Please make sure all fields are filled out. First, positive laws from the Mosaic covenant are not binding on the new covenant people.10 Beyond the morality behind many positive commands, they do not function as the laws of our societies.11 Second, the way that the law functioned for Israel is surely not the same as the way that the law functions for the church. Welty demonstrates that ethical teaching does not fulfill law. 848 pp. 3:16). That is almost like pitting the chapters of a book against the beginning and end of a book. 1:10). This isn’t quite accurate. So despite repeated discontinuity between old and new covenants (Sinai and Zion, “two covenants”: law and promise, etc. The false dilemma is that if we isolate the covenant of works and covenant of grace from the covenants previously mentioned, and consider them on their own, then they truly are conditional and unconditional in the fullest sense. They note, “When the fruit of the forbidden tree was eaten, we were all involved somehow, as Romans 5:12- 21 makes plain” (216). Lastly, we are waiting for a new creation, a consummated kingdom, not a return to Israel. REVIEW ARTICLE QUESTIONING THE PROGRESS IN PROGRESSIVE COVENANTALISM: A REVIEW OF GENTRY AND WELLUM’S KINGDOM THROUGH COVENANT Jonathan M. Brack and Jared S. Oliphint P eter J. Gentry, professor of Old Testament Interpretation at the South-ern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Stephen J. Wellum, professor (159). have explored the qualitatively new blessings in the new covenant. Thus Christ does not abrogate the law; he embodies it. 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. The branches that remained were the remnant, the true Israel of God/the Church (anti-typical), to which Gentiles were added through faith alone. Within this chapter they express their disagreement with the standard conditional/unconditional classification of covenants, particularly as those categories have been filtered through the royal-grant and suzerain-vassal treaties of the ancient Near East. ↩, Cf. Drawing from Isaiah, the Servant of the Lord “must be the future king,” and will “represent the nation as a whole” in his death and resurrection (440-41). However, this new language was written broadly enough to allow a variety of views to equally confess it. Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants . For the seriousness with which it handles the issues, its depth of research and analysis, its approach on many issues, and the respectful description of alternative positions, Kingdom through Covenant strikes me as a model for the deeper and richer conversations that we need in our circles. The book maintains that God establishes his kingdom through the biblical covenants, all of which point forward to, terminate in, and are fulfilled by Jesus Christ. 4:30; 1 Cor. But a consistent application of such a method would add more of a canonical voice to some of the interpretations of these texts. An interesting addition of evidence is that the Septuagint, which consistently translates hēqîm bĕrît with isthmi or anisthmi diaqhkh, translates “hēqîm bĕrît” in Genesis 9:17 with “diatiqhmi diaqhkhn” which is the ubiquitous way of translating kārat bĕrît.6 Thus, when God says that the rainbow is the sign of the covenant which he “established” with all flesh, the Septuagint treats it as having been “covenanted” and not just “upheld.” Thus, hēqîm bĕrît can refer to initiation of a covenant, but in light of another covenant. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned” (vv. I have no doubts that the authors would argue that the New Testament supports their initial conclusions, but the reader has the right to remain unconvinced. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants at Amazon.com. Fulfillment is indeed eschatological, but Christ is the terminus of fulfillment for both the prophecies and the laws of the OT. peter Gentry and tephen s wellum have produced a remarkable work. They also rightly make the point that the vast majority of typology takes place within covenantal contexts. According to Gentry and Wellum, “covenant theology views the biblical covenants under two larger theological headings—the covenant of works and the covenant of grace—both of which are grounded in the eternal covenant of redemption” (59). Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015, 300 pp., $19.99 paper. In short, I look forward to the continuing conversation provoked by this thoughtful work. This leads to a supersession of the types and shadows as well as the laws of the OT. By incorporating the latest available research from the ancient Near East and examining implications of their work for Christology, ecclesiology, eschatology, and hermeneutics―Biblical scholar Peter Gentry and systematic theologian Stephen Wellum present a thoughtful and viable alternative to both covenant theology and dispensationalism. Peter Gentry and Steve Wellum have produced the most extensive study of the biblical covenants published in over a century, arguing for what they call Progressive Covenantalism, a middle-way between Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology. The first four uses of this construction occur in Genesis 6 and 9. Gentry and Wellum do not interpret Colossians 2:11–13 as treating baptism as a replacement for circumcision: “[This] raises an obvious question: If the covenant signs are so similar in meaning then why did circumcision disappear as a covenant sign, especially for the Jewish Christian?” (80) However, the disappearance of ritual circumcision is entirely understandable if baptism replaced it. Within these three sections, their twofold purpose is realized. Neither the Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, nor Davidic covenants were the Covenant of Grace. While classic covenant theology may say that the metanarrative hinges on two covenants, as long as we understand that between the two lies a progression of covenants (as the seventeenth-century Particular Baptists argued), such a dilemma is dissolved. That is not a problem. Written by Michael Horton | Sunday, September 16, 2012 . He says explicitly that we have no business “judging outsiders.” “Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? Drawing from Ezekiel, “The covenant relationship will be restored once they are cleansed from sin” (480). The examples of hēqîm bĕrît which Gentry and Wellum kindly provide in an appendix (733-36) demonstrate more nuance and diversity than consistent usage. May 9, 2013. Nor is there a call to determine who is truly regenerate, but only who is living in flagrant and unrepentant contradiction to his or her public profession. Christ comes in fulfillment of all of them, his mission being built originally on the Abrahamic covenant’s promise to mediate blessing to the nations. Laying this aside for the moment, Gentry and Wellum accurately portray the Noahic covenant as a covenant that stabilizes the world for the development of redemptive history (169) and demonstrates the universal “unmerited favour and kindness of God in preserving his world” (175). And it’s more Baptistic in its understanding and hermeneutical underpinnings. Thus it is not right to describe Abraham and Israel as “a last Adam.” Israel is indeed a new son in a new paradise, and thus continues Adamic typology, but not as “a last Adam.” Nor is it right to say, “There are no major new beginnings after this in the narrative of Scripture (until we come to the new creation at the end of the story)” (228). Commands function in a law-covenant as the basis for blessing or curse: the swearer’s perfect, personal, perpetual obedience is the ground, ratified by a public assumption of the covenant obligations on one’s own head. ), it is striking that the apostolic message explicitly treats the new covenant as the consummation of the Abrahamic covenant rather than its abrogation (for example, Acts 10:9–43, 15:7-17; Romans 4 and Galatians 3-4). In summary, “the progressive revelation of the covenants tell us a story…They anticipate in many ways that in the coming and work of this Son…God’s saving rule and reign will come to this world” (644). When the people fail, Canaan is lost. This has enormous consequences for pastoral ministry. Due to the use of kārat bĕrît in Deuteronomy 28:69 (29:1 ESV), Deuteronomy is viewed as its own covenant, yet as a “supplement” to the Mosaic covenant (378). With respect to this covenant, E. P. Sanders is exactly right with his formula: “Get in by grace, stay in by obedience.” However, confusing these two covenants is precisely what provoked Paul’s argument in Galatians. Wheaton: Crossway, 2012. 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). Adult converts like Abraham receive the sign and seal of the covenant upon professing faith, while their children receive it unto that profession. But just because the law of Moses is unlike the law-codes of pagan nations, it does not mean that it does not bear a legal character. If the authors’ concern is in the function of the law as it was given to Israel, then we grant that there are indeed nuances to be recognized and maintained. How can they fall under the curses of a covenant to which they didn’t belong? In chapter three, the authors lay down hermeneutical foundations. It Is Defiance. That being said, these two verses are instances of upholding the terms of the covenant rather than making a covenant. 4:11). Kingdom Through Covenant presents a case for a via media between dispensationalism and covenant theology. And when one points out that God had greater promises to Israel than the land of Canaan, we are confronted by promises of the new covenant contained within the Abrahamic covenant. There is a marked progression as the covenants build on one another and move towards Jesus. Did the kingdom he inaugurated already exist on earth? By Peter J. Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum. “Kingdom through Covenant is hermeneutically sensitive, exegetically rigorous, and theologically rich―a first rate biblical theology that addresses both the message and structure of the whole Bible from the ground up. The Davidic covenant is developed from 2 Samuel 7 where, the authors rightly argue, the absence of the word bĕrît is no reason to reject the notion that a covenant was indeed made there. 27-28). The authors’ scope was specific to the covenants of the Old Testament for a variety of reasons. For all the argumentation, the disagreement is small. Kingdom Through Covenant: A Biblical Theological Understanding of the Covenants. But as they themselves have stated, the true test of theological accuracy is to ask, “Does it do justice to all of the biblical data” (694)? The whole tree is holy, but dead branches will be pruned. When Peter Gentry and Stephen Wellum released the first edition of their Kingdom through Covenant in 2012, they made a significant contribution to the evangelical theological scene.Their argument, in short, is that the biblical covenants form the backbone to the storyline of Scripture. First, the 2LBCF states in. The Mosaic covenant is summarized by the argument that “by means of the Israelite covenant, God intends for the nation to fulfill the Adamic role reassigned to Abraham. There is a unique and special character in the laws inscribed by God himself, i.e., the Ten Commandments (Exod. Yet they must embrace the promise in faith. That would turn conditions into the basis rather than the administration of the covenant. The overall metanarrative is also sound. Kingdom through Covenant review: Chapter 3 This entry was posted on May 7, 2013 by Kris Lyle, in Book review and tagged covenant theology, covenants, dispensational theology, Kingdom through Covenant, redemptive-history. Copyright © 2020 The Gospel Coalition, INC. All Rights Reserved. In ways, this is a failure to follow that third step of interpretation advocated by the men themselves, the canonical horizon. When Paul speaks of not being under the law but under grace he is referring to the law as a covenant of works, from which we are freed by the life and death of Christ for us. From the ashes of Adam’s cursed kingdom, on the platform of Noah’s stabilized kingdom, and out of the womb of Abraham’s kingdom comes the seed of the woman, the Messiah, the kingdom of God incarnate, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, mediator of the new covenant, our great high Priest, our consummate Prophet, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Heir and King of the new creation. Brief treatment is also given to “The demand of the covenant and its breach” (216-17). And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:15). The obvious ramifications are an understanding of the church as the new covenant community, a community regenerated by the Spirit, whose sins are forgiven by the blood of the new covenant (690-92). According to Gentry and Wellum, these two kinds of covenants are “different emphases on a continuum rather than polar opposites” (135). As servant king and son of God mankind will mediate God’s rule to the creation in the context of a covenantal relationship with God on the one hand and the earth on the other. Share 12. An Adjustment To My Kingdom Through Covenant Review. Thus God’s kingdom is established through covenant. 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