This week’s author interview is with Jonty Rhodes. He is the author of Covenants Made Simple: Understanding God’s Unfolding Promises to His People.


Rhodes, Jonty

  • Question #1 – Tell us a little bit about yourself: where you’re from, family, job, personal interests, unique hobbies, what you do in your spare time, etc.

I was born on the south coast of England, but am descended from a family of northerners: mostly from the beautiful Lake District that borders Scotland. I’m now pastor of Christ Church Derby, a Presbyterian church roughly in the middle of England. Presbyterianism in England (as opposed to Scotland) is a rare thing, so we’re somewhat of an endangered species. By way of illustration, Christ Church is about four years old and with 75 people, we’d easily be in the ten largest Presbyterian churches in England.

My wife Georgina and I have one little girl Charlotte and a second child due any minute…


  • Question #2 – When did you first want to write a book?

My mum recently found my first book. It’s called ‘A Rocket gows to spase’ (not having passed through the P&R copy-editors) and includes lots of aliens, lots of shooting and some illuminating crayon illustrations. So far, it’s still awaiting publication.


  • Question #3 – What inspired you to write this book, about this topic?

In England covenant theology has really fallen by the wayside, at least as far as the majority of conservative evangelical churches are concerned. There are some great books out there, but I couldn’t find one to give as an introduction for someone new to the topic. I also found that, unlike in the works some of our Puritan and Reformed forefathers, several books that do focus on covenant theology lay out a biblical theology without drawing systematic conclusions, or showing the significance of the covenants for everyday life. I wanted to try and show how, far from relying on a handful of favourite proof texts, the Reformed gospel we preach grows naturally out of the Bible’s story.

Another way to answer the question would be to say that I’ve so enjoyed reading the really clever guys – from Horton, Palmer Robertson, and Murray back through Vos, Berkhof and Bavinck and on to the Puritans – that I wanted to try and introduce some of their brilliance to an audience who might not be prepared to start with them.


  • Question #4 – Do you have a favorite quote? What is it and why?

There are two that would be tied for first place.

G.K Chesteron wrote ‘If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.’ Like many quotations it has now broken free from its original context, but I find it helpful as a reminder to accept your limitations, not wait for perfection and press on doing the best you can in the time you have.

Then at the funeral of a wonderful man who had discipled me for a number of years as a student, the minister said ‘David taught us two things: firstly to take the gospel seriously, and secondly not to take ourselves too seriously.’


  • Question #5 – Do you have a favorite book that you have written?

Having looked through the extensive back catalogue, I’d have to say it’s almost certainly now the rocket one.


  • Question #6 – Favorite sport to watch? Why?

Cricket – it’s like a sophisticated version of baseball and lasts five days.


  • Question #7 – The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia? Why?

It seems almost obligatory to say you prefer the Lord of the Rings, and talk about its greater depth, subtlety and scope. But if I’m only allowed one, I’m going to go for Narnia – I’m no literary scholar and find the Chronicles almost invariably spiritually refreshing.


  • Question #8 – What famous person (living or dead) would you like to meet and why?

I love history, so can think of all sorts of characters I’d like to meet. But as a less obvious choice, one who springs to mind is Yuri Gagarin. To be the first man into space must have taken astounding bravery.


Want to learn more about Jonty?

Follow him on Twitter: @JontyGRhodes