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Christ of the Covenants: [Paperback]

O. Palmer Robertson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 1981
The Christ of the Covenants successively treats the various covenants of the Old Testament from an exegetical and biblical-theological perspective. The richness of a covenantal approach to understanding the Bible is presented, along with interaction with other viewpoints.

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
WHAT is a covenant? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic on Covenant Theology March 25 2004
I'm giving this book 5 stars even though I do not agree with everything that Robertson puts forth here. This book has been on the market for nearly 25 years now, and it remains a standard resource addressing covenant theology that scholars across the theological spectrum still interact with today.
Robertson's book was, and is, a distinctive contribution to covenant theology. Unlike some of his contemporaries like the great John Murray, Robertson appears to argue for the conditionality (to varying degrees) of each Biblical covenant, rather than trying to determine which covenants were allegedly conditional versus unconditional. However, where certain contemporary covenant theologians stress covenants in the context of the Kingdom of God, Robertson stresses covenants in the context of human redemption. The reader should therefore understand that Robertson's version of covenant theology, while having many similarities with virtually all forms of conservative Reformed covenant theology, is not the only version that has been proposed and argued for.
The book does show its age in spots. His chapter interacting with dispensationalism was spot on 25 years ago, but not now. The progressive dispensational movement of today does not look a whole lot like the dispensationalism that Robertson interacts with here. But more importantly for Reformed readers, Robertson's emphasis on covenants that are not explicitly mentioned in Scripture is a feature that is also on the wane in today's covenantal circles. Robertson forcefully argues for the 'covenant of works/covenant of grace with Adam' structure that is outstanding in my view, but is a feature of covenant theology that's becoming less and less stressed today.
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By Dave K
Every Christian should read a book like this. After reading this, when you read the bible you will see the wonderful structure and working out of God's plan throughout history clearer than ever - which is always good. It looks at all the covenants and shows how each one built on the next (not canceling out the previous) to reach the goal of Christ. It starts with a look at what a covenant actually is in relative detail, which was very enlightening. It then goes through each of the covenants and analyses briefly dispensationalisms faults.
The main reason that this book is good though is the subject. Although the author opens up some passages so that you stand back amazed sometimes the author is not so strong. The book isn't thorough, although it never could be as it is looking at a huge subject. I just couldn't help thinking it could have been written better by someone else. Theologically it is very sound, although it's puritan interpretation of the Sabbath (which it didn't justify (it would need a whole book). it talked about the uses of it though) I am sitting on the fence with at the moment.
An earlier reviewer said the following :
"This is not a "light" book, but a treatment of the theology of the Covenant which is accessible to most, nonetheless. It is not terribly scholarly, but does take a more academic tack on the subject than most books."
This is very true, for example it looks at Greek a good amount but always translates. It is quite well researched as well especially with the background to the books.

All in all though I really think you should read this book for your basic understanding of the bible. There is a lack of books like this which is criminal so with the limited choice you have, I say buy this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A return to the covenant April 7 2000
In "Christ of the Covenants", O. Palmer Robertson treats a subject which is often lost on today's broadly evangelical church - the Covenant of Grace, by which God has saved and will save His people.
This is not a "light" book, but a treatment of the theology of the Covenant which is accessible to most, nonetheless. It is not terribly scholarly, but does take a more academic tack on the subject than most books. Given this caveat, this is a tremendous resource for those who wish to convey this subject to small group or other audiences within the church.
In this book, Robertson traces the development of God's covenantal dealings with humanity - through the various administrations connected with Abraham, Moses, David and Christ. Each administration, Robertson emphasizes with great aplomb, is not indicative of different covenants (with different requirements, or rewards, as some segments of the church teach), but in fact different reflections of the same Covenant of Redemption that finds its highest fulfillment in Christ and the New Covenant.
This work was truly a joy to read, and a refreshingly intense study of a very important subject. Again, I would recommend this to any pastor, elder, or lay teacher who wishes to take up the subject of Covenant theology in their church or home bible study group.
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