First I want to say what a blessing it is to have the door opened to covenant theology. I am learning so much and am so thankful. The discovery of the Reformed biblical framework is an amazing gift which empowers the student of Scripture to dig into it and learn for himself what the Spirit was actually communicating in Scripture to the original audience as well as to modern believers. With this understanding, we don’t need to just accept whatever we are taught, but we can actually go straight to the source and think critically and exegetically to try to come to the most proper interpretation of a passage.
In contrast to Covenant or Reformed theology, which has been around for hundreds of years, if not millennia, there is modern Dispensationalism, a system of thought developed in the late 1800s, and then there is so-called New Covenant Theology, which is a much more modern view that misinterprets much of the Old Testament as based on works instead of grace. Similar to Dispensationalists, proponents of New Covenant Theology would consider much of the Old Testament to apply to Jews only and not to the elect covenant community as a whole. That is, they would not agree with our own Lord and Savior when he said, “Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19, ESV). When we read the works of people who hold this view, we must be cautious and pray for the gift of discernment. Anyone who does not agree with the very words of our Lord is on shaky ground.
All this is by way of introduction, because the point of this short blog post is to link to an article by covenant theologian Sam Waldron about the Christian Sabbath, and why the view from the Westminster Confession of Faith and the 1689 London Baptist Confession is the Biblical view. He makes some good exegetical and cultural arguments as to just what first century Jewish Christians would have been thinking when they used the words “the Lord’s Day.” But this article was written as a defense against a major work in New Covenant Theology, so I wanted to put it in context–hence the necessity of the previous paragraph. Sam Waldron’s 8-page article, “A Critical Introduction to New Covenant Theology #3”, PDF parsed to HTML by Google, is located here. (I can’t link to the original PDF because his site is down at the moment.)