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New Covenant Theology: Time For A More Accurate Way Kindle Edition
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In this quest, many Christians have become dissatisfied with the solutions put forth by the system of classical covenant theology as a whole and dispensationalism as a whole. Taking the best from both systems and leaving behind what they consider the worst, adherents of New Covenant Theology (NCT) reject the one overarching covenant of grace solution to show continuity as put forth by classical covenant theology. NCT holds that the church began at Pentecost and emphasizes the "newness" of the new covenant, while recognizing that the people of God existed in both testaments. However, unlike some dispensationalists, adherents of NCT do not believe that the church is a "parenthesis" in the plan of God, but rather see it as the body of Christ in which Jewish and Gentile believers have truly become one. Furthermore, they understand eternal moral law not as the Decalogue, but as the two great commandments to love God and neighbor found in both testaments. Dr. Gary D. Long's latest book in less than 200 pages shows how NCT differs from classical covenant theology.
Chapter One defines what NCT is, while the second chapter gives some historical background to the theological problem at hand, mainly from the Reformation era. The issue of the historical background of NCT is a fertile field for exploration. It would be very worthwhile for interested persons to research the question of how early and medieval theologians, the Orthodox churches, Lutherans, and Anglicans have solved the problem of continuity and discontinuity, and what can be gleaned from their solutions.
The next three chapters show how NCT differs from classical covenant theology on the covenant of grace (Ch. 3), the covenant of works and redemption (Ch. 4), and the law of God (Ch. 5). In Ch. 4, Long uses Romans 5:12-19, the name Yahweh Elohim (Lord God), and the concept of imputation of Adam's sin and Christ's righteousness to argue that there was indeed a pre-fall covenant between God and Adam, but believes that the terminology "covenant of works" has led to confusion. Some adherents of NCT do not see a pre-fall covenant in Scripture because the word "covenant" does not appear until Gen 6:18, but I think Long makes a good case for it. The last two chapters draw conclusions and summarize the points made in the book, and an appendix explains theological terms.
As in his earlier books Definite Atonement, Biblical Law and Ethics, and Context! Long presents the topic at hand clearly and carefully and acknowledges source material in footnotes. Those interested in the theological question of the continuity and discontinuity between the testaments will find this book to be an informative presentation of the NCT position.
This advances the discussion, though, in a positive fashion. The book is a bit repetitive at points, but that is only a minor issue. All in all, I would recommend this book to others.