Dr.Oliphint on Covenant, its apologetic application, and the To-ing and Fro-ing methodology

“But the “federal,” “covenantal” representation in Scripture does not move from the bottom up, as in a democracy. Rather, it is initiated “at the top,” as it were, by the Triune God himself, and there is no democratic, or other, means to change that relationship. Nor is there a need to, since the God who initiated the process could not have made a mistake. As a matter of fact, the “federal” process is reversed in God’s economy. Mankind is defined by one of two representatives — Adam or Christ — neither of whom are “elected” or chosen by us; rather, both are unilaterally and sovereignly appointed by God himself. Put simply, the covenantal arrangement that defines God’s relationship to us is (sovereignly and graciously) imposed on us. Because of God’s sovereignly administered representative government, those who are in Adam are defined, in him, according to his fallenness; similarly, those who are in Christ are defined according to his righteousness (see Rom. 5:12-21). There are no other options available in history. Since the fall, and into eternity, these are and will remain the only two covenant heads of all of mankind, and every person will be defined accordingly. This is what we call the antithesis.”

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