Category Federal Theology

The Moralistic Focus of Covenant Theology: Further Notation on What is Being Recovered in the Reformed ‘Resurgence’

As a continuation from the last post I wanted to get into William Ames’s Federal or Covenant theology a bit further; in order to do that I will be referring to Janice Knight—at great length!—with the purpose of highlighting what in fact are the guts of Covenant theology. Within the field of Covenant theologians there […]

My Status with Barth and A Ramble On Distinguishing Covenant Theology From Evangelical Calvinism: Theocentrism V Christocentrism

My Status With Karl Barth In some ways I’m still in crisis mode in regard to Barth, personally. I don’t want this whole post to be about this, but I wanted to start off with a word as I continue to think about how it might still be possible for me to be Barthian. The […]

On a Christ Concentrated Theology: Its Historical Development from Calvin, to the Federal Theologians, to the Marrow Men, to Barth and Torrance

Evangelical Calvinism is really a bubbling over of a variety of impetuses from within the history of Reformed theology. We look to the Scottish theology of Thomas Torrance, and the antecedent theology he looks to in the theology of John Calvin and also in the Scottish Kirk from yesteryear. We of course also look to […]

Athanasius and T.F. Torrance Contra Mundum, Against the World of classical Calvinist Forensic Conception of the Atonement

Here’s a post I originally wrote in 2011. It illustrates how evangelical Calvinists, following T.F. Torrance and Athanasius are at odds with classical Calvinist or Federal theology. In this post I use Michael Horton as the representative of the Covenantal/Forensic approach. The focus is on what has happened in the atonement, and, indeed, in salvation […]

The Covenant of Works in Reformed Theology and an Alternative Covenantal Frame Provided by evangelical Calvinism

I have had a little interaction, recently, on Twitter, with Derek Rishmawy in regard to his affirmation of the Protestant Reformed Federal theology covenant of works. As such I am returning to this post I originally wrote up at least a couple of years ago, a post that offers a full explanation of the history and […]

The Covenant of Works, The Covenant of Grace; What Are They? The evangelical Calvinists Respond

As evangelical Calvinists we stand within an alternative stream from classical Calvinism, or Federal/Covenantal theology; the type of Calvinism that stands as orthodoxy for Calvinists today in most parts of North America and the Western world in general. The blurb on the back of our book Evangelical Calvinism: Essays Resourcing the Continuing Reformation of the […]

The “Marriage Framework” versus the “Legal Framework” of Salvation in Post-Reformation Reformed Theology

This is a very old post that I am sure none of you have read. It was written in a time before I became “The Evangelical Calvinist,” and represents the influence I had on me coming out of seminary back in 2003. I still hold to this distinction, and believe it can be synthesized well […]

Karl Barth and Covenant Theology

Karl Barth engaged heavily with his perception of the Post-Reformation orthodox/scholastic theologians of the 17th century, primarily (early on anyway) as mediated through Heppe. Rinse H Reeling Brouwer in his recently released book Karl Barth and Post-Reformation Orthodoxy provides very good insight into how Barth engaged with this period of theological development, and how he […]

Karl Barth and Thomas Torrance, Against Federal Theology Side by Side

Both Karl Barth and Thomas F. Torrance (Barth’s best English speaking student) were against Federal or classical Covenant theology, even though both of them took the concept of foedus or covenant and reified or recasted it in such a way that Christ truly became the center on both God’s side and man’s side (and they […]

Holy ‘Pactum Salutis’ Batman and Vanhoozer! Why Love is better than Law in the frame of Salvation

There are many images, metaphors in the Bible to depict God’s relationship to his creation, humanity. There is the law-court imagery, the Shepherd-sheep picture, and so on and so forth. But what undergirds all of it is who God in Jesus Christ is, and that reality–who he is–has been most clearly revealed in Jesus Christ; […]