Tuesday, February 28, 2006

NCT Explained Through Football Imagery (Part 2)

The game finally begins in earnest and your anticipation soars. As the game progresses, someone comes to your seat from time to time and gives you additions to the program. These additions do not replace your program, but they provide more detailed information as the game progresses and are useful in understanding why things occur in the game the way they do. They help you to see more clearly what is happening at every point of the game; God has made for Himself a physical people, Israel, and is settling them in a physical land, Palestine (Exodus 19:1-8). These additions to the original program are not provided all at once, but are given to you little by little as the game progresses. In our allegory, the additions to the program at this point in the game are the Old Testament scriptures, which are not given to you all at once, but are provided in small portions over time as the game progresses (Hebrews 1:1). Soon, you have in your possession a large number of additions to the original program and as you sort through them, you realize that there has been no activity on the field for quite some time. Likewise, no one has come to your seat with more additions to the program in quite some time. Following a lengthy delay, you begin to wonder if the game is over. While musing over whether or not the game is finished, an announcer comes over the PA system proclaiming the start of the second half of the game. At such an announcement, your interest is peaked because until this point, you had no idea that the game was going to be played in two halves. The additions to the program you’ve received so far haven’t been clear enough to lead you to that conclusion.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

NCT Explained Through Football Imagery (part 1)

Geoff Volker, from the In-depth Studies website, has graciously allowed me to post this. I have found the imagery contained in The Big Picture: How Scipture Fits Together helpful in understanding New Covenant Theology and I want to break it up into different parts. It is written by Geoff Volker and Mike Adams (the "I" in the footnote). Here is part 1.

The Big Picture: How Scripture Fits Together

The Game

It’s game day![1] As you approach the crowded stadium you are handed a program that explains the overall plan for the big game. The program is not exhaustive and it doesn’t provide every detail of the game, but it gives you enough information to understand that there will be a game. In our allegory, the program represents the Abrahamic Covenant and it tells you in very simple terms what God is going to do in the game. He is going to save a people and bring them into a land. In our allegory, the game is redemptive history.

After you have entered the stadium and made your way to your seat, the first thing you notice is the field where the game will be played. In our analogy the field represents the earth. You were guaranteed that the field would be there because of the Noahic Covenant (Genesis 9:8-17), which was God’s guarantee that there would be a place to play the game. The field is intact because God made a covenant with Noah in which He stated that He would never again destroy the earth as long as the game is being played. As you sit in your seat pondering these things, the pre-game preparation begins. The game has not yet begun as outlined in the program, the Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 15:1-21), but the pre-game preparation is vital to the success of the game. In our analogy, the pre-game is the book of Genesis. In the pre-game, God is preparing both the field and the players for the game. He is sovereignly moving the players where they need to be in order to fulfill the promise made to Abraham to save a people and bring them into a land. Again, the game is redemptive history as revealed in the program, the Abrahamic covenant.

[1] This analogy of redemptive history to a football game is not original. I first heard it from Geoff Volker and while we were in Minsk, Belarus together in May of 2001, we developed it to the point where I believe it is an effective tool in illustrating what God is doing in redemptive history. It is not without flaw, but I believe it does illustrate God’s plan to save a people as revealed in scripture.