New Covenant Theology is a mediating position between dispensational and covenant theologies. This session will be focusing on defining Progressive Covenantalism, which is a form of New Covenant Theology, and how it seeks to answer difficult questions better than alternative theological frameworks.
Covenantalism — a system of thought used to interpret the Bible where the organizing principle of biblical history is covenants, which are the expressions of and mechanism through which God unfolds his redemptive plan and purpose.
Covenant — a chosen relationship in which two parties make binding promises to
Progressive — unfolding or advancing over time; there is a sequence and development to God’s plan of redemption.
New Covenant Theology (NCT)
- Progressive Covenantalism: a framework of interpreting the entire story of Scripture whereby God’s one, unified plan of redemption is progressively unveiled and accomplished through the biblical covenants, and how all of God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ and applied to the church today as God’s new covenant people.
- NCT seeks to merge together strengths of Covenant Theology and Dispensational Theology and discard certain weaknesses.
Strengths: The Best of Both Worlds
- Distinctions between old and new covenant
- Distinctions between Israel and the Church
- One people of God and one plan of redemption
- Covenant focused
- NT fulfillment of OT
Weaknesses: Pruning the Framework
- Separation between Israel and the Church
- The Church is a distinct entity with no connection to Israel
- The Church will not receive equally or fully the promises of the
- The Church will be dissolved into constituent parts (Jews & Gentiles) in
- Equivocation of Israel and the Church
- The Church began in the OT and there is nothing essentially “new” regarding the Church in the NT
- The Church is a mixed community
- The Law is still binding on Christians
Theological Framework of Progressive Covenantalism
- God’s redemptive plan unfolds through covenants
- All God’s covenants find their fulfillment in Christ
Biblical (Historical) Covenants
- Adamic (Gen 1–3)
- Noahic (Gen 6–9)
- Abrahamic (Gen 12, 15, 17)
- Mosaic (Exod 19:3b–8; 20-24)
- Davidic (2 Sam 7; Ps 89)
- New (Jer 31–34; Ezek 33:29–39:29)
Peter J. Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum, Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants (2nd ed; Crossway: 2018)
Progressive Covenantalism: Charting a Course between Dispensational and Covenantal Theologies (Stephen J. Wellum and Brent E. Parker, eds; B&H Academic: 2016)