The Mosaic Covenant: Works, Grace, What?

I finally got it: The Law is not of Faith (Phillipsburg: P&R, 2009).  If you’re in the Reformed/Presbyterian tradition (or someone who just wants a peek at our “covenant” tradition), you’ll want to grab this.  It is a level-headed historical, theological, and exegetical discussion of the Mosaic covenant.

In the introduction, the editors make the case (which subsequent chapters support) that most of the Reformed/Presbyterian orthodox theologians in the past have in some way viewed the Mosaic covenant as foundationally the covenant of grace, with the covenant of works simultaneously operative at some level.  They do not argue that there is one single orthodox view which they are trying to advocate, but basically there is a sort of umbrella of agreement under which the old divines/scholastics worked.

In the intro the editors also ask the reader to well consider the history and exegesis of this discussion, which will “serve to renew significant conversations that have not been taking place in recent years, toward the goal of seeing Reformed churches come mutually to a richer understanding of the Old Testament in God’s larger redemptive plan” (p. 20).

In order to keep this post short, I’ll comment on the excellent first chapter later, where J. Fesko shows Calvin and Witsius’ explanation of the Mosaic covenant – as a “spoiler,” there are essential similarities with a few different emphases.

shane lems

sunnyside, wa

1 thought on “The Mosaic Covenant: Works, Grace, What?”

  1. Yep. This is a stellar volume. I’ll try to do some interaction with it too, though it’ll hinge on whether my other work is done on time!


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