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Featured Christocentric Theology (New Covenant Theology): The Big Nothing Burger

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by AustinC, May 5, 2023.

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  1. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I think we all know that Christ is the primary Subject of Scripture (regardless of what method one used to interpret the Bible).

    So you already squandered your time with this post :Laugh

    We are not talking about Christ being all through God's Word as the Primary Subject. We are talking about different approaches men take to understand Scripture as a whole.

    Since you are working on a sermon that little oversight can be forgiven. Sometimes when we have too many irons in the fire something of less importance (like posting in an online forum) simply gets away from us. That is probably what happened here with your post.
     
  2. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    No, that actually answers a question I had. Because a lot of good reformed preachers make a conscious effort to work Christ into every sermon and every passage they preach from. Sometimes I think it even sounds a little awkward. But I was wondering if, when you hear that, you are hearing someone who follows NCT. I guess the answer is no.

    If the difference boils down to the idea that in NCT, you believe that the "law of Christ" or the Sermon on the Mount replaces the Law then I always thought the Sermon on the Mount taught what the Law really meant when spiritualized. In that case, while you have the beauty of Christ himself explaining how to understand the Law there is definitely no conflict of obsolescence suggested. I know often times people come up with "new" things to write about, which I guess is fine, but it almost seems, as much as it kills me to say it, that Austin might be right about it being a "nothing burger". Unless there is more to this still.
     
  3. Piper

    Piper Active Member
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    Accusing anyone who holds to New Covenant Theology of liberalism is circular reasoning. Weak, ad hominem response.

    You have not shown that i is a nothing burger. You have summed up someone else's research and conclusions.
     
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  4. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Kinda.

    The idea with Dispensationalism is that Divine Economy is viewed through God's actions with mankind through different ages.

    The idea with Covenant Theology is that Divine Economy is viewed through various covenants, of prime importance are covenants that are derived from Scripture rather than in the text of Scripture.

    The idea with NCT is that Divine Economy is viewed through the New Covenant.

    I understand you think it is nothing (it is only "something" insofar as Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology is "something"....we all read of "covenants" and "dispensation" in the Bible as well).

    But I would argue that history shows us exactly how these "nothings" change the conclusions Christians reach.

    That said, in and of themselves, these methods are not doctrines. They are approaches to Scripture.


    I am not sure where you got the idea that NCT holds the Mosaic Law obsolete. The belief is that the Mosaic Law is fulfilled in Christ and established by the New Covenant (the very opposite of obsolete).

    In other words, the moral commandments of the Mosaic Law show us how our actions should be (the Law is a "school master" that shows us our sin). The New Covenant shows us who we are to be.

    Again, this is viewing Scripture through the lens of the New Covenant. Covenant Theology would claim NCT has it backwards, and NCT would claim Covenant Theology has it backwards. Where you see the Sermon on the Mount as explaining the Old Covenant Law I view the Sermon on the Mount as explaining the Law of Christ (the life in the Spirit).

    And to be fair, regardless of where we draw the distinction a distinction must be drawn because the Bible tells us that the New Covenant itself is the righteous of God manifested apart from the Law.
     
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  5. Piper

    Piper Active Member
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    Excellent Summary, brother.
     
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  6. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    Jon, I was just going by the "Got Questions" site, which I realize if you have any theological training would cause the same feeling you would get if you saw your mechanic heading out to your car with nothing but a pair of pliers. But still, this is what they said: "In other words the entire Mosaic economy has been set aside in new covenant theology, it no longer applies in any way to Christians." And then later: "The old covenant is obsolete (including the moral aspect of the Mosaic Law) and replaced by the new covenant with the law of Christ to govern it's morality.

    I was just going by what they said, only because that's all I know at this point, and they seemed pretty sure of the idea of obsolescence and replacement. So I can see why traditional reformed pastors would be a little concerned if their people started walking around with books on NCT and so on. Do you happen to have any info on where it seems to lead in a practical sense. What would a laymen observe in a congregation who went wholly and seriously in a NCT direction?
     
  7. Piper

    Piper Active Member
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    Almost entirely New Testament preaching. I was in a church, under a very well-known pastor, who basically followed NCT. Not much difference from my old days in Independent Baptist circles. Reformed, but Baptist.
     
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  8. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I think, maybe, what I should have said in terms like f explaining the Mosaic Law and the Law of Christ is that with the New Covenant that which was external (Torah) was made internal (walk in the Spirit).

    I was raised a Baptist. In the 1970's and 1980's the way we looked at Scripture was NCT. Dispensationalism was later discussed, but that was more in the "big churches".

    If your pastor was replaced by a NCT pastor you probably wouldn't notice a difference in teaching (except Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism may be missing). As far as Scripture, we all have the same Bibles.

    I never have been a member of a Reformed Baptist church. But NCT is associated with Reformed Baptists. So, like Dispensationalism, it can cross denominational boundaries.
     
  9. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    The big nothing burger?... Brother Glen:)

    Matthew 22: 35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

    36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

    38 This is the first and great commandment.

    39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
     
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  10. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Sorry...I didn't answer you (I had a thought and just posted it).

    NCT does view the Old Covenant Law as ending with the New Covenant (they say stuff like God took it away and nailed it to the cross).

    But not ending in terms of being obsolete. We still learn from the Old Testament.

    Look at it this way - we are not under the Old Covenant sacrifice system. Baptists don't bring their lambs to be slaughtered and presented to God by the senior pastor (not even by the deacons). That system pointed to Christ and is fulfilled in Him. But we don't pretend it does not exist. And it is not obsolete. The meaning, however, to us is not covering our sins but the work of Christ as our High Priest.

    We are not under the Old Covenant Law. It does not apply to us. But we can still learn from it. At a minimum we can know that if we live immoral lives we are not walking in the Spirit. But we remain under the Law of Christ (not the Old Covenant Law). If we live by the Law of Christ then we will fulfill the moral standard of the Old Covenant Law. God tells us His Law is not written in stone but on our hearts.

    If I murder somebody because I have not read "thou shalt not kill" then something is wrong because if I were obeying the Law of Christ and walking in the Spirit then I would not have disobeyed that commandment regardless of whether I ever read it.

    As far as a layman one thing to keep in mind is that, unlike Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology, NCT came out of the churches. Rather than being developed in the academic arena it came from Christians studying their Bibles.

    That does not mean it is correct. But of the three it is probably the closest to the actual text of Scripture (no derived covenants, no figuring out an everlasting covenant between the Father and Son in eternity past, no determining what would have happened if Adam refrained from eating that fruit; no dividing a timeline based on God's interactions)...just the Bible.

    So If say NCT is the layman's method (the layman not already exposed to another method, anyway,). It is a method developed from what you can actually highlight or underline in the Bible.
     
  11. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    That (accusing), Piper, is @AustinC 's M.O. ( as is with some other 'Reformed robots' on this board).
     
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  12. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    My only point was that these verses are found as early as Leviticus. So people might question the significance of it. Not that it is wrong, just not new or groundbreaking.
     
  13. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Six hour warning
    This thread will be closed no sooner than:
    0230 GMT (Wed) 1030 pm (Tue) EDT, 730 pm (Tue) PDT
     
  14. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    ??? The Author of the Levitical system, Who is also the Mediator of the New Covenant, is the One that stated these verses. What's to question? Or rather, what IS the question?
     
  15. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    The "groundbreaking" part is that it is on those that the Law hinges.

    The man was asking Jesus which was the greatest commandment. He was thinking as many do today - a list of commands to obey. But if you keep those two then you fulfill the whole.

    That is a good example of what we were discussing about the Old Covenant Law being established on the Law of Christ.
     
  16. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    The point I'm trying to make Dave is the law and the prophets hang on Christ... Both were never abolished but fulfilled... Leviticus?... Brother Glen:)

    John 8: 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
     
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  17. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Matthew 7:12

    Romans 13:8-10
     
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  18. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    The question is not that there is anything wrong with the statement. But rather is it truly NEW. Is the idea that there needs to be a thing called New Covenant Theology valid when you consider that the idea that the Old Testament Law could be summed up by loving the Lord with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself was in ..... the Old Testament. There is nothing wrong with coming up with a concept that might appear to be overlooked and then maybe even writing a book or blog on it but is it a valid new theology or a "nothing burger"?
     
  19. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Could you imagine sitting down teaching a child and saying-

    "Now Johnny, we need to treat others as we want to be treated. No biting, no poking out eyes, no spitting, no hair pulling, no punching...".

    The first sentence was all that was needed to obey.

    The following merely showed Johnny his disobedience when he poked out Ben's eye and pulled Cindy's hair.
     
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  20. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I'm just pointing out that if New Covenant Theology claims that the Law of Christ replaces the Old Testament Law then that's a stretch because it was already stated that way as early as Leviticus.
     
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