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What is New Covenant Theology? (Part 1)

Over the holidays I attempted to put a jigsaw puzzle together with my wife. When it comes to puzzles, some parts are easier to place than others. But in the end, you have to fit all the pieces together correctly if you want to see the picture clearly.

In many ways the Bible is like a jigsaw puzzle. There are 66 books, dozens of authors, multiple covenants, differing cultures, languages, and genres, all written over the span of some 1,500 years. There are a lot of pieces, to say the least. And each must be carefully placed together if we are to see the beautiful picture the Bible paints. This is where theological systems come in.

A theological system is simply an attempt to describe how the “whole Bible” fits together. There are basically three theological systems among Evangelical Christians: Covenant Theology, Dispensational Theology, and New Covenant Theology.

While each of these systems contains helpful elements, it is my conviction that New Covenant Theology most faithfully puts the pieces of the puzzle together.

So what is New Covenant Theology?

A. Blake White helpfully summarizes the heart of New Covenant Theology in his recent book What is New Covenant Theology? He lists seven distinctives:

  1. There is One Plan of God Centered in Jesus Christ.
  2. The Old Testament Should be Interpreted in Light of the New Testament
  3. The Old Covenant was Temporary by Divine design.
  4. The Law is a Unit.
  5. Christians are Not Under the Law of Moses,but the ‘Law’ of Christ.
  6. All Members of the New Covenant Community are Fully Forgiven and Have the Holy Spirit.
  7. The Church is the Eschatological Israel.

I plan to expound on each of these in coming posts. So stay tuned. I’d also encourage you to pick up Blake’s book. It’s a very short introduction to the subject written for the average person.

Though I’ll flesh these seven distinctives out later, I’m just curious: As you read these seven proposals, what do you immediately agree or disagree with?

Comments(3)

  1. Reply
    Brian Johnson says

    Andy, I look forward to reading the future posts for this. I appreciate the simple and clear explanation of New Covenant Theology. I agree fully with each point.

  2. Reply
    Andy Barlow says

    I look forward to thinking through these issues as well. You should get Blake White’s little book. It’s really short, but a good intro.

  3. Reply
    Scott Allen says

    Glad you are blogging now man. Especially excited for the NCT posts.

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