I continue with pulling, what I consider to be choice quotes from “Merit & Moses.”
In Part 1, we will seek to show that the TLNF-Klinean version of the doctrine of republication is the result of a modern day debate concerning the doctrine of justification which began at Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia) in the late 1970s. In our judgment, this debate ultimately resulted in a reactionary pendulum swing against the teaching of Professor Norman Shepherd. Shepherd’s teaching eventually deviated from historic Reformed covenant theology in that the doctrine of the covenant of works was compromised. This ultimately led to a deficient view of the doctrine of justification in which the imputation of the active obedience of Christ was explicitly repudiated. In response to Shepherd, Professor Meredith Kline sought to preserve the church’s teaching on the covenant of works and justification through Christ’s active obedience. However, Kline did this by making several of his own modifications to traditional Reformed theology, especially the doctrine of merit. In the end, we believe both sides have embraced and affirmed concepts that significantly differ from the confessional Reformed tradition.”
Elam, Van Kooten & Bergquist
Merit and Moses; A Critique of the Klinean Doctrine of Republication — pg. 3
I note this quote because, for those who have known me and who have followed Iron Ink know that I have been insisting for years now that the error of Federal Vision (Shepherd) and the error of R2K (Kline) are mirror errors. They are to one another what Nestorianism and Monophysitism were to each other. When the debate about Federal Vision was hot and heavy I wrote against the extreme of Federal Vision and when R2K (and now it’s sister doctrine Mosaic Recapitulation) became the ecclesiastical debate du-jour I have been inveighing against them. I take delight in this quote because others are now reinforcing the idea that these two errors are related.
Note that the authors of MM insists that “both sides (Shepherdites and Klineans) have embraced and affirmed concepts that significantly differ from the confessional Reformed tradition.” This is important for the conservative confessional Reformed Church to pay attention to because much of that church is being given the Hobson’s choice that insists that we must choose either Federal Vision or R2K and Mosaic Covenant Republication when in point of fact they are each options that are promissory of unraveling the Reformed faith.
Federal Vision gives us the option of giving up Justification by faith alone for the sake of a sanctification that becomes a kind of covenantal moralism upon which our Justification depends, and this no matter how subtle and convoluted the FV lads are able to mask it. R2k and the Mosaic covenant Republication chaps gives us the option of a Justification that is denuded of sanctification. R2K and the Mosaic covenant Republication view so much wants to protect Justification that it is willing to give up public square sanctification. Federal Vision so much wants a active faith that it wants to make Justification dependent upon faithfulness of the believer (a sanctification category).
They both are errant and finally others are starting to see it.