Merit and Moses: A Critique of the Klinean Doctrine of Republication
Elam, Andrew M.; Van Kooten, Robert C.; Bergquist, Randall A.
“In recent years, a number of Reformed writers have advanced the claim that the Mosaic covenant or economy was 'in some sense' a republication of the covenant of works. According to these writers, the Republication doctrine was a common emphasis in the history of Reformed theology, and even forms an important part of the basis for the biblical doctrine of justification. The authors of this volume present a clear and compelling case against this claim. Rather than a reaffirmation of a forgotten, integral feature of Reformed theology, the authors argue that the modern republication doctrine seems inconsistent with the historic Reformed understanding of the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. A helpful contribution.”See All
Cornelis P. Venema
President and Professor of Doctrinal Studies, Mid-America Reformed Seminary
“I strongly recommend that everyone interested in the notion of Republication read the important book, Merit and Moses. By focusing on the guilt of every child of Adam and the only merit recognized by a holy God, the authors cut to the heart of Republication's error. They show that to be the case by an insightful study of the Scriptures, of our most revered theologiansfor example, John Murray, too often misunderstood and maligned by Republicationistsand of the Reformed confessions, showing that the doctrine of Republication cannot be harmonized with the teaching of the Westminster Standards.”See All
Robert B. Strimple
President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology, Westminster Seminary California
“The doctrine of Republication has a Reformed pedigree. But in what sense? Recent understandings of Republication sometimes depart significantly from what one finds among Reformed theologians in the Post-Reformation periods. It is to the merit of these authors for dealing with this thorny issue by offering some important insights into the precise nature of the debate, such as discussions on merit and justice and the nature of typology. I hope all involved in the debate will give this book a careful and sympathetic readingat least more careful and sympathetic than those who have publicly opposed Professor John Murray on this issue.”See All
Senior Minister, Faith Vancouver Presbyterian Church (PCA), Vancouver, BC
What did writers in the Reformed tradition mean by suggesting that the Covenant of Works with Adam has been republished in the Mosaic Covenant? Not all forms of this doctrine of “republication“ are the same.
Merit and Moses is a critical evaluation of a particular version of the republication doctrine—one formulated by Meredith G. Kline and espoused in The Law Is Not of Faith (2009). At the heart of this discussion is the attribute of God's justice and the Reformed view of merit. Has classic Augustinian theology been turned on its head? Does—or can—God make a covenant at Sinai with fallen people by which Israel may merit temporal blessings on the basis of works? Have “merit“ and “justice“ been redefined in the service of Kline's works-merit paradigm?
The authors of Merit and Moses examine the positions of John Murray and Norman Shepherd with respect to the reactionary development of the Klinean republication doctrine. Klinean teachings are shown to swing wide of the Reformed tradition when held up to the plumb line of the Westminster Standards, which embody the Reformed consensus on covenant theology and provide a faithful summary of Scripture.
Includes a Foreword by William Shishko