A PB member has posted a PB blog post suggesting that my views regarding the question of whether the Mosaic covenant was a "republication" of the covenant of works might have changed. I was unable to comment there so I will comment here. 1) The ethics of the post. I hadn't logged on to the PB for several days and when I did this AM I saw that I had two private messages asking whether this blog post was correct. It might have been helpful for the author of the post to write to ask whether my views have changed before posting the hypothesis but since the post is up and public it seems to call for some sort of response. To the best of my limited knowledge I am not dead and since 80 bazillion spammers seem to be able to find my email address I'm surprised that the author of the blog post could not do so. 2) My views. To the best of my limited knowledge, my views have not changed. For anyone who knows the history of Reformed (covenant) theology, the idea that the Mosaic covenant was, in some sense, a re-statement of the covenant made with Adam before the fall, is entirely ordinary. 3) This history of the doctrine. Through the history of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries there were several versions of the view expressed in a wide variety of ways. In no way did any of those views imply that the Mosaic covenant was not also an administration of the covenant of grace or that justification under the Mosaic covenant was by works. The older Reformed writers spoke thus as a way of accounting for the relatively more legal quality of the Mosaic covenant relative to the Abrahamic and New covenants. The suspicion with which all versions of the idea of the republication is an indicator of the degree to which we have become disconnected from our own tradition(s). Another explanation for the hostility that exists is the rise of dispensationalism. In react to Dispensationaism some of our theologians, in the 20th century, either ignored or rejected any doctrine of republication in the interests of asserting continuity between the old and new covenants. The sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Reformed faced a similarly radical disjunction in the form of the Anabaptist and Socinian movements, both of whom, in different ways, set the Old (in the broad sense) and New Testaments against each other. It is interesting, however, that the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century theologians did not react the Anabaptists and Socinians by denying any connection whatever between Moses (Sinai) and Adam (the covenant of works). One of the first places I encountered this allegedly dangerous doctrine of republication was in my study of Caspar Olevianus (d. 1587), one of the major Heidelberg theologians and a contributor to the Heidelberg Catechism. These themes are interwoven through his 1567 Vester Grund. He began with Adam as the federal head of humanity in whom the law was “implanted” as a matter of “human nature” and it was this law that was “repeated and renewed in God’s Commandments.” The law promised eternal life condition of perfect inward and outward obedience. He was working with the same ideas that would become the covenants of works and grace. In contrast with the legal covenant, the covenant of grace is found in the “Surety who completely satisfies the just judgment of God for us.” He described the creational law as the “knowledge of God naturally implanted” and “the work of the law by nature written on the heart” so that sin is “against the law of nature.” He identified the substance of the “law of nature” known by the Gentiles with the decalogue revealed to the Jews. The itself is righteous, but because humans are fallen in Adam and therefore corrupt, the law of nature, like the law of Moses, is adequate to convict but never to justify. The theme of the republication of the creational law under Moses was closely related to his developing doctrine of a natural, legal, prelpsarian covenant. Indeed, his discussions of the creational law often move fluidly into discussions of the Mosaic law, which he described as the “foedus legale.” In his explanation of our inability to observe the Mosaic law, he correlated it to obligation to obey “the law of creation” (ius creationis) and then he moved immediately back to the discussion of the Mosaic law and circumcision. This natural obligation is written on human minds and on the two tables of the law. The law, whether published in creation, in the “natural pact,” or under Moses, demands perfect obedience and convicts the unrighteous of their sin and prepares them to hear the gospel and to receive it by faith. Franciscus Junius (d. 1602) did essentially the same thing. Within the general framework of the unity of the covenant of grace, he described in some detail the legal, typological, and pedagogical aspects of the Mosaic covenant the “scope” of which was teach the Israelites to repent and to look forward to Christ. Robert Rollock (d. 1598) also saw the creational law and covenant republished, under Moses, in the Decalogue, and as for Olevianus, this republication served as a proof of the existence of a prelapsarian covenant of works. This list could, of course, continue but this material is to appear in print sometime in the next decade or so (Dv). Indeed, one of the oddest parts of the recent reaction against any version of the old doctrine of republication is that the classical authors regularly appealed to the legal character of the Mosaic covenant in order to prove the existence of the prelapsarian covenant of works. This connection helps explain why WCF ch 19 re-states ch 7 on the covenant of works and then moves, in the next section, to the law under the Mosaic covenant. That's why Thomas Boston said that it was impossible for him to understand how some people could not see the doctrine of republication in ch 19. Another partial explanation for the reaction against republication is the suspicion with which the historic and confessional doctrine of the prelapsarian covenant of works has been viewed since Barth's rejection of it. It's not the case that everyone who rejects the covenant of works is a Barthian but it is true that Barth's influence changed the plausibility of the covenant of works. Rhetorically it seemed much better to be in favor of "grace" rather than "works" in a time when "works" was being characterized as "legalistic" and "grace" was being characterized positively. 3) The blog post however is a quite useful illustration of the problem of the a priori, i.e., stuff one knows must be true before one gets to the facts. If one knows (a priori), apart from the facts, that the next cat one sees will be red, it's likely that the next cat seen will appear red even if, the empirical evidence actually suggests that the cat is a tabby. In this case the a priori seems to be that there is only one way to say something and thus, if the form of expression changes then the doctrine must have changed. No, the cat is still a tabby.