Home > Reformed, Theology > Can R. Scott Clark be Truly Reformed?

Can R. Scott Clark be Truly Reformed?

By Brandon Adams

In a recent episode of the Calvinist Batman podcast, R. Scott Clark talks about Covenant Theology and Reformed Identity. My last post was a critique of his covenant theology. Here I just want to make a comment about his attitude towards reformed identity. Generally speaking, I can agree with much of what he says and I appreciate his emphasis on adhering to a confession of faith. However…

Speaking of theonomy, he says

The essence of theonomy is that the law of God, without distinguishing between civil, ceremonial, and moral, is still in force. Greg Bahnsen spoke about the abiding validity of the law of God in exhaustive detail. The great problem with that way of speaking is it’s flatly contrary to the way we speak in the reformed confessions, particularly, for example, in Westminster Confession 19.4, where we say “To them” that is, national Israel, “also as a body politic, he gave sundry judicial laws” now watch this, comma, ready? “which” the sundry judicial laws – did what? – “expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any other now further than the general equity thereof may require.”

So I always say to my theonomic friends, “What don’t you understand about expired?”


It’s sort of a demonstration as to how unmoored we’ve become to the confession, that we have this debate about theonomy. I mean, in a way, we could have ended, and should have ended the whole debate with theonomy by saying, “Well, ok, we get that you don’t believe Westminster 19.4. Fine. Go away. You’re not reformed.” But tragically, because theonomists make a lot of noise, they’re visible. When you leave evangelicalism, it’s sort of one of the toll booths you have to go through to become reformed, is you have to pass through theonomy.



Read the entire article here.

    • February 13, 2016 at 4:50 am

      Thank you for sharing this Slimjim. I find it interesting that many want to identify Reformed Theology with their view of what they believe. This is especially true concerning Paedo-baptists. Paedo-baptists believe that someone isn’t Reformed unless they hold to infant baptism. To them, infant baptism is the sine qua non of Reformed Theology. If this is the case, then Roman Catholics are Reformed. Reformed Theology was a theology that developed over and against the Lutherans of the day. This means that Zwingli, Farel, Calvin, Bucer, Knox, etc… were all Reformed because they rejected certain points of Lutheranism, while also holding to points differing among themselves. All the Reformers were in agreement on the primary issues of the Protestant Reformation (Scripture Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone, Grace Alone, To God alone be the Glory), but differed in areas such as: the Lord’s supper, church government, etc….

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