Reformed Baptist Fellowship

Covenant Theology: A Reformed and Baptistic Perspective on God’s Covenants

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on September 21, 2011 at 9:22 am

“Baptists who embrace their historic Calvinistic and Covenantal roots have long since needed a robust and comprehensive treatment of Covenant Theology that includes the nuanced interpretations of the biblical covenants that a baptistic hermeneutic requires. This treatment by Greg Nichols does just that and more. As a devotee of the Westminster tradition (including its chapter, ‘On God’s Covenant with Man’), I differ here and there; sometimes significantly so. But there is so much to applaud in this volume and Baptists will do well to read this volume carefully and with much gratitude. A splendid achievement. I, for one, will insist that my Presbyterian students read it.” 
–Derek W. H. Thomas, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, RTS, Minister of Preaching and Teaching, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC

“There has been an urgent need for Reformed Baptist to produce a work on the covenants. I am so thankful that Greg Nichols has engaged this very weighty work. It is a very timely addition on a vitally important topic and adds much to a growing Reformed Baptist literary body.” 
–James R. White, Alpha and Omega Ministry, author of numerous books, including Pulpit Crimes

“Greg Nichols has done a wonderful job of articulating a genuinely reformed and baptistic model of covenant theology. The fruit of decades of study and teaching on his subject, this volume should be read by all who want to understand the proper framework of divine revelation. My counsel to all ministerial students is ‘Tolle lege’ (take up and read).” 
–Dr. Robert P. Martin, Emmanuel Reformed Baptist Church, Seattle, WA, Author of Guide to the Puritans

“The Old Testament was inspired by the Spirit of God. It is certainly a record of what is true, of creation, fall, and the promise of the Messiah. There is the whole machinery of redemptive anticipation that God set up with his old covenant people. What of family life? What of the children of believers? Their sons are no longer to be circumcised. What is the status of the sons and daughters of believers under the new covenant? Such questions are fascinating and Baptists are asking them and seeking answers. Hence the appearance of this book which comes out of many years of thought and preparation by Greg Nichols and has been eagerly anticipated by the gospel church. May it do much good. May we all look again at the Scriptures and find a new help in understanding them in this satisfying and provocative volume.” 
–Geoff Thomas, Pastor of Alfred Place Baptist Church in Aberystwyth, Wales

“I remember the very first class that I took from Pastor Nichols which was on the Doctrine of the Covenants and thinking to myself, ‘This material has utterly transformed the way that I look at the Bible.’ Until that point, I had never been taught covenant theology and so the effect of this biblical teaching on my life was nothing short of profound! Four thoughts come to mind as I think about this new book: thoroughly scriptural, historically confessional, warmly pastoral and experientially practical. My prayer is that the publication of this work will be that which our great God uses to edify His church and to get much glory to His own holy Name.” 
–Pastor Rob Ventura, Grace Community Baptist Church, North Providence, RI, Co-Author of A Portrait of Paul

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

PART 1 The Reformed Theology of God’s Covenants
Chapter 1 The Westminster and London Confessions
Chapter 2 John Gill on God’s Covenants
Chapter 3 Charles Hodge on God’s Covenants
Chapter 4 Robert Lewis Dabney on God’s Covenants
Chapter 5 Dutch Calvinists on God’s Covenants
Chapter 6 Summary of the Classic Reformed Doctrine
Chapter 7 Contemporary Modifications

PART 2 A Biblical Exposition of God’s Covenants
Chapter 8 An Overview of the Biblical Testimony
Chapter 9 The Covenant of Grace
Chapter 10 The Noahic Covenants
Chapter 11 The Abrahamic Covenant
Chapter 12 The Mosaic (old) Covenant
Chapter 13 The Davidic Covenant
Chapter 14 The New Covenant
Chapter 15 The Messianic Covenant

CONCLUSION: Practical Application of God’s Covenants

APPENDIX 1: The Eternal Counsel of Redemption
APPENDIX 2: The Adamic Covenant
BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. typo in White’s rec.

  2. Dr. Fred Malone also gives a brief but wonderfully concise treatise on covenantal theology from a Baptist perspective in his book on baptism, “The Baptism of Disciples Alone”.

  3. AJ,

    Thanks for the reminder. I too have found Dr Malone’s treatment of the covenants very helpful. It had a great influence upon me early on. Such summary statements as the following were very helpful:

    “Covenantal paedobaptist and covenantal Baptists both believe in the Covenant of Works that God made with Adam as our federal head. Adam broke this covenant and brought all mankind into a state of sin, death, condemnation, and misery (Hosea 6;7; Romans 5:12-21). We believe that all people are born under the condemnation of the failed Covenant of Works and remain ‘under law,’ until they are transferred into the Covenant of Grace (Romans 3:19-20; 6:14).”

    “The Covenant of Grace is the fulfillment of that eternal Covenant or Redemption, worked out in history through its covenant Head Jesus Christ (Romans 5:12ff). It began with the promise of grace in Genesis 3:15. [This promise] was carried on in history through variously administered ‘covenants of promise’ with Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. It was fulfilled in the final New Covenant of Jesus Christ…”

    Two covenants and two Adams. Simple, confessional, and Scriptural!

  4. Pastor Nichols recently delivered this material in the Doctrine of Christ module he taught for Reformed Baptist Seminary in 2010. It was a great joy to be there and benefit from the wisdom, passion, and clarity he brings to the topic of Covenant Theology. I am thrilled that these materials are being made available to a wider audience and hope that many others are as blessed as my fellow students and I were.

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