Lems on the CoW

(I lobbied to have this article posted on The Outlook’s website. It’s all who you know)

Pastor Shane Lems of the United Reformed Church in Sunnyside, WA wrote a fantastic article for The Outlook back in June.  Now you can read it online.

CLICK HERE for The Covenant of Works in Dutch Reformed Orthodoxy.


Interestingly, those within the Dutch tradition who have reformulated or denied the covenant of works have had little influence outside of their respective circles. The most notable are Herman Hoeksema (1886-1965), Simon de Graaf (1889-1955), Klaas Schilder (1890-1952), Anthony Hoekema (1913-1988),and G.C. Berkouwer (1903-1996). These five, we must add, are quite recent theologians in Dutch Reformed history.

That might agitate a few folks.


About Rick

I am not my own
This entry was posted in Covenant Theology, Reformed Confessionalism. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Lems on the CoW

  1. Zrim says:

    Thanks for the link.

    I wonder if anyone could shed some light on John Murray, since he seems at once to be considered one who rejects the CoW but somehow it’s not much of a problem. Why is that? Or do I have it wrong?

  2. Zrim says:

    Hey, wait a minute…you said you weren’t going Riddlebarger on us in that last post…what’s up with posting again without sealing up the last one with the answer?

  3. Rick says:

    I gave the answer Zrim – refresh your browser.

  4. Rick says:


    RE: Murray. Here’s a portion of Kline’s Covenant Theology Under Attack:

    John Murray’s exegetical study of Romans 5 was supportive of the classic doctrine of imputation, but this was undercut by the recasting of covenant theology he undertook in the Covenant of Grace (Tyndale Press, 1953). Murray did at least affirm the possibility of meritorious human work, with obedience receiving a just reward, but he limited this to a situation where the reward would perfectly balance the value of the work. (For Murray that meant an obedient Adam must remain in his original state without advancement.) This qualification restricted the possibility to a theoretical moment at the beginning before the covenant was superimposed on this primal state of nature, since on Murray’s (mistaken) definition of covenant, “grace” came with covenant, and that spelled the end of any momentary hypothetical administration of simple justice.

  5. Danny Hyde says:

    Shaner strikes again . . . if mem’ry serves me, he was a member of Trinity URC in Caledonia and then Oceanside URC . . . hmm . . . it’s all about who ya know, as Rick says.

  6. Rick says:

    He is missed by both congregations – but both are better to have had him if but for a short time.

    (how do you do a smiley icon with a tear rolling down?)

  7. RubeRad says:

    Here’s a sad, squinty-eyed tear-squeezer:


  8. Rick says:

    Just so you all know, we linked it first.

    No HT from RSC. Shameful. And he was our first saint. 😉

  9. refdoc says:

    To Rick, a W2K adherent, from this CRP who very well understands the KoG, and the KoM, who subscribes to the 3F, and pays homage to the WCF, the WLC, and WSC, who applauds the URCNA synod for its nine point statement re: NPP/FV/AA…I have a question: what does “HT” mean in this statement?: “No HT from RSC. Shameful”
    I could not find it amongst the graffiti scrawled on the wall of the Outhouse

  10. Rick says:

    Dad (let it be known),

    HT = “Hat Tip”

    blog-speak for giving credit where credit is due.

    But he could have found teh (blog-speak for “the”) on his own I suppose – I was just giving him a hard time, assuming he did find the article through the OH.

    We gotta get Mom on here to talk in all of her medical abbvs.

  11. refdoc says:

    Alrighty then, Reformed Fellowship gives a HT to RSC, Rev. Hyde, and the OH for posting updates re teh Reformed Fellowship website.
    Jan 29 and 30 had record breaking hits.
    I will take some credit as well because I posted the updates to the Google URCNA group

  12. Rick says:

    Now I feel bad, Clark probably got the info from your post on the URCNA group.

    But I don’t feel too bad.

  13. refdoc says:

    No, don’t feel bad, you’re the winner 🙂
    I posted to that group after you posted the link on the OH

  14. Echo_ohcE says:

    Shane Lems rocks!

  15. Rick says:

    He may rock more than Cleveland does.

  16. reformedreader says:

    It looks like the Outlook has made your esteemed Outhouse Reading Rack. Good deal!

    Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George is in a huge bookstore and he takes a book into the bathroom. He’s forced to purchase it for $100 and can’t return it because the book is “flagged” in the computer system.

    This is where he says the famous line: “If it wasn’t for the toilet, there would be no books!”

    C’mon, Outhouse guys, there’s gotta be something you can do with that! Anyone?

    shane lems

  17. Rick says:

    Nice, Shane.

    Yeah, we could do something with that. We could have the “Flagged Book” category on the side bar or on a page. (a recommended reading list).

    GEORGE: “They’re selling coffee, bran muffins.. you’re surrounded by reading material. It’s entrapment!”

    Keep up the good writing Shaner – The Outlook needs more articles like this one and less articles about Creation Museums.

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