Sunday, October 24, 2010

Covenant and Predestination in Bullinger

Venema has a thoughtful comment concerning covenant and predestination in the writings of Bullinger:

“It should also be noted that none of these earlier writings does Bullinger systematically develop the connection between the doctrine of the covenant and of predestination. Though the doctrine of the covenant is an organizing feature of his Summa, and though it received substantial elaboration in his De testamento seu foedere Dei unico et aeterno of 1534, in the writings we have considered, Bullinger does not explicitly draw any connections between these doctrinal loci. That such a connection exists is apparent, no doubt, from the location of Bullinger’s treatment of predestination in his Decades and Summa. The salvation promised in the covenant of grace could only be realized upon the basis of God’s provision of a Mediator and Savior. From eternity God purposed to provide this Moderator as the Savior of his elect people, those to whom he purposed to grant faith and repentance at the preaching of the gospel. The doctrine of predestination, therefore, constitutes a necessary basis for the realization of God’s saving purposes in history through the administration of the covenant of grace. Consistent with Bullinger’s stress upon God’s use of the means in the realization of his sovereign and gracious purposes, the covenant of grace is instrumental to the provision of salvation for the elect. What the covenant requires or demands, God graciously grants to his elect. Thus, Bullinger’s doctrine of God’s monopleuric and unconditional election correlates with his stress upon the covenantal means of salvation, even though he does not explicitly develop this correlation. The conditions of the covenant are only realized upon the basis of God’s sovereign and gracious purpose of election.”

(Heinrich Bullinger and the Doctrine of Predestination: Author of “the Other Reformed Tradition”? (2002) pp55,56)

No comments:

Post a Comment