The Bible’s Storyline How It Affects The Doctrine Of Salvation -- By: Heather A. Kendall

Journal: Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry
Volume: JBTM 08:1 (Spring 2011)
Article: The Bible’s Storyline How It Affects The Doctrine Of Salvation
Author: Heather A. Kendall


The Bible’s Storyline
How It Affects The Doctrine Of Salvation

Heather A. Kendall

Ms. Kendall is an Honours Bachelor of Arts Graduate of York University author of A Tale of Two Kingdoms and a member of New Life Fellowship Baptist Church in Innisfil, Ontario.

Why is it so difficult for evangelical Christians to agree on the biblical storyline? Scripture is no different from other stories. It must have a beginning, middle, and end, determined by its author. Readers must not try to write God’s story for him. As Baptists we should willingly accept the Bible’s storyline. Consequently, why are there conflicting views among Baptists?

Evangelicals teach three different storylines: Covenant Theology, Dispensational Theology, and New Covenant Theology. Covenant theologians and Dispensationalists have argued with each other for years; neither considered whether both could be wrong. They believe New Covenant Theology to be a modern error.

For many years I thought underlying assumptions were the primary cause of theological disputes. But I now realize how much history has influenced the assumptions of modern day theologians. Those assumptions in turn affect the doctrine of salvation.

Therefore I shall compare the history, beliefs, and underlying assumptions of Covenant Theology and New Covenant Theology. I shall also discuss the implications of their assumptions on the doctrine of salvation. Specifically, how does their message of salvation affect the eternal destiny of non-believers? Afterward I shall conclude with the New Testament interpretation of God’s covenants with Abraham, Moses and the New Covenant promised in Jeremiah 31.

Covenant Theology

The roots of Covenant Theology go back to the beginning of time. Since the formation of city-states, government and religion have joined together. Christian Roman emperors continued the practice. Having been raised a devout Catholic, Martin Luther firmly believed in the union of church and state. When he nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the Wittenberg Church door on October 31, 1517, he changed the world forever. It was the birth of Protestantism. Although Luther preached salvation by faith alone, he never changed his attitude toward the union of church and state. Other Reformers maintained the same position. Thus the coalition of government and religion continued in Protestant countries as well as in Catholic ones.

The Puritans were second generation Reformers in England. At first they attempted to reform the church from within, but eventually they separated from the state church. yet they still believed in the un...

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