Green, Bradley G. Series Editor, D. A. Carson. Covenant and Commandment: Works, Obedience, and Faithfulness in the Christian Life. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2014. 208 pp. $22.00. Purchase at Amazon for less.
New Studies in Biblical Theology is a series of books addressing key issues in the church today. Bradley Green is Associate Professor of Christian Studies at Union University. He has written a number of other books dealing with theology.
Divided into seven chapters with numerous subsections in each chapter, Bradley dives straight into the discussion of grace and works. His first chapter looks at the reality and necessity of works, obedience and faithfulness as found in the NT.
The second chapter offers a look at the bridge between the Old and New Testaments while chapter three offers the umbrella of the covenant keeping God throughout all of the Bible. Chapter four takes us to the cross and moves us to union with Christ in chapter five. The final two chapters look at justification and judgment and the conclusion that works, obedience, and faithfulness are necessary for every Christian.
One might be surprised at the necessity of this conversation today, but it seems as though grace is being misapplied all over the evangelical spectrum. From full acceptance of same-sex marriage as being gracious in liberal churches to antinomianism (lawlessness) in some Reformed circles, the truth is, this conversation is happening and we need a biblically balanced understanding of what is expected of the Christian.
Bradley does so in a theologically astute yet very easy to read way. Sure, he is discussing some deep theology, but he does so in a way that anyone can understand what he is saying if they have a rudimentary understanding of their Bibles as well as the doctrines of the church.
He is saturated with Scripture as well as others throughout the history of the church. Men like Geerhardus Vos and Jonathan Edwards and N.T. Wright and John Owen. In other words, he shows that he is not writing anything necessarily new. Rather, he is bringing together a general consensus of orthodoxy for a new generation.
Covenant and Commandment is a great introduction to any Christian wanting to understand the importance of obeying the law by the grace of God. I commend this resource to you whether you are a pastor or layman. Today’s church needs this resource.