Covenant of God
and the Children
by David J. Engelsma
in the Covenant
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Reformed theologian David J. Engelsma contends for
Calvinism against one of the gravest threats to Reformed Christianity
since the Synod of Dordt in the early seventeenth century. The threat is
the denial not only of justification by faith alone, but also of all the
doctrines of grace. Like the Arminians heresy, the contemporary attack on
the Reformed faith comes from within. It is found in those Reformed and
Presbyterian churches that still claim adherence to the Reformation
creeds. Those who launch the attack occupy pulpits and seminary chairs in
these reputedly conservative churches.
What makes the attack especially dangerous is that it
consists of a development of a doctrine of the covenant that is popular in
Reformed and Presbyterian churches. The newest form of the age-old attack
on the gospel of salvation by sovereign grace is covenant doctrine. It
called itself the "federal vision," that is, "covenant vision."
The Covenant of God and the Children of Believers
defends the Reformed faith against the current attack by exposing the
doctrine of the covenant from which the attack arises. This is something
that few, if any, of the opponents of the federal visions have done. At
the same time, the book sets forth the doctrine of the covenant that
safeguards and promotes the gospel of sovereign grace, demonstrating that
this covenant doctrine is biblical, confessional, and traditionally
Since the controversy centres around the inclusion of
the children of believers in the covenant, this book emphasizes the
rightful place of children in the covenant of grace and the proper rearing
of them. These are truths of the greatest practical importance for godly
parents, as also for Reformed churches and Christian schools.
Consideration of the inclusion of children in the covenant enables the
author to distinguish the covenant views of the Protestant Reformed
Churches, Baptists, the Netherlands Reformed Congregations, and the
Canadian Reformed Churches ("liberated"). Leading representatives of these
churches and traditions join in the discussion.
An entire chapter is devoted to the comfort of godly
parents at the death of infant children.
All those who are concerned about the contemporary
controversy over justification, as well as those who simply have an
interest in the covenant of God with the children of believers, will
benefit from this book.
Click here to read a review of this book.
Click here to read a review of this book in the British Reformed
Click here to read a review of this book in the Protestant Reformed
chapters of this book in Italian,
To read chapter 2 of this book in Spanish,
To read the
Dutch translation of the book,
Appendix 4, "Sovereign
Grace in the Sights of the 'Federal Vision'" can be read
To watch the video of the author interview concerning this book,