New Review Book: Covenant and God’s Purpose for the World – T. Schreiner

I recently requested and received two more review books from Crossway Publishers. Today I feature one of them.

The title is Covenant and God’s Purpose for the World by Thomas R. Schreiner, who is “the James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and associate dean of the school of theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.” This new book belongs to a new series produced by Crossway – “Short Studies in Biblical Theology” (cf. my earlier reference to Work and Our Labor in the Lord by James M. Hamilton, Jr.).

About this book the publisher has this summary:

“Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.” Genesis 17:4

Throughout the Bible, God has related to his people through covenants. It is through these covenant relationships, which collectively serve as the foundation for God’s promise to bring redemption to his people, that we can understand the advancement of his kingdom. This book walks through six covenants from Genesis to Revelation, helping us grasp the overarching narrative of Scripture and see the salvation God has planned for us since the beginning of time—bolstering our faith in God and giving us hope for the future.

The author opens his “Introduction” with this statement about the significance of “covenant” in the Bible:

Covenant is one of the most important words in the Bible since it introduces one of the central theological themes in Scripture. Some scholars have even argued that covenant is the center of Scripture, the theme that integrates the message of the entire Bible. I am not convinced that covenant is the center of Scripture. Indeed, the idea that the Scriptures have one center is probably mistaken. Still, we can rightly say that covenant is one of the most important notions in the Bible.

A few pages later the author launches into his definition of covenant, one that has favorable elements:

…Covenant can be defined as follows: a covenant is a chosen relationship in which two parties make binding promises to each other.

…First, a covenant is a relationship, and that sets it apart from a contract. Contracts also contain promises and obligations, but they are impersonal and nonrelational. Covenants stand apart from contracts because the promises are made in a relational context. We are not surprised to learn, then, that marriage in the Scriptures is described as a covenant (Prov.2:17; Mal.2:14). In marriage a husband and a wife choose to enter a covenant relationship, and they make binding promises to each other, pledging lifelong loyalty and faithfulness [p.13].

There’s much more, of course, but we will pause here for today. The website gives the following as the contents:


  1. The Covenant of Creation
  2. The Covenant with Noah
  3. The Covenant with Abraham
  4. The Covenant with Israel
  5. The Covenant with David
  6. The New Covenant

For Further Reading
General Index
Scripture Index

If you are interested in reviewing this little book, let me know.

Source: Covenant and God’s Purpose for the World

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