31
Aug
13

Baptist Covenant Theology–Stuart L. Brogden

The following is a link to a lecture Stuart Brogden delivered on Baptist Covenant Theology.

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=8261322081

It may differ slightly with my view of New Covenant Theology in that it may see all humanity under the old covenant, the Law, whereas I would see that covenant as one made exclusively with Israel treated paradigmatically as a microcosm of the human race. Israel’s response to that covenant stood representatively as the response of all in Adam. God’s elect [spiritual] receive the blessings of that works covenant, not because we were under it, but because we are in him who was born under it and fulfilled its every last requirement as our substitute.

The following is Stuart’s response to my question [by email] in regard to the differences he sees between his position and NCT:

From what I’ve read about NCT, I do not agree that God’s moral law is defined by what the NT re-published thereof. This is put forth as a NCT tenet in “The Cross – The Heart of NCT”; which sees the Decalogue as God’s moral law in so much as it is republished in the NT.

I see that moral law as pre-dating the Decalogue and being partially displayed in the Decalogue, which is no more than God’s testimony of His covenant with Israel. I do see categories of law with the Mosaic Covenant, but not in the same way as the WCF crowd does. Their view of the church = Israel distorts the Scripture, making a complex issue neat and easy to reduce to a catechism.

My answer is that, though I wrote the booklet to which he refers, “The Cross: The Heart of New Covenant Theology” years ago, I must have failed to make my position clear. Whatever I stated in that booklet that gave the impression that we believe the law of God is defined by what is republished in the New Testament, my position at this point is that God’s moral law [as I have stated in other places I prefer the term “righteous standard”] never changes. It antedates the Decalogue and survives its abrogation. The two commandments that embody that righteous standard, love to God and neighbor, are to be obeyed in different ways under different covenants. Love to God under the old covenant was expressed in obedience to so-called ceremonial commandments as well as through obedience to so-called moral commandments. The commandments that are published in the New Testament Scriptures are not so published to define “moral law” but to describe what obedience to that eternal, righteous standard looks like for a new covenant believer.

Regarding different aspects of the Mosaic covenant (moral, civil/judicial, and ceremonial), I do not disagree that such a character exists with individual commandments. There is clearly a distinction between the covenant itself, the Ten Words, and the commands God gave for the implementation of that covenant. My point is that it was not two parts of the Mosaic covenant that waxed old and was ready to vanish but the entire covenant. The biblical writers consistently refer to “LAW,” not “Moral law,””ceremonial law,” and “civil law.” It was the covenant that passed away, not parts of it. The only reason the Sabbath commandment is not repeated in the N. T. Scriptures is that it was the ceremonial sign of the old covenant that has now been fulfilled in Christ.

We are still required to keep and are now enabled to keep the righteous requirements of the law in terms of the principles set forth in the intricate legal system that was necessary to implement the old covenant. Yet, since we do not live in a Theocracy, and in my view are not intended to live in a Theocracy until the King returns, the laws regarding capital punishment, etc. no longer obtain. My view is that if any part of that covenant has been fulfilled and has therefore vanished, the covenant as a whole has vanished.

At any rate, whatever differences may remain between Stuart and me on these issues, I believe you will find the above referenced lecture helpful.

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2 Responses to “Baptist Covenant Theology–Stuart L. Brogden”


  1. August 31, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Thank you, my brother. Whatever differences are between us are small and secondary at best.

    • August 31, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Agreed. Not really sure any would remain after we discussed the matter thoroughly. Perhaps it would help to clarify my view to say I don’t believe there are any righteous requirements of the old covenant, the Law that are not also required of the new covenant believer but even on an elevated level.


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