Well, this week I finished The Newness of the New Covenant (TNNC) by A. Blake White (aka, "B-Dub"). What is interesting about this book, like last post with Broken Walls, is that I know the author personally--he's okay. I lived with him for a time in college. He was at my wedding and I his. We now sit in class together at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and I have seen his study up close and can testify to his diligence and affirm his competence in writing his first book.
So, without further ado:
What is This Book About?
Mr. White's book provides a concise, 57-page (20 pages if you remove the footnotes) framework for understanding New Covenant theology by focusing on "the six major divine-human covenants" (3). One of the most important elements of seeing the big picture of the Biblical story is by understanding the function of covenant in the Bible. One's understanding of the nature of God's covenants is one of the primary factors in determining one's overall theological orientation (Presbyterian, Baptist, Dispensational, etc.). He states, "While covenant should not be considered the center of biblical theology, it is an important theological theme that illustrates at least one significant way in which the Bible's numerous and diverse voices unite with beautiful harmony" (4). From that basis, Blake defines the term "covenant" and then moves on to survey the covenant with creation, with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and finally the New Covenant. Ultimately, "the NT presents Christ as fulfilling all the promises of God in their initial stage" (27), and, "Christ . . . by his life, death, resurrection, and ascension, ratified the radically new covenant, which all the other covenants anticipated and foreshadowed" (28). Key New Testament texts from the Gospels, Paul, and Hebrews are examined as evidence for the newness of the New Covenant under Jesus' reign. TNNC argues that one's understanding of the New Covenant "has significant implications for the nature of the church," namely, "the new covenant community, by definition, is a believing community" (56).
This book is a great intro to New Covenant theology. Every one needs a helpful starting point to understanding complex theological issues. TNNC was that for me. Blake is clear and accessible and does not write in an esoteric way. Though his book is not lengthy, it is full of meaty content that will send you to your Bible for hours of study. I guess if you want anything out of your first book, it's that.
Good job, B.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions?
On deck, Part II of Broken Walls.