New Covenant Theology vs. 1689 Federalism

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Puritan Board Freshman
I am aware that there is more continuity seen in 1689 Federalism and more discontinuity in NCT, but I wanted to inquire as to the board's understanding of NCT in contrast with 1689 Federalism. Gentry and Wellum in their book "Kingdom Through Covenant" claim to be the "Reformed Baptist" position, but it hardly seems wholly compatible with 1689 Federalism.
Hi Ben,

I studied Systematic Theology under Dr. Wellum at SBTS. He is a very godly and humble man, as well as a gifted scholar and skilled teacher. He was also our Sunday School teacher while we attended 9th and O Baptist Church there, and I have the utmost respect for his love for Christ and the Church.

That being said, he argues for a basic strand of NCT. He often said in his lectures that he did not want us to adhere to CT nor dispensationalism: "I'd like us to put a moratorium on the term 'covenant of grace' and use the Bible's terms." Thus he proposed a via media, ie, KTC. He would describe himself as Calvinistic, but not covenantal in the LBC/confessional sense (ie, not 1689 Federalist).

Hope this helps.

Grace to you.
I'm slowly working my way through KTC if I remember correctly the authors argued that to label the OC has a "covenant of works" (1689 Fed) or "covenant of grace" (WCF) is too simplistic. I haven't finished the work yet so I can't give you strict details on their ideas. has a great chart that compares NCT and 1689 federalism. likewise has another helpful chart that might help you. Might have to do some digging though.
Thanks, Zach. I identify with 1689 Federalism myself. There are several troubling aspects of NCT and Progressive Covenantalism as indicated in your graphic above.
"Christian ethics = moral law" might not be specific enough because proponents of other views teach that the law of Christ is moral. They see it as a developing concept in redemptive history. It is also important to stress that the moral law binds everyone, not just Christians. Christians live in the world and are bound by the same ethical requirements as everyone else. Their motives for obedience should be more weighty and constraining, but their obedience is to the same law that every individual is bound to obey. It could be the idea that there is a distinct "Christian" law which has given rise to the other views.
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