Home. Quotes Piquantes. Personal. Shorter Writings. My Books.

Book Review

Continuity and DiscontinuityRelationship between the testaments

Evangelical Christians tend to be broadly either covenantal or dispensational in their theological scheme. (For myself, I'm covenantal to the hilt.) The difference lies chiefly in what degree of continuity they see between the two testaments.

This book explores the two approaches, with essays by adherents of each scheme. It is Continuity And Discontinuity: Perspectives on the relationship between the Old and New Testaments by S.L. Johnson & J.S. Feinberg, eds. (Crossway, 1988. ISBN 978-0-8910-7468-7). The various contributors apply their scheme to such issues as the Law, the kingdom of God, the nature of Israel and the interpretation of prophecy. In fact the whole volume is a study of the two main hermeneutical schemes.

This book is available both in print and in the Logos/Libronix software format.

Philip's question to the Ethiopian eunuch [was]: 'Do you understand what you are reading?'...Philip’s answer was to point the Ethiopian to Christ. Here is where the enigma of the OT might be understood. In the end that has been the church’s answer to the relation between the Testaments. (p16)

Ladd argues that reinterpreting the OT in the light of the Christ event merely follows the habit of NT writers who do the same. (p73)

Nondispensationalists begin with NT teaching as having priority, and then go back to the OT. Dispensationalists often begin with the OT, but wherever they begin they demand that the OT be taken on its own terms rather than reinterpreted in the light of the NT. (p74)

That the law as given through Moses contained so many detailed instructions reflects the fact that God’s people were then in their infancy. The students have now advanced to a stage where they are ready to convert rules into principles, or rather to discover the principles that underlay the rules from the very beginning. (p189)

While it is granted that the prophecies concerning Israel’s future are largely couched in language that suggests an earthly realization of salvation, it should be remembered that the prophets, in order to be understood by the people of their own time, would naturally embody their thoughts and revelations in such language. (p232)

All Christians, be they Jewish or not, are the Israel of God. (p234)

Lewis Johnson, Jr. wrote: 'The use of the Old Testament in the New is the key to the solution of the problem of hermeneutics. Unfortunately that has been overlooked, but surely, if the apostles are reliable teachers of biblical doctrine, then they are reliable instructors in the science of hermeneutics.' (p264)

After Pentecost, when the Spirit was given to “guide you [the apostles] into all truth … and … tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13), and to “bring glory to me [Christ] by taking from what is mine and making it known to you” (v. 14), not one clear NT passage mentions the restoration of Israel as a political nation or predicts an earthly reign of Christ before his final appearing. None depicts the consummate glory of Christ as an earthly king ruling over the restored nation of Israel. The Spirit’s silence is deafening. (p272)

Retrogression from the surpassing antitype to the shadows at the end of history would have God walk backward and would draw an abhorrent veil over the glory of Christ and his church now revealed. (p278)

Previous. Next.

Buy hard copy

Buy for Kindle

(not available)

Continuity & Discontinuity

Go to top of page for Twitter and Facebook buttons >>>