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The God of the Covenant: Biblical, Theological & Contemporary Perspectives

Author: Jamie A Grant and Alistair I Wilson (Eds)
Published By: Apollos (Leicester)
Pages: 256
Price: £14.99
ISBN: 1 84474 065 X

Reviewed by P Mark Pullinger.

This volume, self-confessedly eclectic, is a compendium of papers selected from those delivered at the triennial Conference of the Tyndale Fellowship (Nantwich, July, 2003). All are centred upon the over-arching and profound theme of covenant - a simple concept in itself, but, as the volume title implies, its basis, consequences and implications are explored from a wide range of perspectives.

Preachers and students alike will enjoy the resources within this volume. The theological survey of covenant (David L Baker), and study of its missiological imperative (Christopher J H  Wright) are thorough yet succinct accounts, useful both as reminders for a preaching context, or as a starting point for further covenantal studies. A particular study on the Davidic covenant (David G Firth) and a more speculative consideration of the presence of a “new-covenant slogan in the Old Testament” (James Hely Hutchinson) draw the reader along interesting tangents of investigation on the main theme.

Studies on Jesus’ view of the covenant in the Gospels (Kim Huat Tan) and a specific study through Zechariah’s prophecy in Luke (Alistair I Wilson) provide helpful ways into seeing and exploring covenantal thought, continuation and expression through the not so covenantal-based language of the New Testament.

Contributions on covenant as expressed in ‘headship’/‘federal’ theology (A   T B McGowan) focussing on the work of two Scottish theologians, and on covenantal relationships with particular individuals (Harry Bunting), provide further aspects of study that not only hold interest in themselves, but constantly inform and illuminate further the main theme of the book.

Last, but not least, is an energetic and thought-provoking paper on the ‘land’ factor in the covenant (Colin Chapman), and what it may mean today, both internationally and locally for God’s people. Whether one finds oneself agreeing with Chapman’s conclusions or not, this paper offers the reader a very helpful framework in which to think creatively and hermeneutically in helping others consider this most challenging, topical and - for many people - life and death issue which dominates much of the news today.

Varied, and yet cohesive, this volume of papers provides a comprehensive, explorative and most readable account of a subject that has come back into the forefront of our understanding of who the church is as part of God’s people today, and how we present the kingdom values that flow from it to this world.

P Mark Pullinger

Assistant Curate in South London, with interests in music, liturgy, and biblical studies, particularly in helping others explore the larger shapes and threads which form and unite both Testaments.

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You are reading Issue 36 of Ministry Today, published in March 2006.

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