An Analogy for the Distinction Between Law & Gospel

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Fly Caster

Puritan Board Sophomore
I know that others here have a far better grasp on this issue than I have and would like to get some critique on this analogy to see if I'm on the right track. Here goes:

In reading scripture, we must be careful to recognize a proper distinction between Law & Gospel, although this is not always an easy task. Some would have us believe that there is no distinction at all, and others would say that any passage must be seen as either all Law or all Gospel. A proper understanding recognizes a distinction but doesn't fail to recognize the harmony between the two. Think of it this way. Reading scripture can be seen as something like hearing a piece of music played by an orchestra. Each section is composed of players of certain instruments that blend together to create a wonderful song. There is a distinction between the sections-- a violin is not a tuba is not a bass drum-- and yet there is a harmony that blends to create the whole and make a beautiful song. Sometimes the sections blend together so closely that only a well-trained ear can pick up the distinctions, yet it's always there. In looking at scripture, sometimes "Law" is pronounced and "Gospel" is muted and at times "Gospel" rises to a crescendo and "Law" is barely heard. For brief periods, "Gospel" may play alone or "Law" plays it's solo piece. Yet, the whole of scripture, just like a musical piece, is composed of Law & Gospel playing together in harmony to create the song.

Making an argument that Law and Gospel must be sharply divided to maintain the distinction would destroy the harmony, for only one section could play at a time. If the tuba was blowing the trumpet must remain quite. If Gospel is singing Law must be silent. One can easily see how this would mar, if not destroy, the song. If one argues for no distinction, the result is as bad, if not worse-- rather than blended harmony there is a homogeneous mixture of "Golawspel." In this way, making too sharp of a distinction, or confusing the two, destroys the integrity, usefulness and beauty of scripture's song.

Anyway, this is kind of where I am, and as I said, I would like to get some thoughts on this. What bought this analogy to mind was some comments from a "Reformed" author that I read and found quite shocking--

How are the Law and the Gospel distinct? What is the contradiction between the Law and the Gospel? Where in the Bible do you see the phrase, “The law and the gospel are distinct”? Where do you see a verse that affirms such a doctrine? How do you separate the Gospel of Christ from the Law of Christ?

I have heard that cliche many many times. I have read it in supposedly “Reformed” theologians. But I have never been able to locate a Biblical support for that cliche. They all point to verses that separate the unlawful use of the Law from the lawful – i.e. according to the Gospel – use of the Law. But the distinction between unlawful and unlawful use of the Law is NOT a distinction between the law and the Gospel.

Go ahead, show me the verses that establish that mysterious distinction between the Law and the Gospel...

...there is no difference between the Law and the Gospel, because it is obvious from the verse that the Gospel only speaks against whatever the Law speaks against. Either way, whether you take my exegesis or mine, you end up with identity between the Law and the Gospel from these verses, not distinction.

American Vision | Amish Presbyterians: PINO (Author's comments about half-way down the page)
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