Chapter

The Background to the First Proposal of the Prelapsarian Covenant in Reformed Theology

David A. Weir

in The Origins of the Federal Theology in Sixteenth-Century Reformation Thought

Published in print March 1990 | ISBN: 9780198266907
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683107 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198266907.003.0003
The Background to the First Proposal of the Prelapsarian Covenant in Reformed Theology

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Previous Reformed theologians had spoken of the doctrine of the covenant as one doctrine among many. With the rise of the federal theology historians have noted how the idea of covenant began to have a controlling influence in the systematic ordering of doctrine. The importance of the Fall is again emphasized in this schema. However, there was one controversy agitating the Reformed theology which serves as the backdrop against which the idea of a prelapsarian covenant developed: the problem of reconciling God's providential sovereignty and the Fall of Adam. It is the contention of this book that the doctrine of a foedus with Adam developed in response to this problem as a ‘milder’ orthodox elaboration and explanation of the seemingly harsh decretal doctrines of Theodore Beza.

Keywords: doctrine of the covenant; Reformed theology; prelapsarian covenant; God; Fall of Adam; foedus; Theodore Beza

Chapter.  17531 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christian Theology

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