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Pure Covenant - Federal - Theology really coming into focus in all its power

I found this to be on-the-mark:

Reformed Baptist Covenant Theology and Biblical Theology - Micah and Samuel Renihan

I've recently also read Brown and Keele's newly published intro to Covenant Theology titled Sacred Bond which I found to be in its own way on-the-mark and very useful for an introduction. I say in it's own way because it harps on the doctrine of infant baptism which is foreign to the Bible, and which distorts Covenant Theology.

The reason though why I found the link above on-the-mark is an understanding of Covenant Theology can be classical and pure Federal Theology without making it the servant of the unbiblical doctrine of infant baptism, and that is what the Renihans have presented. They understand historic, classical Covenant - Federal - Theology, unlike proponents of 'New Covenant Theology' or dispensationalists who have lately discovered that there are covenants in Scripture and have set out to reinvent the wheel and correct and teach everybody while treating historical Reformed covenant theology as if it doesn't exist.

Unfortunately, to disabuse paedo-baptist Reformed Christians of their belief in the doctrine of infant baptism you really have to go at it from the angle of the subject of regeneration, and they demand that subject be off limits. In fact that is where the anger of Cain rises in them (which should be a clue to them that they are off-the-mark).

Ultimately they demand that man have control of regeneration rather than God. They unconsciously detest that regeneration is monergistic. They want regeneration to be effected by man and ritual rather than the word and the Spirit. This demand is, to make an understatement, rather foundational, and leads to deadness in their churches and in their Christian lives. It also leads to an under-valuing of the word of God which manifests in many ways not least of which is a curious laziness in proclaiming it, word for word, to make the call that is potentially effectual in God's elect in the world. They tend to stay snug inside their church's four walls waiting for another birth within their congregation (with attendant baptism) to grow the visible church, or their visible church. It also causes them to look down on the Bible as if it is a mere document that needs them (scholar, pastor-scholar) more than they need it. Which places quite a filter of pride and vanity and self-will between them and the living word of God, which in turn keeps them from what regenerates when regeneration is potential in them.

A belief in infant baptism is either a direct, daylight, front-door demand for the wholly unbiblical doctrine of baptismal regeneration, or it is an indirect, night-time, back-door demand for the wholly unbiblical doctrine of baptismal regeneration. And the way they have to distort biblical doctrine (Covenant - Federal - Theology) to get it in the door amounts to false teaching, which is why they are so ever-vulnerable to attack from actual false teachers such as the current Federal Vision types (and going back in history all false teachers and teachings that ultimately want to do away with justification by faith alone). You can't be in the Covenant of Grace and not in the Covenant of Grace at the same time, boys. But to learn more on that read the link above.


Anonymous Zvonimir said...

So what Reformed Baptist church do you belong to? Oh, wait, none.

August 25, 2012 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

You're quick on the trigger.

I am in the Church of which Christ is King, Cain.

In my era churches are more worldly than the world. They are family time.

In the Bible ecclesiology and sacramentology is presented as needing to be different for different eras in the history of redemption.

Notice that the most biblical of you don't agree on church polity or the sacraments. John Calvin, John Owen, and John Bunyan. No more biblical Christians than that trio, right? And they differed on church polity and the sacraments. (I differ on the sacraments in more of a vertical sense, i.e. I am taught by the Spirit that the ritual points to something more inner and upward, but to each their own.)

House churches, cathedrals, caves (Elijah). The history of redemption calls for different approaches, and God knows His elect are not shallow and don't fear man, which means you. We fear God alone.

August 25, 2012 at 9:13 PM  

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