One word that you often see in the bible, in both testaments is the word covenant. But what exactly is it? And what does covenants have to do with me?
Having read, but not finish “God of Promise: Introducing Covenant Theology” by Michael Horton, owing to my own inability to understand it, when I read the title of this book, it was a book I looked forward to reading.
And this book really makes covenant theology simple to understand. Jonty Rhodes starts the book by highlight a passage spoke by the Lord Jesus “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt 26:28). Often as we read it, we often miss out the impact of the word, the “blood of the covenant”, as Rhodes puts it, would it really matter if the phrase was blotted out? Of course it matters, unless you don’t see a need for covenantal theology in your belief.
With that introduction, Rhodes then traces throughout the bible to see whether covenantal theology is biblical or just made up by man. Rhodes brings the readers through the major covenants that God made with man, and through it highlights the implications of the covenants, the blessing and curses that comes along with it. Rhodes shows the readers that covenant, if put simply is “an agreement between God and human beings, where God promises blessings if the conditions are kept and threatens curses if the conditions are broken.”.
Rhodes does an excellent job tracing the covenantal theme throughout the whole bible, showing how God relates to us within the covenant that was set with man. As an additional point, this book is thoroughly Presbyterian, I do like the fact that this book is both covenant and reformed (i.e. TULIP), and Rhodes put forth very clearly the rationale the ecclesiology of Presbyterian and a defence for pedo-baptism. Though I am not entirely convinced, I found his points to be made excellently and his presentation of other church structure to be fair and well-represented. Rhodes also added in various figures to illustrate the points of the chapters, which I found them to be excellent summary and showed visually the points he was making in the chapters.
This book would be good for any Presbyterian, especially those who are new to the faith, or a youth in a Presbyterian church. For those who are not, this book remains helpful to allow you to grow in your understanding of covenant, and also give you knowledge on the rationale behind the Presbyterians. A simple and easy to read book, but by no means a simplistic book.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Here’s a free resource on covenantal theology.