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Covenant and New Covenant theology

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by Douggg, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. Douggg

    Douggg anytime rapture, non-dispensationalist, futurist

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    This thread's subject:

    I would like for those who subscribe to either or both, explain/comment what those are and the difference between the two - if there is one?

    Also why there appears to be such a battle going on between Covenant and New Covenant theology vs dispensationalsim?
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
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  2. -57

    -57 Well-Known Member

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    Me too. It may be an interesting thread.
     
  3. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33 Supporter

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    As I posted in the other thread - this is a new study for me. Prior to it being mentioned here (in your other thread) I never realized there was a separate theological framework of Covenant Theology and NEW Covenant theology (I am even beginning to see that there may even be another division between Orthodox/Catholic Covenant theology and Reformed Covenant theology). With all the divisions......this discussion may become scattered. Maybe we can focus on the one....main distinction....which, seems to me, is the general question of "what's the overall theme of the Bible? What's God's main message to humanity?"

    From what I've been reading and listening to.....(and @BABerean2 , since you've studied this longer than I have, please chime in)....it seems to me the main beliefs can be summed up as:

    Covenant theology: Believes that from Genesis 3 to the end of the Bible....the message is an unfolding and revealing of the covenant of grace (as opposed to the covenant of works) which reaches its zenith in Jesus' ministry....His crucifixion (the forgiveness of sin), His Resurrection, ascension to heaven, and in the destruction of the symbols/shadows that represented Him and the building up of His true temple not made with human hands.....His true dwelling place-the hearts of His people. Orthodox/Catholic covenant theology believes that all throughout the Bible we can see God bringing together His family to Him.....and to each other. It's based on spiritual community and family.

    Dispensationalism: Is based on the belief that God deals with humanity differently according to different ages.

    New Covenant Theology seems to be different from Covenant theology in that the distinction is made that the Bible isn't pointing just to the covenant of grace.....but to Jesus, Himself, as all is fulfilled in Him.

    Matthew 5:17 ~ Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill.
    It seems to me that distinction is unnecessary and maybe confusing. I also believe that Jesus fulfilled the Law and what the prophets spoke of......I just don't believe that only one person of the Trinity ought to be singled out. Our Lord is a Triune God.....and God's covenant within Him is also important. The Son never acts without the Father and the Holy Spirit.

    ISTM that this division between CT and NCT may have been created based on the recognized tension between the continuity of the Old Testament and the New.....and the DIScontinuity between them. It's not an either or.....it's both. There is both continuity and discontinuity between the Old Testament and New(IMO).

     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
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  4. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33 Supporter

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    Quoting from linked article:

    Dispensational Theology
    Dispensational theology organizes history and theology around a series of dispensations, which are each different "economies" or arrangements decreed by God. Each dispensation begins with an offer of blessing by God, and ends with failure by man to meet God's conditions and a resulting period of Divine judgement. Old line dispensationalists taught 7 dispensations. Newer, moderate dispensationals focus only on #1, 5, 6, and 7.

    1. The Dispensation of Innocence - Untested Holiness
    • Began at Creation and lasted until the fall
    • People could have direct fellowship with God, but they must not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
    • Final judgment: People expelled from the Garden
    2. The Dispensation of Conscience - Cain & Abel
    • Began at the time of the fall and lasted until the flood
    • People were responsible to live according to their God-given conscience
    • Final judgment: Universal Flood
    3. The Dispensation of Government - Noah
    • Lasted from the time when God offered Noah a covenant with the rainbow until the Tower of Babel
    • People were to follow God both through their own conscience and by establishing just government
    • Final judgment: The Tower of Babel - confusion of tongues
    4. The Dispensation of Promise - Abraham
    • From the calling of Abraham (Gen. 12) until the Exodus.
    • The Covenant People were to remain faithful to Yahweh alone and practice circumcision
    • Final judgment: slavery in Egypt
    5. The Dispensation of Law - Moses
    • From the giving of the law to Moses until the second advent of Christ.
    • The Covenant People were to be faithful to Yahweh through obeying the Law
    ~ Covenantal vs. Dispensational Theology | Xenos Christian Fellowship

    ISTM that there could be agreement between all the different camps up until this point. This just seems to be a disagreement of semantics here ("covenant" vs "dispensations"). Is that true?

    A covenant theologian, Dr Scott Hahn, articulates the overall message of the Bible as:

    "Covenant” is the master concept that unlocks the meaning of the Bible. The Bible tells the story of God the Father’s love for His children and His plan to fashion all people into one holy family. God unfolds this plan of salvation through a series of covenants, culminating in the New Covenant He makes in Jesus. - Dr Scott Hahn
    Covenant Love: Introducing the Biblical Worldview | St. Paul Center
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
  5. Christian Gedge

    Christian Gedge Well-Known Member

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    Someone needs to draw up a comparison chart showing the differences in summarized form. (project for you Bab :idea:)

    One important difference is how C.T. views the 10 commandments. They divide the Mosaic covenant into three parts:- 1. The Civil law 2. The Ceremonial law 3. The Moral law. Then they say the first two were done away with at the Cross, but that the The Moral law (10 commandments) continues on.

    New Covt. theology says that the entire system was done away, lock, stock and barrel. Needless to say, this makes the C.T's very crabby.

    law-of-moses.png
     
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  6. Hank77

    Hank77 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    New Covenant Theology (or NCT) is a Christian theological position teaching that the person and work of Jesus Christ is the central focus of the Bible. [1] One distinctive result of this is that Old Testament Laws have been abrogated [2] or cancelled [3] with Jesus' crucifixion, and replaced with the Law of Christ of the New Covenant. It shares similarities with, and yet is distinct from, Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology. [4]

    note: abrogated including the 10 Commandments, this differs from Covenant Theology (CT)

    Hermeneutic


    The hermeneutic of the New Covenant theologian is Christocentric: to let the New Testament interpret the Old Testament. This means that when the NT interprets an OT promise differently than the plain reading, then NCT concludes that that is how God interprets his promise—and it may be surprising to us. [5]


    Example: Acts 15 and Amos 9

    As an example, Amos 9:11-12 is quoted by James in Acts 15 and is interpreted by him to associate rebuilding "David's fallen tent" with the Gentiles' salvation. This would be a highly surprising interpretation to the Jewish believers, since there is no precedent for it to be interpreted as anything other than a promise to the nation of Israel. NCT would say that God has given us His interpretation of that passage, through James. [6]


    This is different than Dispensatialism where the promises of God are often interpreted from the OT view rather than the NT view.
    An example would be their view of the 2 people of God, Israel and the Church.

    New Covenant Theology - In Him Ministries!
     
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  7. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    Probably because dispensationalism can refer to the foundation of the first covenant, and blow complex theologies out of the water.

    I'm more into New Covenant Theology as opposed to Covenant Theology.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
  8. Hank77

    Hank77 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Love the ball and chain, lol.

    If one keeps the 10 Commandments they must keep all of them including the Seventh Day Sabbath.
     
  9. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33 Supporter

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    What about the everlasting promises that Christ fulfilled from the Old Covenant?

    For instance: the prophets were promising that the covenant with David could never be broken. This is from "Lesson Three: The Son of David in Matthew’s Gospel – David Scott Writings" Lesson Three: The Son of David in Matthew’s Gospel – David Scott Writings
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
  10. Christian Gedge

    Christian Gedge Well-Known Member

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    So true. The Seventh Day Adventists enjoy themselves enormously :ebil: when arguing people into a corner with that one.
     
  11. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33 Supporter

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    I think that is the protestant reformed variety of Covenant Theology that does that.

    The Orthodox variety - as I'm understanding - is merely recognizing a thread of grace from Genesis to the end of Revelation.
     
  12. Christian Gedge

    Christian Gedge Well-Known Member

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    You might be right. Old Covenant Theology folks are often Calvinists. Im not sure how Catholics deal with it. (Maybe they are the original NCT?) Catholic eschatology doesn't worry me much, except for their quirky purgatory idea.
     
  13. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33 Supporter

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    That could be. The only distinction I've seen so far is that NC theologians seem to wish to make the overall theme about Jesus (and Trinitarians are concerned about that being a dismissal of the full unity of the Trinity)....and Orthodox Covenant thelogians articulate the theme to be about God's desire to unite with humanity through His covenants with us (with the old covenants pointing to the New mediated by Christ). It's a subtle distinction between those two....in my opinion.

    Edited: Now that I've read more, ISTM that only traditional Covenant Theology believes in the overall theme of a Covenant of Grace being shown in the Bible from Genesis 3 until the end of Revelation. Maybe in order to clarify that variety should be distinguished by calling it Grace Covenant Theology?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
  14. Hank77

    Hank77 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In @Douggg 's thread you a listed as both CT and NCT and Historic.
    Are you Historic because of the Olivet Discourse?
     
  15. Christian Gedge

    Christian Gedge Well-Known Member

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    He made a mistake. They are mutually exclusive. As far as Historicism is concerned I accept that some prophecy fulfills between Christs 2 comings. Its a position inbetween Part-pret and Futurist. Ah, all these labels. :rolleyes:
     
  16. BrotherJJ

    BrotherJJ Well-Known Member

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    Virtually everything we read in the 4 gospels is still the Old Testament/Covenant.

    Having said that, All scripture is written FOR us. But, ALL scripture isn't written TO us:

    Romans 15:4 (A) For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning
    (NOTE: ALL scripture is written for our learning. However, all scripture "IS NOT" written for our DOCTRINE. Example; are we required to bring an animal sacrifice to the Temple?)

    The New Testament/Covenant begins with Christ's death & resurrection

    Heb 9:
    16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

    Heb 9:17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
    (NOTE: While Christ is alive the old covenant is in full force)

    John 7:
    38 Jesus said; He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water

    39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified)
    (NOTE: Jesus foretells of the giving/out pouring of the Holy Spirit to be given to believers. AFTER his glorification = Resurrection)

    The ratification of the New Covenant is a process that begins at Christ's death & resurrection. Next, Christ enters into the presence of God & the Holy Place made without hands Heb 9:24. Here Christ cleanses the Heavenly sanctuary with his sinless shed blood.

    The final step in the New Covenant ratification is the outpouring/Baptism of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4) which only Christ can do. (See Matt 3:11 & Acts 2:33)

    It's here that the center piece of Jewish life = Levitical Priesthood & Temple sacrifices, Mosaic law are retired/rendered obsolete.

    Even though animal sacrifices continued for decades after Jesus death. They were pointless/worthless & carried no covering/cloak for sin.

    It was via resurrection power that Christ became our Great High Priest/advocate after the order of Melchizedek. And mediator of a new better covenant.

    The main theme of the book of Hebrews is; BETTER.

    Christ is better: Better then angels, because they worship the Christ. Better then Moses, because He created Him. Better then the Aaronic priesthood, because Christ's sin sacrifice is once for all time. Better then the law, because Christ mediates a better covenant.

    Post is My Opinion Only.
     
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  17. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

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    The old covenant has been abolished by being superseded by the new, Paul plainly states; of this there is no question.

    And we affirm further that nothing has been abolished but the old covenant.

    Whatever has been abolished was included in that covenant, and whatever was not included in that covenant, still remains, unaffected by the change from old to new.

    If the ten commandments (all of them) constituted the old covenant, then they are forever gone; and no man need contend for their perpetuity or labor for their revival. That is ... there is no reason for them to continue forever nor be active or important ... indeed .... meaningless.

    But if they did not constitute the old covenant, then they (all of them) have not been abolished, and no man need breathe a doubt in regard to their perpetuity and immutability.

    God makes covenants ... God never breaks His covenants nor changes them ... people do!

    God’s Word does not change

    Psa 111:7,8 The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.

    Psa 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

    Psa 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

    Isa 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (also quoted by Peter in 1Pet 1:24,25)

    Isa 55:10,11 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

    Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    Luk 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

    Joh 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

    Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

    Deu 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

    Deu 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

    Pro 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

    Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
  18. Douggg

    Douggg anytime rapture, non-dispensationalist, futurist

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    Hi Michael, I am getting practrical use of the list in the Where do you fit thread for the first time, because of your post.

    I have two monitor screens with the where do you fit page on one monitor, and with the other I am reading posts like yours. An alternative, if a person has one monitor screen, the normal, is to open another Christian forum window - to switch back and forth to and from.

    Anyways, I did not recall your position, so I looked over at the list and saw you there - yes, under dispensationalism. Thanks for your participation.
     
  19. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    Glad that helps.
     
  20. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33 Supporter

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    Traditional Covenant Theology recognizes this as the Adamic Covenant. New Covenant Theology rejects the idea of the overall theme of the Bible pointing towards two opposing covenants from Genesis to the end of Revelation (the Covenant of Grace vs the Covenant of Works).

    That may be the greatest distinction between traditional Covenant Theology and New Covenant Theology (and Dispensational theology, as far as i know, rejects that belief as well - of Covenantof Grace vs Covenant of Works).

    The covenant God made with Adam & Eve in Genesis 3:15 promised to deliver them from sin through the promised "seed" by crushing the head of the serpent tempted. That promise was based on God's grace and not based on any works of Adam & Eve.
     
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