The Messiah and the Covenants of Israel - Bryan W. Sheldon
Published by Gospel Folio Press, 304 Killaly St. West, Port Colborne, ON, Canada L3K 6A6.
Available in UK from John Ritchie Ltd.
In the introduction the author asserts that ‘One of the great foundation blocks of a healthy relationship between God and humankind is His righteousness’ and, because God is righteous, ‘He says what He means and means what He says’ at no time needing to ‘reverse or cancel His promises’, something the writer suggests ‘is especially true in regard to the utterances of the Lord that have covenant status’.
The opening chapter demonstrates that central to a right understanding of the covenants is a recognition that God is working all things out for His own glory, and only as we appreciate that can we place into perspective the different economies employed by God in His dealings with men. Five covenants are considered: the Abrahamic; Mosaic; Land; Davidic; and New Covenant, two chapters being devoted to each. A particular focus of these chapters is the way in which the latter four covenants relate to the initial Abrahamic covenant. Six chapters are then devoted to a consideration of the Messiah and the covenants, and that only through Him can each one have its fulfilment. The book concludes with three chapters considering the relationship of the church to the New and Abrahamic covenants with a clear affirmation that the church has not replaced Israel in regard to the outworking of divine purpose.
There is a misprint at the very beginning in that all quotations are said to be from the ‘King James Version unless otherwise stated’. In reality they are taken from the ‘New King James Version’. The reviewer is very unhappy with the writer’s choice of language in connection with the Incarnation, describing it as ‘God being made in man’s image’, and also felt that some comments regarding the New Covenant and its relation to Jew and Gentile in the present age (pg. 140) were somewhat misleading. But despite those few reservations this is a most interesting and helpful book and the author has to be commended for taking up a subject that is, sadly, frequently neglected today. It is well worth the modest price.
[Our thanks to Richard Catchpole, South Norwood, England, for this review]