Posts Tagged With: covenant theology

Meredith Kline’s Covenantal Dissonance

Although Kline wants to restrict the works principle to Israel’s inheritance of Canaan and associated temporal blessings, he considers these as typological of the blessings of the covenant of grace.  These blessings, received by us through grace, are founded on Christ’s meritorious obedience to the covenant of works as the second Adam.  Let us suppose for a moment that this was so. If this argument is correct, the archetypal blessings of salvation in Christ would be received by grace through faith, as Kline acknowledges, but Israel would receive the typological blessings, such as Canaan, by meritorious law-keeping according to the works principle.  These, Kline has stated, are two alternative, antithetical ways of inheritance.  But a type corresponds to the antitype.  If the one is a type of the other, we conclude either that the blessings of the covenant of grace are received by law-keeping on the part of the recipients – in which covenant were to be received by grace, which undermines Kline’s argument.  The only other possibilities are either that law and grace work together, in distinct ways, or that the typical relationship is untenable; in both cases the argument is undermined.

Robert Letham, “Not a Covenant of Works in Disguise”, Mid-America Journal of Theology, vol. 24, 2013.

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Jesus Foretells the Restoration of Israel in Acts 1:8

Acts 1:6-8 6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.



In Acts 1:6, Jesus disciples ask him when the Kingdom of Israel will be restored. They are anticipating the fulfillment of the OT prophets like David, Isaiah and Jeremiah who prophesied of the future restoration of the Kingdom in the last days (from their perspective.) Jesus’ answer points them to look forward to Pentecost. He tells them, “ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (v. 8) This is in direct answer to their question. Jesus is telling that when the Holy Ghost comes upon them, that will be the restoration of the kingdom of Israel. This is what happened at Pentecost a few weeks later (Acts 2:1ff.) The kingdom of Israel was restored in the form of the Church of Jesus Christ, which was inaugurated at the event of Pentecost, when the Spirit of God descended on the church and empowered her to go to all the world and preach the message of the kingdom of God. This church of Jesus Christ is the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel as prophesied by the Old Testament Prophets. We, the church of Jesus Christ, are the restored Kingdom of Israel, commissioned by God to go forth and conquer the nations through the preaching of the gospel, by the power of his Spirit. Jesus’ disciples were not wrong to expect the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel soon after Christ’s resurrection, though the way in which Israel’s restoration came at Pentecost may have surprised them.

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