Friday, January 23, 2015

The Divine Decrees and the Assumption of Incompatibilism

When we get into discussion of divine decrees or what some call predestination (a term I'm increasingly uncomfortable with because of much ignorant misuse), for some reason incompatibilism (i.e., the philosophical position that holds that free will and determinism– whether that be divine determinism or otherwise– are incompatible. Under this one category falls two subcategories: Libertarianism and Strict Determinism. Strict Determinism is the philosophical position that states that since free will and determinism are incompatible and that since we know that there is determinism (whether from experience, common sense reasoning, or science), free will cannot exist. Libertarianism is Strict Determinism's counterpart and this system states that since we know the two are incompatible and since we known (through one means or another) that free will exists, determinism does not exist. However, our options are not exhausted here (even without delving more deeply into the various theories within each system).

Yes, friends. There are indeed other positions. For example, compatibilism is the philosophical position that the two (i.e., free will and determinism) are in fact compatible. I think it would be helpful not to assume that because someone is a determinist this means they also must be an incompatibilist. Yet, this assumption often dominates the conversation, especially when discussing divine providence. But, of course, this has very important non-religious implications as well. In any case, when someone says something to the extent of "Well if God predetermined that it would happen then we can't be held responsible, right? I mean, then we didn't have free will, did we?", I just want to respond with this....

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Back to the Blog

Hello, folks. It's been a while but it's good to be back. 2014 has been a good year, all things considered. I've lost a few things along the way– friends, family, memories, etc. I've also gained many things along the way– more memories, more friends, experiences, challenges, new ideas, new perspectives, etc. etc. etc. School has been tough. Applying to grad schools has also been tough in its own way. While it might be beneficial for me to discuss all that has happened in my life this year, I doubt anyone would want to read (nor would I want them to!) much of that at all. However, here are the biggest changes that came over me this year, theologically and otherwise.

I don't think I changed much politically. If I have, I've only come to distrust the government even more, but I guess that's the curse all good libertarians must bear. More to that, I have become strikingly more libertarian. Republicanism generally makes me sick these days. Or at least the Fox news version of it. It seems now to have become more of a strange religion than any sort of real political ideology. If they want a theocracy, I say, "Fine! Great! Make for yourselves a theocracy. Just do it somewhere else."

I have changed exponentially as it pertains to theology. Most notably, my good friend Vincent has gotten me hooked (and I mean hooked– like almost addicted!) on the great, late theologian Rudolf Bultmann. He has not only become one of my favorite theologians to read, he has ascended the mountain of Daniel's Favorite Theologians and found himself a place among the greats (Barth, Berkouwer, Bavinck, and, of course, Calvin).
Edwards' influence over my theology has waned, although I do still have a deep love for Edwards, his life and much of his work. Edwards being a nice segue, I should also mention this since he has (perhaps unfairly) become the poster boy for the movement. I have begun to hate the Young, Restless and Reformed crowd for being... well... stupid. They generally aren't Reformed at all. They're bastardized forms of neo-Calvinistic theology and they usually (maybe even always?) haven't even read the Dutch guys (e.g. Kuyper) from whom neo-Calvinism originates. Most of these sort-of-Calvinists are perhaps more appropriately called "Piperists" (against whom I have only a few qualms) or "MacArthurists" (against whom I have more than a few qualms). They know the five points, but they may remain dispensationalists, premillennialists, etc. Gross.
I changed my mind on many more things that I do not thing wise to post here at this time. Many of these topics are of little importance and others are of more importance, though none of them raise the question of orthodoxy.

I discovered I am quite postmodern and like postmodernism, all thanks to my good friend Val. Because of this (and of course because of Barth's and Calvin's virtual rejection of it), I have found apologetics to be quite off putting. Simply put, I just don't care about apologetics anymore. I love truth and I'm constantly in search for it, but debates about Christianity vs. Islam or vs. Atheism aren't fun to me anymore because I just don't care. Why? Because I'm a Christian. It's who I am in my very being. Maybe apologetics helps people, but it neither helps nor interests me (can you hear the postmodernity seeping through?). I'll share the Gospel because I believe it is the truth, life and way (because it is news of Jesus, after all), but in the end if someone disagrees, I'm going to be the one saying, "You do you." Yes, my evangelical friends, I'll pray for them and their hopeful conversion. But that is less now my primary concern. I am primarily for the Church and her mission; viz., to glorify God. The thesis of Piper's Let the Nations Be Glad rings true here, I think. Perhaps we should focus also on what we are doing rather than trying so hard to reel unbelievers in (to use fishers of men imagery the way many, though not Jesus, I think, understand it).

My educational direction has changed too. Indeed, I finally know (or think I do) what I want to do with my life! To Biblical (esp. NT and EJL) studies I go! I hope to concentrate on the Gospels, the Synoptic problem, how the early church exegeted the OT, and, perhaps, EJL and early Christian apocalyptic literature (yes, including John's). The historical Jesus has become something I'm moderately interested in and something I will read up on more as I continue in my study of the Gospels. I will miss systematic, contemporary, and philosophical theology much! But, I wonder if I can't be like the late Don Bowdle and one day say "Forget over-specialization!" and just transcend the Biblical studies/systematic theology divide. Bultmann did it (sort of). Geerhardus Vos did it (sort of). Don Bowdle certainly did it. Why can't I?

That's all I can think of writing for now, folks. I'll be keeping up the blog better soon, I promise! When I get back to school and start thinking again maybe I'll have something interesting to think about. But until then, thanks for reading!

The Presence and Development of Covenant Theology Within the Reformed Tradition

 GRACE, WORKS, AND REDEMPTION: THE PRESENCE AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE THEOLOGY OF GOD’S COVENANT IN THE EARLY MODERN REFORMED TRADITION  

Introduction

            The Reformed tradition recalls to the minds of many only the name John Calvin. While Calvin was certainly the most influential of the Reformed theologians, his role in the development of the Reformed tradition is but one of many. Those who came before, along side of, and after him and their theologies were all major components and participants in the development of perhaps the most important distinctive of Reformed theology: Covenant Theology (CT). Though predestination is integral to the Reformed tradition, it is not what makes them distinct. Belief in a Reformed doctrine of predestination may indicate one is merely a Calvinist. The Reformed tradition, however, holds Covenant Theology– also known as Federalism or Federal Theology– in an esteemed position. This theology, as it is in its most complete form today, divides salvation history into two major epochs. The first of these is the prelapsarian epoch, during which humankind covenanted with God that if they should obey God fully and perfectly then they would be granted eternal life (Covenant of Works). Humankind failed, however, and so the second major epoch began. This postlapsarian epoch is God’s purpose of salvation in the world (Covenant of Grace). This single plan of God, they say, is evidenced by the protoevangelum in Gen. 3 and further proved by the fulfillment in the final act of salvation in Jesus. CT today may also include an eternal covenant (Covenant of Redemption), but even now acceptance of this covenant is not ubiquitous in the Reformed tradition.[1] However, all Reformed theologians have had some concept of a postlapsarian since the inception of Reformed theology. This paper seeks to trace the development of the Reformed doctrine of the covenant from the beginning of the Reformed tradition (the sixteenth century) to its most complete form (the seventeenth century).[2] To complete this, this paper will evaluate several influential Reformed theologians and trace the developments of their theologies of covenant until the Reformed doctrine of covenant has reached its most complete form.
Basel and Zürich: Birth of the Reformed Tradition
Johannes Oecolampadius (1482-1531)
            Johannes Oecolampadius was one of the first theologians within the sprouting Reformed tradition. Like Zwingli and other Swiss Reformers, Oecolampadius had close ties to Humanism.[3] The humanist call, Ad fontes, led him back to study the sources in the original languages (biblical Greek and Hebrew). Sometime during his education and before 1520 he became an independent Reformer and, having been rejected at Wittenberg for his Humanist ties, became associated with the Swiss Reformation and the emerging Reformed tradition. In 1523 he became pastor of St. Mark’s Church and began lecturing at the University of Basel.[4] During this time, Oecolampadius preached and lectured through the book of Isaiah, from which he espoused a surprisingly developed and mature Reformed theology of covenant.[5] Later he began preaching full-time at St. Martin’s and put forth more clearly his developing theology of covenant.[6] His hermeneutic was heavily Christocentric and because of this he saw a much clearer unity within salvation history (i.e., between Law and Gospel) than did Luther and the Wittenberg Reformation.[7] With regard to what has come to be known in subsequent Reformed theology as the Covenant of Grace, Oecolampadius heavily stressed the unilateralism of this one covenant for all time.[8] This means that the covenant with Abraham is the same (in substance, though not in administration) as the covenant the church has received through faith in Christ. This means even those of the OT such as Abraham, Isaac, Enoch, Moses, etc. were part of the Church of Christ.[9] What is surprising, however, is that he also communicated a well formed theology of a bilateral covenant between God and Adam in the garden (later identified as the Covenant of Works)[10] and possibly an eternal covenant between the First and Second persons of the Trinity (later identified as the Covenant of Redemption).[11] Naturally, his theology of covenant and the unity between the two Testaments within salvation history led to many doctrinal ramifications. He, like all the Reformed theologians to follow him, practiced paedobaptism.[12] Again, he, like all the Reformed theologians to follow him, was a strict predestinarian, affirming at least single predestination.[13] He agreed completely with Luther on the sinful bondage of the will and may have had a doctrine of double predestination.[14] Meanwhile, some of Oecolampadius’ colleagues in Zürich were working, reforming, writing and theologizing. It is to them that we now turn.
Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531)
            Huldrych Zwingli is perhaps the most well known of the Swiss Reformers, apart from Calvin. He, not Calvin, was the father of the Reformed tradition.[15] As pastor of the church in Zürich, he was a contemporary and a colleague of Oecolampadius and, similar to Oecolampadius and quite apart from Luther, he sought reformation from his humanist convictions.[16] Because of his Humanism, Zwingli returned to the sources (i.e., the Church Fathers, the Sacred Text in the original languages, etc.). What he found in his comparison of Paul’s church and Rome’s church was a need for reform.[17] Thus he began reformulating his theology. This reformulation occurred during and after his disputations in Zürich (1523) and it was only after his debate with the Anabaptists (second disputation, Nov. 1523) that he would develop more fully his theology of the use and interpretation of scripture, the covenant, and election.[18] Zwingli’s theology of the covenant is closely tied to his theology of election. Zwingli heavily stressed the sovereignty of God and the one plan of God for salvation.[19] In speaking on the covenant in his debate with the Anabaptists, he began with a discussion on predestination and election.[20] For Zwingli these were God’s action in choosing his people unconditionally. God elected a particular people to be part of his plan of salvation in order that his Son would come through their lineage. He began this lineage in Abraham. However, this does not mean that no one outside of this people group could be saved; God’s election is always free. So, salvation through predestination/election is not restricted or limited to the Jews. God’s covenant with Abraham included the Jews but has never been limited to them and now clearly includes others apart from them, though God’s covenant people remain one continuous people.[21] These others (i.e., the church) are all under the covenant of Abraham, and although different in administration (e.g., baptism instead of circumcision, Christ’s sacrifice instead of animal sacrifices, etc.), in substance the New Covenant brought about by Christ is the same.[22] Zwingli’s defense of paedobaptism actually helped him articulate a theology of covenant that is strikingly similar, if not identical to the Covenant of Grace. Though he recognized differences between the various covenant and the two Testaments, he placed an emphasis on their unity and continuity.[23] Any disunity would imply two Gods and two people.[24] But did Zwingli have a notion of a bilateral prelapsarian Covenant of Works? It does not seem like this concept was present in his thought, and if he had one at all it was poorly articulated.[25] However, his successor would continue to develop Zwingli’s theology and he would eventually make great strides in developing the Reformed theology of the covenant.
Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1587)
            Heinrich Bullinger, the successor of Zwingli’s reformation in Zürich, was heavily influenced by Zwingli. He inherited Zwingli’s reformation and much of his theology, and made developments in both. Bullinger is perhaps most known for his contribution to Federalism.[26] Indeed, some would go so far as to call him the founder of Reformed CT.[27] If not the founder, he was at least the most important theologian in covenantal thought and development of the sixteenth-century.[28] He was a contemporary of Calvin but his thought on the covenant and predestination developed quite independently from Calvin, though it was certainly dependent on the Reformed tradition generally speaking. Bullinger’s CT developed as another way to express salvation by grace alone. Disagreeing with Luther’s Law-Gospel distinction and placing a lesser emphasis on predestination than Calvin,[29] Bullinger used covenant as the organizing principle for his entire theology.[30] Because of this, he focused much more on the covenants than many of his predecessors. Through this he further developed the covenant idea. He never explicitly mentions a pre-fall covenant, though he seems to have alluded to one.[31] Speaking to this, Bullinger said that the command not to eat of the tree in the garden was God’s giving of the law to Adam and Eve, with stipulations for either life or death. If he did agree with Oecolampadius that the covenant can be understood as a contractual agreement with conditions placed upon both parties,[32] then it seems that, even if not explicitly mentioned, Bullinger still had an embryonic concept of a prelapsarian covenant.[33] Some scholars try to emphasize the bilateralism of his covenantal thought, particularly with regard to what theologians would later call the Covenant of Grace. It is true that Bullinger rejected Calvin’s double predestination and its belief that God predetermines the damnation of certain individuals[34] and instead agreed with Luther and his belief in God’s positive action of election of the saints and that God’s action in the damnation of others was merely passing over them.[35] And while he emphasizes man’s choice in salvation more than Zwingli or some other earlier Reformed theologians, he still describes man’s will as “enslaved,” and that now it “serves sin, not unwillingly, but willingly.”[36] So he recognizes that there is some action required of humankind in this covenant, but s/he is unable to meet these, being enslaved to sin. Even after regeneration, Bullinger describes the human will as “weak… on account of the remnants of the old Adam and of innate human corruption remaining in us until the end of our lives.”[37] Ultimately Bullinger did not emphasize bilateralism insofar as God’s action in fulfilling the covenant is not required both sides, but to emphasize the necessary action of the regenerate person. He, unlike Luther, saw the two Testaments as a unified whole and so the Law (i.e., the 10 commandments and the moral law) was not abrogated by Christ.[38] Though he had a very well formed theology of covenant, one that rightly may be called CT, he left to his successors the charge to further develop and clarify this covenant theology.[39]
Geneva: Reformed Tradition Under Calvin
John Calvin (1509-1564)
            John Calvin, the most well known Reformed theologian and one of the principal leaders of the Protestant Reformation, is the most debated theologian of the Reformed tradition. Recently, many scholars have spilled much ink over whether he should be associated with the Federalist tradition. One may divide scholars into four groups: CT is absent from Calvin’s theology, Calvin developed an incomplete form of CT, Calvin’s theology is in tension with CT, and Calvin developed an extensive yet incomplete CT.[40] Despite the first two groups, covenant was in fact integral to Calvin’s theology, holding an important position throughout his Institutes, and Calvin was not afraid often to speak in covenantal language.[41] Indeed, similar to the aforementioned Reformed theologians, Calvin understood the covenant to be single, eternal and unilateral.[42] The covenant with Abraham is the same in substance as the covenant brought by Christ. In fact, Christ’s covenant is the confirmation of Abraham’s covenant.[43] This covenant encompasses all of salvation history following the Fall.
Incited by– though not ultimately derived from­– conflicts with the Anabaptists and their contention that OT era (of law) was completely different than the NT era (of Christ), Calvin developed in his theology the unity of the Old and New Testaments through the one, contiguous covenant.[44] Thus, Calvin, like those before him, understood baptism to be the NT equivalent of the OT’s circumcision as God’s covenant sign for his people.[45] But infant baptism is not the only ramification of the continuity of the covenant and testaments. Similar to Bullinger, Calvin believed that the initiation of the New Covenant did not abrogate the requirement to follow the law– i.e., the moral, not ceremonial law.[46] He spoke of God giving of this divine law to Israel not in order that they would become righteous merely by fulfilling works of the law. Instead, Calvin understood the law covenantally. It is neither a series of steps by which one attains saving righteousness before God, nor is it a collection of commands on how to live well. The law is included in the covenant.[47] With regard to the moral law, however, Calvin did believe that if one followed it perfectly, then the law would produce eternal salvation in him/her.[48] This is eerily similar to the CT of the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646), which states in its exposition of the Covenant of Works that humankind could have found eternal life in the garden (apart from Christ) if they had followed God’s commands (law) perfectly.[49] However, humankind has made itself incapable of attaining life by that covenant and so God instituted another covenant, the Covenant of Grace.[50] This too is similar to Calvin’s theology of the depravity of humankind. Having fallen, they can no longer fulfill God’s requirements, though if they did they would attain eternal life.[51] The majority of scholars are by far those who deny any presence of the Covenant of Works in Calvin’s theology.[52] Most of these scholars believe that the Covenant of Works arose from the English Puritans’ betrayal of Calvinistic orthodoxy or from their reactions against the Antinomians. Some of the others believe that the two streams of Reformed thought­– the one Federalist and the other Calvinist– converged and the two separate (and conflicting) views were amalgamated. Nevertheless, they see no presence of the Covenant of Works anywhere in Calvin’s thought or writings. But even if this were true, Lillback notes that Calvin’s theology “creates a problem for which a covenant of works is a perfect solution, namely, he describes Adam as in a temporary period of innocence that was less than Spiritual perfection… Adam was only to become wise by obedience to God.”[53] Calvin, in speaking of Adam in the Edenic state, speaks in covenantal terms and speaks of promises given to him for perfect obedience. This is important because, for Calvin, promises flowed from covenant.[54] What is more, Calvin described the Tree as a sign, just as the rainbow, circumcision, baptism and so on were all signs of assurance between God and humanity.[55] Interesting as these things are, the Covenant of Works is still in an undeveloped form, an embryonic state, but it is nevertheless present.[56] The development of these covenantal thoughts was left to Calvin’s successors. However, there are a number of scholars who find a profound discontinuity with Calvin’s theology and the so-called Calvinistic theology of his predecessors.[57] This will be assessed below.
German and Dutch Reformed Traditions: Reformed Tradition After Calvin
Caspar Olevianus (1536-1587) and Zachariah Ursinus (1534-1583)[58]
             Caspar Olevianus is a lesser known, German, second-generation reformer. He studied law at the universities of Orleans and Bourges before studying theology under Calvin in Geneva. He then became professor of dogmatics at the University of Heidelberg and later, with Zacharias Ursinus, co-authored the Heidelberg Catechism.[59] This document’s theology finds its foundation in God’s covenant.[60] Zacharias Ursinus, in addition to being the primary author of the Heidelberg Catechism, studied at Wittenberg and Zurich. He became the elector of Frederick II to help establish the Reformation in the Palatinate in Germany.[61] Their influence on and development of the Reformed tradition is profound. Both Calvinist and predestinarian,[62] these Reformed theologians’ emphases on the covenant was not borne out of an attempt to de-emphasize Calvinist predestination or even the enhanced intensity Calvin’s protégé Theodore Beza gave it.[63] Instead, they saw the covenant as the means by which God’s action in salvation was accomplished.[64] Their theology of the Covenant of Grace is too similar to that of the Reformers mentioned above to discuss without being repetitive.[65] Their most important developments are located in their discussions of two more covenants, later to be called the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Redemption. Ursinus was the first theologian to speak of the foedus gratiae (Covenant of Grace) by its relationship to the foedus naturale (Natural Covenant or Covenant of Creation). God established the Covenant of Creation between him and humankind in the garden. The stipulations of this covenant were broken by humanity’s disobedience, but the covenant remained intact and is manifest in the natural ability of humankind to distinguish between right and wrong. This covenant was repeated in the Decalogue at Sinai, but fallen humanity remained unable to meet the stipulations of the covenant. Since Adam’s and Eve’s expulsion from the garden, God covenanted again with humanity (the Covenant of Grace). There is, therefore, much overlap and complementarity between the two covenants because of the perpetuity of the Covenant of Creation/Works.[66] The Covenant of Works is fulfilled in Christ and the gospel by his perfect obedience to the law and the righteousness demanded therein. The Covenant of Grace is connected to this in that through Christ’s fulfillment of the law and attainment of righteousness at its perfect fulfillment, his righteousness may be imputed to those who put their trust in him.[67] This was essentially the gospel, all wrapped up in Reformed substitutionary atonement theology. Who it was that influenced Ursinus’ theology is a matter of great debate. Many, if not most, scholars argue for a Melanchthonian influence on Ursinus’ covenantal development, finding parallels between Melanchthon’s teaching on the natural law and Ursinus’ foedus naturale.[68] A few scholars have challenged this almost unanimous opinion and have posited that it was Calvin and the other Swiss Reformers, not Melanchthon, that most influenced Ursinus’ development of this theology.[69] Space forbids a more complete evaluation of the different arguments, so only a brief example must suffice. Ursinus’ theology of the Covenant of Creation reflects clearly Calvin’s belief that complete obedience to the law would result in eternal life. This belief is integral to the Covenant of Creation, wherein Christ merits eternal life by his obedience of the law and fulfillment of the Covenant of Creation. Moreover, Calvin’s covenantal language concerning Adam’s relationship to God in the garden is reflected in Ursinus’ writings on Adam’s pre-fall state.[70] Ursinus, relying on the previous Reformed tradition, merely modifies Calvin’s ideas and develops them further than Calvin did or was able.
            Olevianus made a much different contribution. He developed a pre-temporal sponsio among the Godhead. This pre-temporal sponsio was God’s guarantee that by the sacrifice of the son he would justify the elect and renew them in the image of God through his Spirit. Olevianus never identifies this as a covenant (foedus), but his covenantal language is hard to ignore.[71] He further speaks of Christ’s action in salvation as “ratifying” the covenant between God and the Church, which extends in two directions: eternity past and eternity future. Bierma notes that though he does not use the same language, it is reasonable to assume that the eternity past refers to the eternal covenant between the Godhead.[72] This covenantal language does not translate into covenantal thinking, however, and Olevianus, like Calvin before him, left his underdeveloped pre-temporal covenant theology to his predecessors.[73] Finding deep roots in Olevianus’ theology, Johannes Cocceius was next to follow and further develop this CT.
Johannes Cocceius (1603-1669)
            Johannes Cocceius was a German-born, Dutch Reformed theologian.[74] His influence on CT is such that some have named him and his theology as the “zenith of Federal Theology.”[75] Like Zwingli, his theology of covenant is closely tied to his theology of election. In fact, in his major work, Summa Theologiae, he has no  distinct, systematic exposition of the doctrine of predestination. Rather, his discussion of predestination is found within his discussion on the doctrine of the eternal testament.[76] His doctrine of predestination is similar to that of the previous Reformers, but far more scholastic. He argues that Predestination is “that volition of God that pertains to the creation of persons, and includes as well the knowledge and determination of their final destination.”[77] The cause of this predestination is found within the good pleasure of God. Predestination is preparation either for grace or judgment.[78] This lead logically to his theology of election. Election is God’s designation of those among the damned who God sets apart to be saved.[79] It is based upon God’s foreknowledge insofar as his foreknowledge means the favor, mercy and love God gave before time to his elect, but is not based upon any kind of foreseen faith or obedience. With regard to reprobation, Cocceius is much closer to Calvin than any of the aforementioned theologians.[80] He believed that, like election, God set aside certain individuals indiscriminately for damnation, although he appears to have been an infralapsarian, believing that God merely passes over certain individuals in the order of decrees.[81] Predestination, then, is the means by which God accomplishes his divine decrees and determinations. Covenant also is the means by which God accomplishes his predestination, particularly the subcategory of election.[82] This is the Cocceius’ Covenant of Grace. He devotes an entire chapter in his Summa Theologiae to his exposition of the Covenant of Grace. In it he describes it as a gracious treaty made between God and humanity to establish peace and friendship.[83] This covenant was made in response to the broken and abrogated Covenant of Works. Humanity is now unable to fulfill that covenant and so God made a second covenant, one of Grace.[84] One of his major contributions in this area pertain to his doctrine of abrogations. This doctrine teaches the five degrees by which God leads humankind to eternal life and by which the consequences of the broken Covenant of Works are abrogated in a series of five steps: 1) sin, 2) the establishment of the Covenant of Grace, 3) the promulgation of the NT, 4) death of the body, and 5) resurrection of the body.[85] The first abrogated humanity’s ability to gain eternal life through the Covenant of Works by humanity’s now inherent inability to fulfill the law. The second became God’s new way by which to bring humankind to eternal life and communion with him: faith in Christ. The third gives humanity hope and a future by giving them Christ. The fourth eliminates the conflict of sin in individuals lives unlike they were able to know in life. And the fifth gives humanity their final sanctifying act, glorifying them and raising them up to be with God.[86]
            Where Olevianus left off in his covenantal thinking, Cocceius picked up. Cocceius developed a theology of an eternal pact between members of the Godhead, specifically the Father and Son, to redeem the elect. Though it remains a matter of debate among scholars, there is certainly much innovation in this theological development.[87] Cocceius’ covenantal doctrine states that the Father agreed to be the lawgiver, requiring righteousness be attained through completion of the law and punishment be given for sin.[88] Both of these things were acquired in the Son’s life  and death as Christ, who agreed in this eternal pact that upon the attainment of righteousness he would receive eternal life.[89] Cocceius stressed the parallels between this pact and the Covenant of Works. His language about Christ as the Second Adam seems to confirm this. Just as Adam made a covenant with God with the stipulations that upon perfect obedience Adam would receive eternal life, so Christ received eternal life upon perfect obedience. In addition, however, Christ also received the negative stipulations: death for imperfect obedience. In this way, through imputation, humankind may be saved: by imputing their sins and retributive punishments in Christ and Christ imputing his righteousness and retributive reward in them. So by the time of Cocceius, Federal Theology had reached it’s most mature development and final form of subscription.[90]
Conclusion
            It is hopeful that now, in contradistinction to Ryrie and Lincoln, there is little question as to whether Federalism is a stream of thought that has existed in Reformed theology since its inception. Oecolampadius, though highly neglected, espoused a surprisingly mature CT, quite similar to though not so explicit as Cocceius. The Federal tradition persisted also in Zürich with Zwingli and found clarity in Bullinger and his emphasis on the covenant, around which he formed his whole theology. Calvin, though highly debated, seems to have had an extensive, though incomplete CT. There seems to have been more of a presence of the Covenant of Works in Calvin’s thought than either Zwingli or Bullinger. Though he did not speak explicitly in terms of two covenants, it is likely that his thought was leading in this direction. Later theologians would prove this by the logical development of his thought. This is especially clear in Ursinus’ development of the Covenant of Works. Olevianus improved upon this through his insistence on the eternality of God’s covenants, both eternally past and eternally future. Cocceius was then able to take this idea of eternally past covenant and develop it into the eternal pact, the Covenant of Redemption. So even if Federalism did not experience its most matured form until the seventeenth-century, the deeply planted seeds of CT have always been present in the Reformed tradition. Hopefully this brief evaluation of covenantal development in the Reformed tradition has dispelled the myth that the development of Federalism arose as a late addition to Reformed theology and that it was even reactionary against the Calvinist and predestinarian stream of Reformed thought. Covenant has been and forever will be compatible with, even integral to the Reformed tradition.



BIBLIOGRAPHY

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–––––. The Federal Theology of Johannes Cocceius (1603-1669). Edited by Robert J. Bast. Studies in the History of Christian Thought. Boston, MA: Brill, 2001.

Baker, J. Wayne. "Faces of Federalism: From Bullinger to Jefferson." Publius 30, no. 4 (Autumn, 2000): 25-41.

Barth, Karl. Church Dogmatics. Edited by G.W. Bromiley and T.F. Torrence. Translated by J.W. Edwards, O. Bussey, and H. Knight. 14 Volumes. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2010.

Bergsma, W. “Marnix and the Schwenkfeldians: Some General Remarks.” Mennonite Quarterly Review 62, no. 3 (July 1, 1988): 236-248.

Bierma, Lyle D. “Covenant or Covenants in the Theology of Olevianus.” Calvin Theological Journal 22, no. 2 (November 1, 1987): 228-250.

–––––. The Covenant Theology of Caspar Olevianus. Grand Rapids, MI: Reformed Heritage Books, 2005.

–––––. “Olevianus, Caspar (1536-1587).” In Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith. Edited by Donald K. McKim. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992.

Brink, Gert van den. “Calvin, Witsius (1636-1708), and the English Antinomians.” Church History & Religious Culture 91, no. 1/2 (April 2011): 229-240.

Calvin, John. Institutes of the Christian Religion. Translated by Henry Beveridge. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2008.

De Gruchy, John W. “The Thousand Generation Covenant: Dutch Reformed Covenant Theology and Group Identity in Colonial South Africa, 1652-1814.” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa no. 79 (June 1, 1992): 75-76.

Demura, Aikira. “Two Commentaries on the Epistle to the Romans: Calvin and Oecolampadius.” In Calvinus Sincerioris Religionis Vindex. Edited by Wilhelm H. Neuser and Brian G. Armsrong. Kirksville, MO: Sixteenth Century Journal Pub., 1997.

Dowey, Edward A., Jr. “Bullinger, Heinrich (1504-1575).” In Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith. Edited by Donald K. McKim. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992.

Greschat, Martin. Martin Bucer: A Reformer and His Times. Translated by Stephen E. Buckwalter. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.

Guthrie, Shirley C. “Heidelberg Catechism.” In Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith. Edited by Donald K. McKim. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992.

Hoekema, Anthony A. “Covenant of Grace in Calvin's Teaching.” Calvin Theological Journal 2, no. 2 (November 1, 1967): 133-161.

Holtrop, Philip C. “Beza, Theodore (1519-1605).” In Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith. Edited by Donald K. McKim. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992.

Horton, Michael Scott. “Law, Gospel, and Covenant: Reassessing Some Emerging Antitheses.” Westminster Theological Journal 64, no. 2 (September 1, 2002): 279-287.

Klempa, William. “Cocceius, Johannes (1603-1669).” In Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith. Edited by Donald K. McKim. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992.

Lillback, Peter A. The Binding of God: Calvin’s Role in the Development of Covenant Theology. Edited by Richard A. Muller. Texts & Studies in Reformation & Post-Reformation Thought. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001.

–––––. “The Continuing Conundrum: Calvin and the Conditionality of the Covenant.” Calvin Theological Journal 29, no. 1 (April 1, 1994): 42-74.

–––––. “Ursinus' Development of the Covenant of Creation: A Debt to Melanchthon or Calvin?” Westminster Theological Journal 43, no. 2 (March 1, 1981): 247-288.

Lincoln, Charles Fred. “The Development of the Covenant Theory.” Bibliotheca Sacra 100, no. 397 (January 1, 1943): 134-163.

MacCulloch, Diarmaid. The Reformation: A History. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2003.

McCoy, Charles S. and J. Wayne Baker, Fountainhead of Federalism: Heinrich Bullinger and the Covenantal Tradition. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1991.

McGiffert, Michael. “From Moses to Adam: The Making of the Covenant of Works.” The Sixteenth Century Journal 19, no. 2 (Summer, 1988): 131-155.

Melanchthon and Bucer. Edited by Wilhelm Pauck. Translated by Lowell J. Satre and Paul Larkin. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, 1969.

Miller, Perry. The New England Mind. New York, NY: The Macmillan Co., 1939.

Muller, Richard A. “Calvin and the ‘Calvinists’: Assessing Continuities and Discontinuities between the Reformation and Orthodoxy.” Calvin Theological Journal 31, no. 1 (April 1, 1996): 125-160.

–––––. “The Covenant of Works and the Stability of Divine Law in Seventeenth-Century Reformed Orthodoxy: A Study in the Theology of Herman Witsius and Wilhelmus à Brakel.” Calvin Theological Journal 29, no. 1 (April 1, 1994): 75-100.

–––––. “The Placement of Predestination in Reformed Theology: Issue or Non-Issue?” Calvin Theological Journal 40, no. 2 (November 1, 2005): 184-210.

Murray, John. The Collected Works of John Murray. 4 Volumes. Edinburgh, UK: Banner of Truth, 1982.

Niesel, Wilhelm. The Theology of Calvin. Translated by Harold Knight. Library of Ecclesiastical History. Reprint; Cambridge, UK: James Clarke & Co., 2002.

Old, Hughes Oliphant. “Oecolampadius, John (1482-1531).” In Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith. Edited by Donald K. McKim. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992.

Osterhaven, M. Eugene. “Covenant.” In Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith. Edited by Donald K. McKim. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992.

Parker, T.H.L. John Calvin: A Biography. Reprint, Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007.

Partee, Charles. The Theology of John Calvin. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010.

Poythress, Diane. “Johannes Oecolampadius’ Exposition of Isaiah, Chapters 36-37.” 2 Volumes. PhD dissertation, Westminster Theological Seminary, 1992.

–––––. Reformer of Basel: The Life, Thought, and Influence of Johannes Oecolampadius. Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2011.

Ryrie, Charles. Dispensationalism: Revised and Expanded. Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 2007.

Sinnema, Donald. “Dort, Synod of.” In Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith. Edited by Donald K. McKim. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992.

–––––. “The Origin of the Form of Subscription in the Dutch Reformed Tradition.” Calvin Theological Journal 42, no. 2 (November 1, 2007): 256-282.

Stephens, W.P. The Theology of Huldrych Zwingli. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1986.

Torrance, James B. “The Concept of Federal Theology– Was Calvin a Federal Theologian?” In Calvinus Sacrae Scripturae Professor: Calvin as Confessor of Holy Scripture. Edited by Wilhelm H. Neuser. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1994.

Trueman, Carl. “From Calvin to Gillespie on Covenant: Mythological Excess or an Exercise in Doctrinal Development?” International Journal of Systematic Theology 11, no. 4 (October 2009): 378-397.

Visser, Derk. “Ursinus, Zacharias (1534-1583).” In Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith. Edited by Donald K. McKim. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992.

Wallace, Dewey D., Jr. “Federal Theology.” In Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith. Edited by Donald K. McKim. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992.

Walton, Robert C. “Zwingli, Huldrych (1484-1531).” In Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith. Edited by Donald K. McKim. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992.

Wright, David F. “Bucer (Butzer), Martin (1491-1551).” In Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith. Edited by Donald K. McKim. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992.

Zwingli and Bullinger. Edited by G.W. Bromiley. Library of Christian Classics: Ichthus Edition. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, 1953.



Appendix A
The Influence of Bucer on Calvin’s Covenant Theology


            Few individuals had more of a profound impact on Calvin’s theology than Martin Bucer. This Straßburg reformer helped pave the way for Calvin’s reforming program in Geneva. For three years he mentored Calvin, bringing him along to his ecumenical dialogues, teaching him and discussing theology with him during their nights off and while traveling to and from place and destination.[91] One can see his influence especially in the language and arguments shared by both.[92] His idea of covenant developed in his commentary on the Gospels, wherein he identified the covenant as being one, overarching both Testaments, whose stipulations were faith and love.[93]  This covenant extended not only to believers, but also to the children of believers. Infant baptism became the subject of his treatise, Report from Holy Scripture.[94] He argued that the promise of God to be the God of the children of his people in the OT applies to the Church as well because of the continuity of God’s plan, God’s people and God’s covenant. Infant baptism was not an entirely settled issue in Bucer’s theology until after a correspondence with Zwingli, but he later decided definitively in favor of infant baptism and did so on the basis of the continuity of the covenant, manifest in the equivalency between circumcision and baptism.[95] This is exemplified in Bucer’s treatise, Apologie der Kindertaufe gegen Pilgrim Marpeck. In it he argues that Christians are part of the Abrahamic covenant by faith and covenant continuity, and because this covenant includes benefits for the children of the covenant people, the blessings of baptism should be conferred upon their children.[96]
Appendix B
Calvin’s Influence on Later Covenant Theology


            Calvin’s influence on the Reformed Tradition is unparalleled. But his influence with regard to CT is still a matter of debate among scholars. Herman Witsius is a particularly important figure in this debate because he, as a late seventeenth-century/early eighteenth-century theologian, came after Johannes Cocceius, yet remained particularly influenced by Calvin’s CT.[97] During the third wave of the antinomian controversy, Witsius wrote a treatise, Animadversiones Irenicae, against the antinomians, arguing for the necessity of works for salvation. These works, however, belong to Christ and are imputed to believers. Law, then, must be necessary and the Covenant of Works still in effect.[98] His heavy emphasis on the Covenant of Works, however, is balanced by his discussion of the unilateral Covenant of Grace. In his exposition of this covenant, while writing against the antinomians and neonomians, he hearkened back to Calvin.[99] He illustrated Calvin’s use of the law and its fulfillment in Christ, arguing that though humankind is justified by the free grace of God apart from any works, the fulfillment of the law is still required because the Covenant of Works perpetuity.[100] Although it is possible, as some claim, that Calvin had no conception whatever of a prelapsarian covenant, Witsius interpreted him as if he did. Witsius’ writings against the antinomians clearly shows a direct line of influence from Calvin’s CT even to the early eighteenth-century’s CT.



Appendix C
Recent Developments in Covenant Theology


            More recently, developments have taken place within the Reformed tradition with regard to CT. Truthfully, these developments could be called regressions. These developments or regressions took place mostly in the works of the twentieth-century theologians Karl Barth and John Murray. They rejected the bicovenantal scheme of the Westminster Confession of Faith and most (all?) Reformed theologians for the last few centuries. Advocating a monocovenantal scheme, Karl Barth understood the covenant to be one, unilateral and eternal. The Covenant of Grace is foundational to creation. He speaks of God’s creative will being founded on his decree of grace. Indeed, “Creation is the external– and only external– basis for the covenant.”[101] His rejection of the Covenant of Works is based on his understanding of all of creation being wrapped up in the grace of God. He also appeals to the earliest Reformers and the (seemingly) apparent lack of the Covenant of Works in their theologies. Though Barth has been wildly influential in Christian theology in the past century, his CT has not been especially popular, except in a few mainline churches. John Murray, a previous professor at Westminster Theological Seminary, had a more nuanced rejection of the Covenant of Works. He accepted the idea of the necessity of works in the Garden as a condition for life, but rejected a covenantal label for this principle. Like Barth, Murray also appealed to the apparent lack of prelapsarian covenant in the earliest Reformed theologies.[102] Again, like Barth, Murray’s covenantal views have not been especially popular. With only a few small variations since– notably Klinean CT– most Reformed theologians have stuck largely to the bi- (or tri-) covenantal structure.




[1] I am aware that some notable twentieth-century Reformed theologians (e.g., Klaas Schilder, Karl Barth and John Murray) have abandoned the concept of the Covenant of Works, though, to their credit, their theologies, at least in this regard, appear closer to that of some of the earliest Reformed theologians and confessions (see below). However, this paper is not concerned with more recent developments in relatively small theological circles, but instead the most popular, accepted and traditional form of CT available today.
[2] Some theologians, esp. those from dispensational and Dallas Theological Seminary camps, deny any sixteenth century development of CT and they, following Perry Miller (The New England Mind [New York: The Macmillan Co., 1939], 366-367) and J.A. Dorner, have popularized the conception that CT largely found its roots in Johannes Cocceius’ reaction to Calvin’s predestinarianism (see below). Their poor Reformation-era scholarship particularly with regard to CT is multiplied by their dispensational presuppositions. This leads them to ignore the presence of covenantal thought, even when in embryonic form or when it is poorly articulated, in Calvin and even Zwingli. Peter Lillback [“The Continuing Conundrum: Calvin and the Conditionality of the Covenant.” Calvin Theological Journal 29, no. 1 (April 1, 1994): 45] notes that this is largely due to their definition of CT as composed of three covenants (Works, Grace and Redemption). He takes issue with this and argues that only two covenants (Works and Grace) are necessary for CT and only one is necessary to see a pre-developed CT. For those who advocate CT as being a late seventeenth-century development, see Charles Fred Lincoln, “The Development of the Covenant Theory,” Bibliotheca Sacra 100, no. 397 (January 1, 1943): 134-163, and Charles Ryrie, Dispensationalism: Revised and Expanded (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 2007), 214-219. What follows in this paper should make clear that the roots of CT stretch much further than merely the seventeenth-century from the thought of Johannes Cocceius and dispel the myth that CT was a post-reformation development.
[3] Diane Poythress, Reformer of Basel: The Life, Thought, and Influence of Johannes Oecolampadius (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2011), 5-7.
[4] Hughes Oliphant Old, “Oecolampadius, John (1482-1531),” in Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith, ed. Donald K. McKim (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992), 260. See also Poythress, Reformer of Basel, 12-13, 14, who claims that Oecolampadius’ stay in Basel began in 1522 and notes that he began lecturing at the university although he had not acquired a professorship. However, she later notes (p. 14) that he acquired the position of head theological professor at the university in only a matter of months.
[5] Poythress, Reformer of Basel, 48-49.
[6] Peter A. Lillback, The Binding of God: Calvin’s Role in the Development of Covenant Theology, ed. Richard A. Muller (Texts & Studies in Reformation & Post-Reformation Thought; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001), 83.
[7] Poythress, Reformer of Basel, 43-44, 82-83.
[8] Ibid., 49.
[9] Lillback, Binding of God, 84.
[10] See Diane Poythress, “Johannes Oecolampadius’ Exposition of Isaiah, Chapters 36-37,” 2 vols. (PhD diss., Westminster Theological Seminary, 1992), 490-664 for an extremely detailed study of the bilateral and unilateral covenants and other aspects of Oecolampadius’ theology of covenant.
[11] Poythress, Reformer of Basel, 50.
[12] What is most peculiar about Oecolampadius and many other Reformers until 1525 in their polemics for paedobaptism against the Anabaptists is that an argument for the continuity between the Old and New covenants and between circumcision and baptism is absent. In other words, they might not yet have drawn out the implications of their covenantal theologies (Lillback, Binding of God, 90). See also Poythress, Reformer of Basel, 39 who seems to believe, nevertheless, that the link between baptism and circumcision was present in Oecolampadius’ thought because of his belief in covenantal unity.
[13] See Richard A. Muller, “The Placement of Predestination in Reformed Theology: Issue or Non-Issue?” Calvin Theological Journal 40, no. 2 (November 1, 2005): 184-210, esp. 194-199 for an important discussion of the place of predestination and the sovereignty of God in Reformed Theology.
[14] Poythress, Reformer of Basel, 92-93. See Aikira Demura “Two Commentaries on the Epistle to the Romans: Calvin and Oecolampadius,” in Calvinus Sincerioris Religionis Vindex, eds. Wilhelm H. Neuser and Brian G. Armsrong (Kirksville, MO: Sixteenth Century Journal Pub., 1997), 174.
[15] Robert C. Walton, “Zwingli, Huldrych (1484-1531),” in Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith, ed. Donald K. McKim (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992), 413.
[16] Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation: A History (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2003), 137-138.
[17] Ibid., 137.
[18] W.P. Stephens, The Theology of Huldrych Zwingli, (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1986), 40.
[19] Poythress, Reformer of Basel, 41.
[20] Cf. Huldrych Zwingli, “On Baptism,” in Zwingli and Bullinger, ed. G.W. Bromiley (Library of Christian Classics: Ichthus Edition; Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, 1953), 163.
[21] Stephens, Huldrych Zwingli, 123.
[22] Ibid., 100-101.
[23] Lillback, Binding of God, 82.
[24] Ibid., 128.
[25] See ibid., 146-151 for a detailed discussion of humankind in relation to God before and after sin and the implications it had on Zwingli’s theology of salvation.
[26] Charles S. McCoy and J. Wayne Baker, Fountainhead of Federalism: Heinrich Bullinger and the Covenantal Tradition (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1991), 22-23. See also  J. Wayne Baker, “Faces of Federalism: From Bullinger to Jefferson.” Publius 30, no. 4 (Autumn, 2000): 25-41 which provides an interesting article which traces the influence that Reformed CT had over political philosophy in America because of the developments Bullinger made.
[27] Ibid., 26; McCoy, Fountainhead of Federalism, 11-13. Poythress disagrees and believes Oecolampadius is rightly called the father of CT, noting that he alone was cited in Bullinger’s treatise On the One and Eternal Testament or Covenant of God as referring to the covenant as contract (Reformer of Basel, 49).
[28] McCoy, Fountainhead of Federalism, 30.
[29] Edward A. Dowey, Jr., “Bullinger, Heinrich (1504-1575),” in Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith, ed. Donald K. McKim (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992), 44. The extent to which Bullinger’s discontinuity with Calvin caused division between the “traditions” is still debated.
[30] MacCulloch, The Reformation, 178.
[31] McCoy, Fountainhead of Federalism, 24-25.
[32] Cf. Poythress, Reformer of Basel, 49.
[33] McCoy, Fountainhead of Federalism, 25.
[34] It was not uncommon for Reformed theologians, esp. those north of Geneva, to reject (or at least not discuss) double predestination, but still have a heavy emphasis on God’s sovereignty, election and his monergistic work in the salvation of individuals. Zwingli, for example, never articulated a doctrine of double predestination and kept God’s action in election in the realm of positive action and acting towards saving faith, never with the negative action of reprobation. Emphasis on God’s sovereignty and predestination are integral to Reformed integrity, not double predestination. See Stephens, Huldrych Zwingli, 98-107 for a more detailed discussion of Zwingli and predestination.
[35] McCoy, Fountainhead of Federalism, 24.
[36] The Second Helvetic Confession 5.043.
[37] SHC 5.049.
[38] McCoy, Fountainhead of Federalism, 20.
[39] Ibid., 24-26 traces the general development of Federalist thought after Bullinger and how it met and meshed with the Calvinist scholastics of the seventeenth-century. The problem with this, however, is that he assumes that there is very little overlap between the two streams of Reformed thought coming from Zürich and Geneva.
[40] These four categories are not my own. They are directly from Lillback’s magisterial work on Calvin’s contribution to CT (Binding of God, 13-26). There, one may find the varied opinions and a brief overview of the major points of the many different scholars on Calvin’s relationship to CT.
[41] Lillback, Binding of God, 127.
[42] See the many descriptions of the covenant that all revolve around those three themes in Lillback, Binding of God, 134-137. Lillback further describes Calvin’s understanding of the covenant as “the self-binding of the infinite God whereby he condescends to enter into a mutual covenant with His fallen and unworthy yet sovereignly chosen people.” (p. 137).
[43] Charles Partee, The Theology of John Calvin (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010), 138.
[44] Anthony A. Hoekema, “Covenant of Grace in Calvin's Teaching,” Calvin Theological Journal 2, no. 2 (November 1, 1967): 136.
[45] Partee, Theology of John Calvin, 272.
[46] Ibid., 136-138.
[47] Wilhelm Niesel, The Theology of Calvin, trans. Harold Knight (Library of Ecclesiastical History, Reprint; Cambridge, UK: James Clarke & Co., 2002), 92. Cf. John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. Henry Beveridge (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2008), 221-222. Lillback notes that Calvin’s designation of what the Reformed call the Covenant of Grace was multiform. He would deem it “God’s covenant,” the “Lord’s covenant,” or simply the unqualified term “covenant,” as well as a few other derivations.
[48] Partee, Theology of John Calvin, 138. This can only really be explained by a Covenant of Works. The perpetuity of the Covenant of Works explains why one can obey perfectly and still be saved, even if only theoretically. Calvin’s doctrine of the depravity and fallenness of humanity prevents this from being a reality.
[49] WCF 7.2.
[50] WCF 7.3.
[51] See T.H.L. Parker, John Calvin: A Biography (Reprint; Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007), 58, who also notes that even if they felt themselves able to obey the law perfectly, they could never be certain they had done so.
[52] See, e.g., Michael McGiffert, “From Moses to Adam: The Making of the Covenant of Works,” The Sixteenth Century Journal 19, no. 2 (Summer, 1988): 131-155, esp. 133; Partee, Theology of John Calvin, 17-20; and Carl Trueman, “From Calvin to Gillespie on Covenant: Mythological Excess or an Exercise in Doctrinal Development?” International Journal of Systematic Theology 11, no. 4 (October 2009): 378-397; and the myriad literature cited therein.
[53] Lillback, Binding of God, 288.
[54] Ibid., 89-93, 126-141, 288.
[55] Partee, Theology of John Calvin, 272-273.
[56] James B. Torrance, “The Concept of Federal Theology– Was Calvin a Federal Theologian?” in Calvinus Sacrae Scripturae Professor: Calvin as Confessor of Holy Scripture, ed. Wilhelm H. Neuser (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1994), 22-23.
[57] Lillback, Binding of God, 291. See also Muller, Richard A. “Calvin and the ‘Calvinists’: Assessing Continuities and Discontinuities between the Reformation and Orthodoxy.” Calvin Theological Journal 31, no. 1 (April 1, 1996): 125-160 for an overview of the differences and similarities, esp. in the later Protestant scholastics, to whom is often attributed the development of CT.
[58] I have chosen to deal with both Olevianus and Ursinus in just one section because their dependence on one another, complementary developments in CT and their co-authorship of the Heidelberg Catechism makes them virtually inseparable when speaking of their CT.
[59] Lyle D. Bierma, “Olevianus, Caspar (1536-1587),” in Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith. Ed. Donald K. McKim (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992), 260-261.
[60] Shirley C. Guthrie, “Heidelberg Catechism,” in Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith, ed. Donald K. McKim (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992), 167.
[61] Derk Visser, “Ursinus, Zacharias (1534-1583),” in Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith, ed. Donald K. McKim (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992), 381.
[62] For Olevianus, see Lyle D. Bierma, The Covenant Theology of Caspar Olevianus (Reprint; Grand Rapids, MI: Reformed Heritage Books, 2005), 23-27, 57; for Ursinus, see Visser, “Ursinus,” 381.
[63] Guthrie, “Heidelberg Catechism,” 167 notes that the Heidelberg Catechism is still a moderate Calvinism in that it has no doctrine of double predestination. Nevertheless, it was still approved by the Synod of Dordt in 1629, despite the Canons’ decrees on double predestination (Donald Sinnema, “Dort, Synod of,” in Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith, ed. Donald K. McKim [Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992], 109). For Beza’s intensification of Calvin’s predestinarianism through his scholastic use of Aristotle, see Philip C. Holtrop, “Beza, Theodore (1519-1605),” in Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith, ed. Donald K. McKim (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992), 34.
[64] Bierma, Caspar Olevianus, 56-57.
[65] Their few important developments of the Covenant of Grace, which are understood in at least embryonic or implicit form in the other Reformers, include the similarities between the different covenantal sacraments/signs, the covenantal rationale for paedobaptism, the stipulations of faith and obedience, and the Covenant of Grace is rooted in God’s gracious election from eternity (Bierma, Caspar Olevianus, 56-57).
[66] Bierma, Caspar Olevianus, 56-57. Ursinus’ development in the realm of pneumatology and the Spirit’s role in the covenant is extremely interesting and deserves consideration. However, that is beyond the scope of this paper. I refer readers to Bierma’s discussion in Caspar Olevianus, 59-60.
[67] Ibid., 59.
[68] Lillback, Binding of God, 276-277.
[69] Peter A. Lillback, “Ursinus' Development of the Covenant of Creation: A Debt to Melanchthon or Calvin?” Westminster Theological Journal 43, no. 2 (March 1, 1981): 247-288, esp. 258-259.
[70] Lillback, Binding of God, 276-291, esp. 278-280, 291 and Lillback, “Ursinus' Development,” 266-270.
[71] Bierma, Caspar Olevianus, 108.
[72] Ibid. and Lyle D. Bierma, “Covenant or Covenants in the Theology of Olevianus,” Calvin Theological Journal 22, no. 2 (November 1, 1987): 232.
[73] Bierma, “Covenant or Covenants,” 235.
[74] William Klempa, “Cocceius, Johannes (1603-1669),” in Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith, Ed. Donald K. McKim (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992), 74.
[75] McCoy, Fountainhead of Federalism, 63. It is noteworthy that most of those who see Federalism’s pinnacle in Cocceius’ theology are those who deny any presence of Federal thought in Calvin’s theology or many other older Reformed theologians. See, e.g., ibid. and Lincoln, “The Development of the Covenant Theory, 136-137.
[76] Willem J. van Asselt, The Federal Theology of Johannes Cocceius (1603-1669), ed. Robert J. Bast (Studies in the History of Christian Thought; Boston, MA: Brill, 2001), 212.
[77] Ibid.
[78] Ibid., 213.
[79] Ibid.
[80] McCoy, Fountainhead of Federalism, 63-73 tries to show that Cocceius’ development of Federalism was largely reactionary against such “high-Calvinism.” While he may not have been as scholastic and philosophical as many of the “high-Calvinists,” he did not write much in response to them nor did he disagree, ultimately, with them on predestination and reprobation. Asselt’s work mentioned above is the foundational work on the theology of Cocceius and it shows that McCoy’s reading of Cocceius, at least in this regard, is, at best, shallow. See Asselt, Johannes Cocceius, 216-218.
[81] Asselt, Johannes Cocceius, 216.
[82] Ibid., 217.
[83] Ibid., 41.
[84] The language here is similar to that of the WCF 7.3.
[85] Willem J. van Asselt, “The Doctrine of the Abrogations in the Federal Theology of Johannes Cocceius (1603-1669),” Calvin Theological Journal 29, no. 1 (April 1, 1994): 101-102.

[86] Ibid., 102-103.
[87] Asselt, Johannes Cocceius, 227. See ibid., 233-236 for the Holy Spirit’s role in this eternal pact.
[88] Ibid., 230.
[89] Ibid., 231.
[90] See Donald Sinnema, “The Origin of the Form of Subscription in the Dutch Reformed Tradition,” Calvin Theological Journal 42, no. 2 (November 1, 2007): 256-282 for a more thorough description of the history of the development of confessional statements and other similar documents in the Dutch Reformed tradition.

[91] David F. Wright, “Bucer (Butzer), Martin (1491-1551),” in Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith, ed. Donald K. McKim (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992), 43.
[92] Lillback, Binding of God, 123-125.
[93] McCoy, Fountainhead of Federalism, 22.
[94] Martin Greschat, Martin Bucer: A Reformer and His Times, trans. Stephen E. Buckwalter (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004), 102.
[95] Lillback, Binding of God, 89-90. Lillback notes, however, that language concerning the continuity of the Testaments is absent, but the idea is nevertheless present.
[96] Ibid., 97-98.
[97] Gert van den Brink, “Calvin, Witsius (1636-1708), and the English Antinomians,” Church History & Religious Culture 91, no. 1/2 (April 2011): 235-239.
[98] Ibid.
[99] Richard A. Muller, “The Covenant of Works and the Stability of Divine Law in Seventeenth-Century Reformed Orthodoxy: A Study in the Theology of Herman Witsius and Wilhelmus à Brakel,” Calvin Theological Journal 29, no. 1 (April 1, 1994): 88-89.
[100] Ibid., 86.
[101] Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, III/1, ed. G.W. Bromiley and T.F. Torrence, trans. J.W. Edwards, O. Bussey, and H. Knight  (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2010), 55, 58; quote on 76.
[102] John Murray, Collected Writings of John Murray, IV, Studies in Theology (Edinburgh, UK: Banner of Truth, 1982), 217-218.

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