The Klinean republication view teaches that man was in covenant with God at the very moment of creation. This is an important shift from the traditional viewpoint. Ontological considerations demand that there be at least a logical distinction (rather than a chronological or historical sequence) between God's creating man and his entering into covenant with him. The republication teaching now erases this confessional distinction (which is based upon the "great disproportion" between the Creator and creature) and thereby turns God's providential work of establishing the covenant into an aspect of the work of creation. Thus, we may say that the two distinct acts have been conflated or collapsed into essentially one act in this new view. ... Thus, man's covenantal status seems to "trump" his creaturely status. (Andrew M. Elma et al, Moses and Merit, 61)
One major critique leveled against the "Klinean view of republication" is that Klineans conflate creation and covenant into one act, which results in the erasure of the Creator-creature distinction. Such a critique really sound strange, for even if it were one act, how exactly does one go from "God's act of establishing the covenant as an aspect of the work of creation" to "denial of the Creator-creature distinction"? Do the critics understand the view of covenant held by Klineans? Covenants ARE themselves condenscension; we have no access to the naked God (nudus Deus) and the very point of covenants is that they are condescension from the Creator God to His creatures. As the Westminster Confession of Faith states:
The distance between God and the creature is go great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto Him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of Him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which He has been pleased to express by way of covenant (WCF 7.1)
By stating that Man is created in covenant, the Creator-creature distinction is not eliminated but rather established. Only with creatures (and creation) does God relate by means of covenants.
However, that Klineans only believe that there is only one act is itself not established. For the issue is whether the two, creation and covenants, are distinguishable, not whether they are separable. The many quotes the authors come up with only show that Klineans deny that the two can be separated; it did not say that the two cannot be distinguished. For example, David VanDrunen wrote in the maligned book The Law is Not of Faith that Klineans refuse "to separate the act of creation in the image of God from the establishment of the covenant with Adam" (VanDrunen, "Natural Law," in Bryan D Estelle et al., The Law is Not of Faith, 291). Note that it said "separate," not "distinguish." Is it possible that some Klineans refuse to distinguish between Creation and Covenant? Perhaps, but the point is that the idea that Man is created in covenant does not imply that there is only one act, only that the two acts are so closely tied that they exist together.
Man is created as a covenant creature, although we acknowledge that the formal giving and establishing of covenants occur later after creation. As this is the main charge of the 3 authors, it is clear that they have not adequately represented Kline and Klineans.