FREE BOOK: The Fourth Stream

Learn of the doctrine of “Christ the Covenant” that has served to bring together New Covenant Theology advocates whose roots were located in various and diverse theological backgrounds such as Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism.

This is a free digital publication published by our own ESS. All we ask of you is that you would read it carefully and freely share with others by providing the following link.

www.takeacopy.com/books/The Fourth Stream.pdf

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RESOLUTION: Yours or His?

Is the essence of your take-on-Scripture that it is about your resolution: the act of determining to do better?  Or, is the essence of your take-on-Scripture that it is about God’s resolution: His sharpening our eyes to His both determining and fulfilling all things in Christ?

It could easily be the former and that would be quite natural, in keeping with the Flesh.  As for the latter, this would be in keeping with the Spirit, in accord with the Gospel, the New Covenant.

The Spirit gives and interprets His word, so that we might understand how God has resolved to deal with our sin and open our eyes to see,  increasingly with higher resolution, His righteousness in the face of Christ in all of Scripture.  Christ as both the Promise and Fulfillment of all Scripture!

The Spirit’s single means to opening our eyes, giving us the high-def resolution, is all of Scripture being read through the lens of the New Covenant (the Gospel).  If we miss this means, that, the Spirit gives in-sight by/thru the New Covenant, which is Jesus himself (Isa.42.6; 49.8; Mt.26.28; Lk.22.20; 1Cor.11.25; Heb.13.20; ), we miss the Big Picture made up of the many pixels.  We end up missing the Picture for the pixels.  We end up with the low-def resolution, seeing things as if they were essentially about our “being resolved” (a pixel).

CHRIST: The Unity/Disunity of Old and New Covenants

* NCT on Continuity *

OC/NC continuity exists in the Person of Jesus.  He’s in the OC shadows and then comes forth in NC glory (Col.2.17; Heb.8.5; 10.1; 2Cor.3.10).  ALL of Scripture is the revelation of Jesus (Lk.24.27; Acts3.22; Jn.5.46).

* NCT on Discontinuity *

ALL prior covenantal form/function is transformed (reformed – Heb.9.10; 7.12; Jer.31.31-34) in the Person of Jesus, who is the New Covenant himself (Isa.42.6; 49.6,8; Zec.9.11; Lk.22.20; Heb.13.20).

* NCT on OC Law *

1)      Provoked sin/Promised life

2)     Represented Adam

3)     Prefigured Christ (then)

4)     Incarnate in Christ (now)

* NCT on CT *

1)      CT emphasis = continuity of covenants

2)     NCT emphasis =  FULFILLMENT in Christ!

* NCT on God’s one eternal purpose *

1)      Fulfilled in Jesus (Eph.3.11)

2)     Fully revealed thru Jesus (Eph.1.9-10)

Jesus is our covenant and our law, just as he is our union and our righteousness.

THOUGHTS ON: NC Thinking

From a discussion held elsewhere:

The COG paradigm is not going to be found in NC thinking.  Though there are of course gracious elements to the Old Covenant…that Covenant itself wouldn’t be seen as gracious, as is the New Covenant.  OC is per Code (Do this and live!).  NC is per Christ (Having done this that we might live!).

The driving force behind NC thinking is “Christ as the unity of all redemption and revelation.”  This makes the idea of “covenant” to be something other than a primary motif, though it certainly factors into the role of Christ as hermeneutical key.

Unity is thought to be in Christ himself, filling up and fulfilling all covenants leading unto the Incarnation.  Essentially, Christ is understood to be the incarnation of all that the OC Law demands and OC Prophets promise.  Hence, typologically speaking, Christ is the link between the OC covenants as they unfold throughout the OT.

All OC typological (ectypal) realities are subsumed in Christ, the archetypal reality.

Christ would be understood as the colligate of all redemption and revelation, and not a theological category of ‘covenant of grace’.

NCT: Christ Over All Things

A must read:  Chad Bresson: What is New Covenant Theology

Excellent; excellent!

I trust this will prove to be something of a catalyst in aiding people to think seriously about the NEWNESS of the NC in Christ.

Appreciate the labor! May the Lord continue to bless, providing us a clearer vision of God’s face in Christ Jesus. He continues to rend the veil that we might behold, believe and be-formed.

FUNDAMENTALISM: A few thoughts…

A few thoughts on Fundamentalism:

  1. Differences of opinion…differences are necessary (1Cor.11.19)…and yet, Fundamentalism’s remaining closed to honest inquiry is particularly dangerous.  A studious and humble disposition lends itself to honest inquiry and continual study (broader than the scope of our dogmatic).   Our being ‘too married’ to our present understanding of things tends to ‘divorce’ us from growing up in the knowledge of the Lord.
  2. Fundamentalism…everything tends to be black and white…they hold not only the essential doctrines in a closed fisted manner/mentality, but all their beliefs and practices.
  3. Assumptions are had by all…the question is what grounds we have for such and such assumptions, and, are we willing to reconsider those assumptions in the light of a growing understanding of Scripture within the Body of Christ?
  4. Fundamentalism is known to absolutize the principle “you reap what you sow“.   Perhaps, with less consideration of the broader context of things, and with less charity/humility, this perspective finds it easier to take a course that associates all hardship with personal and intentional sin.  Thus, I’m not throwing out the principle itself, but concerned with misapplying it and misunderstanding the theological distinction between suffering under the OC and NC.
    1. So yes, there is such a principle at work in the world, and yet, the principle doesn’t apply with the same theological breadth now (NC) as it once did (OC).  And, it will be applied universally in the end, to all those who are outside of Christ.  In the OC, obedience = blessing/bliss < and > disobedience = cursing/suffering, as a works-righteousness covenant was in place over the people of God.  However, in the NC, the people of God are under a grace-righteousness covenant, wherein Christ is our blessing thru his own obedience < and > Christ bore our curse thru his own suffering (1Pt.3.18).  Subjectively, under the NC, obedience and suffering are at times related; suffering at times being associated with the will of God, not the result of personal/intentional sin (1Pt.3.17; 4.16,19).  Objectively, under the NC, blessing is associated with faith in God’s promise as opposed to works of our own (Gal.3.9,10,14).
  5. Fundamentalism operates with a faulty hermeneutic…a univocal one.  Seeing both the Text and Time (historical timeframe) in a strict-literalistic way.  Reading all Scripture monolithically (as opposed to the opposite error of Liberalisms mythologically hermeneutic) only at the surface, thus missing something of the theological depth and purposes of all Scripture.
  6. Fundamentalism tends to have a cloister-mentality, not only against the World but within the Church, securing itself against ongoing growth in Truth, hence it becomes stunted and stagnant.
    1. More focused upon “doing” (deeds over creeds)
    2. Missing the higher principle of “knowing” (that governs “doing”)
  7. Fundamentalism is a type of Traditionalism (or Romanticism).
    1. Traditionalist, in that, if it was good enough for so and so to believe this or that, it is good enough for us.
    2. Romantic, in that, it places something of an unwarranted hope in “former times” when believers were “really serious” about God; really committed to “being holy”, etc.
  8. Fundamentalism has a proclivity to think in terms of:
    1. “We are better!”
    2. Rather than, “There are better ways of thinking about this or that.”

I believe that Fundamentalism is natural to all of us.  I believe that Fundamentalism is actually a worldly way of thinking.  I believe that Fundamentalism is a problem present in all branches of the Church.