Calvin and the Development of Covenant Theology

The CTC team invited Peter Lillback, president of Westminster Theological Seminary, to discuss his book, “The Binding of God; Calvin’s Role in the Development of Covenant Theology

Though I’m not of the Covenant Theology camp, this discussion at Christ the Center was helpful for me to to understand more about Covenant Theology by seeing how Calvin agreed, differed, and expressed his understanding of covenant.  Lilliback says when he began to research this subject for his dissertation, he did not bring any preconcieved paradigm to  Calvin.  Rather he just began to read the source material to see how Calvin interacted with the issue surrounding Covenant theology.

Calvin is better defined as a ‘testimentarian’, a term I am not familiar with, and Peter explains in some detail how Calvin differed from Luther and many other theologians.  A great deal of time is spent discussing where works fit into Covenant theology, and the danger of Covenant theology in bringing works to bear as a basis for God’s covenant with man, which destroys justification by faith alone.  Lilliback also turns his attention to the contemporary camp of the Federal Vision and explains what he sees are dangers with that.

This is not a discussion for everyone.  There are some very weighty theological nuances addressed, and the discussion assumes the listener has some grasp of the historical positions regarding soteriology and Covenant theology.  You could certainly learn some things here, but just be forewarned, you might do a lot of head scratching.  It certainly pushed me into new territory — all in all not a bad thing.

Calvin and the Development of Covenant Theology page >>>