Patrick McWilliams sent me a link to a recent presentation given by Sam & Micah Renihan at WSC on the subject of Reformed Baptist Covenant Theology & Biblical Theology. It looks to be hot off the press (Oct 18, 2011). You can view the paper here.
I must say, it’s encouraging to read because the Renihan’s have reached many of the same conclusions that I have over the last few years. Of course, their view is much better researched, thought-out, and articulated, but I guess it means I’m not too crazy.
A few highlights:
There is one uniting and driving force in redemptive history, and that is the Covenant of Redemption. Although it is not accomplished in history until Christ comes, we see the gathering in of the elect who believe in Christ from the fall onward. Where we see that in-gathering of the elect who believe in the gospel as it is revealed progressively in types and shadows, there we see the retro-active New Covenant, and that is the Covenant of Grace… The Covenant of Grace is the retro-active New Covenant…
Retro-active is exactly the right phrase I have been looking for.
As Vos goes on to say, the New Covenant is necessarily connected to the new age, the consummation. With the inauguration of the New Covenant, the New Age breaks forth into this current age. Vos says, “The New Covenant, then, coincides with the age to come; it brings the good things to come; it is incorporated into the eschatological theme of thought.” If the New Covenant truly coincides with the New Age, we should not look back at the Old Covenant to understand this New Covenant. Instead we should look forward to the consummation. True, we live in the “not yet.” But it is just as true that we live in the “already”. For this reason we must conclude that theologies that rely too heavily on the Old Covenants for their description and articulation of the New Covenant demonstrate an under-realized eschatology. They do not give enough weight to the “already”.
So give it a read and let me know what you think.