A critique of Meredith Kline's Covenant theology w/in the Reformed camp

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Posts 3748
True North | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Aug 20 2020 7:35 AM

I thought I saw within FL a push-back on Meredith Kline's view on covenant treaties in the ANE.

It was from within the Reformed ranks and a fairly new resource. I guess sometimes ppl need to come up with new 'stuff' just to say something new.

so any help with this would be appreciated.


Posts 473
Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 22 2020 1:55 AM

Hi mm

I'm not really sure if the following is useful or whether there is a different debate involving Kline out there. However, there are two recent resources  that may refer to a debate involving Kline. Unfortunately, I can't check this to be certain as I don't have those resources:

Canon, Covenant and Christology: Rethinking Jesus and the Scriptures of Israel


 Covenant Theology: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Perspectives


I do have the following resource in my library which refers to a debate with Kline over 'covenant of works" and pre-Fall "grace":  

Green, Bradley G. Covenant and Commandment: Works, Obedience and Faithfulness in the Christian Life. Edited by D. A. Carson. Vol. 33. New Studies in Biblical Theology. England; Downers Grove, IL: Apollos; InterVarsity Press, 2014. You can find that resource here: https://www.logos.com/product/80733/covenant-and-commandment-works-obedience-and-faithfulness-in-the-christian-life

Among the references to Kline, at page 147 Green states:

The question of a ‘covenant of works’ has divided Reformed folks into various camps. Michael Horton, Meredith Kline, Mark Karlberg and many others see the covenant of works as virtually essential to the gospel (this is particularly true in Kline’s and Karlberg’s writings). Others have rejected the covenant of works, at least in its traditional form (e.g. William Dumbrell, Daniel Fuller, Scott Hafemann and John Murray).

Most of the references were to Kline's book: Kline, Meredith G. Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2006 found at https://www.logos.com/product/52795/kingdom-prologue-genesis-foundations-for-a-covenantal-worldview

Hope that helps. 

Keep well


Posts 595
Bobby Terhune | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 22 2020 6:06 AM

I think John Frame's book "The Escondido Theology: A Reformed Response to Two Kingdom Theology", takes issue with some aspects of Meredith Kline's theology. if you have a collection of John Frame's books, there are a number of detailed references to Meredith Kline.


"This book is a critical analysis of a theological movement John Frame calls The Escondido Theology. The name is chosen because this movement developed mainly among faculty members of Westminster Seminary California which is located in the city of Escondido, California. Some members of this school of thought, such as Michael Horton, Meredith Kline, and Darryl Hart, are well-known to students of Reformed theology. But these figures have never before been discussed as composing a distinctive school of thought. More often they have been discussed as individual theologians, or simply as representatives of the orthodox Reformed theological tradition. But they are not simply Reformed; they hold views that are quite distinctive, unusual and controversial. In Dr. Frame s view, these positions are not standard Reformed theology. None of their distinctive positions is taught in any of the Reformed confessions. These positions are an idiosyncratic kind of teaching peculiar to the Escondido school. Those who teach them are a faction, even a sect. 1 Taken in the plain sense of the terms, their positions are all unbiblical. Dr. John Frame s The Escondido Theology is a needed corrective to the rapidly growing advocacy and acceptance of a two-kingdom approach to theology and culture. It is not only timely, considering the popularity of Two Kingdom Theology , but also because he is the right individual to address the issues, having previously served as a Professor at both Westminster in Philadelphia and then as a founding faculty member at Escondido. Dr. Frame personally witnessed the inception and development of this doctrinal view in Escondido. Dr. Frame s insight and analysis clearly represents my Christian World and Life View because it is historically rooted in Calvinistic theology."

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 22 2020 7:03 AM

I guess sometimes ppl need to come up with new 'stuff' just to say something new.

I guess sometimes ppl need to un-stuff the traditions. Smiling. Judging from the contra volume above, the Lawrence Welk team offended the traditions. Uh oh.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

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