On the links: Kingdom through Covenant image

On the links: Kingdom through Covenant

The recent rise of ‘New Calvinism’ has also led to increasing interest in, and discussion of, Covenant theology. I tried to engage with some of the implications of this in a paper titled “Why we may not be as Reformed as we think we are”. Basically, my conclusion was that there are many things about Covenant theology that are helpful, but that as an overarching system the emphasis upon the continuity between the Abrahamic and new covenant fails to recognise the discontinuities that are present - and there are a number of important practical outworkings of this.

While Reformed theology generally, and Covenant theology in particular, are enjoying something of a renaissance, much of conservative evangelicalism still operates under the framework of Dispensational theology. Dispensationalism clearly clashes with Covenant theology (don’t mention Israel!) but at times both systems seem to try and pull the same hermeneutical levers in order to argue their case.

It is probably fair to say that most of the contributors to this blog operate under a theological grid which would often thread something of a middle way between Covenant and Dispensational theology, so it was with interest that I saw this review of a new book on the subject on the TGC website:

In Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants (Crossway, 2012), Peter Gentry and Stephen Wellum set out to carve a new path between dispensational and covenant theology, having concluded that neither hermeneutical approach is sufficiently informed by biblical theology. Regardless of whether you end up agreeing with their conclusions, Gentry and Wellum’s proposed via media - “kingdom through covenant” or “progressive covenantalism” - is a substantial, even groundbreaking, contribution to any discussion about the intersection of exegesis, biblical theology, and systematic theology.

The review goes onto describe the authors as, “Reformed but not fully covenantal, baptistic but not dispensational” – which pretty much sums me up too. None of us at WhatYouThinkMatters have yet had the opportunity to read Kingdom through Covenant but I guess it will be going pretty high on our priority lists, and I think it is going to generate lots of discussion which will be worth following. At 848 pages long it’s not going to be a quick read, but I’m sure lots of our readers will want to get a copy. Should be fun!

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