Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Promises of God by RC Sproul



This is a book for which I have searched for a good while. I have looked for a short, concise, clear, accessible introduction to covenant theology. Thanks to RC Sproul’s The Promises of God, I have found such a book.

Sproul takes the reader from Creation to Consummation and shows how the covenant is at the heart of Biblical revelation. Sproul spends a chapter (or multiple) on each of the main covenants in Scripture: Redemption, Creation/Works, Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, and New Covenant. He also starts with a chapter explaining what a covenant is and finishes by highlighting how the covenants all point directly to Christ.

The Promises of God is released by publisher David C. Cook and, if I understand correctly, this book kicks off a series of books that Sproul and David C. Cook will be putting out with a unique format. The Promises of God is setup with a built in study guide at the end of each chapter. Where many books will offer questions to consider and further readings to pursue, or some books even have pretty in-depth study guides you can purchase separately or may be included at the end, this is the first book I have read with this type of built in study feature.

I am usually not too concerned with study guides to books. I do not know why but they usually do not interest me. It is the same thing with reflection or study questions included at the ends of chapters. It is not that I am against them or find them superfluous or anything of the sort. I am usually just uninterested. I cannot say the same for this book. The study guide is really cool! It is set up with an introduction, Scripture readings, a learning objective, quotation, detailed outline of the chapter, study questions, Bible study/discussion questions and suggested further readings. It is just a couple of pages, but it is extremely helpful for digesting the topic covered.

The chapters themselves are short and to the point. Sproul shares some anecdotes and expounds quite a bit on some points, but he is very straightforward and does not waste much time getting to the meat of the topics. While I enjoyed books like Sacred Bond and God of Promise, both were a bit advanced for a genuine newcomer to Covenant theology. The Promises of God is a great place to start for anyone seeking to understand the importance of covenant in interpreting Scripture and seeing the role of covenant in redemptive history.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com for review purposes.