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Introducing Covenant Theology

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  510 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Since biblical times, history is replete with promises made and promises broken. Pastors and teachers know the power of the covenant, and they know that understanding the concept of covenant is crucial to understanding Scripture. They also know that covenant theology provides the foundation for core Christian beliefs and that covenants in their historical context hold sign ...more
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Published (first published March 1st 2006)
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Stephen Wolfe
Sep 24, 2014 Stephen Wolfe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is an excellent introduction to Horton's covenant theology, but not the best introduction to covenant theology. Those with little knowledge of covenant theology and Reformed theology in general may find it difficult to understand at times.

Still, it's an excellent read at times and I recommend it to those who want an introduction to a growing perspective (Klinian) on covenant theology.
Jacob Aitken
Michael Horton in this book gives the church and updated primer on covenant theology, drawing upon and routinely surpassing the works of Meredith Kline and O. Palmer Robertson. It is superior to these two works both in style and choice of content. Few can match Horton’s clear, lucid writing. With regard to choice of content, Horton covers the same ground that most systematics cover, but he does so without being repetitious. As a whole, the book is outstanding, but I can only recommend it with a ...more
John Gardner
Jun 26, 2010 John Gardner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is somewhat difficult for me to write. As someone with a passing familiarity with covenant theology (a system of biblical interpretation which sees the various covenants between God and Man as an organizational structure for all of Scripture) who hoped for a good primer in order to better understand the system on its own terms, I was glad to find a book by Michael Horton that appeared to be what I was seeking. I have enjoyed other books by Horton, as well as his blog and radio show, ...more
Jan 12, 2008 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually thought this was a pretty good introduction to covenant theology. Horton makes use of much of Meredith Kline's work in covenant theology. But, as Horton argues, much of his (and Kline's) views have a solid reformed heritage behind it. At this point I'm not sure where I stand on this issue (modern debates between Klineans and Murrayites, for example), but Horton's little book did much to dissuade my Klinean prejudices (which, I'm sorry to admit, were mainly do to personal loyalties and ...more
Ben Adkison
Jan 23, 2016 Ben Adkison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I 19ve been slowly reading through God of Promise: Introducing Covenant Theology by Michael Horton for several months now, and I finally completed it this weekend. Earlier this year I read Charles Ryrie 19s book Dispensationalism, which is basically the opposite end of spectrum theologically from this book by Horton. Dispensationalism and covenant theology are two competing systems that try to explain the way in which we should understand the overarching theme and history of the Bible. Dispensat ...more
Amy Kannel
Sep 25, 2012 Amy Kannel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity
This was BRUTALLY unreadable. It’s packaged as a layperson’s introduction, but written like a stiff, dry, overly formal and complex academic textbook. I mean, I’m not a stupid girl, but I found it difficult to press through and comprehend. Still, it had good information, and the second half especially provided some fresh perspectives and food for thought, especially pertaining to communion and baptism. I’m at least intrigued to learn more about covenant theology.

Justin Tapp
Mar 06, 2016 Justin Tapp rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: church, bible
I read this work after reading Chase Sears' excellent Heirs of Promise: The Church as the New Israel in Romans (Snapshots). Sears’ book focuses on Paul's arguments in Romans about Christians being on equal footing and the inheritors of promises to Israel. Horton's work gives an overview of covenant theology and some of the views of early Reformers. It also contains some sermonizing only tangentially related to covenant theology, some of which is good. Like Sears, Horton strains to avoid replace ...more
Steve Hemmeke
Too academic for an introduction; a veiled argument against Federal Vision...
Christopher M.
Aug 15, 2012 Christopher M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful book, and one that I'm definitely going to have to read again. This is a theology book that derives its theology rigorously from the biblical literature and culture, first and foremost, before getting to any sort of "system." As we find out, the system is compelling, but the Horton goes to lengths to show that his theology arises organically when Scripture in context is allowed to interpret scripture. There are a number of views generally associated with Covenant theology (paedobaptism ...more
Josh Skinner
Nov 12, 2014 Josh Skinner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Horton's book, God of Promise:Introducing Covenant Theology, is a wonderful primer for anyone interested in understanding the basics of the Reformed hermeneutic. As Horton says explicitly, it is not that covenant is viewed as the central dogma of Scripture, but rather that covenant is the framework of Scripture. In fact, “God's very existence is covenantal: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit live in unceasing devotion to each other; reaching outward beyond the Godhead to create a community of ...more
Brett McNeill
Feb 22, 2008 Brett McNeill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The content of this book is great, but it lacks the readability that characterizes some of Horton's other works. One repeatedly finds himself trying to understand the main point of a chapter and the flow of the argument. This book would have been a much greater asset if it had undergone one or two more editorial revisions before going to print.

Also the last chapter is anomalous in that it undoes much of what Horton has established through the whole of the book. The main of the book presents Law
Aaron Gregas
Apr 02, 2016 Aaron Gregas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Besides Kingdom Prologue by Meredith Kline, this is the best book I've read on Covenant Theology. Horton deals with so many crucial topics that you won't find in most other go to books about covenant theology. But what I am impressed with more about this book is its accessibility, which is one thing that Kingdom Prologue lacked. Horton is a great writer. His gospel-centerness is refreshing. The doctrine of the covenant is the article upon which the doctrine of justification stands or falls. And ...more
Elise Schafer
Apr 04, 2016 Elise Schafer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I do think he explains Covenant Theology I do not think it is an introduction to Covenant Theology. But yes, if you have some understanding of Covenant Theology this is a good read for you.
Nate Claiborne
Overall, I am in some ways sympathetic to the project Michael Horton is attempting in Introducing Covenant Theology. I would say I like the idea of it all, but he leaves many questions unanswered. I would consider myself Reformed in my theological leanings, or you could use the word Calvinist(ic) if you wanted to. However, I am not entirely convinced the case Horton makes here holds exegetical water. The book does follow a fairly logical flow, but that might not be enough in the end to overcome ...more
Nov 16, 2013 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Horton does a good job outlining the similarities and the differences between other ancient near-eastern treaties and the covenants of the Old Testament. Most importantly, he connects circumcision with baptism and the Passover with the Lord's Supper in ways that will challenge your conventional understanding of the sacraments. This is definitely a worthwhile read since Horton outlines the biblical unfolding narrative of justification, sanctification and glorification in the context of a corporal ...more
Dec 04, 2014 Ciarabrowne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic introduction to Covenant Theology. Found it helpful to read in conjunction with Chris Caughey's 'A Tale of Two Adams.'
David Langley
Oct 13, 2014 David Langley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great overview. Gives a good understanding of Mike's views, actually corrects some wrong assumptions I had about Horton.
Danny Bennett
Not really the best time to read this book, I lost interest pretty quickly. I think I'll reread it at a later date. Basically, Horton outlines the basics of Covenant Theology, a systematic way of looking at the bible as a whole. Covenant Theology is usually contrasted with Dispensationalism. CT emphasizes continuity in the Scriptures, Dispensationalism emphasizes discontinuity in the Scriptures. I think it is both...or neither. As usual I find Horton to be pretty typical of his tradition. The th ...more
Noel Adams
Feb 23, 2015 Noel Adams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mind.blowing. Huge learning curve. Left me so thankful for what God has done!
Andy Smith
Good overall. Really just a rehashing of Vos and Kline. I see what Horton was trying to do; take the writings of these scholars and filter them to the layman. Unfortunely, Horton can't get away from his covenental language enough to truly help beginners understand. Great content, but I wouldn't recomend it to someone just investigating covenant theology.
The chapter on Covenant People and Covenant Obedience were excellent, and Horton still had alot of great points. The last three paragraphs of th
Jeff M.
Dec 01, 2007 Jeff M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who are confused about covenant theology
Michael Horton writes that covenant theology is reformed theology. This book is not only an introduction to covenant theology, but to the reformed faith as well. He makes use of Meredith Kline's research on ancient middle eastern covenants to put the Biblical covenants in their historical perspective. This book is very helpful in understanding the relationship between law and promise, and between the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. Readers will come away with a renewed sense of the ...more
George Parker
Dec 04, 2009 George Parker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an excellent primer on covenant theology. What is covenant theology? It is an opposing view to the omnipresent dispensational view. Dispensationalism breaks human history down into seven different time periods in which God worked using different methods with different peoples, and is largely responsible for the prevalent end-times view of premillenial, pre-tribulation rapture. Covenant theology interprets scripture to say that God basically only works in two ways…the covenant of wor ...more
Tony Arsenal
Jan 19, 2014 Tony Arsenal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an excellent primer on Covenant Theology. It points to some of the foundational and classical Covenant works by Kline and others.

As in all books with end notes, I would have preferred footnotes.

Of particular note is the tone of the book. It feels like a modified dissertation or thesis project, but I'm not sure that it was. This is a little off-putting if you are looking for something that flows a little bit better.
Ronnie Curfman
Feb 05, 2014 Ronnie Curfman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Horton's "Introduction to Covenant Theology" is a helpful overview of the subject. I would recommend this work to anyone desiring to learn more about how the reformed view of the covenants, the millennium, and the sacraments. The book is filled with footnotes so it is easy to dig as deep as one wishes into the various aspects of Covenant theology. I gave the book three stars because many sections would be difficult for someone new to Covenant theology (or theology in general) to process.
Apr 25, 2011 Ryan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The word "Introducing" in the subtitle is deceiving here—this is a serious theological text. Horton packs a lot of deep discourse into 190-ish pages. Don't misunderstand me: this is largely good stuff. The problem is just that there were sizable sections that were difficult for me to follow and understand. The most helpful part of this book for me was the distinction between the covenant at Mt. Sinai and the covenant with Abraham.
Nov 12, 2012 Jesse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has good information, but the organization is a little scattered which make it a little tough to get though. Like the movie Inception it was a little confusing, but better the second time through.

For an intro to CT I prefer Berkhof's ST's straightforward explanation of the covenants and their relationship to each other across the scope of the whole Bible. I'm sure you can read it free online.
Sep 10, 2012 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Does a good job of explaining covenants from a historical perspective but fails to prove from scripture that what happens in scripture is an overarching covenant. I think Mr. Horton needs to review logical fallacies and then rewrite the book to a less academic audience. Until then, this book will not be helpful to someone new to the concepts or trying to make up their mind about covenant theology.
Feb 16, 2010 Josh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Claimed to argue Covenant theology from scripture, but made a key error/omission. Argued that the Abrahamic promises were about eternal salvation, whereas the Mosaic covenant was about temporal blessings in the land. Didn't address the fact that the Abrahamic promises, as written, refer to temporal blessing in the land and not to eternal salvation. Kind of a death blow to the argument.
Kathy Carlson
Amazing yet very difficult reading, and I usually crush through books. This is one I read and re-read paragraph by paragraph. It's a highly packed work, very illuminating if you put in the effort. Your understanding of Genesis 15 will go from "Uh, what?" to "Ooooooooh!" If you plan to read this book, be ready to love God that much more.
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I am very surprised 1 13 Oct 09, 2008 10:27PM  
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  • No Place for Truth: or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?
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  • Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview
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  • According to Plan
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Dr. Horton has taught apologetics and theology at Westminster Seminary California since 1998. In addition to his work at the Seminary, he is the president of White Horse Inn, for which he co-hosts the White Horse Inn, a nationally syndicated, weekly radio talk-show exploring issues of Reformation theology in American Christianity. He is also the editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine. Befo ...more
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“God’s very existence is covenantal: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit live in unceasing devotion to each other, reaching outward beyond the Godhead to create a community of creatures serving as a giant analogy of the Godhead’s relationship.” 0 likes
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