The Fundamentals of New Covenant Theology
Part 7: NCT Described (I)
“NCT is a developing system of theology that strives to provide a more accurate way to interpret the Scriptures by questioning key theological presuppositions which undergird the principles of interpretation (hermeneutics) that exist in both Covenant Theology (CT) and Dispensational Theology (DT). NCT is based upon a redemptive history approach to understanding the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose on earth. Its Christotelic Hermeneutic with Christ as the focus “in all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:27) is based upon a biblical theology that stresses the theology of the Bible itself.” (Long, New Covenant Theology, NCT Described [http://www.ptsco.org/NCT%20Brochoure%20Text%202013.pdf])
During the period of 1977 to 1980, New Covenant Theology began to emerge as a developing theological system through the diligent labors of such men as John Reisinger and Gary D. Long. This eclectic theological system endeavors to break down the walls of doctrinal partition between Dispensational Theology and Covenant Theology for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. New Covenant Theology seeks to accomplish this goal by incorporating what it considers to be the strengths of both systems while at the same time questioning those presuppositions which it considers to be inconsistent with the teaching of the Bible. The theological presuppositions which New Covenant Theology calls into question will be elucidated in subsequent posts of this particular blog series. As a system, New Covenant Theology endeavors to exemplify the Reformation principle of “semper reformanda” (Latin: “always reforming”) in its pursuit to further refine and purify its understanding of Scripture and orthodox Christian theology.
New Covenant Theology zealously seeks to understand the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose via a redemptive historical approach. In other words, New Covenant Theology strives to discern and uphold the biblical discontinuity-continuity tension of the history of redemption – a history which is advanced through the enactment and fulfillment of the biblical covenants. New Covenant Theology also stresses biblical theology, which can be defined in the following manner:
…biblical theology may be defined as theological interpretation of Scripture in and for the church. It proceeds with historical and literary sensitivity and seeks to analyze and synthesize the Bible’s teaching about God and his relations to the world on its own terms, maintaining sight of the Bible’s overarching narrative and Christocentric focus.
It is upon this approach to the Scriptures which New Covenant Theology bases its Christotelic (or Christocentric) hermeneutic.
Brian S. Rosner, “Biblical Theology,” in New Dictionary of Biblical Theology: Exploring the Unity & Diversity of Scripture, ed. T. Desmond Alexander, Brian S. Rosner, Donald A. Carson, and Graeme Goldsworthy (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 10.