Mark Jones and the covenants of works and grace

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
I realise that a similar discussion on Mark Jones and the covenant of works came up a while back, but my concern is not precisely the same as I have no issue with the notion of grace in the covenant of works. In the below quote, however, he says something that seems to lend weight to the notion that faith and works are conditions in the covenant of grace.

According to Westminster Larger Catechism 32, faith alone is the condition of the covenant of grace and, in that context, "condition" is being used in an improper sense, not as a moving or meritorious cause. To affirm that the covenant of grace is conditional in the proper sense would contradict WLC 31, as the covenant is founded on unconditional election. What Dr Jones says below sounds like a mixing of faith and works (I admit that that may not be his intention, but it does not sound good):

The conditions in both covenants are set by God and not man. In fact, generally speaking, in both covenants faith and works are required.

Joel R. Beeke; Mark Jones. A Puritan Theology (Kindle Locations 1531-1532). Kindle Edition.

N.B. To be clear, I am not saying that Dr Jones is a Federal Visionist because 1) he later goes on to disclaim neonomianism, and, 2) affirming a belief in the covenant of works is incongruous with Federal Visionism. Still, I can see why some people find his mode of expression concerning, though I may be mistaken.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
He told me he believed (and defended) CoW. I think he is using "conditions" in the earlier Rutherfordian sense (I have documentations from Rutherford somewhere) and not in the way that Boston and the Marrow Men meant it.

I think he is saying that one of the conditions for salvation is believing in Jesus. In that sense it is obvious that one isn't "meeting a works" requirement, though the language is infelicitous.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
That sounds reasonable, thanks. I think that his language is a bit unfortunate, but he is not deliberately saying anything heterodox. I have no problem with "conditions" in the older sense of the term.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
A conditio sine qua non would maybe sometimes better be called an inseparable concomitant in order to make clear that there's no question of causality. But we don't wish to make men offenders for a word.
 
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