As one of many in New Covenant Theology circles who is trying to push the discussion forward while seeing a stronger Biblical Theology/Redemptive History case made for what we believe to be the best understanding of Scripture, it grieves me to see those who advocate NCT — even some of its pioneers — aim to shut down the discussion, ostracize brothers, or toss people out of the movement.
On one hand, there are those in what has been called the “Classic NCT” camp who would like to shut down any discussion of what is the nature of the Law of Christ. So-called Classic NCT wants to find a new set of statutes in the teachings of Jesus and the apostles. I’m among those who would respond that Jesus did not come to die for sin, rise from the grave and ascend to the Father only to bind people to a more stringent law, but that He came as the One with all authority to free us to walk in the light, live without fear, and love without limit. Christ is the enfleshment of the law.
(Pastor Todd Braye has summarized this argument well in a recent outline at Christ My Covenant, Five Reasons Why I Object to Classic NCT’s Definition of the Law of Christ.)
I’m convinced that this understanding lays great groundwork for the pioneering thought and study that has preceded us. Unfortunately, instead of opening up dialog, it has caused those who advocate this understanding to be made targets by some of those who champion so-called Classic NCT.
Certainly discussion and critique of any view should be welcomed. But putting people outside of the camp should not be tolerated.
Similarly, another assault has been made — unnecessarily — on those in NCT who hold to a premillennial view, suggesting that they should not be part of NCT. I’m not a premillennarian myself, but I see no need to push people out of the discussion who are.
This movement is too new and its foundations still are being constructed. It is sinful to ostracize those working to grow the movement and build its foundations. And it is most egregious to see those who have themselves been ostracized take part in it.
33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (ESV)
25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. (ESV)