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The Covenant of God and the Children of Believers: Sovereign Grace in the Covenant
Reformed Free Publishing Assoc / 2005 / Hardcover
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Reformed theologian David J. Engelsma contends for Calvinism against one of the gravest threats to Reformed Christianity since the Synod of Dordt in the early seventeenth century. The threat is the denial not only of justification by faith alone, but also of all the doctrines of grace. Like the Arminian heresy, the contemporary attack on the Reformed faith comes from within. It is found in those Reformed and Presbyterian churches that still claim adherence to the Reformation creeds. Those who launch the attack occupy pulpits and seminary chairs in these reputedly conservative churches.
What makes the attack especially dangerous is that it consists of a development of a doctrine of the covenant that is popular in Reformed and Presbyterian churches. The newest form of the age-old attack on the gospel of salvation by sovereign grace is covenant doctrine. It called itself the "federal vision," that is, "covenant vision."
The Covenant of God and the Children of Believers defends the Reformed faith against the current attack by exposing the doctrine of the covenant from which the attack arises. This is something that few, if any, of the opponents of the federal vision have done. At the same time, the book sets forth the doctrine of the covenant that safeguards and promotes the gospel of sovereign grace, demonstrating that this covenant doctrine is biblical, confessional, and traditionally Reformed.
Since the controversy centers around the inclusion of the children of believers in the covenant, this book emphasizes the rightful place of children in the covenant of grace and the proper rearing of them. These are truths of the greatest practical importance for godly parents, as also for Reformed churches and Christian schools. Consideration of the inclusion of children in the covenant enables the author to distinguish the covenant views of the Protestant Reformed Churches, Baptists, the Netherlands Reformed Congregations, and the Canadian Reformed Churches ("liberated"). Leading representatives of these churches and traditions join in the discussion.
An entire chapter is devoted to the comfort of godly parents at the death of infant children.
All those who are concerned about the contemporary controversy over justification, as well as those who simply have an interest in the covenant of God with the children of believers, will benefit from this book.
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