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Given Fuller’s definition, one wonders how Fuller would explain the biblical injunction to “obey the Gospel” (2 Thes 1:8; 1 Pet ).Fuller also fails to distinguish the way Paul uses the term law ( as the Mosaic administration) and the way law is commonly used in theological circles (law as everything that commands and condemns a person). These definitions are precisely what have emerged as major points of dispute in the wider debate.However, this idea is a distorting oversimplification of the historical picture.
He states that, “although today’s dispensationalism explains the relationship between law and grace in wording that is different from that of covenant theology, there is not substantial difference in meaning. .today’s Dispensationalism has reverted to a virtual covenant theology in the way it handles the law-gospel problem” (pp. Because both systems introduce this improper distinction between Law and Gospel, Fuller introduces an alternative way to approach this question.
Reprint, Pasadena, CA: Fuller Seminary Press, 1990. According to Fuller, both Dispensational and Reformed theology posit an unbiblical discontinuity between Gospel and Law.
The Hermeneutics of Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology stirred up a maelstrom of resistance from Protestant reviewers when it was first published in 1980. The response from Reformed reviewers was perhaps the most vehement. Covenant Theological Seminary’s (P. A.) journal Presbyterion published a duet of reviews criticizing Gospel & Law. These reviews were followed by a rejoinder from Fuller himself, which was in turn followed by more articles criticizing Fuller’s position. This exchange is emblematic of the backlash that ensued after the appearance of Gospel & Law.
He writes, “there [can] no longer be any antithesis in biblical theology between the law and the gospel.
The present reviewer regards Fuller’s conclusions as antithetical to the Reformation.
Conclusion Fuller’s critique of dispensationalism is incisive and helpful.
Thus The Westminster Confession (1646) states, “Faith. ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love” (Westminster Confession XI.2). One wonders if Fuller really understands the Reformed position on this issue.
Also, Fuller often speaks of Calvin as if he is the representative of Covenant theology.
The exegetical weaknesses of Galatians 3 (and other texts not criticized here) undermine his thesis.
His denial of sola fide renders his solution unacceptable.