Covenant and Law for Doctrine and Life

Disclaimer: this is a summary of a 4 page summary of a huge work.

Ames' doctrine
In standard and glorious Westminsterian categories, Beeke/Jones lay out Ames' whole sytematic theology in 2 pages!  The two note-worthy items:

  • The covenant of grace is conditional in that it requires faith, but unconditional in that one of the covenant promises is to give us faith, a new heart to believe and obey.
  • Ames' blends God's decrees and historic covenant action well, avoiding the dichotomy Reformed thinkers often fall into, of playing one off the other (either stressing the decrees to a point that devalues history and the church, or stressing the visible church in a way that devalues the decrees).  In each covenant administration, we see God's decrees working themselves out.

Ames' ethics
All true obedience flows from faith in Christ.  Ames' ethical writing is based almost wholly on the moral law, found in the Ten Commandments.  He covers interpersonal relationships at the end, in 57 chapters, anchoring it all in the last 6 of the ten commandments.  Richard Baxter relied on this work in writing his own Christian Directory.  

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