For them, this breach in the unfolding of redemptive history is subordinated by Gods eternal decree to apply the benefits of the new covenant to all of Gods people from the first promise presumably in Genesis 3:15 (as Griffiths mistakenly refers to Genesis 3:3) because, as Griffiths quoting Geerhardus Vos explains, the New Covenant in its preexistent state reaches back, stretching its wings over the Old and New Testament people of God.. The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ kept the law for our justification by living in perfect obedience to earn the laws blessing of life and by dying a substitutionary death to pay the laws penalty. According to the New Testament, the Old Testament promise to you and your seed was ultimately made to Christ, the true seed (Gal 3:16). The differences arise from the hermeneutical perspective of each. 11. In his view, his opponents, including Reformed Baptists, unfairly and without hermeneutical warrant apply the promises to the Church and fail to do the same with the curses. Jesus always saves people the same way., A sixth area of disagreement between the two parties involves the way in which OT law is to be applied in the New Testament (NT) era. John Nelson Darby, The Apostasy of the Successive Dispensations, BibleTruth; available at: https://bibletruthpublishers.com/collected-writings-of-j-n-darby-ecclesiastical-1/lbd15226.
4. Further complications arose due to inconsistencies in the articulation of this new eschatological framework. In chapter 5, Baptism and Covenant Theology, Chantry defends believers baptism over against infant baptism and by doing so he seeks to demonstrate that even though Baptists reject paedobaptism they ought to embrace fully covenant theology. MacArthur, Why Every Calvinist Should Be a Premillennialist, Part 1 Grace to You (Mar 25, 2007); available at: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/90-334/why-every-calvinist-should-be-a-premillennialist-part-1. It is useful to have Spurgeons quotes here brought to bear on this subject. At present I don't have the energy or health to do so, so will link to some resources which may clarify the 1689 position. MacArthur, The Securities of Gods Promise, Grace to You (June 11, 1972); available at: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/1615/the-securities-of-gods-promise. 1. Griffiths, Covenant Theology, 5, 38; Geerhardus Vos, Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2001), 99; Brogden, Captive to the Word, 222. (New York, Oxford, 1917), 1000, 1002, 1089. Affirming this, MacArthur asserts, At the heart of the debate over millennial views is the issue of hermeneutics. In defense of his dispensationalistic (also known as futuristic) hermeneutic, MacArthur declares, Only this approach allows Revelation [and by extension other eschatological portions of Scripture] to be interpreted following the same literal, grammatical-historical hermeneutical method by which non-prophetic portions of Scripture are interpreted. Concerning the hermeneutical approaches of those who disagree, he claims that they are frequently forced to resort to allegorizing or spiritualizing the text to sustain their interpretations.. Podcast. Distinctives of MacArthurs Progressive Dispensationalism, MacArthur carefully delineates between the ethnic people and historical nation of Israel and the Church. Calvinism. Baptists who hold to new covenant theology, or progressive covenantalism, do not have the same view of the law as the dominant stream of theirBaptist forebears. Following RD in how it perceives the relationships between the covenants, PD continues toward a more progressive position which considers these covenants [to be] linked together. Understood this way, the promises contained within the Abrahamic, Davidic, and new covenants remain unconditional, continue to be in force, and await future fulfillment. The comments after the article by Tom Chantry and Rich Barcellos are quite to the point here. A.D. 70) before the future onset of the seventieth week at which point the seven-year tribulation would begin. MacArthur, The Lordship Controversy, Grace to You (October 19, 2009); available at: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A293/the-lordship-controversy; Ibid., Ephesians, in The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody, 1986), 13-14. In practical terms, this means that they continue to attach OT promises given to Israel to eschatological Israel. In the OT covenants, Gods promises to Israel were often intertwined with curses connected to disobedience. Jas 2:10,11 Matt 5:17-19; Rom 3:31, Therefore, while justified believers are free from the law as a covenant of works to earn justification and eternal life (Rom 7:1-6), God gives them His law as a standard of conduct or rule of life in their sanctification (Rom 8:4, 7). By this, he does not mean to say that all Jews are saved for he recognizes that only a remnant would in fact be saved. I enjoy his blog quite a bit. (12), 10. Griffiths, for his part, rejects the idea that the new covenant was simply another administration of the [C]ovenant of [G]race, and prefers to view it (as previously stated) as the only [C]ovenant of [G]race., By separating Gods covenants with Abrahamic into two distinct covenants (in Genesis 15 and 17), Griffiths connects the Covenant of Grace, and by extension the new covenant, only with Gods first covenant with Abraham. I would like to put in an apology here. Nevertheless, he affirmed that Old Testament (OT) saints, throughout the various dispensations (i.e., covenants which preceded the new covenant), were saved by faith in the manifestation of [Gods] Person, To the chagrin of most reformed theologians of his day, Darby proposed what has come to be known as pre-tribulation premillennialism.
In this work, Craig and Bock state, Progressive dispensationalism offers a number of modifications to, classical and revised dispensationalism which brings dispensationalism closer to contemporary evangelical biblical interpretation. Along with presuming the existence of the Covenant of Works in the Garden of Eden, Reformed Baptists consider the tree of life to be a sign of this covenant. They are forming a relationship and creating an expectation that carries moral obligation.
MacArthur, Divine Truth Confronts Human Tradition, Grace to You (April 22, 2001); available at: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/42-70. He announced the introduction of a new form of the kingdom, one that will span the period from Israels rejection of Christ until Israels future reception of Christ at the Second Advent. Sadly, many within the Reformed Baptist community prefer to juxtapose their CT with the earliest form of dispensationalism which is known as Classical Dispensationalism (CD).  Within this gap, the church merely fills up a sort of whole in Gods eschatological calendar made by the rejection of the Jews on the covenant of legal prescribed righteousness [and] in the refusal of the Messiah. When the seventieth week arrives, the age of the Church will end, according to Darby, because it forms no part of the regular order of Gods earthly plans, but is merely an interruption of them to give a fuller character and meaning to them., Believing that the Church age would come to an end and finding biblical warrant for the Churchs removal, Darby began teaching on the rapture. Since the Jews rejected Him, Christs offer of an earthly kingdom has been temporarily postponed, and thus this present dispensation of grace (sometimes called the Dispensation of Grace) was born. Letters to a Birmingham Jail: A Response to the Words and Dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Rom 13:8-10; Jas 2:8,10-12 It may not display this or other websites correctly. Darby, Notes on the Epistle to the Ephesians, in Collected Writings of J.N. document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); document.getElementById( "ak_js_2" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); Founders Ministries The church as a whole is charged with interpreting the Bible, and God has authorized teachers in the church throughout history. Such an attitude should be manifested in this ongoing discussion between Reformed Baptists and dispensationalists, especially when many dispensationalists now hold to the doctrines of grace. Hos 6:7). If you are not familiar with Tom Chantry, he is a Reformed Baptist Pastor and blogger. In light of John A. DElias A Place at the Table and Stanley E A trio of recent books raises important questions on how Scripture is handled in halls of (certain kinds of) learning and how such handling affects Scriptures perceived truth and message Themelios is a peer-reviewed international evangelical theological journal that expounds on the historic Christian faith. In those covenants He included the promise of a great nation, a land defined in boundaries, blessing through Israel, blessing to the world, salvation, the Messiah, and a great glorious kingdom in which the Messiah would rule in Jerusalem, Israel would become the center of the whole world, and from His throne in Israel in Jerusalem Messiah would rule the entire world, wisdom and knowledge would pervade all the world, and righteousness and peace would dominate., Taking this firm stance on the unconditionality of Gods covenantal promises to Israel in the OT, MacArthur emphatically declares that the covenantal basis for the theology of Reformed Baptists is non-existent: So we have to answer the question, Is the Old Testament Amillennial? with a resounding, No. To buttress his position, he leans on Emil Schurers work entitled A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Christ where Schurer discusses Jewish eschatology at the time of Jesus.. Eph 1:4). Like many theological endeavors, new contributors arise who ultimately shift and shape the various teachings one way or another. 3. Darbys highly nuanced understanding of the application of the new covenant and its blessings is rejected by CT adherents in the Reformed Baptist fold. This intentional separation of Israel from the Church is not motivated by a desire to draw any sort of line of demarcation between the people of God; rather, MacArthur is focused on preserving the meaning of terms purely in relation to how he sees these entities operating in Gods redemptive timeline. Stogden sympathizes with those who prefer to see Gods arrangement with Adam as a promise, but then he asserts, a promise from God is a covenant, for when YHWH promises something He is bound to His Word to bring it to pass. This sort of admission, which he apparently overlooks, could be employed against him and his peers by dispensationalists who claim that Gods promises to Israel must be upheld despite their covenantal disobedience. Here are some of the theological identity markers of Reformed Baptist churches. MacArthur, The Character of God in the Cross of Christ, Grace to You (June 20, 2021); available at: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/81-118/the-character-of-god-in-the-cross-of-christ. 1 (Chicago: Moody, 1907), 45-46. Not surprisingly, a major focus is on how the new covenant is different than the old, especially in regard to children (pp. That acknowledged, I find Chantrys charge of misrepresentation to be a bit overwrought. This, however, does not mean that the kingdom itself awaits the fulfillment of the political promises in order for it to be inaugurated according to the PD position. Van Dorn, Covenant Theology, 64; Stogden, Captive to the Word, 234. That is what our first text tells us.
Darby also says, The Jews were the objects of the promises, and the Gentiles of pure mercy. Is it group think around the writing of modern Reformed Baptist amillennislists, or some other factor(s)? What meaning could such prophecies have in their historical settings?, Besides these two concerns, MacArthur raises a third one that involves inconsistencies that result from what he believes to be a hermeneutic that strays toward the spiritualizing and allegorizing of the text when it comes to the Bibles prophetic material. And His commandments are not burdensome.. God has not forgotten His friendship to their father Abraham, and therefore He will return in love to Abrahams seed, and again be their God. In response, PD propounders do not necessarily deny that God has a unified covenant with His Elect rooted in His eternal decree before the foundation of the world (cf. MacArthur, Bible Questions and Answers, Part 40, Grace to You (May 13, 1990); available at: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/70-12/bible-questions-and-answers-part-40. Darby, The Character of Office in the Present Dispensation., Darby, Principles Set Forth in On the Formation of Churches., Ibid. A third issue that arises in the dispute between CT advocates and classical dispensationalists involves whether or not the various biblical covenants can be understood as conditional or unconditional. So, all of Gods promises in the new covenant then are guaranteed to us by Jesus who is the guarantee [sic], who pays our debts immediately upon their being owed.. Reformed Baptists believed that their theology was anchored in the churchs rich theological heritage and that it was a natural development of the doctrine of the church in light of the central insights of the Reformation (sola Scriptura: no baptizing infants; sola fide: only converts are Gods people). Darby, The Character of Office in the Present Dispensation; Ibid., On the Apostasy: What Is Succession a Succession Of?; available at: BibleTruth; available at: https://bibletruthpublishers.com/collected-writings-of-j-n-darby-ecclesiastical-1/lbd15226. But they are not the Covenant of Grace anymore than Christ is literally a lamb. Such Baptists have abandoned the very principle that led to their initial emergence from paedobaptism. Indeed there are members of my denomination whose commitment to Reformed distinctives is suspect at best. , Another hermeneutical shift in PD involves their increased level of openness to typology. The new form of the kingdom had an insignificant beginning but will grow to great proportions (parable of the mustard seed). I realised after I posted this that the nature of this topic would probably generate long responses. The 1689 was revised from the 1644 specifically to demonstrate the vast agreement we have with reformed Presbyterians. No personal attacks of character, either of the blog owner/writer or any fellow commenters. It was a matter of divine choice. Putting this in another way, he writes, That means the Abrahamic covenant wasnt even made with Abraham; it was made between God and Himself., As far as the Mosaic covenant, MacArthur considers it to be the only unconditional covenant in the OT, but all other covenants, he contends, are built upon unconditional promises of God, and so every promise made including those specifically to Israel will be fulfilled. Jesus is making covenants with Israel. Cyrus Ingerson Scofield, Scofield Reference Bible, New and Improved ed. Taken together, Christ was sovereignly assured by God that He had been given (by virtue of a decree backed by the Word of God) an Elect People who were personally chosen by God and (would be) personally redeemed by Christs atoning work.  Brogden disagrees and instead perceives the only the Abrahamic covenant as possessing unconditional elements. Failure to complete a promise is a violation of ones word.  Therefore, he willingly admits that the final fulfillment of Gods promises in the new covenant awaits His future eschatological endeavors. They also believed that dispersed Jews scattered around the world would be gathered from around the world into the land for that great kingdom. Taylor contends that without it the gospel is ultimately compromised since the basis for the imputation of Adams sin and Christs righteousness is undercut.