Equipping The Generations: “Kingdom Through Covenant” And Sexuality: Being Human And Promoting Social Justice -- By: Peter J. Gentry
Journal: Journal of Discipleship and Family Ministry
Volume: JDFM 03:1 (Fall 2012)
Article: Equipping The Generations: “Kingdom Through Covenant” And Sexuality: Being Human And Promoting Social Justice
Author: Peter J. Gentry
JDFM 3:1 (Fall 2012) p. 92
Equipping The Generations: “Kingdom Through Covenant”
And Sexuality: Being Human And Promoting Social Justice
Peter J. Gentry (Ph.D., University of Toronto) is professor of Old Testament interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he brings an expansive knowledge of the biblical languages to his teaching. Before coming to Southern, he served on the faculty of Toronto Baptist Seminary and Bible College. Dr. Gentry is coauthor of the much-anticipated Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants (Crossway). He has given presentations to groups such as the International Organization for the Study of Old Testament and the Society of Biblical Literature. He is currently editing the texts of Ecclesiastes and Proverbs for the Gottingen Septuagint Series as well as providing leadership for the Hexapla Institute.
This brief essay considers the main thesis of the book, Kingdom through Covenant and the relation of that thesis to human sexuality.1
Down through the centuries, indeed from the start, God has sought to establish covenant relationships with humanity in general and also with particular individuals and nations. Why does he do this? The answer given in Kingdom through Covenant is that he does this because this is who he is in himself.
The Bible teaches that God is a tri-unity: there is only one supreme being, and yet within the being of this one God we can speak of three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The relationship of Father to Son and Son to Father, in the communion of the Holy Spirit is a relationship of devoted love, faithfulness, obedience, and trust. There is complete faithfulness and loyalty; there is truth and trust—all the characteristics of a covenant relationship. God wants to have precisely this kind of relationship with us because that is who he is in himself.
Since we are made as the image of this God, i.e. to mirror this God, we ourselves are hard-wired in the deepest part of our beings to exist in covenant relationships, not only vertically in our relationship with the creator God, but horizontally with all his creatures— including other humans. God has established certain covenant communities in which we are designed to live and function. The first one we experience is the family. All human beings come from one man and one woman. Another that we can experience is marriage (one man and one woman in a relationship dissolved only by death—why this is so, we shall see later). If a person becomes a follower of Jesus Christ, he becomes part of a third covenant community, the people of the new creation...
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