“In the biblical drama of the living God’s works in creation and redemption,” writes Cornelis Venema, “no theme is more lustrous than that of God’s gracious intention to enjoy communion with humans who bear his image and whose lives have been broken through sin.”
This collection of Venema’s essays summarizes and defends a broad consensus view of the doctrine of the covenants in the history of Reformed theology and clarifies several areas of dispute.
Venema argues that (1) the distinction between a pre-fall covenant of works and a post-fall covenant of grace is an integral feature of a biblical and confessionally Reformed understanding of the history of redemption; (2) the distinction between a pre-fall covenant of works and a post-fall covenant of grace is necessary to preserve the sheer graciousness of God’s redemption in Jesus Christ; and (3) the doctrines of covenant and election are corollary doctrines, not opposed to each other, but mutually defining.
“No one today is better qualified to address the perennially important issues of covenant theology than Cornel Venema. In this volume he considers some of these issues in the context of current discussions and debates, doing so in a particularly instructive and helpful manner.”
—Richard B. Gaffin Jr., Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary
“Cornelis Venema sheds much-needed light on issues ranging from the doctrine of republication to the Federal Vision theology. Regardless of whether one agrees with all of Venema’s specific conclusions, his arguments cannot be ignored. A must-read.”
—Keith Mathison, Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformation Bible College
“Cornel Venema . . . is an expert to whom I have often looked for analysis and assessment of important issues relating to classic covenant theology. . . . Venema is superb in his synopsis of and engagement with these kinds of issues.”
—Ligon Duncan, Chancellor and CEO, Reformed Theological Seminary
“We have come to expect great things from Dr. Venema’s writings and this volume does not disappoint. Treatments of three major issues currently troubling Reformed churches are done with masterful analysis. Quite frankly, these pages are necessary reading from one finest theologians of our time.”
—Derek W. H. Thomas, Chancellor’s Professor, Reformed Theological Seminary
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cornelis P. Venema (Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary) is president of Mid-America Reformed Seminary, where he is also professor of doctrinal studies.
The doctrine of the imago Dei has been criticized for technically excluding people who suffer from severe cognitive disabilities. With such people in mind, Hammond reexamines the doctrine and sets forth a more accurate and inclusive understanding. This work concludes with implications and practical applications to help seminary professors, pastors, and church members include, embrace, and welcome people with severe intellectual disabilities and their families.
“A gift born out of much affliction of soul and mind. . . . In an age when the secular discussion of ‘personhood’ runs parallel to the theological discussion of imago Dei, Dr. Hammond gives us a careful, clear, and theologically detailed treatment of this vital doctrine for our day.”
—Michael S. Beates, Dean of Students, The Geneva School, Winter Park, Florida; Author, Disability & the Gospel: How God Uses Our Brokenness to Display His Grace
“This book is a gem, for it defends the traditional view of who we are in the face of the relevant theological and scientific issues. . . . It is unique, powerful, biblically sound, and practical. I am not aware of anything quite like it.”
—William Edgar, Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary
“A powerful study of the image of God and also of the practical impact that our beliefs hold for our treatment of those who are mentally broken. This carefully researched and well-written book will move, disturb, challenge, and bless readers.”
—Chad Vandixhoorn, Chancellor’s Professor of Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, DC
Also commended by:
- Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., Emeritus Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary
- Peter Y. Lee, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, DC
- Bryan Estelle, Professor of Old Testament, Westminster Seminary California
ABOUT THE SERIES