Thursday, March 11, 2010

Rom. 2:13, the Covenant of Works, and the eisegetical reasoning of the NPP and FV paradigms

When one jettisons the concept of the Covenant of Works, inevitably some form of unorthodoxy will come up. The denial of the plain reading of Rom. 2 probably serves as the best illustration, with peoples and movements as diverse as John Piper, the FV (Federal Vision) and NPP (New Perspective on Paul) coming up with their strange ideas of what they think Rom. 2 actually teaches. For Piper, it is the idea of "Future Grace", a concept which is self-contradictory at best, and borders on serious error at worst. In the case of the FVers, obedience is a work that does indeed saves — that "truly responding to the Law (the Word) in faith does justify" (Schlissel, 260), as the review in the Trinity Review quotes.

In this blog post, WSC grad Joshua Martin briefly addresses the text of Rom. 2:13 in context and show what is the true teaching of this verse over and against the mangled interpretations offered by others. As Martin states:

Some find in this verse the doctrine of justification by works plus faith, while others – rightly insisting that justification is by faith alone (Rom 3:28, et al.) – understand the Apostle to be speaking of works as the fruit of faith (i.e. justification is by faith alone, but that faith is never alone in the person justified.). Both approaches miss the Apostle Paul’s point entirely.

... Paul is not here discussing the relationship of works and saving faith. He approaches this subject in chapters 6 and 7. His topic is the condemnation of the law and verse 13 does not represent a parenthetical comment on another subject, but it is rather the crux of the matter.

...

At last we arrive at verse 13 where Paul argues that it is the “doers of the law who will be justified.” Paul’s point here is not to safeguard the doctrine of justification by faith from the error of antinomianism. Paul has not even mentioned justification by faith! He does not even begin to address the gospel in general, the atonement of Christ, or justification by faith until the pivotal point in chapter three.

...

(Bold added)

It seems that many people need to be taught how to read the Bible in sequence, and to be reminded that chapter 2 is to be read after chapter 1, and verse 20 after verse 19. The Bible is not a cookbook or life manual or a reference book of doctrinal formula or anything else, but it is written to be read in the way it is written - sequentially chapter by chapter, verse by verse. This is incidentally why expository preaching is the best method for revealing to God's people what God has actually said in His Word, as such is more conducive for bringing out the truths in God's Word and allow the Spirit to speak to us without the interference of men. The preacher is to be God's instrument so that the Spirit can speak to us through the Word preached, not to be philosophers offering their "theological" opinions and lessons in moralism and as such obscure the plain teachings in God's holy, authoritative and perspicuous Word.

[HT: Heidelblog]

25 comments:

Beng said...

Thanks. A useful insight.

PuritanReformed said...

@SB:

you're very welcome.

Pneumatic Christian said...

You said:
"When one jettisons the concept of the Covenant of Works, inevitably some form of unorthodoxy will come up. The denial of the plain reading of Rom. 2 probably serves as the best illustration, with peoples and movements as diverse as John Piper, the FV (Federal Vision) and NPP (New Perspective on Paul) coming up with their strange ideas of what they think Rom. 2 actually teaches."

I disagree with your first statement that "When one jettisons the concept of the Covenant of Works, inevitably some form of unorthodoxy will come up." And I disagree that Rom. 2:13 has anything at all to do with the covenant of works.

The quotes which you offered in support of the idea that Rom. 2:13 is an illustration of your thesis that the passage has something to do with the covenant of works, say nothing of the kind. In fact they say just the opposite. They show that Romans 2 is talking about the failure and inability of the law to justify. How is that an illustration that if you depart from the covenant of works you will fall into unorthodoxy?

If you want to prove to people that departing from the covenant of works is heresy, then I suggest that you do a study on the covenant of works, and prove it exegetically from scripture, and not from the opinions of men. I tried doing that once, and I found it to be an impossible task, since the doctrine of a covenant of works is not found in scripture, but is a deduction and insertion by creative and speculative theologians.

Thanks for keeping an interesting blog.

(By the way, the early primitive Baptist's who wrote a confession in 1644, did not believe in a covenant of works doctrine. That doctrine snuck in much later in 1689 when they adopted a new confession that was adopted almost verbatim from the Westminster Confession.) Heresy always has subtle ways of seducing God's people, and embracing a non-biblical doctrine, and putting it into a statement of faith, is clear proof of this.

PuritanReformed said...

@Pneumatic Christian:

>They show that Romans 2 is talking about the failure and inability of the law to justify.

OK, please interpret what does Rom. 2:6-10 teaches. Is it true that "God will render to everyone according to his works"?

>How is that an illustration that if you depart from the covenant of works you will fall into unorthodoxy?

Again, please offer an interpretation of Rom. 2:6-10 and 13 too. Perhaps you may want to take into account N.T. Wright's or even John Piper's interpretation of the passage?


>then I suggest that you do a study on the covenant of works, and prove it exegetically from scripture, and not from the opinions of men


I have done so in various articles. See here, here and here.


>I tried doing that once, and I found it to be an impossible task, since the doctrine of a covenant of works is not found in scripture, but is a deduction and insertion...

Well, I at least do not find it impossible, so we can discuss the issue from Scripture here. As for deduction, the WCF states:

Chapter I: Of the Holy Scripture
Para VI. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men ...
(Bold added)

Logical deductions are just as authoritative as any other teachings of Scripture. To say otherwise is misology and a fulfilment of 2 Peter 2:12a (irrataionality is not of God and a symptom of a mind not in full submision to God). Even more pertinent here is that the worst misologists are not consistent in their denial of logical deductions. At the very least, they deduced their salvation from the text of Scripture, athough none of them can find the proposition that "I (name of person) have been saved" in the text of Scripture.

As for the issue of primitive versus particular/reformed Baptists, I'll leave you Baptists to settle your in-house debate.

Pneumatic Christian said...

PART ONE OF A 2PART POST

I am fully aware of the Presbyterian position which you state, and I recognize that the origin of many of the theories is based upon the law of Necessary Consequences. I believe however, that you are misrepresenting me, and most Baptist's, when you say that we practice misology. We do believe that in certain cases Necessary Logical Consequences must be used when developing an understanding of Biblical doctrines. We would not adhere to the doctrines of "The Trinity", or "The Sunday Sabbath", or many other doctrines, if we were, (as you imply), misologists, who deny logical and rational conclusions. That is an very unfair accusation which you make. And to compare us with the "brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed" in 2Pet. 2:12, is most ridiculous, and shows a lack of sensitivity to good Christian people who hold slightly differing viewpoints. Just because we don't agree with you, does not mean that we reject logic and are reprobate as 2Pet.2:12 says. Come on. I know that you have better spiritual judgment than that. Nor does it mean that we are "irrational and have minds that are not in full submission to God". Why would you even say such a hateful thing?

You seem intent on demanding that I interpret Rom. 2:6-10,13; but I'm not the one trying to prove that it teaches a covenant of works...You are! You are the one who said: "When one jettisons the concept of the Covenant of Works, inevitably some form of unorthodoxy will come up." And you are the one who needs to prove your thesis, not me. I would suggest that you use Rom. 5:12-19, as a better passage to justify your doctrine, because at least there it speaks directly of Adam and how he brought sin into the world. Rom. 2:6-13 says nothing like that. My simple explanation of Rom. 2, is that it does not refer to Adam at all, nor to any kind of covenant of works. Nor does this position open up the door for "some form of unorthodoxy". That is your position, and that is what you need to prove, and did not prove.

Pneumatic Christian said...

PART 2 OF A 2 PART POST

In Romans 2 God is discussing the people who "do by nature the things contained in the law" (Rom. 2:14). This is not a discussion of a covenant made with Adam. Frankly, I cannot see how anyone would derive that, even by logical deduction, from this passage. It simply is not there, not even in an implied sense.

As far as your statement that "Logical deductions are just as authoritative as any other teachings of Scripture." That is not true in all cases. Logical deductions are not always JUST AS AUTHORITATIVE as the plain teachings of scripture. I certainly have a problem with unequivocally making a blanket statement like that. Even a brief study of "historical theology" will show that over the centuries hundreds of heretical views were deduced through logical deductions. Baptist's would site the case of applying the Abrahamic covenant to the New Testament doctrine of Baptism. This is one such case, derived by logical deduction and not by the express teaching of scripture.It is a logical deduction that if the sign and the seal of the covenant with Abraham was circumcision, then obviously that corresponds to the NT covenant seal of Baptism. This is a logical deduction which we highly disagree with, especially when you consider that circumcision was for male children only, whereas Baptism is for females as well. It is a stretch of the imagination, and of logic to say that when females are baptized they are receiving circumcision.

So while I do not dispute that there are cases where valid logical deductions are to be used (I am not a misologist,as you stated); I don't think that all cases without exception are justified, or are of equal authority with scripture. To say such a thing is to open up the floodgates for all kind of strange and wacky doctrines, and to seriously undermine the superior authority of the Bible over human rationalism.

Now as far as your response being an attempt to discuss my objections from scripture, it did not address anything scripturally. You quoted the WCF. You advised me to read Piper and N.T. Wrights interpretation. You referred me to three articles which you wrote, none of which address my objections. You said that you would discuss the issue, from scripture here, but you did not do that. Then you pooh-poohed away my objection by insulting me and saying that I am a reprobate who thinks irrationally, because my mind is not in full submission to God. In short, you did not answer my objections, instead you used sophomoric responses to justify your opinions.

I'm glad you maintain your blog. But I am saddened by this response. Please show a little more Christian decency in the future. You will drive away good people, if you continually insult them, as you did me, and the other Baptist's who hold differing viewpoints.

PuritanReformed said...

@Pneumatic Christian:

I am sorry you think I was insulting you. What I said was that misology is evidence of the reprobate mind (quoting 2 Peter 2:12 as an example of such), as evidenced by the phrase "to say otherwise". I think that it would really help if you were to read what I have actually said.

PuritanReformed said...

[cont]

On the topic of logical deductions, you are confusing logical arguments with logical deductions. Just because an argument is presented does not a deduction make. A deductive argument if sound would mean that the conclusion is just as true as the premise (Logic 101). In such an event, the conclusion is true if the premises are true and the argument is valid.


>Even a brief study of "historical theology" will show that over the centuries hundreds of heretical views were deduced through logical deductions

Actually no. Hundreds of heretical views were reasoned via rationalistic argumentations. But none of them are logically sound.


>Baptist's would site [sic] the case of applying the Abrahamic covenant to the New Testament doctrine of Baptism. This is one such case, derived by logical deduction and not by the express teaching of scripture

It is not derived from simple logical deduction. Such is a complex argument of which the details I am not going into here. While I am personally convinced that the argument is sound, it is much more complex than how you make it out to be.

>It is a stretch of the imagination, and of logic to say that when females are baptized they are receiving circumcision

If this simplistic form of one to one correspondence is what you think the traditional Covenant Theology pedobaptist position teaches, you are sadly mistaken.


>So while I do not dispute that there are cases where valid logical deductions are to be used (I am not a misologist,as you stated); I don't think that all cases without exception are justified, or are of equal authority with scripture. To say such a thing is to open up the floodgates for all kind of strange and wacky doctrines, and to seriously undermine the superior authority of the Bible over human rationalism.

I am glad you claim that you are not a misologist. So could you please operate under the correct understanding and deinition of what a logical deduction is?

PuritanReformed said...

@Pneumatic Christian:

As for the burden of proof, it seems you have not checked the links I have linked to, have you?

The articles I have wrote proved the Covenant of Works. If you disagree, you would have to do more than just voice it. Prove why my exegesis of the verses are wrong and what is wrong with the articles. Mere dismissal as "none of which addresses my position" is not a proper argument of any sort.

Pneumatic Christian said...

I truly do appreciate you taking the time to discuss and try to answer my objections. I did read every word of the articles which you linked, I carefully read every word that you actually said, and I found that they did not address my objection, just as you have still not addressed my objection. My original objection has not changed it is still an objection to your statement that: "When one jettisons the concept of the Covenant of Works, inevitably some form of unorthodoxy will come up. The denial of the plain reading of Rom. 2 probably serves as the best illustration."

I object, because many orthodox scholars do not embrace the concept of the covenant of works, which you say they have jettisoned. They have not jettisoned it, if they have never embraced it. And Romans 2 says nothing about it. That is my objection. Why can't you just explain your statement?

The articles you sent me to do not explain how failure to hold to a covenant of works creates unorthodoxy. My view is that reading a covenant of works into Romans 2 is itself unorthodox. I would say the same for reading preconceived notions into any passage. It is called Isogogics, and I reject that. Even you, in your original post said: "The preacher is to be God's instrument so that the Spirit can speak to us through the Word preached, not to be philosophers offering their "theological" opinions and lessons in moralism and as such obscure the plain teachings in God's holy, authoritative and perspicuous Word." That is exactly what you have done. You have offered your "theological opinions", and in doing so, on this issue, you have "obscured the plain teachings in God's holy, authoritative and perspicuous word" (specifically Rom.2).

I'll quote you, because you don't think that I understand logic 101. You said: "A deductive argument if sound would mean that the conclusion is just as true as the premise (Logic 101). In such an event, the conclusion is true if the premises are true and the argument is valid." That is exactly the issue. Your premise is not valid because it is not true, so your conclusion is equally invalid. Your premise is that the doctrine of a covenant of works is orthodoxy, and your conclusion is that "jettisoning it" is unorthodoxy. That is what I am disagreeing with. Then, to prove your premise you site Rom.2 which say's absolutely nothing about Adam. You have not proven the validity of your premise by using the chapters and verses you have chosen. That's why I suggested that you use Rom.5:12-19. That is plainly the better passage to try to base your thesis upon.

You are absolutely correct that I oversimplified the Paedobaptist position. That's because I did not want this to turn into a discussion about that, I only offered that as an illustration of questionable views based on logical deduction. But sense I have to go back to logic 101 anyway, forget that I ever gave that illustration.

I don't need to address my issues with the articles you have sent me to, because you have not answered my issues with the post we have been talking about. I'm not asking you to prove covenant theology to me, I am asking you to prove how jettisoning it results in unorthodoxy. That's what you said, and that's what I have been talking about right along.It is you, who has not read what I have written, and not the other way around. Please just address my objection. Oh, I forgot, "sticking to the topic" is part of logic 101, so I better go back to class now, I might miss more stuff and become more ignorant.

PuritanReformed said...

@Pneumatic Christian:

>I truly do appreciate you taking the time to discuss and try to answer my objections.

You're welcome.

>In such an event, the conclusion is true if the premises are true and the argument is valid." That is exactly the issue. Your premise is not valid because it is not true, so your conclusion is equally invalid.

So you are questioning both the validity and the truthfulness of the argument? Fair enough, I did not notice initially what you were actually objecting to.

So can I confirm with you that this is your point of contention:

"When one jettisons the concept of the Covenant of Works, inevitably some form of unorthodoxy will come up. The denial of the plain reading of Rom. 2 probably serves as the best illustration."


Actually, there are two arguments made here. The arguments are as follows:

==============

P1 (implicit): The concept of the CoW is vitally important for a well-rounded soteriology
Intermediate conclusion (IC) 1: If the CoW is denied, there would be deficiency in one's soteriology

P2 (implicit): A deficient soteriology would inevitably give rise to some form of unorthodoxy
Conclusion (C) 1 (from IC 1 and P2): If the CoW is denied, some form of unorthodoxy would develop.


P3: The passage in Rom. 2 teaches the CoW

P4 (implicit): There is a strong empirical correlation between a denial of the CoW and the denial that the passage in Rom. 2 teaches the CoW
IC 4 (from P4): Therefore, a very good indicator of the denial of the CoW is the denial that the passage in Rom.2 teaches the CoW

C2 (from P3 and IC4): A good indicator of the denial of the CoW is the denial of the plain teaching of Rom. 2

=====

With regards to the validity of the arugments, I challenge you to point out any, as I am convinced there are none.

Your main points of contention would probably be the denial of P1 and P3. With regards to P3, I have proven that, your objections notwithstanding. Why don't you address my exegesis of Rom. 2:6-10 for example?

As for P1, I would elaborate on it in the next comment.

PuritanReformed said...

From the previous comment, P1 = The concept of the CoW is vitally important for a well-rounded soteriology

Here, I would create one such argument to prove this issue.

=====
(New argument)
P1: In justification, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to sinners, and their sins are imputed to Christ (double impoutation theory based primarily upon 2 Cor. 5:21)

P2: God as the Creator cannot share His righteousness with a creature (Creator/creature distinction)

P3: God is immutable and perfect
IC 1 (from P3): It is impossible to add or subtract from divine righteousness

P4: Christ merited righteousness for His people (part of P1)
IC 2 (based upon IC 1, P2 and P4): the righteousness which Christ merits cannot be a divine righteousness in its ontology.

P5: Human righteousness before God doesn't exist except in the context of a covenant. (cf Lk. 17:10)
IC 3 (from IC 2 and P5): Christ cannot merit human righteousness for His people except in the context of a covenant

P6: The only covenant where righteousness can be merited before God is the Covenant of Works
IC 4 (from IC 3 and P6): Christ can merit righteousness for His people only in the context of the Covenant of Works
IC 5 (from P4 and IC4): Only in the context of the Covenant of Work can Christ merit righteousness for His people
IC 6 (from IC 5): Only in the context of the CoW is active imputation possible

P7: The doctrine of active imputation is vital for soteriology
Conclusion (from IC 6 and P7): The doctrine of the CoW is vital for soteriology.

========

Note that I said "in its ontology". Nobody is disputing that the righteousness of Christ as well as that which is imputed to us has its origins in God.

PuritanReformed said...

On other issues:

>You are absolutely correct that I oversimplified the Paedobaptist position. That's because I did not want this to turn into a discussion about that, I only offered that as an illustration of questionable views based on logical deduction.

If you cannot even show the logical form of the argumentation, then it is pretty useless to state that they are "questionable views based on logical deduction" since you cannot even show what logical deductive arguments you have in mind.

I know you are a credobaptist, but this is not the issue here. If Scripture teaches pedobaptism, you are not allowed to give the excuse that "they are based upon logical deductions from Scripture and not Scripture". Ditto of course for credobaptism. Whicever position the Scripture teaches we are obliged to obey. Closed to all is the argument that would say "If a sound logical deductive argument is presented to prove pedobaptism (or credobaptism), I would just ignore it and attack the very idea that logical deductive arguments are as authoritative as Scripture itself". We believe in Sola Scriptura (or at least hopefully you do), and we are to conform our doctrines according to Scripture, not the other way around.

Pneumatic Christian said...

PART ONE
Thank you for some really well thought out posts. You are finally correct about my contention. "When one jettisons the concept of the Covenant of Works, inevitably some form of unorthodoxy will come up. The denial of the plain reading of Rom. 2 probably serves as the best illustration." I'm glad you at last hit the nail on the head. It took you a long time to understand the issue. Now I'm glad I didn't give up on you too soon. Had I done that, I would not have heard your justifications for your ideas.

You are correct: "With regards to the validity of the arguments, I challenge you to point out any, as I am convinced there are none."

Your propositions are correct, and your conclusions are consistent with your a-priori beliefs. But they are not consistent with the Bible, and that is exactly where the problem lies.

"We believe in Sola Scriptura (or at least hopefully you do), and we are to conform our doctrines according to Scripture, not the other way around."

That is true, so lets see if your propositions and conclusions conform to Scripture, or if they are the other way around, being artificially forced into the scriptures.

"P1 - P1 (implicit): The concept of the CoW is vitally important for a well-rounded soteriology. Intermediate conclusion (IC) 1: If the CoW is denied, there would be deficiency in one's soteriology."

Jesus said that a well rounded Soteriology is based upon Himself and not based upon Adam. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (Jn. 14:6). This is confirmed in Act 4:12: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

In P1 you are confusing Soteriology with Harmartiology. CoW concerns the entrance of sin into the world, and not Salvation from sin. Adam has nothing to do with Soteriology.

The Bible is clearly at variance with your very first proposition. Since this is your primary thesis, it makes your other propositions and conclusions wrong also. For instance:
"P2 (implicit): A deficient soteriology would inevitably give rise to some form of unorthodoxy
Conclusion (C) 1 (from IC 1 and P2): If the CoW is denied, some form of unorthodoxy would develop."

Because you are involving Adam in your soteriology by forcing a CoW into your propositions and deductions you are creating your own unorthodoxy, and are not in line with your own professed Sola Scripura.

"P3: The passage in Rom. 2 teaches the CoW"

This proposition you did not prove. Romans 2 is speaking about man's condemnation under the Law: "For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified (vs.11-13).

That this is the moral Law (10 Commandments) is clear from verses 22-23. "Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?"

There is nothing said in Romans 2 about Adam or a CoW. But clearly all men stand condemned because of the moral law. You have inserted both a CoW into this passage and have made the passage into a primary Soteriological passage when it is primarily a passage of condemnation and judgment. Misplacing the emphasis of a passage is not a good way to handle a text.

Pneumatic Christian said...

PART Two
In an earlier post I made the statement that in examining historical Theology many heresies came through logical deduction. you responded to this statement by saying: "Hundreds of heretical views were reasoned via rationalistic argumentations. But none of them are logically sound."

What I showed in the last post was that your logic was absolutely sound, from your a-priori position, but unsound from the standard of Scripture. So, it is possible to think in a logically sound manner, and still deduce heresy. That is why the standard is "Scripture alone" and not "correct logic".

"P4 (implicit): There is a strong empirical correlation between a denial of the CoW and the denial that the passage in Rom. 2 teaches the CoW
IC 4 (from P4): Therefore, a very good indicator of the denial of the CoW is the denial that the passage in Rom.2 teaches the CoW

C2 (from P3 and IC4): A good indicator of the denial of the CoW is the denial of the plain teaching of Rom. 2"

These propositions and conclusions cannot be valid, just like the other ones are not valid, because they stand on the shoulders of your first proposition, which I just showed is wrong from Scripture.

I sense that you are confused about people who deny the CoW, which you are so used to inserting into the Scriptures. We have no problem believing and teaching what the Bible clearly says, that all men stand "CONDEMNED IN ADAM"(1Cor. 15:22). What we do have a problem with is with confusing things that differ. Such as confusing the Mosaic economy and it's laws, with the Adamic administration and it's Law (Rom. 5:14). These things should not be confused, and that is clearly what you have done with Romans 2. It is speaking of the Mosaic administration and not the Adamic.This clearly addresses your question:"Why don't you address my exegesis of Rom. 2:6-10 for example?" That is what I have just done. I have shown how you confuse Harmartiology with Soteriology, and How you insert the CoW and do not actually deduce it from the Scriptural passage under consideration.

Pneumatic Christian said...

PART THREE
Moving along to your new contentions.

"(New argument)
P1: In justification, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to sinners, and their sins are imputed to Christ (double imputation theory based primarily upon 2 Cor. 5:21)

P2: God as the Creator cannot share His righteousness with a creature (Creator/creature distinction)

P3: God is immutable and perfect
IC 1 (from P3): It is impossible to add or subtract from divine righteousness

P4: Christ merited righteousness for His people (part of P1)
IC 2 (based upon IC 1, P2 and P4): the righteousness which Christ merits cannot be a divine righteousness in its ontology."

All these statements are correct, and I have no argument with any of them.

"P5: Human righteousness before God doesn't exist except in the context of a covenant. (cf Lk. 17:10)"

Please show how Lk. 17:10 has anything to do with either human righteousness or a covenant. The verse is speaking of obedience to commands. Obedience to the law is what constitutes human righteousness, and this may or may not be a covenant arrangement, which you have yet to demonstrate.

Rom 3:19-23 is the definitive passage that expresses and explains the Biblical doctrine at this point. It does not mention a CoW or any kind of covenant for that matter.

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."

The Bible contradicts you again. "the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe." You say that "Human righteousness before God doesn't exist except in the context of a covenant." But the Bible says it exists only in the context of faith in a person. Can't you see how you are too preoccupied with the concept of a CoW, and how you are deducting by way of insertion, and not deducting by way of reading the actual words of the Bible passages under review?

Pneumatic Christian said...

PART THREEsms
"P6: The only covenant where righteousness can be merited before God is the Covenant of Works
IC 4 (from IC 3 and P6): Christ can merit righteousness for His people only in the context of the Covenant of Works
IC 5 (from P4 and IC4): Only in the context of the Covenant of Work can Christ merit righteousness for His people
IC 6 (from IC 5): Only in the context of the CoW is active imputation possible"

More insertion into Scripture. Christ merited righteousness for His people by OBEDIENCE TO THE MORAL LAW, and not by an imaginary CoW.
Rom 5:19 "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."

"Only in the context of the CoW is active imputation possible".

Once again you contradict the Scriptures which teach that active imputation is only possible through "the forgiveness and covering of sin" (Ps.31:1-2).

"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity"

Imputation, according to the Scriptures, rest's only upon Atonement (Isa. 53:1-12), only upon the active and passive obedience of Christ (Phil. 2:8). But you say it rests only upon a CoW. You are so far off on this that you cannot see how seriously you have been blinded because of your consistent logic. So, it is possible to think in a logically sound manner, and still deduce heresy. That is why the standard is "Scripture alone" and not "correct logic". You have done just that.

Pneumatic Christian said...

PART FIVE

P7: The doctrine of active imputation is vital for soteriology"

Correct.

"Conclusion (from IC 6 and P7): The doctrine of the CoW is vital for soteriology."

Incorrect. See notes above on inserting your a-priori into passages where it says nothing about a Covenant of Works. Also see comments showing that your CoW confuses Harmartiology with Soteriology.

I'm ignoring your comments on Paedobaptism and Credobaptism, because they are not germane to this discussion, and I requested that you ignore my original illustration for that very reason.

I do realize, that you put a lot of thought into your answers. Thank you for that. But on this issue, you are way too caught up on trying to prove your consistency of logic and reasoning. You should be more concerned with proving that your ideas are indeed Biblical. "We believe in Sola Scriptura (or at least hopefully you do), and we are to conform our doctrines according to Scripture, not the other way around."

God Bless you
Earl

PuritanReformed said...

@Pneumatic:

>But they are not consistent with the Bible, and that is exactly where the problem lies.

We'll see.

>Jesus said that a well rounded Soteriology is based upon Himself and not based upon Adam. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (Jn. 14:6). &c

Wrong. We are not Barthians who employ their en Christou formula everywhere in Scripture contrary to the teaching of the actual text of Scripture, or at least I hope you are not. While Christ is the center of redemption, Scripture is the final standard of what constitutes "center" and what does not.

Furthermore, it is a straw man to say that salvation is based upon Adam. What I DID say was that it is required for a well-rounded soteriology, not that it is the center of soteriology. According to your "reasoning", it is wrong to say that the Trinity is required for a well-rounded soteriology.

>In P1 you are confusing Soteriology with Harmartiology.

The categories of theology are not as separate from each other as you presuppose.

>Adam has nothing to do with Soteriology

That is what you claim. You have not proved it at all.

>The Bible is clearly at variance with your very first proposition. Since this is your primary thesis, it makes your other propositions and conclusions wrong also

You obviously do not understand how logicical arguments work. Just because one premise is wrong (assuming you are correct) does not make the other premises wrong.

>Because you are involving Adam in your soteriology by forcing a CoW into your propositions and deductions you are creating your own unorthodoxy, and are not in line with your own professed Sola Scripura.

You are committing the fallacy of petitio principii. You assume without proof that Adam is not involved in soteriology, and then use that to say that therefore CoW is wrong.

>This proposition you did not prove. &c

Can you please stop your ipse dixit argumentation? I have already told you twice that I have addressed the argument in a link I have provided. Both times you have not interacted with the argument at all.

Please exegete Rom. 2:6-10, and address my exegesis of the passage, if you want me to treat any further points you want to make of Rom. 2 seriously.

PuritanReformed said...

[cont]

>What I showed in the last post was that your logic was absolutely sound, from your a-priori position, but unsound from the standard of Scripture

You show your ignorance of logic by this illogical statement. May I remind you that arguments are sound if and only if the premises are true and the conclusions necessarily flow from the premises?

If an argument is unsound fromm the standard of Scripture, it is unsound regardless of whatever standard you use. This is basic informal logic, and I do not think it is wise to make this place a lesson in logic. Take up a basic textbook in logic if you don't understand what I mean.


>That is why the standard is "Scripture alone" and not "correct logic".

Logic is a method, not a standard.

>These propositions and conclusions cannot be valid, just like the other ones are not valid, because they stand on the shoulders of your first proposition, which I just showed is wrong from Scripture.

Do you even understand the concept of validity? Validity means that the conclusion necessarily flow from the premises. The premises may not be true, but if the conclusions (even if false) flow from the premises, the argument is valid.

This argument is valid, because it follows the argument form of [A = B', B = C, therefore A=C']. This btw is Aristotelian logical notation.

>I sense that you are confused about people who deny the CoW, which you are so used to inserting into the Scriptures. &c

You are ignorant of the basic rules of logic, and have shown yourself incapable of addressing the arguments I have advanced.

Besides, I have not even addressed the issues between the different historical Covenants. You are the one who brought up the issue of the Adamic and Mosaic covenants, which are not relevant at all in this case. Your bringing them up commits the logical fallacy of the red herring.

>I have shown how you confuse Harmartiology with Soteriology

No, you are the one who is postulating a sharp divide between Harmartiology and Soteriology, as if God and His truth is so sharply dichotomized. It is you who insist on creating division where none exists.

>How you insert the CoW and do not actually deduce it from the Scriptural passage under consideration.

.... and all the while you refuse to see how I have proved it in Rom. 2:6-10, thinking that ignoring the exegesis I have presented while continually asserting without proof that I did not actually deduce it from Scripture is a sufficient answer.

If you refuse to address the exegesis provided, it shows you are not actually desiring to interact with Scripture but insist on imposing your system on the plain teachings of Scripture.

PuritanReformed said...

[cont]

>Please show how Lk. 17:10 has anything to do with either human righteousness or a covenant

Lk. 17:10 proves that no human can merit with God. Therefore, no human righteousness is possible with God. So how then can huam righteousness be achieved before God? Only in the context of a covenant whereby God promsies reward for obedience (ie merit).

>Obedience to the law is what constitutes human righteousness

Yet Lk. 17:10 states that even when we have obeyed God, we have only done what is required, and thus we have not merited anything with God, much less gain righteousness. Thus, obedience to the law can never constitute human righteousness before God.

>Rom 3:19-23 is the definitive passage that expresses and explains the Biblical doctrine at this point

No, it is not. Rom. 3:19-23 talks about the Covenant of Grace in it implementation. It does not state anything about the rest of soteriology.

>The Bible contradicts you again. "the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe." You say that "Human righteousness before God doesn't exist except in the context of a covenant." But the Bible says it exists only in the context of faith in a person

You err because you know neither the Scriptures nor have reasoned properly concerning this doctrine. Of course the passage talks about the righteousness of God, but where does it come from the passage does not state. It assumes that this righteousness of God exists, and that it is given to all who believe in it by faith. But nowhere in that passage is it stated how this righteousness came about to exist.

>Can't you see how you are too preoccupied with the concept of a CoW, and how you are deducting by way of insertion, and not deducting by way of reading the actual words of the Bible passages under review?


No, because you are choosing the wrong passage which talks about something else altogether.

PuritanReformed said...

[cont]

>More insertion into Scripture. Christ merited righteousness for His people by OBEDIENCE TO THE MORAL LAW, and not by an imaginary CoW.

You are the one who have not reasoned properly. Why should Christ merit anything by obedience to the moral law? Upon what basis can He do so? If you say He merits because He is God, then you are wrong because God's righteousness is perfect and cannot be added or subtracted. If you say that He merits because He obeys them perfectly, then you are again in error because mere perfect obedience is what is required cf Lk. 17:10, and cannot merit anything with God. Obeying the law is merely doing what is required. What righteousness is there for a servant to obey her master?

>Rom 5:19 "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."

Of course this is true, but upon what basis can the obedience exists to make many righteous? You are merely asserting that this is so, yet Lk. 17:10 states that it cannot be so. The only way to solve the dilemna is to bring in the CoW. Since you categorically reject it, you are forced to assume that obedience to the law can in fact merit before God, contradicting Lk. 17:10 in the process.

>Once again you contradict the Scriptures which teach that active imputation is only possible through "the forgiveness and covering of sin" (Ps.31:1-2).


Once again you do not even understand the doctrine you embrace. Forgiveness and covering of sin has to do with passive imputation. Active imputation is the imputing of a positively perfect righteousness to those who believe.

>Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity"
>
>Imputation, according to the Scriptures, rest's only upon Atonement

That passage from Ps. 32 talks only about passive imputation, not active imputation. It seems to me that you do not actually know and believe in active imputation.

>it is possible to think in a logically sound manner, and still deduce heresy

Once again, that is an illogical statement. It only shows you do not even understand logic. To say that one can think is a logicallly sound manner and still deduce heresy is to say that God is the author of heresy! I reject this blasphemous conclusion of your illoigcal statement.

>is why the standard is "Scripture alone" and not "correct logic".

Once again, logic is a method, not a standard.

PuritanReformed said...

>But on this issue, you are way too caught up on trying to prove your consistency of logic and reasoning. You should be more concerned with proving that your ideas are indeed Biblical.

You here posit a false dichotomy between the standards of Scriptures and the method of logic. Yet Scripture denies such a false dichotomy. Scripture is logical (cf Jn. 1:1, 14, 2 Tim. 3:16-17, 2 Peter 2:12), and to deny that is to deny the God who is the author of both.

Pneumatic Christian said...

Since you continue to insult me, accusing me of "knowing nothing of logic", of using ipse dixit arguments,and saying "You are ignorant of the basic rules of logic, and have shown yourself incapable of addressing the arguments I have advanced"; since you have reiterated this vindictiveness, and have justified yourself and your buddy Aristotle, I will no longer be visiting your blog. You may have won an argument, but you have lost a friend. I hope that you will be happy with yourself, when everyone else has left you alone, because of your pride and stubborn refusal to submit your "method" to scripture. The logic of scripture does not belong to your pagan buddy Aristotle, it belongs to Jesus Christ as you yourself have acknowledged in your reference to Jn.1:1,14. He is God's logic, and as long as you reject Him in favor of your buddy Aristotle, you have nothing more to say that I am interested in hearing. Have fun alone. I will not be returning. Earl

PuritanReformed said...

@Pneumatic:

woah, so emotional all of a sudden?

> ... you continue to insult me, accusing me of "knowing nothing of logic", ...

Stating a fact does not qualify as insult. Ask any logicians if you even understand what logic is.

>have justified yourself and your buddy Aristotle

Chill it.

> You may have won an argument, but you have lost a friend

We were friends? Since when?

>I hope that you will be happy with yourself, when everyone else has left you alone

Were you of the opinion that I am writing to make you happy? Sorry to disappoint.

>because of your pride and stubborn refusal to submit your "method" to scripture

Another straw man. The method itself is epistemically a priori. There is no way one can think of being illogical without being logical about the denial of logic. There is simply no way to "submit logic to Scripture" becaus to do so you have to use logic to formulate a method of submission. Anytime you think, some form of logical process is at work (albeit not always consistently logical)

>He is God's logic, and as long as you reject Him in favor of your buddy Aristotle

So you are saying that there is no "common grace" and that any ideas named after pagans are de facto wrong? I wonder what you will do with any of your Bible translations, since the textual basis for all of them have been in the hands of some non-believers at one time or the other (for KJV, that would be Erasmas of Rottersdam).


Oh, I remember that you have not addressed Rom. 2:6-10 yet.