Review: Progressive Covenentalism

There are books that you can read quickly and then there are books that you must plod through as they are prove to paradigm shifting. For myself Progressive Covenantalism edited by Stephen J. Wellum and Brent E Parker was the latter.

This book with ten contributors each addressing a particular aspect of biblical theology relating to how the New and Old Covenants relate to each other has helped me think through issues I have had question about since writing a paper on covenant theology’s understanding of the people of God for Dr. Wellum. I knew prior to that paper that my understanding of Scripture did not mesh with dispensationalism’s  emphasis upon discontinuity between New and Old Covenant. The various contributors in this work flesh out a theological via media between dispensationalism and covenant theology.

As a pastor chapters 6-8 are the most important contributions in this book to the local church. In some circles strict Sabbath observance in becoming more popular and Dr. Schreiner clearly and convincingly demonstrates that this Old Testament understanding and practice of the the Sabbath is not what is required of believers under the New Covenant. Cowan’s work on the warning passages found in Hebrews interacts with the covenant theology interpretation of the passages and shows the importance of those passages for believers.

This book calls for careful reading and reflection as what we believe about the  continuity and discontinuity of the Old and New Testaments will have a major impact on our beliefs about the gospel and the church.

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher for providing this review. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html

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