In this article, the author puts forward a strong case for studying theological doctrines in such a way that each individual doctrine falls within a particular larger theological field. He thus proposes that the doctrine of the atonement should be defended as falling within the covenant of grace. In this regard, the gospel call is made to everyone outside, but the one who really calls, Jesus Christ, does so from within the covenant of grace.
The article shows how the history of covenant theology extends beyond the Reformation, all the way back to the time of the early church.
The author reviews our understanding of a covenant. Involved in the analysis are comparisons with the present-day secular understanding of contracts and litigation and the sinfulness of humanity. The author finds an example of a covenant or contract in the one between the creator God and the created man, Adam and Eve, at the beginning of creation.
This is a statement with sixteen theses on the covenant.
What is a covenant? To answer this question this article looks at the relationship between covenant, sonship, and being united with Christ.
What is the covenant of grace? The covenant of grace is that arrangement whereby God planned to save man from the just consequences of his sin, namely, immorality, misery, death, and damnation. This article discusses the need for this covenant, the content of it, its unity, and how it is revealed in the Bible.
The idea of covenant is fundamental to the message of the Bible. The purpose of Chapter 1 is to demonstrate just how central the covenants are. Correctly relating the different covenants is central to doing good theology. The authors deliberately distance themselves from classic Reformed covenantal theology. For them “kingdom through covenant” is the central message of the story of the Bible.
Looking at the biblical covenants in which God is the participant, this article discusses the nature of the covenant, the language used for the covenant, the manner in which covenants are established, and the manner in which God reacts to covenant violation. All of these things point to the permanence of the covenant. The author then applies this to the covenant of marriage.
The unique aspect of the Reformed faith is its understanding of the covenant Lordship of God as the framework for understanding scripture. This article shows that this Lordship emphasizes the control of God, His authority, and His presence over all creation. This makes the Reformed faith applicable as a theology to any context, culture and time.
This article examines the place and role of mutual agreement in the covenant. It argues that the divine covenant should be seen as the sovereign administration of grace and of promise in relation to redemption. To argue this point the article looks at the Noahic covenant, Abrahamic covenant, Mosaic covenant, Davidic covenant, and the covenant in the New Testament.
The teaching of federal headship seeks to express the fact that one person was appointed by God to represent the many within his covenant. It is in understanding the truth of the legal headship that one can grasp why the sin of Adam affects all, and how the obedience of Christ is counted as righteousness to those who believe in him.
The author discusses what it means to be in the covenant of God, which is an everlasting covenant. This discussion covers especially those instances where the person in the covenant goes through distress, and thus it draws examples from the biblical figures such as Abraham, Jacob, and David. Further, the author also discusses the nature of this covenant as it concerns God and his promises.
This article argues that to confess Christ as the head of the covenant means that he is the head of his people legally and organically.
This study reflects upon the narrative manner in which the covenants are presented in the Old Testament. The covenants are portrayed with considerable narrative and architectonic art. Through a study of the relevant covenant narratives, one is enabled to see better the significance of God’s covenant-making procedure in the different covenants.
Both dispensational and covenant theology are ways in which believers “put together” their Bible. These systems serve as interpretive grid to understand the storyline of Scripture. Chapter 2 compares and contrasts dispensationalism and covenant theology to see how they relate different covenants and to better understand both approaches. Different varieties of dispensationalism and covenant theology are discussed.
What is the nature of the continuity and discontinuity between the Old and New Testaments? Covenant theology tends to maximize the continuity while dispensationalist theology emphasizes the discontinuity. This paper aims to narrow the gap by discussing a neglected dimension of New Testament data: Paul's letter to the Ephesians.
What or who was the object of faith in the Old Testament? Kaiser reflects on whether the content of faith changes for each dispensation or group of people. He confronts views of dispensationalists like Charles Ryrie. Kaiser argues that covenant theology makes the content of faith in both Testaments the same: it is faith in the Messiah, rather than a general trust or belief in God.
This article reviews the book of E. W. Nicholson on the covenant in Old Testament, with the title God and His People, Covenant and Theology in the Old Testament.
Helm argues in this paper that John Calvin's theology and the covenant theology of the Westminster Confession of Faith are in essential doctrinal agreement. He describes what he understands covenant theology to be and what Calvin's conception was of the relationship between Adam and the human race, and compares that with Calvin's English successors.
In what way is there continuity between the Mosaic covenant and the new covenant? Covenant theology is known for its emphasis on the unity and continuity between the testaments. Karlberg surveys the development of federal theology. He tries to understand the strong and sometimes even aggressive debate surrounding these issues.
Interpreters of the Bible often work with a concept of dichotomy between the Old and New Testaments. This essay argues for a greater appreciation of the unity of Scripture and refutes a number of false dichotomies. The essay has a number of implications for an understanding of the covenants in Scripture.
How should we understand the promise of the new covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-34? What are the continuities and discontinuities between the covenants? Kaiser reflects on the issues at stake—the content of the new covenant, the contrast with the Mosaic covenant, and Jeremiah 30 to Jeremiah 33 as a "book of comfort."
This article traces the development of covenant theology from the early church fathers through the medieval period, to the Reformation and the 20th century.
What is the significance of salt in the Bible? Why are the disciples of Jesus called the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13)? This study argues that there are four central notions that stand out. The binding factor is the biblical idea of covenant. The article proceeds with a survey of salt in the Hebrew Scripture and the disciples as salt in the New Testament.