Those who are excommunicated are “cast out” of the covenant community, “removed from among you” (Gal. Kingdom Through Covenant: A Biblical Theological Understanding of the Covenants. But the authors are operating under a few false dilemmas. Heb. The moral law was part of this covenant as well. When we add to this the instances of household baptisms (with only one believing parent mentioned) in Acts (16:15, 32–33; 18:18) and 1 Corinthians 1:16, and the mention of children being sanctified by one believing parent in 1 Corinthians 7:14, the cumulative case seems to place the burden of proof on the Baptist position. Thus, the Ten Commandments are “fulfilled” and abrogated by Christ’s teaching. Gentry and Wellum are critical of the conditional/unconditional framework of standard covenant theology. Read Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants book reviews & author details and more at May 9, 2013. 8:9). © 2018 Monergism by CPR Foundation. We must evaluate people based on profession and accept the limitations of our judgment (693). Within these three sections, their twofold purpose is realized. . Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants . God does indeed govern his world through dominion delegated by covenant. I disagree with the authors when they suggest ambiguity in Reformed thinking regarding the members of the covenant of grace. In light of the fact that the Mosaic covenant governs enjoyment of the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant,8 this is less likely. A repeated emphasis of this book is that Torah refers to instruction rather than law. If faith is the only way into membership (693), then why all the warnings to members of the covenant community to exercise faith and persevere in faith to the end? Not for the sake of the writing of endless books, but that as Gentry and Wellum note: “That we learn afresh ‘to think God’s thoughts after him’ and ‘to bring every thought captive to Christ.’” The covenants are seen as the backbone for the metanarrative of Scripture. Why are Ephesians 4:24 and Colossians 3:10 legitimate material for informing our perspective of the divine image, but Romans 5 only makes it clear that “somehow” we were involved in Adam’s actions? This would make hēqîm equivalent to kārat in this case. That is almost like pitting the chapters of a book against the beginning and end of a book. That means that we must also look at typology retrospectively. The treatment of the covenant of creation has giant holes in its coverage. The reason for calling this project a “via media” (23) is that Gentry and Wellum are not in agreement with the way that classical covenant theology and dispensationalism have understood the relation of the biblical covenants one to another. It accounts for the change in language found in the 2nd London Baptist Confession with regards to covenant theology (in comparison to the WCF). However, there is no forgiveness anymore if they go back to the sacrificial system of the temple (v. 6b). (355). Based upon a credible profession of faith, we judge (with charity) a person to be saved. Editors’ Note: As noted in our recent interview with authors Peter Gentry and Stephen Wellum, Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants (Crossway, 2012) is a groundbreaking contribution to any discussion about the intersection of exegesis, biblical theology, and systematic theology. This has enormous consequences for pastoral ministry. Chapter 26 of the 2nd London Baptist Confession states: This is the meaning of the word nenomoqe>thtai: “established,” say we; but it is, “reduced into a fixed state of a law or ordinance.” All the obedience required in it, all the worship appointed by it, all the privileges exhibited in it, and the grace administered with them, are all given for a statute, law, and ordinance unto the church. The church, the kingdom of God, is an institution of the new creation. Kingdom through Covenant: A Review Gentry and Wellum have made a substantial case for an independent middle path between dispensational and covenant theology. (201). I think this is dangerous on a number of practical levels in dealing with people under our charge. Abraham is the root and Israel (not "the visible church") is the tree. 2014, On 01, Dec 2014 | In Resources, Samuel Renihan | By Brandon Adams. ↩, For example, Paul grounds the moral duty of churches to give due honor and compensation to pastors in the duty of Israelites to feed their beasts of burden (1 Cor. The study of the covenants provides a framework for understanding and applying the message of the Bible to life in the new covenant community. In this section, the authors reinforce their arguments that Torah means “instruction rather than law” and that Deuteronomy 12-26 demonstrates this to be the case as God instructs Israel how to live in the land. Revelation develops progressively and thus the New Testament holds priority over the Old Testament in terms of definitive interpretation and unpacking of the complete teaching of God’s word (85-86). The classification of “unconditional” and “conditional” covenants isn’t helpful, they argue, because there are elements of each in every biblical covenant. ((See also Richard Barcellos, In Defense of the Decalogue (Enumclaw, WA: WinePress Publishing, 2001), 77-83.)) It’s covenant theology that accounts for this tertium quid between “foreigners to the covenant” and “regenerate members.” In fact, the warning is emphatic in chapter 10 against “the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace” (v. 29). The new covenant is established on better promises through a better mediator (513). They propose their system as a via media between covenant theology and dispensationalism. For covenant theology that is seen in granting the covenant sign to children. A Review of Kingdom through Covenant by Gentry and Wellum. The writer warns his readers not to follow the example of Esau “who sold his birthright for a single meal” (12:16). In traditional Reformed treatments it is frequently warned that pastors and elders have authority only to determine credible professions of faith, not to actually determine whether people are elect or regenerated. also, “In fulfillment of the promises to Abraham, Israel, by virtue of the Mosaic covenant, will provide under the direct rule of God a model of God’s rule over human life” (324). BOOK REVIEWS God’s Kingdom Through God’s Covenant: A Concise Biblical Theology. 12 Shares. The word proclaimed and sealed in the sacraments is valid, regardless of our response, but we don’t enjoy the blessings apart from receiving Christ with all of his benefits. Galatians 3:24-25 is briefly mentioned to describe the contrast between God’s people in their youth and maturity, but that is all (340). I also see reason to reconsider the argument about hēqîm bĕrît. October 8, 2018 by wagraham 2 Comments. This twofold purpose is then carried through three main sections in the book. He grew up in the south and attended college in Alabama. 13 Peter J. Gentry & Stephen J. Wellum, Kingdom through Covenant, 177ff. Gentry and Wellum argue that after Adam failed, God made a “new start” with Noah which ended in the ruin of Babel, and then God made a “fresh start” with Abraham from which, eventually, came the Messiah, the final and faithful covenant partner (138-39)–hence, progressive covenantalism. It is both “prophetic and predictive,” meaning that it is divinely ordained and intended. Copyright © 2020 The Gospel Coalition, INC. All Rights Reserved. Wellum and Gentry provide both an outstanding introduction to Biblical Theology and Biblical-theological systems and a solidly biblical via media between the two reigning Biblical-theological systems, Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology. 27-28). See Jonathan Brack’s review at In chapter three, the authors lay down hermeneutical foundations. 848 pp. This is not arbitrary; it is a reflection of God’s own special treatment of these commands. In Genesis 6:18 God clearly says that he “will establish” his covenant with Noah, and in Genesis 9:9-10 God makes good on that promise and says “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth.” God has just initiated a covenant with distinct parties from those at creation. In their exegesis of Genesis 15, the authors provide strong argumentation for understanding the covenant cutting ceremony as a self-maledictory oath taken by God himself (251-58). ↩, The authors are unwilling to fully embrace the title of “new covenant theology” because on the one hand it is not a clearly defined system, and on the other hand they disagree with some of the teachings found within that broad label. Therefore, in spite of the obvious differences between the redemptive-historical quality of blessings enjoyed by Old and New Testament saints, respectively, believers and their children are “heirs according to the promise” just as Abraham and his heirs were. One of the reasons for viewing the law as “the law” bearing a very “legal” character comes from Paul’s description of it in Galatians 3-4, yet Galatians 3-4 receives no treatment in the chapter on the Mosaic covenant. Surely, that is not accurate of the one whose “plan for the fullness of time” is “to unite all things” in Christ (Eph. 848 pp. All of this fits well with Jesus’s distinction in his parables between a seed that at first begins to grow but is choked by weeds, or weeds sown among the wheat, or fish caught in the net and sorted out (Matt. Share 12. Written by Michael Horton | Sunday, September 16, 2012 . Kingdom through Covenant is a comprehensively unified work that requires the reader to patiently work through it as an entire argument. They go on to insist, “We should always remember that Torah…means personal instruction from God as Father and King of his people rather than just ‘law’” (356). True, the Westminster Confession says that the elect are the proper subjects, but the Confession goes on to say that “the visible church . 16b–21). 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