Talk:Covenant theology

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Strict obedience to the law[edit]

Jesus did not live in strict obedience to the Law. He broke it every chance he got particularly by healing on the Sabbath. Please rephrase this sentence. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:32, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

By "Law", they mean "The Old Testament law". The only law he was breaking by healing on the Sabbath was the Rabbinic law, which he referred to (IIRC) as "the traditions of men". Having said that, maybe this should be explained in the article. Feel free to add that. -- TimNelson (talk) 11:41, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

where did you get off thinking Jesus broke the law every chance he got? that is completely wrong. breaking the law is a technical sin in most cases, is it not? are you trying to say Jesus was justly crucified for actually committing crimes and all Christians are wrong for believing in salvation? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:57, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Covenant theology[edit]

From my understanding, covenant theology is not an alternative to Dispensationalism. It merely attempts to explain the doctrine by saying that their are two personal covenants God has made with man: the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. Adam was promised, under the covenant of works, that if he kept God's law he would be immortal, but he ate of the forbidden fruit and thus was cast out of the Garden of Eden. But, under the covenant of grace, the merciful God forgave sin. Right?


It depends; there are several schools of Covanental theology, not all of which believe that there are two covenants. As for being an alternative to Dispensational theology, the two are at opposing ends of the spectrum (where Dispensational theology sees redemptive history is much shorter chunks of time mandated by different means of salvation). As for the world "alternative", I'd argue that that word is strongly slanted toward dispensational theology, as covenantal theology was developed long before dispensational belief began.

--DanielJosphXhan 19:19, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The article currently says:

One of the basic foundations of Covenant theology is the belief that the Bible is the inspired word of God and contains all things necessary for Christian faith and obedience. More recent theological trends have questioned this basis, which means that Covenant Theology is not taught nor understood in churches which adhere to "Liberal" or "Modernist" interpretations of the Bible. This area of debate is covered in greater detail in the articles on Biblical inerrancy and Sola scriptura.

Don't many, uh, non-recent theological trends (e.g. Roman Catholicism) also not believe that the Bible "contains all things necessary for Christian faith and obedience?" Isn't it misleading to suggest that only "liberal" and "modernist" interpretations don't buy this? john k 02:40, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This seems strange to me. Is not the essential doctrine of dispensationalism the teaching that Israel is still the people of God! If this is the distinctional thing, as Keith A. Mathison discribes, than we as Covenantal theologians should all fight the invasion of dispensationalism in our countries. Because this doctrine (dispensationalism) was invented to discredit the reformation, see the Jesuit priests by whom Rev. Edward Irving was inspired. (named Ribera and Michael Lacunza). It is essential for all Reformed people to fight against dispensationalism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Definitions and distinctions[edit]

IMHO, in discussing Covenant theology, it must be clearly pointed out that this scheme is based on "theological" covenants (derived from Scripture) and distinct from the "biblical" covenants which are explicitly presented in the Bible.

I.e. the Covenant of Works, Covenant of Grace, and Covenant of Redemption are "theological" covenants, which (I feel) should not be confused with the biblical covenants, e.g. the Noahic, Abrahamic, Davidic, etc. and the New Covenant. While the biblical account of God interacting with Adam bears some marks of a "covenant," non-covenant-theologians do not see it as such, hence, in fairness it should be referred to as a theological covenant (as with the other two).

I see this as the pupose of the subsection entitled Covenant Theology and the biblical covenants. In other words, there may be a few more tweaks in wording that are needed.

Jim Ellis 15:05, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)

That's a good distinction. It wasn't clear to me when reading the article, though, so making it explicit would be helpful. As for citing sources, see Wikipedia:Cite_sources#Style_and_how-to. Which style manual are you using? --Flex 15:37, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Regarding citation format: I was using Chicago/Turabian style guide which I had seen referenced somewhere in Wiki How to, and also seen on references for some other articles. However, I now see that it does not match the Wiki recommended format you linked for me. Sorry for the confusion. Keep up the good work, Flex. Jim Ellis 16:56, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)

Reformed Baptist Covenant Theology[edit]

A recent anon contributor added stuff about credobaptist covenanters. It seems out of place as it stands because, as the intro states, "This article primarily concerns Covenant Theology as held by the Reformed churches." Credo-covenanters are a far rarer breed than Paedo-covenanters, and it seems inaccurate to represent their views under the baptism section only since they don't adhere to the general paedo scheme of the covenants described in the other sections. Specifically, they don't consider the New Covenant to be a continuation of the other covenants or that the Israelites were the church before Christ. Those differences are what lead them to reject paedobaptism.

I think it's worth revising the article to incorporate their views, but the existing changes are insufficient. If there is no one up to the task, I think we should delete the anon edits and perhaps add a separate section of explanation on how the other, less common schemes differ from the Reformed one. --Flex 15:23, August 8, 2005 (UTC)

“The doctrine of the covenant lies at the root of all true theology. It has been said that he who well understands the distinction between the covenant of works and the covenant of grace, is a master of divinity. I am persuaded that most of the mistakes which men make concerning the doctrines of Scripture, are based upon fundamental errors with regard to the covenant of law and of grace. May God grant us now the power to instruct, and you the grace to receive instruction on this vital subject.” C.H. Spurgeon — the English Baptist preacher! Just FYI. Jim Ellis 15:38, August 8, 2005 (UTC)

I'd make an educated guess that Spurgeon follows John Gill on these matters. They rightly call their view covenant theology, but it differs significantly from the Reformed version and is somewhat hard to find these days. --Flex 15:42, August 8, 2005 (UTC)

I would also like to point out that there is a denomination comprising a large portion of the populace in Northern Ireland, of Reformed, Covenant Theologians who do allow for the belief and practice of either paedo or credo baptism. The Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. As a note their Moderator, Dr. Ian Paisley is also the Leader of the Largest Political Party in Northern Ireland, the founder of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster and is a Credobaptist. Meng.benjamin 17:17, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Revision of the Covenant Theology article[edit]

I'm working on a revision of the Covenant Theology article. The current version is unsatisfactory. If anyone is interested in giving feedback and helping with the revision, see User:Guðsþegn/Covenant Theology. You can leave comments on the discussion page there. I've been working on it for about a week. It will probably be at least another week before it is ready to be posted.    GUÐSÞEGN   – UTEX – 22:56, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

There are links to "representative" and "substitution" which point to non-relevant meanings of those terms. Are there subject-appropriate articles describing the theological meanings of these terms?

Bible citations[edit]

I'm removing material relating to covenant theology from Federalism. It includes a few references to the Bible that you folks may want to keep:

--Smack (talk) 04:30, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Add External Link to Criticism[edit]

Please consider adding an external link under "Criticism" to my 58 page article which critiques Covenant Theology. Thank you, Goodnews1 22:36, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

"Weasel" tag[edit]

I'm just a visitor to this article, but I was impressed by what seems to be its high quality. Even the Criticisms section seems to me to be balanced and acceptable. I have no idea why the {{weasel}} tag was added - I can't see why from the article itself, and there's nothing by way of explanation here. So I suggest that one of the regular editors remove it unless its retention can be defended. PiCo 10:24, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

The problem is that it's a "He said, she said" section with no references to actual people making those arguments. --Flex (talk/contribs) 01:54, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
It seems to me that it may be better to remove the criticisms section altogether. It is a very "He said, she said" sort of thing, and anything worth preserving in the article deserves to be in the main body. In fact, some of it already is. -- (talk) 01:41, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

NO MENTION OF ORIGINAL SIN ANYWHERE??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:59, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Problems with the Baptism is to New Testament what Circumcision was to Old Testament theory[edit]

User (talk) recently submitted a change to the article, introducing a section called "Proublems (sic) with the Baptism is to New Testament what Circumcision was to Old Testament theory". What she or he added was arguments about what was in the article, and thus would be more germaine here. They were not, however, arguments about the content of the article, or about what Covenant Theologians believe, but rather arguments to the contrary. Probably they would not change the content of this article, and I am going to remove them from the article, but I thought that I would place them here so that they might addressed or dismissed in the appropriate place. They were as follows:

  • In context Colossians 2:11-14, Paul is using speaking of circumcision metaphorical and not physically
  • Paul never uses the term replace and the context does not support a replacement only that in Christ one is “circumcised” believers from their sinful nature
  • Circumcision is the removal of foreskin from the male penis; baptism has nothing to do with the male penis or being male
  • The prerequisite for the Abrahamic rite of circumcision was be born male (Gen 17:10) the prerequisite for baptism was repentance (Acts 2:38)
  • Paul wrote on the subject of circumcision more than any other Biblical writer and never equated physical circumcision to baptism
  • The Jerusalem council in Acts 15 rendered that circumcision was not required of Gentiles converting to Christianity; it never equated the act to baptism

Sterrettc (talk) 02:12, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

2 or 3 Covenants?[edit]

Didn't the original form of Covenant Theology have only 2 covenants, the 3rd being a later development? (EnochBethany (talk) 03:38, 22 March 2014 (UTC))


This is a serious and an important issue, but many Christians who have championed Covenant Theology have been Restorationists, Spurgeon, Ryle, the Bonars and M'Cheyne among many others, and it seems profoundly inaccurate to label all Covenant Theologians as supercessionist, unless the label is defined so broadly as to include all Christian theology.Cpsoper (talk) 00:08, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Covenant theology/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

==Changes needed 29/03/2007==
  • Needs to be split into multiple articles; it's too long
  • Needs a better explanation of Covenantal hermeneutics vs. dispensational hermeneutics -- dispensationalists, IIRC, say that each dispensation is discontinuous from the previous one in God's method of dispensing grace, whereas covenantalists say that each one is a modification of the previous one. That's what I've been told, anyway.
-- TimNelson 11:39, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Substituted at 21:38, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

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