The God of Promise: Christian Scripture as Covenantal Revelation
Traditional evangelical theologies of Scripture have tended to be characterised by the terminology of systematic theology (for example: inerrancy, infallibility, authority, perspicuity), sometimes at the expense of terminology drawn from biblical theology which takes account of the actual canonical forms of Scripture and of some of the ways Scripture describes itself. This can leave the traditional model vulnerable to competing systematic formulations and alternative doctrines of revelation. In this light, we attempt to do three things in this paper. First, we offer (in outline) a possible biblical theology description of Scripture as a covenant document and, second, we bring this into dialogue with an alternative systematic description of Scripture proposed by Karl Barth. Third, by using the recent work of Vanhoozer, Ward and Horton, we argue that a covenantal description of Scripture both challenges Barth’s formulation and enriches the traditional model. This covenantal conversation aims to bring biblical theology into direct contact with systematic theology to essay a ‘fresh fidelity’ to classical formulations on the nature of Scripture.