Matt 13

Discussion in 'The Gospels & Acts' started by Scott Bushey, Aug 12, 2004.

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  1. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Phillip A.

    What do you think is circular reasoning according to the distinction Scott has been pressing between the CoR and the CoG and the misunderstandings surrounding them?

    I am not following you in quoting Scott's "Your thinking Baptistically" with "here is what the CoR and CoG mean."

    Is there something in the LBC that "unconfuses the issue" and makes it more plain from a Baptistic standpoint? I think what Scott is driving at is that as the LBC creates a "presupposition" that is exegetically impossible to hold (i.e. the CoG IS Presdestination/Salvation - they are coexstensive) that this is what he means when he says "thinking Baptistically." No Reformer, no early Father, no Puritan (other than what was started witht he Anabaptists) held that position at all. They always made a distinction between how the CoG works, especially if they did not use the terminology of the CoR.

    Personally, in my wanderings through Baptist history, from Tomes to Howell to Shireff to Gill, etc., I do not see them offering explicit exegetical arguments that COULD deliver them from their presuppositions on this issue - it is simply not dealt with at all.

    Is there something else that you think they (or anyone has) say, for instacne, on the distinction or dealing with the CoR and CoG? I'm simply unaware of anything remotely intelligable on this (including attempts by Welty, Malone, etc...) that have even closely dealt with the issue. Usually they are simply trying to prove that the CoG is a regenerate membership, and they make a kind of leap to MEAN the "New" covenant. (How they make that leap is also interesting).
     
  2. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    [quote:aefbb98ae5="webmaster"]Fred,

    Scott is right in asking this question above.

    Are you talking about the CoG in terms of Predestination, or the Cog in terms of the visible external covenant community in that SAME covenant?

    Remember, Westminster followed Turretin, and Ursinus gives the same information as Turretin does. They divided the CoG into two sections:

    1) The Cog as it related to Christ's service (i.e. presdestination based on the work of Christ - i.e. Chapter 3 in the WCF) and...

    2) The CoG as it appears in time with men (i.e. WCF chapter 7.) The covenant community of "believers" rounding up both beleivers, and thier children, and the covenant believer, or Gospel Hypocrite.

    The Reformation, during that time, made this distiction across the board. Today it is not "distinguished" in this way and results in confusion.

    the Sum of Saving Knowledge (of the Westminster Standards) bears this out quite nicely in applying practically the WCF. it explains both the CoR there AND the CoG and how they work together. In other words, they followed Turretin's outline and distinction for the WCF (which is why there is a chapter 3 and a seperate chapter7), and then followed the same teachings of Cocceius (who taught Witsius, who would publish his works later).[/quote:aefbb98ae5]

    Matt,

    I need help here. I have to confess that I do not understand your point here. I acknowledge that there is an eternal (CoR) and temporal aspect to God salvific covenant (CoG). But what I don't understand is why we would desire to bring the non-elect into the Covenant of Grace.

    If Westminster was following Turretin in teaching that the Covenant of Grace was made with the covenant community (both non-elect and elect) they did not do a very good job of following:

    [quote:aefbb98ae5="WLC 31"]Q31: With whom was the covenant of grace made?
    A31: The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in him [b:aefbb98ae5]with all the elect[/b:aefbb98ae5] as his seed[/quote:aefbb98ae5]

    [quote:aefbb98ae5="WLC 30"]Q30: Doth God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?
    A30: God doth not leave all men to perish in the estate of sin and misery, into which they fell by the breach of the first covenant, commonly called the Covenant of Works; but of his mere love and mercy [b:aefbb98ae5]delivereth his elect out of it[/b:aefbb98ae5], and bringeth them into an estate of salvation [b:aefbb98ae5]by the second covenant[/b:aefbb98ae5], commonly called the [b:aefbb98ae5]Covenant of Grace[/b:aefbb98ae5][/quote:aefbb98ae5]

    I do not deny at all the substance of what both you and Scott are putting forth. In fact I affirm it: God is in covenant with both the elect and non-elect. It has always been so, in the Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic and now New Covenants. I argued this quite vigorously with Dan in a thread some time ago. I just think it is a mistake to style this the Covenant of Grace. I must admit that I am partial to the CoR/CoG framework of terminology (which I think Westminster allows, but is not clear on). I also agree that the Covenant of Grace has an outward administration that is not infallible (i.e. professors in the Church). But it appears that to not have an infallible Covenant in time (as opposed to just in eternity) causes problems with the invisible church.

    Again, I wonder if we are very far apart - when I read Matt's article, it did not appear so to me, and in fact it did not appear to me to be advocating a Covenant of Grace that can be broken by anyone. That is my chief concern (as you could see by my interaction with both Dan and Phillip on this issue) - the Covenant of Grace cannot be broken, but man can break covenant with God.
     
  3. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Fred,
    Hopefully, this will not sound stupid.....
    What covenant are those in whom can break covenant with God? If God is the covenanter, and man the covenantee, assuredly this covenant must be considered [i:6bc516c19b]devine[/i:6bc516c19b] and along the same lines as all the other biblical covenants. False professors in the external church are in what covenant? Also, these whom break covenant are seen as 'apostates'. The term implies that they had hold of something which they ultimately reject (possibly only for a season).
     
  4. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Scott,

    It does not sound stupid at all. I would say that they are in (depending on the time) an external administration of the covenant of grace, which has manifested itself in the various Biblical covenants. So right now, the answer would be the new covenant.
     
  5. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Fred,
    Possibly I was not clear enough. You previously wrote:
    ' God is in covenant with both the elect and non-elect. It has always been so, in the Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic and now New Covenants. I argued this quite vigorously with Dan in a thread some time ago. I just think it is a mistake to style this the Covenant of Grace.'

    You state that God is [i:dfa0244b36] in covenant [/i:dfa0244b36] with the elect and non elect. Just to clearify, what covenant are the elect in and what covenant are the non-elect in?
     
  6. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    [quote:6225d576ef="Scott Bushey"]Fred,
    Possibly I was not clear enough. You previously wrote:
    ' God is in covenant with both the elect and non-elect. It has always been so, in the Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic and now New Covenants. I argued this quite vigorously with Dan in a thread some time ago. I just think it is a mistake to style this the Covenant of Grace.'

    You state that God is [i:6225d576ef] in covenant [/i:6225d576ef] with the elect and non elect. Just to clearify, what covenant are the elect in and what covenant are the non-elect in?[/quote:6225d576ef]

    The elect are in BOTH the Covenant of Grace and its outward administrations. The very fact that the elect are able to [i:6225d576ef]keep covenant[/i:6225d576ef] with God (in Abrahamic, Mosaic, New, etc) points to their being sustained by God (in CoG). The non-elect are merely (but truly) in covenant with God in the external administrations of the CoG.
     
  7. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:bc91eb64d6]The elect are in BOTH the Covenant of Grace and its outward administrations. The very fact that the elect are able to keep covenant with God (in Abrahamic, Mosaic, New, etc) points to their being sustained by God (in CoG). The non-elect are merely (but truly) in covenant with God in the external administrations of the CoG.[/quote:bc91eb64d6]


    Fred,
    What are the differences/limitations between the CoG's "outward administration" and "external administrations"?

    Do you still disagree with this statement?

    The covenant of grace (a real covenant, instituted by God, sealed in blood), which co-exists alongside the covenant of redemption, has the elect and non elect in it. So, you see, the fish, the wedding participants, the branches which are cut off, they are all in the covenant and are receiving covenant blessings, blessings that the Egyptians (heathens) do not receive. This rendering reconsiles all the mentionings of 'good and bad' people, fish, branches.
     
  8. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Fred,

    [quote:a77eb0153e]I need help here. I have to confess that I do not understand your point here. I acknowledge that there is an eternal (CoR) and temporal aspect to God salvific covenant (CoG). But what I don't understand is why we would desire to bring the non-elect into the Covenant of Grace. [/quote:a77eb0153e]

    Where does Predestination, election, salvation, redemption take place as decree:

    1) CoR?
    2) CoG?
     
  9. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    [quote:5c3c51ba35="Scott Bushey"][quote:5c3c51ba35]The elect are in BOTH the Covenant of Grace and its outward administrations. The very fact that the elect are able to keep covenant with God (in Abrahamic, Mosaic, New, etc) points to their being sustained by God (in CoG). The non-elect are merely (but truly) in covenant with God in the external administrations of the CoG.[/quote:5c3c51ba35]


    Fred,
    What are the differences/limitations between the CoG's "outward administration" and "external administrations"?[/quote:5c3c51ba35]

    Nothing in my mind. I was just typing quickly and used two synonymous terms.

    [quote:5c3c51ba35="Scott Bushey"]Do you still disagree with this statement?

    The covenant of grace (a real covenant, instituted by God, sealed in blood), which co-exists alongside the covenant of redemption, has the elect and non elect in it. So, you see, the fish, the wedding participants, the branches which are cut off, they are all in the covenant and are receiving covenant blessings, blessings that the Egyptians (heathens) do not receive. This rendering reconsiles all the mentionings of 'good and bad' people, fish, branches.[/quote:5c3c51ba35]

    Yes, I think I would. I view the Covenant of Grace as unbreakable, kept by the power of God. I side with Westminster, which says (as I quoted above) that the Covenant of Grace was made with the elect. It never implies that it is made with the non-elect.
     
  10. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    [quote:a8874ac15d="webmaster"]Fred,

    [quote:a8874ac15d]I need help here. I have to confess that I do not understand your point here. I acknowledge that there is an eternal (CoR) and temporal aspect to God salvific covenant (CoG). But what I don't understand is why we would desire to bring the non-elect into the Covenant of Grace. [/quote:a8874ac15d]

    Where does Predestination, election, salvation, redemption take place as decree:

    1) CoR?
    2) CoG?[/quote:a8874ac15d]

    As a decree, it takes place (technically) outside of both covenants, in the will of God. God executes that decree in an eternal sense in the Trinitarian Covenant of Redemption, and he executes it in time in the Covenant of Grace (starting in Gen. 3:15). In this sense it is similar to salvation - decreed and certain in eternity past, and yet executed really and truly in time by the application of the Holy Spirit to the elect:

    [quote:a8874ac15d="WCF 11.4"]God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect, (Gal. 3:8, 1 Pet. 1:2,19""20, Rom. 8:30) and Christ did, in the fulness of time, die for their sins, and rise for their justification: (Gal. 4:4, 1 Tim. 2:6, Rom. 4:25) nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit doth, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them. (Col. 1:21""22, Gal. 2:16, Tit. 3:4""7).[/quote:a8874ac15d]

    So:

    [quote:a8874ac15d="Haldane on Romans"]The information which the Scriptures give us of the sin of the first man, show that it was a complete subversion of nature, and the establishment of the kingdom of Satan in the world; they also show us that the purpose of sending Jesus Christ into the world was to destroy the empire of Satan, sin, and death. "œï"¿We read,ï"¿" says Mr. Bell On the Covenants, "œï"¿of two Adams, ï"¿1 Corinthians 15:45""49ï"¿. As the one is called the first man, the other is called the second, even the Lord from heaven. Now, as there were innumerable multitudes of men between the first man and Him, it is plain that He is called the second man for some very peculiar reason. And what else can that be, but because He is the representative and father of all His spiritual seed, as the first man was of all his natural seed? The one is the head, the federal head of the earthly men, the other of the heavenly. Since the one is called the second man, not because He was the second in the order of creation, but because He was the second public head, it follows that the other is called the first man not because he was first created, or in opposition to his descendants, but because he was the first public head in opposition to Christ the second. [b:a8874ac15d]Thus the two Adams are the heads of the two covenants[/b:a8874ac15d]. The one the representative of all who are under the covenant of works, communicating his image unto them; [b:a8874ac15d]the other the representative of all who are under the covenant of grace[/b:a8874ac15d], and communicating His image unto them. By the one man"(tm)s disobedience many were made sinners, and by the obedience of the other many shall be made righteous. ([i:a8874ac15d]in loc[/i:a8874ac15d] Rom 5:1-21)[/quote:a8874ac15d]

    [quote:a8874ac15d="Hodge on the Confession"]Our Standards say nothing of two covenants. They do not mention the covenant of redemption as distinct from the covenant of grace. But evidently the several passages which treat of this subject (Conf. Faith, ch. 7., s. 3; L. Cat., q. 31; S. Cat., q. 20) assume that there is but one covenant, contracted by Christ in behalf of the elect with God in eternity, and [b:a8874ac15d]administered by him to the elect[/b:a8874ac15d] in the offers and ordinances of the gospel and in the gracious influences of his Spirit. The Larger Catechism in the place referred to teaches how the covenant of grace was contracted with Christ for his people. The Confession of Faith in these sections teaches how that same covenant is administered by Christ to his people.[/quote:a8874ac15d]

    [quote:a8874ac15d="Guthrie in [i:a8874ac15d]The Christian's Great Interest[/i:a8874ac15d]"]The Lord did most freely, from everlasting, purpose and intend to save men another way, namely, by Christ Jesus, and the covenant of grace, in which He intended reconciliation with the elect through Christ Jesus, God and man, born of a woman, in due time to make this agreement effectual. And this device of satisfying His own justice, and saving of the elect by Christ, He did at first intimate to our parents in paradise, saying, "˜ï"¿That the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent"(tm)s head.ï"¿"(tm) (ï"¿Gen. 3:15ï"¿.) And the Lord has in all generations made this known to His church.[/quote:a8874ac15d]

    That is at least what I am thinking now. I need to go back and re-read Berkhof and Ward.
     
  11. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    [quote:a8b04eee14]As a decree, it takes place (technically) outside of both covenants[/quote:a8b04eee14]

    As a decree, it [u:a8b04eee14][b:a8b04eee14]IS[/b:a8b04eee14][/u:a8b04eee14] the CoR. (I suppose in some ways your slant on lapsarianism would color this) but that's the Federal Position. Chapter 3 = the CoR and chapter 7 = the CoG in the WCF. That was their intent - that is why you see predestiantion in chapter 3 and NOT (hear that all Presbyterians!!) in chapter 7.

    Hodge, in the above quotes, was in error, or better stated, did not consider everything needful to be considered here, because he did not take into consideration the WCF's following of Turretin and the division of the CoG. Did he mention the Sum of Saving Knowledge? I know he does not. His commentary is just dealing with the WCF alone (and people need to be careful in doing that - for - if they knew Westminster's Hisotry, then they would treat the WHOLE standards together. For example, where do we have the practical application of the WSC, WLC and WCF? IN THE SoSK!)

    Here is THEIR application of the WCF - see if you can reconcile it with what has been said so far:

    The remedy provided in Jesus Christ for the elect by the covenant of grace. Hos. xiii. 9. O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.

    I. Albeit man, having brought himself into this woeful condition, be neither able to help himself, nor willing to be helped by God out of it, but rather inclined to lie still, insensible of it, till he perish; yet God, for the glory of his rich grace, hath revealed in his word a way to save sinners, to wit, by faith in Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, by virtue of, and according to the tenor of the [b:a8b04eee14]covenant of redemption[/b:a8b04eee14], made and agreed upon, between God the Father and God the Son, in the counsel of the Trinity, before the world began.

    II. The sum of the [b:a8b04eee14]covenant of redemption[/b:a8b04eee14], is this: God having freely chosen unto life, a certain number of lost mankind, for the glory of his rich grace, did give them, before the world began, unto God the Son, appointed Redeemer, that, upon condition he would humble himself so far as to assume the human nature of a soul and a body, unto personal union with his divine nature, and submit himself to the law, as surety for them, and satisfy justice for them, by giving obedience in their name, even unto the suffering of the cursed death of the cross, he should ransom and redeem them all from sin and death, and purchase unto them righteousness and eternal life, with all saving graces leading thereunto, to be effectually, by means of his own appointment, applied in due time to every one of them. [i:a8b04eee14]This condition the Son of God (who is Jesus Christ our Lord) did accept before the world began[/i:a8b04eee14], and in the fulness of time came into the world, was born of the Virgin Mary, subjected himself to t he law, and completely paid the ransom on the cross : But by virtue of the foresaid bargain, made before the world began, he is in all ages, since the fall of Adam, still upon the work of applying actually the purchased benefits unto the elect : and that he doth by way of entertaining a covenant of free grace and reconciliation with them, through faith in himself; by which covenant, he makes over to every believer a right and interest to himself, and to all his blessings.

    III. For the accomplishment of this [b:a8b04eee14]covenant of redemption[/b:a8b04eee14], and making the elect partakers of the [b:a8b04eee14]benefits thereof in the covenant of grace[/b:a8b04eee14], Christ Jesus was clad with the threefold office of Prophet, Priest, and King: Made a Prophet, to reveal all saving knowledge to his people, and to persuade them to believe and obey the same; Made a Priest, to offer up himself a sacrifice once for them all, and to interceed continually with the Father, for making their persons and services acceptable to him; And made a King, to subdue them to himself, to feed and rule them by his own appointed ordinances, and to defend them from their enemies.

    Then they describe how this CoG works (remember - this is NOT Predestination/salvation by decree - it is the practical outworking of the WCF's chapter 3 in chapter 7):

    The [b:a8b04eee14]outward means [/b:a8b04eee14]appointed to make the elect partakers of this covenant, and all the rest that are called, to be inexcusable, Matt. xxii. 14. Many are called.

    I. The [b:a8b04eee14]outward means [/b:a8b04eee14]and ordinances, for making men partakers of the covenant of grace, are so wisely dispensed, [b:a8b04eee14]as that the elect shall be infallibly converted and saved by them[/b:a8b04eee14]; [b:a8b04eee14]and the reprobate, among whom they are, not to be justly stumbled.[/b:a8b04eee14] The means are especially these four. [b:a8b04eee14]1. The Word of God. 2. The Sacraments. 3. Kirk-government. 4. Prayer.[/b:a8b04eee14] In the Word of God preached by sent messengers, the Lord makes offer of grace to all sinners, upon condition of faith in Jesus Christ; and whosoever do confess their sin, accept of Christ offered, and submit themselves to his ordinances, he will have both them and their children received into the honour and privileges of the covenant of grace. By the Sacraments, God will have the covenant sealed for confirming the bargain on the foresaid condition. By Kirk-government, he will have them hedged in, and helped forward unto the keeping of the covenant. And by Prayer, he will have his own glorious grace, promised in the covenant, to be daily drawn forth, acknowledged, and imployed. All which means are followed either really, or in profession only, according to the quality of the covenanters, as they are true or counterfeit believers.

    II. The [b:a8b04eee14]covenant of grace[/b:a8b04eee14], set down in the Old Testament before Christ came, and in the New since he came, is one and the same in Substance, albeit different in outward administration: For the covenant in the Old Testament, being sealed with the sacraments of circumcision and the paschal lamb, did set forth Christ's death to come, and the benefits purchased thereby, under the shadow of bloody sacrifices, and sundry ceremonies; but since Christ came, the covenant being sealed by the sacraments of baptism and the ' supper, do clearly hold forth Christ already crucified before our eyes, victorious over death and the grave, and gloriously ruling heaven and earth, for the good of his own people.

    Then they talk about the effectual application IN THE CoG to the ELECT:

    The blessings which are [b:a8b04eee14]effectually conveyed by these means to the ' elect[/b:a8b04eee14], or chosen ones. Matt. xxii. 14. Many are called, but few are chosen.

    I. [b:a8b04eee14]By these outward ordinances, as our Lord makes the reprobate inexcusable[/b:a8b04eee14], so, [b:a8b04eee14]by the power of his Spirit, he applies unto the elect[/b:a8b04eee14], effectually, all saving graces purchased to them in the [b:a8b04eee14]covenant of redemption[/b:a8b04eee14], and maketh a change in their persons. In particular, 1. He doth convert or regenerate them, by giving spiritual life to them, in opening their understandings, renewing their wills, affections, and faculties, for giving spiritual obedience to his commands. 2. He gives them saving faith, by making them, in the sense of deserved condemnation, to give their consent heartily to the covenant of grace, and to embrace Jesus Christ unfeignedly. 3. He gives them repentance, by making them, with godly sorrow, in the hatred of sin, and love of righteousness, turn from all iniquity to the service of God. And, 4. He sanctifies them, by making them go on and persevere in faith, and spiritual obedience to the law of God, manifested by fruitfulness in all duties, and doing good works, as God offereth occasion.

    II. Together with this inward change of their persons, God changes also their state: for, so soon as they are brought by faith [b:a8b04eee14]into the covenant of grace[/b:a8b04eee14], 1. He justifies them, by imputing unto them that perfect obedience which Christ gave to the law, and the satisfaction also which upon the cross Christ gave unto justice in their name. 2. He reconciles them, and makes them friends to God, who were before enemies to God. 3. He adopts them, that they shall be no more children of Satan, but children of God, enriched with all spiritual privileges of his sons. And last of all, after their warfare in this life is ended, he perfects the holiness and blessedness, first of their souls at their death, and then both of their souls and their bodies, being joyfully joined together again in the resurrection, at the day of his glorious coming to judgment, when all the wicked shall be sent away to hell, with Satan whom they have served: but Christ's own chosen and redeemed ones, true believers, students of holiness, shall remain with himself for ever, in the state of glorification.


    I say with them AMEN!!
     
  12. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Matt,

    I will look at this when I have some time in the next few days. I can't fin d my copy of Hetherington right now - can you confirm for me that the SoSK was ever adopted by the Assembly or the Scottish Kirk. As I recall, it wasn't. It was like the Commentaries on the Bible by Westminster Divines - helpful, but not authoritative in interpreting the Confession.

    Also, I cited the WLC above on the covenant of grace being made with the elect. (the WSC has the same formularies) Do you think this helps us to interpret the WCF?

    Also, why does WCF 7 also treat the Covenant of Works?
     
  13. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    [quote:a06a88c3ab]Also, I cited the WLC above on the covenant of grace being made with the elect. (the WSC has the same formularies) Do you think this helps us to interpret the WCF? [/quote:a06a88c3ab]


    Of course. But remember - the Standards as a whole is a positive statement, not a polemical statement.

    [quote:a06a88c3ab]Also, why does WCF 7 also treat the Covenant of Works?[/quote:a06a88c3ab]

    CoR, chapter 3 - before time, decrees, etc.

    CoW, CoG - Chapter 7 - in time, outplay of decrees.


    [quote:a06a88c3ab]As I recall, it wasn't. It was like the Commentaries on the Bible by Westminster Divines - helpful, but not authoritative in interpreting the Confession. [/quote:a06a88c3ab]

    Where are you [u:a06a88c3ab]recalling [/u:a06a88c3ab]this from?
     
  14. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    here is one source, but I recall it from Hetherington (which I can't find now - the book itself):

    and

     
  15. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Right. The SoSK is the "commentary" of sorts on the biblical ideas conatined in the Confession. Its like Calvin's commentaries. He wrote them, we quote them all the time, but Calvin said that if we want to "know his mind" on a given idea in a more full manner, then we should consult the Institutes. The SoSK acts in the same way. it helps us to understand what they meant when they said what they said, but the Confession was the "official statement." So we don't throw away the SoSK but append it to the standards.
     
  16. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    I'm not saying we "throw them away," but I think there is a large difference between saying that a document produced by a couple of men (were they even commissioners? I know Dickson wasn't) give us the "mind" of an Assembly that was 98% English, and which NEVER adopted or appended the document. It was the Scottish Kirk that did that.

    Now, I am not demeaning the SoSK. I think it is valuable and good in the main. But you cannot draw the Calvin's commentary analogy. It would be like saying that we have a book by Farel or Bucer, and from that we know the mind of Calvin.
     
  17. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Fred, the most pursasive and exegetically astute thinkers in the assembly were the Scottish Commissioners. Every time you turn around youa re reading how Rutherford, Henderson, Gillespie et. al. burried the "ideas" of many of the Englsh Presbyterians. If we are talking about "Presbyterianism" and the doctrines that follow that theological trail, you don't trace it back to the English as a high point, but the Scots.

    Just a side note, Gillespie was chosen by the assembly to define God. He was the youngest in the whole assembly - they gave him the task. Before he began, he asked the assembly to pray - here is how he prayed:

    There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions; immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him; and withal, most just, and terrible in his judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.

    Sound familiar?

    So we want to place theological weight where it should go. The Scots, in mnay ways, instructed the English on many occasions, from the time the Sl&C was enacted (becausse of the Scots) right down tot he translation they voted on for John 3:16 - which was Rutherford's and Gillespie's work.

    So we do not want to discount the smartest ones, and thier commentary, of the WA.

    Everyone should own the whole set of standards adopted by the Scots, not just the pamphlet on the confession.

    [Edited on 11-24-2004 by webmaster]
     
  18. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Matt,

    I'm not tracing the high point to England. What I am saying, is that if you want to say something expresses the mind of a body - it SHOULD actually come FROM the body. This is a lawyer thing. How do we even know that Dickson et al expressed Rutherford's position? They were not there!

    This is like saying that the commentaries on the Bible books written by assmebly members are authoritiative guides to the doctrines of the Assembly where they touch on texts the Assembly uses. This is authority 101.
     
  19. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Fred,

    The assmebly voted to consitute the Sum of Saving Knowledge as a commentary on the Confession. It is in thier minutes. The SoSK did not "appear" out of some other venue.

    Is that what you are asking?
     
  20. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    That is at least in part what I am asking. Could you send me that section - I believe you, but would like it for my files for later. Thanks!
     
  21. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    I'll gather it.
     
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