Clarification on the label "1689 Federalism"

Discussion in 'Covenant Theology' started by brandonadams, Jul 17, 2017.

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  1. brandonadams

    brandonadams Puritan Board Freshman

    In another thread, MW asked:
    The term "1689 Federalism" was coined approximately 5 years ago to describe the majority view of the 17th century particular baptists. It was a view that had been neglected/lost. 20th century Reformed Baptists were not familiar with it, thus a label was necessary to distinguish it from the view that was developed in the latter half of the 20th century. The label "1689 Federalism" was not intended to convey that the formulations of 20th century Reformed Baptists was contrary to the confession. The wording of the confession is broad enough to embrace both views.

    Why was "1689 Federalism" used to describe one view and not the other? Because "1689 Federalism" explains the rationale behind the change in language of the 2LBCF with regards to covenant theology (whereas Waldron's view would not) and because it was the vast majority view (I believe only one author has been found to have held something closer to the modern 20th cent/Waldron view).

    Waldron has never claimed the "1689 Federalism" label. In his newly revised Exposition of the confession, Waldron says
    "1689 Federalism" does not claim Waldron is unconfessional in his view. Samuel Renihan has a helpful post on this. He concludes
    So if you hear someone using the label "1689 Federalism" it refers to the idea that only the New Covenant is the Covenant of Grace. It does not refer to Waldron's view (but neither does it claim Waldron's view is unconfessional). In the future, those with questions about 1689 Federalism should consult the website This particular question/issue is addressed in the FAQ there.

    Hope that helps clarify.
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  2. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks, Brandon. It does clarify.
  3. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Does anyone have a link to anything Dr. Waldron has written on this topic?

    And yes, thanks Brandon, your explanation was very helpful.
  4. brandonadams

    brandonadams Puritan Board Freshman

    Here is a book he wrote

    See also

    And of course his Exposition of the Confession. I don't think I'm aware of any writings online.

    Note that, as a proponent of 1689 Federalism, I can agree with just about everything Waldron says in those two books. Thus there is a great deal of overlap and agreement between the views.

    Here are three lectures he gave at a conference several years ago:

    And, if you are interested, here are my notes on those lectures:
  5. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Thank you. Very helpful.
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