Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Assurance and the Law of God

We have been considering the doctrine of assurance, and I have been hinting that a properly-realized eschatology should reduce the skepticism concerning the practical syllogism that I often detect from Reformed believers.

Though confessional Reformed and Presbyterian theologians are often unjustly (and pejoratively) labeled "Lutheran" by those whose seminaries never taught them that the distinction between the law and the gospel is associated no less with Westminster than it is with Wittenberg, there are instances in which the charge may be valid.

I'm thinking particularly about the law of God and how it relates to the believer under the New Covenant. Though I plan to unpack this in some detail in subsequent posts, in the interest of brevity I will say presently that the idea that there is an a-historical and non-covenantal category dubbed "The Moral Law"—a law we are expected to decipher—is problematic.

Moreover, the insistence that lex semper accusat (the law always accuses us) is precisely the type of Lutheran distrust of sanctification that breeds suspicion of the practical syllogism, not to mention the drastically under-realized eschatology such a view promotes.

So the discussion that follows regarding the law will be in the interest of providing a biblical, Reformed framework within which the doctrine of assurance can be considered.

Thoughts or comments so far?