Next-Wave Reformation Manifesto-Article 6

Article Six

The Relationship Between the Covenants

 

[Prologue

            The relationship
between the covenants in the Bible seems to occupy much time among Second-Wave
Reformation advocates. Currently there is not a clear consensus. Because of
this, some issues need to be addressed prior to making a confession-like
statement.

Some Issues

All
Second-Wave Reformation advocates are Calvinists. However, Calvinism often
brings with it strong leanings toward Covenant Theology. Some of those who may
have had a background in Covenant Theology (through education or tradition)
have accepted that there are some real problems within this system. Because of
this, modification has been sought rigorously. The primary issue that appears
to have had cause for modification is the tendency of Covenant Theology to
undermine the newness of the New Covenant. However, there are those who still
consider themselves Covenant Theologians who have made it a point to emphasize
the newness of the New Covenant.

Dispensationalism in
its historical form is rejected by Second-Wave Reformation thought. It is also
rejected by many who consider themselves Dispensationalists. This is largely
due to the fact that it borders on heresy. In fact, some would go so far as to
say that it is a heresy. This is due to the fact that many advocates of
Dispensationalism, in its early stages, believed that God saved by different
means throughout history. Some believed that people were not always saved by
grace through faith.

However, it does
appear that even Dispensationalism in its moderate form has been rejected by
most contemporary Calvinists. In my observation, a great many who would adhere
to the articles listed so far in this document would consider Dispensationalism
an artificial grid placed on the Bible. It is rejected in most Reformed
circles.

There is a form of
Dispensationalism that has gained somewhat of a following in Calvinistic
circles. It is known as Progressive Dispensationalism. This system desires to
take seriously the unity of God’s purpose as He works with His people though
different ages of history and different covenants. But even this is held
suspect by many who believe themselves to be Reformed.

However, New
Covenant Theology appears to be most consistent with most Second-Wave
Reformation advocates. Unfortunately, this system has received a bad name. In
my opinion, this bad name has been unjustly thrust upon it too soon. As a
result, there is hesitancy from many Second-Wave Reformation advocates to call
themselves New Covenant Theologians. However, it appears that many of those who
have hesitations do not disagree with the fundamental teachings of New Covenant
Theology. This leads to the manifesto statement]

There
is not a monolithic stance in Second-Wave Reformation thought on the issue
regarding the relationship of the covenants. However, we all agree in a
seriously qualitative newness of the New Covenant. It seems good to say that the
Second-Wave Reformation thought would embrace:

1. A seriously modified
form of Covenant Theology.

2. A very progressive from of
Dispensationalism.

3. New Covenant
Theology.

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About nextluther12

Ean has a BRS, and an MTS from Columbia Evangelical Semenary. He is currently working on a doctrite from the same school. Ean was ordained to the ministry by Dr. Robert Morey in 2005. He has written a book that is not yet published called The Theology of Jesus.
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