A.W. Pink’s covenant theology came up recently in a Facebook discussion. It was being questioned if Pink held to 1689 Federalism or “20th Century Reformed Baptist Covenant Theology“. (Federalism is just an old word for covenant theology)
First, here is a summary of 1689 Federalism:
By rejecting the notion of a Covenant of Grace under two administrations, the Baptists were in fact rejecting only half of this concept: they accepted, as we have previously seen, the notion of one single Covenant of Grace in both testaments, but they refused the idea of two administrations. For the Baptists, there was only one Covenant of Grace which was revealed from the Fall in a progressive way until its full revelation and conclusion in the New Covenant… If the Westminster federalism can be summarized in “one covenant under two administrations,” that of the 1689 would be “one covenant revealed progressively and concluded formally under the New Covenant.
-The Distinctiveness of 17th Century Particular Baptist Covenant Theology, Pascal Denault, p. 61
Read the entire article here.
4 Charts showing the difference between 1689 Federalism vs. WCF, New Covenant Theology, 20th Century RB,and Dispensationalism
Another passage where inattention to its scope has resulted in false doctrine being drawn from it is 1 Corinthians 3:11-15. Appeal is frequently made to it in support of the dangerous delusion that there is a class of real Christians who have forfeited all “reward” for the future, having no good works to their credit; yet will enter heaven. Such a concept is grossly insulting to the Holy Spirit, for it implies that He performs a miracle of grace in the soul, indwells that person, yet that he brings forth no spiritual fruit. Such a grotesque idea is utterly contrary to the Analogy of Faith, for Ephesians 2:10, tells us that those whom God saves by grace through faith are “His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” Those who walk not in good works are unsaved, for “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). Scripture declares, “Verily there is a reward for the righteous” (Psalm 58:11), that “every [regenerated] man shall have praise of God” (1 Corinthians 4:5), which certainly could not be the case if some of them are but cumberers of the ground.
Not only is this erroneous interpretation highly dishonoring to God and at direct variance with the plain teaching of other scriptures, but it is refuted by the context. In order to understand 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, verses 1- 10—-must be heeded—so as to determine the subject which the apostle is treating. At the beginning of chapter 3 Paul returns to the charge he had made against the Corinthians in 1:11, where he reproved them for pitting one servant of God against another, with the resultant divisions—-the principal occasion of his writing to them. In 3:3, he points out that such conduct evinced their carnality. He reminds them that both himself and Apollos were “but ministers” (v. 5). He had merely planted and Apollos watered—-it was God who gave the increase. Since neither of them was “any thing” unless God deigned to bless his labors (v. 7), what madness it was to make an idol of a mere instrument! Thus it is clear, beyond any doubt, that the opening verses of 1 Corinthians 3 treat of the official ministry of God’s servants. It is plainer still in the Greek, for the word “man” occurs nowhere in the passage, “every man” being literally “every one,” i.e., of the particular class referred to.
The same subject is continued in verse 8, though there be diversity in the work of God’s servants (one evangelistic, another indoctrinating), yet their commission is from the same Master and their mutual aim the good of souls; therefore it is sinful folly to array one against or exalt him above another. Though Christ has distributed different gifts to His servants and allotted them a variety of ministry, “each shall receive his own reward.” The building itself is God’s, ministers being the workmen (v. 9). In verse 10 Paul refers to the ministerial “foundation” he had laid (see Ephesians 2:20), and what follows concerns the materials used by builders who came after him. If those materials (their preaching) honored Christ and edified saints, they would endure and be rewarded. But if instead the preacher used for his themes the increase in crime, the menace of the bomb, the latest doings of the Jews, etc., such worthless rubbish would be burned up in the Day to come and be unrewarded. Thus it is the materials used by preachers in their public ministrations, and not the walk of private Christians, which is here in view.
Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures
This simple catechism is very helpful for teaching young children to understand and remember the basic truths of the Christian faith.
A Catechism for Boys and Girls by Erroll Hulse
Erroll Hulse serves as Associate Pastor at Leeds Reformed Baptist Church in Leeds, England. Since 1970, he has edited and written extensively for Reformation Today, a bi-monthly international magazine that includes a variety of doctrinal, historical, practical, and expository articles as well as worldwide news. He has authored numerous books and articles.
Pastor Hulse studied theology under Principal E F Kevan at the London Bible College; and while in London, he benefited from the ministry of Dr D Martyn Lloyd-Jones. His pastorates in the UK include 23 years in Cuckfield, West Sussex, three years in Liverpool, and nineteen years as Associate Pastor with a missions mandate at Leeds Reformed Baptist Church.
By Stuart Brogden
Download the PDF here.
Also check out this sermon by Stuart:
Substance of a Sermon preached
by Pastor Wm. Payne
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
If I were to be asked, “What kind of a church are you?” I would not hesitate to reply, “We are a Baptist church.” We hold to those truths which have sometimes been referred to as “Baptist Distinctives.”
I would also reply that we are a “Reformed Church” inasmuch as we hold to the great doctrines of the Reformation in the areas concerning the salvation of men. In this sense, I am not at all averse to our church being referred to as a “Reformed Baptist Church,” and I want to speak on the subject “What is a Reformed Baptist Church?”
Download and read the entire article here-(PDF).