This leads to a supersession of the types and shadows as well as the laws of the OT. But Gentry and Wellum’s narrowing of hēqîm bĕrît seems to preemptively delimit the nature of the covenant with Adam before arriving at its exegesis. Is baptism the believer’s act of testifying to a personal response, or God’s act of testifying to his everlasting pledge, which itself is the means through which the Spirit creates persevering faith in his elect? A Review of Kingdom through Covenant by Gentry and Wellum. Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants,. ↩, A good place to start would be Nehemiah Coxe’s “A Discourse of the Covenants,” in Covenant Theology: From Adam to Christ (eds., Ronald D. Miller, James M. Renihan, and Francisco Orozco; Palmdale, CA: Reformed Baptist Academic Press, 2005). Although the Mosaic covenant is certainly in service to the covenant of grace in various ways, in both form and content it is quite different from the one-sided promise to Adam and Eve after the Fall, Abraham and Sarah, David, and the new covenant. “The new covenant therefore brings to fruition God’s promises and purposes in all the others” (445). Lastly, Ephesians 4:25-5:5 is interpreted to show that Paul views the church as the new covenant community envisioned and promised in the prophets. He grew up in the south and attended college in Alabama. In Genesis 15, God alone swears the oath and then walks through the pieces assuming its solemn threats. God’s covenant partners are to be his faithful servants, agents of his will. However, it is the realization of the Abrahamic covenant (Acts 3:25). God promises his saving grace in Christ to each person in baptism, whether they embrace this promise or not. 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. By contrast, the Anabaptist-Baptist ecclesiology lodges the church’s visibility in the members. What righteousness is that? 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. (159). BOOK REVIEWS God’s Kingdom Through God’s Covenant: A Concise Biblical Theology. There is a great tension/need in the progress of the historical covenants for one who will do perfectly all that God commands. This is the standard Reformed view, drawing on the invisible-visible church distinction, which the authors seem to reject. 5:17-48. This book reveals the structure that supports the revelation of God’s message throughout time. May 9, 2013. Kingdom through Covenant: A Review by Michael Horton Classic dispensationalism famously made a distinction between the “kingdom of heaven” (i.e., the fulfilment of the covenant made to David, in which God promised to establish the kingdom of his Son) and the “kingdom of God” (i.e., the moral rule of God in the hearts of his subjects). For a 1689 Federalism understanding of the texts in question, please see: No. Gentry and Wellum are critical of the conditional/unconditional framework of standard covenant theology. 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. Scripture is “word-act” revelation. I do not deny those exegetical relations and realities. In chapter three, the authors lay down hermeneutical foundations. This is part 2 of a two-part review of Peter J. Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum, Kingdom Through Covenant (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012). Jonathan has also written a review of the book for Reformation21.org. As long as the distinction between moral and positive law is maintained,12 the tripartite division is just a particular application of that distinction. For dispensationalism that is seen in the expectation of the promise land being restored to Israel. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012. Review by Fred G. Zaspel-- Hurricane Sandy was for our family not the disaster it was for so many, but it was a major inconvenience. From such language, one is left with the impression of God crumpling up paper and starting his plans anew. God may set up a covenant, and later the parties will speak of holding it up according to their peculiar commitments. Where are the explicit passages to indicate that with such a profound expansion of blessings to “all the families of the earth”—indeed, to believers and their seed (Acts 2:39)—children are excluded in an ostensibly better covenant? That means that we must also look at typology retrospectively. “[T]o reflect upon typological structures and their development is simultaneously to unpack the biblical covenants across redemptive history” (107). The two are distinct. For those who insist that systematic conclusions be firmly established on exegetical foundations, chapters 16 and 17 assume a great deal of non-existent exegesis in Genesis 3. For all the argumentation, the disagreement is small. A Review Article* Samuel Renihan *This is an excerpt from Sam Renihan’s review article which will be published in the Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies (JIRBS), 2014. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our … The definition given would indicate that hēqîm bĕrît never means “to initiate a covenant,” yet they clarify that there is “a clear demarcation between covenants made for the first time and renewal covenants which confirm or ratify covenants initiated previously” (160). It is not an extension of Israel, though it came forth from her womb. He was present in the Old Testament. At the coming of Christ, the nation of Israel (typical) was cut off for violating the Old Covenant. Gentry and Wellum are right, nonetheless that there are cases where hēqîm bĕrît does not refer to the initiation of a distinct covenant. This isn’t quite accurate. God’s covenant partners are to be his faithful servants, agents of his will. But more than that, it is a book that will add contour and detail to the reader’s understanding of the divine drama and all that God has done and will do for his people throughout the ages. 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