Covenant Theology. For those of you who do not know what that is, you do not know what you are missing.
Have ever felt like you have two different Bibles, an “old” one and a “new” one so to speak? How about two different God’s? The God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament? I know I felt this a lot growing up. I was told it was one God and one Bible but then I was taught that there was a drastic difference between the Old and New Testament, between Israel and the Church, and between how God has worked in different times.
If you have been taught that national Israel is who God is waiting to fulfill promises too, and the church is kind of this “in-between” phase, not planned, but because the Jews rejected Jesus, He decides to make them jealous by going to the Gentiles (you’ll see Romans used to perpetuate this); let me encourage you to take a look at Covenant Theology.
This is not some new thing, in fact you will find it has been articulated much longer than the view above throughout the history of the church. But that doesn’t really matter because, ultimately, it is about “what does the Bible actually say”? This is what every sincere Christian should be seeking.
As a side note: for those of you who might react to a systematizing of the Bible, understand that you have your own system whether you acknowledge it or not. This is how we are wired. We put everything into logical categories that make things make sense. If I asked you to explain how one is to be saved, you don’t start quoting the entire New Testament, you summarize with verses from Romans, John, etc-you have just systemized salvation. This is not wrong…unless your systemization is Biblically unwarranted.
Let me just end with why Covenant Theology has had such an impact on me:
It has taken the seams of my Bible and woven them together in such way that I no longer have the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New, but the God of the Bible.
Here are some resources:
Or if you prefer audio check out Reformed Theological Seminaries free lectures on iTunes.
Under Lectures, Systematic Theology, Covenant Theology (by Ligon Duncan)