Some of you may have been wondering where the heck I am. I have been concentrating quite heavily on an eschatology paper that I am writing regarding my own personal views. It is one of the hardest papers I have ever had to write. I am learning much about the Bible and even about myself. I’ve had to quite extensive research on covenant theology and I am working on some deep research regarding dispensationalism. I will post the paper when I am complete, but until then, here is a little taste regarding covenant theology.
Covenant theology does not accept such a literal view of Scripture. Webster’s defines “covenant” as “1 : a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement : 2 a : a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action b : the common-law action to recover damages for breach of such a contract.”2 It sees history as through one covenant, the Covenant of Grace. This overriding covenant is derived from several other covenants (or sub-covenants to the Covenant of Grace). These covenants include the Edenic Covenant (Genesis 2:15-17), Adamic Covenant (Genesis 3:14-19), the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-3), the Noahic Covenant (Genesis 9), the Mosaic Covenant (Genesis 17:1-27), the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7), and finally the New Covenant. Each covenant builds upon the preceding one culminating with the New Covenant fully realized in the death and ressurection of Christ. For instance, in the Edenic Covenant, Adam and Eve are given the entire garden with the exception of the one tree. However, Eve disobeyed and then also Adam. After this, in the Adamic Covenant, women would experience pain in childbirth and man would have to work for food among other things. Also, the proto evangelium or “first gospel”3 was uttered promising a seed to restore the Edenic Covenant.
The Noahic Covenant is a covenant that God made with Noah and his descendents. According to a website, “According to the conditions of this covenant, G-d promised never to flood the earth again the rainbow(Gen. 9:11-15). The nations/Gentiles were given animal life as food(Gen. 9:2-3); forbidden to eat blood or flesh from a living animal (Gen. 9:4); forbidden to murder(Gen. 9:5-6); required to administer justice in accordance with G-d’s Law (Gen. 9:5-6);and required to procreate(Gen 9:1, 7).”4
The terms of the Abrahamic Covenant are found in Genesis 17:1-27. The same website says, “This covenant is an ‘everlasting covenant’ (Gen.17:7,13,19), is for all generations of Jews(Gen.17:7, 9,13,19) and is not nullified by later covenants (Gal.3:15-17). According to the conditions of this covenant; every male must be circumcised on the eighth day (Gen.17:10-14); G-d would make a multitude of nations from Abraham (Gen.17:4-6); G-d would have a special relationship with Israel (Gen.17:7-8); and G-d would give Israel the Land of Canaan (Gen.17:8).”5
The Mosaic Covenant (or Covenants, depending on how it is viewed) was given in two stages. The first was at Mt. Sinai and the second was in Moab. This covenant is what we would call “the law” and its conditions can be found it the Torah. In the Davidic Covenant, the throne of David is promised to endure forever. As you can see, each covenant builds upon the one before it and all are rich with messianic overtones. In particular, the Abrahamic covenant is unique because God promises posterity, land, and a blessing for the nations. Not only this, but the writer of Hebrews and Paul, in his epistles to the Galatians and to the Romans, explained that believers were the seed of Abraham.6 Because of the way this is viewed by covenant theology, there is only one people of God. The saints of the Old Testament and the Saints of the New Testament are both the people of God. Thus, the Church is the spiritual Israel. However, the promise of land is not to be viewed as literal for Christians, but rather a symbol of a new country.7