LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Comparison Of Three Systems

For those who are interested in comparing Dispensationalism, Covenant Theology and New Covenant Theology, please check out this post. Feel free to let me know what you think after checking out this link.
http://www.pressiechurch.org/Theol_1/a_comparison_of_three_systems.htm

Mark

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10 Comments:

Blogger Gojira said...

I have seen that one before. It is very good in establishing and explaining some of the differences.

May 11, 2008 3:39 PM

 
Blogger ThirstyDavid said...

I'm not qualified to judge it in general, but I did notice one definite error. CTs are not always Calvinists. Proper Lutherans are always CT (although there are some odd dispensationalists). Lutherans deny ULIP, and generally consider Calvin a heretic.

May 11, 2008 4:20 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

I still believe NCT is the most Biblical....

May 11, 2008 9:56 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Though I tend towards the idea that OT saints were indwelt by God the Holy Spirit, like CT, and unlike NCT, I basically hold to NCT nonetheless.

May 12, 2008 7:22 AM

 
Blogger Daniel said...

I find I agree with the NCT for a majority of the points, though I think all three are wrong on some specifics.

May 12, 2008 12:08 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Daniel,

Care to elaborate?

May 12, 2008 1:14 PM

 
Blogger interested spectator said...

Somebody also added a category for proponents of each position here:

http://fide-o.blogspot.com/2007/03/3-systems-of-theology.html

Interesting to see the D.A. Carson is categorized as NCT.

May 13, 2008 11:15 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Interested Spectator,

Long time, no see.

I was once left with the impression that Carson was on the fence on this. I did not know that he has since embraced NCT.

Thanks for your thoughts and sharing that link to "Fide-o".

May 13, 2008 12:42 PM

 
Blogger Daniel said...

Mark, sure.

[DISP] OT laws are no longer in effect unless repeated in the NT.
[CT] OT laws are still in effect unless abrogated in the NT.
[NCT] Same as Dispensationalism.

I don't think any of these are exact. Granted these statements are extremely brief, and were they better crafted I might say I was inclined one way or the other. Given just these, for example, I am not inclined to agree with them as written.

Technically speaking, we are all antinomian, if we understand the full meaning of the word. The CT does not keep the OT laws that he or she believes the NT abrogates - and if you do not keep the whole of the law, you cannot call yourself a law keeper.

likewise, the Dispy and the NCT believe that the OT laws are done away with, however that is explained, and so they too are antinomian.

I conclude therefore, that in a technical sense we are all antinomian, we just may not agree on what laws we need to keep.

Which is all just a preamble, of course, so that I can use the word in expressing my thought without being misunderstood.

I see in scripture that the laws of Moses were tied to the Mosaic covenant. While I recognize that some of the laws were moral in nature, some ceremonial, and some governmental - I regard the whole of the law as a single, indivisible unit - that is, if you break a ceremonial law, you are just as much a law breaker as if you break a moral law. etc.

It is important, I think, to understand that a breaking of the law was a breaking of the covenant. The covenant was, after all - (in a nutshell) we promise to do these things and in return you promise to bless us, and if we fail to keep our promise you in turn will curse us.

Provisions were made for the frailty of the flesh - and if you broke the law, you were not immediately cast into outer darkness - but God provided the sacrificial system to accommodate man's weaknesses - that is, to provide a way for a sinful man to "uphold" his part of the "Mosaic" covenant.

Now we understand, especially in the shadow of the cross, that the sacrifices and what not were placeholders, and that it was not the physical act that had any merit, but the faith that was behind it that was effective.

So that when the new covenant in Christ replaces the Mosaic covenant, so too, as Paul writes, the law that previously was in effect, was no longer in effect - but a new law was in effect.

I don't say therefore, that the Mosaic laws which are repeated in the NT are to be upheld as though they were "still in effect" - because the laws themselves are irrevocably tied to the Mosaic covenant, and are not given authority outside the jurisdiction of the Mosaic Covenant. They were placeholders, for when the law is written on one's heart, there is no need for tablets of stone.

I admit, my theology isn't as crisp in this area as I should like. It is far easier to dismiss what I believe to be incompatible with scripture, than it is to identify the "one true path" - if you know what I mean.

In this case, I think that Christ gave at least one law that we can be sure of - that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

Now, I want to qualify that heavily. The OT laws are not to be tossed out - but used to instruct us in what loving your neighbor looks like in practice. We have (or ought to have) the indwelling Holy Spirit within us whose ministry is biblically stated as convicting us of sin and of righteousness - which is why we have no need of anyone to teach us what is sin and what is not - to disobey the Holy Spirit is sin, for to the one who knows to do good (the Holy Spirit convicts us to do the righteous thing and to avoid the sinful thing) and fails to do it - to that one it is sin.

I almost loathe explaining it, because of the enormity of having to qualify so many things. When I say that we have no need of anyone teaching us, I by no means suggest that the Holy Spirit no longer gifts teachers to edify the body and to lead us and instruct us in the truth, nor to I mean that we all sit in our closets and learn from a bible in a vacuum because we don't need the body or anyone else to identify in us when we go astray doctrinally. Yikes. I don't do that.

All I mean is that from the NT perspective, we are not following laws and keeping them, as was done in the OT - rather we are following the indwelling Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin and of righteousness - we are walking by the Spirit, not according to the flesh, not according to sight - but by faith, by the Spirit.

Such a walk will not transgress any of the moral absolutes God has already established in the OT - for moral absolutes are absolute because they reflect the morality of God, whose character we are to supposed to be transformed into from glory to glory.

So while we toss out the OT law as a binding requirement for our continuing in the NT - we do not imagine that we are able to do whatever we want because we are under grace now, and not under law - for even as Paul says, so I opine, God forbid!

We who have the Spirit are able by that same Spirit to "keep the law" - not the OT law, but the "perfect law of liberty in Christ" - which is what the OT law was picturing.

When we fail to keep the perfect law of liberty, we don't go to the temple and get a priest to reconcile us back into a right covenant relationship with God - we are drawn by God's own will to the true and eternal high priest, and in response to God's leading we confess our transgression, such that through Christ we are kept in the new covenant relationship with God our Father.

The Mosaic law has certainly been done away with, being inextricably bound, as it was, to the Mosaic covenant. It has not been augmented by the New Covenant, but replaced by it. The new covenant, however, unlike the old, cannot be broken by a man breaking a law, because the law was kept by Christ - not the Mosaic law, but what the Mosaic law stood in the place of - that is what Christ kept - He fulfilled every requirement on our behalf - and so law breakers that we are, in Him we can be reconciled to God.

Anyway - like I said - a few of the summary statements in the article were so brief that I found I couldn't say that I agreed with any one opinion over the others. There weren't many, but a few.

May 14, 2008 11:45 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Daniel, thanks for your response.

Actually, though, the artical did not fully articulate the NCT position. But, more on that tomorrow as I must get ready for work. Being bluecollar I have no access to the "net" while at work.

Mark

May 14, 2008 1:21 PM

 

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