Covenantal and Dispensational Theologies
How does the canon of Scripture fit together?
For evangelical Christians, there is no question about the authority of Scripture and its testimony to the centrality of Jesus Christ in God's salvation plan. But several questions remain: How do the Old Testament and New Testament relate to each other? What is the relationship among the biblical covenants? How should Christians read and interpret Scripture in order to do justice to both its individual parts and its whole message? How does Israel relate to the church?
In this volume in IVP Academic's Spectrum series, readers will find four contributors who explore these complex questions. The contributors each make a case for their own view—representing two versions of covenantal theology and two versions of dispensational theology—and then respond to the others' views to offer an animated yet irenic discussion on the continuity of Scripture.
Views and Contributors:
"None of us interprets the biblical text in a vacuum. Those who say they interpret the Bible without bringing any theology to the text are mistaken; they are simply unaware of the theology they hold. This work on covenant and dispensational systems helps us to see larger frameworks that are operating when we read the biblical text. We are challenged by this fascinating book to examine the Scriptures to see what is really so (Acts 17:11). We want to be faithful in proclaiming the whole plan of God (Acts 20:27), and grappling with the different views presented in this book will sharpen us all to be more faithful."
"In a day when the air is thick with antagonistic discourse in the broader culture and the church, Brent Parker and Richard Lucas have provided a much-needed breath of fresh air. Despite the differences between covenantal and dispensational theologies, the contributors dialogue and debate over their differences with charity, clarity, and candor. Anyone who wants a better understanding of the various covenantal positions will greatly benefit from this volume. Not only will readers sharpen their understanding of Scripture, they will also learn how to shine light rather than heat into areas of disagreement."
"In an age of social media caricaturing and name-calling, this book represents a more mature, constructive dialogue in place of the shrill voices of modern-day 'meme theology.' With straightforward presentations of their views and respectful critiques of other positions, Horton, Wellum, Bock, and Snoeberger rise above tribalistic lambasting. The result is a helpful handbook on differing perspectives as well as an update on the state of the discussion between covenantal and dispensational theologies. Don't let twisted tweets and malicious memes reduce this important conversation to a destructive, fruitless conflict. Give ear to these experts who provide stimulating arguments and irenic rejoinders, demonstrating a zeal for their positions as well as a spirit of grace."
"What could be more critical to both biblical and systematic theology than the concept of covenant? And yet, few concepts have proved so controversial in the last century. Divided by rivalry camps, many evangelicals remain confused by a whirlwind of debates over continuity and discontinuity between the testaments. But at last, this book is a beam of clarity. Not only must each theologian put forward his position, but the reader is pressed to decide which position best represents Scripture's relentless witness to God's unfolding plan of salvation. Best of all, this book summons every Christian to wrestle with real consequences today, pressing us all to ask whether our view can substantiate our future hope in a God who keeps his covenant promises. Whether we get the kingdom of God right for the next generation may just depend on debates like this one."
"Over the last one hundred years, the debate between dispensationalism and covenant theology has often hampered more than helped fellow Bible-believing Christians understand one another or the Scriptures they all uphold as authoritative. This book represents a welcome exception. Each writer makes a cogent case for their respective positions, and the book delivers what the title advertises: four views on covenantal versus dispensational theologies. Still, the framing of all four writers is cordial, respectful, and irenic, without underplaying the differences or the competing biblical and theological rationales that produce those differences. While this book does not exhaust the points needing discussion, it does contribute to and forwards the discussion in a much-needed way."
Introduction: Four Views on the Systems of Theology: Brent E. Parker and Richard J. Lucas
Covenant Theology: Michael S. Horton
Progressive Covenantalism: Stephen J. Wellum
Progressive Dispensationalism: Darrell L. Bock
Traditional Dispensationalism: Mark A. Snoeberger
A Covenant Theology Response: Michael S. Horton
A Progressive Covenantalism Response: Stephen J. Wellum
A Progressive Dispensationalism Response: Darrell L. Bock
A Traditional Dispensationalism Response: Mark A. Snoeberger