Archive for August, 2010

Hermann Venema: Definition of Covenant; Covenant of Works

August 8, 2010

A covenant is a voluntary agreement on the part of two or three persons to enter into friendship on certain conditions, or to renew it when broken, and is usually accompanied for the purpose of confirmation by the observance of ceremonies of various kinds.

The covenant of works it is said consisted in the agreement entered into between God and man, according to which the latter by rendering perfect and uninterrupted obedience to the divine commands in his own strength would have secured for himself.

Hermann Venema, Institutes of Theology, trans., Alex W. Brown (Andover: Draper Brothers, 1853), 445-446.

Venema: How to Approach the Doctrine of Predestination

August 3, 2010

It is necessary to prosecute our enquiries on this subject with wisdom and prudence, in sobermindedness and humility, dispassionately, and without violating the spirit of unity and brotherly love.

Hermann Venema, Institutes of Theology, trans., Alex W. Brown (Andover: Draper Brothers, 1853), 294.

The Mystery of Redemption

August 2, 2010

And now let us attend to the relation in which we stand to the Triune Jehovah or to each of the persons of the Trinity. We are bound to admire and adore the three in one, and to celebrate their praise as such. We should see in this mystery the foundation of the work of our redemption. In perfect consistency with his justice and holiness, God is now in Christ the sinner’s God, a way has been opened by the Son by which the sinner may draw near to the Father, and deliverance is offered by the Spirit’s sanctifying work from the power of sin. We should render thanks to God for the great love wherewith he hath loved us, in giving us such a glorious manifestation of himself, and in revealing a mystery which no created being could have discovered or even imagined. We should, moreover keep our eyes fixed on the Trinity as the pattern of our happiness and of the union that should exist among those who profess their faith in this great doctrine.

Hermann Venema, Institutes of Theology, trans., Alex W. Brown (Andover: Draper Brothers, 1853), 266.