Covenant is an important concept in understanding the bible. Karl Barth said it was crucial in grasping the biblical narrative. James and Thomas Torrance from Scotland, provided some excellent teaching regarding a biblical covenant of grace, not being a legal covenant, rather like a business contract. No. Covenant is not a Contract.
Geoff Bingham’s book on Covenant adds a lot of good insight into the mix.
Commonly known are the Covenants made with Noah, Abraham, Israel, David and the New Covenant inaugurated by Jesus. However, is there a Universal Covenant for the human race? Peter said that God is ‘a faithful Creator’. Paul taught that he is the God, who in Christ Jesus reveals most fully, his plan to redeem creation (Romans 8).
How does the Covenant God ‘set out’ with Creation?
Geoff Bingham wrote, in “Love’s Most Glorious Covenant”, that if there is a covenant with creation, then:
“it would mean that human beings are human beings and have covenant in common long before they are Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and animists. They are of one common stock5 before they are Chinese, Japanese, French, German and British. Behind their cultural laws and taboos they have a common morality which springs from Creation and not from second thoughts about everything. We know we will never unravel the complexities of race, culture and religion but there can be much coming together—if we will—on the basis of our common created humanity.”
Regarding a universal covenant he said:
“I am suggesting in this important Preface that we need to open our eyes, refresh our thinking and alert ourselves to the fact of this Covenant of Creation. We may have had a foreshortened perspective of history and so of God, Man and Creation. We may have missed much that pertains to hope—the kind of hope which would make much sense of past history and of the history that is moving towards a universal climax. If so, it is possible that our study of God’s Covenant of Creation may not only supply hitherto missing pieces of a puzzle, but understanding that Covenant may show us history is, in fact, not a puzzle to be solved. The humble in spirit are not baffled by the mystery of God. They live in that mystery and know what is what.”
Reading the book is a task well worth the effort.
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