Is Covenant Theology the same as Replacement Theology?
It is not uncommon today to hear the argument advanced that Covenant Theology is anti-semitic, because it it is erroneously accused of teachubg that the New Testament Church replaces God's Old Testament people, ethnic Israel. Some of these critics of Covenant Theology (such as Dispensationalists and Progressive Covenantalists) use the pejorative term “Replacement Theology” to describe what they believe Covenant Theology teaches.
However, this term is an inaccurate and unfair representation of Covenant Theology since no Covenant Theologian we have ever run into would recognize himself to teach such a thing: while it is true that Covenant Theology emphasizes the unity of God's people throughout redemptive history, and denies that the Church is a distinct people of God that exists alongside his other people, ethnic Israel (as does the bible, see questions 19-22 above); yet it most certainly does not teach that the Church “replaces” Israel. Quite to the contrary, it teaches that the Church has been in existence ever since God first established his Covenant of Grace with Adam, and that, while the Church was composed of the believing remnant of national Israel during the Old Testament era, God's design was always to expand it and bring all the nations into its fold, just as he promised Abraham (Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:7-9). Today he has done that, and so now, his Church is composed both of the believing remnant of the Jewish nation, as it always has been, and also of a believing remnant of the Gentiles, who have been grafted in and made a part of the same body. So Israel has not been replaced, it has just been expanded to include Abraham's children by faith from every nation on earth (Ephesians 2; Galatians 2 & 3).
Sadly, some Christian theologians of the past have in fact been anti-semitic, both before and after the crystallization of the biblical framework of Covenant Theology; but anti-semitism is not at all intrinsic to Covenant Theology which, when properly understood, demands an ongoing acceptance of the believing remnant of the Jewish nation as a necessary part of God's Church (see Romans 11).
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