Sunday, May 24, 2009

Comments, and a brief book review

As those who have accessed the blog recently may have noticed, I have switched back to the default Blogger commenting system. The previous one wasn't working, with serious character limits per post (not even reaching the theoretical limit of ~5000 characters per comment; maybe not even 1000 characters), and a nightmare scenario whereby all previous Blogger comments on any post were hidden by the IntenseDebate system. The number of comments per posts sometimes weren't showing up properly on the blog's main page, while notification was rather reliable but not 100% as what I had expected. Commenting oftentimes was a headache all by itself with comments posted lost somewhere in cyberspace and not appearing in the blog post's meta even though the IntenseDebate system showed that it was posted.

Due to all this, I have decided to discontinue using the IntenseDebate system, as it did more harm than good.

On other news, I have just finished reading an interesting book entitled New Covenant Theology by Tom Wells and Fred Zaspers.

Here is my brief review of the book which I have posted on Amazon.com among others:

This book by Wells and Zaspel is indeed an excellent book on the growing New Covenant Theology paradigm. It outlines and attempts to show from Scripture the rightness of its position, which is claimed to be the natural teaching of the text of Scripture when interpreted in context.

Upon examining the arguments for New Covenant Theology as outlined here (and also in [John G.] Reisinger's book Tablets of Stone), NCT appears to be the child of Biblical Theology with its idea of progressive revelation, and depends on it for its substance. While Biblical Theology is indeed important, the over-reliance on Biblical Theology at the expense of Systematic Theology creates theological problems and logical contradictions within the system. One such example of a logical contradiction is the teaching of OT believers being not part of the Church (p. 52), yet part of the Church (p. 63). A theological problem found in NCT is that OT believers are not saved by the Gospel (p. 31), but if so then they cannot be saved by God's grace through Christ's atonement for all believers either (Rom. 1: 16), not to mention that this explicitly contradicts Gal. 3:8

Since the topic of study is that of the biblical metanarrative and transcendental truth, the revelation of biblical truth in history (Biblical Theology) cannot be used to derive transcendental biblical truth (Systematic Theology). The outworking of God's truth in time is definitely important, but such cannot be used to infer anything about transcendental truths of God. NCT oversteps the boundary of Biblical Theology by making Biblical Theology the framework for understanding metanarrative truths when it is not designed to do so. Rather, metanarrative truths are to be attained through Systematic Theology done through logical inference from all of Scripture (Tota Scriptura), with the role of Biblical Theology limited to the HOW of its outworking in redemptive history. It must be said here that is is regrettable that this overemphasis on Biblical Theology with its teaching of the logical priority of Jesus' teaching, while true, is unwittingly used to undermine the authority of Scriptures by pitting the physically uttered teachings of the Incarnate logos (λογος) against the revelatory logos (λογος) or the entirety of Scripture, and thus make the "red letters" in the Bible to be of much higher authority and "more inspired" than the normal black letters of the rest of Scripture.

4 comments:

Isaiah said...

If you'd like to use an external comment system that gives you more flexibility and definitely works better, give Disqus a look.

http://disqus.com

PuritanReformed said...

Isaiah:

maybe, but I will stay away from such systems for some time; didn't have a good experience the previous time.

Mark Farnon (Tartanarmy) said...

Great post and a big Amen to everything you stated.

For some time now, many so called Reformed men are showing a disdain for Systematic Theology and a robust proclamation of Biblical Theology, with disastrous results in exegesis resulting.

There seems to be a few interconnecting trends that are all headed in the direction of irrationality, and the consequences are not yet fully known.

Mark

PuritanReformed said...

Mark,

I agree. With the postmodern zeitgeist, Systematic Theology will sadly fall further and further into disrepute.