1689 Federalism Revisited

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Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Regarding Acts 7:38, if I'm not mistaken, Tyndale employed the word "congregation" or "assembly" where the KJV speaks of the "church in the wilderness." "Congregation" is also used in the Geneva Bible.

If I'm not mistaken, one of the mandates from King James I was that "ecclesiastical" words be used, such as church for congregation here, and bishop for overseer.

Besides the ASV of 1901 and the NKJV (which follow the KJV here) the only other translations in Bible Gateway that I see that use "church" are the Phillips paraphrase and the Roman Catholic Douay-Rhiems. (Perhaps not coincidentally, Phillips was an Anglican.) Even the modern Catholic NAB(RE) has "assembly." Other modern translations including the NIV, ESV, NASB, and the CSB have assembly or congregation.

Ekklesia is used to refer to a riot in Ephesus in response to Paul in Acts 19. Surely that wasn't the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
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Grant

Puritan Board Senior
What? No, that's a misunderstanding of typology.

Yes. The Lord's Supper, among other things, also points the saints forward and typifies the marriage feast of the Lamb.

As with baptism...both NT sacraments point to past/present/future realities for God's People.
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman
A sign is not the same thing as a type. This obviously gets into a difference between paedos and 1689 Fed - our understanding of typology. We follow with the subservient covenant strain that understands a type as something that has meaning in itself, apart from it's meaning as a type. A sign only has meaning as a sign.

Adam was Adam in addition to being a type of Christ. Joseph was Joseph in addition to being a type of Christ, etc.
 
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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Regarding Acts 7:38, if I'm not mistaken, Tyndale employed the word "congregation" or "assembly" where the KJV speaks of the "church in the wilderness." "Congregation" is also used in the Geneva Bible.

If I'm not mistaken, one of the mandates from King James I was that "ecclesiastical" words be used, such as church for congregation here, and bishop for overseer.

Besides the ASV of 1901 and the NKJV (which follow the KJV here) the only other translations in Bible Gateway that I see that use "church" are the Phillips paraphrase and the Roman Catholic Douay-Rhiems. (Perhaps not coincidentally, Phillips was an Anglican.) Even the modern Catholic NAB(RE) has "assembly." Other modern translations including the NIV, ESV, NASB, and the CSB have assembly or congregation.

Ekklesia is used to refer to a riot in Ephesus in response to Paul in Acts 19. Surely that wasn't the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We cannot be reading back into the OT term the full meaning assigned and given to it under the NC seems to be the implication here.
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
A sign is not the same thing as a type.
A sign certainly CAN and does at times also serve as a type. However, I do not want to get into semantics here nor a typology debate. We disagree.

I will conclude with this and digress. Brandon it IS possible for someone to fully understand and grasp the 1689federalist position and REJECT it as erroneous (many have). Just like you claim for Westminster. Just because you say (the majority of the time) that the opponents to it simply misunderstand it or "you just need to read more from the holy book list" falls flat. I believe you understand Westminster CT (for the most part); however I also acknowledge that for you it does not hold water and therefore you reject it. I am happy to leave it at that:cheers2:.

I hope you have a good rest of the day. I appreciate your thought provoking angles on CT.
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman
Brandon it IS possible for someone to fully understand and grasp the 1689federalist position and REJECT it as erroneous...

I have never said otherwise.

Just because you say (the majority of the time) that the opponents to it simply misunderstand it or "you just need to read more from the holy book list" falls flat.

The majority of the time opponents have not taken the time to understand and instead are merely content to point out what they see as a difference between their own position and 1689 Fed and leave it at that. When I point out a misunderstanding, I have pointed out in what way the position has been misunderstood, as should be evident throughout this thread. So it is not a baseless statement. I provide clarification each time. (If I have not, please show me and I will). The criticism offered by Adam did not adequately understand what he was trying to critique and thus fell flat. I showed precisely where it misunderstood or did not adequately engage.

So yes, it is possible for someone to understand 1689 Fed and still disagree. Likewise, it is possible for someone not to understand 1689 Fed and offer an inadequate critique. My interest in jumping in on this discussion was to provide clarification for points of misunderstanding.

Thanks for the interaction brother. :cheers2:
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Bill, thanks for posting this thread. And Brandon (and others) thanks for contributing.

For quite some time, I've needed to go back and reexamine my whole position. But it has been clear to me for years that what older Baptists believed and taught wasn't the modified Presbyterian or "20th Century RB" "one covenant, two administrations" teaching. (Peter Masters, has referred to it as "modified Presbyterian" and says that he has always held to what is being termed 1689 Federalism.) I have read very little of 17th Century Baptist writings, but I have read some 18th, 19th, and early 20th Century writers and have seen some of them equate the covenant of grace with the New Covenant and refer to the Mosaic Covenant as a covenant of works. It was clear to me that they were teaching neither NCT nor what I had understood to be the 1689/Reformed Baptist teaching.

Brandon, in your view, is "From Shadow to Substance" the one book someone should read?

I do have the Kindle edition of Denault, which I have but have yet to read. Kudos to him and/or the publisher for making the update freely available to those who already had the first edition rather than making you buy it all over again.
 
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brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman
Chris, yes "From Shadow to Substance" is an excellent book in that it provides great historical context for the development of covenant theology in the 16th and 17th centuries and then also shows the development and progression of particular baptist covenant theology throughout the 17th century. So you a get a great, very carefully nuanced summary of the view.

For an exegetical defense you'd want to then supplement with the Coxe/Owen volume.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
The doctrine of the CoR was further developed between WCF (1646) and 2LBC (1677), particularly by Owen.
Thank you for this Brandon. It is interesting that Owen adopted the doctrine of the COR further, yet I cannot see it in chapter 7 of the Savoy Declaration.

That information by Renihan is very insightful.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
God called all of Israel "my people" as a whole. It was a mixed assembly. Most Christians admit that the Church consists of all believers from all ages.
Don't expect to get an answer on this one.

Here is the list.

The reason I did not respond is that I tire of being told to jump through somebody else's hoops because I disagree with them. "Here's a list of 2 dozen books....you are not equipped to engage me until you read them all (and p.s. those books all favor my position") is a fundamentally flawed way of argumentation.

-The Denault book (which I have been quoting above)
-The Fatal Flaw by Jeffrey Johnson
-Nehemiah Coxe, Covenant Theology Adam to Christ
-Covenant Theoogy summarized (or something like that), by Doug Van Dorn.
-The Divine Covenants by Pink
-The John Bunyan book, The Doctrine of Law and Grace Unfolded.
-Introducing Covenant Theology, by Horton
-Christ and Covenant Theology, by Venema.
-Introduction to Covenant Theology, J.I. Packer
-Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology, by Richard Belcher
-The Christ of the Covenant by O. Palmer Robertson.
-The Doctrine of the Covenant in Reformed Theology, Vos.
-Covenant Theology Made Easy, by the PB's Matthew Macmahon
-most of Reisenger's book on Abraham's various seeds, which I think still influences Reformed Baptist thought.
-Covenant Theology, by Earl Blackburn and Walt Chantry


Now you make me a list of all the books you've read on Covenant Theology.
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman
It is interesting that Owen adopted the doctrine of the COR further, yet I cannot see it in chapter 7 of the Savoy Declaration.

I don't know all the specifics, but the Savoy was written in 1658 and much of Owen's writing on the CoR is found in his Hebrews commentary, which was published in volumes from 1668-84.
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman
God called all of Israel "my people" as a whole. It was a mixed assembly.

All of Israel, including the unbelievers, were God's people according to their election in their natural father Abraham and according to the Old Covenant. See http://www.1689federalism.com/scriptureindex/genesis-177/ for a more detailed elaboration if you are interested.

I'm really not sure what point you're trying to make here. 1689 Federalism affirms that God saw all of Israel as "my people." Yet it also affirms there is both a typological and anti-typological import to "my people." That's why I asked what books you have read, because you don't seem to be familiar with how we understand this issue. If you are familiar, then I don't really understand why you think this is an objection or criticism.

Most Christians admit that the Church consists of all believers from all ages.

1689 Federalism affirms this. Again, not sure what your point is.

The reason I did not respond is that I tire of being told to jump through somebody else's hoops because I disagree with them. "Here's a list of 2 dozen books....you are not equipped to engage me until you read them all (and p.s. those books all favor my position") is a fundamentally flawed way of argumentation.

I never said that. I responded directly to your objection, then I suggested two books that you should read because your objection was so far off base that I assumed you had not read what we have to say on that particular issue. I was mistaken.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
Here is the list.
If my memory is correct Pergamum, you made enquiries about the Facebook group "Reformed and Calvinistic Baptist Christians Australia and New Zealand". After looking at the list rules, I refused to join and told the moderators. The group would include Calvinistic Dispensationists and exclude Covenantal Paedobaptists. To me this was ludicrous. If the key point for Reformed Theology is covenant theology, this means Reformed Baptists have more in common with Reformed Paedobaptists than they do with Dispensational Calvinists. For a good framework for discussing covenant theology that both Baptists and Paedobaptists can use, see https://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/sdg/vos_covenant.html
Now you make me a list of all the books you've read on Covenant Theology.
Looking at what Brandon has written on the subject, the list would extend from New Zealand to Australia :lol:
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
If my memory is correct Pergamum, you made enquiries about the Facebook group "Reformed and Calvinistic Baptist Christians Australia and New Zealand". After looking at the list rules, I refused to join and told the moderators. The group would include Calvinistic Dispensationists and exclude Covenantal Paedobaptists. To me this was ludicrous. If the key point for Reformed Theology is covenant theology, this means Reformed Baptists have more in common with Reformed Paedobaptists than they do with Dispensational Calvinists. For a good framework for discussing covenant theology that both Baptists and Paedobaptists can use, see https://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/sdg/vos_covenant.html

Looking at what Brandon has written on the subject, the list would extend from New Zealand to Australia :lol:

Why did you refuse to join again? The rules were too strict?

The first thing that binds us together is the Gospel. Baptism and Covenant Theology are of secondary importance.

What did you want me to see from the Vos article?
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
If my memory is correct Pergamum, you made enquiries about the Facebook group "Reformed and Calvinistic Baptist Christians Australia and New Zealand". After looking at the list rules, I refused to join and told the moderators. The group would include Calvinistic Dispensationists and exclude Covenantal Paedobaptists. To me this was ludicrous. If the key point for Reformed Theology is covenant theology, this means Reformed Baptists have more in common with Reformed Paedobaptists than they do with Dispensational Calvinists. For a good framework for discussing covenant theology that both Baptists and Paedobaptists can use, see https://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/sdg/vos_covenant.html

Looking at what Brandon has written on the subject, the list would extend from New Zealand to Australia :lol:
The one binding issue for all Baptists though would be water baptism itself.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
Why did you refuse to join again? The rules were too strict?
I explained in the post above. I did tell the moderators that the rules they had composed would include our second best friends (Calvinistic Dispensationalists) but exclude our every best friends (Reformed Paedobaptists). That does not make sense.

The first thing that binds us together is the Gospel. Baptism and Covenant Theology are of secondary importance.
In that case those rules come under your own criticism. The rules exclude Paedobaptists exen though you yourself have said the thing that binds us all is the gospel.

What did you want me to see from the Vos article?
Reformed Baptists and Reformeded Paedobaptists have a commen thread to their theology - namely covenant theology (we differ over the details). Reformed Baptists and Calvinist Dispensationists do not have this key theology in common.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I explained in the post above. I did tell the moderators that the rules they had composed would include our second best friends (Calvinistic Dispensationalists) but exclude our every best friends (Reformed Paedobaptists). That does not make sense.


In that case those rules come under your own criticism. The rules exclude Paedobaptists exen though you yourself have said the thing that binds us all is the gospel.


Reformed Baptists and Reformeded Paedobaptists have a commen thread to their theology - namely covenant theology (we differ over the details). Reformed Baptists and Calvinist Dispensationists do not have this key theology in common.

When it comes to missionary work, I have found that there is not much crossover (at least for me) in gaining support from Presbyterians. Even desspte soteriology being the same, it is the baptismal waters which divide and many reformed will not support a baptist missionary. Charismatics will support me, but not many Presbyterians will. And so it would really benefit my case to jump on board the 1689 Federalism bandwagon. But perhaps I am forever brainwashed by O. Palmer Robertson and his excellent book, The Christ of the Covenants which set my covenantal theology for the last 20 years.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I explained in the post above. I did tell the moderators that the rules they had composed would include our second best friends (Calvinistic Dispensationalists) but exclude our every best friends (Reformed Paedobaptists). That does not make sense.


In that case those rules come under your own criticism. The rules exclude Paedobaptists exen though you yourself have said the thing that binds us all is the gospel.


Reformed Baptists and Reformeded Paedobaptists have a commen thread to their theology - namely covenant theology (we differ over the details). Reformed Baptists and Calvinist Dispensationists do not have this key theology in common.
Both of them do see the Gospel in the same manner though, and also water baptism.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
When it comes to missionary work, I have found that there is not much crossover (at least for me) in gaining support from Presbyterians. Even desspte soteriology being the same, it is the baptismal waters which divide and many reformed will not support a baptist missionary. Charismatics will support me, but not many Presbyterians will. And so it would really benefit my case to jump on board the 1689 Federalism bandwagon. But perhaps I am forever brainwashed by O. Palmer Robertson and his excellent book, The Christ of the Covenants which set my covenantal theology for the last 20 years.
In order to still hold to believers Baptism though, have to be in agreement with some form of Baptist reformed, correct? So what form do you currently agree with on this?
 

Kinghezy

Puritan Board Sophomore
When it comes to missionary work, I have found that there is not much crossover (at least for me) in gaining support from Presbyterians. Even desspte soteriology being the same, it is the baptismal waters which divide and many reformed will not support a baptist missionary. Charismatics will support me, but not many Presbyterians will.

Not should they. The Westminster says it is a great sin to not administer baptism and the PCA book of church says it should not be unnecessary delayed (I assume OPC and like have something similar). I would wonder about their convictions if they supported a Baptist ministriy.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Not should they. The Westminster says it is a great sin to not administer baptism and the PCA book of church says it should not be unnecessary delayed (I assume OPC and like have something similar). I would wonder about their convictions if they supported a Baptist ministriy.
Paul stated that he rejoiced when Jesus was being preached, even if not from the right motive and reason, and Jesus said that there were others outside the Apostolic band that were also with Jesus teaching Him as Lord.
 

Kinghezy

Puritan Board Sophomore
Paul stated that he rejoiced when Jesus was being preached, even if not from the right motive and reason, and Jesus said that there were others outside the Apostolic band that were also with Jesus teaching

I do not recall the Paul quote, but your summary sounds like an internal matter (motive/reason), and not a doctrinal question. I am not following how the summary from what Jesus said is connected to doctrine either. I am not sure where that passage is, but I would be curious on what Jesus' point was.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I do not recall the Paul quote, but your summary sounds like an internal matter (motive/reason), and not a doctrinal question. I am not following how the summary from what Jesus said is connected to doctrine either. I am not sure where that passage is, but I would be curious on what Jesus' point was.
That both Baptists and Presbyterians would be teaching the same Jesus and same Gospel, so should support one another!
 

Kinghezy

Puritan Board Sophomore
@Dachaser I will refrain from commenting on this idea to avoid derailing the thread further. It would, however, be interesting to explore where the line is on supporting a brother in Christ.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
When it comes to missionary work, I have found that there is not much crossover (at least for me) in gaining support from Presbyterians. Even desspte soteriology being the same, it is the baptismal waters which divide and many reformed will not support a baptist missionary. Charismatics will support me, but not many Presbyterians will. And so it would really benefit my case to jump on board the 1689 Federalism bandwagon.
Yes I can sympathise with this problem. What many in the USA often don't realise is that Reformed Christinity is somewhat smaller - especially in small nations like New Zealand and Australia. Therefore it is often not practical to have seperate paedobaptist and baptist churches in the same town. I know USA ministers who struggle here with the limited Reformed influence in New Zealand.

But perhaps I am forever brainwashed by O. Palmer Robertson and his excellent book, The Christ of the Covenants which set my covenantal theology for the last 20 years.
Personally I think Witsius "Economy of the Covenants" is better.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
In order to still hold to believers Baptism though, have to be in agreement with some form of Baptist reformed, correct? So what form do you currently agree with on this?

I am a baptist. Who believes most of O. Palmer Robertson's book Christ of the Covenants. I just believe that the covenant sign ought not to be administered until the person professes individual faith. I do admit a general promise to the households of believers, however, but do not think that is enough to adminster the covenant sign...and so I am still a baptist.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Yes I can sympathise with this problem. What many in the USA often don't realise is that Reformed Christinity is somewhat smaller - especially in small nations like New Zealand and Australia. Therefore it is often not practical to have seperate paedobaptist and baptist churches in the same town. I know USA ministers who struggle here with the limited Reformed influence in New Zealand.


Personally I think Witsius "Economy of the Covenants" is better.

I have read that, too. But I like newer authors better (they are easier to read.....Owen's Death of Death was almost the death of me)....
 
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