Hermeneutical Ramifications Of Applying The New Covenant To The Church: An Appeal To Consistency1 -- By: Christopher B. Cone

Journal: Journal of Dispensational Theology
Volume: JODT 013:40 (Dec 2009)
Article: Hermeneutical Ramifications Of Applying The New Covenant To The Church: An Appeal To Consistency1
Author: Christopher B. Cone


Hermeneutical Ramifications Of Applying The New Covenant To The Church: An Appeal To Consistency1

Christopher B. Cone, Th.D, Ph.D

President, Professor of Bible & Theology,

Tyndale Theological Seminary;

Pastor, Tyndale Bible Church, Ft. Worth, TX

In his very thorough assessment of the development of replacement theology in the history of the church, Ronald Diprose recognized that misunderstanding the role of Israel in God’s plan has a ripple effect on every aspect of theology. He said, “ . . . ecclesiology and eschatology are not the only areas of Christian theology to have been affected by the Church’s views concerning Israel. In fact, the omission of Israel in Christian theology has had detrimental, yet deterministic effects on a wide variety of theological issues.”2 He concluded with even greater emphasis. “Failure to reflect seriously on Israel in light of the relevant biblical data has serious consequences for the entire enterprise of Christian theology. It was the neglect of relevant biblical data concerning the place of Israel in God’s plan which permitted replacement theology to develop during the early centuries of the Christian era.”3

As Diprose correctly observed, one can trace much faulty doctrine to the improper interpreting of the biblical teaching regarding the nation of Israel. This faulty doctrine often, though not always, manifests itself in the behavior of believers. Arnold Fruchtenbaum stated even further when he (correctly) asserted that while replacement theology does not cause anti-Semitism, the two are not uncomfortable with one another.4 The history of the church at times reflects a storied distortion of God’s plan for Israel and at other times the revolting consequences of such distortions. Theological method results in theological conclusions, and theological conclusions generally give origin in their likeness to the fruit of behavior.

In an evenhanded consideration of dispensational conclusions one must turn to the devices that derive the conclusions. Has a purity of method necessary for the accurate interpretation of Scripture been maintained or has one fallen prey to devices he would otherwise consider wholly inadequate? The answer is directly evidenced in understanding how the new covenant will be fulfilled. Be certain that this matter of the new covenant and the nation with whom He made it remains no small concern to God, as He indicates that the fixed order of...

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