How should we interpret the promises made to the people of Israel in the OT — are they being fulfilled in the church? Does God have a distinct plan for the nation of Israel separate from the church? How do Christians relate to the Mosaic Law? What does infant baptism have to do with our understanding of the Biblical Covenants? In short, these are all questions asking, How should we put our Bible’s together — and questions that both covenantal and dispensational theologies answer differently, with wide-ranging implications for how we read our Bibles, how we define the church, what we expect of the future, and how we live our Christian lives.
This episode serves as the first installment of a larger conversation on covenantal and dispensational theologies and their divergent ways of putting the Bible together. In today’s episode, Richard Lucas and Brent Parker lead us through a survey of the various view points that exist. In order of those that stress more continuity to those that stress more discontinuity, we look at:
Theonomy / Reconstructionism [3:50]
Traditional Covenant Theology [9:13]
20th Century Reformed Baptist Theology [24:02]
1689 Federalism [31:02]
Progressive Covenantalism [40:37]
New Covenant Theology [55:24]
Progressive Dispensationalism [1:04:7]
Traditional (or Revised) Dispensationalism [1:18:58]
Classic Dispensationalism [1:34:36]
Their book, Covenantal and Dispensational Theologies: Four Views on the Continuity of Scripture (IVP, February 2022), is currently available for pre-order.
Parker, Brent E., and Richard J. Lucas, eds. Covenantal and Dispensational Theologies: Four Views on the Continuity of Scripture. Spectrum Multiview Books. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2022. (266 pp.)
The book is set to release February 8th. You can preorder it now.
I received an advanced copy of this book from the editors in request for a review. In addition, I’ll be publishing some podcast episodes with editors covering the topic of this book. So be on the look out for those as well.
The editors did a great job. Their introduction gives a solid primer of the views and helpfully situates the reader to the primary issues at stake in this debate.
They also picked a top roster to represent each view:
- Covenant Theology – Michael Horton.
- Progressive Covenantalism – Stephen Wellum.
- Progressive Dispensationalism – Darrell Bock.
- Traditional Dispensationalism – Mark Snoeberger.
If you’ve had some theological education, or have been around someone who else who has, you may have heard of the terms dispensationalism or covenant theology (or reformed theology). But maybe you’re not entirely sure as to what they mean, to what they refer, or what these systems of theology propose. Maybe you are somewhat familiar with these systems, or one of them, and might benefit from a concise and precise summary. Or, maybe these terms are foreign to you and your curiosity has been tickled.