Christ of the Covenants/ Hebrews

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ServantOfKing

Puritan Board Freshman
I have been reading both in Jeremiah & Hebrews and also through "The Christ of the Covenants" by O. Palmer Robertson.

I know I may be nitpicking here... but Robertson describes covenants with both Adam, Noah, & Abraham which have strong implications for the church today. And yet in Hebrews 9:18-19 it says in talking about the necessity of death for a covenant, "Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law... "

Basically, how does Covenant theology fit into the understanding of God's covenant with Moses as being the "first covenant?"

Also, I have been struggling with the portion of Jeremiah 31 quoted in Hebrews 8...

Is this referring to the invisible nature of the New Covenant but referring to that which is not necessarily true of every member of the visible administration of the New Covenant?
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
First of all, Robertson's book is not the classic view of Reformed Covenant Theology. Secondly, when reading through Hebrews 8 you need to also read the context of Jeremiah, and not just chapter 31 which is partially quoted by Paul in chapter 8. Thirdly, the "promises" of the New Covenant are not fulfilled but are already somewhat in place (already/not yet tension). The New Covenant is not "complete" because Christ has not returned and heaven/earth has not been renewed as one glorious place for the Church in glory and resurrection. Once the New Covenant is "fulfilled" completely, and all have been grafted in, the realities promised in Hebrews 8/Jeremiah 31 will be realized as well, in full.
 

johnny_redeemed

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by WrittenFromUtopia
Robertson's book is not the classic view of Reformed Covenant Theology.

I am also reading though this book. I am curious why you make this statement. This book is used at RTS as one of the text books for Covenant Theology. If this is not the classic Reformed view, what book would you say is? :banana:
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
Robertson uses confusing terminology for the covenants, in my opinion, defines covenant differently than traditional RT does, and does not express a tri-covenantal view, As far as I know.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Robertson redefines "covenant" as "a bond in blood sovereignly administered." This is not the view of Reformed Thinkers. A Covenant is "a pact or agreement", simply. Also, Robertson does not like the idea of the "covenant of works". He redefines theology at that point.

I would not recommend Robertson's book. In line with a simple overview of Covenant Theology in the Reformed perspective, I'd recommend this one:

http://www.puritanpublications.com/Books/SimpleOverview.htm

(I wrote it because there was no simple overview in the Reformed vein.)

Comments:

"...I'm thankful Dr. McMahon pointed me to it last year when I inquired about NCT vis-a-vis CT.... I found it very helpful, as it is very erudite and perceptive, and soundly explains the continuity and unity of the covenants, the purpose of the law, and the most perfect New Covenant promises fulfilled by our Lord Jesus Christ."
RS
Virginia

"Great book...it is really pulling things tight for me...this is pulling the knots tight that I already starting tying - kind of like a child learning to tie his shoes - you can get the form of the knots together but you need an adult to synch them up."
LH
Kentucky

"...the book was simple and the topic was well covered."
MM
California

"...an excellent book...and includes excellent support for paedobaptism."
JG
Texas

"just finished it, then ordered a second copy to give to a friend."
SS
California

"...awesome from start to finish. Easy to read, and very helpful to put the pieces together, especially for a layman like me."
TM
Florida
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
Originally posted by WrittenFromUtopia
First of all, Robertson's book is not the classic view of Reformed Covenant Theology.
I would be interested to know why O. Palmer Robertson's book is outside of the classical covenant theology fold. What are the reasons and distinguishing features?
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by Puritanhead
Originally posted by WrittenFromUtopia
First of all, Robertson's book is not the classic view of Reformed Covenant Theology.
I would be interested to know why O. Palmer Robertson's book is outside of the classical covenant theology fold. What are the reasons and distinguishing features?

See Rev. McMahon's post above.
 

johnny_redeemed

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by C. Matthew McMahon
(I wrote it because there was no simple overview in the Reformed vein.)


So you are going to make us poor Seminary students buy a book...are there any articles you would recommend online for free?;)

Would Palmer be in Federal Vision camp? Or at least warm himself at there fire?:um:

[Edited on 8-18-2006 by johnny_redeemed]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by johnny_redeemed


Would Palmer be in Federal Vision camp? Or at least warm himself at there fire?:um:

[Edited on 8-18-2006 by johnny_redeemed]

Absolutely not. In fact, Robertson has written a helpful critique of FV soteriology.
 

johnny_redeemed

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Originally posted by johnny_redeemed


Would Palmer be in Federal Vision camp? Or at least warm himself at there fire?:um:

[Edited on 8-18-2006 by johnny_redeemed]

Absolutely not. In fact, Robertson has written a helpful critique of FV soteriology.


Do you know where this artical can be found?:book2:
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by johnny_redeemed
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Originally posted by johnny_redeemed


Would Palmer be in Federal Vision camp? Or at least warm himself at there fire?:um:

[Edited on 8-18-2006 by johnny_redeemed]

Absolutely not. In fact, Robertson has written a helpful critique of FV soteriology.


Do you know where this artical can be found?:book2:

The Current Justification Controversy

[Edited on 8-18-2006 by Pilgrim]
 

johnny_redeemed

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by Pilgrim
Originally posted by johnny_redeemed
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Originally posted by johnny_redeemed


Would Palmer be in Federal Vision camp? Or at least warm himself at there fire?:um:

[Edited on 8-18-2006 by johnny_redeemed]

Absolutely not. In fact, Robertson has written a helpful critique of FV soteriology.


Do you know where this artical can be found?:book2:

The Current Justification Controversy

[Edited on 8-18-2006 by Pilgrim]


Thank you.:handshake:
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
It is easier to understand Hebrews 8 if it is interpreted with the same promise/fulfilment, shadow/substance motif as pervades the rest of the book. Hence the new covenant is not completely new, but a fulfilment of what was promised in the Old Testament. The "first" covenant terminology refers to the nation of Israel as a type of the eschatological sabbath enjoying people of God, Heb. 4, the Mount Zion of chapter 12. It therefore naturally excludes the earlier covenants.
 

ServantOfKing

Puritan Board Freshman
If I'm understanding right, Roberton's book is not what I should be reading for a simple, classic explanation of Covenant Theology? Do his explanations kind of deviate from the "norm" of Reformed thought?

I am having a difficult time studying through Hebrews because I spent a lot of time in a Reformed Baptist church and all of the sermons I heard preached on it pop into mind when I read it. I still have a great great deal to learn about Covenant Theology.

Dr. McMahon, thank you for the book recommendation. I will try to order that soon. Are there any articles free to access online that discuss this as well?

Thank you! :)
 

R. Scott Clark

Puritan Board Senior
See Mike Horton's new book on covenant theology. It's very balanced and a good representative of classical and contemporary scholarship on covenant theology.

See (if I may) my expositon of Caspar Olevian's covenant theology.

Read Witisus' Economy of the Covenants

Re the FV and NPP see these resources:
http://www.wscal.edu/clark/fvnpp.php

On the history of covenant theology see (for starters):
http://www.wscal.edu/clark/briefhistorycovtheol.php

For classical Reformed statements of covenant theology see (for starters):
http://www.wscal.edu/clark/covtheology.php

See Turretin's Institutes Topic/Question 15, vol 1 I think. He's quite good.

Blessings,

rsc
 

johnny_redeemed

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by ServantOfKing
I am having a difficult time studying through Hebrews because I spent a lot of time in a Reformed Baptist church and all of the sermons I heard preached on it pop into mind when I read it. I still have a great great deal to learn about Covenant Theology.


:ditto:
Sounds like you and I are in the same boat. I am coming out of a "Bible Church" and the whole Covenant thing is new to me as well. I am just now being hit with all the controversies that the Presbyterian Church has been dealing with in the past 40 years or so...Shepherd, Peadocommunion, Federal Vision and the like. It is making my head spin (in a good way). I find that controversy cause me to study and read more which is a good thing.

So, I have been reading the same book you are"¦it is a bit disheartening to hear that this book does not represent the main thread of Covenant theology. What do you guys think about Horton´s new book "œGod of Promise?"
 

johnny_redeemed

Puritan Board Freshman
Just so I do not look stupid, R. Scott Clark's post was not there when I wrote my post. I would also like to know what other think about Horton's new book.

R. Scott Clark has to like it, it is by his colleague. :p

[Edited on 8-19-2006 by johnny_redeemed]
 

Peter

Puritan Board Junior
I see the already/not yet view espoused on the PB as the reformed view of Heb 8, Jer 31 but the view I've read of most is that it means just an extra measure of grace in the NT.
 

ServantOfKing

Puritan Board Freshman
These links have been extremely helpful! Thank you!! :)

Originally posted by R. Scott Clark
See Mike Horton's new book on covenant theology. It's very balanced and a good representative of classical and contemporary scholarship on covenant theology.

See (if I may) my expositon of Caspar Olevian's covenant theology.

Read Witisus' Economy of the Covenants

Re the FV and NPP see these resources:
http://www.wscal.edu/clark/fvnpp.php

On the history of covenant theology see (for starters):
http://www.wscal.edu/clark/briefhistorycovtheol.php

For classical Reformed statements of covenant theology see (for starters):
http://www.wscal.edu/clark/covtheology.php

See Turretin's Institutes Topic/Question 15, vol 1 I think. He's quite good.

Blessings,

rsc
 
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