The Irenic Bombshell

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The Auburn Avenue Hubbub (AAH) of course has a number of texts going. But those who are theologically astute have no doubt noticed some subtexts also. One of those subtexts is the question about the covenant of works and the covenant of grace, and the grounding of those covenants. Fundamentally, what is the relationship of any covenant that God makes with man to His own eternal and triune nature? Ralph Smith carefully addresses this question in his small book Eternal Covenant: How the Trinity Reshapes Covenant Theology (it can be found at and I urge you all to find it there). This book makes sense out of a good deal of what sometimes appears to be an irrational controversy.

This book is an irenic bombshell. It shows (in my view, decisively) how the contemporary dichotomy between a covenant of works and a covenant of grace is fundamentally a man-centered approach to salvation. Faithful to the Reformed tradition, Ralph Smith nevertheless blows up (irenically) a few current Reformed shibboleths. For all who would understand the current fracas, this book is a must.

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