Old and New

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Reformation Monk

Puritan Board Freshman
My prayer partner ( reformed Presbyterian ) and I ( reformed baptist ) are slowly going over the covenants.

So I am now getting a better sense of the distinctions on Covenantal views between the two denominations.

But I was just hoping that maybe I could get some better clarification here.

First of all though; I want to make it clear that I am trying very hard here to stay with just reformed views; no dispensationalism and or federalism or new covenant theology please.

One of the things I started to discover is his view on the Covenant of Grace as like a flower opening up. He is also preferring to see both the New and Old Testament as the Covenant of Grace. Or I should say that he likes to use the term of Covenant of Grace rather then use the term "New Covenant."

So when I tend to use the term New Covenant and when I tend to make a distinction between a New Covenant to the Old Covenant, he tends to want to redirect me to the Covenant of Grace language.

I understand why he is doing this but here is my only problem with that.

Hebrews 12:24

all of Hebrews 8

Let me back track a little here.

I've heard comments from some Reformed Presbyterian preachers that they don't really consider Reformed Baptists truly "Reformed" because they don't consider them to be covenantally theological.

Now I realize that these are erroneous accusations. First of all being "reformed" is a whole lot more then just covenant theology. But I'm just mentioning that because it demonstrates that there is a clear difference in the covenantal theological views between the two.

Would you say that Reformed Baptist's hold to a more of a discontinuity of sorts between the Old and New?
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Would you say that Reformed Baptist's hold to a more of a discontinuity of sorts between the Old and New?

Yes. With respect to baptism and the place of children within the New Covenant vis-a-vis earlier covenants they are dispensational (not Dispensational with a big D, i.e. not John Nelson Darby dispensational).

But the Baptists believe that the New Covenant is so different from earlier covenants that children have no particular place in it.

If you look at all of the historical divine covenants or covenantal revelations, they all have a particular place for children in them.

1. CoW

2. Protoevangelium

3.Noahic

4.Abrahamic

5.Mosaic

6.Davidic

7.New
 

Reformation Monk

Puritan Board Freshman
Quick note: I also meant to add Luke 22:20 and 2 Cor 3:6. It is also interesting that two Greek words are used in all the versus that I've noted, which are; kainós and néos. Kainos meaning "new in kind" and Neos meaning "new in time."

So Peairtach, would you say then that by your reply that this leads to the differences in Ecclesiology?
 

steadfast7

Puritan Board Junior
Let me take a stab at it, because I also want to sharpen my understanding. Fellow RB's please correct me if I err. Reformed Baptists believe that there is one covenant of grace and that the full promises contained in the covenant pertain to the spiritual seed of Abraham. In the old dispensation, these spiritual promises were intermingled with promises pertaining to physical seed and land, but only until the Advent of the Messiah, who is the Spiritual Seed, along with all the elect who are found in Him through faith. Thus, the physical seed and land promises pass (or are spiritualized) and the spiritual promises to spiritual seed remains for those who are of faith. It is not so much an exclusion of infants that's in view (I believe that to be a misrepresentation), but rather a surer and more definite inclusion of those who are of faith.
 

Reformation Monk

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks steadfast7, that helped.

Here is another thing that I've been thinking about just recently because of this focus on the covenants, which is ( please keep in mind that I've never been interested in eschatology much at all ) what the average eschatological position held by RB's and also regarding the views of physical Israel? I know this is off topic, so I don't mean to detract from the main focus on covenant theology here.
 

steadfast7

Puritan Board Junior
what the average eschatological position held by RB's and also regarding the views of physical Israel? I know this is off topic, so I don't mean to detract from the main focus on covenant theology here.
My own private take: the New Jerusalem is not a place; a human king will not take David's throne; sacrifices will not be burnt on any altar; the land dimensions won't matter. But, having said that, if Israel is made the first among the nations (like Greece in the Olympics) and noticeable physical blessings are given to her people, I won't be surprised at all.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Quick note: I also meant to add Luke 22:20 and 2 Cor 3:6. It is also interesting that two Greek words are used in all the versus that I've noted, which are; kainós and néos. Kainos meaning "new in kind" and Neos meaning "new in time."

So Peairtach, would you say then that by your reply that this leads to the differences in Ecclesiology?

Well, I don't know why resistance to Presbyterian church polity, and a commitment to Independent church government goes hand in hand with the Baptist view of baptism. Maybe there are purely historical and not theological reasons for this.

Maybe the comparison to Israel of the Church as "the Israel of God" (Gal 6:16) is re-inforced, alongside the place for children in the covenant, by Presbyterian polity, therefore Baptists aren't going to like Presbyterian polity. The Jews not only had local synagogues, but also had ruling bodies like the Sanhedrin.

Baptists must make a clear distinction between themselves and OT Israel for their system to be valid. Yet the theme of the Church as Israel continues in the New Testament.

We believe that the visible church consists of those adults who profess the Christian faith and their chldren. Presumably baptists believe the visible church consists of only those adults who profess the Christian faith.

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Dennis
Reformed Baptists believe that there is one covenant of grace and that the full promises contained in the covenant pertain to the spiritual seed of Abraham. In the old dispensation, these spiritual promises were intermingled with promises pertaining to physical seed and land, but only until the Advent of the Messiah, who is the Spiritual Seed, along with all the elect who are found in Him through faith.

There were spiritual promises as well as physical promises to the offspring. These all are stripped away/fall to the ground under the Baptist scheme.

Dennis
My own private take: the New Jerusalem is not a place; a human king will not take David's throne; sacrifices will not be burnt on any altar; the land dimensions won't matter. But, having said that, if Israel is made the first among the nations (like Greece in the Olympics) and noticeable physical blessings are given to her people, I won't be surprised at all.

Given their position on children in the Covenant it would be strange for baptists to have any place for the Jews of today in their scheme at all.

the New Jerusalem is not a place
The New Jerusalem is the Church and is located on Earth and in Heaven.

a human king will not take David's throne;
A human king has taken David's throne, namely Jesus of Nazareth.

the land dimensions won't matter.
The current dimensions of God's Land are the whole Earth.

The Jews should be thankful that God in His providence has allowed them to return to a portion of what once was the Promised Land. If more of them were converted they'd think more of Christ than worshipping the soil of Israel-Palestine. I understand if they have political rather than theological reasons for not wanting to give up the West Bank to the Palestinians e.g. security.

The theological reasons for holding onto the West Bank are weak to non-existent.

But, having said that, if Israel is made the first among the nations (like Greece in the Olympics) and noticeable physical blessings are given to her people, I won't be surprised at all.

Israel/the Jews as a nation will be incorporated into the Church/the Israel of God (Gal 6:16) as will all the other nations. I suppose when that happens they will be "first among equals" from an historical perspective, but they won't be spiritually or in other ways superior to the other Christian nations.
 
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Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
There's a great deal to criticize about one of the principal forms of reasoning being used on occasion in this thread--as if dropping a verse, passage, or chapter into a discussion was any kind of argument, absent an expositional rehearsal of its contents.

But I only want to point out a different issue. This line of reasoning always confuses me:
It is also interesting that two Greek words are used in all the versus that I've noted, which are; kainós and néos. Kainos meaning "new in kind" and Neos meaning "new in time."
Basing one's address of the matter of Covenant Theology on a semantic or lexical distinction between two words for "new" is exceeding weak. For one thing, this sort of reasoning tends to take attention away from the actual distinction being made, which is the division between "old" and "new."

But the main reason for simply tossing out the whole argument as ridiculous and unworthy of our time is that the "New Covenant" is identified as such by BOTH "kainos" and "neos," and that in the same book of the NT:
Heb.8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant {διαθήκην καινήν (Strong's# G2537, kainos)} with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

Heb.12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant {διαθήκης νέας (Strong's# G3501, neos)}, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.​


So, you should be able to see that there's no weight to the alleged observation. Nor may strength be postulated on the basis of simple numbers (i.e. that kainos is used more than neos). For one thing, the sample is much too small; two to four of the few references (depending on the text-type) are the same statement by Jesus (in the Gospels) or of Jesus (Paul quoting Jesus), which is rendered in precisely the same language as the LXX rendering of Jer.31:31, which is also the case of two references in Heb.8:8,13--six out of a total of less-than-ten NT parlance are basically a single statement or cross-reference.

That leaves 2Cor.3:6 (applied to human ministers) and Heb.9:15 (applied to the divine Minister), both which still appear to self-consciously assume familiarity with the LXX/Christic appropriation (just as we still like to use Scriptural terminology to tie ourselves to our Bibles). Then, Heb.12:24 follows (as the final, somewhat cumulative notice) which wraps the "other" word into the whole discussion.

There is no "stark contrast" between kainos and neos, and their uses. In fact, there is most indubitably significant overlap. We might describe the difference in terminology as something like the difference (in English) between "new" and "fresh," or "original" and "new." Then, if both words are used to describe the quality of the same object, there is manifestly precious little that can be explained by means of the lexicon. There is far, far more flexibility in how these words are used and applied in ordinary usage, than can somehow be used to drive a wedge between them. And a whole interpretation built upon a preference for one amplitude of the semantic spectrum is just bad hermeneutics.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
First of all though; I want to make it clear that I am trying very hard here to stay with just reformed views; no dispensationalism and or federalism or new covenant theology please.


Hebrews 12:24

all of Hebrews 8

Let me back track a little here.

I've heard comments from some Reformed Presbyterian preachers that they don't really consider Reformed Baptists truly "Reformed" because they don't consider them to be covenantally theological.

Now I realize that these are erroneous accusations. First of all being "reformed" is a whole lot more then just covenant theology. But I'm just mentioning that because it demonstrates that there is a clear difference in the covenantal theological views between the two.

Would you say that Reformed Baptist's hold to a more of a discontinuity of sorts between the Old and New?

First off I don't believe you mean Federalism. I think you might mean Federal Vision. Federal Theology has to do with understanding headship of covenants as in the Two Adams. The first Adam was our Federal representative in the Covenant of Works. The Second Adam, who is the Lord from heaven, fulfilled the Covenant of Works and became our propitiation and imputes His righteousness to us that we may be the righteousness of God in Him. That is Federal representation. Federal theology is most important.

(1Co 15:45) And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

(1Co 15:46) Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.


(1Co 15:47) The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.


(1Co 15:48) As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.


(1Co 15:49) And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

The New Covenant is new in that the types are gone now. The promise to Abraham and his seed (Christ) are fulfilled. The Covenant of Grace is one overarching Covenant that was first declared by promise (Genesis 3:15) and is now seen in its fulfillment in the seed (Christ). Thus, the Covenant of Grace is not new but it is complete in the fulfilment in Christ. It is New Covenant is new in that it is full and the signs are abrogated. The daily and yearly sacrifices are done away and the Covenant signs and means have met with completeness in Christ. There is now no more sin offering. The Son has come and made an end of the types by fulfilling them. Thus the cry from our most beloved Saviour, "It is finished." Now we anticipate the consummation of all things unto God the Father.

(1Co 15:22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

(1Co 15:23) But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.


(1Co 15:24) Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.


(1Co 15:25) For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.


(1Co 15:26) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.


(1Co 15:27) For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.


(1Co 15:28) And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

You might also be interested in reading this blog I did as a Reformed Baptist. There is a difference between being a Reformer and holding to Reformed Theology. There is also something called the Radical Reformation which was horrendous and abandoned much truth. They would consider themselves Reformers also.
http://www.puritanboard.com/blogs/p...storical-understanding-reformed-theology-316/
 

Reformation Monk

Puritan Board Freshman
Yes thank you Rev. for expounding on the differences between the two Greek words for "new."

I have seen Reformed Baptist preachers use this distinction before and I was interested to find with myself that it in fact doesn't create that "wedge" that you described.

So therefore I do agree with you. I don't believe that there should be a distinction drawn based on the usage of these two words. That is what I meant by my earlier quote on these two words. I didn't mean to support that their should be a clear distinction as some RB's do.

Rev. Buchanan said:
There's a great deal to criticize about one of the principle forms of reasoning used on occasion in this thread.

Rev. could you pm me with your thoughts on this? I'm just trying to learn all of this better so I would appreciate it if you wouldn't mind taking some time to show me how I am off. Thank you. :handshake:

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PuritanCovenanter said:
First off I don't believe you mean Federalism. I think you might mean Federal Vision. Federal Theology has to do with understanding headship of covenants as in the Two Adams. The first Adam was our Federal representative in the Covenant of Works. The Second Adam, who is the Lord from heaven, fulfilled the Covenant of Works and became our propitiation and imputes His righteousness to us that we may be the righteousness of God in Him. That is Federal representation. Federal theology is most important.

Yes thank you Martin, I did mean Federal Vision, sorry.

Thank you also for the link, I will read it.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Rev. Buchanan said:
There's a great deal to criticize about one of the principle forms of reasoning used on occasion in this thread.

Rev. could you pm me with your thoughts on this? I'm just trying to learn all of this better so I would appreciate it if you wouldn't mind taking some time to show me how I am off. Thank you. :handshake:
My brother,
If you will allow me a brief reply, rather than a PM, the criticism is simply that dropping a reference (e.g. "Here's my only problem with that. Heb.12:24, all of Heb.8") is not the same thing as presenting a case erected from the text porvided.

The implication from the form of the argument is: "If you just read this Bible passage (you obviously haven't, with this point in mind), you'd agree with me, and you'd finally cease holding your errors; which must never have taken these texts (which convince me) into account."

Lest that seem too uncharitable a read of what you wrote, I also note that your following post simply added two other references (the mention of the term kainos was something of a supplemental observation). Since these incorporate/subsume all but one of the references in the NT to "the new covenant" (in so many words), it seems pretty clear what you were saying is that ALL the references in the NT to the "new covenant" are prima facie evidence that your convictions pertaining to the nature, structure, parties, and all other aspects of said covenant has been sufficient to convince you to your present stance--which should produce a similar effect in similarly rational men.

Because no one can get inside your head to follow your reasoning, no one knows what discursive process (if any) you used; no one can begin to critique your position, or even adopt it as true for themselves. We are at a complete loss as to how you are persuaded--and that of things many of us do not see, though we are manifestly familiar with the same texts you referenced.

"A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still." I only wish to encourage you, and all others reading, to carefully present your convictions with their reasons, when the apparent purpose for your comments is to show the rational character of your conviction.

Peace.
 
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Reformation Monk

Puritan Board Freshman
Ahh I see; Thank you for clarifying that Rev.

I would just like to say that I honestly don't mean for this thread to sound like I'm being biased and or just trying to share my own personal convictions.

Honestly, I really don't have strong convictions here. I am just trying to get a better understanding of the differences in Covenant Theology between the RB's and Presbyterians.

The reasons I shared these versus is that I was trying to understand in a more clear way the difference in how both denominations look at the New Covenant.

I apologize if I seemed to be trying to sway anyone's convictions, i'm not, I'm being sincere in my seeking.

Thanks. :)
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
"A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still." I only wish to encourage you, and all others reading, to carefully present your convictions with their reasons, when the apparent purpose for your comments is to show the rational character of your conviction.

Peace.

I would also like to present a thought. I have been discussing.... (actually arguing)... this issue for years. I have become more careful to try to fully understand the answers that are presented from both sides. I have also learned that after 20 some years I still don't understand all of the language that is being used. So I am trying to listen a bit more intently instead of emphatically proclaiming that I understand what another person is saying in their answers. Just as an example, both the LBCF and the WCF use the language of visible and invisible when referring to the Church. But both have different defining perimeters when they are using the language. The same terminology is being used but both references are used differently. So it is important to understand how both sides are using the language and how it is being used referentially.

Just my 2 cents.
 

JoannaV

Puritan Board Sophomore
We believe that the visible church consists of those adults who profess the Christian faith and their chldren. Presumably baptists believe the visible church consists of only those adults who profess the Christian faith.

Those who profess faith and show fruit, of whatever age.
 
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