This is why so much depends on the benefit of justification, and it is rightly denominated the article on which the church either stands or falls. For the fundamental question that arises in this connection is this: What is the way that leads to communion with God, to true religion, to salvation and eternal life: God’s grace or human merit, his forgiveness or our works, gospel or law, the covenant of grace or the covenant of works?
….It’s Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics 4.204–05. Thanks to Martin for posting this.
Correlating the law to the covenant of works and the gospel to the covenant of grace?1 “The article by which the church stands or falls”? 2 That’s Lutheran stuff isn’t it? Well, that’s what we’re told.3 Hmm. That’s it. Bavinck was a crypto-Lutheran. Yes, that must be it.
1. Only Lutherans talk this way
2.Bavinck talks this way
3. Ergo, Bavinck was a Lutheran.
That’s really too bad. I was all set to read, mark, and inwardly digest Bavinck’s 4 vols but now that I find out that he was a Lutheran, well that just spoils everything! Crums. Now where will we find a truly Reformed theologian to read?
Or maybe we could query the major premise?
1It’s a trick. Confessional Lutherans typically reject the notion of a prelapsarian covenant of works.
2This phrase originated with a Reformed theologian, J. H. Alsted, in the early 17th century, but lets not let any ugly facts get in the way of a good syllogism.
3“…this volume looks like an exceptional modern exposition of the Lutheran view of justification as applied to intra-American Presbyterian debates.”