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Explaining the strange and mostly disingenuous non-understanding of the doctrine of the republication of the Covenant of Works on Sinai

I don't know why I do this, but this subject of the republication of the Covenant of Works on Sinai is just such basic Federal Theology, that the curious inability of certain infant baptism demanding Reformed types to grasp it suggests a bit of counter-Reformation aroma is in the room... Rev. Winzer commences:

Historical reformed theology taught the covenant of works appointed a representative head, Adam, who was placed on probation for himself and his posterity, and his fall issued in the condemnation of all who should descend from him by ordinary generation. The children of Adam are reckoned sinners by the immediate imputation of Adam's sin; they were not made sinners by their own probation and fall.

This is called stating the obvious. Thanks for the lesson, Mr. Winzer. You're making absolutely no point relevant to the subject at hand, but thanks for that basic point of Federal Theology anyhow.

The republication scheme allows a personal probation for Israel under the covenant of works, and thereby undermines the universal representative principle which is so pronounced in traditional reformed covenant theology. Says Kline, "The old covenant was law, the opposite of grace-faith, and in the postlapsarian world that meant it would turn out to be an administration of condemnation as a consequence of sinful Israel's failure to maintain the necessary meritorious obedience." He regarded Israel as undergoing its own probation, and falling in its own person, under a republished covenant of works. It was only on the basis of this personal fall of Israel that he could insist on the conclusion that the covenant made with Israel was one of works in contrast to grace: "A satisfactory explanation of Israel's fall demands works, not grace, as the controlling administrative principle." -- Meredith G. Kline, 'Answering Objections to the Covenant of Works,' in Kingdom Prologue, pp. 107-17. Available here: The Upper Register: Papers and mp3's by Lee Irons

If you don't distinguish between National Israel as prototype of the coming Messiah and individual Israelites who are fallen human beings and very much *not* prototypes of the coming Messiah. Yeah, if you don't do that then you have some degree of a point.

Here, then, is another serious departure which the modern republication theory makes from traditional reformed covenant theology. Whereas traditional reformed theology taught the universal nature of Adam's representation issuing in the condemnation of all men in him, the modern republication scheme makes Israel undergo its own probation and fall into condemnation. http://www.puritanboard.com/f31/dabney-broken-covenant-works-71844/

Rev. Winzer, in very much counter-Reformation Romanist priest mode, repeats his little poison pill word 'scheme' here.

No, Rev. Winzer, it's you who don't understand - or value - basic Federal Theology. Jesus was *born under the law.* Jesus came to fulfill what the first Adam failed to fulfill. Instead of Jesus not eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil Jesus followed 100% what that command represented, and what was republished (not reestablished as a way of salvation for individual fallen man, but simply republished) on Mt. Sinai in obviously elaborated form.

National Israel as a prototype of the coming Messiah had the same role vis-a-vis the Mosaic Covenant that the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, would have. It played out for National Israel as 'do the commands' and stay in the land, 'fail to do the commands' and get kicked out of the land. Just as it played out with pre-fallen Adam. Typically though as the prototype of the coming Messiah.

Individual Israelites were saved by faith in the coming Messiah just as we are saved by faith in the already come Messiah.

National Israel is a different player in God's plan of redemption than individual Israelites were. There are three unique players in God's plan of redemption: Adam in the Garden, National Israel, and Jesus Christ Himself. All three have 'federal head' connections, National Israel's being of the nature of a prototype of Jesus' federal headship.

The Covenant of Works, republished on Sinai, is a covenant of works for Jesus, and by that it is grace for us. I.e. in that sense it is part of the Covenant of Grace for us.

One last important point: this is all just basic Federal Theology. Those of us who can see it don't see it as controversial in any sense. It is just basic Federal Theology. Those who kick and scream and cuss and call it names like 'scheme' obviously have some other motivation. They obviously are fighting against something. And of the false teachers who attack justification by faith alone most subtly they are the very ones who deny not only a republication of the Covenant of Works, but they deny a Covenant of Works altogether. They don't want Jesus fulfilling anything for them or anybody else, because they want *all* in bondage to the death and darkness of the system of the Beast which is works righteousness. They want *you* to have to work for your salvation.

This is why the pure theology does not include infant baptism. Infant baptism downgrades and disdains not only regeneration by the word and the Spirit but the very notion - noxious to fallen man - of God being sovereign in regeneration. Once a person determines they have disdain for God being sovereign in regeneration and demands that ritual and man can and will take the place of the word and the Spirit they are then by default in the system of the Beast and little by little they will downgrade on every other Reformed doctrine central to the faith such as justification by faith alone, and the very existence of a Covenant of Works. You see it over and over and over in the Reformed paedo-baptist community. They are always leaning towards Rome, and because they don't want to come out of the closet totally they make their little stands on doctrine such as the republication of the Covenant of Work on Sinai.


Blogger c.t. said...

Though I should add that there obviously are paedo-baptistic Reformed theologians and individuals who grasp fully Federal Theology and the Covenant of Works and see the two Adams and so on. I probably shouldn't have modulated into infant baptism there, though there is a connection because many infant baptist Reformed types believe in baptismal regeneration when it comes down to it and disdain any work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, as John Owen said famously.

December 29, 2011 at 11:32 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

I will also add a little point in this discussion that some who follow it will understand: in the Bible it is usually the King who is put in focus for failing to follow the commands regarding the Mosaic Covenant. That would follow since it is National Israel that is the focus regarding those commands. Individual Israelites were saved by faith in the coming Messiah, period. So when the Nation of Israel experienced exile there were saved Israelites being exiled. They - those individual Israelites - weren't exiled because they lacked faith in the coming Messiah. They were exiled because their king(s) failed to follow the commands of the Mosaic Covenant, and all that was the playing out of National Israel-as-prototype of the coming Messiah.

December 29, 2011 at 11:38 PM  

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