this laborious theology was the result of a rigorous and disinterested application of hermeneutical principles. We rather believe that it was the consequence of an age-old practice, which became the ultimate instrument of social uniformity in Christendom and which was inherited by the Reformed Church, namely, paedobaptism. Paedobaptism was the arrival point of Presbyterian federalism because it was its starting point” (Loc 2388).

I am not "conjecturing" anything; I have had multiple Reformed Baptists state to me directly, and, it is clear from Denault's book, that many 1689 Federalists believe that Prebyterians concocted all of their covenant theology as a means to defend pedobaptism. And 1689 Federalism is a way for us to develop our own uniquely baptist version of Covenant Theology.

This is fairly standard Baptist polemics, and mildly stated at that. I think that at least some people who have held to "20th Century Reformed Baptist" federalism have said much the same thing when it comes to how Presbyterians justify infant baptism. EDIT: An example is this quote from Dr. Waldron that Brandon posted earlier: "These truths contradict the tendency of some strains of covenant theology to flatten the difference between the church and Israel in the interests of paedo-baptism."

As you must have seen through the years, Presbyterians and other paedobaptists have heaped all manner of rhetorical abuse on Baptists through the years. (Thankfully it's no longer physical abuse.) They charge everything from people wanting to be democratic to being "Arminian" to charging Baptists with being "dispensationalists," even if they are amil or postmil!
 
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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
This is fairly standard Baptist polemics, and mildly stated at that. I think that at least some people who have held to "20th Century Reformed Baptist" federalism have said much the same thing when it comes to how Presbyterians justify infant baptism.

As you must have seen through the years, Presbyterians and other paedobaptists have heaped all manner of rhetorical abuse on Baptists through the years. (Thankfully it's no longer physical abuse.) They charge everything from people wanting to be democratic to being "Arminian" to charging Baptists with being "dispensationalists," even if they are amil or postmil!
Since coming over to the Calvinist/reformed theology positions, have come to see that there is certain differences between our 2 camps that almost warrants having Baptist Covenant theology become labeled as something else, maybe?
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman
Acts 7:38: "This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us"

The English word "church" carries a meaning that the Greek word does not. In English, "church" refers primarily to "the body of Christ." That is not the case in Greek. It is a secular word adapted by Paul to refer to the body of Christ. Strong’s defines it as “a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly.” On Acts 7:38, the NET Bible notes “This term, ἐκκλησία (ekklhsia), is a secular use of the term that came to mean “church” in the epistles. Here a reference to an assembly is all that is intended.”

The assembly of Israel was not the assembly of Christ, just as the kingdom of Israel was not the kingdom of Christ/heaven. However, the assembly of Israel was a type of the assembly of Christ.

The Book of Hebrews cites Psalm 22:22 in Hebrews 2:12 to have Jesus say, “in the ἐκκλησία I will sing your praise”. And in that same Book of Hebrews we read of a great cloud of witnesses (the names written were Old Testament names).

Typology.

The Church was present in the Old Testament.

Yes, as I already said.

And the LXX, often uses ekklesia to refer to Israel.

The use of these terms indicate that our lens out to be one of continuity. There is 1 people of God throughout all ages.

You're putting way more freight on that word than it will carry. No, the use of the word "assembly" does not therefore mean that the assembly of Israel was the assembly of Christ.

What is more, God does not qualify his use of the term ekklesia (congregation/church) in any further way, but merely refers to Isreal as a whole as the Church.

Yes, Israel as a whole was an assembly - the assembly of Israel.

He doesn't clarify that "some from my people are the Apple of my eye (Zechariah), but He simply talks of Israel in that way. When He speaks lovingly of Israel He doesn't say, "Some from among Israel" but He simply says Israel. He refers to the people as a whole...Israel.

Again, typology. Israel, as a whole, was adopted by God in a typological covenant. See if this explanation from Edwards is helpful to you Jonathan Edwards on the Nation of Israel as a Type of the Church

I would encourage you to study our books. I think all that you have read is Denault. Is that correct? Try reading Abraham Booth's An Essay on the Kingdom of Christ (free online) as well as Coxe
http://www.1689federalism.com/recommended-reading-list/

Kline's Two-Level Fulfillment may also be helpful in understanding the typological distinction. http://www.upper-register.com/papers/two_level_fulfillment.pdf

Even the Reformed know from Romans and Galatians that the children of the flesh are not necessarily the children of God and not all are true Israelites in Israel.

Typology. What paedobaptists see as a distinction between inward/outward, we see as a distinction between covenants (Old vs New).

But I do think his admission goes far in proving the basic continuity of the Scriptures.

1689 Federalism has never denied the basic continuity of the Scriptures.

After all, wouldn't Moses be so very disapointed to learn that the Covenant in his day had no grace in it and was only a Covenant of Works?

No. That's why he prophesied the New Covenant (Deut 30:6).

Some almost seem to make Christ and Moses into enemies, and yet Moses appeared at the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus.

The Mosaic Covenant was distinct from but subservient to the New Covenant (not an enemy of it) and Moses was saved.

The New Covenant was not necessarily absolutely New, just as the Church was not an absolutely new thing. The Greek word kainos is used in Heb. 8:8 of the New Covenant and not Neos, and this word Kainos is more properly translated "renewed" instead of "brand -spanking-new."

Yes, that is a common paedobaptist argument. The context denies that interpretation. The New Covenant promises listed were not old covenant promises. Horton "There are clear passages indicating that ‘the forgiveness of sins’ is unique to the New Covenant (“remember their sins no more”; Jer 31:34)." That's why the New is better. Furthermore, does Jesus say that new wine is put into renewed wineskins or new wineskins (Matt 9:17; Lk 5:38)?

For me as I am reading on the 1689 federalist more, my biggest hang up is their position that the CoG was only "promised" and not "inaugurated" (in time of course) in Gen. 3:15. In Gen 3, we have terms, promises, man, God, and blood ( God made them skin-garments). To say that this was not a covenant inauguration because "it was only the promise of it" seems inconsistent with the way we approach every other covenant. For example, could Abraham's Covenant not rightly be called an inaugurated covenant in Gen 17 because the things God promised him were not yet a reality? of course not! Similar to Gen 3, with Abraham we have terms, promises, man, God, and blood. The same can be said of Adam, Noah, Moses, and David.

Grant, please see Berkhof: https://contrast2.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/the-promise-was-sufficient-efficacious/

We know from scripture that Moses preached Christ.

Which 1689 Federalism fully agrees.

We know from Scripture that the Church existed in the OT.

Which, properly qualified, 1689 Federalism fully agrees.

Christ being preached to the Church in types and shadows sounds a lot like the NC community too. Sure we have greater clarity, but we still have types and shadows in the NC too. We still are looking forward to even more clear realities (the already-not-yet).:detective:

What? No, that's a misunderstanding of typology. The New Covenant does not reveal Christ through types and shadows. Again, I appreciate your interest in this topic, but I would encourage you to read some of the book length material. Have you had an opportunity to do so yet? http://www.1689federalism.com/recommended-reading-list/
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
The English word "church" carries a meaning that the Greek word does not. In English, "church" refers primarily to "the body of Christ." That is not the case in Greek. It is a secular word adapted by Paul to refer to the body of Christ. Strong’s defines it as “a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly.” On Acts 7:38, the NET Bible notes “This term, ἐκκλησία (ekklhsia), is a secular use of the term that came to mean “church” in the epistles. Here a reference to an assembly is all that is intended.”

The assembly of Israel was not the assembly of Christ, just as the kingdom of Israel was not the kingdom of Christ/heaven. However, the assembly of Israel was a type of the assembly of Christ.



Typology.



Yes, as I already said.



You're putting way more freight on that word than it will carry. No, the use of the word "assembly" does not therefore mean that the assembly of Israel was the assembly of Christ.



Yes, Israel as a whole was an assembly - the assembly of Israel.



Again, typology. Israel, as a whole, was adopted by God in a typological covenant. See if this explanation from Edwards is helpful to you Jonathan Edwards on the Nation of Israel as a Type of the Church

I would encourage you to study our books. I think all that you have read is Denault. Is that correct? Try reading Abraham Booth's An Essay on the Kingdom of Christ (free online) as well as Coxe
http://www.1689federalism.com/recommended-reading-list/

Kline's Two-Level Fulfillment may also be helpful in understanding the typological distinction. http://www.upper-register.com/papers/two_level_fulfillment.pdf



Typology. What paedobaptists see as a distinction between inward/outward, we see as a distinction between covenants (Old vs New).



1689 Federalism has never denied the basic continuity of the Scriptures.



No. That's why he prophesied the New Covenant (Deut 30:6).



The Mosaic Covenant was distinct from but subservient to the New Covenant (not an enemy of it) and Moses was saved.



Yes, that is a common paedobaptist argument. The context denies that interpretation. The New Covenant promises listed were not old covenant promises. Horton "There are clear passages indicating that ‘the forgiveness of sins’ is unique to the New Covenant (“remember their sins no more”; Jer 31:34)." That's why the New is better. Furthermore, does Jesus say that new wine is put into renewed wineskins or new wineskins (Matt 9:17; Lk 5:38)?



Grant, please see Berkhof: https://contrast2.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/the-promise-was-sufficient-efficacious/



Which 1689 Federalism fully agrees.



Which, properly qualified, 1689 Federalism fully agrees.



What? No, that's a misunderstanding of typology. The New Covenant does not reveal Christ through types and shadows. Again, I appreciate your interest in this topic, but I would encourage you to read some of the book length material. Have you had an opportunity to do so yet? http://www.1689federalism.com/recommended-reading-list/
I have read the books but am not convinced.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
The English word "church" carries a meaning that the Greek word does not. In English, "church" refers primarily to "the body of Christ." That is not the case in Greek. It is a secular word adapted by Paul to refer to the body of Christ. Strong’s defines it as “a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly.” On Acts 7:38, the NET Bible notes “This term, ἐκκλησία (ekklhsia), is a secular use of the term that came to mean “church” in the epistles. Here a reference to an assembly is all that is intended.”

The assembly of Israel was not the assembly of Christ, just as the kingdom of Israel was not the kingdom of Christ/heaven. However, the assembly of Israel was a type of the assembly of Christ.



Typology.



Yes, as I already said.



You're putting way more freight on that word than it will carry. No, the use of the word "assembly" does not therefore mean that the assembly of Israel was the assembly of Christ.



Yes, Israel as a whole was an assembly - the assembly of Israel.



Again, typology. Israel, as a whole, was adopted by God in a typological covenant. See if this explanation from Edwards is helpful to you Jonathan Edwards on the Nation of Israel as a Type of the Church

I would encourage you to study our books. I think all that you have read is Denault. Is that correct? Try reading Abraham Booth's An Essay on the Kingdom of Christ (free online) as well as Coxe
http://www.1689federalism.com/recommended-reading-list/

Kline's Two-Level Fulfillment may also be helpful in understanding the typological distinction. http://www.upper-register.com/papers/two_level_fulfillment.pdf



Typology. What paedobaptists see as a distinction between inward/outward, we see as a distinction between covenants (Old vs New).



1689 Federalism has never denied the basic continuity of the Scriptures.



No. That's why he prophesied the New Covenant (Deut 30:6).



The Mosaic Covenant was distinct from but subservient to the New Covenant (not an enemy of it) and Moses was saved.



Yes, that is a common paedobaptist argument. The context denies that interpretation. The New Covenant promises listed were not old covenant promises. Horton "There are clear passages indicating that ‘the forgiveness of sins’ is unique to the New Covenant (“remember their sins no more”; Jer 31:34)." That's why the New is better. Furthermore, does Jesus say that new wine is put into renewed wineskins or new wineskins (Matt 9:17; Lk 5:38)?



Grant, please see Berkhof: https://contrast2.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/the-promise-was-sufficient-efficacious/



Which 1689 Federalism fully agrees.



Which, properly qualified, 1689 Federalism fully agrees.



What? No, that's a misunderstanding of typology. The New Covenant does not reveal Christ through types and shadows. Again, I appreciate your interest in this topic, but I would encourage you to read some of the book length material. Have you had an opportunity to do so yet? http://www.1689federalism.com/recommended-reading-list/
This seems to be where the misunderstanding of some that Calvinistic/Reformed Baptists hold to Dispensational theology seems to at times be originating from, as to some we seem to be holding to a much to severe distinction between the old and New Covenant in regards to things such as Church and the CoG.
 
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