Saturday, January 17, 2009

But in these last days!

Hebrews 1:1-2 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, (2) but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

But in these last days!!!!! Verse 1 refers to Old Testament and Old Covenant revelation and verse 2 refers to New Testament and New Covenant revelation.
Certainly this means that New Testament revelation should be used to interpret Old Testament revelation. It is clear that Jesus Christ brought a change of Covenants as Hebrews goes on to fully explain. The New Covenant replaces the Old Covenant. Why? Hebrews goes on to say that the Old Covenant is replaced by a better Covenant for which Jesus is the guarantor (Heb. 7:22). It further states that the Old Covenant is obsolete (Heb. 8:13). Yet, neither Dispensational Theology nor Covenant Theology views the Old Covenant as obsolete.

Dispensational Theology completely separates the Old from the New Covenant. For example in the thread of my last post, a dispensational adherent said, We see the law is in effect for the Jews during the tribulation period when Jesus again starts dealing with the nation Israel (Matt 24:20).

Although the New Testament clearly ends the role of physical Israel in redemptive history and brings all of humanity under the gospel of grace, the dispensationalist views a day when Israel will be dealt with completely separate from the Gentiles. Paul’s statement about there being neither Jew nor Greek does not interpret Old Testament Scripture in this view. The Old Testament is used to interpret the New in dispensational hermeneutics.

Covenant Theology, on the other hand, holds tightly to the Old Testament and Old Covenant principles. The New Covenant is viewed as the final revelation of a single major Covenant of grace, and there is barely a bump in the road from the Old Testament to the New Testament in Covenant theology.

A covenant theology adherent said the following in our last thread:
”I think the problem in Galatians 3:3 is that the Galatians were too reliant on the law without the help of the Spirit of God to seek to keep it.”

Although there are many warnings by Paul to totally reject law keeping, Covenant Theology, as seen by this commenter, views Paul’s warnings on law keeping as referring only to the manner or reason for doing so. Therefore, in this view the Galatian error was not law keeping, but law keeping without the help of the Spirit of God.


jazzycat said...

But in these last days! Jesus Christ, The New Testament, and the New Covenant give us the very latest revelation on which to relate to God.

Gordan said...

Hi, JC, nice to see a new post up here.

As a guy who holds to Covenant Theology, I hope you do not paint us all with the tarnish brought by one guy with a misunderstanding (or, with a bad way of expressing himself.) We're the original Sola Gratia crew, you know.

The Galatian heresy was in believing that law-keeping was meritorious in terms of somehow completing their salvation. Like, Christ gave us a good start, and now we have to finish it by our obedience. We'll complete in our flesh what Christ started by the Spirit, etc.

Covenant Theology soundly rejects that idea, and sees our obedience as resulting from our salvation, not contributing to it.


jazzycat said...

Thanks for stopping by. I go to a PCA church that holds to covenant theology and the Westminster Confession of Faith.

I have developed some major disagreements with the Westminster in the last couple of years beginning with infant baptism. I also disagree with the view of one covenant of grace since the fall. I think many passages such as Romans 6-8, Eph. 2:11-22, 2 Corinthians 3, and the book of Hebrews point to the Old Covenant becoming obsolete. Yet, the Westminster seems to cling to the Written code contrary to these passages. For example the following quote from the WCF section 19 part 6 points to the law as a duty in sanctification: Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified, or condemned; yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life informing them of the will of God, and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly ………..

I am in no way denying Spirit led obedience to New Covenant principles and the Law of Christ, but I take Romans 7:6 literally and I think the WCF is wrong.