Tuesday, June 19, 2012

God of Promise

Michael Horton's book, God of Promise:Introducing Covenant Theology, is a wonderful primer for anyone interested in understanding the basics of the Reformed hermeneutic. As Horton says explicitly, it is not that covenant is viewed as the central dogma of Scripture, but rather that covenant is the framework of Scripture. In fact, “God's very existence is covenantal: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit live in unceasing devotion to each other; reaching outward beyond the Godhead to create a community of creatures serving as a giant analogy of the Godhead's relationship.” God's revelation to us is framed in that of a covenant, that of a relationship, because He Himself exists in covenant, in relationship.

Beyond that, our very existence is covenantal also. “We were not just created and then given a covenant; we were created as covenant creatures—partners not in deity, to be sure, but in the drama that was about to unfold in history. As covenant creatures by nature, every person has a relationship with God.” Horton highlights the fact that God is covenantal, relational, and deals with us as covenantal beings. We are created for a relationship. Even as fallen and unredeemed, we are in a relationship with God.

Elders in Congregational Life by Phil Newton




There has been quite a resurgence of Biblical polity in many churches that have, seemingly since the advent of the Second Great Awakening and Finney-brand revivalism, often been plagued by an unbiblical model of church government. I remain convinced from Scripture of the necessity of a plurality of qualified and called pastor-elders to serve as under-shepherds, leading God's local flock. I do still have reservations as to the validity of congregationalism, but do see that the idea(generally) is not completely foreign to Scripture. In particular, Newton presents a rather convincing argument for the necessity and legitimacy of a type of congregationalism, particularly one led by a plurality of elders.

What The Bible Says About the Heaven Books