Questions Which Reveal Whether One Is A Covenant Theologian

Jerald Finney
Copyright © November 22, 2015

Note. See Dispensational Theology versus Covenant Theology as well as the first four sections of God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application for an accurate explanation (not the perversions of the doctrine which many follow) of the origin, definition, etc. of the term “Dispensational Theology.”

3This short article gives questions to help the knowledgeable believer and the believer who wishes to become knowledgeable determine what he believes and why; specifically whether he is a Covenant Theologian, a Dispensational Theologian (both as defined in the article above) or some variation thereof.

Many more questions could be added, but these few will help one determine whether he believes Covenant Theology or some aspects of that theology. One who answers all the questions “yes” is a Covenant Theologian. Should you answer some questions yes and some questions no, you have inconsistent and mutually exclusive beliefs. Some of these questions are rather difficult and you may not be able to answer them with your present knowledge and understanding of the Bible and theology. If so, just skip those questions and answer the ones you do understand.

  1. Do you believe that the rules for church and state and for the Jewish religion-state are the same?
  2. Do you make important dispensational distinctions even though you view them as related to the unifying and underlying Covenant of Grace?
  3. Do you see the present struggle between good and evil terminated by the beginning of eternity at which point there will come catastrophe and divine judgment?
  4. Do you believe that the unifying principle for the philosophy of history is the Covenant of Grace?
  5. Do you believe that the redemption of the elect plus many other programs are all parts of God’s purpose for history?
  6. Are you convinced that Israel and the church are essentially the same?
  7. Do you believe in a nonliteral interpretation of Scripture, especially when interpreting prophecy?
  8. Are you amillennial?
  9. Do you believe that the church/state union (a one world church/state) will be achieved and will succeed in bringing peace to the earth before the return of Christ?
  10. Do you believe that the ultimate purpose of history is the glory of God through the redemption of the elect?
  11. Do you develop the Bible’s philosophy of history on the basis of two or three covenants: the Covenant of Redemption (some covenant theologians do not include this covenant), the Covenant of Works, and the Covenant of Grace? [Note. One definition of “philosophy of history” is “a systematic interpretation of universal history in accordance with a principle by which historical events and successions are unified and directed toward ultimate meaning.” Of course, that definition requires some thinking to understand. If you wish to know whether you are or are not a Covenant Theologian, you should be able to understand it.]
  12. Do you believe that person who is a child of the regenerate is a member of the Covenant of Grace even if he does not enter into the communion of life aspect through a confession of faith?
  13. Have you divided postfall history into two dispensations, the Mosaic dispensation sometimes called the “Old Covenant,” and the Christian dispensation, usually called the “New Covenant”?
  14. Do you believe that the Covenant of Grace, although administration of that covenant differed between the dispensations, exists throughout these dispensations?
  15. Do you believe that each of the biblical covenants is a continuation and newer phase of the Covenant of Grace?
  16. Do you believe in dual covenants? (I.e., that the Covenant of Works required obedience for salvation. According to the Covenant of Grace one could only be saved by faith in Christ.)
  17. If your answer to 16 was “yes” then is the Covenant of Works still in effect?
  18. Do you believe that God’s commands are “too severe even for Adam in innocency, and that grace[, through the covenant of circumcision and its successor, baptism,] gives an exemption from that severity,” under the Covenant of Grace?
  19. Do you believe that the local church should be made up of both those who are under the Covenant of Works as well as those who are under the Covenant of Grace?
  20. Do you believe that all in society should be forced to be members of a church which is united with and supported by the state?
  21. Do you believe in infant baptism?
  22. Do you believe in union of church and state?
  23. Do you believe in enforcing all the Ten Commandments?
  24. Do you believe in executing those who do not agree with your theology, at least outwardly?
  25. Do you believe in forcing all to attend the established church?

These matters are most important because the road to religious freedom without persecution in America was a story of the conflict between opposing Bible beliefs and practices – between the persecutors (Covenant Theologians such as the Anglicans and the Puritans or Congregationalists) and the persecuted. Because the same theologies are at war today, a believer actively engaged in spiritual warfare should make sure he is fighting according to knowledge, understanding, and wisdom on all fronts and especially on the front of accurate Bible teaching.

Knowing the answer to this question is vital to spiritual warfare.
Knowing the answer to this question is vital to spiritual warfare.

The history without the theologies involved is incomplete and inadequate. The battle between false theology and truth is still raging. To side with the false in even some areas dishonors our Lord and leads to bad consequences. It is better to fight for right no matter what, but so doing without knowing and teaching the reasons for the fight and the Bible precepts behind the war, and exposing lies and false theologies does not fully glorify God. Failure of God’s soldiers to proclaim all truth contributes to the cause of those who are pushing spiritual lies. All believers should seek to be in God’s perfect will even though one knows that he will never perfectly achieve such a thing.

As is obvious from a reading of Dispensational Theology versus Covenant Theology as well as God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application, those Baptists who led the charge for religious freedom were well studied in their beliefs, exposed the doctrines and practices of their Covenant Theology adversaries, and very articulately published their positions. Let us look to our examples, those historic Baptists who stood for truth and followed the teachings of the Bible no matter the cost.

Questions Which Reveal Whether One Is A Dispensationalist Plus Some Relevant Facebook Comments

Jerald Finney
Copyright © November 22, 2015

Covenant, as opposed to dispensational, theologians believe there are only 2 or 3 covenants in the Bible.
Covenant, as opposed to dispensational, theologians believe there are only 2 or 3 covenants in the Bible.

Note. See Dispensational Theology versus Covenant Theology as well as the first four sections of God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application for an accurate explanation (not the perversions of the doctrine which many follow) of the origin, definition, etc. of the term “Dispensational Theology.”

This short article gives 14 questions; many more could be added, but these few are adequate for one to determine whether he is a dispensationalist. One who answers one question “yes” is a dispensationalist.

  1. Do you believe in separation of church and state?
  2. Do you believe that God did not ordain civil government before the fall? Government, in its most simple terms means, direction and control.
  3. Do you believe that, after the fall and before the flood, God told mankind not to exert direction and control over another man (not to take vengeance against another – one who had murdered someone)?
  4. Do you believe that, at the flood, God instructed man to take direction and control over others by killing one who murders another whereas God had before instructed man not to take vengeance?
  5. Do you believe that God called out Abraham to establish a people (a nation unto Himself)?
  6. Do you believe that Abraham obeyed God, and that, as a result, a nation distinct from all others came into being?
  7. Do you believe that the Ten Commandments given by God to the Israelites changed the way God dealt with the Israelites as a nation (not as to individual salvation)?
  8. Do you believe that God combined religion and state in establishing the theocracy of Israel? Note. Of course, all heathen nations have always combined pagan religion and state, but not according to the directive of God.
  9. Do you believe that Israel was to proceed as a theocracy under God whereas the Gentile nations were to continue to proceed under God’s plan established at the flood?
  10. Do you believe that God ordained something new, the church, as recorded in the New Testament?
  11. Do you believe that God gave directions to the New Testament church which are different from those directions he gave to the nation Israel and the Jewish religion?
  12. Do you believe that the New Testament teaches that churches are to be entirely separate from the civil government? Note. God desires all nations to choose to operate under Him, but does not force them to do so. One nation under God is not the same thing as union of church and state. The church is not God, and God, not the religion was over the Old Testament “church” and the nation Israel. See God Betrayed, especially Section IV; or, for a shorter explanation see Is Separation of Church and State Found in the Constitution?
  13. Do you believe that Christ will establish the millennial kingdom?
  14. Do you believe in a literal interpretation of Scripture?
One depending upon God's directives revealed by the Apostle Paul will, of course, study and teach the relevant doctrines of both the Old and New Testaments.
One depending upon God’s directives revealed by the Apostle Paul will, of course, study and teach the relevant doctrines of both the Old and New Testaments.

One who answers any one of the above questions “yes” and still denies that he is a dispensationalist does not understand dispensationalism or may have, in his understanding of Scripture, combined elements of two or more opposing and mutually exclusive understandings of the Bible such as covenant theology and dispensational theology. There are perversions of dispensationalism such as “hyperdispensationalism” which should be exposed, not by demeaning the correct teaching of dispensationalism, but rather by exposing the errors. A correct understanding of dispensationalism is nothing more than a correct understanding of the Bible.

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110215 Letter to Minneapolis Officials CMRRR

Jerald C. Finney
Mail: P.O. Box 1346 ; Austin TX 78767
Office : 700 Lavaca, Suite 1400, Austin TX
Phone (512) 785-8445 (C) ; 512-808-5529 (O) ; 512-385-0761 (H)
E-MAIL:
 jerald.finney@sbcglobal.net
Website : « Separation of Church and State Law » (opbcbibletrust.wordpress.com)

11/02/15

Mailed CMRRR 11/02/15:

Mayor Betsy Hodges
350 S. 5th St., Room 331
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Phone: (612) 673-2100
RE:  Update.

Note. A list of all officials to whom this letter was mailed CMRRR is at the bottom.

Dear Mayor Hodges:

I am happy to report that men from Old Paths Baptist Church went to Minneapolis on October 31, 2015 and preached in the public forum in Dinkeytown and outside the University of Minnesota Stadium. The following was my facebook question and the response of Pastor Jason Cooley concerning that matter:

110115_ReportOnDinketownStreetPreachingOn103115

The men of OPBC want to thank you for any part you may have had in enforcing the law correctly. Again, it is their desire to have a positive relationship with all Minneapolis officials as well as with the citizens of Minneapolis. Those who oppose what they say share the same rights and protections afforded by American law.

This update and letter is being linked to online at:

https://opbcbibletrust.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/opbc-street-preachers-actions-against-university-of-minnesota-peace-officer-who-acted-unlawfully/

Thanks again and feel free to contact me for any reason.

Very truly yours,

Jerald Finney
Jcf

PS: Attached is a copy of the e-mail letter sent you on 10/30/15.

The above letter with attachment was sent CMRRR on 110215 with correct header info. to each of the following:

David Wilske
Patrol Lieutenant for the University of Minnesota Police Department
511 Washington Ave. SE
Suite No. 1
Minneapolis MN 55455
wilsk001@umn.edu

Janeé Harteau
Chief of Police
350 South 5 th Street
Room 130
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1389
612-673-3559
Fax: 612-673-2613
E-mail: 
police@minneapolismn.gov

Inspector Katherine Waite
Commander of the 2nd Precinct
1911 Central Avenue N.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 673-5702
Fax (612) 370-3885
police@ci.minneapolis.mn.us

Mayor Betsy Hodges
350 S. 5th St., Room 331
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Phone: (612) 673-2100

City Attorney (Called but the answerer could not give me the name of the city attorney-gave me the e-mail address below)
City Hall, Room 210
350 S. 5th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 673-2010
policereview@minneapolismn.gov

Ward 2 – Cam Gordon
350 S. 5th St., Room 307
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 673-2202
cam.gordon@minneapolismn.gov