Thursday, June 5, 2014

John Craig on the Difference Between the Law and the Gospel

I recently worked my way through an old catechism from 1581 written by Scottish reformer and colleague of John Knox named John Craig. Though the catechism is called "A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism," it is quit long and quit rich. The following section under the heading "The Difference Between the Law and the Gospel" is case in point.
Q. From where does this difference come from?
A. From the Spirit which is joined with the gospel and not with the Law.

Q. What follows upon this?
A. The Law commands but it gives no strength.

Q. What does the gospel do?
A. It freely gives all that it requires of us.

Q. What other differences are there between them?
A. The Law has no compassion upon sinners.

Q. What about the gospel?
A. It offers mercy only to sinners.

Q. What other difference are there?
A. In the manner of our justification.

Q. What does the Law require in our justification?
A. Our own perfect obedience.

Q. What does the gospel require?
A. Only faith in the obedience of Christ Jesus.

Q. Does the gospel favor the transgression of the Law?
A. No, but it gives strength to obey the Law.

For more:
An Introduction to the Life and Works of Scottish Reformer John Craig
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism: A New Translation - Introduction
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism: A New Translation - Chapter 1
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter 2
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter  3
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter 4.1
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter 4.2
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter 4.3
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter 5.1
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter 5.2
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter 6.1
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter 6.2 
"The School of Faith" by Thomas F. Torrance: A Review
"Scottish Theology" by T. F. Torrance: A Review
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