The first major section of the Marrow of Modern Divinity was a defense of the covenant of works. It is fascinating to see how, already in the 1640s, the covenant of works came under criticism from the nomists (legalists, moralists). Nothing really ever changes does it? The nomists complained that the term covenant does not occur in Genesis 2. It is equally fascinating to see how Fisher responded. It is also interesting to observe how casually the covenant of works is dismissed by those who would be regarded as “confessional Presbyterians.” How is it possible to reject a phrase that occurs as often as that one does in the Standards? What exactly does one have to reject to be considered sub-confessional? As far as the Marrow was concerned, as far as the Reformed orthodox in the late 16th and through the 17th centuries (and even after) knew, the covenant of works was considered a basic Reformed doctrine and it was basic to the Marrow’s defense of the gospel of grace against the nomists. It still is.
Here’s episode 61:
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