Is 1689 Federalism Novel?

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Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Junior
We 1689 Federalists haven't been coy about this at all. When we say "Covenant of Grace", we mean "The New Covenant in Christ's Blood".

We've been saying that over and over. I am not sure how you missed this.
Then there is nothing to argue about: everyone believes that remission of sins has only ever been by the shedding of Christ's blood. So the question that remains is: why bother taking on a new name contra the "20th century RB" position?
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
My main "beef" with the 1689 Federalists started with the stupid term "20th Century Reformed Baptist position".

That is like saying you are either a feminist or a domestic abuser. The very terms employed are a marketing/branding attempt to push an agenda and disadvantage the other side by mere labeling. This comes close to sophistry. As if 20th Century Baptist position was a short blip and this new-fangled (that's a word, right) "1689 Federalism" that has been pushed for less than 20 years is now THE "historic" position.

Furthermore, the term "1689 Federalist" attempts to claim the high ground through, again, branding. "We are THE confessional position!" they say, when the confession doesn't, in fact, say all that much on the topic.

It is better just to say that baptists have always been somewhat confused on the covenants...but that gets fewer followers. I believe this whole affair will result in, not an increase of Reformed Baptists, but in many RBs becoming Presbyterian. Every year there is something else I now need to affirm to be a "good" Reformed Baptist. How annoying when trying to plant a church in deep jungle only to emerge after several years and come home to get grilled over silly tertiary nuances of language and asked what new theological camp I belong to.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Graduate
annoying when trying to plant a church in deep jungle only to emerge after several years and come home to get grilled over silly tertiary nuances of language and asked what new theological camp I belong to.
I promise to only hand out tenderary nuanced chicken sandwich test, and no grilling just frying.:encourage:
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Sophomore
Brandon, I've read through this a few times. It's interesting. However, I think it's still addressing the historia salutis question, not the ordo salutis one - which is why you're able to reference folks like Berkhof and Ball for support (since Berkhof is definitely not a 1689 federalist, and seemingly neither was Ball as he was very favorably received by members of the Westminster assembly). I'm not too keen to get into a discussion about interpreting older authors as it's not really the focus, and I'm in the middle of moving. But I think that citing these authors shows that you're still addressing the question where we are in agreement (the historia one), and not the one where we are in disagreement (the ordo one).
I did not quote Berkhof or Ball to imply they were 1689 Federalistsm, nor that they agreed with everything I said in that post or previously. I apologize if I was not clear, but I quoted them specifically to show support for the narrow point that they did not believe the Covenant of Grace was established in Genesis 3:15. Ball had significant influence on the formulation of the WCF, and yet he affirmed that the Covenant of Grace was promised and then later established. That's a common point of agreement with what I was explaining, contra most today who argue the Covenant of Grace was established in Gen 3:15. So that's why I quoted him. (And I quote people to demonstrate my point because otherwise I'll just be dismissed as a dispensationalist baptist who doesn't know what he's talking about and is just making stuff up.) If you read that section from Ball he goes on to explain that he believes the other OT covenants = the Covenant of Promise and argues they were the same in substance as the New. We disagree there, as I explain in this post https://contrast2.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/john-ball-on-salvation-prior-to-christs-death/

I disagree with your perspective that I am only addressing historia salutis. I don't believe that is the case. I am addressing both (or at least intending to).

To narrow the question down to a bit more specific one: when Abraham exercised faith during his life, did he at that point become a member of the covenant of grace? Or did he only become a member of the covenant of grace after Christ's work was complete? I think your wording of "retroactively" hints that in 1689 federalism the latter is the case.
I actually answered this above in my statement explaining 2LBCF 7.3 and its Scripture references. "Thus when we identify the Covenant of Grace with the New Covenant alone, we do not exclude those who lived before the establishment of the New Covenant - notably Abraham - from "the grace of this covenant." Nor do we believe that they waited to receive this grace until the death of Christ." He was a member of the covenant of grace (New Covenant) during his life. Retroactive is not intended to imply the latter. Retroactive is used by Horton (see above), Tipton, and others to explain the work of the Spirit and the application of redemption.

During the time of the law… [t]he children of God after the Spirit (though as underage children they were subject to the pedagogy of the law, yet) as to their spiritual and eternal state, walked before God and found acceptance with him on terms of the covenant of grace… this spiritual relationship to God [was] according to the terms of the new covenant which the truly godly then had[.]
Coxe, Covenant Theology from Adam to Christ, p. 133

The grace and blessings of the new covenant were given and ensured to Abraham for himself.
Coxe, 75

All believers, who lived under the Old Testament, were saved by the covenant of grace, which Christ was to establish.

Keach, “The Display of Glorious Grace” in The Covenant Theology of Benjamin Keach (Conway: Free Grace Press, 2017), 110.
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Sophomore
You say that circumcision relates "in some typological manner to regeneration and union with Christ" but "was not a covenant sign of regeneration". What does this even mean? To me, this is a distinction without a difference. If something is a "type", then it necessarily "points to" the antitype, which is the same idea as a a "sign" pointing to "the thing signified".

You have essentially here admitted that circumcision points to regeneration and union with Christ. The question is, when did it start pointing to these spiritual things? Only once the NC was inaugurated, or when the sign was instituted? I contend that it was when the sign was instituted. When did the Passover meal start pointing to Christ's work on the cross? It was immediately upon the institution. These signs have always pointed to these spiritual things.
Izaak, thank you for your questions. Again, I encourage you to study the position in more depth. Reading Samuel Renihan's "The Mystery of Christ, His Covenant, and His Kingdom" will help you to better understand what is being briefly conveyed in my comments in this thread.

I believe that part of your difficulty in understanding what I said is that you are conflating a sign and a type. They are two different things. Augustine defines signs as "those things, to wit, which are used to indicate something else." Merriam-Webster offers the definition "a mark having a conventional meaning and used in place of words or to represent a complex notion." A type, on the other hand, is an analogy. Beale:

The study of analogical correspondences among revealed truths about persons, events, institutions, and other things within the historical framework of God’s special revelation, which, from a retrospective view, are of a prophetic nature and are escalated in meaning... By “escalation” is meant that the antitype (the NT correspondence) is heightened in some way in relation to the OT type. For example, John 19:36 views the requirement of not breaking the bones of the Passover lamb in the OT epoch to point to a greater reality of the bones of Jesus not being broken at the crucifixion… [E]scalation would be the correspondence of God providing literal manna from heaven for physical sustenance and providing the manna of Christ from heaven for spiritual sustenance.
https://www.wtsbooks.com/pdf_files/9780801038969.pdf

An example of a sign is a stop sign. It can take the form of a red, metal octogon on top of a pole or it can take the form of a red, circular light at the bottom of a traffic light. Both forms of the sign signify the same thing: you must stop your car. However, neither of them are analogies of stopping your car. They do not typify stopping your car.

On the other hand, a bicycle and a rocket ship have an analogical correspondence. A bicycle is to transportation to the grocery store as a rocket ship is to transportation to the moon. bicycle : grocery store :: rocket ship : moon. A bicycle is not a sign of a rocket ship. We could say that, in the history of transportation, a bicycle points to the rocket ship as an early stage of discovery and invention culminating in the rocket ship. But that does not mean a bicycle is or was a sign of a rocket ship.

John Ball exemplifies the conflation of sign and type
the Sacraments of the Jewes did signifie and seale to them, the same promises of eternal life, which our Sacraments doe to us. The Sacraments of the Old Testament were not types of our Sacraments, as sometimes they are called by Divines: but they typified the same things that ours doe. For as the Covenants under which they and we lived, were one for substance: so are the Sacraments one in their common nature and signification. (30)
https://archive.org/details/treatiseofcovena00ball/page/n4

Note well the last sentence in Beale's statement above "E]scalation would be the correspondence of God providing literal manna from heaven for physical sustenance and providing the manna of Christ from heaven for spiritual sustenance." Ball says the sacraments of the Old and the New were the same because they "typified" the same thing. But he really means "signified" the same thing. He believes that the manna and the Lord's Supper both signified communion with Christ. However, they did not. Beale on the other hand says that the manna was physical sustenance for Israel, which ends up being analogous to the miraculous provision of Christ's body from heaven for our spiritual sustenance. Thus it was a type of Christ, but not a covenant sign of communion with Christ.

This part of the OPC Report is relevant:
By adding obedience to the ceremonial law to the essential condition of the covenant, the subservient covenant position gives Mosaic typology a fundamentally works-based character, rather than an evangelical one. Proponents did not deny that these various types also signified spiritual benefits, but they insisted that they only did so “secondarily” or indirectly, while their primary reference was to temporal things promised in the covenant.169

[169] Cameron put it this way: “The Sacraments, Sacrifices, and Ceremonies of the Old Testament did set forth Christ, and the Benefits by Christ; not primarily, but secondarily…but the Sacraments of the New Covenant do shew forth Christ primarily, and that clearly” (as translated by Samuel Bolton in his True Boundes, 399). Thus circumcision primarily signified the separation between the seed of Abraham and the rest of the nations and sealed to them the earthly promise. The Passover primarily signified the passing over of the destroying Angel. The sacrifices and washings primarily represented only a carnal holiness. Only secondarily did these benefits signify Christ...

Izaak, you concluded:
Circumcision was not simply a fleshly ordinance meant to seal the promises that the Christ would come from Abraham's loins. This does not make sense considering the fact that those who were not of his seed were circumcised (Gen. 17:12) along with foreigners (Exodus 12:43-49).
I did not say that guaranteeing (seal) that Christ would come from the line of Abraham to justify the nations was the only meaning of circumcision. Please re-read what I wrote in comment #173. As a covenant sign, circumcision signified to the party circumcised their consecration to the service of Yahweh according to the terms of Mosaic law. Note Pink as well
The next thing we would observe is that circumcision was “a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had.” Again we would say, Let us be on our guard against adding to God’s Word, for nowhere does Scripture say that circumcision was a seal to anyone but to Abraham himself; and even in his case, so far was it from communicating any spiritual blessing, it simply confirmed what was already promised to him. As a seal from God, circumcision was a divine pledge or guaranty that from him should issue that seed which would bring blessing to all nations, and that, on the same terms as justifying righteousness had become his—by faith alone. It was not a seal of his faith, but of that righteousness which, in due time, was to be wrought out by the Messiah and Mediator. Circumcision was not a memorial of anything which had already been actualised, but an earnest of that which was yet future—namely, of that justifying righteousness which was to be brought in by Christ.

But did not God enjoin that all the males of Abraham’s household, and in those of his descendants, should also be circumcised? He did, and in that very fact we find definite confirmation of what has just been said above. What did circumcision seal to Abraham’s servants and slaves? Nothing. “Circumcision neither signed nor sealed the blessings of the covenant of Abraham to the individuals to whom it was by Divine appointment administered. It did not imply that they who were circumcised were accounted the heirs of the promises, either temporal or spiritual. It was not applied to mark them individually as heirs of the promises. It did not imply this even to Isaac and Jacob, who are by name designated heirs with Abraham. Their interest in the promises was secured to them by God’s expressly giving them the covenant, but was not represented in their circumcision... It was the token of this covenant; and as a token or sign, no doubt applied to every promise in the covenant, but it did not designate the individual circumcised as having a personal interest in these promises. The covenant promised a numerous seed to Abraham; circumcision, as the token of that covenant, must have been a sign of this; but it did not sign this to any other. Any other circumcised individual, except Isaac and Jacob, to whom the covenant was given by name, might have been childless.

“Circumcision did not import to any individual that any portion of the numerous seed of Abraham should descend through him. The covenant promised that all nations should be blessed in Abraham—that the Messiah should be his descendant. But circumcision was no sign to any other that the Messiah should descend from him,—even to Isaac and Jacob this promise was peculiarly given, and not implied in their circumcision. From some of Abraham’s race, the Messiah, according to the covenant, must descend, and circumcision was a sign of this: but this was not signed by circumcision to any one of all his race. Much less could circumcision ‘sign’ this to the strangers and slaves who were not of Abraham’s posterity. To such, even the temporal promises were not either ‘signed’ or sealed by circumcision. The covenant promised Canaan to Abraham’s descendants, but circumcision could be no sign of this to the strangers and slaves who enjoyed no inheritance in it” (Alexander Carson, 1860).

That circumcision did not seal anything to anyone but to Abraham himself is established beyond shadow of doubt by the fact that circumcision was applied to those who had no personal interest in the covenant to which it was attached. Not only was circumcision administered by Abraham to the servants and slaves of his household, but in Genesis 17:23 we read that he circumcised Ishmael, who was expressly excluded from that covenant! There is no evading the force of that, and it is impossible to reconcile it with the views so widely pervading upon the Abrahamic covenant. Furthermore, circumcision was not submitted to voluntarily, nor given with reference to faith, it was compulsory, and that in every instance: “He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money must needs be circumcised” (Gen. 17:13)— those refusing, being “cut off from his people” (v. 14). How vastly different was that from Christian baptism!

-Pink, Arthur W. (2010-03-19). The Divine Covenants (Kindle Locations 2167-2186). . Kindle Edition.
 

Ethan

Puritan Board Freshman
The latest reformed forum episode is on John Owen, Jeremiah 31, and the relationship between the Old and New Covenant.
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
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PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
The latest reformed forum episode is on John Owen, Jeremiah 31, and the relationship between the Old and New Covenant.
I haven't listened to this episode but something I noticed is that a lot of people read Jeremiah 31 and stop. They need to read Jeremiah 32 also. Paul Manata taught me that many moons ago.
 

Claudiu

Puritan Board Junior
I find this frustrating with the 1689 Fed position. It seems like every exchange I’ve seen with the Federalist it gets to the Federalist saying: “you don’t get it, here’s a list of books to read.” Is there an exchange where the Federalist admits the other side understands the position but just doesn’t accept it? Or maybe, if truly everyone is misunderstanding the position, there is a fundamental problem with it.
I have to take this back. After wading into some of the literature, I have to admit the topic is more complicated, or at least more nuanced, than simply participating in a discussion board. Looking at the primary sources, and current scholarship, I can appreciate your contribution @brandonadams and pointing us to books and articles.
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
I have to take this back. After wading into some of the literature, I have to admit the topic is more complicated, or at least more nuanced, than simply participating in a discussion board. Looking at the primary sources, and current scholarship, I can appreciate your contribution @brandonadams and pointing us to books and articles.
Claudia, wouldn't you agree that most of the situation is one of hermeneutics, Law Gospel Dichotomy stuff? Yes, there is a rediscovery of older anti-paedobaptist guys but we as Reformed People have this disagreement concerning Law Gospel hermeneutic too. Maybe it isn't one of hermeneutics, what do you think? It just seems to be a matter of how far you pursue interpretation by hermeneutics along with scripture.
 
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Claudiu

Puritan Board Junior
Claudia, wouldn't you agree that most of the situation is one of hermeneutics, Law Gospel Dichotomy stuff? Yes, there is a rediscovery of older anti-paedobaptist guys but we as Reformed People have this disagreement concerning Law Gospel hermeneutic too. Maybe it isn't one of hermeneutics, what do you think? It just seems to be a matter of how far you pursue interpretation by hermeneutics along with scripture.
I think I largely agree with you. The discussion is a (i) history of the (ii) theology. Brandon helpfully summarizes it here:

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).

(i) From my reading I think this is an accurate portrayal. This is akin to the various covenantal views within even the broader Reformed fold. It’s simplistic to assume a monolithic gloss of covenant theology. The Puritans themselves had differing views.

(ii) Re hermeneutics: I think the law/gospel distinction within the covenantal framework is one of the key factors. Don’t we see this play out historically with the Puritans, Murray, Kline, etc. on something like what the Mosaic Covenant is, and how it relates to the Edenic, Abrahamic and New?
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
I noted Brandon's mention of Cameron and the OPC report above. For the mind of me I do not understand why he mentions Cameron and the OPC report. He was probably mentioned for historical context. It has been a while since I read the report. The report actually finds his position out of bounds because he is one of the early guys making the Mosaic Covenant a Covenant of Works. Samuel Bolton followed Cameron's theology and replaced someone on the Westminster Commission. But he joined after chapter 7 was done if my recollection serves me correctly.

I sent a similar message to someone who asked me if I could make heads or tails with 1689 Federalism...

Basically Reformed Baptist Theology has just gotten a bit more nuanced. Using the historical writings from people like Nehemiah Coxe and Benjamin Keach it has been a bit more defined. They have tried to bring a more defined Systematic Theology into their midst. When I was Reformed Baptist we really didn't have a Systematic Theology. We had Boyce's Abstract Theology and maybe Strong's Systematic but that was about all. Wayne Grudem's came along later. We also had Waldron's commentary on the 1689. Rich Barcellos published Nehemiah Coxe's book From Adam to Christ which included a Commentary on Hebrews Chapter 8 from John Owen. Reformed Baptist Theology like Reformed Theology has gone through some academic challenges and research in the past few decades. 1689 Federalism is Novel by definition but not necessarily new. It was becoming popular about the time I was working through understanding Administration, the Covenant of Grace and the Abrahamic / Mosaic / New Covenants. A lot of the 1689 Federalism references are rediscovered stuff. It looks like a lot of their research is hand picked statements that apply topically but not necessarily taking in full context sometimes. I refer you to a discussion on John Owen and the Covenant of grace here. It basically comes down to what hermeneutic is used when interpreting scripture. There is more of a Law Gospel dichotomy in their hermeneutic which is not new. It is recently even found in reformed camps such as Kline and his descendents Clark, Horton, David Van Drunen, Estelle, etc. The OPC report found the position out of bounds confessionally.

I would like to know what differences you see between the 20th Century RB's and this recent small batch of guys.
 
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PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
Concerning Brandon's mention of the Baptist Confessions I recommend this book whole heartedly.

https://www.amazon.com/discussion-seventeenth-century-Baptist-confessions/dp/B0006YNI6S

A discussion of seventeenth century Baptist confessions of faith: Published to examine the historical, political and religious background of the 1644 and 1689 Bapitst Confessions of Faith​

by Richard P Belcher (Author)
Published to Examine the Historical, Political, and Religious Background of the 1644 and 1689 London Baptist Confessions of Faith. There are those today who claim that The First London Confession in its 1644 and 1646 editions has a different view of the Law than does The Second London Confession of 1689. It is contended that the First London Confession has a New Covenant emphasis that was lost or eliminated in the Second London Confession. The Second, it is claimed, possessed an Old Covenant emphasis concerning the Law because of the influence of the Westminster Confession as its view was forced on Baptists by the historical, religious, and political climate of the day. This volume by Dr. Belcher and Anthony Mattia examines these claims to determine their historical validity. The authors set forth the evidence from history in a clear and convincing manner as they reach definite conclusions concerning this important and controversial subject. This book is a must for those who want to inform themselves further about the religious and political background of the seventeenth century Baptist confessions of faith.

I whole heartedly recommend this book. I can't find my copy. LOL
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
Just for some insight and because someone asked above..... Here is where my theological journey started to take a turn. I do not believe there is a Covenant of Works involved in the Mosaic. It is purely a Covenant of Grace to the redeemed. I actually make this statement. "The Mosaic was an administration of death the same way the New Covenant is to those who seek to turn the New Covenant into a Covenant of Works. We are so inclined to stumble because we will not believe Moses or Christ. We naturally tend to corrupt the Word of God and the Covenant of Grace by wanting to add our works into our justification before God."

https://rpcnacovenanter.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/the-mosaic-covenant-same-in-substance-as-the-new/

Wow, does time fly. I wrote that 10 years ago.
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Sophomore
I noted Brandon's mention of Cameron and the OPC report above. For the mind of me I do not understand why he mentions Cameron and the OPC report. He was probably mentioned for historical context. It has been a while since I read the report. The report actually finds his position out of bounds
I'm not sure what is confusing about me mentioning the OPC Report. Yes, it found that the subservient covenant view is contrary to the WCF. I agree. But I don't think the WCF is biblical, nor am I bound by it, so that doesn't settle the matter. I think the Report does a decent job of clarifying various issues, even though I don't agree with its biblical conclusions. I specifically quoted it above simply to lend support to the idea that there is/was another way of understanding typology than where WCF settled. The particular quote summarized the subservient view on the matter in a way that re-iterated what I had said, so I thought it was useful.
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Sophomore
I have to take this back. After wading into some of the literature, I have to admit the topic is more complicated, or at least more nuanced, than simply participating in a discussion board. Looking at the primary sources, and current scholarship, I can appreciate your contribution @brandonadams and pointing us to books and articles.
Thank you Claudiu.
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
I specifically quoted it above simply to lend support to the idea that there is/was another way of understanding typology than where WCF settled.
That is why I stated what I did. I assumed that is why you did it. I am sorry I couldn't put it together easier. LOL. I am getting slower in mind. I understand what you are saying Brandon. I do believe your position is novel. It is a lot of reintroduction. I understand that. I believe there were differing views in 77. Bunyan being one of them if I remember correctly. I am not sure he would be as defined or speak the way you guys do concerning the Covenant of Grace. I have forgotten so much of what I have read it.


I agree. But I don't think the WCF is biblical, nor am I bound by it, so that doesn't settle the matter.
We should be discussing hermeneutics maybe if we want to really discuss the issue and learn about it. It is alright if you don't agree with the WCF. I was an old School Baptist guy with a new bent before you guys. I had studied Mike Renihan's "Antipeadobaptism in the thought of John Tombe" book. Read Benjamin Keach and Coxe. I had those blogged on the PB but the PB Blogs are gone. I will have to repost them. They are good reads. But the issue is about Law / Gospel. It is a hermeneutic isssue. Another issue is language. Sometimes we say the say thing but do not mean the same thing. Sometimes we are disagreeing when actually we are in agreement. John Murray is a great example of that in my opinion.
 
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Claudiu

Puritan Board Junior
I noted Brandon's mention of Cameron and the OPC report above. For the mind of me I do not understand why he mentions Cameron and the OPC report. He was probably mentioned for historical context. It has been a while since I read the report. The report actually finds his position out of bounds because he is one of the early guys making the Mosaic Covenant a Covenant of Works. Samuel Bolton followed Cameron's theology and replaced someone on the Westminster Commission. But he joined after chapter 7 was done if my recollection serves me correctly.

I sent a similar message to someone who asked me if I could make heads or tails with 1689 Federalism...

Basically Reformed Baptist Theology has just gotten a bit more nuanced. Using the historical writings from people like Nehemiah Coxe and Benjamin Keach it has been a bit more defined. They have tried to bring a more defined Systematic Theology into their midst. When I was Reformed Baptist we really didn't have a Systematic Theology. We had Boyce's Abstract Theology and maybe Strong's Systematic but that was about all. Wayne Grudem's came along later. We also had Waldron's commentary on the 1689. Rich Barcellos published Nehemiah Coxe's book From Adam to Christ which included a Commentary on Hebrews Chapter 8 from John Owen. Reformed Baptist Theology like Reformed Theology has gone through some academic challenges and research in the past few decades. 1689 Federalism is Novel by definition but not necessarily new. It was becoming popular about the time I was working through understanding Administration, the Covenant of Grace and the Abrahamic / Mosaic / New Covenants. A lot of the 1689 Federalism references are rediscovered stuff. It looks like a lot of their research is hand picked statements that apply topically but not necessarily taking in full context sometimes. I refer you to a discussion on John Owen and the Covenant of grace here. It basically comes down to what hermeneutic is used when interpreting scripture. There is more of a Law Gospel dichotomy in their hermeneutic which is not new. It is recently even found in reformed camps such as Kline and his descendents Clark, Horton, David Van Drunen, Estelle, etc. The OPC report found the position out of bounds confessionally.

I would like to know what differences you see between the 20th Century RB's and this recent small batch of guys.
You bring up different points and my work is bringing me into a busier season so I won't be able to engage in a lengthier meaningful sense.

In short, do you acknowledge that historically there was a diversity of theological opinions in the 17th century regarding covenant theology even among the Puritan divines? If not, do you contend that there was a singular view? I too thought before that the 1689 Federalist project, or even Kline et. al., were cherry picking or being revisionist. But even a cursory overview of the primary resources shows that not to be the case. Hence, I retracted my previous comment regarding my frustration, because this area is a lot more complicated and nuanced than many make it out to be. Do you have Beeke's Puritan systematic theology? The chapters in there are a good intro to at least underscore the diversity of opinions among our revered forefathers. What's wrong with scholarship going back and pointing that out?
 
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PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
In short, do you acknowledge that historically there was a diversity of theological opinions in the 17th century regarding covenant theology even among the Puritan divines? If not, do you contend that there was a singular view? I too thought before that the 1689 Federalist project, or even Kline et. al., were cherry picking or being revisionist. But even a cursory overview of the primary resources shows that not to be the case. Hence, I retracted my previous comment regarding my frustration, because this area is a lot more complicated and nuanced than many make it out to be. Do you have Beeke's Puritan systematic theology? The chapters in there are a good intro to at least underscore the diversity of opinions among our revered forefathers. What's wrong with scholarship going back and pointing that out?
Of course I know how much diversity there was. There was also the Federal Theology of Johannes Cocceius. As Ruben precisely stated many moons ago, "Cocceius' idea of a gradual abrogation of the covenant of works doesn't make the cut as "Reformed" in that it wasn't included in any of the Reformed confessions." I came to my conclusions because of what I saw the scriptures saying though. And that is not cliche' with me. Yes, I have A Puritan Systematic Theology and Mark Jones also gave me permission to post this. The Love of God

I love good scholarship. Read Bavinck.... LOL


 
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