But they like men have transgressed the covenant; there have they dealt treacherously against me. Here God shows that the Israelites boasted in vain of their sacrifices and of all the pomps of their external worship, for God did not regard these external things, but only wished to exercise the faithful in spiritual worship. Then the import of the whole is this, “My design was, when I appointed the sacrifices and the whole legal worship, to lead you so to myself, that there might be nothing carnal or earthly in your sacrificing; but ye have corrupted the whole law; you have been perverse interpreters; for sacrifices have been nothing else among you but mockery as if it were a satisfaction to me to have an ox or a ram killed. You have then transgressed my covenant; and it is nothing that the people say to me, that they have diligently performed the outward ceremonies, for such a worship is not in the least valued by me.
The Gospel according to Isaiah. (see previous program also)
One of the interesting things that happens in the Covenantal community is the forcing of texts to meet the demands of the hermeneutic. In this White Horse Inn broadcast notice the “Well there ya go” attitude while misapplying a Scripture by taking it out of its context and making it say what is needed, filling a term with definition that does not belong then reading it back into a presupposition. Don’t get me wrong, there is much to be benefit from in studying the covenants. It is when a personal committment to a tradition becomes so strong that it binds the conscience, Calvin might say, “Well there ya go you have stumbled over your tradition and are falling into superstition, again.” Calvin was not short on criticism of those he otherwise was in agreement with and we do not take Calvin, as he did not, as the final authority on anything. In this thing, Calvin is right… saith I.
The text in Hosea says nothing about Adam the first man. First of all, the context is the judgement upon the nations, including Israel which transgressed in a superstitious way the Law. Several other times the prophets have mentioned how it is that Israel transgressed like other men. The term Adam at first meets the context as just another city of men where God through the prophet is condemning other cities of men. Secondly, it meets the context of the paganization of Israel’s people (men, adam). Even if it is not the city of the Jordan called Adam, it may well have been another city called Adam, or no city at all, but a type of the cities. In any case, or no case, the word adam means man, or mankind, or simply men, and there is nothing else in the immediate or extended context to indicate it was the first Adam. The simplicity of translating it according to the surrounding context is swept under the covenantal carpet, however, when the need to emphasize a so called covenant of works in the Garden arises. It is as if the main idea of grace versus works will collapse without it. For the sake of the consistency hermeneutic, Hosea 6:7 is forced into service. Really, though, what Isaiah and Hosea are contrasting is the corruption of the Law into a paganish sacrificial system which becomes, then, nothing other than the same as sacrifices offered by men and rejected by God. All Israel is said to sacrifice as all other men (adam) in the pagan nations do seeking a god’s favor by works. In doing so, Israel has reduced God who says “there is no other God beside me,” to just one in the pantheon of paganism. So Hosea says God doesn’t accept such sacrifices, just as Isaiah says. What God desires is obedience, and as both Hosea’s and Isaiah’s gospel proves, it is obedience to the God of the grace of the promise, not to the curse of a covenant of works which is provoking his chastisement.
Calvin’s Commentary on Hosea 6:7 is in concert with his commentary on Genesis where he stood starkly against the idea that Adam was another mediator between God and man: http://thomastwitchell.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/no-covenant-of-works-in-the-garden-according-to-calvin/
Covenantalist’s covenant of works typing typically fails for different various counts against it:
Anachronism:This is a fallacy of history in which one imports a modern or later concept or definition back into a belief or word of a previous age.
Fallacy of Equivocation: This is a logical fallacy which occurs when one definition of a word or phrase is imported into that same word which, from the context, does not bear the same meaning or connotation.
Text Isolation: This is an exegetical (i.e. interpretive) fallacy. This occurs when an interpreter takes a verse, ignores the surrounding context, and (since the verse, phrase, or word is without context) imports a meaning or interpretation into the passage.
Superficial Reading: This is an exegetical fallacy in which the interpreter finds a passage of Scripture that sounds like their theology’s position and conclude that that passage must be teaching that peculiar doctrine.
More fallacies committed by the imposition of the Covenantal hermeneutic upon exegetical meaning probably can be identified. Four strikes ought to be enough for any umpire to call it out.