Eph. 2:12 and "covenants of promise"

Discussion in 'Covenant Theology' started by mshingler, Jan 27, 2015.

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  1. mshingler

    mshingler Puritan Board Freshman

    In Eph. 2:12, Paul states that Gentiles were formerly "strangers to the covenants of promise." Does this refer to how the OT covenants promised and looked forward to the coming of Christ, which is now fulfilled, or does it mean covenants that promised, by grace, all the blessings of the Covenant of Grace? Is the new covenant, also, a "covenant of promise" in the same way, or is it more properly a covenant of fulfillment to which all the "covenants of promise" pointed through promises, prophecies, types and shadows?
     
  2. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Its a section on how God has now (NT) made "one from two," v15. Israel possessed the covenant-relationship with God, formally--theirs were the covenants, the adoption, etc., Rom.9:4.

    Such covenants were "promise" in both senses: promise-vs-fulfillment (in Christ's advent); and promise (grace)-vs-law. I think Eph.2:12 is significant for showing that, whatever the legal-character presented on the surface of the Sinaitic covenant, all God's covenants with fallen man contain the Promise and are oriented (truly, properly) toward Christ. The giving of the law could not annul a covenant made by promise, Gal.3:17, it could not supplant it; all it could do was supplement it for a season--be a temporary glory-overlay for specific redemptive purposes--until the time for such demonstration was complete and it was set aside. The core article of faith remains all along.

    I think the NC is the ultimate promise-covenant, not only because it fulfills the previous promissory arrangements; but also because there are still promises attached to it: promises that will be delivered immediately to all who have hope in Christ in this life; and promises that remain to be fulfilled in the Second Coming, and the New Heavens and Earth.

    :2cents:
     
  3. mshingler

    mshingler Puritan Board Freshman

    I might be wrong, here, but I think the differences between the baptist and paedobaptist views of the covenants would be pretty well reflected in how one interprets this verse and that phrase, "covenants of promise."
    Baptist: The covenants of the Old Testament were "covenants of promise" because they contained the promise of the coming new covenant/covenant of grace. The new covenant is, properly, a covenant of fulfillment.
    Paedobaptist: All the covenants are, essentially, "covenants of promise" because they administer the covenant of grace wherein God's blessings are promised on the basis of grace.
    That's, no doubt, an oversimplification though. The paedo. would see, as reflected in Bruce's post, progression and fulfillment in the nc, while the baptist would see application of the nc blessing even under and through the covenants of promise.
     
  4. KeithW

    KeithW Puritan Board Freshman

    (This post is not meant to fully answer your question, but to simplify some of the terminology, and point directly to the context of Eph. 2:12. It will not go into the covenant of grace, or Jesus' relationship to any of the covenants.)

    The relation of covenants to promises seems to get lost in books I've read on the subject. A covenant is a binding arrangement between two parties which involves one or more promises. So every covenant in the Old Testament where God makes a covenant with men involves promises. (Sometimes He adds conditions and sometimes not. The covenant given through Moses had conditions while the covenants made with Noah or Abraham were unconditional.)

    Paul starts with that the "covenants of promise" made in the Old Testament were to Israel. Here he uses the words "covenants" and "promises".

    Then Eph. 2:12 in your question is in this context.

    The context here is that Gentiles were excluded from the Old Testament "covenants of promise". And that through Jesus Christ us Gentiles are now no longer separated from those covenants.

    The book of Hebrews gives commentary on the difference between the first / old covenant and the second / new covenant. Speaking of Jesus,

    Peter calls these, "exceeding great and precious promises". (KJV: 2 Pet. 1:4) Hebrews goes on to say about the relation betwen the old covenant (Moses) and the new covenant,

    The new / second covenant makes the first covenant old, obsolete, and it is ready to vanish away.
     
  5. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    It would concern me to see an issue like this become a meta-hermeneutic for deciding the meaning of individual statements. That would place the cart well and truly before the horse.

    Theologically, though, it would seem to me to be irrelevant. However one takes the verse we still have infants of believers whose faith was given and guided under these covenants of promise, and these covenants are seen as having some degree of continuity into the New Testament administration which now includes the Gentiles. The new revelation of Eph. 3 is inclusive of the Gentiles, not exclusive of infants.
     
  6. mshingler

    mshingler Puritan Board Freshman

    The background for my original post is having recently read, "The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology" by Pascal Denault and, also, listening to a baptism debate where Fred Malone calls the Abrahamic covenant, "A covenant of promise through which the covenant of grace was promised and administered." I'm not saying that the way one interprets this verse or a few other scattered references should determine one's covenant theology. Just that, one's interpretation here probably says a lot about someone's covenant theology. If I have understood Denault's book correctly, he would say these were covenants of promise, in distinction from the covenant of grace itself, formally, whereas the new covenant would be the covenant of grace fulfilled or at least formally ratified. In contrast, Hendriksen, in his commentary, refers to the "covenants of promise" as multiple reaffirmations of the one covenant of grace, which is a covenant of promise, because it contains God's promises received by grace - particularly the promise: "I will be your God."
     
  7. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't think it matters in the end. The antipaedobaptist who holds to the doctrines of grace still teaches that elect infants are saved under the covenant of grace. What he does with the connection between Old and New Testaments is irrelevant once it is accepted that infants are saved by grace in both Testaments. His distinctiveness is not found in his view of covenant theology, but in the relationship of the church and ordinances to the covenant of grace.
     
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Puritan Board Freshman

    If I understand what you're saying correctly, I would have to disagree with the first part of your statement. Particular Baptist covenant theology is the driving force behind our view of the relationship of the church and ordinances to the covenant of grace and ultimately to the rejection of paedobaptism.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  9. brandonadams

    brandonadams Puritan Board Freshman

    Yes Mike you are understanding Denault's summary of the particular baptist position correctly. And yes, you are correct to note that this has obvious implications for credo vs. paedo, despite Matthew's opinion to the contrary.

    As Denault mentions, Owen also held the same view that you summarized, which may be helpful for you to get a fuller answer to your question:

    You can read this section from Owen here http://www.prayermeetings.org/files/John_Owen/Hebrews_8.1-10.39.pdf (starting around page 72, and more specifically on 79)

    You can also see an outline if you wish here http://www.1689federalism.com/owen/demo/owen.html (v6 -> A More Excellent Ministry -> Proof -> Office of Mediator -> of a better covenant -> "On better promises")
     
  10. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Owen did not hold to the same position, as has been shown on this board numerous times.

    As noted with regard to the status quaestionis between paedobaptists and antipaedobaptists, you still have elect infants saved under the covenant of grace. The point of difference is a specific idea of the church and the administration of ordinances. This is evident from the fact that there are antipaedobaptists holding the same ecclesiology but with very different ideas on the relationship between the Testaments, some adhering to a covenant theology of continuity very similar to the WCF and some going to the extreme of ultra-dispensationalism. It must be recognised that there have been antipaedobaptists who have accepted the Shorter Catechism and made no alteration in its covenant theology but only modified the statements relating to the administration of baptism. This alone should give one pause before making a specific view of the relationship between the covenants a "distinctive" of antipaedobaptist thought.
     
  11. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    Interestingly, the Greek has the definite article there - "covenants of the promise." As far as I know, on the old ASV and, oddly, the NIV translate the definite article in Ephesians 2.12.
     
  12. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

  13. mshingler

    mshingler Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks Brandon. I've been through Owen's commentary on Heb. 8ff. before, but probably need to go back to it again to review. I have some issues with the view that's set forth by Denault and 1689federalism, although I'm still processing it all and trying to refine my own viewpoint and understanding of the covenants. My main points of disagreement, for now anyway:
    1. God made 2 covenants with Abraham or, at least, a covenant that divides into two streams, involving an earthly people/earthly promises and a heavenly people/spiritual promises. When I read this section of the book, my first reaction was to think, "That sounds eerily like the Scofield dispensationalism I learned years ago - God has 2 peoples, 1 earthly people (Israel) and 1 heavenly people (the church). I realize it's not dispensationalism, but it sure seems like there's an overlap at this point.
    2. Mosaic covenant = covenant of works.
     
  14. mshingler

    mshingler Puritan Board Freshman

    Matthew,
    Regarding the differing views among reformed baptists, I think what I observe is a lot of reformed baptists re-examining their confession and moving away from the more "mainline" paedobaptist view of covenants. i.e., clarifying and refining their own distinctive view of covenant theology. Of course, there are still disagreements and differences among baptists as their are among paedos. I guess, at this point anyway, I fit in the category you mentioned of adhering to a continuity that's closer to the WCF. In fact, when I taught through the 1689, I had to note a few places where I preferred the wording of the WCF over the 1689. I think that those who embrace a 1689 federalism are not saying that this the baptist view, but that this view stands behind the confession and more naturally leads to a baptistic view of church ordinances, though one can hold a different view of the covenants and still be baptist. You just have to get there by a little different route.
    The debate I listened to with Fred Malone would represent the view that's closer to the WCF, and it's interesting that he called the Abrahamic a "covenant of promise, through which the covenant of grace of promised and administered." Denault et. al. would drop the "and administered," if I'm not mistaken, although they would agree that those saved under that covenant (Abrahamic) were saved by virtue of the covenant of grace that was being promised.
    I'm still working at refining and clarifying my own understanding.
     
  15. mshingler

    mshingler Puritan Board Freshman

    I think the article is irrelevant, as it is an instance of Apollonius' canon. Whenever the head noun in a genitive noun construction has the article, the genitive noun will usually also take the article and vice-versa. The article appears with "promise" only because the word "covenants" is articular.
     
  16. brandonadams

    brandonadams Puritan Board Freshman

    Owen DID hold to the same position, as has been shown on this board numerous times.

    I call his posts poppcock (because they are). He is utterly unfamiliar with the claim (he did not read the book he is denouncing).
    https://contrast2.wordpress.com/201...ing-about-debating-owen-round-473-lee-gatiss/

    https://contrast2.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/owens-promisedestablished-covenant-of-grace/

    Mike:
    To clarify, we would not say that there were 2 covenants made/established with Abraham. I recognize this can be misunderstood. We would say that there was one covenant made with Abraham, and we would agree with Owen that
    Mike:
    Correct. There is overlap on this point, but only superficially. The essential tenet of dispensationalism is not that there are two peoples of God, but that these two peoples have two eternal destinies. That we deny. The idea that physical Israel were "God's people" in a different sense from spiritual Israel is recognized by many paedobaptists.
    Jonathan Edwards:
    Owen:
    For more, see https://contrast2.wordpress.com/201...d-of-Christ-physical-israel-spiritual-israel/

    I realize that's a big issue, so I won't comment here, though I would strongly encourage you to re-visit Owen on the question.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  17. Nomad

    Nomad Puritan Board Freshman

    It's sad to watch Mr. Gatiss dig his heals even deeper into his error after Brandon and others have demonstrated that he's just plain wrong. That is "poppycock." No one is saying that Owen was a Baptist, but he articulated a view of covenant theology that is unmistakably in line with 17th century Particular Baptists. Nehemiah Coxe, probably the co-editor of the 1677/1689 LBC, says the following in his work on covenant theology:

    That notion (which is often supposed in this discourse) that the old covenant and the new differ in substance and not only in the manner of their administration, certainly requires a larger and more particular handling to free it from those prejudices and difficulties that have been cast on it by many worthy persons who are otherwise minded. Accordingly, I designed to give a further account of it in a discourse of the covenant made with Israel in the wilderness and the state of the church under the law. But when I had finished this and provided some materials also for what was to follow, I found my labor for the clearing and asserting of that point happily prevented by the coming out of Dr. Owen's third volume on Hebrews. There it is discussed at length and the objections that seem to lie against it are fully answered, especially in the exposition of the eighth chapter. I now refer my readers there for satisfaction about it which he will find commensurate to what might be expected from so great a learned person. Nehemiah Coxe - Covenant Theology: From Adam to Christ, Preface to the reader, p. 30
     
  18. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    I should grant that you have done a very good job of convincing yourself. :)
     
  19. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Those of us who have watched previous discussions play out probably have a different motive for our sorrow.

    http://www.puritanboard.com/f31/question-baptist-covenant-theology-63822/

    http://www.puritanboard.com/f31/whats-new-about-new-covenant-71338/

    http://www.puritanboard.com/f31/how-many-reformed-understandings-covenant-grace-there-78854/
     
  20. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    From a couple of Puritan scholars who take a sober look at Owen's Covenant theology:
    Now, one may disagree with this conclusion but one has to do more than any of the following:

    1. Simply label men as dishonest who have spent a great deal of time studying Owen but come to differing conclusions.

    2. Simply rest one's case on Owen's commentary to the Hebrews. The note above about Owen's exegetical fidelity is very important and there are larger Reformed methodologies at play than what appears on the surface if one simply spends all their time in Hebrews and becomes an expert on Owen's theology of Hebrews. It is quite like "Pauline" scholars who claim that Paul has one theology in Ephesians and another in Romans or another Epistle or a totally different theology than James. One has to take into account the entire body of material as well as the methodology of the time. The point about Owen believing that a biblical covenant also had to be a testament to qualify as a biblical covenant has some nuance that needs to be unpacked and simply claiming to have Owen nailed down on Covenant theology because one knows everything he wrote in a exegetical commentary on Hebrews is not the same thing as saying they have nailed down Owen's systematic view of the Covenant of Grace.

    3. Simply point to Particular Baptists who claim they are just agreeing with the learned Owen on the matter. Look, these guys were intelligent just like studied men are on both sides of the issue today. If we are having trouble sorting out Owen on this issue then it's not surprising if men in his own time had the same problem:

    In other words, let us all grant that there are learned men here and confusion and perplexity about Owen is not surprising so a dose of both humility and charity is in order when trying to press him into service for a particular position.
     
  21. brandonadams

    brandonadams Puritan Board Freshman

    Absolutely. But that's a two way street. You need to be open to the possibility that baptist scholars have interpreted Owen correctly while others have not.

    Note the inconsistency here. Beeke and Jones quote Owen's exegetical commentary on Hebrews 7:9-10, treat it as systematic theology, and use it to interpret Owen's commentary on 8:6. Let's be consistent. Owen's exegetical commentary includes systematic theological statements.

    I agree! Which is why I don't label him as dichotomous or trichotomous and have never argued for that. I agree with this conclusion:
    I think people on this forum need to take note of that particularly.

    1. Owen does not deny that the Covenant of Works with Adam was a biblical covenant. He simply said that the specific covenant spoken of in Hebrews 8 was "a covenant and a testament" and therefore the Old Covenant was not referring to the Covenant of Works w/ Adam.
    He also said the Old Covenant in Hebrews 8 was not the Covenant of Works because (2) that covenant has ceased and (3) Israel never absolutely under the power of the Covenant of Works. In other words, he is making theological deductions and arguments about general soteric principles, not just "specific exegetical details".

    2. There is not actually any contradiction to resolve. Owen said "There were never absolutely any more than two covenants wherein all persons indefinitely are concerned." Since for Owen the various post-fall covenants prior to the New Covenant did not concern all persons indefinitely, there is no contradiction to resolve. (For example, Owen notes regarding the Mosaic Covenant "as unto what it had of its own, it was confined unto things temporal." It was a covenant specifically with Israel regarding life in the land of Canaan, with Moses as it's mediator/head - not Christ, thus it was a separate covenant from the Covenant of Works and Covenant of Grace, but it did not concern all persons indefinitely so Owen does not have it in mind in that comment).

    3. Owen spends a great deal of space in his Hebrews 8:6 exposition specifically addressing how to work out the question of how the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace relate to the Mosaic Covenant and the New Covenant. It's basically the whole thrust of his 150 pages
    Thus for Owen, the solution is that the Covenant of Grace was not a covenant until Christ's death. Beeke and Jones are incorrect when they say:
    They have misunderstood Owen's comments. Owen does use "new covenant" and "covenant of grace" interchangeably. When he says "absolutely considered" he is not opposing the new covenant to the covenant of grace, he is opposing the covenant of grace promised vs the covenant of grace established. Nowhere does Owen say the new covenant is distinguished from the covenant of grace because the new covenant is a testament. Note how Owen uses "new covenant" and "covenant of grace" interchangeably.

    Again, the distinction Owen makes is not between the covenant of grace and the new covenant, but instead between the covenant of grace (the new covenant) promised and the covenant of grace (the new covenant) established.

    Owen rejects the one substance/multiple administrations view of the covenant of grace in favor of a promised/established view of the covenant of grace. And this is not simply in reference to the Mosaic Covenant but to all covenants in the bible:
    http://www.prayermeetings.org/files/John_Owen/Hebrews_8.1-10.39.pdf

    Make sure to read “DOLPHINS IN THE WOODS”: A Critique of Mark Jones and Ted Van Raalte’s Presentation of Particular Baptist Covenant Theology, Samuel Renihan in the 2015 JIRBS (coming out very soon). http://www.rbap.net/jirbs-2015-article-titles/
     
  22. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    There is not an "inconsistency" here. I cannot quote the entire Chapter of the book for copyright reasons. Have you read it? They make broader application about Owen's theology that goes much further afield than Owen's commentary in Hebrews and this is but one section. Their citation of Hebrews 7 was to make 2 points:

    1. Owen's theology on this is complex.
    2. To point out a seeming inconsistency. In other words, if Owen is so "cut and dry" as some would make him then he would be contradicting himself. What they're trying to demonstrate in a Chapter that covers far more than simply Owen's Hebrews commentary, is that he uses Covenant in both soteric and exegetical ways and those distinctions must be kept in mind.

    Regarding the rest, Brandon, I'm sorry to say that I agree that good men can disagree but I still see you completely focused upon 150 pages of Owen's work. I think your perspective is skewed toward this single source and assumes that a man cannot communicate one way exegetically in a manner differently when he is doing systematics. Were you to demonstrate your case by moving outside of the Hebrews commentary then you might be able to be more persuasive but I don't really see any evidence you have done much in the way of investigation of Owen's broader theology other than quoting and re-quoting Owen on Hebrews 8.
     
  23. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Incidentally, let me respond to this. In all honesty, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about this issue until it arises and I don't spend a lot of time reading blog articles and counter blog articles.

    Let me say this with as much advice as you're willing to receive but you seem to have a huge chip on your shoulder about this issue. I hadn't read the Gatiss article until yesterday and noticed that your response to his article in a title is: "Baptists Couldn’t Possibly Know What They’re Talking About".

    Seriously?

    Is it really a "Love it or Leave it" mentality? Is that the only dialog that's possible when two sides differ about Owen?

    I think it goes without saying that Presbyterians that think they know Owen's theology and have studied him probably differ over the issue when some Particular Baptists claim that Owen has a Covenant Theology that is more amenable to the Particular Baptist position.

    Your approach is sort of scorched earth. I really don't lose any sleep over whether or not Owen may have even been a trichotomist. It's not as if, were I convinced tomorrow, that I would need Owen to be convinced that the WCF is dichotomous. Even Jones and Beeke call Owen a "minority report" and I'm certain there are elements of Owen that people even within the paedobaptist spectrum use to buttress idiosyncratic views that do not accord with Reformed confessions. I know and am convinced of what my Church confesses so I can profit from Owen without making him "my own".

    My concern here is to permit healthy dialog and that includes an ability to handle Owen that doesn't simply say "...you guys are just all wrong and the reason you won't listen is because you think Baptist don't read!"

    I respect the research you've done on Hebrews 8 but I simply do not see the broader concerns about Owen's overarching theology addressed that moves beyond Hebrews 8. I'm asking you to interact with it not because I think you're an idiot but because I haven't seen you address Owen beyond Hebrews 8 and answer the broader historical scene, Puritan methodology, whether exegetical and soteric language might differ, etc.

    In other words, is the sense that disagreement equates to dismissal so overarching that even a request that you interact with a broader question simply seen as a charge or ignorance? It is not intended to be a charge but a request that you interact more broadly with the material presented.
     
  24. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    However complex Owen's position was, he taught the administration of the covenant of grace in the Old Testament, which effectively disqualifies him from being classified with this so-called "distinctive" of "Particular Baptist" thought. Whatever else he taught regarding the new covenant does not negate his clear assertions which align him with the unified covenant theology of the Westminster tradition. The volume by Beeke and Jones explores the thought of Owen in relation to the Mosaic covenant, and considers the issues to be complex on this particular point. This is a different question to the one being discussed here. As noted in previous threads, even if the Mosaic covenant were regarded as something different from the new covenant, Owen still taught the covenant of grace was administered from the time of Adam's fall, and he taught this in plain and simple terms.
     
  25. mshingler

    mshingler Puritan Board Freshman

    I've had little time to interact in this thread, but have tried to follow the discussion. I'm certainly not an Owen scholar. That said, my impressions, from his Hebrews commentary, at this point include:
    1. He did believe the covenant of grace was being administered under the Old Testament covenants.
    2. He sought to do justice to the "newness" of the new covenant without undermining the essential unity of the covenant of grace throughout history. The new covenant was not simply a renewal of the Mosaic covenant.
    3. He saw the "betterness" of the new covenant vs. the old covenant primarily in the circumstances in which the visible church exists in history. When the covenant of grace was administered in the form of a promise, it was through or under another covenant arrangement that included burdensome regulations and forms of worship that, in and of themselves, didn't bring eternal life. They were suited to a time when the covenant of grace was administered in the form of promise vs. the form of fulfillment. Evidently, for Owen anyway, this didn't lead to the conclusion that infant baptism was an imposition of old covenant forms of worship into the new covenant administration.
     
  26. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Some more food for thought regarding Owen.

    I don't know if this has occurred to anyone else but the whole "Owen's theology of the Covenants logically leads to antipaedobaptism" seems to have a significant issue and that's the credibility of Owen himself as a scholar if the inference of Owen's theology is, in fact, contrary to Owen's own conclusions.

    On the one hand, Owen is appealed to because he is the "Prince of the Puritans" and his theological mind is so keen that we paedobaptists ought to seriously consider the implications if the inference of his Covenant theology inevitably leads to antipaedobaptist conclusions.

    On the other hand, Owen is seen as unable, as a theologian, to recognize that the inference of his Covenant theology inevitably leads to antipaedobaptist conclusions.

    If the latter is true then is the former true? Perhaps, after all, Owen is not a terribly careful theologian and, if we can't trust him to arrive at conclusions then can we really trust his Covenant theology?

    Let me make another observation that I've noted for some time as I've interacted with my Reformed Baptist brothers over the years and it is whether the "Newness" of the New Covenant, as conceived by RB's, inevitably leads to antipaedobaptism.

    I think RB's often neglect to note that the Westminster Standards note that the Covenant Grace is made with Christ and the elect in Him. We do not confess that the children of believers are "in Christ" either in the OT or in the NT simply because they are the recipients of the sign.

    Much ink is spilled (or keys typed) arguing for the New Covenant being with the Elect alone as if that establishes, convincingly, that this would mean that the children of believers should not be baptized. It is often overlooked that simply "professing Christ" is not the same as being "in Christ" and so the notion that the elect alone participate in the NC does not make a "closed door" case for the baptism of professors alone. Why? Because profession is not election.
     
  27. mshingler

    mshingler Puritan Board Freshman

    I would actually agree that this RB argument is not the best case for baptism on profession alone. My own understanding, at this point (and I'm obviously still working some of these things out more clearly in my own mind) is probably closer to the paedobaptist view of covenants than most RB's. I believe that the Old Testament blessing promised upon the children of believers is still relevant, in some way, under the new covenant (Jer. 32:39; Ps. 25:13). I don't see circumcision as tied to a covenant of works or the Mosaic as a covenant of works. I also don't see the temporal, earthly promises to Abraham and his seed as merely "typical" of heavenly and/or spiritual. Certainly there were typical aspects, but I think the land promise and inheritance was more like a temporary downpayment/pledge - a partial and temporary fulfillment suited to the people of God under the old covenant, before the fuller revelation with the coming of Christ. There are points where I prefer the WFC's explanation of covenants better than the 1689LBC.
    On the other hand, it seems to me that the paedobaptist starts from the presupposition that the Abrahamic Covenant was the covenant of grace, period. Hence, there's a direct line drawn from circumcision to baptism, without considering if circumcision belongs, absolutely, to the covenant of grace, or if it belongs to an historic covenant through which the covenant of grace was administered. So, I guess that, in my mind, the argument against infant baptism is less about arguing that the new covenant only includes the elect. It's more about the nature of the Abrahamic covenant and the exact relationship between circumcision and the covenant of grace, as well as how one distinguishes the covenant of grace from any particular administration of the covenant.
    Not sure if I'm able to say exactly what I mean here. This is my understanding at this point, but I'm open to learning and understanding better.
     
  28. brandonadams

    brandonadams Puritan Board Freshman

    Rich,

    Yes, hence the quotes. I addressed their argument above. If you can find anything I did not address, then bring it up and I will be happy to address it.

    See above.

    That argument is growing old. It has been addressed (see above).

    What do you mean "even". My entire point is that Owen is a minority report because he rejects the WCF on this point. I'm glad you're convinced of what your church confesses. That's entirely irrelevant. I'm also convinced of what my church confesses and can do so without Owen. The question is the proper interpretation of Owen.

    It is not a "request". It is a dismissal that has been persistent for years. I have engaged with the broader question every time it has been raised.
    1. https://contrast2.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/owens-promisedestablished-covenant-of-grace/
    2. https://contrast2.wordpress.com/201...ing-about-debating-owen-round-473-lee-gatiss/
    3. https://contrast2.wordpress.com/201...theyre-talking-about-debating-owen-round-472/
    4. https://contrast2.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/gag-order-the-puritanboard/
    5. https://contrast2.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/mcmahons-misrepresentation-of-john-owen/
    6. https://contrast2.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/of-infant-baptism-owen-analysis/
    7. https://contrast2.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/iron-cant-sharpen-iron-without-honesty/
    8. http://www.puritanboard.com/f31/whats-new-about-new-covenant-71338/index2.html#post914162
    9. http://www.puritanboard.com/f31/how...nant-grace-there-78854/index3.html#post999874


    Sometimes it takes both time and a little heat to get someone to see the logical conclusions of a position. Owen was fantastic. Owen was not perfect. But notice two different issues: 1) Understanding Owen's covenant theology on it's own terms and how it was a rejection of the WCF position, and 2) Debating whether or not that covenant theology logically leads to a rejection of infant baptism on covenantal grounds.

    You're missing the point. Infant baptism is defended upon covenantal grounds. When that covenant theology is demonstrated to be unbiblical, then the grounds for infant baptism are removed.

    See Samuel Renihan's "The Case for Credobaptism" @ The Alliance for Confessing Evangelicals blog: The Case for Credobaptism | Place for Truth - Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

    [HR][/HR]

    Matthew,

    As did particular baptists.

    That’s called the Winzer magic wand. A man can expressly reject and argue against the WCF tradition, but with the Winzer wand, that turns into an affirmation and agreement.

    Yes, just like the particular baptists.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
  29. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Did you consult with a 6 year old to help frame this response? Again, Brandon, it's the scorched earth approach. You claim to be held in derision but have you nobody in your life whom you respect, that can explain to you that dialog on the issue need not be acerbic?

    I'm bowing out except for moderation because I just don't have time for this right now.
     
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