Along with many Reformed theologians and thinkers, I too think that the story of the Bible is wrapped up in Covenant. Reformed thinkers speak of “A Covenant of works” and “A Covenant of grace.”
For sometime now I’ve been pouring over Covenant Theology, and I’m convinced of its soundness and validity.
In a nutshell, the Covenant of works, first to Adam, has been fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, as promised in the Covenant of grace.
It’s that simple.
I was thinking you’d have a lot more about Covenant Theology. Nice teaser.
@T.C. : I heard positive things about Scott Hahn’s work on covenant (e.g. Covenant and Communion; Covenant and Kinship) while in San Francisco. Although his RC view is different than classical Reformed ‘Covenant’ theology there may be some useful ideas in his work. Have you read anything of his?
I switched seminaries on this issue. It turns out that I needed the aid of biblical theology to correct the misconceptions that classic Reformed Covenant Theology has created in my theology. If one enjoys the Reformed scholastic thought, reading on CT may be a riveting experience but over and over you go : “Where is this in the Bible”? (and by that I don’t mean a simplistic “show me a verse” reaction).
@Yuce: Did you move from this view to another defined one?
Yuce — for example?
@Brian, no I did not move from it to another defined one. I guess I am simply trying to discern what is a construction placed upon the Bible and what is actually coming out of the Bible. I guess I can say that N.T. Wright’s idea of the covenant theology makes a whole lot more sense without asking me to commit to a systematic schema where everything from Genesis to Revelation must be subsumed under two neat categories. As a principle, if a theological concept seems too neat and well-defined, I get suspicious of it. Historically speaking the concept of covenant is culture and time bound and I have a hard time construing it the way Turretin or Witsius did, that is, with eternal and quite abstract categories that does not take the historical dimension in view.
@James, for example… hmm… well, if you observe the debate between Daniel Fuller vs. Meredith Kline and then John Murray and others, you can see how the categories lead to a very abstract and ahistorical understanding of works, rewards and righteousness. I know I sound very vague here but I can’t give a real critique of CT here 🙂 And the issue is not that it’s wrong but holding to it as “the” only way to understand the Bible, as a hermeneutical grid, can be dangerous. That is the main temptation among those who hold to Reformed Covenant Theology very seriously. It’s the minute details of CT that get me worrying and not the overall theme if that makes any sense.
@Yuce: I can agree with that. I have a hard time with systems of doctrine that try to make the ‘biblicist’ Scripture-as-a-puzzle model work. Rather than allowing the canon some diversity they stuff every part into their structure, even when it is a square peg in a circular hole.
I don’t mind if people work from a theological system: Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Reformed, Pentecostal…as long as they don’t act like all of Scripture fits their system. If they will admit some of Scripture either contradicts or rests in tension with their views I will respect them more.
What would you consider some of the influences on moving you in the direction of CT?
Say it ain’t so, TC. I am “Covenant,” but as you know, definitely not classic CoW and CoG (and Redemption). Just Grace! Why have you gone this way; TCR? I would have thought NT Wright would have been able to keep you chastened by his form of Covenant Theology.
Where you at, TC? No drive by posts allowed 😉 !
@James, where you at on the matter?
@Brian, I haven’t read Hahn’s work. I would love to though.
@Tim, the covenant theme of Scripture itself, notwithstanding Jesus’ own words at the Last Supper, which are often downplayed in all this.
@Bobby, as you know, I’m an independent thinker. 😀
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