Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 152:605 (Jan 1995)
Article: Periodical Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Periodical Reviews

“Current Messianic Activity and OT Davidic Promise: Dispensationalism, Hermeneutics, and NT Fulfillment,” Darrell L. Bock, Trinity Journal 15 NS (1994): 55-87.

Bock is one of the leading spokesmen of the group of scholars promoting what they call “progressive dispensationalism.” Although “distinctions are still argued for vigorously” (p. 57), “this ‘revised’ form of dispensationalism came to see more continuity in the plan of God. The distinctions were less severely drawn than in some earlier forms” (p. 57), but it still maintains “a clear distinction between Israel and the church” (p. 57).

The focus of Bock’s discussion, both in this article and in a previous essay (“The Reign of the Lord Christ,” in Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church, ed. Craig A. Blaising and Darrell L. Bock [Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992]), is on the Davidic Covenant and its fulfillment in the ministry of Christ in the past, present, and future. As Bock asks, “Does Jesus actively reign today, and if so in what sense?” (p. 58). Bock argues that Jesus does reign today on David’s throne. He insists that “Jesus’ mediating work of sending the Spirit is evidence that he sits on the throne promised to David’s seed, exercising messianic authority and rule” (p. 76; cf. pp. 75, 77).

Bock makes it clear that this present reigning of Jesus on David’s throne is only an initial fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant, not a total fulfillment. “Fulfillment of the Davidic promise in this new formulation of the ‘already/not yet’ tension sees both a present and a future fulfillment centered in Christ. Jesus is the hub of fulfillment, and his future position as King of Israel, reigning from Zion over all the earth, will fulfill the central role given to Israel in God’s kingdom and covenant plan” (p. 70).

Essential to Bock’s position is connecting the fulfillment of the New Covenant (and its promise of the indwelling Spirit) with the Davidic Covenant. So far as Israel is concerned, the fulfillment of the New Covenant will occur in conjunction with the establishing of the future messianic kingdom on earth. As a result, especially in speaking to Jewish audiences in the Book of Acts, it is related to Jesus’ identity

as the promised Son of David. However, the original prophecies of the New Covenant (Jer 31:31–34; Ezek 36:25–28) are identified with the promises of “the Lord” and “the Lord God” rather than those of the future Davidic King and His blessings. Furthermore in the New Testament the New ...

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