DG Hart on General Revelation [Brandon Adams]

Brandon Adams
Brandon Adams

Using some 2010 comments from DG Hart as a springboard, Brandon Adams has put together a clarifying post about General Revelation—its definition and its limits.

Here’s a taste:

…general revelation does not consist of trees and ants and stars. General revelation is propositional revelation of God and what He requires of man revealed innately within man. Prior to the fall, it was as readily present in man’s mind as the words you are reading now are in your mind. Starting with this innate knowledge of God, man could look out upon creation and see His creator reflected in it. But he does not start with creation. He starts with God already revealed within his mind.

Adams also marshals input from Confessional Baptist Sam Waldron, as well as Reformed figures such as John Calvin, Charles Hodge, and Gordon Clark.

Check out the Source: DG Hart on General Revelation | Contrast

No Proof of Paedobaptism: An Evaluation of Jared Oliphint’s post “Not Your Average Paedobaptism”

Over at Founders Ministries’ THE BLOG, Pastor Tom Hicks writes:

Pastor Tom Hicks
Pastor Tom Hicks

Jared Oliphint recently wrote an article for the Gospel Coalition in which he made a case for infant baptism on the basis of the distinction between the internal and external aspects of the covenant (Berkhof calls this the “dual aspect” of the covenant of grace). Oliphint argues that the new covenant is breakable, and that understanding the allegedly breakable nature of the new covenant helps make sense of infant baptism. I’m going to show you why Oliphint’s argument is unconvincing to this Reformed Baptist.

1. Oliphint says the new covenant is a mixed body.

The bulk of Oliphint’s case for infant baptism rests on the argument that the new covenant is a mixed body of believers and unbelievers. He makes this argument from Hebrews 10:26-30 and John 15:1-6…

2. I say the new covenant is a pure believers covenant.

Though theoretically a Reformed Baptist might grant Oliphint’s point about the mixed nature of the new covenant, that is not my position, nor is it the historic Baptist position. The reason is purely exegetical. Let’s look a little more closely at the two passages Oliphint provides in support of his position…

[K]ey to Oliphint’s argument for a mixed new covenant of believers and unbelievers is found in Hebrews 10:29, “How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified and has outraged the Spirit of grace.” Oliphint argues that this describes someone who was truly in the new covenant, sanctified by its blood, but who later fell away from the covenant, rejected Christ and came under His wrath

infant paedo baptismThere are two serious problems with Oliphint’s interpretation:

1. It proves too much. Does Oliphint really believe that all baptized infants and unbelievers in the covenant are “sanctified” (v. 29) by the blood of the covenant? What about the Reformed doctrine of definite/effectual atonement? Does Christ’s blood sanctify unbelievers? Is Oliphint advocating a kind of limited Arminianism? What about the teaching in the book of Hebrews, just one chapter earlier, that Christ’s blood is effectual to save? It says that Jesus died, “securing an eternal redemption” (Heb 9:12). His blood “secures” or renders certain, an “eternal,” permanent, “redemption” by which Christ has bought liberty for all His covenant people. Hebrews also says, “A death has occurred that redeems” (Heb 9:15). This doesn’t say His blood potentially redeems, or makes redemption possible. It says that Christ’s blood actually redeems! Hebrews tells us that Jesus “sat down” in the courts of heaven because there is no more work for Him to do! His blood made complete “purification for sins” (Heb 1:3), securing perfect redemption. Oliphint’s exegesis seems to entail a weakening of the nature of the atonement and a broadening of the extent of the atonement.

2. It assumes too much…

3. The lack of a case for infant baptism

Read “No Proof of Paedobaptism: An Evaluation of Jared Oliphint’s post “Not Your Average Paedobaptism”.

You may also be interested in Brandon Adams’ response to the same post.

Interview #91 – Dr. Guy Waters, Pascal Denault, & Brandon Adams – 1689 Federalism & the Mosaic Covenant [Audio Podcast] (2 of 2)

1689 Federalism


Dr. Guy Waters
Dr. Guy Waters

On episode 91 of our interview podcast we let Pascal Denault and Brandon Adams take over the interview mic. They finish up their interview (see part 1) with Dr. Guy Waters asking him about Pascal’s book The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology. Then Pascal Denault and Brandon Adams get more into “1689 Federalism”.


  • “1689 Federalism”
  • Rom. 10:4-8
  • Lev. 18:5
  • Deut. 30:1-14
  • + more


Subscribe to the podcast in a RSS readeriTunesStitcherTuneIn or by Email.


Interview #90 – Pauline Theology – Dr. Guy Waters [Audio Podcast] (1 of 2)



Dr. Guy Waters
Dr. Guy Waters

On episode 90 of our interview podcast we let Pascal Denault and Brandon Adams take over the interview mic. They interview Dr. Guy Waters on Pauline Theology.


  • Dr. Waters’ testimony
  • Justification by Faith Alone
  • Federal Vision
  • New Perspective(s) on Paul
  • How do you understand the Mosaic Covenant to be related to the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace?
  • The Law/Gospel Distinction in Romans 10
  • Pauline Theology with Dr. Guy Waters – Free lectures
  • What are your thoughts on “1689 Federalism”? (next week)
  • + more


Subscribe to the podcast in a RSS readeriTunesStitcherTuneIn or by Email.


A Request from The Reformed Libertarian

C.Jay Engel, editor of ReformedLibertarian.com, is celebrating his blog’s three-year anniversary, and he has a request for his readers:

TRL headIt’s been three years since I started this blog, two years since I bought the domain, and one year since I shifted the site from a small WordPress blog to a GoDaddy hosted site.  And just this year, we hit our record for daily visits: over 2,500 in one day! Not too shabby for a small time, before-and-after work hobby.  Meanwhile, Brandon Adams, whom I consider my co-editor by now (without his permission to title him such), has taken up an applaudable amount of hours in helping me articulate and develop both our stance on things like theonomy, and, perhaps where he has been the most helpful to far more people than just myself, in the realm of the difficult doctrine of Covenant Theology.

We released three essay-length ebooks so far this year, all them are available for free on pdf.  I am about 85% done now with The Reformed Libertarian Manifesto, and Brandon and I are continuing to work toward a fall release of a full critique of theonomy, beyond the comments we have already made on the topic…

As we look now at another year, and all the things that are coming including the two books, many more essays, and even possibly a podcast (I bought all the equipment I need and at present, it is starring down at me from the top of my desk.  *Turns chair around to face the other direction*), I am grateful that I have a public outlet to voice my own thoughts and to continue to learn things.

However, it should go without saying that doing this isn’t totally without financial cost. In the next month I am anticipating needing to raise money for the following things:

-Annual WordPress package which includes my site theme, the special additions to this theme that we have access to because of the package, Google analytics, the unlimited storage space, and other related benefits. The cost for this is just over $300.

-Annual GoDaddy hosting package is about $50.

-For both our coming books, we have a copy editor that we will be using. Hopefully, the Reformed Libertarian Manifesto book will be completed at the end of May and sent over to him for review. When he does his work on both this book and the Theonomy Critique, it will cost around $1,000 or so.

The above, plus the podcast equipment, plus the books that I order, read, and review for this site makes me realize that through this summer, I will be spending more than $1,700 on the site (plus other unforeseen expenses). I would do it even if nobody donated. Why? Because I love it. It has become part of who I am. I have become known as “The Reformed Libertarian.”  I share the total amount and some of the breakdown only for the purposes of being transparent, so that you know where any money that you donate will be going.

This is my formal request: if you have the financial means, something left over from your budget this month, I would be honored if you could help me out on the projects related to this site. You should know I demand nothing from you and everyone is welcome to continue to read and enjoy this site. Even if no one donates, it will go on. But it would be monumentally helpful if I could share in the cost for some of these things. I do this every year.

This year, my goal is to raise $1,000 out of the above estimates for my expenses. Every little bit helps, whether it is $5, $25, or $100. Or somewhere in between. If you can donate, you can click here for the Paypal link (the link is also on the front page, right hand side). 

As more readers show up everyday to check out the website, I realize that there is actual interest here; there are people who really want to know about the intersections of Reformed theology and Libertarian polity. I thank you for being part of that, whether financial or otherwise.

If you have any questions about any of this whatsoever, please email me at reformedlibertarian@gmail.com

Thank you so much everyone!

–C.Jay Engel; editor and creator

Read the full post with more details about what C.Jay has been up to here.

Free PDF/MOBI/EPUB | $/£0.99 Kindle: “An Essay on the Kingdom of Christ” by Abraham Booth

An announcement from C.Jay Engel and Brandon Adams, over at ReformedLibertarian.com:

We are happy to announce that Abraham Booth’s 18th century “Essay on the Kingdom of Christ” is now available on Amazon.com as an ebook [ $0.99 | £0.99 ] or here in PDF format (FREE and now .modi and .ePub format ). We have edited and reformatted the book for ebook publication. This essay has been quite influential in the development of our own thoughts regarding the nature of the kingdom of heaven, as distinct and set apart from the earthy and temporal kingdoms of this world. We hope you get as much from it as we did.

Essay on the Kingdom of Christ Booth

An Essay on the Kingdom of Christ [Kindle Edition]
by Abraham Booth

$0.99 | £0.99 ]


boothAbraham Booth (1734-1806) was a confessional particular baptist pastor in England. He wrote “An Essay on the Kingdom of Christ” in 1783 as a commentary on the Church of England. His essay builds upon an inherited foundation of baptist covenant theology known today as 1689 Federalism.

In Booth’s essay, the glory of the kingdom of Christ shines brightly as he distinguishes it from every kingdom on earth, including the “Israelitish Theocracy.” His was a day in which ideas mattered, and his ideas, shared by others, as representative of a long covenantal tradition, had significant consequences in America, and eventually throughout the world. Today is still a day in which ideas matter, because ideas always matter. Our hope is that Booth’s essay will aid you in thinking upon Christ and his kingdom as you sojourn on this earth.


Print Length: 78 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Reformed Libertarian (April 8, 2015)
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Lending: Enabled

You may read the Foreword here, or in the PDF below along with the entire essay:

Download (PDF, 639KB)

Interview #83 – Douglas Van Dorn – Covenant Theology: A Reformed Baptist Primer [Audio Podcast]

Covenant Theology A Reformed Baptist Primer by Douglas Van Dorn


Douglas Van Dorn
Douglas Van Dorn

On episode 83 of our interview podcast we have Brandon Adams guest hosting for us as he interviews Douglas Van Dorn about his latest book Covenant Theology: A Reformed Baptist Primer.


  • Testimony
  • What are the two types of covenants found in the Bible?
  • Is Covenant of Redemption in the Bible?
  • How do you respond to objections to the Covenant of Works
  • Overview of “Gracious/Legal Covenants”
  • What on Earth is the Levitical (Priestly) Covenant?
  • How is the New Covenant “new” but not “brand new”?
  • + more


Subscribe to the podcast in a RSS readeriTunesStitcherTuneIn or by Email.



The Gospel by Citizens & Saints

C.Jay Engel & Brandon Adams’ in-depth analysis of ‘The Theonomy Debate’ McDurmon v. Hall [25 Page PDF | HTML] + forthcoming Reformed Libertarian publications

mcdurben hall theonomy debate

Over at ReformedLibertarian.com, C.Jay Engel & Brandon Adams have prepared and written an in-depth analysis of the McDurmon v Hall ‘Theonomy Debate’.


Table of Contents:

  1. Intro and Overview
  2. The Classic Threefold Division
  3. Rutherford, the WCF, and Practical vs. Hermeneutical Theonomy
  4. General Equity vs Particular Equity
  5. William Perkins and General Equity
  6. Old Covenant Abolished
  7. Are They Just?
  8. Particular Baptist Theonomists?
  9. Conclusion
C.Jay Engel
C.Jay Engel

Here are some snippets from their conclusion:

In conclusion, we strongly agree with Hall when he said, “By what other standard? By God’s standard alone. That statement alone does not make you a theonomist. It just makes you a Christian with a biblical worldview.” …Our position that God’s revelation is the standard should be more than obvious…

In all the above, there was no comment on whether McDurmon or Hall outperformed the other. We express no official statement about whether they could have done better or been better prepared or whether one was “ready” to meet his opponents arguments. That is up for the viewer to decide. What we wanted to do was detail our own understanding of the debated issues and demonstrate where we think the theonomist position is weak. There is so much about theonomy in general that we did not have the space to address…

Brandon Adams
Brandon Adams

[I]t is our prayer that both sides of this debate would take the time to understand the nuances in the opposing camp, and look for opportunities to better comprehend the precise nature of their critic’s position, rather than rely on inaccuracies and misleading statements that have been previously written in earlier decades.

At this point in their conclusion they announce some upcoming publications that they are working on:

17 century booksThe question that often comes after it is stated that we reject the theonomic understanding of the mosaic civil law is: “if not theonomy, then what?” What other civil law ought we to have. This is a great question and we encourage you to read our upcoming publication entitled “The Reformed Libertarian Manifesto,” in which we, in detail, demonstrate our own positive theory on the questions of law and politics based on, of course, the starting point of God’s revealed Scripture. Following this publication, we anticipate that there will be a book sized release, on Amazon.com of our rejection of theonomy. The title of this book is “By God’s Standard: A Confessional Baptist Rejection of Theonomy.” You can sign up to receive updates on both of these books here

25-Page PDF:

Download (PDF, 266KB)

1689 Federalism responses to New Covenant Guy & Paul Flynn [VIDEOS]


It has been nearly two years since the 1689Federalism.com site was made public. Brandon Adams has added many updates to the site since then. One of the most recent additions is the new Ask a Question page (self-explanatory). Beyond that, within the past several weeks Brandon Adams has been responding to interactions with “1689 Federalism” on YouTube.

You may watch these recent interactions below (video notes include links to content discussed):

1689 Federalism response to New Covenant Guy

Follow-up to Paul Flynn (of Megiddo Radio) on 1689 Federalism [mp3]

Baptists Couldn’t Possibly Know What They’re Talking About [Brandon Adams + Lee Gatiss + Pascal Denault]

John The Baptist OwenBrandon Adams writes:

In the previous round we answered the objections of someone who later admitted they had not even read Owen’s argument. Here we answer the objections of someone who later admitted they had not even read our argument.

Over at Reformation 21, Lee Gatiss listened to 10 minutes of a podcast, misunderstood a joke, and judged a book by its cover. He felt it was urgent to inform baptists that John Owen was actually a paedobaptist. Of course, if he’d bothered to read the book, he’d have know that’s not the point.

The point is that Owen rejected his earlier covenantal views and the “judgment of most reformed divines”. Gatiss does not address this (as is typical). In fact, Gatiss doesn’t mention anything from Owen’s commentary on Hebrews 8:6-13. Instead, he provides quotes of Owen affirming infant baptism, which, again, isn’t the point.

He quotes Owen’s commentary on Hebrews 4:9-10, 15 (which I also quote in my analysis of Owen’s infant baptism) as well as 6:1-2; 7:1-3, 12; 11:24-26. Gatiss concludes “Sorry folks, but these are exactly the same applications that Owen makes from his covenant theology in the earlier tract on infant baptism,” which, again, is not the point. We are well aware that Owen makes the same application (infant baptism). Our point is that his covenant theology undergirding that application changed.

Read “Baptists Couldn’t Possibly Know What They’re Talking About: Debating Owen, Round 473 – Lee Gatiss”.

Gatiss cites our podcast as evidence of course, no one ever insists that John Owen was a Baptist.

There was also a brief twitter conversation between Gatiss, and Denault on Twitter (see below):

Update Jan 30, 2015: Brandon replies back to Lee’s response.

Church Membership De Jure or De Facto? [Brandon Adams]

Brandon Adams
Brandon Adams

Brandon Adams writes:

When Presbyterians are first introduced to 1689 Federalism, often one of their first responses is “Oh, so you deny the visible/invisible distinction of the church?” To which we respond “No.” For example, Chris Villi says:

In one of the key statements of the book, Denault writes, “The Scriptures do not provide any possibilities of being visibly in the New Covenant without participating effectively in its substance” (p. 153). This assertion represents one of the most fundamental errors of Baptist theology. Essentially, Denault is arguing that everyone in the New Covenant is truly saved and that it is impossible for an unbeliever to be connected to the New Covenant in any sense. Denault notes that, for Particular Baptists, the New Covenant “did not have an external administration in which the non-elect were to be found” (p. 86).

Again, the denial of the possibility of unbelievers in the visible church is one of the most problematic aspects of the federalism espoused by Denault. Is it really possible to guarantee that there are no non-elect people associated with the visible church? Even more, can this idea of “regenerate membership” in the visible church be defended as biblical? Given that 1689 federalists have always been convinced that true believers cannot lose their salvation, the very existence of a New Testament command for church discipline and excommunication contradicts their position.


1689 Confession 2Yet our confession clearly states in chapter 26:

1._____ The catholic or universal church, which (with respect to the internal work of the Spirit and truth of grace) may be called invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ, the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Hebrews 12:23; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:10, 22, 23;Ephesians 5:23, 27, 32 )

2._____ All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, not destroying their own profession by any errors everting the foundation, or unholiness of conversation, are and may be called visible saints; and of such ought all particular congregations to be constituted.
1 Corinthians 1:2; Acts 11:26; Romans 1:7; Ephesians 1:20-22 )

3._____ The purest churches under heaven are subject to mixture and error; and some have so degenerated as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan; nevertheless Christ always hath had, and ever shall have a kingdom in this world, to the end thereof, of such as believe in him, and make profession of his name.
1 Corinthians 5; Revelation 2; Revelation 3; Revelation 18:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12; Matthew 16:18; Psalms 72:17;Psalm 102:28; Revelation 12:17 )

church pewSo where is the confusion coming from? It’s the difference between de jure and de facto.

de jure

[Latin, In law.] Legitimate; lawful, as a Matter of LawHaving complied with all therequirements imposed by law.

De jure is commonly paired withde facto, which means “in fact.” In the course of ordinaryevents, the term de jure is superfluous. For example, in everyday discourse, when onespeaks of a corporation or a government, the understood meaning is a de jurecorporation or a de jure government.

A de jure corporation is one that has completely fulfilled the statutory formalities imposedby state corporation law in order to be granted corporate existence. In comparison, a de facto corporation is one that has acted in Good Faithand would be an ordinarycorporation but for failure to comply with some technical requirements.

de facto

[Latin, In fact.] In fact, in deed, actually.

This phrase is used to characterize an officer, a government, a past action, or a state of affairs that must be accepted for all practicalpurposes, but is illegal or illegitimate. Thus,an office, position, or status existing under a claim or color of right, such as a de factocorporation. In this sense it is the contrary of de jure, which means rightful,legitimate, just, or constitutional. Thus, an officer, king, orgovernmentde facto is one thatis in actual possession of the office or supreme power, but by usurpation, or withoutlawful title

Read “Church Membership De Jure or De Facto?”.

Debating Owen, Round 472 [Adams]

john-owen-700Brandon Adams, blogging at Contrast, thoroughly addresses some claims about Owen’s view of covenant theology which would seem to imply that Baptists Couldn’t Possibly Know What They’re Talking About:

In a recent Facebook discussion about covenant theology (I haven’t been able to join the group), someone posted some quotes from Pascal Denault’s “The Distinctive Covenant Theology of 17th Century Particular Baptists.” A paedobaptist objected, as is common, to the quotations from John Owen:

to say that Owen developed in this respect is not fair to Owen unless he himself recognized a departure from his previous statements and positions, which we have no evidence of. Rather, his words should be interpreted in light of his whole theological construct, not what statements he made in one place, unless he consciously and explicitly repudiated his prior assertions.


What would constitute evidence? Does he have to say “Dear reader, I previously held a different view, but now I have changed my mind (just in case it wasn’t obvious from what I just said)”?

A case could be made that Owen presupposed that the Mosaic economy was one of grace, rightly understood, in that he makes statements to that affect, that he presupposes it as an idea in his sermons and other theological works


So this is the question: Did Owen hold to classic WCF covenant theology? Did he believe the covenant of grace was an overarching covenant administered by the historical, biblical covenants? Did he believe the the Mosaic covenant was a gracious administration of the covenant of grace?


Before looking at his evidence, it should be noted that any attempt to place Owen’s commentary on Hebrews 8 within the context of presuppositions found elsewhere in Owen’s writings still has to explain what Owen meant in his commentary on Hebrews 8 (this person never offered an explanation).

Read the rest of this intriguing post here.

Abraham Booth (1788) on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

boothBrandon Adams, blogging at Reformed Libertarian, supplies a quote from Abraham Booth that gives some perspective on the present-day battle between Israel and Palestine:

The National confederation at Sinai is expressly contrasted in Holy Scripture with the new covenant (see Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:7-13), and though the latter manifestly provides for internal holiness, respecting all the covenantees, yet it says not a word about relative sanctity [that is, being accounted externally holy, because belonging to the nation separated unto God]. And, indeed, how should it? Since by it’s commencement the whole Sinai constitution became obsolete; the partition wall was broken down; the special relation between God and Abraham’s natural seed ceased, and left no difference of a religious kind between Jews and Gentiles – no difference, in respect of nearness to God and communion with him, except that which regeneration and faith in Christ produce. For, under the present dispensation, “Christ is all and in all.’


We may therefore safely conclude, that were the Jews converted and resettled in Palestine, both they and their infant offspring would be as entirely destitute of the ancient relative holiness, as those Mohammadens are who now reside in that country.

-Abraham Booth, The Kingdom of Christ, 1788

1 Cor 5:13 is the general equity of Deut 22:21 [Brandon Adams]

Brandon Adams
Brandon Adams

[Here is one of the post that we talked a little about on yesterday’s Dunker Bunker Podcast]

Brandon Adams, over at Reformed Libertarian, writes:

WCF 19.4:


To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the State of that people; not obliging under any now, further than the general equity thereof may require.


Many reformed Christians today, who have grown tired of today’s moral relativism, turn to WCF 19.4 in an effort to develop a political philosophy. The Law of God, they say, must be our only standard. We must follow God’s law, or man’s law. And God has given a rather detailed list of how that law applies to states in the Mosaic Law. Of course, those laws were particular to Israel, but if we change the details, the laws are still God’s ideal for states. So, we exchange language about the land of Canaan for the land of California, and “voilla!” we’re left with the “general equity” of any give Mosaic law.


The problem, however, is that is not the meaning of WCF 19.4. The 2nd London Baptist Confession helpfully phrases it slightly differently:


To them also he gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any now by virtue of that institution; their general equity only being of moral use. *1 Cor. 9:8-10


LBCF clarifies that judicial laws do not oblige anyone by virtue of their being part of the Mosaic law. It is only their general equity that is of broadly moral use. But if general equity does not mean swapping “California” for “Canaan”, what does it mean?


John Calvin
John Calvin

The confession’s position followed Calvin, and others.


It is a fact that the law of God which we call the moral law is nothing else than a testimony of natural law and of that conscience which God has engraved upon the minds of men. Consequently, the entire scheme of this equity of which we are now speaking has been prescribed in it. Hence, this equity alone must be the goal and rule and limit of all laws. (Institutes IV.xx.15-16)


Dr. Richard Barcellos
Dr. Richard Barcellos

Richard Barcellos adds:


The equity that an old covenant judicial law might possess does not come from the particular old covenant judicial law itself. It is simply an application of moral/natural/universal law to Israel’s unique, covenantally conditioned national life. So, there may be principles in particular old covenant judicial laws that transcend the old covenant. But the temporary law does not establish what constitutes equity. It is a unique illustration/application of it. Hence, the equity predates and even transcends the old covenant.


The general equity was the moral law that the judicial laws, unique to Israel, were based on. Thus it is the moral law that continues to be of use. The judicial laws only help provide us with specific examples of how the moral law was applied to Israel. Therefore, we do not reason from Canaan to California (1 step), but from Canaan to moral law to California (2 steps).


This can be better understood by recognizing the distinction between positive law and moral law…

Read 1 Cor 5:13 is the general equity of Deut 22:21

The Republication Debate Gets Muddy [Brandon Adams]

Rare photo of Moses at Sinai, republished exclusively for ConfessingBaptist.com

Brandon Adams at Contrast attempts to clear up some confusion for those who are finding it difficult to follow what’s going on in the current debate over “republication” in the Mosaic covenant:

Mark Karlberg wrote an article explaining that the current Republication debate in the OPC is a debate between Meredith Kline’s covenant theology and Richard Gaffin’s (note: Not between Kline and Murray).


Mark Jones responded, in scorn. But Jones’ reply was revealing, and it confirmed exactly what Karlberg said.


To clarify, there are at least 3 different groups involved in the debate:

Group Adamic Mosaic WCF
1 meritorious works grace through faith correct
2 meritorious works meritorious works (for typological land) incorrect
3 grace through faith grace through faith incorrect

So when Karlberg says this is a debate between Gaffin’s view and Kline’s view, and he says Kline represents historic reformed orthodoxy, he is correct (in part). Gaffin’s view that the Adamic covenant was not meritorious is not orthodox. (However, some of Kline’s particulars on the Adamic covenant are also not representative of WCF: see comment box)


But Karlberg is incorrect if he means that Kline’s view of the Mosaic covenant represents WCF. It does not…

Read the rest here, including a pertinent quote from Sam Waldron.