In this study, Ernest Kevan investigates the works of numerous seventeenth-century theologians to provide an overview of a Puritan understanding of the law in relationship to the life of the Christian. After describing the Puritans and the antinomian controversy that developed among them, Kevan demonstrates how the orthodox view among the Puritans regarded the moral law as an expression of God’s majesty established as a guide for man’s blessedness and a measure to expose sin. He then proceeds to show how the law relates to God’s people after the fall in the context of the covenant of grace. Great care is used to explain the relation of Christ’s work to the law, the ongoing moral obligation Christians have to the law, the idea of gospel obedience, and the Christian’s freedom from the law’s condemnation. Although the Puritans saw law and grace as opposing principles regarding one’s justification, they did teach about how God ultimately uses the law in the life of the believer for His gracious purposes.
Table of Contents:
Introduction: The Puritan Scene
Conclusion: The Puritan Doctrine: An Assessment in the Light of Recent Critical Studies
Ernest F. Kevan served as the first principal of London Bible College, now London School of Theology, where he labored until his death in 1965.
“Ernest Kevan’s The Grace of Law gives us a library of biblically balanced Puritan wisdom condensed into one book. Dr. Kevan has masterfully drawn and woven together the threads of several dozen Puritan writers on God’s law into a beautiful tapestry of their theology of grace. As the law relates to all of life and godliness, readers will find The Grace of Law a wise and concise guide with regard to a broad range of crucial topics such as God’s covenants, justification by faith alone, and the practical ‘third use’ of the law to direct the Christian’s life. I first read this much-needed book in 1977 and was profoundly influenced by it, but today it is needed more than ever. I pray that this reprint will serve as a wake-up call and a pedagogical tool for a church being lulled to sleep by cheap grace and antinomianism.” — Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids