|Someone has correctly pointed out to me that Covenant theologians have nothing to say about future prophecy. They are basically silent on the subject. All they can do, without evidence, is deny dispensationalism, even though the word "dispensation" is in the Scriptures. In fact, they actually go against what the Bible teaches, and, they admit that their Covenant approach is not in the Word of God. They also write against what the Scriptures teach about future prophecy.|
Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us "the secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever." God has told Israel, and us, what is coming. They are literal events which will take place on earth. The Covenant guys are silent and have nothing to say. About half of our Bible is prophetic, much of it has come to pass literally, and the rest will take place just as the Lord has said!
Remember, the Covenant guys are intellectually dishonest. They hold to a system that they know is not revealed in Scripture. They admit that fact but still go on and hold to their humanly-created doctrines. For example Louis Berkhof writes:
"It must be admitted that the term 'covenant' is not found in the first three chapters of Genesis, but this is not tantamount to saying that they do not contain the necessary data for the construction of a doctrine of the covenant."
Further: "It may still be objected that we do not read of the two parties as coming to an agreement, nor of Adam as accepting the terms laid down [for a covenant], but this is not an insuperable objection."
And he adds, "Those who deny the covenant of works generally base their denial in part on the fact that there is no record of such a promise in the Bible. And it is perfectly true that Scripture contains no explicit promise of eternal life to Adam. … We have no definite information in Scripture respecting … this covenant [of works]." He goes on: Some Reformed teachers "question whether and in how far; the covenant of works can be considered as a thing of the past; or whether and in how far; it must be regarded as still in force." (Louis Berkhof. "Systematic Theology." 213-218)
Charles Hodge further states: the issue of God entering into this covenant of works with Adam; "this statement does not rest upon any express declaration of Scripture." (Charles Hodge. "Systematic Theology." 2:117)
James Orr well writes on the flawed hermeneutics of Covenant theology, that it creates "the idea of the Covenant as an exhaustive category, and attempts to force into it the whole material of theology, it created an artificial scheme ..." (James Orr. "The Progress of Dogma." 303-04)
Covenant theologians virtually deny the true covenants of the Bible: Abrahamic, Land and Davidic covenants, though they embrace the New covenant. (Though they goof somewhat in the way they interpret it.)
Those of the Covenant theological persuasion cannot seem to grasp the obvious biblical nature of dispensationalism. The dispensations are clearly laid out in the Bible. Even Charles Hodge admits to all of the dispensations but the last one, the dispensation of the kingdom. (See my book "Classical Evangelical Hermeneutics.") There I list the dispensations Charles Hodge admits to (chapter 10, 128-138). They are almost identical to what dispensationalists see in Scripture. And Hodge is a Covenant theologian!
In Covenant theology, the advocates virtually deny future prophecy, and the fact that God has predicted coming events in world history. In this, they go against the Word of God, and the Lord Himself! I don't know how they can do this!
The prophet Amos writes: "Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets. … The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophecy?" (Amos 3:7-8).
On Amos 3 Unger writes: "The Lord was the Author of the impending calamities foretold by His prophets. They had to comprehend the fact that if a calamity occurs in a city (Isa. 14:24-27; 45:7), that most emphatically it was the Lord who had done it." Nothing happens unless God brings it about!
Talking about man-made theology! A.A. Hodge, the son of Charles Hodge, goes even further and makes up additional titles for the Covenant of works. He says it can also be labeled the Covenant of nature or the Covenant of life! ("Outlines of Theology." 310) We dispensationalists do not have to "create" theology on our own. We take the Word of God at face value, that is, we interpret Scripture just as it is!
To show how sick the Covenant theologians are, note how A.A. Hodge mixes up the Bible and tosses verses and concepts around to try to make a point! This is just unbelievable as to how the Bible is distorted by the Covenant guys! He writes:
"The covenant with Abraham (the Abrahamic covenant) the typical believer, bearing the visible sign and seal of circumcision, and thus founding the visible church ("the church"?) as an aggregate of families. ("of families"?) This covenant continues to be the charter of the visible church to this day, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper now attached to it, signifying and sealing the benefits of the Covenant of Grace, to wit, eternal life, faith, repentance, obedience, etc., on God's part, as matters of promise; on ours as matters of duty, ..." ("Outlines." 370)
What in the world is Hodge writing about? He throws a bunch of stuff all together, mixes various covenants, tosses in church issues, etc.! This is the writing of someone who is terribly confused and does not know what he is doing with the Word of God!
Only clear biblical theology and dispensationalism makes sense, because it comes straight from the Bible. The Covenant guys cannot challenge dispensationalists because they are just too confused!
If you are being tempted to buy into Covenant theology, please send me some questions that I will answer from Scripture and not from my indigestion or heart burn! I have real trouble believing that some of you out there are holding to Covenant theology. You are blind to biblical truth, and you do not know how to just simply read the Word of God and let it speak for itself! --Dr. Mal Couch (12/10)