Responses Rejoinder To Review Of “ Kingdom Through Covenant” -- By: Peter J. Gentry

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 76:2 (Fall 2014)
Article: Responses Rejoinder To Review Of “ Kingdom Through Covenant”
Author: Peter J. Gentry

Rejoinder To Review Of “
Kingdom Through Covenant”

Peter J. Gentry


Stephen J. Wellum

The contribution of Westminster Theological Seminary and her publications to the larger evangelical church are immense and deeply appreciated. Personally speaking, although we are Baptists in our ecclesiology, our indebtedness to Westminster and the Reformed tradition is profound. Obviously, given our differences, we disagree with some aspects of covenant theology, even though we are convinced that the progression of the biblical covenants serves as the backbone to the entire storyline of Scripture. In fact, for slightly different reasons than for covenant theologians, we contend that unless one grasps correctly how the biblical covenants unfold God’s eternal plan and find their fulfillment in Christ, we will inevitably misinterpret Scripture and make various theological mistakes. Yet, with that said, our overall agreement with Reformed theology is more than our disagreement, and it was our delight to hear that WTJ was going to publish a review of our work, Kingdom through Covenant (KTC).

Fully expecting a robust discussion and theological pushback on the ecclesiological issues that divide us, and wanting to engage in constructive dialogue in order to advance theological debate among us, what we did not expect were charges which were at best misleading, and at worse, simply false. Since the publication of our work, some of these charges have been stated in various blogs (to which, given the nature of blogs, we have not responded), but when these misleading charges are now published in such an esteemed publication as WTJ, it is necessary to set the record straight.

Jonathan Brack and Jared Oliphint, in their review of KTC,1 make a number of misleading charges. For example, they charge us with “lack of breadth in covering covenantal thinkers” (p. 196), even though they admit that such lack “may not affect their overall argument” (p. 196)—which is precisely the case,

especially on the specific issues discussed, where covenant theology, despite its differences, makes the same ecclesiological points. They claim that we contradict one another when Gentry calls Israel the “last Adam” and Wellum says that only Christ is the last Adam (see p. 199), without considering how Gentry is using the language differently in his context and how Wellum is providing the overall theological summary. They charge Wellum with teaching two different rebirths of the Spirit (p. 204), which is simply false. Furthermore, Brac...

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