Leithart’s Monocovenantalism

False teacher Peter Leithart offers a helpful summary of why proponents of the Federal Vision believe in monocovenantalism (the belief that the pre-fall Adamic Covenant was essentially the same as the post-fall Covenant of Grace).

Grace and law from God’s side, and a demand for faith and obedience from man, characterize every covenant in Scripture.  No covenant is exclusively legal or exclusively gracious.  No one is ever called to a dis-obedient faith or a faithless obedience.

Read the rest to understand this influential error. See also Doug Wilson’s CREC “Examination” Questions 5, 8, 39-46. Compare with John Murray’s rejection of a works principle anywhere in Scripture.

4 thoughts on “Leithart’s Monocovenantalism

  1. markmcculley

    David Gordon—How do the covenants of the Bible together demonstrate the singular purpose of God to restore rebellious humanity through “the seed of the woman” in Genesis 3? And how do they individually achieve other ends by other means in the process of getting there? Some theologians, whether Jewish or Christian, construe the unified purpose of these varying covenants in such a manner as to betray their variety. John Murray’s “covenant theology” tends to refer to “the covenant” rather than “the covenants” (or some specific covenant) and therefore tends to blend the un-blendable.

    Covenants in the Bible.doc – T. David’s Page


  2. markmcculley

    Leithart: The big difference between the word and baptism is that the word offers God’s grace to everyone-in-general while baptism declares God’s favor TO ME . Baptism wraps the gift of forgiveness and justification and puts MY NAME on the package. Like the gospel, BAPTISM REQUIRES a response of ENDURING faith. Faith involves believing what baptism says ABOUT YOU .

    Leithart–The self-imputation of “righteous” is based on the baptismal declaration that we are “justified from sin” by union with the death and resurrection of Jesus. And I can’t, of course, live a life of unbelief and disobedience, and expect baptism to rescue me at the end. Such a life would betray my baptism…..

    Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/evangelicalpulpit/2014/11/no-sacraments-no-protestantism/#ixzz3L1NmJLfk



    Doug Wilson: “To see election through a covenant lens does not mean to define decretal election as though it were identical with covenant election. But we do not drag the decrees down into our understanding of history — we let God unfold His unchangeable decrees throughout the process of all history. The content of the ultimate decrees is none of our current business, although we cheerfully acknowledge that the decrees are really there and that they have an unchanging content.”

    Wilson begs the question ecclesiologically. I suppose he thinks he’s being generous to let God reveal in the Bible that there is a decretal election. When Wilson “understands” that we can’t understand decretal election, he fails to make a distinction between knowing that there is such an election, and knowing who is elect. While the Bible does not tell who is elect, God does reveal that all the elect and only the elect will believe the gospel.

    But Wilson “understands” the gospel as that which does not talk about decretal election. So his gospel does not tell the good news about Christ having only died for the decretally elect, nor does his gospel tell the good news about all and only (as many as) the decretally elect hearing and believing the true gospel.


  3. Pingback: 1689 Federalism & Theonomy Are Not Compatible – Josh Robinson

  4. markmcculley

    Leithart–The Baptists are right on all kinds of things. They are right to say that paedobaptists need to confront the problem of apostasy head-on. They are right to say that paedobaptists are inconsistent to baptize babies and refuse to feed them. They are right to say that paedobaptists have not done a great job of explaining the relationship of sacraments and faith.

    I’ve said before that the reason why Baptist-paedobaptist arguments go nowhere is because it is a fraternal rivalry. Many paedobaptists, especially in the Reformed churches, are semi-Baptists. It’s a scrimmage, not a real game. Whichever side wins, the Baptist position triumphs.




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