Covenant And Commandment Works, obedience and faithfulness in the Christian Life
A key issue in Christianity is the nature of works or obedience or faithfulness in the Christian life. While evangelicals can generally agree that one enters into a covenant relationship with God by grace (even solely by grace) apart from works, there is often much more disagreement over how to construe the nature of works, or obedience, inside this covenantal relationship. From a close study of key Old and New Testament texts, Bradley Green shows that in the new covenant, works or obedience will be a God-elicited, real and necessary part of Christian life. This volume is a slightly unusual contribution to NSBT. It neither works out the particular theology of a biblical book or corpus, nor traces a narrow theme right through the Bible. Instead, it tracks through the Bible, from Adam and Eve to the new heaven and the new earth, a rather large and multi-layered theme - the place of good works, obedience and faithfulness in the believer's life. For the Christian, to know Jesus, to confess him as Lord, entails obeying him. But how does this reality relate to a plethora of complementary themes? Dr Green addresses this question by soundings in an impressive diversity of topics: e.g. the promises of a new covenant in Jeremiah and Ezekiel that anticipate a Spirit-empowered obedience, various relationships between the old and new covenants, and above all the centrality of union with Christ in addressing the relationship between justification and transformation. Along the way, Dr Green interacts with various writers in the Reformed tradition, and with some contemporary thinkers (e.g. Henri Blocher, N. T. Wright). The canvas on which he paints is large enough to draw in a wide range of readers, all of whom will find themselves stimulated to think about these issues more precisely, even if they choose to demur from this or that element in his argument.