Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Comparison of 5 Views on Theology (part 1)

The following series is meant for fun only. As the different views are explained, they will be caricatures only. The expression of my view (very po-mo of me) is a way for me to interact with all the different views out there.
We will discuss different topics and their correlation to one another. I invite your feedback on either my views or the traditional views.

My view will be identified as the Theology of Hope

Pattern of History
Covenant Theology:
God’s program in history is mainly through related covenants:
1. The Covenant of Redemption involves the Trinity, and does not directly include human beings.
2. The Covenant of Works, instituted in the Garden of Eden, was the promise that perfect obedience would be rewarded with eternal life. This is the pre-fall relationship, God had with man.
3. The Covenant of Grace structures God’s post-fall relationship to mankind.

Historic Dispensationalism:
God’s program (purpose) in history is mainly through separate dispensations (stages or economies) – usually seven:
1) Innocence (before the Fall); Genesis 1-3
2) Conscience (Adam to Noah); Genesis 6-8
3) Human Government (Noah to Abraham); Genesis 11
4) Promise (Abraham to Moses); Gen 12 – Exodus 20
5) Law (Moses to Christ – His First Coming); Exodus 20 – Acts 1, Pentecost
6) Grace (Pentecost to the rapture); Acts 1ff
7) The Millennium or Kingdom (Christ’s Second Coming to the end of the 1,000 yrs.).

Progressive Dispensationalism:
God’s program is history is the progressive relationship of the successive dispensations to one another:
1. Patriarchal (Adam to Mt. Sinai)
2. Mosaic (Mt. Sinai to ascension of Messiah)
3. Ecclesial (Church – Ascension to Second Coming of Christ)
4. Zionic (Subdivided into 2 phases – Part 1: Millennium, Part: 2 Eternal State.)

New Covenant Theology:
God’s program in history is through related covenants, but culminating in the new covenant that fulfills the others because they were all realized in Christ.

The Theology of Hope:
Agrees with NCT; would add that redemption “holistically” is revealed in the following (not linear) :
1. Promise (Gen. 3:15; 17:1-8; II Sam. 7:4-17; Gal.3:16)
2. Law / Administration (Exodus 19:1-9a; cf. Gal. 3:17, 23, 25)
3. Fulfillment – consisting of both Inauguration and Consummation (Gal. 3:23, 25)


Brian said...

Although the predominant CT view is as you described, there are more and more CTers who are having a problem with the Covenant of Works. This is a huge controversy in PCA circles - and I suppose some would not classify these people as CTers, but they seem to still go by that name.

Guiseppi said...

Yes, you are correct. Those Reformed Theologians who 'do not' suscribe to the Westminster Confession, would differ with the tradtional CT view of the Cov. of works (ie. Federalism, the two Adam theory).

You go to a PCA church, which view do they subscribe to?

Brian said...

Actually, I do not go to a PCA church. I go to one of those former PCA churches who were strong-armed out of the local presbytry because of issues like the covenant of works. We have been a candidate church in the CREC for the last year, and we become full fledged members next month at the convention.

The PCA presbytry in the Birmingham area - Evangel - has been very harsh against those who subscribe to this view, while other presbytries, such as those in Texas and the Ohio River Valley, have been accepting.

Frankly, it was issues like these that kept me from becoming a presbyterian (Covenant of Works, the mainstream understanding of paedo-baptism, paedo-communion, etc.), always believing that these were "THE" presbyterian views across the board. After reading guys like Norm Shepherd and the Mercersberg guys, I started to realize there was a place in presbyterian circles that I could fit in.