Monday, April 09, 2007

The Master at the Masters

In case you have not heard, Zach Johnson won the Masters Tournament yesterday. While we all would have liked to see Tiger win, Zach is a good guy, a good golfer, and a worthwile champion. Most importantly, however, is that he and his wife appear to be Christians. And on the day in which we remember the Resurrection of our Master, Zach Johnson took home the winners trophy and check at the Masters. And was moved to have done it on the Day of Days with Faith and Family so close. Tiger would have given us better entertainment, but he would not have given Christ glory. I suppose if you are going to work on the Lord's Day, you should at least give him glory in the process. Congratulations Zach!


Rafael said...

I have a question not related to the topic? What do you think about the New Covenant Theology? Also do you think a person can be reformed, but not hold to the covenant of works,grace, and redemption? One more thing, what are three seminaries you would refer someone to?

ajcarter said...

Wow, Rafael! Good questions. I don't have time right now to answer but I will shortly. Thanks. Come back soon.

ajcarter said...

Rafael, here are some short, blog answers to your questions:

1) What do you think about New Covenant Theology?: I have found New Covenant Theology not all that new. From what I have read of it, it always appears to want to be covenant theology without what it views as the legalism or emphasis upon the Old Testament law. However, Reformed/Covenant Theology, when rightly understood and presented is not legalistic, but emphasizes that the law of God is good, delighting the soul, a soul that has been transformed by grace through faith in Christ. I recently heard a New Covenant guy preach on the Sermon on the Mount and came away saying that he is not preaching it any different than I would or that I have read from Reformed theologians. Also, many seem to embrace New Covenant because they seem to believe that Covenant necessarily leads one to the conviction of infant baptism. This is to say that they see the Scriptural basis for Covenant theology but not for infant baptism. Yet, I believe Fred Malone has adequately demonstrated that to embrace covenant theology one does not have to embrace infant baptism (see Baptism of Disciples Only). New Covenant theology implies that Covenant theology is broken. I have not found the breech.

2) Do you think a person can be reformed and not hold to the covenant of works, grace, and redemption?

This is an interesting question. In a simple word I would say NO. But I would give this little caveat. Embracing these major ideas of covenant is what Covenant Theology is. And Covenant theology has long been understood as another way of saying Reformed Theology. However, even some who would hold to covenant theology are uncomfortable with the certain aspects of the Covenant of Works. This is because even God's relationship with Adam must also be understood in terms of God's graciousness in coming to Adam in the first place. Yet all the elements of a covenant seem to be present (see Grudem, Systematic Theology). The covenant of grace and redemption are more easily understood and are biblically consistent with a gospel of Sovereign grace wrought by Jesus Christ.
Now for the real distinction. Here I believe is where we find people who some refer to Calvinistic and not necessarily Reformed. I believe you can be Calvinistic and not embrace the Covenants. The reason you would not embrace the covenants is probably because you don't see truth in Reformed Theology as a whole, only in reformed soteriology. Many of my Calvinistic (Reformed) Dispensational brothers and sisters would probably fall in this category. So no, you would not be Reformed with a big "R" but you could be called reformed with a little "r". Which is probably the way those brothers and sisters would want it. :-)

3 Seminaries: Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. Reformed Theologcial Seminary in Jackson. Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte. Just kidding :-). Besides RTS, good schools are Covenant Theological Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Westminster Theological Seminary. These are good places to start.

I hope these brief and incomplete answers are helpful. Take care.