"God's entering into covenant with all mankind in Adam was most reasonable and kind. 1. It was the shortest way in which they could obtain everlasting happiness. In this method, one man's perfect obedience to God's law for a time, perhaps a very short time, would have secured this happiness to all mankind; whereas, had each man stood bound for himself, it would have continued in suspense to many of them, who knows how long. 2. It plainly appeared the safest method. Adam, being formed in an adult state, perfectly holy, fully able and inclined to fulfil [sic] the whole law of God, and living while Satan was less crafty, and there were fewer occasions of temptation. And having the strongest motives -- regard to his own, and to all mankind's happiness, to engage him to care, activity, and perseverance in his work -- promised fairer to retain his perfection and persevere in his obedience, than any of his seed" (John Brown, Systematic Theology).
Loraine Boettner echoed John Brown's comments a bit more concisely:
“It may be well just at this point, to say something more about the
nature of the fall. Adam was given a most favorable opportunity to
secure eternal life and blessedness for himself and his posterity” (Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, p.
Some time ago I was discussing with Marc D. Carpenter this blasphemous statement from Boettner. Marc’s cutting response went something like this:
“Boettner is saying that God had given Adam ‘a most favorable opportunity’ to erase Jesus Christ from history.”
Boettner and Brown are essentially saying the same thing. To focus specifically on just four necessary implications of Brown's statement concerning "the shortest way in which [Adam] could obtain everlasting happiness":
(1) "The shortest way in which [Adam] could" usurp the throne of Christ and crown himself king by obtaining everlasting happiness for himself and his posterity.
(2) "The shortest way in which [Adam] could" receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing (cf. Revelation 5:12).
(3) "The shortest way in which [Adam] could" obtain the SAME GLORY as Jesus Christ and thus profane and cheapen the absolute uniqueness and exclusivity of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ for all those whom HE represented.
(4) "The shortest way in which [Adam] could" erase Jesus Christ from history.
I have a question for professing Calvinists or Reformed persons who believe in the so-called "covenant of works" with Adam. Is there a secret desire on your parts that Adam HAD PASSED the supposed
“probationary period” and ERASED Jesus Christ from history by adorning
himself with the glory that belongs SOLELY to Jesus Christ?