Friday, February 18, 2011

The law is not of faith


  1. Steve, would you mind sharing with us your views on the Covenants and dispensations? Along with your views on Law and Gospel?

    Do you hold to...
    Covenant Theology?
    New Covenant Theology?
    Classic Dispensationalism?
    Revised Dispenationalism? Progressive Dispensationalism? Promise Fulfillment Theology?
    Spiritual Institution Theology?
    Redemptive Kingdom Theology?
    Something else? ;-)

  2. I’m just your average hypo-para-paleo-post-ante-supra-retro-quasi-neoclassical covenantalist.

  3. Doesn't the Mosaic covenant point to a covenant of grace, in the sense that the Mosaic covenant pointed to the type of conduct Jesus exhibited perfectly.

    (So the Mosaic covenant is a covenant of works only in the sense that it pointed to the works that Jesus was able to accomplish.)

    Similarly, Moses himself prophesied of Jesus in the same breath he gave the covenant [Deut 18:15]. Thus the Mosaic covenant expressedly contained THE messianic hope.

    So the Mosaic covenant is ONLY a covenant of works in the sense that its adherents mistook the sign from the thing signified. (It was never the blood of the actual sacrificial lamb that saved, rather it was Christ's blood timelessly that did, as the perfect and prophesied sacrificial lamb).

    So, what I don't understand is IF the mosaic covenant was the unfulfilled new covenant, are not the two covenants of the same substance (i.e. both covenant's of grace), though they differ by degree?

    [New Covenant = Mosaic covenant perfected]

    It doesn't seem reasonable (to me) to see the Mosaic covenant as somehow different, simply because its human signatories erred in their understanding.

  4. I googled and wiki-ed Hypo-Para-Paleo-Post-Ante-Supra-Retro-Quasi-NeoClassical Covenentalism and it turns out that there's a resurgence of that position (strangely, in conjunction with a statistical rise in eye strain related reading injuries).

  5. ἐκκλησία,
    Good comments.
    And yes, as you suggest- it does seem that it is precisely "the sense" in which the Mosaic covenant is also a covenant of grace that is the matter in dispute amongst those authors surveyed.
    Yet, they appear to agree that even if the Mosaic covenant was a Covenant of Works- then this covenant was ‘subsumed’ by a Covenant of Grace. Not merely a “difference of degree” as you suggest- but rather a categorical difference.
    Kinda like how a Sovereigntist category subsumes an Arminian/Molinist category. But not vice versa.
    Apples and oranges. Not just bigger apples.
    Now, it seems to me that this Covenant of Grace was established long before Moses. Long before the Deut. 18:15 prophesy you cite. A Covenant/hope established way back in Gen. 3:15.
    One that Abraham (who was before Moses) rejoiced to see (John 8:56).
    One that Eve (who was before Abraham) rejoiced to see (Gen 4:1).
    And one that men in the time of Enosh (who were before the Jews) rejoiced to see (Gen. 4:26).

    Looking forward to seeing you there,

  6. Ron, thanks for your comments.

    I agree with you that the 'grace' element of the mosaic covenant, the primary component of the new covenant, is indeed present elsewhere; in fact expressed in all of the other covenants.

    But then again, I don't personally perceive multiple covenants, rather I perceive one covenant, expressed in different ways, finally expressed perfectly in Christ (which means that all previous covenants, point to the covenant expressed in Christ).

    I don't know enough about who the proponents are in this historical debate, but I think I'd take sides against those who categorize the mosaic covenant as a covenant of works.