Israelology and Theology of the Old Testament, Part One

Israelology and Theology of the Old Testament, Part One

by Dr. Daniel E. Woodhead

Last Acts and Death of Moses by Luca Signorelli Cir 1481-82

Last Acts and Death of Moses by Luca Signorelli Cir 1481-82

 

I. Covenant Theology Fundamentals

Covenant Theology is by definition a system of theology whereby the entire system rests upon two or sometimes three “covenants.” These are the fundamentals of this system. Dr. Showers expands this definition to embrace the view of theological systems in general as developing a Biblical philosophy of history. Covenant Theology is included in this attempt to provide a philosophy of history.

The “covenants” are described as:

  1. The Covenant of Redemption
  2. The Covenant of Works
  3. The Covenant of Grace

Some Bible expositors such as Fruchtenbaum do not cite the covenant of redemption when defining Covenant Theology. He sees the covenant of grace including redemption. Others see enough distinction in the two, grace and redemption so as to include both when providing a working definition.

There is one significant fundamental problem with this system of theology. The covenants cited are not explicitly found in Scripture. When you don’t have the covenants in Scripture to provide some assurance that God intended these, you rely on human deduction and conjecture to establish them as God’s covenants. Dr. Chafer provides us with a succinct statement to codify the central issue:

“Since the days of Johannes Cocceius (1603-1699) who, more than any other, introduced a one-covenant-of-grace idea, many theologians have promoted the notion that God is undertaking but one objective through human history. Scripture must be ignored or greatly misinterpreted to the end that such idealism may be advanced. The one-covenant idea could not avoid being a means by which to close the Scriptures from human understanding.”

Therefore the premise upon which this system is build has fatal faults. These supposed covenants are not to be found explicitly stated in Scripture.

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