Moore To Come

Indeed, personal regeneration is key to understanding God’s plans for the earth and the heavens. It is the inbreaking of God’s new creation (2 Cor. 4:6) in the present order. God demonstrates in individual lives what he one day plans to do with the entire universe, the age of the Spirit. This is why Jesus speaks of the consummated kingdom in the age to come as the regeneration (Matt. 19:28), and why he insists that personal regeneration is necessary to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). God redeems individuals, transforming them through the Spirit because through the redeemed human rulers, the sons of God, he will transform the creation itself, freeing it from its bondage to decay (Rom. 8:18-23). This is why the redeemed groan along with the creation itself for the consummation of the kingdom (Rom. 8:23). It is here in the regeneration that the personal and the cosmic aspects of eschatology meet.

Russel D. Moore in A Theology for the Church.


13 responses to “Moore To Come

  1. One of the typical downfalls of Covenant theology, linked with Reformed theology, is the forsaking of the salvation of the individual. It isn’t a necessary error, merely a regretable and common one. We should not abandon evangelism merely because modern churches have so often failed to make true disciples of their converts.

  2. I think Moore’s point is that personal regeneration gives us clues to understanding God’s redemptive work in the cosmos. I’m not sure how covenant theology figures in here?

  3. Dan, can you give us an example of someone holding to covenant theology that has fosaken the salvation of the individual?

    I did not strike the match, but here comes the gas…

    al sends

  4. Yes, he is a bit whacked.

    Rom. 8:18-30 seems to say, not that we have a part in creation’s freedom from bondage, but that the creation/church, are both waiting for the redemption of our bodies. We can rejoice in our sufferings because we know that this present reality is not all that there is. Something glorious is coming and we hope for it. That something is the redemption of our bodies and the creation’s freedom from decay.


  5. Al,

    What I’m thinking is – When we focus attention to the raising of godly children almost to the exclusion of proclaiming the gospel to anyone outside of the church. I’ve met a few in these circles that appear to be saying as much. I think we should practice the fomer without abandoning the later.

  6. Dan, with respects, who made you the judge of covenant theology? And what good could generalizations such as yours possibly do? I could pontificate for a long time about Baptist theology, which presumably you hold to, and its failings, and it would not do one wit’s worth of good. Are all these Baptists whose names are on the rolls of endless area churches, who have not darkened the door to a church or picked up a Bible in ages, and whose lives are an affront to the gospel, are they a vindication of Baptist individualist soteriology/eschatology?

    Just curious, though: who?

    The author that Rob quoted — Russell Moore, an old friend of mine — is a Baptist. In fact, he’s the dean of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His life’s work in many ways has involved explicating the cosmic dimensions of eschatology. He’s the one urging us, in the very spirit of covenant theology, to hold onto the cosmic dimensions of the gospel without losing the individual. That is exactly what covenant theology preserves.

  7. David,

    Forgive me…I thought this was open dialogue for the purpose of learning. I did not mean anything harsh, for I was joking when I said Moore was whacked. I’ll use better judgement in the future.

    Anyway, my theology is definitely not that of a typical Baptist. I think there is truth in all the streams, so I am a mix of all of them. I am not judging covenant theology; I believe it. My point is, that we should not abandon the practice of telling the gospel to the world merely because, Baptists and others, have done a poor job of discipling people or that many who, at first confess Christ, later fall away. The parable of the sower teaches us that people will fall away even when Christ himself presents the gospel.

  8. What I really appreciated about this quote (and the chapter in the book) is that it unflinchingly sews soteriology and eschatology (and several other ‘ologies’) together to make them seemless parts of one another. It is not a system of rigid either/ors but a unification of ideas into (and from) one telos (Romans 11:36). I find this sort of thinking, frankly, irrestible.

    I actually found the quote above to be quite moving. To contemplate the beauty of restoration in persons and the cosmos is for me intoxicating.

  9. Fair enough, Dan. I’m all about dialogging and learning also.

    You said, “One of the typical downfalls of Covenant theology, linked with Reformed theology, is the forsaking of the salvation of the individual.” Those are pretty strong words couched in a pretty big statement that I didn’t mean to get defensive about but wanted you to clarify. I’m still trying to understand how recovering the cosmic dimensions of redemption, so that our soteriology and eschatology and praxis are more full-orbed and biblical, and we make a course correction away from the interiorized/privatized/individualistic ethos of prevailing evangelicalism inherited from the Enlightenment project, how this is a bad thing? Can there be an over-correction? I suppose, and if that is your point, then well and good.

    But while the car is in mid-air, having careened off the bridge and nose-down toward the icy river, is not the time to talk about how to keep from veering off the other side of the bridge. We need to swim for our lives out of this river of Enlightenment individualism that is sucking our vitality away.

  10. Yes, I like his comparison of creation and the redeemed. No doubt our hope is in the full restoration of both creation and our bodies. I don’t claim to understand much about the cosmos and God’s redemption of it. How do you think we play a role in that process and do you know of any verses that teach us that. I don’t think Romans 8 says that. If it does, I’ll be glad to be corrected.

  11. Dan, Thanks for the response, but it did not answer my question. I guess we covenantal folks get our hackles up bit when we hear things like, “forsaking the individual.” I think this is canard used against covenantal folks, when people simply don’t like the idea of God’s continuing covenant.

    The same tactic is used against Sovereign Grace folks. You know how it goes… Reformed soteriology leads to an abandonment of missions and the despising of soul winning. We know the Reformed Church throughout the ages has been a chief missions sending org, yet the finger continues to point.

    Can you name one prominent covenantal church leader who has forsaken individual evangelism so that they might raise up godly children?

    Al sends

    P.S. This is not a beat up on Dan thread. We just do not want passers by to get the wrong impression about us 🙂

  12. Sure…me and our church tend to be that way.
    God help us not to be like that.

    I love so much about our church, but God forbid that we think it not worth our while to tell the gospel to the guy in Whataburger. It seems to me that both the reformed and non-reformed are doing an equally poor job at the great commission.

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