Archive for July, 2012

Rutherford vs Hoeksema – “The Preached Covenant”

July 9, 2012

One of the many helpful chapters in Samuel Rutherford – An Introduction to his Theology is Sherman Isbell’s “Samuel Rutherford and the Preached Covenant”.  In this chapter Isbell accurately sets out Rutherford’s covenant thought (against the background of earlier covenant theology) and in drawing contemporary application sets him is sharp contrast to Herman Hoeksema. I don’t have time to go through the chapter in detail on the blog (maybe one day!) or set out Isbell’s arguments but I will quote his conclusion that:

“Hoeksema’s variance with the Westminster standards may be seen on many points of doctrine. But more that disagreement on a number of individual points, there is a systemic contrast. His opposition to the free offer is not incidental to his theology, but is integral to his wide-ranging reconstruction of covenant theology.”

Supporters of Hoeksema need to recognise that he is not a faithful representative of the system of Reformed though contained in the Westminster Standards.