Leithart and Sloganizing

Peter Leithart

The term “mono-covenantalism” has been tossed around wildly in the last few years. Apparently, mono-covenantalism is really scary and bad. The PCA FV report insists on “bi-covenantalism” as the structure of “Scripture.”

So, is there one covenant, or are there two?

Might as well ask if Indian and African elephants are one species or two. Are you mono-elephantine or bi-elephantine?

The answer, of course, depends on what features you’re attending to. Nobody believes that the Adamic covenant in the garden was the same in every respect as the postlapsarian covenants. If nothing else, there’s the difference of Adam’s location: In the first covenant, he’s in the garden; the postlapsarian covenant presumes his exclusion from the garden.

Yet, most everyone agrees that there are fundamental similarities: Both covenants have identical parties – God and Adam; both are initiated by God; both include promises and threats; and so on.

Carrying on a debate between bi- and mono-covenantalism is just that – carrying on. It’s sloganizing, not theology.

If the scholastics taught us nothing else, and they taught us much, they would be valuable for introducing the word “quoddamodo” (“in a certain sense”) into theological discourse.

About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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