I am currently reading Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church for fun, but also in preparation for (Lord willing) pastoral ministry. What I’ve read so far I am really enjoying, with one exception.
I do not understand why some theologians, when speaking of covenants, buy in to Meredith Kline’s view. It bothers me that when Michael Lawrence writes on this particular issue, that Kline’s covenant theology is a given.* It appears to me that the disciples of Kline build their case (their starting point) on extra-biblical revelation instead of the other way around. Perhaps there are similarities with “international relations in the ancient Near East” (55), but the ANE is not the starting point for the Christian (the reformed community has witnessed in recent years, downgrade of biblical revelation when ANE takes precedence). Lawrence subsequently seems to buy into the republication theory stating “unlike the Abrahamic covenant, however, this [the Mosaic covenant] is a covenant of works” (60). Now, he doesn’t explain what he means by “covenant of works,” but it raises eyebrows in light of some of the articles in this book. I am enjoying Lawrence’s book and I believe he accomplishes his purpose: to help pastors put biblical theology into ordinary pastoral practice; so I do recommend it, with the one caution.
*Lawrance tells in his footnote that “this entire section, but especially the first two paragraphs, is largely taken from Meredith Kline, Treaty of the Great King.” Thankfully, Lawrance goes on to state “a more recent, and more accessible, treatment of this can be found in O.Palmer Robertson, The Christ of the Covenants.”