- Hardcover: 848 pages
- Publisher: Crossway; 1 edition (June 30 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1433514648
- ISBN-13: 978-1433514647
- Product Dimensions: 16 x 5.1 x 23.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #69,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants Hardcover – Jun 30 2012
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“Gentry and Wellum offer a third way, a via media, between covenant theology and dispensationalism, arguing that both of these theological systems are not informed sufficiently by biblical theology. Certainly we cannot understand the scriptures without comprehending ‘the whole counsel of God,’ and here we find incisive exegesis and biblical theology at its best. This book is a must read and will be part of the conversation for many years to come.”
―Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Kingdom through Covenant is hermeneutically sensitive, exegetically rigorous, and theologically rich―a first rate biblical theology that addresses both the message and structure of the whole Bible from the ground up. Gentry and Wellum have produced what will become one of the standard texts in the field. For anyone who wishes to tread the path of biblical revelation, this text is a faithful guide.”
―Miles V. Van Pelt, Alan Belcher Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages and Academic Dean, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi
“What do you get when you cross a world class Bible scholar and a first rate systematic theologian? You get 800-plus pages of power-packed biblical goodness. You get the forest and quite a few of the trees. This is not the first volume that has attempted to mediate the dispensational/covenant theology divide, but it may be the culminating presentation of that discussion―just as Bach was not the first Baroque composer but its highest moment. Gentry and Wellum’s proposal of Kingdom through Covenant should be read by all parties, but I won’t be surprised to learn in 20 years that this volume provided the foundation for how a generation of anyone who advocates regenerate church membership puts their Bible together.”
―Jonathan Leeman, Editorial Director, 9Marks; author, The Rule of Love
“Gentry and Wellum have provided a welcome addition to the current number of books on biblical theology. What makes their contribution unique is the marriage of historical exegesis, biblical theology, and systematic theology. Kingdom through Covenant brims with exegetical insights, biblical theological drama, and sound systematic theological conclusions. Particularly important is the viable alternative they offer to the covenantal and dispensational hermeneutical frameworks. I enthusiastically recommend this book!”
―Stephen G. Dempster, Professor of Religious Studies, Crandall University
“The relationship between the covenants of Scripture is rightly considered to be central to the interpretation of the Bible. That there is some degree of continuity is obvious for it is the same God―the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as well as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ―who has revealed himself and his will in the covenants. That there is, however, also significant discontinuity also seems patent since Scripture itself talks about a new covenant and the old one passing away. What has changed and what has not? Utterly vital questions to which this new book by Gentry and Wellum give satisfying and sound answers. Because of the importance of this subject and the exegetical and theological skill of the authors, their answers deserve a wide hearing. Highly recommended!”
―Michael A. G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Director, Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies
“Kingdom through Covenant is directly applicable to a pastor faithfully seeking understanding of God’s Word as it reveals the structure that supports the narrative of God’s message throughout time. The study of the covenants provides a framework for understanding and applying the message of the Bible to life in the new covenant community. I have found this study personally transforming, and enriching in my teaching ministry.”
―Joseph Lumbrix, Pastor, Mount Olivet Baptist Church, Willisburg, Kentucky
“This impressive volume makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the nature of the biblical covenants. Meticulously researched, clearly written, and boldly argued, the ‘progressive covenantalism’ thesis―a via media between dispensational and covenantal theology―combines exegetical depth with theological rigor in the service of covenant faithfulness. The result is penetrating reflections on theology proper, Christology, ecclesiology and eschatology. Even at points of disagreement, all who teach the Scriptures to others will find here a rich treasure trove of whole-Bible theological thinking and an invaluable resource to return to again and again.”
―David Gibson, Minister, Trinity Church, Aberdeen, Scotland; author, Living Life Backward; coeditor, From Heaven He Came and Sought Her
About the Author
Peter J. Gentry (PhD, University of Toronto) is professor of Old Testament interpretation at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and director of the Hexapla Institute.
Stephen J. Wellum (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor of Christian theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and editor of the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. Stephen lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, Karen, and their five children.
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The academic advance this book seeks to make is a biblical-theological support for a covenantal understanding that effectively falls between Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology. Though the authors' position is indeed unique in relation to these other two systems, it is by no means new: this book provides a defense of what I would call a "baptistic" covenant theology. This means that while they side with Dispensationalists in rejecting the Reformed teaching about the exact continuity between circumcision and baptism, they take the side of Reformed theologians in affirming that the land promise to Israel are fulfilled in Christ under the New Covenant, particularly as his work results in the inauguration of the New Creation.
What you will not find in this book is an attack on any theological position. You will not find endless rhetoric and catchy phrases that make Dispensational or Reformed theologians seem dangerous or inept. The authors certainly do not hold back from saying what they think needs to said in defense of their own position and in opposition to the other two, yet they do so in a respectable and unexaggerated manner. They are careful to recognize the similarities in the two views between which they mediate, as well as the similarities between their own view and each of the other positions. One way they are able to do this is through careful examination of the presuppositions and hermeneutical principles they and the opposing theologians use. Thus, Gentry and Wellum present, articulate, and defend a certain hermeneutic, which accounts for presuppositions about the nature of Scripture, and discipline themselves throughout the book to apply those principles consistently.
No doubt Reformed and Dispensational Christians will find the arguments of this book to be challenging, if not compelling. However, if they can make it through chapter three (the chapter which presents the authors' hermenuetical methods) without being convinced, there's a good chance they'll remain unmoved. But this is one of the things that makes this book great: usually the dividing line between two theological positions lies in an underlying hermenuetical difference. By accurately presenting their opponents' hermeneutics and showing how their own principles--or at least the application of similar principles--differs from them, they preclude needlessly talking past their opponents and vise versa. However, as Gentry and Wellum consistently apply this hermenuetic to Scripture, and as the reader can then see what clarity and relevance it brings to the text, their argument becomes that much stronger.
So is this book monumental? Is it a work that will stand at the top of the list of books every Dispenational or Reformed theologian will have to address before presenting or defending their own view? I believe the answer is yes. (That means if you're a pastor, a Christian teacher, or someone interested in theology and/or the future of the church, you should buy this book and read it.) This of course will be more true for the Dispensationalists, since they have a shorter theological heritage. But I feel comfortable saying that this work is monumental because Drs. Gentry and Wellum are accomplished theologians who have presented here what may be the finest and most notable scholarly book defending a Calvinistic/Baptist/anti-dispensational covenant theology. In addition, the hermentuetical principles they apply are simple and sensible,and thus, the reader doesn't feel like he is being proselytized into a complex system for piecing the Bible together; instead, the writers' approach is methodical, methodologically conscious, in-depth, and meticulous.
Readers will find the content easy to follow and not overly--that is, unnecessarily--technical. That's to say one does not need a degree in theology to understand this book. Nevertheless, the length may dissuaded some people from reading it. Yet, if you finish it, you will not be disappointed; a Christian who perseveres to the end (of this book) will find that they will not only have a greater understanding of the Scriptures (specifically as it relates to the progression of revelation and the covenants, as well as some other themes), but a greater appreciation for it as well.
(This product was a personal purchase for myself at the normal retail price. I am reviewing it solely because I want to share my experience with other potential customers. I have received no compensation for my review nor do I have any relationship with the seller or manufacturer of this product, other than mentioned above).
I found Gentry and Wellum's volume to be helpful on several levels. Gentry's chapters (the middle section) offer a helpful and honest interpretation of the covenants in their contexts. Wellum's opening chapters offer a good introduction to the discussion and critique of prevailing systems.