Rev. Matthew Winzer: "I am not sundering, I am only distinguishing; whereas tewilder is conflating promise and condition." There is a name for the conflation of promise and condition. Such a conflation is called a covenant. Now, who conflated these? Well, who was it that made a covenant with Adam, me or God? I say God made the Covenant of Works with Adam, and Winzer thinks I did it, for that is where the conflation is made. MW: ""Merit" is your idea, not mine. I have nowhere said that faith merits salvation. I am using faith as an example of a non-meritorious condition in order to show you that the bare fact the covenant of works contained conditions did not make it meritorious." So what is your point in dragging faith into the Covenant of Works? MW: "Why have you shifted "faith" from the gospel to the covenant of works. My argument pertained to the gospel, not the covenant of works. It proves non-meritorious conditions. Hence your argument, that obedience as a condition in the covenant of works merits the reward, is null and void." Because you did. Your argument is that faith is not meritorious, therefore the Covenant is Works has no merit. "You assume that a fulfilled condition entails merit." By definition. And furthermore, that is the point of creating a covenant. That is what God wanted. God <i>wanted</i> to bring about this legal/judicial/forensic/meritorius mode of relationship between God and man. It is, among other things, the precondition of the sheme of salvation, and the precondition of culture. MW: "You agreed above that faith is a condition of the salvation offered in the gospel." I said that faith is the instrumental ground, not the meritorious ground. I did not say the the Covenant of Grace had nothing to do with merit. On the contrary, it is about someone else meriting for us. Without the Covenant of Works being a meritorious covenant there would be no point to the Covenant of Grace. The Covenant of Grace is made with Christ and those who are in Christ. It is about Christ being the substitute (for Adam) covenant head, so that his <i>merit</i> is accounted to those in him. If our faith took the place of Christ's meritorious obedience as the condition, making this to be a non-meritorious matter, then Norman Shepherd would be right. But you refuse to distinguish between instruments and conditions because clarity would wreck your theology. MW: "You agreed above that faith is a condition of the salvation offered in the gospel. You maintained above that faith is not meritorious. Hence, according to your own witness, you can allow for a non-meritorious condition." This is a fallacious argument depending on amphiboly with the term "condition". You refuse to distinguish instruments from meritorius causes. But even if that part were valid you would still be wrong because the role of faith in the Covenant of Grace does not make the different covenant, the Covenant of Works, to be non-meritorious. MW: "You cannot prove from Scripture or reason that if Adam had have fulfilled the condition of the covenant of works it would have "merited" the life God promised." It <b>needs no proof</b>. For Adam to have fulfilled the condition of the covenant of works <b>means</b> that he <b>merited</b>, because that is the meaning of the word "merit". To merit is to be entitled to what is promised in a conditional promise by reason of having filled the conditions.