The Significance of Covenant Theology

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Due to the most recent upheaval in the Gaza Strip, I am reposting this paper I wrote about covenant theology in relation to eschatology during my first year at seminary in 2001.

Because of the pervasiveness of dispensationalism, Reformed theologians and pastors may be tempted to give up trying to extract believers from the grip of premillennial dispensationalism. Evidences of the popularity of this view are plenty. Left Behind books are always on the bestseller lists. Many believers study eschatology with the Bible in one hand and the news of the latest Middle East upheaval in the other. Even in Reformed and Presbyterian churches, Bible study and Sunday school teachers expound on what the 144,000 Jews will be doing during the Great Tribulation. Colleges which advocate the pretribulational, premillennial view far outnumber Reformed, covenantal ones.

Why should we as Reformed, covenantal believers try to tackle such a seemingly insurmountable system? In addition to its questionable use of Scripture, one of the major influences of popular dispensationalism has global implications in recent history, and should encourage us to persist “against all odds.” Even before a part of Palestine was carved out for the state of Israel in 1948, American evangelicals had always seen Israel as the prophetic key to endtime events. They strongly believe, with some fear included, that God is still fulfilling his promises to Abraham in Israel today when he said, “I will bless those who bless you [Abraham], and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Gen.12:3). Why do Americans have this unwavering support for Israel?

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About Nollie

Associate Pastor of Trinity United Reformed Church in Walnut Creek, CA. Assigned as missionary to the Philippines. Lives just outside Metro Manila with wife and daughter. Three older boys live and work in CA.