The Threats of the Gospel: John Owen on What the Law/Gospel Distinction Is not
The third essay in section one addresses Owen’s assertion that “evangelical” threats were an indispensable component of the gospel as a covenant. This material demonstrates how the development of Reformed covenant theology altered the way in which Reformed authors formulated the law/gospel distinction in partial contrast to Lutheran constructions. It contends that post-Reformation theology was marked by continuities and discontinuities with earlier presentations of the law/gospel distinction. While this chapter will likely be regarded as controversial to some in light of contemporary theological debates over this subject, the primary purpose of the article is to provide clarity on the subject in light of an international and cross-confessional seventeenth-century context. Though the essay is historical in character, the author hopes that it will bring greater light and clarity to contemporary conversations on this topic as well.