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Phil Ledgerwood

Could you shed some light on Kline's reasoning that the Torah had as its foundational concern the eternal salvation of the individual?

GLW Johnson

Have you seen the very positive review of the critique of Kline by three OPC pastors posted on Ref 21?


Phil, I'm not sure what your definition of "the Torah" is. If you mean the five books of Moses, the revelation of the coming Seed beginning in Gen 3:15 and expanded in the Abrahamic promise, with its gospel message of justification by faith (see Gen 15:6 and Paul's use of that key verse), would support the notion that the Torah was concerned about the eternal salvation of the individual. Paul calls this whole thing "the promise." The promise is the foundational layer that continues all throughout the Mosaic economy. If by "the Torah" you mean "the Mosaic law" or "the Sinai covenant," then that is another matter - that has to do with the top layer of the typological kingdom. Perhaps this quote may help:

"At the same time, Paul affirmed that the Mosaic Covenant did not annul the promise arrangement given earlier to Abraham (Gal 3:17). The explanation for this is that the old covenant order was composed of two strata and the works principle enunciated in Leviticus 18:5, and elsewhere in the law, applied only to one of these, a secondary stratum. There was a foundational stratum having to do with the personal attainment of the eternal kingdom of salvation and this underlying stratum, continuous with all preceding and succeeding administrations of the Lord’s Covenant of Grace with the church, was informed by the principle of grace (cf., e.g., Rom 4:16). Because the Abrahamic covenant of promise found continuity in the Mosaic order at this underlying level, it was not abrogated by the latter. The works principle in the Mosaic order was confined to the typological sphere of the provisional earthly kingdom which was superimposed as a secondary overlay on the foundational stratum" (KP 321).

Gary Johnson - yes, I read the Ref21 piece by Stephen Myers last week. It is telling that he could write, "Someone new to this entire debate could pick up Kingdom Prologue, flip through it; then pick up Moses and Merit, flip through it; and come to the conclusion that Kline's argument is the one more self-consciously rooted in the Scriptures"!

Phil Ledgerwood

Then I guess my question becomes: could you shed some light on how the prophecy of the seed in Genesis 3:15 and the promise to Abraham that he would be the father of a nation that would be a blessing and a light to the Gentile nations is primarily concerned with the eternal salvation of the individual?

BTW: I'm a big Kline fan and helped run Two Age Press when it was up and running, so these are friendly questions.

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