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Righteous By DesignCovenantal Merit and Adam’s Original Integrity

Righteous By Design

Covenantal Merit and Adam’s Original Integrity

Harrison Perkins
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This product is due for release in November 2024


How Might We Obtain Everlasting Life?

Although Protestants ought to have a ready answer about faith in Jesus Christ, the reasons explaining that answer run much deeper and relate to our status as God’s image bearers.


Important historical issues inform how we understand the precise relationship of work and grace. Throughout much of the medieval period and into modern Roman Catholicism, many believed that because original righteousness was superadded to our nature, personal righteousness could be restored by grace after the fall, allowing us to merit everlasting life by our own works. By contrast, the Reformation tradition has held that sin has damaged our nature so thoroughly that we could never merit salvation and must receive everlasting life by grace alone.


Righteous by Design is, on one hand, a thorough historical investigation of medieval and counter–Reformation theology, exploring sources that have seldomly if at all been treated in Reformed literature. At the same time, it is also a theological case that original righteousness was natural to Adam before the Fall and that Adam could have merited everlasting life according to the covenant of works. The payoff of this effort in theological retrieval is to underscore the majesty of grace in that sinners are right with God only on the basis of Christ’s merits. Thus, this book mounts a case for the Protestant law–gospel distinction through the lens of the imago Dei to highlight the sufficiency of Christ and his work.

Harrison Perkins

About Harrison Perkins

Harrison Perkins (PhD, Queen’s University Belfast) is pastor at Oakland Hills Community Church (OPC), Senior Research Fellow at the Craig Center for the Study of the Westminster Standards, online faculty in church history at Westminster Theological Seminary, visiting lecturer in systematic theology at Edinburgh Theological Seminary, and author of ‘Reformed Covenant Theology: A Systematic Introduction’.



… a powerful argument that the covenant of nature was properly meritorious of eternal life. Perkins’s study is a stellar orientation point for the ongoing discussion on the nature–supernatural relationship.

Hans Boersma, Professor of Ascetical Theology, Nashotah House Theological Seminary, Nashotah, Wisconsin

 … an exemplary and much–needed work of constructive retrieval on the relationship between nature and grace.

N. Gray Sutanto, Assistant Professor, Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C.
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