This was a very good discussion on the Puritanboard in which Dr. Clark himself participated. I joined in on the second page after he made this statement.
“First, As a minister in the United Reformed Churches I subscribe, without exception and unequivocally, the Three Forms of Unity. As a seminary prof I subscribe ex animo (sincerely from the heart) the system of doctrine contained in the Westminster Standards but I believe that I hold them without exception.” RSC
My response to this was, “On another point I also believe that Dr. Clark holds to a position concerning the Mosaic Covenant that is not in accordance with the WCF concerning the Mosaic Covenant. He seems to hold to a position that is at odds with the Mosaic Covenant being a full administration of the Covenant of Grace. It seems to be a modified approach that makes it both an administration of both the Covenant of Grace and a Covenant of Works (in a varied sense).”
As he has stated,
“That God might have arranged a temporary, national covenant with Israel such that she may be said to have “merited” temporal blessings in the land is a view that has been held in the history of Reformed theology. It is probably a minority view but it has been held.
I would not put it that way myself. As I’ve said many times, there’s too much evidence in the history of Israel for me to think that even the temporal blessings were merited. Nevertheless, it is also the case that Scripture does speak to Israel in legal terms and that, is, in my view, the material question in republication. I agree with the broad mainstream of classic Reformed writers in the 16th and 17th centuries and with the Marrow of Modern Divinity, that the old covenant (Moses-David-Prophets) was both an administration of the covenant of grace and an administration of the covenant of works.” R. Scott Clark
I also note in the discussion, “I do not believe this is the broad mainstream of the Westminster Divines. I am not so sure it is that of the Marrow Men either as I have noted here.”
I know Dr. Clark is not ignorant of the positions here since he was someone who warned me against John Ball’s ‘A Treatise of the Covenant of Grace’. I assume he has read Samuel Rutherford, Anthony Burgess, Herman Bavinck, James Durham, John Ball, etc. He is a Reformed Historian and Seminary Professor. I just wish he would be open and quit obfuscating. He isn’t the only person doing this but he is the one who has harped and penned on these issues in great quantity and I believe he is confusing people by hiding the facts and being less precise than he should be as in his comment about Distinctions and being called a Lutheran in a recent comment on his blog. http://rpcnacovenanter.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/the-charge-of-lutheranism-is-not-about-distinction-it-is-about-dichotomy/
This really isn’t about Clark as much as it is about others being confused by these type of men on these issues. Just be honest about what you believe whether it is in the minority position or majority positions. I have great fellowship with those of other denominations. But they are honest about their disagreements and who they are. They don’t claim to hold to a Confession of Faith without exception when they really don’t.
I hold to the WCF but have some possible quibbles as per my Denominations Testimony. Being honest and open lays a better ground for fellowship and love. In Him there is no darkness.
I believe the following web site can be very beneficial. Please take your time and explore it.
Introduction to site.
They are deceived then who make Parallel distinctions of the Old and New Testament; of the Covenant of Works, and of Grace; of the Law, and Gospel: for in both, the Testament or Covenant is the Covenant of Grace; in both, the Law and Gospel are urged.
This site will be dedicated to providing resources for understanding the Mosaic covenant in Reformed Theology. Our primary focus will be historical-theological. Our goal is provide the church, her pastors, and professors with direct access to primary documents that speak to this issue. Many historical-theological treatments of this issue are agenda-driven, and are highly skewed according to each person’s own position (and you are free to judge from these primary documents if that is true for me as well).
Most of the material on this sight will be from Reformed Theologians. However, in order to help others understand the Reformed doctrine in its historical-theological context, we hope to provide exerpts from Roman Catholic, Arminian, Socinian, Lutheran, and Amyraldian theology as well. In this way, the distintively Reformed position will stand out sharply against those who disagreed with them.
We do not pretend to make any secret of our own position on this matter. We believe that the majority consensus of Reformed theologians of the 16th and 17th centuries was that the Mosaic Covenant was essentially a covenant of grace. While it had unique administrative elements, these were merely accidental and did not change its essential character as a covenant of grace. This position was advanced by the vast majority of prominent 17th century Reformed Theologians, and is embodied in the confessions of that same century, particularly the Westminster Standards. Aware of this, the reader is also free to check all my introductory comments and analysis on the basis of the primary documents, and correct them where he or she feels they are inaccurate.
Nevertheless, we welcome the visitors to this site to read these books and excerpts for themselves to come to their own opinion on the matter. We believe that a thorough, honest, and careful reading of these primary documents will lead the reader to come to the same conclusion.