Marrow of Modern Divinity and Republication

Discussion in 'Covenant Theology' started by Justified, Jul 2, 2014.

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  1. Justified

    Justified Puritan Board Sophomore

    I have some questions in regards to Republication in the book Marrow of Modern Divinity. The book seems to be supporting some sort of republication of the CoW at Sinai. The Republication of the CoW proposed in Marrow does not seem like what we have in modern Republication. Am I right? I will try to bring up the passage if need be, but in one instance Fisher writes, essentially, that the CoW wasn't reinstituted at Sinai in order that Israel could attain righteousness by works, but that they would recognize their exceeding sinfulness and be pointed to the coming Savior for their salvation. His argument seems to be that in between Adam and Moses they (Israel) have began to lose sight of what sin was, so God reinstituted the CoW so that the might see their sin (Rom 5:20). Mr. Fisher explains it better.

    When I see the arguments he gives, I agree. It reminds me of those who believe their is only one CoG. They say that God made an Adamic Administration in the garden, not a CoW. Although they may not use the term CoW, their Adamic Administration is, in essence, our CoW. It appears to be the same thing here, while we may not agree (at least some of us) that it should be coined a republication of the CoW, we most certainly agree that the Decalogue reflects the holy character of God and sets the perfect standards whereby we are judged, and that this law makes us realize our total inability to attain our own righteousness, thus, leading us to Christ, who alone can be our righteousness.

    What think ye? I don't agree with modern Republication (from what I've heard), but I can't say I disagree with what Mr. Fisher has to say, whether or not I'd call it a reinstitution/republication of the CoW I don't know. If I am in error brothers, please let me know.
  2. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    The traditional view held that there was a republication subordinate to the covenant of grace, whereas the modern movement maintains that republication is co-ordinate with the covenant of grace. The one sets forth the unity and continuity of the covenant of grace as administered under Law and Gospel while the other introduces division and discontinuity into the covenant of grace.
  3. Justified

    Justified Puritan Board Sophomore

    That basically answers all my questions.

    Mr Winzer, a personal theological question, do you hold to either of those views of republication? Also from what I've read in Marrow, and similar to what you've said, Fisher seems to imply that the CoG is still present (maybe not the right words?) in the Mosaic Covenant. Is this correct? (I do understand what you mean by subordinate and co-ordinate, just wondering more is the CoG present in the Mosaic Covenant)
  4. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    I think it is necessary to preach the law as a means of convincing the hearer of his inability to maintain the perfect righteousness required by the law and of the sinful pollution of his nature, heart, and life, in order to drive him out of himself that he might be drawn to Christ and His righteousness offered in the gospel. This is what I understand by republication, and find it an useful term when understood in this way.

    Is the covenant of grace present in the Mosaic covenant? Definitely. I think those who maintain a co-ordinate republication would also teach the covenant of grace is to be found in the typical ordinances. But I would go further and say the Mosaic covenant is an administration of the covenant of grace. It is the old administration, to be sure (and hence called the old covenant), but an administration of the one covenant of grace nonetheless. The Preface to the Ten Commandments makes this clear. The Ten Commandments follow as divine instruction how to live as the redeemed people of God. They are not given for the purpose of earning one's place among the people of God.
  5. Justified

    Justified Puritan Board Sophomore

    Speaking from someone (Fisher) who is a traditional republicationist, do they believe that the Mosaic Covenant, although a republication of the CoW, is also a republication/renewal of the CoG. I get this from this quote:

    Specifically the last couple lines.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  6. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    That appears to me to be a fair reading of the text, especially in light of the fact that he goes on to prove it in answer to the next question. It is noteworthy that he is directing this to the antinomian, who drew too great a contrast between Law and Gospel and turned them into two contrasting covenants of Works and Grace. If one is looking to trace the co-ordinate view of republication to its ancestry the tree will lead back to Antinomista, not Evangelista.
  7. Rev. Todd Ruddell

    Rev. Todd Ruddell Puritan Board Junior

    Further, if the Covenant of Works was republished, and the Israelites received it, saying "All that the LORD has commanded will do, and be obedient" why do we have the Lord treating with them as a people under the Covenant of Grace, when at the base of Sinai they have committed idolatry, they are threatened with death, (the term o the covenant of works upon disobedience) and the Lord deals with them on the basis of a mediator, Moses? If it was a covenant of works, they should have died at the base of Sinai when they made the golden calf. Instead, they were shown grace, and mercy--they were pardoned by the intercession of a mediator, pointing to the intercession of Christ.

    I think the point concerning tracing the coordinate view (which seems to be only slightly different than the second use of the Law--revealing sin and driving to Christ) to Antinomista particularly helpful. What is the "Marrow" combating in that line of argument?
  8. Justified

    Justified Puritan Board Sophomore

    Previous to the section that that excerpt is from, he was explaining that the CoW was reinstituted in order to expose the sinfulness of the people because the law had grown "weak" among them. The republication of the CoW revealed the holy law whereby man must have perpetual obedience to inherit eternal life. Fisher explains that God knew all well that they were unable to keep this, but that God's intention in reinstituting the CoW was not that they may attain eternal life, which was the promise annexed to the CoW in Eden, but, rather, the reinstitution of the CoW would make Israel realize the entire futileness and impossibility of keeping the whole law, thus, being driven to the Seed of the Woman, the Savior-- Jesus Christ, and seeking after obtaining his righteousness by faith.

    The section that my excerpt comes from is explaining that the CoW is subordinate to the CoG. Once again, the CoW is to point to the CoG. Here is the section for yourself (not that long): The promise and covenant with Abraham, renewed with the Israelites.
  9. Unoriginalname

    Unoriginalname Puritan Board Junior

    When I read the Marrow I understood the idea of republication of the CoW to mean that the Covenant broken was re-proclaimed for the people to know their guilt. It was republished in the sense of being made known again because the people did not know their own sinfulness. It is not the same as the modern republicationists who make republication to mean some sort of re-institution where the CoW is applied specially in some sort of way to the nation of Israel.
  10. Justified

    Justified Puritan Board Sophomore

    That's exactly how I've understood it.
  11. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    This was also done e.g. when Christ spoke to the Rich Young Ruler, and the CoW should be "republished" to some degree in this sense whenever the Gospel is preached.

    In his Systematic Theology, Dabney points out that the CoW still stands after the Fall. Those who haven't entered the life of the CoG are in Adam by nature, and are still obliged to observe the moral law perfectly for salvation, are subject to the negative sanction of the CoW of the curse, including Hell, for their sin, and yet the positive sanction of the CoW of reward has become for sinners completely hypothetical and out of reach.
  12. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Antinomista questioned the belief that the covenant of grace was renewed with the people of Israel and is the same in substance with the new covenant, and quoted Jeremiah in an attempt to show there are two covenants differing in substance. From an Antinomian perspective, the law and the old covenant are one and the same and the abrogation of the old covenant entails abrogation of the law in every respect.
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