Thursday, August 26, 2010

A.A. Hodge on God’s Covenant with Man, II

In light of the flap that is beginning based on this minister's views I wish to continue writing about God's Covenant with Man based on chapter VII of the Westminster Confession of Faith. 

Yesterday I included a comment about Adam's relationship with God being based on the Creator/Creature distinction.  The nature of such a relationship was probationary not filial.  Hodge builds on this idea with the following words:

"In the case of men and angels, God has been pleased to promise this transcendent benefit upon certain conditions; which conditional promise is called a covenant.  There can be no doubt that this amazing gift of God's personal love and life-giving society had been offered to angels, and at the beginning was offered to the first human pair, upon conditions.  Some object that the conditional promise made to Adam in the garden is not explicitly called a covenant, and that it does not possess all the essential elements of a covenant, since it was a constitution sovereignly ordained by the Creator without consulting the will of the creature.  It is a sufficient answer to these objections, - (1.) That although Adam's will was not consulted, yet his will was unquestionably cordially consenting to this divine constitution and all the terms thereof, and hence the transaction did embrace all the elements of a covenant. (2.) That several instances of analogous transactions between God and men are expressly styled covenants in the Bible.  If God's transactions with Noah (Gen. 9:11,12) and with Abraham (Gen. 17:1-21) were covenants, then was his transaction with Adam in the garden a covenant." 

A.A. Hodge, Westminster Confession of Faith: A Commentary. Banner of Truth reprinted 2002, pages 120-121. My emphasis.

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